View Profile: Tony Vargas - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:35 AM
    "Cannot possibly fail" is also known as DM Narrates Success, and it's not slaved to bonuses or DCs - in fact, it precedes the determination of the DC by the DM. There's no need to tweak rules to get there more often, just narrate success more often. As DM, you are /Empowered/ to do so!
    182 replies | 8490 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:11 AM
    I know you're a lawyer, not a physicist, but is that The General Theory of 4e Relativity? Or The Special?
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:46 AM
    That occurred to me shortly after my first look at 4e. It seems like a fine idea, there's nothing wrong with It mathematically... .... but I never did get around to trying it.
    56 replies | 1308 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:51 AM
    I think the question is more properly how many of them have access to economy-breaking magic. And, yeah, since that's the Realms: all of 'em.
    30 replies | 611 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:46 AM
    5e PH.
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:42 AM
    Clearly, it's a good illusion, if even you are missing it! ;) Maybe a hypothetical non-illusory treadmill would help: Bob, a veteran (1) fighter in service to the local lord(9), Bert, an apprentice (1) thief in service to the guildmaster (10), Robin a sorceress's (9) apprentice (1) who just mastered Sleep, and Robere a novitiate (1) sent by the high priest (9), are brought together to...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:13 AM
    Yes. He practically created the S&S genre, and his writing broke with tradition, he was the freak'n Henry Miller of pulp. Well, Shakespear wrote the Temest, and it's wizard, Prospero, /used a spellbook/, so, yeah, D&D is totally emulating high art, there.
    748 replies | 14352 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:46 AM
    Unless you have save:1/2 AEs flying around at high levels, then the hordes get auto-killed. It's more dramatic, since volleys from said hordes will also be quickly fatal, but it's still problematic. Yes, it does, and back to the treadmill illusion, as those minions and swarms will be of about the party's level, again.
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:37 AM
    I think it's pretty obvious that unclear rules (so hard to apply system mastery) that mention spoiling spellcasting and loss of the slot when casting in melee are a lot more melee-adverse than clearer ones that call for an AoO, risk spoiling the spell but not loss of the slot and can be circumvented with optimized concentration, which in turn are harsher than a mere OA without stopping casting...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:24 AM
    How many PH classes are two words? And any military rank is problematic as a class name. (And, again, not much point of a clone that changes the most recognizable, original bits).
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:20 AM
    I don't actually disagree, it's just that, mechanically, SCs in their final form were a robust subsystem. Just like d20 skill systems in general, not a very evocative one - since they're all essentially pass/fail. On the topic of bad names for things, I'd think twice about 'social /combat/' I think it was just a convient, pithy play on words. If they'd've picked something else,...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:51 AM
    You couldnt really do 'builds' in 1e, especially not that depended on items. And multiclassing meant significant level limits. But the point wasn't mainly toughness (though wizards get slightly tougher with each ed, too), it was casting in melee: in 1e, it was risky (though the rules weren't super clear even by 1e standards, and even clear rules could vary from table to table), and you could...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 AM
    Traditional D&D design principles put at least some value on the 14,400 uses of an at-will action you could hypothetically squeeze into a really busy 24hr day. 5e, I think, is closer to your understanding of the value of an at will than that - or cantrip designs would be different - but Zard and quite a few others are skeptical of at will cantrips as presented, and leary of any other at-will...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:24 AM
    The Warden and Avenger never gelled for me. I never did see where the former concept came from (beyond corner of Primal & Defender grid-filling - not that there's anything wrong with filling a grid, if you're gonna have one, anyway). And while the latter was clear enough I never quite got how it was intended to be played - didn't stop multiple players from having a great time playing one in my...
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 11:08 PM
    Y'know, towards the end (HotEC) more and more powers were being written that way.
    2 replies | 211 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 11:05 PM
    It's a really weird, really old issue. When D&D was naught but a misfiring neuron in Dave Arneson's brain, there was a not too popular wargaming hobby, and, since it was essentially historical reenactment on sand tables using tin soldiers, "realism" was a highly coveted - and very elusive - quality. So, when various innovations passed through the minds of Gygax & Arneson - in what order, ...
