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Dragon Reflections #2: Heavy On Fiction But Light On Mechanics Yesterday 11:13 PM

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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...

Wednesday, 18th January, 2017

  • 09:16 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ...ively gambling that the people who find the change to be positive will be larger than the people who find the change to be negativeWhat is the nature of the gamble? Clearly, it is a commercial gamble: if people don't like what you write/publish, they won't buy it. But you seem to be implying that the gamble has some other dimension as well. Which relates to "THIS IS IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE". The idea is that it matters to some people that WotC publishes a story (about gnolls, say) that contradicts some other story they once published about gnolls. And this is where I ask Why? Why is the existence of the new stuff, that you don't like and so don't want to buy, a burden on your enjoyment of the old stuff that you do like? And if the only answer is "Because it's hard to change", then I'm just not seeing it. TwoSix has just reiterated the reasons why. I think the answer must be something non-instrumental, but I haven't really seen it articulated in this thread (other than by Shasarak in a recent post). I'm a Banana has talked about "brand identity", but that's something for WotC to care about, not something for a customer to care about. What is the value, to the individual D&D player, of coherence over time of published story elements? The language of "invalidation" almost suggests that people feel that their love of some story is put under some sort of cloud if WotC decides to publish a different, inconsistent story. But that seems very odd to me: why is one person's aesthetic judgement hostage to WotC's commercial (or even artistic) decisions?

Monday, 16th January, 2017

  • 05:06 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    And when, new players come into D&D and hear troll, most are not thinking Poul Anderson's version which is the basis for the D&D troll. They hear the world troll and are probably are thinking of the troll in "Billy Goats Gruff", the war troll from The Lord of the Rings movie, or the trolls The Hobbit movie which are completely different from Poul Anderson's version. So, by the same token, perhaps we should rename the D&D troll to something else. The next version of D&D shouldn't just exercise lore, it should exercise the monster names as well! Remathilis, your post doesn't address Greg K's point. The D&D troll doesn't help new players orient themselves in the gameworld. I remember finding it weird (and not very Billy Goat Gruff) 30 years ago. I don't think Anderson's work is any more familiar today. So my question is - why are you, and billd91, and Shasarak, insisting that the reason you value lore is because of the epistemic function it serves? Whereas examples like this show that in many cases there is no such epistemic function. Likewise, the fact that module writers don't feel beholden to it undermines its supposed epistemic function (eg players of RttToEE can't infer that they won't meet any blue dragons, and hence don't need to memorise lightning resistance spells, simply because they are not entereing into a desert). Despite these cases where lore apparenlty doesn't serve any significant epistemic function, you nevertheless still seem to value it! Why not articulate those reasons, instead of setting out a purely instrumental account of its value which doesn't seem to do justice to your evident passion for it? (A conversation that TwoSix tried to kick off not too far upthread.)

Friday, 9th December, 2016

  • 01:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    Imaro, Shasarak, Elderbrain I am utterly baffled. You are now arguing that it is a house rule to play a character with the 4e Good alignment with the same personality and outlook as a 2nd ed AD&D character with the CG alignment, even though the description of Good clearly encompasses the description of CG. Presumably, it follows that you think that no character before AD&D could be played identically with an AD&D character because the prior alignment descriptors were different. Presumably, it follow that you think that every LE monster that, in 4e, was relabelled "Evil" was fundamentally changed. This is just bizarre. Utterly bizarre. Why do you think the label is more important than the actual personality, motivation, moral outlook, etc - which have not changed one iota!


