View Profile: Tony Vargas - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 06:29 PM
    Great question, let's give it some numbers. Let's assume the conservative 5 encounters of 4 rounds each. That's 20 actions to cover. Add in an extra spell per encounter - say a reaction like shield or a bonus action. That's 25. Let's assume you cast some spells a day cast outside combat - be it utility, mage armor, foresight, what have you. When you have more slots you're more likely to...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 06:12 PM
    And it's also been pointed out and had a whole post explaining in a high level of detail that people focusing on the word "thinks" in order to avoid what is very obvious a question about skill usage are missing the point.
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Today, 04:54 PM
    Measuring in inches implies mini use just as much as squares, IMO. My first experiences were with 1e, so seeing everything in inches, my first question was, "why?" Answer: It's based on a minis wargame where this is standard practice, and you can still do so, if desired. But, it was always clear that this was unnecessary. However, the bulk of my play experience in my younger days was in 2e,...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 04:28 PM
    So it seems like where we diverge is that I think of Persuasion as "just another game mechanic". And I don't think of agency as all or nothing. I think it is possible to lose agency over some things, without losing all agency. And I am not concerned that some agency can be lost to being grappled (speed 0 = no agency to move), being in the wrong circumstances (bright light = no agency to hide), or...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 11:57 AM
    I was thinking here of the Degrees of Failure option in the DMG, where a fail by 5 can result in disaster. The example they give is being thrown in a dungeon by a Queen, for a failed Charisma (Persuasion) check. If skills can be applied between characters, then a DM who uses Degrees of Failure could add a drawback. I agree with that, and would further draw attention to cases where for just...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 11:47 AM
    I like your examples, especially the first one that I've quoted. Some other ways to narrate it - Loss of Player Agency? "My character Dross will try to Stealth" "Dross is in the middle of a brightly lit room, so can't take the Hide action at present." (Loss of agency?) "Dross is under a Dominate Person spell right now, so can't try to do that!" (Loss of agency!) "Dross is under the...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 11:27 AM
    Thanks for the analysis that isn't as divergent as I remember, I am going with your thinking. Also sorry about wandering significantly off topic into dredgeville on this thread I think that is my fault.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 11:01 AM
    There are several modes that RPGs are run in. The above summarises one of them. There are others that are also traditional, where at 2a that call is made by the DM in their role as neutral arbiter, not either player.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 10:54 AM
    So far as I can tell, you're committed to conflating player with character. I'm not. For me, characters have abilities that players don't have, so that in many cases player to player interactions can't decide the outcome of character to character interactions. It's common in debates relating to exogenous rules that one side or other "goes nuclear": speaking to how strongly people feel about...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 10:22 AM
    Manganiello is probably more famous for the Magic Mike movie. But Tru Blood, yeah. The fact that this scifi geek is also a sex symbol, is kinda awesome.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 06:50 AM
    Every time gaming the DM is considered a skill it makes me cringe
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 05:43 AM
    I'm not part of that audience either and I'm okish with TLJ -enjoyed some of it, but not enough to want to get a copy at full price-. I know a lot about the old extended universe from second hand though -like about Mara Jade, Ben Skywalker, and someone dropping a moon on poor Chowie-. Perhaps I sit more in the middle of this, I can see what bothers many of them, but most of it doesn't bother me,...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:54 AM
    ummm jump from 1 to 2 attacks is a big jump its a jarring dramatic bump in ability and its not even after a significantly larger numbers of levels 5 vs 4? however I remember being at low levels an excruciatingly long time in ADnD compared to modern games so that is even stretched out more in terms of player experience (which is to my mind the fair measurement) anyone got a scale that measures...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:36 AM
    Well no its still the same as paragon because you don't get the epic gonzo stuff at level 10. (And you arent fighting Demogorgon and the like at level 6 just because the campaigns end at 10.) People still do campaigns which are all within 1 tier. Yes the context included embarrassing monty haulisms and people being ultra conservative with magic items and not so with spells for the mage, and...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:11 AM
    I also met people who claimed their characters had acquired multiple copies of every item in the dmg in their multiple bags of holding ... I think there were reasons people were cautious.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:53 AM
    I saw wizards getting the entire contents of a levels worth of spells in one treasure taken from an npc wizard ... and arm bands giving them plate armor caliber armor class. And not particularly any more weaponry or armor for fighting types The lack of expected treasure except maybe random treasure tables for me was always a negative thing note the above was he result of a DM trying to be...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:56 AM
    Its still more gradual than the 5e boom at level 5.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:54 AM
    From the AD&D DMG "The testing grounds for novice adventurers must be kept to a difficulty factor which encourages rather than discourages players. If things are too easy, then there is no challenge, and boredom sets in after one or two games. Conversely, impossible difficulty and character deaths cause instant loss of interest" And later "Creatures inhabiting the place must be of...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 01:55 AM
    This sounds like it works fine at your table. However, I have never come across anything like this in the rulebooks so unless you can provide a citation I'm going to consider it a house rule that some skills (and spells?) don't work depending on the combonation of who is listening and who is speaking. (Or can NPCs not use skills to determine anything about PCs either, leaving a DM to fiat...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:47 AM
    Never saw a DM do it well once (including me) they were either dramatically overpowered or underpowered with a narrow window in the middle and sometimes the overpowered was at level 1 with a sleep spell. That is to me an in theory vs an in practice issue I am sure it is possible for my 9th level fighter to have not felt like a sidekick but pretending it actually worked out that way at most...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:11 AM
    LOL how is a single class balanced in a game where other classes go from useless to overwhelming the statement is not meaningful. Balance is dependent on context ie balanced with regards to what? (Thief was useless even at high level it never got its shine in the sun without bizarro world adventure designs)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:05 AM
    or actually +3 off focus and +2 race and +2 off of background and +2 maybe off of Theme... yes skill just went nutso.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:24 PM
    Whenever a Concentration spell is up, all other spells require a higher level slot to cast with no other benefit. You may have multiple concentration spells (up to your proficiency bonus) - each adds one slot level to other casting as well as needs to be saved separately from damage. Buff and matching debuff. Yes, this does add in a real general debuff to all casters in return for the extra...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:20 PM