    189 replies | 15827 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 10:25 PM
    Sure, but a lot of us have been here since it was Eric Noah's and all about the 'new' 3rd edition, and have just adopted each new edition, 4e, then 5e, in turn. What's your favorite alternate to the current ed is often a close call. I nearly voted 4e, but went with 1e, because that's still where the magic lies, for me, emotionally. I could have as easily gone for 4e (pre-E), on the basis of...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 10:14 PM
    Yeah, don't make the mistake the "tactical module" did and create something for the 4e fans, based on how the game's detractors painted it. Skill Challenges are a plenty robust sub-system, what they lacked was da flavah. The best SCs I ran or played in where the ones that had been added to, creating a sort of game-within-a-game, that had the success and failure map to something more...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 09:27 PM
    It'd be a platform to produce modules and supplements compatible with 4e, and to continue to add to and develop it in the directions it was originally heading (before all the hadwringing and backsliding).
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 09:22 PM
    Paladins are rarely being played as knights of Charlemagne, nor or Sorcerers as gaining their powers from spirits, nor Clerics as issueing fatwas. Commander is much narrower, and more strongly implies just barking orders (one of the more controversial visualizations), rather than inspiration, leading by example, executing cooperative maneuvers or giving tactical advice.
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:03 PM
    Would bumping them with the note "Please move to the D&D forum" help? Is there any way to add a tag to an old thread you, yourself, started?
    83 replies | 3590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 06:32 PM
    The issue with the 4e version was the wording, which was eventually cleaned up. A 5e translation (at will, give up /action/ to grant /attack/) struggles to be worthwhile, in the hands of the Tanky fighter, because it's virtually always better to just attack, himself.
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 06:16 PM
    ( I prefer "block of tofu" ) But, no, it's not, and I'm a little surprised that 5e got away with keeping everyone proficient exactly as good with their d20 checks as they leveled. I suppose Expertise helps. Correct. Your fighter might just graduate from being smashed to paste in one round by an ogre, to being pasted by a Giant, but you hit the giant on natural iterative rolls...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 05:34 PM
    Yes! but my phone, in its silicon wisdom, had deduced - probably from my participation in way too many DEX is das Uberstat threads - that when it type CHA, I mean DEX. - technology: making our lives easier! Oh, there's still a tradeoff, it's just in choice of class, and even concept. Want or play a charismatic warrior? Too bad you CHA is 5 and your STR 9 - Maybe with that 16 INT you...
    91 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 05:19 PM
    PrCs would open up quite a lot. They'd be a powerful setting tool for the DM, since a player who takes a setting-tie-in PrC has bought into the setting in a big way. The DM could also use them to gate status - like the old 1e Lord - behind preqs, rather than just class/level or, as it currently stands in 5e, Background. The PDK-pretty nearly every sub-class on SCAG really - and the...
    91 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 04:55 PM
    I wonder if it isn't also something WotC just saw the wisdom in letting slide? The OSR movement has arguably been good for 5e, building buzz around D&D and it's status in the history of hobby games.
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 04:40 PM
    You don't, but, unless your opus is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will vanish into a void of abject indifference, along with all the money you invested in self-publishing it. ( If it actually is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will win some obscure awards for "best new game of the year" before being forgotten.)
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 04:26 PM
    Oh, that's an idea! It might also work for *ahem* 'solo' play ...
    189 replies | 15827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:27 PM
    They don't random-roll them, either. They don't have numeric stats, at all. It's numeric stats (and classes &c) in the game that are /trying/ (often unsuccessfully) to model them. When you're trying to model an archetype with a character class, though, everything that class choice touches comes up. What benefits you get from which stat, and the trade-offs that creates becomes very...
    91 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Has the virtue of simplicity. What about 'good' saves? Those could get pretty high if you added proficiency - and, if you don't, there's no progression, at all (rather than just none with bad saves).