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Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 10:50 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    But are hit points actually miss points? Well Gygax clearly thought so. IMO I leave it up to the character's theme and use it to reinforce that. I said this elsewhere but the way I'd narrate damage would depend on the character and the nature of the campaign. My example was my Dex-based paladin and the Con and Toughness-oriented abjurer in a game I play in. These two characters have roughly equivalent ACs and hit points but we narrate them quite differently, though. My paladin is a skill character who wears light armor, a shield, and speed, so presumably yeah, damage being taken is reflecting things that should have been hits on a lesser warrior getting turned into grazes or near-misses, at the cost of increasing fatigue. That character's theme is oriented around time and fate, so that would factor in, too. The abjurer has motley medium armor and uses magic to defend himself along with being really tough---he's got an affinity for rats, so he's often described as being as tough as a ra...
  • 10:25 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    These prove the point, especially: So even when a hit is scored in melee combat, it is more often than not a grazing blow, a scratch, a mere light wound which would have been fatal (or nearly so) to a lesser mortal. I honestly dont know how you could explain it better then that and yet here we are. Um, I'm not sure why you thought I was arguing to the contrary. I think we're having a case of vehement agreement, because I more or less agree with the "hit points aren't meat points" position!
  • 10:12 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Do you mean the guy who thinks that Encumbrance and Strength is a measure of how injured you are? I would not put too much stock into his "quotes". I can't say I frequently agree with all of the views of @pemerton , but I'm pretty sure he can copy from the 1E DMG just fine. You can get a good idea by reading what he wrote. Indeed you can, and the notion that a combat round is a minute in length and summarizes a substantial set of exchanges in battle along with the interpretation of hit points as not being meat points is Gygax's. I'm not near my copy of the DMG1E at the moment. However, I did find this quote from an article in Dragon #24, 1979 "The Melee in D&D": Hit points are a combination of actual physical constitution, skill at the avoidance of taking real physical damage, luck and/or magical or divine factors. Ten points of damage dealt to a rhino indicated a considerable wound, while the same damage sustained by the 8th level fighter indicates a near miss, a slight wound, and a bit...
  • 09:57 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    You seem sincere and I wish that I could just take your assurance that was the case and on the other hand there is just no evidence that was true. The relevant quote from the DMG1E was posted already by @pemerton somewhere in this thread. I was looking for it but can't find it. I'll post it later tonight. As to what Gygax actually thought before he wrote that, well he's dead so who the heck knows for sure. I marked my speculation as speculation. From what I understand, Gygax was a pretty old skool wargamer, mostly focused on the numbers. According to Wikipedia Arneson and Gygax got the idea of hit points from a naval wargame; the original idea was developed by the US Navy in the 1920s!
  • 01:55 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Honestly it is just the one or two people that tell me that there was never any hit in the first place that just blow my mind. But these are the same type of people that look at their strength score to tell them how damaged their character is so maybe I should just take the hint. This particular interpretation goes all the way back to 1E at least, and was Gygax's. I suspect that like a lot of other things he didn't bother with much of an interpretation at first but was pressed on it and came up with one. It's one that clearly doesn't satisfy a vocal minority.
  • 01:39 PM - pemerton quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Honestly it is just the one or two people that tell me that there was never any hit in the first place that just blow my mind. How would that idea possibly have been started? Maybe by something like this? [H]it points are not actually a measure of physical damage, by and large, as far as characters (and some other creatures as well) are concerned. Therefore, the location of hits and the type of damage caused are not germane to them. . . . Damage scored to characters or certain monsters is actually not substantially physical - a mere nick or scratch until the lost handful of hit points are considered - it is a matter of wearing away the endurance, the luck, the magical protections. . . . For those who wonder why poison does either killing damage (usually) or no harm whatsoever, recall the justification for character hit points. That is, damage is not actually sustained - at least in proportion to the number of hit points marked off in most cases. The so called damage is the expendi...
  • 09:00 AM - Sadras quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I find that if you are using a system where everyone heals up over night then this type of description is logical. For me I find that if my character is at say half HP and the Cleric comes around offering to cast Cure Light Wounds or use a Healing Kit that actually having a wound that I can get healed makes more sense in my mind. If I am just winded then it makes it seem less dangerous and therefore less heroic. Fair point. I generally use a mix of descriptors in combat because either of those things can happen (overnight resting, magical healing) and then in 5e there is also spending HD to heal or using a medical kit. And this again because HP is a combination of factors.
