View Profile: Tony Vargas - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:52 PM
    No, each 'group,' as the DM judges it, in a given 'combat,' as the DM defines it, goes 'at the same time,' as, at the risk of repeating myself, the DM defines it. To have any more leeway, you'd have to be sailing Waterworld. Besides, the whole city of goblins pretty much just wake up when David Bowie sings.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:46 PM
    It's tough out there for a Muggle...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:06 PM
    So, I ran the playtest more than a little, multiple seasons of Encounters. The thing is, it was a test. So I ran it straight, by-the-book, no matter how my little experienced-DM-voice (actually my inner-DM-voice is more of a Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments type) would point out "this is really not going to end well, you should really tweak that bit there..." ...and, darn, are...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 PM
    Just as a point of interest, did you know that ENworld had a guide to official pronunciation under the resources tab up top? http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?151-D-D-Pronunciation-Guide Which amusingly lists different ways of pronouncing it from different sources: The WoTC Glossary has it as: Bulette: boo-LAY (note that this one is universally condemned by gamers everywhere, so...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:11 PM
    Did you participate in the NeXT playtest?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:08 PM
    I wouldn't think anyone would feel too upstaged by someone poking away with daggers, however quickly he may poke, even if he does eke out a little more DPR. ;) But, really, it's not that new, it's still an extra attack for using a whimpier weapon, much like TWFing. Potentially better in some ways, though with no upgrade path of it's own, like Duel Wielder. And, if it doesn't need a bonus...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:58 PM
    So, if you have a d8 weapon&shield, and an extra +2 from dueling style, and, say, a 14 stat, you're doing d8 (4.5) + 2 + 2 with the one and d4 (2.5) + 2 , /twice/ with the other. Sounds comparable. Of course, if you can cheese up a second style, you can combine them. Obviously it's less damage than TWF, since you are gaining the shield benefit. But, if it doesn't use a bonus action, you...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:51 PM
    One concern I have is the saying that "weapon damage dice don't kill monsters, bonuses do". (Okay, that saying was from AD&D 2ed, and probably just one DM, but still.) The base case works fine. But can this be abused? A couple of things I can see: A single level fighter dip can double a rogue's chances to land their sneak attack without taking up a second hand or using a bonus action...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:44 PM
    You wouldn't have to be wielding two weapons with this, if I'm reading it right. So shield or free hand, I guess? Conversely, if it's a free-and-clear additional attack, why not combine it with TWF?
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    Interesting. I like the use of the fighting style because then you can give it something above par. I had tried to widen the range of "acceptable" weapons with this once before, but from a design space it was only supposed to raise things to parity and there were a few cases where they went above. When you gain proficiency with all Martial weapons, any simple weapons you wield gain +1...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:51 PM
    But it'll make the running & hiding, the tense negotiations, the pleading for help, and the years in the salt mines that much /more/ fun!
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:49 PM
    I can tell I'm a grognard, because everything triggers a memory from the TSR era. So, back in the day, when we weren't dodging dinosaurs (just kidding, this was 2e, it was smilodons), the incongruous King of DPR (though we didn't call it that, yet) was the Cuisinart of Doom, the double-specialized dual-wielder (or archer, or...well, I'll get to it), the only things you could dual wield (TWF)...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:00 PM
    "Yes, I am a Paladin McWarlock, but, my Background is - Juggler! Oh, and I'm NOT left-handed..."
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:53 PM
    I guess there just weren't that many new players hanging out here three years ago. I suspect there should be more. But, no matter how skewed the poll looks (the last answer is just there because, seriously, folks around here do just like answering polls, even if they don't apply them), I'd really prefer entirely true answers, thanks!
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:40 PM
    I get the impression you maybe don't like wizards that much.... (...ironically, in 3e, the worst thing you could do, as a wizard, was to give up caster levels, so you didn't want to MC, anyway (full-casting PrC, sure), so you'd've just been 'forcing' them to do the optimal thing. )
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:31 PM
    Since there's been so much Thread Necromancy lately, why not? ;) The Poll has no expiration. It's been over three years since I first asked, maybe some of the new-to-the-Hobby-with-5e fans can answer, now?
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 PM
    It all comes up to personal opinion. In my world, you have to really study decades to become a wizard -so no getting to multiclass into it-, and it requires all of your attention so no learning any skill or weapon, and the process warps your mind that you no longer are creative -so no multiing into rogue- and you have to do so much ugly stuff that your very soul gets corrupted to the point nobody...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:29 PM
    A Partial action would be fairly easy to do in 5e, just remove(npi) the Move leaving the character with just his Action - he can use it to Dash (OK, stagger) if he really wants to move. It would sorta fit the way badly-wounded protagonists often act in the movies: staggering around in agony, but able to succeed at the one thing they've gotta do before collapsing...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:20 PM
    ...and cast Feather Fall.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:15 PM
    Originally a build, but 'updated' to a sub-class to conform with Essentials.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:53 AM
    More positively, there are in fact the Seven Virtues. Four of them derive from classical Hellenistic philosophy. Three of them derive from the New Testament, but are also universalist. • Perseverance (Fortitude: pressing on when circumstances are difficult) • Self-Knowledge (Prudence: a realistic assessment of ones own strengths and weaknesses) • Self-Discipline (Temperance: never losing...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:55 AM
    u_u this thread is doomed...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:02 AM
    Edition warring isn't a class... (...though I could probably teach a class on edition warring...) Edition Warrior, OTOH, that's a class! ;P ...OK, maybe sub-class.... What?...sub-race, you say? ... ...of troll- -hey?!
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:40 AM
    I'll take it as a complement. ;)
    92 replies | 1409 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:34 AM
    Thanks for clearing that up Tony Vargas about character initiative ties was you. Sorry to have mixed you and iserith up.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:31 AM
    That was me: Amen.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:31 AM
    I'm a fan of 5-room adventures, I'll check it out. Thanks for doing this!
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:22 AM
    I will see if I can find the reference to the other models of resource use I mentioned and quote it here.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:06 AM
    You have the most permissive view. That acting on the same initiative means that they act one after the other in an ever-changing order that is most beneficial for them. However, as you explained in another comment (that I read after I wrote my original), you allow your PCs who roll the same initiative to do the same. So in this case you're treating them the same and I don't have an issue....
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:00 AM
    The way I read it, it's not a tie, it's acting at the same time - otherwise it could have just said the DM decides what order the individuals in the group go in & sticks to it (east-to-west worked fine). (Or decides it every round, which seems consistent in a system with a delay option.) But, yeah, nothing wrong with how you ran it. ..oh: a DM could run the 'simultaneous' turn by having...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:50 AM
    Ah, so he should've killed 'em from the other end! You'd have to call the whole game 'unfair,' in that case. Which'd seem unfair. Wait, is group initiative a 'rule' in 5e, not just a suggestion for the DM's convenience? Not that there's much of a difference. ;) So I don't usually bother to closely parse 5e rules, but...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:37 AM
    The 3e pally's Divine Grace (+CHAmod all saves!) with the Sorcerer's CHA-primary is tempting, but no, not worth losing the caster levels over. Now, Pally2 to get the bonus & some low-level survivability, /then/ Sorcerer X, sure... ;) But how to RP that without falling from said grace? Mebe your supernatural ancestor was a celestial, and your sorcerous powers are your 'true destiny' through...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    Sure. As appropriate for the foe, which may be very or may not not a lot. You're in a fight where you are focusing on your enemies. You wake up first and there are Artz, Blarg, Chuk and Drung. Artz is the closest, wake him. Or (check) Chuk acts before Artz and Blarg let's wake him. Or (check) but Chuk is likely to just run, let's wake Blarg. he might wake Artz.
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:22 AM
    Even though mutliclassing left me with an objectively worse character? (Wasted proficiency feats, too low Wisdom to cast paladin spells, unable to wear armor and still cast, not high enough constitution to be a good frontliner, not to mention that not being able to still spells later on almost gets my character killed more than once and I didn't learn spells I was planning to that could have...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:50 PM
    Ok. I'm here. (Think of this as spam to subscribe to the thread)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:47 PM