    56 replies | 1308 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Ignoring the rules (that didn't suit you) /was/ how 1e was played, and is, IMHO, how best to play 5e, sure. ;) It's definitely not how 3.x (RaW! RaW!) and 4e (updates! DDI!) were played. For you, sure. For me, it's more nostalgia. I played 1e from 1980 through to 2e, and my 2e campaign was really more a hybrid between the two. After a 5 year break I came back to D&D with 3.0. I played...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:03 PM
    I think he said something more like, /one/ player of each ed, rather than an odd-man-out scenario, but my recall isn't perfect. They took down the old L&Ls, or I'd link it for you. It was played pretty differently at each table, as I recall! When I say 'run 5e like 1e' I mean get the same feel, use an old module just converting on the fly, stuff like that. Not translate all the...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:26 PM
    Mearls came right out and said it, in a pre-playtest L&L. Not just groups will be able to play 5e (Next) like it was their past-fave ed, but that /different players at the same table/ would be able to play their characters like they were still in their favorite respective past eds! It was total pie-in-the-sky idealism, and the effort wasn't ever really undertaken to deliver it. But, /a/...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    It's not unusual to not stick with a game that doesn't work - unless the game that doesn't work is D&D, then you don't just stick with it, you defend it zealously and re-define what a game is even supposed to be so that the way it doesn't work is exactly the way everything /should/ work, and it's all other games that have problems! Well, I've played exactly none of those, and only heard of...
    19 replies | 791 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Nothing escalates a thread to edition war defcon1 like the prospect of someone, somewhere, someday possibly being allowed to play an official 5e D&D Warlord, even if there's only a remote hypothetical possibility that it might not suck. Heck, Warlord discussion needed their own hazardous thread containment forum, here, for a while, so virulent was the reaction against even discussing...
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:28 PM
    I'd never complain about a class being 'only' Tier 2. ;) The 3.x Sorcerer, for instance, Tier 2, but a better class design with more potential for engaging play and covering more potential character concepts than the Wizard, IMHO. I can't agree. The point of psionics is that it is magic scrubbed of fantasy, religious, mystical or superstitious trappings, and draped with scientific ones,...
    92 replies | 3058 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:10 PM
    Yeah, I spun off on a couple of tangents, there, I think. Sure, but that's nothing unique. Really, /levels/, foundational to all forms of D&D and many of it's imitators, do that - the numbers just give level some mechanical teeth. Hit points, damage, and number/complexity/power/versatility of powers & feats would still support that arc, though. That's what 5e BA did, relative to 4e. ...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Well, we couldn't let the little buggers invade D&D, with their battlemagic and power crystals and percentile skills and level-less progression! I don't care if you just came looking for a better life, /go home to Glorantha!/ you stunted excuse for a troll! Do you even regenerate?!
    137 replies | 5911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Charismatic Warrior Hero is a pretty broad archetype. There are /many/ examples. You're presuming a conclusion. Archetypes and characters from fiction don't have D&D CHA, and aren't a D&D class - they are what they are - D&D can be used to try to model them by choosing stats, race, class and so forth. And it can often model them poorly, or inefficiently. Which means those universal...
    91 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:44 AM
    While I in no way begrudge folks who want them their psionic classes, for me it always seemed the problem with psionics - and the reason game designers kept resorting to novel mechanics for it - is that it's not really that different, in fluff, from magic. A lot of what people who believed in magic would have called magic, is what we'd today call a 'psychic power' (or a temporal lobe seizure, as...
    92 replies | 3058 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:10 AM
    Almost. In order to call back psionic power points, they made the encounter powers into power points that enhanced at-wills, the results were not terrible, but the exercises struck me as unnecessary - mechanical difference for the sole sake of being /mechanically/ different. The GOO Warlock even gets telepathy! So only Tier 2, then?
    92 replies | 3058 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Wow. Had WotC over a barrel and Hackmaster is what the went for? Heh. OK, looking at what they have to say, they went to the effort of teasing out "just the mechanics, ma'am" - I'm a little surprised, at time's I've looked up something in OSRIC and it seemed word-for-word identical. While mechanics vs 'fluff' are presented more clearly in 4e, a lot of the wording that holds them together -...
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:33 PM
    As I recall Hackmaster and the first OSR (OSRIC?) actually got some sort of permission? :|
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:18 PM
    I've done both over the years. The former seems like the standard assumption. It leaves each player free to create his character and give it backstory independent of the others. I find the latter quite intriguing, but you need to have players into the idea of having history with eachother in the characters' backstories. I like it for starting campaigns with that right kind of player - or...