    I can only give schnee XP once for this post, so the only other way I can agree how important these questions are is to quote them and talk about them. This definitely increases the power of casters. Are you planning on increasing the martial and monsters, or putting a corresponding debuff on casters? If the debuff is only on when concentrating on more than one, it's not enough because...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:13 PM
    Oh right smacks forehead been too long 4e doesn't use the same more attacks technique for increasing ability it is much more gradual in part because it starts at a higher point if you start your 1e at level 5 and going to level 10 was the same distance as level 10 in 4e its about that gradual ... note with dailies and encounters and the like providing spikey booms (which are a bit like instead...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:28 PM
    The fighter getting a new attack is not very fine grained nor is the leap from not having a fireball to having one. Balancing them to me means making sure those bumps happen in synchronicity (I picked an example that I think might actually be concurrent and in one of the levels that might be starting to be more balanced than many didnt I). I cannot look at character levels in 1e land and...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:07 PM
    I would consider adding to 5e a general proficiency bonus that was +1 per 2 levels to many things to break open the higher level awesome sauce. (The bounded accuracy thing seems to defeat the flavor text of the various tiers by keeping mundane obstacles perhaps too challenging when you are high level)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:01 PM
    I was considering letting Warlords and those with Noble background get a DMs best friend +2 bonus on all the skill checks interacting with them from intimidations/bluff/diplomacy or exploiting historical battle lore etc i am not familiar with Battlesystem. I think if 4e had a healthy set of Swarms that might be the first step without going too far afield. I am also curious about...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:46 PM
    The +2 or 3 for weapon proficiency didnt serve a great purpose, what did it do? disguise the AC which tended to be a couple points higher than other defenses. In practice how many times do characters pick up an weapon they arent proficient in? This could be an argument for just putting them at a 5e style disadvantage when they do.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:37 PM
    I might be interested in seeing that. In 5e at some level Mearls took the flavor text of 2e for the fighter and said yup one Warlord is a type of Fighter. Battlemaster is a nod to that - the prototype Warlord he put out in a video is also a sub type of fighter you could call a chess master styled warlord and it's pretty interesting. It looks like it might have saving throw issues and like...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    By keeping the numbers in the same arena... yeh that is one of the gains on the trade off of bounded accuracy I think... I do understand the motivation.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:01 PM
    Making general adventuring arena completely distinct is something I could definitely support. However I have also noticed one could go the other direction as many of the mechanisms of more interesting combat actions relate to skills like intimidations and bluffs and diplomacy relating to feints/false openings ie deceptions and in general manipulating enemies and inspiring allies. I have...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:54 PM
    hmmm isnt that basically the same problem 3e had
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:48 PM
    Thanks I rather like the Fort/Ref/Wil for the saving throw arena it can tame the flux. This is the saving throw value impression I have based on frequency of use I have seen. Am I getting this right? Con>Dex>Wis>Str>Cha>Int. Strength seems like the best of the secondary saves and Con the best of the primary ones so the fighter gets both bests
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:44 PM
    Remove the design space of ‘race’, entirely. So it is more like creating a superhero character, where the ‘race’ is only one of many explanations for where the power comes from. Build your character by selecting ability score improvements, feats, and traits. The default is human, but you and the DM decide whatever it is.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    Well it is pretty minor though I agree it meant that a base line multi-class feat was a bit overpowered comparatively for someone who wanted versatile non combat ability, you had to be really shooting for specific broad skill set to end up taking a straight skill training feat. Why does my fighter need to dabble to be as skillful as most other classes was kind of derp on the non-combat balance...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:34 PM
    Ah could you elaborate?
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:25 PM
    With Druid, were you picturing Moon for HPs, Shepard for summons, or is there even more to the druid in terms of filling multiple roles I'm missing?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:15 PM
    Oh and I forgot how backgrounds and themes also brought multi-classing elements to your character. I could build a ranger that felt more like a 1e ranger ( than either of the two weapon rangers in 3e or 4e) using a Fighter class plus various of the above.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:10 PM
    I am a great necromancer lots of interesting thoughts need revisited once in a while. That and I am just getting interested in 5e.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:57 PM
    The monsters are boring in comparison to 4e ones at minimum because of it (and maybe you are right about them being weak a 4e ogre smash people to the ground with every swing is a lot more interesting and also powerful than the 5e counter part) Yes the scaling defenses (and skills too) I rather like they capture heros getting all around awesome as they level. Ability score caps with old...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 PM
    Shield's +4 when I need it will always be better then a bit of damage. Shield is a good example of spells that stay relevant at higher levels. Cantrip damage also stays relevant - via scaling. I'm saying this to point out that you aren't comparing cantrips and 1st level spells, you're comparing cantrips and 1st level damage spells, and even there you're only comparing them at higher...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:50 PM
    I remember mcing oldschool to be very restrictive feeling? 3e was simple and freeform but very abusable as you have said. However it looks like 5e fixed 3e multi-classing by removing the front loading factor of classes. 4e used arguably 2 complex methods of multiclassing one is a dabbling multiclassing bound to the feat system. Which is pretty flexible and can be engaged throughout the...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:25 PM
    We have very different feels - which is all to the good! For me, the fact that casters never need to "descend to the mundane", be it to light their pipes or to shoot a crossbow because they are out of offensive spells - helps to drive home the high fantasy nature of 5e.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:20 PM
    Not exactly. When the player states that this is something they have decided it is very unlikely their character will agree to, a DM can give them advantage, and give the face disadvantage. A DM can even stack a modifier for circumstances on top, if that feels justified, such as being convinced to kill his brother. In that case, it could also be made clear a risk of the character becoming...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:11 PM
    I can see that my point was not clear enough. The example isn't about who would win. It is about characters that have relevant abilities that are different from the abilities of their players. I'm not completely gullible, but as a player I'm more gullible than a Rogue Inquisitive with high Wisdom, Ear for Deceit, and Expertise in Insight is. This points out that player-to-player does not...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:03 PM
    I consider the differing advancement a concession saying we did badly in the design and level does not mean power its almost meaningless.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:58 PM