    This is a character I played for over two years. In 3.5, I made a sorcerer, with a focus on weapons and low wisdom. I spent a feat on a martial weapon -as I think halberds and glaives are quite elegant-. I first I was playing my character as a bit of a trickster with a criminal past and ties to the mob -that came back to be a pain big time-. I was always roleplaying an admiration for warriors and...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:26 PM
    ***reserved for Companion (I know, it's taken, lotsa names are, suggest something better) encounter-only template*** Companion: (...'Companion Character' is already taken...) Choose one at-will & one encounter power @ 1st, you gain the encounter power from your race, if any. Choose encounter utility powers when entitled to, substituting Skill Powers or powers from feats if none are...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:25 PM
    ***reserved for Savant (Specialist) template *** Savant: (Specialist). Choose 1 daily @ 1st level, after 1st choose only daily utilities, and daily attack powers that do not have any Keywords that they do not share with your 1st level Daily - if there is no such daily available, you gain an additional use of your 1st-level Daily, but cannot use it twice in the same Encounter. You do not gain...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:24 PM
    ***reserved for Stalwart template *** Stalwart: Choose only 2 at-wills @ 1st level, choose only at-will Utilities, if any are available to your class. If not, there should be a Stalwart at-will for each utility level. Stalwarts should get some simplification rules: Fixed Attack bonus of X + level, AC N+level, non-AC (N-2 + level). Stalwarts do not choose Theme, Path, or Epic Destiny, but...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:24 PM
    *** reserved for "simple fighter" pre-build***
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:19 PM
    From a 5e thread that drifted: Failed my save vs Suggestion... (OK, or you hit my WILL, whatever). The idea of a simple pre-build always appealed to me. Pregens work so well for introducing new players to the game, a pre-planned build would seem the obvious way to keep that rolling if it'd be helpful to keep things 'simple' a while longer. I've been toying with another, related...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 10:35 PM
    Yeah, I noticed that aspect. One possibility that occurred to me (because I ran D&D in the 80s) was to randomly roll (the DM's panacea) where in their hypothetical initiative order the first awakened goblin 'really' was. (BTW, I use an oddball table rule (lifted from another DM I game with) that PCs who roll the same initiative get to decide which one goes first each round - kinda like free...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 10:24 PM
    The goblins didn't all act at the same time - they acted one after another. For PCs that roll the same initiative there is a tiebreaker to see which one went first. In this case they acted serially and there was no mechanical determination of order even though it mattered. Instead they went in the perfect order to execute their retreat. In effect, they took advantage of a loophole in the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Goblin Tactics couldn't be used on an OA you provoked, because it was your turn (no reactions on your turn), and there was no separate 5' step in 4e, and using your action to wake the sleeper just gave them a (straight d20 DC 10) 'save' to wake up, so pretty grim for Team Goblin, unlikely they'll even all wake up. Lol. You could wake sleepers with a standard in 3e, and you could 5' step & not...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:47 PM
    Preventing whack-a-mole is okay. Yes, it breaks the criteria that by design some roles will be at a much larger risk of going down, but that as a goal without the death spiral is a change I can see a table wanting. Maybe even if you are healed, if you get up during the same encounter you suffer Staggered. I don't think we can agree on levels of Exhaustion - I really don't like them as I...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:30 PM
    I think Wartiak deserves a class level or few.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:21 PM
    To the last, yes that was pretty unusual, but slaughtering routed enemies as they try to get away was prettymuch standard practice. They're suddenly much easier to kill and doing so is much less risky to yourself, personally. But, sure, you get tired or see something worth looting on a body... so not /all/ of them. So, really, you're both right. Routed troops tended to suffer heavy...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:03 PM
    Yes, I've seen things 'chain' like that, before. Often in the player's favor, as well as the monsters. It is an artifact of turn-based cyclical initiative that sometimes a thing one creature does can be completely un-wound before it's turn comes back again. But, yes, monsters all going on the same initiative is a convenience for the DM, and when it does make screwy things happen, it helps to...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:14 PM
    Sorcerer was always the simple striker by virtue of always having the extra damage on, later slayer came and was even simpler. I suggest we move this conversation to the old eds' forum before you keep pounding a dead horse.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 07:34 PM
    I can completely commiserate with what you are saying, from AD&D up through 4e (Oh my god, the item grind in 4e). But I can't say that across all of the 5e campaigns I've played that we've *ever* gotten multiple +X weapons for all the characters. Maybe one would find an upgrade, or someone trade in the short sword +1 for a rapier +2, but usually people went most of the campaign with the same...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 07:22 PM
    I don't feel that's quite right. A meta-game is a game about the game - chargen/level-up CharOp is a meta-game, for instance, one you could 'win' before play even began. Imbalanced games generate meta-games that leverage (or, for that matter evade or correct) their imbalances, but even they don't quite 'force' them - incentivize them heavily the more profound the imbalance, sure, but not...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 06:45 PM
    It's only remotely 'common' at 1st (two hits are a lot more likely, one drops you very low, the next insta-ganks you), and the occurrence drops off rapidly, IMX. Might still happen at 2nd, should be pretty rare thereafter, though, there can be some big boat-loads of damage at high level, PCs with reasonable CON watch their hps balloon rapidly as they level.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 06:42 PM
    Yep. Healing a downed ally should be a thing for all the obvious reasons, but attacking the monster trying to eat (or just mutilate for fun) your downed ally, to get it away from him, seems like a thing that should be, too. Like first world Health Care, yeah. So oft-overlooked a point! However, the game's traditional zero-to-hero leveling dynamic & low-level lethality do create...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 06:36 PM
    A very good trial for "Sloth" I recall from a Mage: the Ascension game years ago went like this: Sloth was personified, and said he didn't want to fight the heroes (tooo much work!), and in return for sparing him the effort, he'd short-cut them past the remaining challenges right to the final confrontation. What a deal, no more having your resources whittled away! (The trick was that the big...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 06:10 PM
    If you're willing to tweak a bit, you could even make a 'default simple fighter' progression (or one for each of the two builds in the PH, say), using the Essentials "Power Strike" Encounter in place of all Encounters and a similar scaling daily (maybe based on Brute Strike for the Greatweapon, and Comeback Strike for the S&B Guardian) in place of all dailies (Feats & Utilities could also be...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 05:36 PM
    Doesn't that make adventuring even more about leveling/acquiring boons, in that you not only get exp for adventuring, which means you level, but need to set out on adventures that will get you to level the way you want? And, I know 'story now' is not exactly all about creating J. Michael Stravinsky 5-year story arcs, but it does seem like it could be a stretch to get a genre story out of that.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 05:31 PM
    That portmanteau just doesn't flow the way "Diplomancer" did. "Intimancer" isn't any better.... I think D&Ders were already doing that when the most sophisticated video game was still Asteroids. I could make a crack about what happens when you go off the edge in an old videogame, but actually I think that's a pretty reasonable idea. At least, while the combat's still going on. Once...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 01:58 PM
    Corporate amnesia..
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  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:58 AM
    Ultimately, whisper it, but it’s just possible that Americans mistook the European/British ranking system...
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  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:57 AM
    Meh. Barovia is a County, not a country. It has been ripped from the prime material plane as is. Nothing to say he is any kind of heir to whatever country his County belonged to. As for King’s this and King’s that - maybe guest rooms originally? As for King’s Accountant, perhaps every county had such a position to levy taxes ultimately for the King.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 06:17 AM
    "Yeah, edition warring sucks?"
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 02:36 AM
    Sorry for being pedantic but the English teacher in me can't help it, it should be: Each has its own great parts, its own flaws and foibles, and its own missed opportunities. (D&D editions aren't people)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 12:47 AM
    Projected Impact at my table: "I'm thinking of playing a front line melee character, so my job as part of the party is to take hits. A few poor rolls can lead me to be out of HPs. Before, no problems, I pop back up with healing, sometimes not even missing an action because the healer's initiative is between the foe that dropped me and mine. "But now I have disadvantage on attacks, plus...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 11:26 PM
    No special meaning, I just thought it would be fairly clear: if I want to say whether a class in a certain ed was using magic or not, how that ed defines "magic" would have to be considered. Whether that conflicted with 'magic' relative to another ed... well, only psionics has really varied much in that regard, from explicitly magic, to explicitly not, to DM's choice.... so were it not for the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 11:10 PM