    18 replies | 435 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:14 PM
    Yeah, that's due to past organization. This used to be PF & Older Editions, the 4e threads were started then and haven't all petered out yet. Now it's just PF. (Dunno why those other threads haven't just been moved.) Rightly, you should put this thread in the D&D forum, with the 4e tag. Until they change it again, anyway. PRD? 13th Age is often called out as similar to 4e, and...
    42 replies | 1123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 07:17 PM
    Not a 4e a clone, but an OGL that's like 5e D&D but better? But we already have 13th Age. ;P I kid, but 13A did hit several of 5e's supposed goals more squarely than 5e did, supporting TotM, for instance, balancing classes with radically different resource mixes, for another, oh, and limiting the Xmass Tree effect, and mooks, and, well, more than a few, I guess. Well sure, it was...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:47 PM
    Roll under runs into some numerical issues, like a stat of 20 being problematic, and modeling varying difficulties being a bit fraught. Open-ended bonuses and DCs leave a lot more room to work with, mechanically. A simpler, more honest solution to the 'odd stat out problem,' is just to toss them. Replaces stats with their bonuses: PC stats range from -1 to +5, end of story. I certainly...
    56 replies | 1308 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:02 AM
    It resonates with me, a bit. I feel like I run better 4e games, after running 5e for a while. I've reconnected with DMing techniques I'd had less need for in 4e. Oh yeah, what I love about 3e. I'll still play 3.5 if I get a chance to finally trot out some build-to-concept I never got a chance to play. Last time it was the mad kobold sorcerer with "imaginary friends" - and spells, from...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 04:24 AM
    Want to play Orpheus? Have a 3.0 Commoner with a kazoo. (You've got a funny hat, too, y'might just pull it off.) I think it's fair to say the system does that - both have very significant return on CHA, a Bard would conventionally be CHA-primary, a Paladin at worst, CHA secondary. To be fair, they are both explicitly optional, and not every table may opt in. Ironically, turning...
    91 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:37 AM
    Heal? or True Polymorph? Yeah, a thing called a Lawyer. That kinda shout'n can True Polymorph all sorts of legal entities... ...but... ...certainly not after those legal bills.
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:04 AM
    It's not an idea, it's the GSL. You can't clone 4e, it's not open source. It's not a limitation of the 5e (or other d20) mechanics - you can work from any open source engine, and replace most of the parts, if you want - it's a limitation of the license. You could create a 4e-ish game using a d20 OGL (any of 'em really), like 13A did, heck, you could take the Pelgrane Press Archmage Engine...
    78 replies | 2292 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 10:09 PM
    Oh, the classes are very different, even within the same source or role (or in a few cases, Bard v Artificer, frex both) - nothing much to do with the big numbers floating around everyone. The one thing big numbers do, though, is provide an often-credible illusion of advancement.. The GSL seriously complicates actually publishing (even e-publishing) any of it, though.
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Sam sure seemed like he had a high Loyalty Base. A protagonist in fantasy/myth/legend, that is a) a warrior, and b) not exclusively on a solo quest the whole time, is probably a Charismatic Fighting Hero. He may grow into the charismatic part, especially in more modern fantasy offerings which often have coming-of-age elements, or he may have only occasional, temporary allies rather than a band...
    91 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:17 PM
    Or Psionics or Artificer fans. Some of us want an Artificer who's basically just a wizard who specializes in making magic items, others want a steampunk engineer, or Johnny Sokko, or to be Q to their party's James Bond. Psionics? Magic or not? Points or slots? Should it even be a class - it wasn't in 1e! In any group of n on-line fans of x feature in y game, you probably have x^n + n^Y +...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Sorry if I mostly riff off your post for humor purposes.... Any stat or skill could conceivably be rendered moot by the DM's style or choice of setting & challenges, I suppose. I don't see why not knowing anything isn't a meaningful consequence. I mean, recalling something useful certainly is. Is the idea that you start off not knowing anything, so you might as well try? ...
    580 replies | 20979 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:19 PM
    Options like that go way back. I mean, 3e had 'fighting defensively,' sure, but back in the day DMs would assign all sorts of modifiers. Before there even was a barbarian, one DM I played with would let you 'rage' (I don't think he called it that) getting an attack bonus & taking an AC penalty - something my Druid in his game did on a number of occasions, because Celtic warriors, though not the...