    I personally feel that cantrips are orthogonal to 1st-9th casting. They form a separate known list, not even a wizard can get more in their book. They are something similar to spells, but innate. What they aren't are the pre-5e notion of "0 level spells". If they were 0-level spells, I'd agree with you. Why should a 0th level be better than a 1st? But instead I see them as a separate...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:46 PM
    Sure thing. characters live in the world. Therefore it is my responsibility to give the characters the information they would notice simply existing. If I told one character "You see what look like words in some language engraved on the sealed arch" and another character "you see the sentence 'Speak Friend and Enter' in dwarven runes around the sealed arch", I am having the characters do...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:37 PM
    One distinct use of Insight, called out in the RAW, is to determine true intentions, such as when "searching out a lie". A good mechanic to apply in my case is a Contest: Rogue's Wisdom (Insight) against Barbarian's Charisma (Deception). A DM might arbitrate as follows - If B's result is higher, then R is deceived into believing that B thinks she's presenting the truth. "You trust her on this...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:35 PM
    Thanks for pre-judging. If you notice I haven't taken sides anywhere else in this thread. I was attempting to get information about this when it wasn't player agency at risk. I am unaware that there was any requirement that he needed to respond to a question that did not apply to him or his table. Exactly. And therefore I correctly called him out for not adding to the discussion.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:36 PM
    Mearles hinted a finish of his Warlord fighter subclass might be appropriate to Darksun
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:33 PM
    That is how I used Darksun in 4e... almost exactly. Except not necessarily super strong.... more like super inspiring huge bright heroes who are a bold light in the dark of this other world. Turning an assassin into a freedom fighter, freeing slaves left right and center. Carrying healing inspiration around in your pocket.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:15 PM
    I'm not sure about that. Many species grow based on available food - but having killed half the life in the universe that means that anything that consumes life (plants, animals, etc.) will find their food supplies similarly shrunk. (Predators also are a big factor, but the ratio of predators to prey has remained the same.) Sentients can decided to breed quickly, and to change their...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:51 PM
    Hmm, the fact that you are the only front-liner and that the campaign will go long are a bit at odds. Just to talk out what this means to me, hopefully you can zero in on what's important to you: As the only (or 1 of 2) front-liner, your concentration spells will have a greater chance to be disrupted. This will make concentration spells like debuffs have a bit less utility, reducing...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:50 PM
    I like leveraging the smaller party size to be able to have a good stealth for everyone. That will definitely help but it's harder to do with a party of 5. And hitting on summons to provide additional meatshields and actions is a great way to buff up a party missing those exact things. That gets around neither of the characters being "tanky". Does the summons keep filling this role all...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 PM
    I completely agree with what you say. 1st level is fantasy Vietnam, and with fewer PCs against challenges meant for 4-5 characters it would be brutal. I was avoiding the kill-1st-level-characters by asking for the pair that would be viable at certain levels - 6th, 12th, 16th. 6th is enough that you can have the level 5 power bump and a level of something else (or the next class features,...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:40 PM
    I see your point. I'm not in agreement but it could be me that is the one that is wrong. If a DM does a (hidden|passive) perception check and tells a player, "Your character doesn't see anyone" vs. "You see the escaping urchin hidden behind a barrel", the DM am using skills to help me determine what details to describe to the character. To me it seems the same for "The duke seems to be...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:32 PM
    When the obvious intention of the post is to ask about a skill check between characters, zeroing in on the word 'think' and giving a non-answer around that doesn't help advance the conversation. Because the question is if a CHARACTER knew if another CHARACTER lied. There's a difference between player knowledge and character knowledge.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:04 AM
    To be clear then, you are saying that if I (the Rogue Inquisitive character's player) say to you (as DM) "My character suspects she is being lied to. I want to make a Wisdom (Insight) to see if the Barbarian character is deceiving her. My character has Ear for Deceit and Expertise in the skill so she can't get less than a 15 here." As DM you'll allow the Contest of skills to be made and if my...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:56 AM
    This is a great example and I think should be tested in its most distinct case, which is where character B is a Rogue Inquisitive with Ear for Deceit, high Wisdom, and Expertise in Insight, and the lying character is a Barbarian Totem Warrior, with low Charisma and no proficiency in Deception. It won't be common that a group's players will have social/psychological/investigative skills to match...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:36 AM
    My character has abilities that I as player do not have. Say my character is a Rogue Inquisitive with high Wisdom, Expertise in Insight and their Ear for Deceit feature. Possibly at the same time, the lying character is a Barbarian Totem Warrior who dumped Intelligence and Charisma, and has no proficiency in Deception. Were a DM to choose to let me have the benefit of my character's abilities, in...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 AM
    Mercurius had an thought provoking post about going through a published dungeon crawl with a small party, possibly a two person group. http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?655479-quot-Solo-crawling-quot-Dungeon-of-the-Mad-Mage That got me to thinking. We often discuss optimization of a single character, but how about a pair of characters (only!) that need to complement each other. ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:54 AM
    I have played quite a few others as well including Fantasy Hero and while quite beautiful in some ways just seemed like potentially a mega workload rabbit hole. I am picturing trying to build the 4e defender fighters abilities and I am sure it can be done but wow.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:43 AM
    I put it originally in such a way that the DM could call for a roll if they wanted to, of whatever type they wanted. But then I got fancy footwork that avoided the question and did nothing to advance the discussion. Assuming that this was a misunderstanding as opposed to trolling, I spelled it out in a high level of detail. If you read the original so you have context of what we are talking...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:45 AM
    Instead of playing word games, answer the actual question. I tried to phrase it in such such a way that those who "don't let players call for rolls" would accept it, and now you're dodging the question with fancy wordplay. This does not add to the conversation. Character B is attempting to figure out if "A" is lying. Regardless if "A" is a PC or NPC. There happens to be a useful skill...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:16 AM
    Convert your characters to HERO?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:09 AM
    An angry mob I can see having a "rabble rouser" who keeps the team charged up take him out and they can be considered bloodied then let diplomacy route this force (intimidation not required) heck the rabble rouser might be defeatable with social skills.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:55 AM