  • 08:42 AM - R_Chance quoted Shasarak in post Where Do They Get Their Money, Part One
    Yes! The silver standard is much more logical. I also tried this for a time but finally gave up in the end because every source book and adventure was written using GP. I was confusing myself and my players. :-S I stuck with it; I'm stubborn :) I got tired of gold being common and copper / silver being viewed as worthless. It had the bonus of pushing gems back to rare objects of value rather than travel money as well. I have my own sand box setting and do my own adventures. That makes it easier to do; no conversions needed.
  • 08:29 AM - R_Chance quoted Shasarak in post Where Do They Get Their Money, Part One
    I love money and economics in my DnD and this is taking it a bit too far for my tastes. I find that once you go metric you just can not go back to nonsense measurements. Come on, dont leave us hanging. Do you mean Currency as circulating money supply or is it a term for Fiat (fake) money? Come on! Decimal money is so... mundane. I went with a 12 -12-12 ratio, 12 copper = 1 silver, 12 silver = one gold. Throw in half pennies (2 = 1 copper) and some odd coin types and it's a glorious, muddled, mess :) I also made silver (the silver schilling) the standard currency, to make copper useful (for change) and gold useful (as a store of value with a good weight - value ratio).
  • 08:23 AM - Sadras quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    In my mind, if you lose hp because of a successful attack then that hp loss is associated with that successful attack. And, just as an example, if that successful attack was a Troll bite then I would expect the description to be essentially Troll attacks with claws and bite, hits with bite, bite does X hp damage. So what I am wondering is where the part of that sequence does the hp damage become disassociated? Despite the fact that a particular weapon might do slashing or piercing damage I have often narrated that the hit point loss came from the wind being knocked out of the PC as the flat of the blade or the pommel of the sword struck him/her across the chest. So there was no blood loss, no skin was torn, no injury/wound was sustained - but the foe's attack was successful in some way and hit points were lost and that makes sense in my mind. I'm not saying your way is wrong, where every successful attack draws blood, but for me to describe every attack against a PC like that would break im...
  • 08:05 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    In my mind, if you lose hp because of a successful attack then that hp loss is associated with that successful attack. And, just as an example, if that successful attack was a Troll bite then I would expect the description to be essentially Troll attacks with claws and bite, hits with bite, bite does X hp damage. So what I am wondering is where the part of that sequence does the hp damage become disassociated? You could certainly narrate it that way. Of course you can. That's the point. You can narrate anything you want to because the mechanics are not actually tied to anything in the game world. Did the troll bite you? Where? How hard? Now, referencing the mechanics, back up your narration? All that actually hapened is your character lost X HP. Since HP don't actually mean anything and combat is completely abstract, any narration you choose is always 100% fine as far as the mechanics go. Or, put it another way, I insist that your troll bite causes strawberries to explode fro...
  • 07:07 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    If there is nothing to dissociate from then why is your character losing hp? In any game that I have played in there is always some kind of link between narrative and mechanic so I would be interested to hear your experience. The link is entirely free form though. I can say that strawberries explode from you every time you are hit and there is nothing in the mechanics that would contradict that. You lost HP because of a successful attack. That's it.
  • 04:44 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I think my main problem is when the narration is dissociated from the mechanics, so when you were hit with a sword and the narration is that you were "damaged" when you dodged out of the way of the sword or if your character is down to their last hp and you are describing them as being fine and dandy. I mean I know we are all pretending to be magic elves riding unicorns but there is no need to be absurd about it. The issue with that comes when someone tries to insist that their narration, whatever it is, is supported by dnd mechanics. It never has been. We’ve just internalized our own narratives to the point where they become no longer examined. You cannot criticize any hp loss narration in DnD based on the mechanics because the mechanics tell you absolutely nothing. All the mechanics say is you have lost hit points. There can be no dissociation when there is nothing to dissociate from in the first place.
  • 02:39 AM - pemerton quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Except for the 'If,' that is correct. Its about familiarity. Ok, it's not just spell tables, but the lack of them was really noticeable. In any other ed, a glance at spell progression gives you a rough, immediate, idea of the class.There was a chart, near the front, that did this for all classes. (They shared the same chart.) I remember it was one of the first things I looked at! You don't randomly draw 'power cards.' There's no 'deck.' A mid-level magic-user memorizing spells is closer to 'deck building' than anything in 4e chargen, and its still not very closeAgreed. RQ and RM are not, afterall, very realistic. It turns out that DnD models real life much better then those other games because the human body does keep operating at close to 100% until it cant. Exactly like HPs would suggest.As someone who has various sorts of ankle and knee injuries that have slowed me down but never created any risk of killing me, I can't agree with this. I think my main problem is when th...