    It means in the context it came from. It's just English.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 11:08 PM
    Wouldn't it be apparent they're 'striking to subdue' from the beginning? I suppose you could declare 'non lethal' damage, and it'd blow through hps just as fast as regular? ...and needn't heal any faster, I suppose, so no really difference other than when it becomes apparent they're kidnappers rather than assassins... So down & dying is always faking? I do like the both of the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 10:33 PM
    Thus "in native context." If you're playing 3e, you use it's definition of magic when discussing what is or is not magic in it. You can contrast to what magic is like in genre or legend or traditional belief systems, if you like, but it won't change what magic is in that game. (It might inform a fairly valid opinion about how well the game emulates genre.)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 10:03 PM
    The "Down & bleeding out" and "left for dead" tropes are things the current system does - maybe too often, but it does them. Did I miss where you can be dropped by an enemy trying to kill you and 'left for dead' or where you can KO someone without inflicting massive 'real' damage on them by burning through all their vitality points? Aside from that, though, it seems well thought out &...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:53 PM
    I have not rejected a definition of magic w/in its native context: 3e had fairly clear lines about magic: what was (SU, spell-like abilities, spells, magic items) was not (EX abilities) and what was or was not at the DM's option (Psionics). 4e was equally clear, the Martial Source was not magical, only the Arcane source used 'spells,' etc. 5e is a bit more vague about it, but you can puzzle...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:42 PM
    It is a statement of fact about a past misapprehension. A thousand years ago, most people still thought the world was flat, is a pretty fair statement, but it doesn't mean the world is flat. Lack of threading strikes again: You're right. TheCosmicKid actually said that (in a broader form). I'm sorry for mis-attributing that to you. My mistake. You just jumped in to defend him: ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:21 PM
    Not about opinions, yes, I believe I said that. You said that 4e fighters cast spells, that is misrepresenting rules text, which unambiguously gave fighters martial powers, inauspiciously named 'exploits,' not spells. Now you admit that they did not cast spells, but wish not to admit that you formerly said they did? Maybe I'm not following you ...but, in any case, as long as we get to the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:07 PM
    Still not about opinions. You can lov4 or h4te 4e all you want. Whether to make it look better or worse, though, it's not constructive to say things about its content that do not match up with what's between the covers.
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  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:00 PM
    How about lifting a rule from the glorious Dragon Warriors? Shields: don’t add to your AC but if you’re hit, roll a d6. On a 6, no damage. Maybe give different quality of shields different amounts of hits (number of) or HP (worth of damage). Just a thought. Would it bust the game?
    5 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:50 PM
    There is a gaming convention at Princeton University that's been going on for 43 years and counting that recently switched to 5e. You create a character when you register and they advance over the course of the weekend, with shared setting and a dozen DMs with 4-6 sessions each one their own theme and furthering the convention-wide plot. For decades it was running on their own (evolving) system...
    5 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:14 PM
    It failed its Morale check and ran away? /hides
    67 replies | 1691 view(s)
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  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:10 PM
    Totally agree. It's just now how *I* like to play. Others here play differently. Both sides are right, both sides are wrong. IRL, the two styles would result in different groups each playing their way. But on discusison boards and forums we are all sat metaphorically at the same table as everyone else and everyone wants to do things their way. Which is why, often, the internet can result in...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:09 PM
    I'm proceeding in this discussion in as calm and considerate a manner as possible. That includes not assuming that Oofta is trolling, and not leaping to conclusions about the fundamental whatever underlying a statement. So I'm engaging only with the statements, themselves. The irony is in blithely accepting the arbitrary definition of what is and is not magic in one case, but bitterly...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:52 PM
    hps were a per-day resource because healing spells were a per-day resource, if considered separately, it could take weeks to recover hps - it never did, it was a non-viable mode of play if any rival out there were burning spells every day. There were the odd 1/turn magic item or special ability, and a turn (at 10 minutes) usually encompassed an encounter, with the DMG assumption that the...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:45 PM
    My guess is that is is in line with 5e's "Rulings not rules". So the DM determines when morale breaks and it can differ by table, by campaign, by foe, etc. This also sidesteps the 3.x "Intimidancer", someone focused on Intimidate and able to mechanically force encounters to end well before they should.
    67 replies | 1691 view(s)
    1 XP
  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:44 PM
    That was kind of my point. Sorcerers can be rationalised as a MC at any point, without necessarily any anchors to the character's previous history or encounters. In your case, if the PC is already a sorcerer and wants to MC into a Fighter, say, to me that's fine (assuming there is a reasonablly compelling desire to do so). It's when someone randomly decides that they fancy BOOM WILD MAGIC...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:25 PM
    Many powers did, such as wizard/warlock spells or Paladin's prayers (though some arguably didn't, in spite of being supernatural in nature - just like how a psychic can claim supernatural power, even though they don't have it, you can conceivably exercise supernatural power in a way that seem natural or even mundane). It's debatable that any exploits at all crossed that line (depending...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:08 PM
    5e is 'balanced' around no magic items, but if you're careful giving out items, you should be able to create some balance among the PCs. They will, however, be 'just better' than without items, so encounters will have to be ratchetted up to create encounter balance. That doesn't seem like it would be particularly harder than just establishing party & encounter balance in the first place. In...
    17 replies | 368 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:55 PM
    3e players would sometimes use a variant, E6, that capped most progress at 6th level, to retain a certain feel and avoid certain problems. IMX, 5e is plenty deadly at 1st level. You could come up with an E1 variant for 5e...
    67 replies | 1691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:54 PM
    To be fair, in the absence of anything like 3.5 Natural Spell, he'll have to resume his humanoid form to do so.
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:36 PM
    Then you, and they are considering them to be something they are not. They are explicitly not spells, and not supernatural. Spell-like did not have a meaning in 4e, but in other editions it refers to magical powers (which exploits explicitly were not), which among other things, might have the exact same effects (both mechanical resolution & 'fluff') as a specific spell, but without...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:21 PM
    Is not something I have done. Opinion doesn't even enter into it. You made statements that were false, I corrected them, you backed up and claimed they were 'opinions' rather than just admitting your mistake. Now you're trying to paint the facts that disproved your statements as my opinions. They're facts, they're right there, in the book, in slightly smudged print. Anyone can check...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:14 PM
    IIRC/IMX, morale checks were a little-used feature even in 1e. (Possibly they were left over from Chainmail & the game's wargaming roots?) They mostly applied to Hirelings/Henchmen, and of course, to the unfortunate monsters that got in your way. Morale checks never applied to PCs. The groups I was in made little or no use of Henchmen & Hirelings - a generational thing, I think, older...
    67 replies | 1691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:06 PM
    PrCs were a great idea that was notoriously abused, though maybe to a degree that didn't deserve so much notoriety. Really, you could get just as OP a character as you liked prettymuch out of the PH. Three out of the 4 Tier 1 classes were right there. If your PrC juggling costs you even one caster level in whichever of those classes you're building off of, you've blown it. The concept of...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 05:56 PM
    No one speaking in the context of the game could call exploits 'spells' without being objectively wrong, yes, because they would be saying something explicitly contradicted by the facts. 'Martial' was not just a fluff label but a keyword, so whether a power was an exploit or a spell had real meaning within the game. How powers, feats & items interacted, for instance, could hinge on what...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 05:22 PM
    How about an alternate suggestion - tell the players to make up their wish-lists but they can't include any +X items. Half the items you give will be fully random and hopefully the party either has a use or can trade it, the other half from wish-lists. Oh, one potential issue with wish lists that can be headed off with a little early communication - I had a DM that asked for wish lists but...
    17 replies | 368 view(s)
    1 XP
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My Game Details
Town:
Santa Clara
State:
California
Game Details:
I run a light-hearted Encounters-style 4e/Essentials D&D campaign that's open to the public.
When I get more than 8 players, we split and run two tables.
Every Wednesday at 5p for 2 hrs, Illusive Comics & Games, Santa Clara, CA.
http://www.illusivecomics.com/events/95/dd-pixies-pirates/