    Yeah my biggest problems when my kids were young wasn't understanding the rules, it was not being fettered by them when coming up with their character ideas, and then being disappointed by the rigidness of the classes. (And the ability score system that doesn't allow equally viable characters of a class with any arrangement - the low wis, high int druid not being as viable in a standard party as...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:51 AM
    Let me ask this from the other side. One that doesn't affect character agency. Character A tells the group something. The character is lying. Character B is suspicious - maybe they think character A is charmed, or carrying out a mission for their faction, or it doesn't jive with other information. Player B asks the DM if their character thinks Character A is lying. Is it in-line for...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:26 AM
    Paladin and Bard? Both can stand up the other if they drop. Bard works best if they can have a non-support character to make shine. Valor bard doesn't get the juicy magical secrets at 6th for a single AoE direct damage and some other goodies like revivify, but their better armor does help their survivability. Or maybe cleric (life) 1 / bard (lore) X instead. And with only 2 characters,...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:03 AM
    Gold for XP is definitely not something I will be adopting anytime soon. Implicit message it seems to bring to the table. "Never take on a quest unless you are getting paid and fighting evil should just be avoided.... greed is good after all and we should reward selfish cowardice too after you hide from bad guys or for that matter good guys to get at their gold often enough all that...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    That would be a good port to every D&D I think.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:12 PM
    Can I make a small suggestion: Sometimes, slinking down and not causing others to target you can be the choice the player wants.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:58 PM
    In a helpful way, for kids young enough to take out all that, I'd suggest another game. When my kids were that young, they got caught up in things like having character concepts that weren't described well by any class. By havuing the ability scores explained and wanting a low wisdom because they wanted to play an impulsive character with little common sense - but the play a druid or cleric. ...
    17 replies | 449 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:28 PM
    https://trollitc.com/2010/09/16/mass-combat-with-dd-4e-formations-as-swarms/ Discusses this A quotable quote I think points out something often not realized Casualty usually includes captured by the enemy and similar things not always dead. And the leaders call retreats or parlay etc to keep losses down. A measured retreat is also distinct from a route. He says something that...
    32 replies | 992 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:04 PM
    Perhaps a simpler expression of model A is to say that there are no character intents. There are only player intents, and character acts. This conflicts with the RAW because you end up not deciding how your character "thinks", as "thinks" should include "intents" and you definitely aren't allowed to decide that for your character in any way that is separate from deciding it for yourself, the...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:31 PM
    Do you mean that it's really down to the individual group, with equal justice on either interpretation? In background analysis of games (game studies and philosophy of games) about a decade ago it was suggested that there is always a duality in the relationship of player to game. There is player as the real person, still a member of their society and culture, thinking about all kinds of things...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:06 PM
    In a case where the character is grappled. I as the player decide how my character acts. I decide it acts by walking away. Except, I think everyone agrees that it can't. I hope this demonstrates that what you're offering is really a unique exception. For every other mechanic in the game, the player decides how they want their character to think, act and talk. They don't decide whether those...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 08:57 PM
    “In this case, it’s you as a player determining how your character thinks, acts, and talks.” Player: I hit the orc. DM: Your character needs to make an attack roll. Player: I hide from Joe. DM: Okay, Joe we're using your character's passive Perception unless you're taking time to search, Bob make a Stealth check using your character's Dexterity (Stealth) skill. Player: I resist the...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 08:27 PM
    A case that troubles me is thinking about Strength (Athletics) for a grapple, versus Charisma (Persuasion) to persuade. You, as the player, can't determine that your character isn't grappled, if you lose the contest against an NPC's Strength (Athletics). You could well say "I walk away from the NPC", choosing not to ignore that your Speed has been made 0 in that situation: the skill check...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:51 PM
    And that is one of the 5e mechanics I find to be pretty damn good.
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:29 PM
    Reskinning can do wonders with the right ability selections you can weave a race or class into something which very much fits a campaign ... like a hybrid of two divine classes come out feeling like a bloodweaver/bloodwright vampire who uses blood manipulation with a hunger that bleeds between the cracks in their discipline to infect their allies with their hunger (mechanically a cleric/invoker...
    106 replies | 2439 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:15 PM
    Good quote.
    106 replies | 2439 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 04:09 PM
    I think something like this line of argument is the most productive approach. In order to sustain a on-surface frank contradiction between say - allowing Athletics to grapple versus Persuasion to persuade - it seems right to go ahead and argue that there is something categorically different between Strength skills and Charisma skills. Wisdom is less clear, due to the common contest with Dexterity...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:55 PM
    I'm looking always to learn, not to paint you into a corner where you need to concede that I or anyone else is right. With that front and center, where I keep struggling with what you say is that it seems to contain a straight contradiction. On one hand, you say that some things can be decided with a die roll and that's all fine. In those cases, it seems like the PC/NPC involved was...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:45 PM
    I do like campaign worlds in which unexpected races are prominent. It can be used to give that world a very distinctive feel, and it can allow development of more nuance in that race. I might like a world in which gnomes were the majority more than one in which they are a sideshow. Absolutely. I'm mainly just pointing out that the DM is allowed to have fun: they're one of the people at the...
    106 replies | 2439 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:54 PM
    This ... back in the day we didnt have the interwebs but it wasn't that insular and you could find out what game designers thought. For instance you could join and even write in apas or zines like Alarums and Excursions or just subscribe some of the names of people who wrote in it included some very interesting and familiar names. Wilf K. Backhaus Greg Costikyan John M. Ford E. Gary...
    140 replies | 4485 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:45 PM
    Economics in D&D has never been wonderful living life even for those who are medieval noblemen is really cheap in comparison to the treasure taken in every version of the game so the gold acquisition is tied into things which grant power not living (but it turns out that is ok). (note in real life its generally "ironically" cheaper to be rich so artificial inflation because players have a...
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:34 PM
    Where I stall on this is the implication that when someone is hidden, and a character fails their passive and active perception checks, they just need to... look more intently? It implies that some but not all skills have no effect on characters. What I dislike there is the picking and choosing. An alternative is that how they follow the suggestion is up to the player. Player and DM can...
    259 replies | 4258 view(s)
    0 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);