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 10:17 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    RQ and RM are not, afterall, very realistic. It turns out that DnD models real life much better then those other games because the human body does keep operating at close to 100% until it cant. Exactly like HPs would suggest. The pain of agreeing with this statement is that when you use it in correlation with D&D it relies on your perceived level of abstraction being similar to the person you're using it in conversation with. If the other guy doesn't see HP as including effects like fatigue and advanced combat skills training to offset minor injuries to arms and legs and such.. then it's a much harder sell. I, for one agree with it. KB
  • 01:11 PM - pemerton quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Were that an event in an RPG Frodo's player would know he's at -2 and down for the count after that hit and might die if left untendedSays who? That's a question of system design. In 4e the player knows that death saves have to be rolled, but doesn't know - anymore than the rest of the table - whether the mithril stopped the blow or rather skewered the PC to death. I guess the bit that is particularly stupid to me is if the person in your example narrates that, rather then the bullet being stopped by the lead game token, he was not actually shot at all.The bullet hits a cloak, or a sleeve, or . . ., and the target faints/swoons from the shock. there are the other characters with more hps who can not be killed by any one blow with a sword. Even a blow from an Ogre will not be enough to take them down with a single strike. And when one of those characters only have 1hp remaining your narration that they are "fine and dandy" is ludicrous.They move at full speed. They can still beat that og...
  • 01:45 AM - darkbard quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Of course there are movies where the hero appears to get shot but does not just as there are movies where the hero does not look like they were shot but turns out that they were. That is the whole point of Schrodinger, two events are possible and you dont know which one actually happened until afterwards. I guess the bit that is particularly stupid to me is if the person in your example narrates that, rather then the bullet being stopped by the lead game token, he was not actually shot at all. Well, individual aesthetic tastes are, notoriously, individual. I reckon, though, that there are instances where narration that "he was not actually shot at all" might work best. But, again, YMMV. There's a substantial difference between such false-deaths being a thing that could happen, and being a thing that must happen in every instance. Only the former is well-founded in both fiction and reality. More to the point, the idea that reality could be inherently unfixed until the time of obse...
  • 12:35 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    So your logic is: because 5e is popular therefore 4e is popular? o_O No, my logic is, "If you're going to criticize something and something else does exactly the same thing, you should criticize that too." If X bothers you, it shouldn't matter which edition it's from, it just bothers you. But, that's not what happens. It's, "4e is bad because it does X", "But, edition Y does the same thing and that doesn't bother you so what's the problem?" "NO, 4e suxxors and that other edition is fine because I like it". Like I said, most of the criticisms are hypocritical and intellectually bankrupt. If encounters powers bother you, fair enough. But, don't then turn around and say that encounter powers are perfectly fine in another edition. If fast healing is a problem, then it's a problem. The "e" shouldn't matter.

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 02:36 PM - pemerton quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    it is simply not true that having 1 hp left in ADnD means that you are "just fine and dandy". It would mean that any injury is going to be the one that potentially kills you.That's true of me when I'm fine and dandy - any blow from a sword might kil me. There are plenty of characters in the world of AD&D who have only 1 hp. it does not make sense narratively in the moment. Only after you have resolved the scenario can you actually describe what happened.In LotR, JRRT is ambivalent about Frodo's fate after being stabbed with a troll spear. It turns out that Frodo is OK. That made complete narrative sense. "Narrative sense" does not depend upon certainty. (In other words, what darkbard said.)
  • 02:23 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shasarak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Maybe the reason that Ruin Quest is doing so well is that you can get your leg broken and your hand chopped off when fighting a bunch of mooks. :shrug: Yeah, that's a game that's much too far down the "realism" track for me, although the old fumble tables were pretty ludicrous and you could end up dying from weapon fumbles....


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