My wife runs a home D&D 4e campaign started June 2010.
7 regular players.
Episodic, but with an overall plot-arc.
Currently Paragon level.
My Character:
Brother Enoch, a Human Radiant Servant and refugee from a zombie apocalypse.

A 1-3rd level character of one sort or another in Encounters, typically a leader or controller.

Damrak, an heroic-level Kobold Bravura Warlord.

Abu Hazeen, a 'Djinn' bound in mortal form (Stormsoul Genasi Windlord/Prince of Genies/Emergent Primordial)

Past characters include: Lt David Freeborn, a Demigod Battle Captain; Varinhal Mith'renial, a Wizard of the Spiral Tower; Blaize Fairchilde, Deva Devoted Cleric; Nappo the Lion, Gnome Resourceful Warlord; Stephano di Orsini, Brawling Fighter; Ghourah the Foresworn, Dragonborn Warlord; Kern Ilgrath, 1/2 Orc 'archer' (Slayer); Vincent Draco, Mage (Enchanter); T'kli, Shardmind Warlord|Shaman; Herrak Shield-Biter, Dwarf Berserker; Illara, Watershaper Druid(Sentinel);
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Thursday, 19th July, 2018


Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 03:51 AM - MNblockhead mentioned Tony Vargas in post Please share advice for running first game at a convention
    Tony Vargas Thanks! Regarding "Judge", yep, the menu and GM registration page are titled "judging" and there are two registration options under "judging": "judges" (GMs who pay a registration fee and can both judge and play) and "Referees" (registration is free but the GMs can only run their own games, not participate in other events). http://conofthenorth.org/judging/