Sunday, 9th December, 2018


Tuesday, 27th November, 2018


Tuesday, 13th November, 2018


Page 1 of 16 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 04:53 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Tony Vargas in post On Variability, House Rules, Research, and the 1e/5e Difference
    ...ystems that had no resemblance to the rest of the game. As I've often recounted, I tried to run an AD&D campaign with psionics; it was terrible and was quickly abandoned. I modified the original rules- it was still terrible. The only time it worked was when I ripped out the system completely and replaced it was a complete homebrew based on Julian May's books. An easier example for most people to grok is the Armor Class Adjustments Table. IMO, it was Gygax's wargamey routes trying really, really hard to make "fetch" happen. While it made sense in theory (a flail is good against plate armor, while a jo stick is not), it suffered from several issues- first, the lack of clear explanation as to what constitutes armor class, second, the fiddliness of the rules, and finally, the fact that the vast majority of the time, unlike a wargame, you would be fighting monsters with natural AC, and it was unclear what, if any, modifier should be used. So IME almost all tables did away with this (except Tony Vargas !). Communication Breakdown, It's Always the Same. Explaining life before the internet is like explaining life before cell phones, or before ATMs (you had to go to a bank, when it was open, and take out the amount of money you needed to hold you over!). You just take it what you have now for granted. But just think- not only do we have rulebooks, we have the ability to post questions to forums (such as this one), conduct research, and even get tweeted responses ... not to mention you can always watch streaming video of how other people play! But it wasn't always like that. Imagine each gaming group trying to figure out how to play on their own, with maybe some crossover to other gaming groups in the area and/or the FLGS (or, um, Waldenbooks); sure, maybe (MAYBE!) there would be a convention, but the majority of players and DMs didn't go to conventions. There was Dragon Magazine, if someone subscribed. But otherwise, there was a high degree of variability in home campaigns because the...

Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 02:41 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Admittedly this didn't come online until late heroic, and then really took off in paragon - maybe that's the point I'm missing. It was definitely @Tony Vargas point of view with Martial Controllers or atleast the polearm build one. I am looking at medium range Warlord style enemy manipulating martial controller.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 03:48 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    You're not trying to make an acrobatics check against a stationary chandelier in that example. You're trying to make a combat move that happens to involve a chandelier while an at-level opponent could use that opportunity to bash your head in. The DC changing represents that the harder opponent you happen to be fighting is making it progressively more difficult to attempt the same task. Tony Vargas used that principle and came up with a rather innovative way to use caltrops for those in the caltrop field with no adjacent enemies they can move carefully and take no damage(shift) or quickly and take minor hazard damage however with an adjacent enemies interfering its more like the Caltrops are an extra attack from the enemy interfering with you being careful of the caltrops.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018


Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:59 PM - Satyrn mentioned Tony Vargas in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Except nobody is arguing that the DM can't change the fluff. :) Hey, I'm not arguing anything. It's just my life's mission to point out this fact repeatedly when discussing gods in 5e. Well, it's more like one of my life's continuing side quests. My life's mission is to top the Laughs columns. I'm almost there. I'm topping the Laughs Given by quite a wide margin over Tony Vargas and I'm closing in on him for Laughs Received. Once I catch him, its just TwoSix and . . . . . . lowkey13. Sigh That one's gonna take a while.