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 09:07 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Would you allow this?
    ...y acting on it, does not make you invisible. It ONLY makes you unseen and/or unheard. I love how you are now claiming the discussion is about being unseen, when you were clearly arguing that it makes one invisible. Invisibility is defined in the 4e book and stealth does not fit the definition.You're wrong about 4e - it's in the rules for Stealth in the PHB2 that a succesful Stealth check makes you invisible to the person you're hiding from, which means that they can't see you with normal vision. (Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to see you with Blindsight or Tremorsense.) And as I've already said, 5e refers to being unseen - which in many circumstances is functionally equivalent to being invisible. I don't know what you think this whole discussion is in aid of, but I certainly don't need schooling from you in how 4e works, given that I've run far more of it than you; and I don't need schooling in the 5e skill rules, either. As I already said, but which only Tony Vargas has replied to - my take away from this is that non-magic users in 5e are significantly hosed compared to their 4e versions, and in many ways it seems even compared to their earlier edition versions. (Eg in AD&D hiding in shadows is as good as invisibility once you are hidden and assuming potential observers don't have infravision, although there are no very clear rules for moving and remaining hidden.)

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 08:19 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post OSR/older D&D and XP from gold - is there a "proper" alternative?
    4e's reward system is magic items.I agree with Tony Vargas in having a different view of this. In 4e, you get XP for playing and (via the parcel system) get treasure for earning XP, so magic items aren't a reward either. The "rewards" in 4e (as in, stuff that isn't a guaranteed result of playing the game, and which is obtained, or not, based on player decisions) are either in the fiction ("story rewards"), or else the thrill of victory in some particular encounter or other circumstance. I'm not familiar with Traveller, is combat the primary mode of play? Is it how you advance your character? Generally speaking, RPGs tend to have a heavy focus on character advancement, either through unlocking new abilities with levels/XP/etc., obtaining loot, or a combination of both. I would say that the "victory condition" for most such RPGs, in as much as there can be a single defined victory condition in such games, is such advancement. That's how you know you're "winning" at D&DClassic Traveller doesn't have very much PC advancement in the D&D s...

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

  • 01:09 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Tony Vargas in post The Bullymong: A Symbiotic Player Race
    ...d the feedback helped. I enjoyed reading through your thoughts. If you are still thinking about the Rock Throw ability how about this alternative: Four-Arm Smash. With your Bullier you can use your action to smash the ground with all four fists. When the Bullier smashes the ground, pick a point up to 60’ away. Each creature within a 10’ radius of the chosen point must make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Strength modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 3d6 bludgeoning damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 4d6 at 5th level, 5d6 at 11th level, and 6d6 at 17th level. After you use your four-arm smash, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest. That way you don't need to have it be dependent on too many rocks being around or not enough. The mechanics stay the same. I added the bludgeoning damage because you didn’t indicate a type. That's a great idea! Tony Vargas Thanks for the reference. I haven't read the series but I've heard good things. I've updated the original post with more flavor text and history. I also changed the name Bullier to Bulliox. Other than that, I think at least for now I will keep the name until someone suggests something better. I'd like it to be something that would be two interesting names that can be smashed together, similar to how Bullymong can become Bulliox and Mongo.

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 08:18 PM - Oofta mentioned Tony Vargas in post 6e? Why?
    Tony Vargas, You think 4E was better for new players, I don't. In my experience it may have been easier for the first few levels, but unless you used the online tool it became overwhelming. In my experience at mid-to-high level play 4E devolved into an unholy mess of conditions, interrupts and people trying to parse the wording of their powers like it was computer code. You also make a lot of assumptions and statements about my motivation, background, who I played with or not, that "old school" players rejected 4E simply because it was different. You keep stating things as facts that are nothing more than your opinion. It's insulting not only to me, but to everyone who didn't like 4E to say that the reason people didn't like 4E was because we couldn't get used to change. You liked the game. Good for you. I enjoyed it for quite a while myself but, like most people I played with, eventually burned out on it.
  • 06:55 PM - Oofta mentioned Tony Vargas in post 6e? Why?
    Doesn't it just work? Sorry for the pointless notification, @Tony Vargas. I just typed his name after the @. Huh. When I type @Tony Vargas, and do a preview it doesn't show...maybe when I submit? EDIT: Apparently that does work. I learned something new today, does that mean I can go home?
  • 06:46 PM - Satyrn mentioned Tony Vargas in post 6e? Why?
    Doesn't it just work? Sorry for the pointless notification, @Tony Vargas. I just typed his name after the @.

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

  • 05:21 PM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Disarm Let Us Count the Ways.
    What I think @Tony Vargas was saying wasnt worth it was the effort of of going through and recomputing all the individual elements of here it is without tool and ie all the rigor of going through and making sure after you remove those truly dependent on items bits and so on just isn't valuable as the purported benefit in comparison to just laying on a broad brush stroke like using weakened. The use of inherent bonuses and making heroes explicitly better at improvised weaponry would be a couple of things we can do to make sure they arent more impaired if taken in detail than the quick and dirty general rule.(Weakened being the QAD)

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 05:34 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Disarm Let Us Count the Ways.
    Now while I have been focusing on martial powers that do the disarm dance... but we can definitely have some spells which I think would complement the concept very well. Some very classic ones even. (A heat metal weapon one) I am actually considering making some of them somewhat pay for the value of multi-targetting with less tactical control.. Tony Vargas suggested disarms which allowed options ... perhaps options the target can decide on. This could be another way to establish some class based patterns to the disarming. Disarming Keyword Patterns of effects emerge for disarms what if they are a thing of there own then you can have magical items,elegant martial techniques and feats and so on which interact recovering from being proned by disarming attack as a free action with this glove or that loyal weapon or similar things perhaps ... Powers with the keyword can have there own finishing condition of cowed and mostly harmless in the immediate sense this like unconcious is a non-deadly alternative

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

  • 10:50 PM - Lanefan mentioned Tony Vargas in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Tony Vargas - Jay Verkuilen - first off, xp to both of you for a really interesting and civil discussion this last 20 posts or so. And then, a question: am I reading both of you correctly, when you're talking about how easy/hard it is/was to change or kitbash 4e, that it's relatively easy to drop things out you don't like but much harder to add things in you do like? For example, hit points and effects - if I'm reading you right you'll both say it would be way easier to drop or ignore the 'bloodied' mechanic than it would be to introduce a wound-vitality or body-fatigue system. Just curious... Lanefan

Sunday, 1st July, 2018

  • 12:25 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post Power " Invitation to Defeat " unclear
    The orignal post seemed to be just INSISTING the secondary "effect" MUST have a save. I think, as Tony Vargas pointed out, that he was just a little confused about there being 2 effects. If you are used to reading the sort of muddy subjective descriptions of spell effects in games like AD&D, 3.x, and 5e, then you what you do is you sort of squint and try to get the 'gist' of what is being said and then figure out the questions in play somehow. AD&D is a game which is particularly like this, nothing in it actually just makes sense when you try to play it out at the table. You always have to step back and invent the actual mechanics from the ambiguous words. So when you come to 4e and you read a power, and you're used to playing some other D&D, you just automatically try to mentally construct some something in your head that 'sort of matches' with the gist of the words. But with 4e you don't need to do that. Instead if you literally read the words rote and don't add even the smallest bit of interpretation to them beyond "OK, this is what happens when X" then it is all just clear. You play it and...

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

  • 11:24 PM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    That doesn't sound 'ignored' to me. If something were burning through me I wouldn't feel ignored, at all, I'd feel quite put-upon. I'd likely get steamed about it. is the "ignores armor" clause there to indicate the fire bypasses any damage reduction due to armour worn (which makes sense) or to indicate the fire cannot damage or affect armour at all (which doesn't make sense)?I asssume Tony Vargas's contribution is meant to be comic. But Lanefan's seems literal, as if he really doesn't know how to choose between those two readings!

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 12:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Suspense in RPGs
    Fudging is a red herring in relation to Vincent Baker's remarks. The play of a RPG can establih that something is at stake in action resoution, and that the players care about that, without any need for GM fuding. I also think a focus on the risk of PC death is spmewhat misplaced. I do'nt think the threat of protagonist death is necessary to create suspense. And in RPGing, relying on that as the sole, or principal, means of creating suspense can tendsto be unsatisfying for the sorts of reasons Tony Vargas and Aldarc have given just upthread.

Friday, 22nd June, 2018

  • 10:06 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Suspense in RPGs
    ...nty over what may happen. So what is the event that is generating anxiety because it is possible but not certain? Let's say it's the manner and consequences of the character's escape from the security guards and police. What approach to RPGing will allow this to be replicated (in some fashion, to some degree of approximation)? For instance, what would GM prep look like? directors do this all the time in movies - they focus on or reveal the actions of the antagonists to us as observers and then draw out the protagonist's actions until we're on the edge of our seats concerned that they're too slow and will be caught out.So how do we do this in a RPG (if we take it as a premise that the GM is not just going to narrate cut-scenes to the players)? For instance, the player(s) make a check, and it fails (so they eg aren't able to successfuly disguise themselves so they can walk out unnoticed) - if we want suspense, rather than just a cut straight to failure of the sort that you and Tony Vargas noted might be anti-climactic, what should be the response? Do the players get a reroll by staking more? If so, is the reroll purely metagame (that's how 4e, by default, tends to handle it) or something further in the fiction (that's how DitV handles it, and I've done it that way in 4e). Or some sort of "fail forward"? Which raises the question of where we get the requisite story elements from eg must they have already been implicit in the scene, or just implicit on someone's PC sheet? (Say as a relationship, or Bond in 5e.) Something else?

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 09:40 PM - Hussar mentioned Tony Vargas in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Tony Vargas - I'm going to disagree with you on this a bit. 4e was very up front about HP being just an abstraction. Unlike earlier editions, every single keyword became a damage type, including a number of pretty non-obvious ones like "Psychic Damage" and the like. Fear effects that caused damage. That sort of thing. 5e carries the same explicit damage types as well - psychic damage as a keyword, for example. Earlier editions were not quite so explicit about their damage types, outside of weapon damage type - bludgeoning, piercing, slashing.
  • 08:20 PM - Skyscraper mentioned Tony Vargas in post Death and Storytelling
    Bedrockgames so I understand that you like to have death be a real threat and let the dice decide when it happens (so do I); but this apart, how do you reconcile death with the story that the now-dead PC was linked to, when it happens? Do you simply let the storyline that was linked to that PC exclusively, die with him or her? Tony Vargas you appear to suggest that death is frequent, but so is resurrection, so it's no big deal because PCs are brought back easily; or in the alternative, you use back up PC's. In the case of back-up PC's, how do you reconcile the story that the PC was linked to, with his disappearance from the game? Re: the ease to access of raise dead in D&D: I've done away with that spell, personally; but for the purposes of this discussion, let's disregard the situation where the PC dies but is brought back which is, in essence, equivalent to healing the PC.
  • 01:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...than OSR and Indie games. I only meant to convey that they are not somehow contained within and represent a narrowing of the basic experience of playing a role playing game. Difference of kind. Not a narrowing of experience.Absolutely. I don't get this idea that "different" = "narrower", or that "GM curated experience" = "caters to/generates a wide range of experiences". For instance: if player X wants to play Fate, and player Y wants to play Moldvay Basic, a game in which the GM curates Ideals/Bonds/Flaws for X, while rolling wandering monsters for Y, isn't giving either of them the experience they wanted. Perhaps it will still be fun, but it won't play much like Fate if the rest of the table is not doing the "aspect" thing; and the Moldvay Basic aspects will be tanked if most of the table is not playing with an eye to skilled dungeoneering. (In practice, I suspect that this game will turn into fairly traditional mid-to-late 80s D&D play, but perhaps that's just me!) EDIT: Tony Vargas: Campbell's "mainstream" is not just that mid-to-late 80s D&D; it would also include most GURPS and HERO play, I reckon, and - judging from when I used to hang out on the ICE boards - most RM/MERP/HARP play as well.

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 09:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Suspense in RPGs
    I keep thinking of the late scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. Cary Grant is with Ingrid Bergman and they have to escape her Nazi husband who has been poisoning her. But they keep drawing out the scene even though we've also seen her husband and his Nazi cronies and we know that if they don't get a move on and get out of the house both of them are in deep trouble. So there's this massive tension and you wonder if they will escape in time or she will die of the poison.But isn't this a bit like Vincent Baker's example of Babe? We're pretty sure, aren't we, that Ingrid Bergman will survive - so what exactly is generating the suspense? That's not to object to the sorts of reveals (and cut scenes?) that you mention in your post, only to wonder more about how they're related to the generation of suspense. Another issue has to do with making a RPG work - which is what I was trying to get at with Tony Vargas upthread. If the players fail their check, and so they don't get out of the house and get found by the Nazis, how does this feed into the maintenance of suspense? How does the scope for paying further costs get introduced into the play of that game at that moment?