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 02:40 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Warlord Flavor (One favorite of mine)
    The Hector build Warlord passes up on some of the limelight of regular inspiring of allies in favor of battlefield control, which goes even beyond that of the Tactical Lord. They gain the Gifted Manipulator feature in place of Inspiring Word. Gifted manipulator grants extra move distance (not as much as the Mage Enchanter) and extra damage when you induce an enemy to harm their ally. (Friendly fire style attacks) - these are not massively on the Warlord list but new ones are in the works. But some powers like the following seem very very Hectorish and so I am wondering if I over did the benefit or if its too complicated to use... beware I can do that too @Tony Vargas. Usually the enemy aids you involuntarily but sometimes being ultimately convincing works even better 102207

Thursday, 9th August, 2018

  • 08:30 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Out of combat balance - skills trained and known
    Just for a comparison In HERO for agility skills they have Acrobatics - same skill Breakfall - subsumed in acrobatics Climbing - subsumed in athletics Combat Driving - combat riding feat Combat Piloting - more combat riding not differentiated Contortionist - subsumed in acrobatics Fast Draw ? independent ability allowing drawing a weapon as part of the Attack or drawing and sheathing as one minor action. Lockpicking - subsumed in thieving Riding - subsumed in nature usually but see combat riding feat Sleight Of Hand- subsumed in thieving Stealth - same skill Teamwork - not sure how this relates it is a combat teamwork bonus wrt coordinating with others enabling maybe simultaneous attacks? or something I thought HERO was supposed to be clear @Tony Vargas

Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 12:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ... tell them to, move pieces (literal or notional) around maps in accordance with the D&D rules for doing so, etc. Until someone actually uses the guidelines of the RPG to create that adventure, there's nothing to really do with an RPG.This isn't true either. When I wanted to play Classic Traveller with my friends, we sat down and started playing: PC gen; world gen; patron gen; GO! (Further details here.) They're playing Against the Giants. They're playing whatever campaign they happen to be playing. We use RPG's to create the campaigns which is essentially the game that we play, whether it's some massive dungeon crawl or some high rp court intrigue game. Or combinations thereof. And the campaign that I play is distinct from the campaign you play. Unless we're using the same module, it's virtually impossible for two campaigns to share any points of similarity. Doesn't that mean, at that point, we're essentially playing different games?I mostly agree with Umbran and Tony Vargas on this. Was I playing chess, or the Sicilian defence? Presumably both. Was I playing D&D, or Against the Giants? Presumably both. Maybe there's a better analogy? I see RPG's as having three levels. At the top, you have the RPG itself which we use to build a campaign. At the next level, you have the campaign which, in my mind, is the game that this group is going to play, and at the third level, you have the session, which is roughly analogous to a single instance of the game. For most games though, you only have two levels. The game and the instance. You don't use charades, to use the example, to build a specific kind of pantomime game that players then play. You just play instances of charades. There's no higher level tier, such as what you get with RPG's.Does what you say apply to My Life with Master? DitV? Even The Dying Earth? And even for RPGs that have "the campaign", how is that different - in a structural sense - from dealing a hand? Or agreeing at a casu...
  • 03:13 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post Morale systems
    ...eader ability. The solace in numbers element would need to be something else. Perhaps an ability enemy has bonus hit points per ally currently on the field. (and loses them when they die) I do like the idea of thinking morale is all in terms of hit points. Yeah, my thinking and practice has evolved through 4 stages: 1) 4e - there simply is no provision for morale as such, except for the highly broken Intimidate implementation (which is IMHO garbage). This indicated the lameness of having a system that breaks with the "get the enemy to 0 hit points and he's defeated" paradigm, which is a good solid paradigm. 2) Morale system v1 - This was just basically an adaptation of what happens in AD&D (which is how I would classify Lost Soul's mechanics too). It requires managing morale as a separate system and has the same disadvantage as the Intimidate system from 4e, it creates a 'second path' to defeating monsters, with attendant problems. 3) Morale system v2 - This was basically what Tony Vargas is proposing here, that morale is some sort of a hit point penalty which creatures take when certain conditions are met. This DOES fix the issues with #1 and #2, now you have one thing to worry about, hit points. I've already stated why it is unsatisfactory, as it is ESSENTIALLY just cutting monster's hit points. 4) Morale system v3 - (this hasn't been implemented) Model morale as a positive influence on creatures hit points when they are in favorable morale situations. Thus leaders effectively heal their allies, bolstering their hit points. This would most likely have to be coupled with a system like #3 where hit points could wane due to situational factors. However that might be able to be factored into a combination of initial hit points and the effects of at least some powers. As you can see, coming up with something that is both workable and satisfactory is hard. Mostly I have come to the conclusion that it is not really worth it. Instead simply downrate the levels of weak mora...

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 07:04 PM - Cyber-Dave mentioned Tony Vargas in post Why I feel so abysmally let down by the "Ravnica" news...
    @Tony Vargas Cyberpunk is, in many ways, cynical or dystopian. It is also, in many ways, utopian. Arguments about whether it is utopian or dystopian are standard critical fair. Quite frankly, in my opinion, cyberpunk is innately ambiguous more than anything else, at least when you examine any given set of texts synchronically. I believe that a diachronic analysis is required in order to make anything even resembling a clear interpretation of the genre as a whole or a specific set of texts from the genre tenable. All that, however, is beside the point. The point is: a romantic text can be hopeful, cynical, or both. Romanticism has virtually nothing to do with how hopeful or cynical a text is. Likewise, your claim that cyberpunk and steampunk are innately different on the level of spirit is not accurate either. Steampunk largely owes its existence to William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine. That text is considered to be the foundational steampunk text. The text is, in many ways, a...
  • 02:57 AM - Hussar mentioned Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Think about what you just said Tony Vargas. You take the game, ok fine. Then you added a pre-deigned adventure. Whoops. Now I’m not playing just the rpg anymore. Now I’m playing that adventure. IOW, I can’t just play the rpg. The rpg is the game creation engine and operating system, but the actual game is that module. I don’t think you’re actually disagreeing with me.

Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 04:01 PM - Aldarc mentioned Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Oh, come now, it was a triumph of expostulation...:cool:Despite how heated many of these threads get, I have increasingly found myself drawn to many such threads in General Roleplaying Games. Because a lot of the insight on game design, game theory, and play approaches provided by you, pemerton, Hussar, Maxperson, Lanefan, Manbearcat, Imaro, Bedrockgames, Tony Vargas, among many others unlisted, has been incredibly engaging for me, as it I can apply those insights and approaches to games outside of D&D.

Friday, 20th July, 2018


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?


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Friday, 21st September, 2018


Friday, 10th August, 2018

  • 05:22 PM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Out of combat balance - skills trained and known
    Hero is a tragic example of skill proliferation creating incompetence. Even as powers were consolidated & rationalized in the 4th ed BBB/HSR to create a true universal system, skills from the other hero games and open-ended background skills from Champions II made a mess of tge system. Steve Long's tenure has only made it worse. I am very much liking the Engineering as a replacement for Dungeoneering. Adding a Dex skill I do not think will be going down that path. That looking for more Con skills and Str skills is probably a foregone bust. But another Dex skill may be viable. It could give a nice consistency for skill stats that way.

Monday, 6th August, 2018

  • 12:46 AM - aramis erak quoted Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...now, I was going to say that you can't play, say, Traveler with D&D rules, but there /are/ RPGs with which you could fairly accurately play other RPGs, by not only modeling all the same characters, challenges, and setting info, but also while aping the other game's system artifacts... ...it's a tad hilarious to do, actually. My name appears in the credits for d20 Traveller rules... T20 Traveller's Handbook. It's got some quirks, like it was playtested with half the XP rate given... so high-level play is not as well balanced as it should be. The game engine can be thought of as a system architecture, yes... but it's much more profound an impact than playing, say, Lego Star Wars on Playstation2 vs Game Cube vs Wii vs X-box. Still, lots of people talk about, "Lets go play some X-Box" without stating which software they're going to be playing.

Sunday, 29th July, 2018

  • 11:45 PM - Lanefan quoted Tony Vargas in post Suspense in RPGs
    There are at least two sides to every argument, sure. In here there are often about five, roughly equating to one per D&D edition. :)

Saturday, 28th July, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - AtomicPope quoted Tony Vargas in post Why I feel so abysmally let down by the "Ravnica" news...
    The popularity of Prime Rib goes back to the industrial revolution. So we're talking "Little Wars." So Red Box. Huh! I would guessed 1st Edition.
  • 09:02 PM - Lanefan quoted Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    There's a reason that having a GM seems like one of the big, obvious, distinction between TTRPGs and CRPGs/MMOs and non-RPGs: because a GM who overrides the rules as a matter of course (see other threads on 'fudging,' 'balance,' &c), is helpful when the rules are lacking, and the more the rules lack, the more necessary the GM. Yet there's no distinction at all, in that a CRPG/MMO still has the equivalent of a GM sitting there in the background: a combination of the programmers who write the game and the program they actually wrote. The difference is that in a TTRPG the players can (usually) interact with the GM on a personal level, where in a CRPG/MMO they cannot. Can anyone think of an RPG where the GM seems almost superfluous? Yeah, mine, some nights; when all they want to do is argue among themselves. :) Hussar - you're getting pushback upthread on your use of the word "engine" to describe what an RPG is; might I suggest "chassis" instead. Lanefan
  • 04:06 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post Mundane/Simple Fighter Pre-build
    BTW, I don't suppose there's an easy way to format a table in the board's markup that others could easily fill in, is there? Create a thread and check the 'wiki' option, then anyone can edit any post. The table markup is just basically the same as in HTML with the usual square brackets (I believe you also MUST specify a table width if you want vBulletin to render it reliably).
  • 03:21 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Morale systems
    The structure could be as simple as X successes before 3 failures, Intimidate primary, advantage: each bloodied standard enemy counts as a success... Interesting ... I kind of missed that thought.
  • 01:59 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    I know that both as player and DM I sometimes roll dice if I'm stuck for something, just to give me a nudge (even if that nudge is saying "that's a really stupid idea, don't do it!"). Completely outside the rules, and as the results of such rolls are not relevant to anyone except me I'm free to ignore 'em anyway.OK, but that's not what I'm talkking about (and I think obviously not what I'm talking about). I'm talking about a game in which - in virtue of the GM being free to narrate anything at any time regardless of rolls - no dice roll is anything more than a "suggestion" to the GM. Like buy a movie ticket?That's certainly one possibility!
  • 01:56 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    I don't think there is spectrum between a "sandbox" and a "railroad". One is a game and the other is a story.I think this is a slighlty tendentious way of putting it!, but I tend to agree with the underlying claim I call this the players railroading themselves - the GM, knowing the characters and what motivates them, can put down fifty adventure hooks and know exactly which one will be chosen.Why use the phrase railroading themselves? Isn't it just clearer to say choosing? specifying where the authorship comes from is superfluousMaybe I missed the broader context in which this comment was embedded - but given that the principal activity of a RPG is narrating events that involve fictional elements, I don't see how it can be superfluous to talk about how authors those elements and those events! If the GM authors everything that matters, what is the funtion of the players? Pure audience? One thing I've noticed too is that the player's perspective on the level of freedom available to t...