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Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 10:15 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    EGG contradicted himself all the time.Sure, but there is no significant contradiction in the AD&D DMG and PHB concerning how the game is expected to be played. The closing words of the PHB (before the Appendices) state that if one finds AD&D worth playing, one will find it doubly so if played well. And the preceding 2+ pages give advice on what "playing well" means - and nowhere is metagaming condemned (in fact it is advocated!, in relation to party composition, equipment and spell load outs). What is advocated is skilled dungeoneering - comprehenisve equipment lists, well coordinated spell load outs, a good plan, good mapping, trying to avoid wandering monsters, etc. In other words, it's much the same as the stuff that appears in the DMG paragraphs about adjusting die rolls that I quoted not far upthread! As I said, I don't think everyone played like Gygax did. Nor did Gygax, obviously, or he wouldn't have needed to advocate it so strongly! My point is textual - the AD&D texts don't propound o...
  • 02:43 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post Melee Training Restored
    Doesn't that make adventuring even more about leveling/acquiring boons, in that you not only get exp for adventuring, which means you level, but need to set out on adventures that will get you to level the way you want? And, I know 'story now' is not exactly all about creating J. Michael Stravinsky 5-year story arcs, but it does seem like it could be a stretch to get a genre story out of that. Well, I don't think it is any more hostile to story than the 4e XP system, which is really already not TOO far off from the same thing (IE you adventure, you ALWAYS get a basically fixed amount of XP with little variation, and then you get some stuff along the way and level). This is just making things tighter and more explicit. You DO adventure to get stuff so you will level, or "and then you will level". I think it is just conceptually simpler overall. And yes, you would set out on adventures that meet your expectations and goals. That too sound very story focused to me. In short, I don't see a...
  • 12:59 AM - Eis quoted Tony Vargas in post Sleep Spell and Chain Awakening
    No, each 'group,' as the DM judges it, in a given 'combat,' as the DM defines it, goes 'at the same time,' as, at the risk of repeating myself, the DM defines it. To have any more leeway, you'd have to be sailing Waterworld. Besides, the whole city of goblins pretty much just wake up when David Bowie sings. ok so how would you define it? as a DM? there are 5000 goblins....there are 500 goblins....there are 50 goblins....all asleep....and goblin A is awakened by a hammer to the face.....do all of these groups chain wake? are they all 'groups' according to you as DM? are they all 'going at the same time' according to you as DM? this is what I am asking....to get an idea of where you as DM would put the limit on how many goblins can wake each other up on their initiative turn