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 06:03 PM - robus quoted Tony Vargas in post Using goals to guide perception vs investigation ability checks
    Just like Spot & Search in 3e, really. Ah, not familiar with 3e but good to know.
  • 03:56 PM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    I guess it comes down to faith in the rules governing what the dice mean, vs faith in the GM. If you grok the rules and find them worthy, abiding by the dice even when a result seems, in the moment, to be off somehow is reasonable. If you find the rules impenetrable or inadequate, such trust would be misplaced. Of course all that's a little overblown (as is much concern for the topic), unless you are pretty deeply invested in the RPG expeeience.It's not about being deeply invested, or otherwise. It's that if I wanted someone to tell me a story, I'd go about it some other way than rolling dice to make suggestions as to what they should tell me.
  • 05:12 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    I've known it to happen in AD&D, 1e too, but don't think it was in the spirit that Gygax intended, rather the 'player knowledge' objection was part of the rapid shift from wargames to RPG, that had little to do with the mechanics or presentation.I agree absolutely that it wasn't intended by Gygax, which is why I used 2nd ed AD&D - which formalises the shift from wargaming to "storyteller" RPGing - as my touchstone. (The idea that it's a shift from wargaming to RPG I reject: playing D&D as a wargame is one very traditional mode of RPGing, not something that contrasts with it.)
  • 04:43 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    Dungeon World is a well known RPG that, if played in accordance with the rules, is neither railroad nor sandbox. I was obliquely asking for more examples of how Dungeon World was "both railroad and sandbox." That sounded interesting. Though he said: "...neither railroad nor sandbox"; except that I am interested in how that works also.Like dragoner said, neither railroad nor sandbox. Not both railroad and sandbox. Here's a rough account of what a railroad is: Railroad: The main events of the shared fiction are determined by the GM, either in advance, or perhaps by improvisation in the course of play. By determining and event I mean deciding what fictional elements it will include (or at least the main ones) and deciding how it starts and what important consequences flow from it. (Speaking loosely, this is "the story".) The function of player contributions to the fiction is largely to add colour (often by way of characterisation) and perhaps to determine some minor details of events...
  • 03:52 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...ard becomes both the wealthiest (it's nearly unavoidable) and the longest-serving - meaning she's made herself the star in that most of the story continuity is going to end up going through her. So, one of my old gaming buddies, before he went off D&D entirely (he became a GURPS fanatic), ended up 'stuck playing the cleric' one time and managed really well. First of all, he played an evil cleric, then he'd heal the party /very/ selectively, engineering things so that they'd all end up dead at convenient points in the adventure, and he could collect all the treasure, all the exp, and head out to recruit a bunch of new 1st level dupes to do it all over again... ...what you describe, and what he experienced, were, IMHO, degenerate cases of D&D play, they illustrate how badly wrong the game can go with the wrong DM, an embittered player, or even with the table just acquiring some bad habits.I was going to post that what Lanefan describes seems rather pathological to me, and then saw Tony Vargas's post doing the work for me! Even if one pulls back from words like "pathological" and "degenerate case", there are so many assumptions built into what Lanefan describes - about how the GM handles scene framing, about how players decide what PCs to roll up, about how the group handles party formation, about how treasure works in the game, about how "story continuity" works - that it's not worth trying to unpack them all. I'll just say that I think none of the assumptions being made there holds at my table, except for the assumption about treasure, which did hold in one of our old RM campaigns set in GH. Replacement characters seem like an issue if there's going to be this conceit that survival is a key objective. In 1e (and, I assume the other classic versions of that period), your replacement character was freshly-rolled, new stats, 1st level. But, the 'skilled play' paradigm of the day /did/ expect you to use the knowledge you'd gained in playing that character when playing...
  • 03:26 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Morale systems
    I do like that idea. It's one less odd-rule-out (Intimidate is unusual working the way it does in combat), and one more thing to do with SCs. i have been thinking most every man skill actions like the recently conceived Distract and adjusted Aid Defense and ANY skill applied in combat as a standard action need to balance directly against At-wills due to action economy or they will not get used or will get over used...
  • 03:05 AM - dragoner quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    ...but, I was obliquely asking for more examples of how Dungeon World was "both railroad and sandbox." That sounded interesting. Though he said: "...neither railroad nor sandbox"; except that I am interested in how that works also.
  • 01:54 AM - 5ekyu quoted Tony Vargas in post So I ran a 6-8 encounter day...
    I do get weirdly hung up on facts, which can be really problematic in a lot of internet discussions, I find. i give you hilarity points for that one, given previous choices you have made in this conversation. you also gets points for form. enjoy.
  • 01:19 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    Well, as long as it's easy...Here's another take: If people want to post about playing D&D, and issues that have come up playing D&D, go to town! If they want to wonder how those issues might be resolved, that sounds sensible. If they don't want to consider any of the resources that are out there, and easily discoverable, that might help solve those issues, well that's a bit odd but their prerogative. If they're going to assert that those issues can't be solved, or - based on experience only with D&D and variants - are present in all RPGs, some contradictions can be expected!
  • 01:13 AM - 5ekyu quoted Tony Vargas in post So I ran a 6-8 encounter day...
    So, the only way a choice matters is if it makes you 'better' than the next guy in some hands-down, way? Kinda zero-sum, i'n't? You mean add another layer of 'concern,' don't you? Because that is /also/ the case, still in 5e (albeit, less so than in 3.5, and more so than in 4e). If the imbalances harmonize, sure. ;) Party vs 'known' undead: the cleric turns them, and can preps spells just to deal with them, the wizard, likewise, can prep the best spells he knows, the 'known' casters can spam the spells they do know that work best in the situation, etc... You're getting into Class Tiers with that question, really. It's potentially additive, at least, sure. You saw it in AD&D modules. The undead encounters would be huge compared to other sorts of monsters, because the cleric would turn/destroy some of them, but there'd still be an encounter left. Does it always make sense to have more zombies than gnolls in a dungeon? Yep, definitely getting into Class Tiers with that point. Y...


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