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 10:13 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    I get the impression you maybe don't like wizards that much.... Must have gone to a high school where the big, mean science geeks picked on all the poor, defenseless cool kids.
  • 09:51 PM - Maxperson quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    Well, the DM supports everything he wants, unhindered by any part of his carte not being blanche... I'll blanche my carte any time I want to, thank you very much.
  • 09:23 PM - iserith quoted Tony Vargas in post What happened to Morale?
    Did you participate in the NeXT playtest? Haha, yeah, ran a couple adventures, played in a couple. I don't recall anything tedious. But really, even watching grass dry or paint grow would be fun with my regular groups.
  • 09:13 PM - TwoSix quoted Tony Vargas in post New Fighting Style: Swift Striker
    The math is certainly useful in white room balance predictions. And sure, there are potentials for abuse. But I also think that outside those abuseable situations, the option creates a new kind of melee fighter that can be fun to play. Now, will they outshine the other players? Or will other players feel upstaged? I'm not sure, but my gut feeling is that it's close enough to be comparable and unlikely to cause disruption at the table. It doesn't make GWM or SS any better, so ultimately you don't have to sweat it much. But, really, it's not that new, it's still an extra attack for using a whimpier weapon, much like TWFing. Potentially better in some ways, though with no upgrade path of it's own, like Duel Wielder. And, if it doesn't need a bonus action, combining it with even basic TWF should be pretty attractive. Honestly, I think you could combine this style with the TWF style with relatively little consequence.
  • 09:03 PM - Hawk Diesel quoted Tony Vargas in post New Fighting Style: Swift Striker
    So, if you have a d8 weapon& shield, and an extra +2 from dueling style, and, say, a 14 stat, you're doing d8 (4.5) + 2 + 2 with the one and d4 (2.5) + 2 , /twice/ with the other. Sounds comparable. Of course, if you can cheese up a second style, you can combine them. Obviously it's less damage than TWF, since you are gaining the shield benefit. But, if it doesn't use a bonus action, you can combine it with TWF, which you also can't do with the +2 from dueling style, so d4 + 2 x3, or 13.5 average damage, with a very modest bonus of a 14 stat. The more damage bonuses you can come up with... The math is certainly useful in white room balance predictions. And sure, there are potentials for abuse. But I also think that outside those abuseable situations, the option creates a new kind of melee fighter that can be fun to play. Now, will they outshine the other players? Or will other players feel upstaged? I'm not sure, but my gut feeling is that it's close enough to be comparable and unlikely...
  • 08:47 PM - Hawk Diesel quoted Tony Vargas in post New Fighting Style: Swift Striker
    You wouldn't have to be wielding two weapons with this, if I'm reading it right. So shield or free hand, I guess? Conversely, if it's a free-and-clear additional attack, why not combine it with TWF? Considering that each weapon is limited to a d4 damage, I don't think that is sufficient when comparing to a d8 weapon with a +2 and shield or a main hand d8 and an off hand d6 weapon. As for combining them, TWF requires a bonus action, off hand weapon, and doesn't grant modifier bonus to damage. If TWF just grants an additional attack, the what happens to the bonus action attack potential? It just makes things too messy.
  • 08:05 PM - Hawk Diesel quoted Tony Vargas in post New Fighting Style: Swift Striker
    I’m about to run a homebrew hack system where everytime you roll a “1” on your damage die you can do a “stunt” (ex: knock a foe back, disarm them, change spots with or get behind them, knock them prone” which I like as a way of making weapons feel more like tools. Tying your idea to the “1” on the damage die might be interesting. No weapon list to ever remember and a fighter dual wielding daggers (25% chance to get an extra attack) could potentially do insane combos. Would be time consuming though. That is an interesting idea. I like strategic actions outside of "I hit the monster again with my sword until it does." But I don't see it being enough of a draw to players, since in my experience at my table they prefer more simplicity, damage, and attacks. The way it's written, you can have a dual weilder with a sword and dagger, making an attack with each (RAW now), and an additional attack with the sword. Which I don't think is your intent "technically I'm wielding a dagger with my...
  • 07:09 PM - robus quoted Tony Vargas in post New to Gaming with D&D 5e?
    I guess there just weren't that many new players hanging out here three years ago. I suspect there should be more. But, no matter how skewed the poll looks (the last answer is just there because, seriously, folks around here do just like answering polls, even if they don't apply them), I'd really prefer entirely true answers, thanks! Well, apparently I already voted in the first go round, and I put myself in with the masses (entirely truely :) )
  • 04:27 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted Tony Vargas in post Sleep Spell and Chain Awakening
    Ah, so he should've killed 'em from the other end! You'd have to call the whole game 'unfair,' in that case. Which'd seem unfair. Wait, is group initiative a 'rule' in 5e, not just a suggestion for the DM's convenience? Not that there's much of a difference. ;) So I don't usually bother to closely parse 5e rules, but... .... hm, the SRD seems to state it flatly, like a rule. It's what the DM does, not something he might do, like in prior eds. Odd little difference in phrasing. ...and it explicitly says "acts at the same time." While 'ties' are decided by the DM. So maybe you could have ruled the sleeping goblins woke up with less than a full round of actions, if their turns really were simultaneous... Don’t have it in front of me, but if I recall the DMG (maybe it’s the PHB) provides several options, such as individual for all monsters. Also not the group initiative doesn’t require you to group all goblins together, for example. The DM decides how best to group the...
  • 02:14 PM - TwoSix quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    .... hm, if we can check my XP c2008, we could figure out how many levels I have in Edition Warrior(4venger).... Is 4venger a subclass? Ahead of your time! :)
  • 03:12 AM - Maxperson quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    It's cheating not to. But that's OK, because you're supposed to cheat, so you're not cheating... so... "Illogical, illogical. All units relate. All units. Norman, coordinate. " lol Is it SJG's 'Munchkin,' a card game about kids playing an RPG? (That is, through the distorted lens of memory, pretty darn realistic.) No. The game I'm talking about is Illuminati from Steve Jackson Games. It has an optional rule that if invoked, says that you are allowed to cheat as long as you don't get caught. Then there's Cosmic Encounter which bills itself as the game that breaks its own rules. But, yeah, as the final arbiter of the rules, the DM (and in most cases GM) can override the rules, which may involve an action exactly like cheating, but that is not cheating, merely a privilege accorded DMs (and often a really good idea).Not exactly like cheating. The DM generally isn't doing it to gain unfair advantage. It's almost always for the enjoyment of the players.
  • 12:56 AM - iserith quoted Tony Vargas in post Sleep Spell and Chain Awakening
    Not that there's much of a difference, so I don't usually bother to closely parse 5e rules, but... .... hm, the SRD seems to state it flatly, like a rule, it's what the DM does, not something he may do, like in prior eds. Odd little difference in phrasing. ...and it explicitly says "acts at the same time." While 'ties' are decided by the DM. So maybe you could have ruled the sleeping goblins woke up with less than a full round of actions, if their turns really were simultaneous... I address this upthread. I think "acts at the same time" can be reasonably read as "acts on the same initiative count," not necessarily "act at the exact same time in the fiction." I see it as "more or less at the same time between the initiative counts above and below it, resolved in the way that helps achieve the goals of play." And even if I did read it as "act as the exact same time in the fiction," I still get to resolve ties in that regard however I want. So whichever way you want to read it, the result is...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 09:34 PM - iserith quoted Tony Vargas in post Sleep Spell and Chain Awakening
    Another system artifact that enabled the effect you saw was the treatment of movements & actions in 5e: getting up is just some of your movement, and you can use the rest to reach an ally, action slap them, and move through a door (object interaction to close it) - goblins in 5e get to Disengage as a bonus action, too, otherwise the first one moving away from the cleric to wake it's buddy would have provoked. In 3e or 4e, the newly-woken goblin would have used it's move to stand up, and, maybe, 5' step & it's standard to wake an ally w/in reach (in 4e, give the ally a save) - they couldn't all have woken eachother, /and/ all fled, because the move action was discreet and Opportunity attacks a little harder to avoid. The 5e method of movement (and only one reaction &c) is intuitive and makes the action seem less 'jerky,' but it's still going on in a turn-based system, and that jerkiness is there for a reason. ;) It would have been for sure harder in 4e. Goblin tactics might have squeezed o...
  • 08:14 PM - MoonSong quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    You wouldn't want do that with all classes, but maybe one of each role: Fighter, Rogue, Cleric... OK, each role other than controller, "Simple Controller" is just an oxymoron... ;) Sorcerer was always the simple striker by virtue of always having the extra damage on, later slayer came and was even simpler. I suggest we move this conversation to the old eds' forum before you keep pounding a dead horse.
  • 07:01 PM - Oofta quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    To be fair, D&D is an RPG, first*/last/always. There's been a pointless 'debate' whether RPGs are primarily about Playing a Game (D&D? Bad ROLLplayer!! No XP! GRR!), or primarily about Playing a Role (Storyteller? Yay! ROLEplayers! We're the best!), for, well over 20 years now, but the bottom line is: all RPGs are about both Playing a Game and Playing a Role, neither comes 'first,' though any given player at any given moment, might slide more into one than the other. And that's fine and should be at least tolerated by all involved. Some RPGs are set in a real world historical period, and thus do have something to simulate in the literal sense. Most others "simulate" ('emulate' or 'evoke' would be better words, IMHO), a fictional setting or genre. But, that's not a defining quality of an RPG - wargames engage in a lot of historical simulation, boardgames & computer games (& even arcade games) can be based on and 'simulate' a genre, or reality (Flight Simulators, for instance) - and c...
  • 02:29 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post Melee Training Restored
    You've impressed me many times over the years, but that's brilliant. To what degree is the character shaped by the player as it levels vs having boons presented by the DM shaping the character? Well, the context is a pretty story now kind of a game, so the players SHOULD be doing stuff that is engaging their avowed interests. I mean, the GM could be a stinker and try to foist stuff on them, but its an odd kind of way to burden players, giving their PCs more levels! At least the way I play, the players decide something like "we'll take on a quest to climb the mountain in order to acquire the secrets to superior fighting ability from the monks who live on the top." Or at least "my character wants to be the greatest fighter ever" and he finds out that is the way to proceed. So, what other boon is he going to get besides "Sword Master" when he gets up there? Truthfully its going to be a collaboration, but in a lot of cases players will say "I think that incredible stunt I just pulled is worth a leve...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 11:18 PM - Oofta quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    It means in the context it came from. It's just English. I have never heard anyone ever use that phrase. I intuited the meaning, I was just curious if it was a legal term or commonly used phrase on different message boards.


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