    189 replies | 15827 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 06:32 PM
    Y'know, some groups have kinda done that, just organically, and it can be fun. Started in one edition and migrated to the next, with or without some in-campaign event (or time passage) marking the rev roll. My old AD&D campaign spanned 1e & 2e, but as 2e started out so much like 1e I didn't mark it in any way (though I did annoy one player by whip-sawing his exp table around, and kept an...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:53 AM
    I converted B1: In Search of the Unknown, it's about as classic a dungeon crawl as it gets. Though more weird than brutal, and it's low-level, but classic with all the crazy D&Disms you could want. OK, 'converted' is giving me way too much credit, I didn't convert anything up-front, just ran with the 5e versions of what was there... sometimes even just used the old stats, mentally inverting...
    22 replies | 852 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    For my money it's the Circle of Oak in the playtest, I got to play one and it really brought me right back to the 1e Druid, real nostalgic fun - or the "Land" Druid in the 5e PH. The Moon Druid harkens more to the 3.5/WoW/4e shape-shifting-centric druid. While shape-shifting was a legendary Druid thing, and the 1e Druid did it, it wasn't with quite the same emphasis, not mainly about hulking...
    5 replies | 390 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    I suppose you could make some arguments about leverage and so forth... Ö but, nah "just dumb" sounds 'bout right. If you're gonna cut the gnome some slack 'because fantasy,' you might as well cut the amazon some slack 'because fantasy.' If you're not, well, "realism kills," as my BBS tagline used to say. ;)
    104 replies | 2706 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 10:43 PM
    FWIW 1e halflings had a lower max STR than other races. Though, that's for the benefit if the younger generation out there - I obviously don't need to tell you that, since, as I understand it, you still run 1e by preference?
    104 replies | 2706 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:32 PM
    More like the fallout, the collateral damage - and what made forums blaze in the flames of hell, and gave mods all over the internet ulcers, of course. Not to mention the undiagnosed tragedy of Post Traumatic Edition War Syndrome. Sure, you do see continuations of the edition war in those threads, it's inevitable when you think about it. The Warlord was introduced in 4e, and it's a valid...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:29 AM
    Not a fan of TotM, but, since I don't see how it actually has any bearing, went ahead and voted for da Flavah. Bland bonuses are bland. Of course, in the olden days you didn't have to choose: your +1 sword most likely glowed (thanks, Tolkien), and your +1 armor was feather-light and needed no maintenance. 5e, likewise, has some cool options for adding extra seasoning to otherwise bland...
    31 replies | 817 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:22 AM
    Superior? Different. Willing to adopt the new can be seen as positive or negative, depending on your PoV, but it's certainly different from defending the old. Edit: But, hey, if thinking of yourself as superior matters so to you, you can always spin it hard in the negative direction, something like: former 4e fans must be a bunch of uncritical WotC apologists who automatically adopt the...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:58 AM
    They're very closely linked topics. The 5MWD is all about timing encounters vs rest for maximum advantage to full casters, and, thus, the PC side of those encounters. It was a very potent strategy in 3.x, when players would plot an attack, execute it, and retire to recover all-important spells. In 1e, it was vital to rest & recover spells frequently, just to survive 1st level. I've been...
    53 replies | 1535 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:36 AM
    There's always griping, of course, merely not adopting is a live-and-let-live 'rejection' of a new ed, if that's as far as it goes.. But, CoC notwithstanding, there was lots of edition warring here - and it's not exactly entirely gone, either. Look at how quickly 4e leading in even a trivial little poll like this drew the attacks.
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Yes, and your argument is proven wrong by the conspicuous lack of an edition war raging against 5e. I understand that you want to establish an equivalency between the more extreme demands of the playtest, and the extremes of the edition war, but they were fundamentally different: all the demands, posturing and vitriol if the playtest was fans wanting to get what they wanted into the coming...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:42 AM
    It's really just peeling another onion-layer off action declaration. Implicit in many action declarations is a reason for the choice of method that goes with the goal. If that reason is predicated on knowledge and the PC having or recalling that knowledge is in doubt, then in calling for the check the DM is just breaking down a declared action into necessary smaller actions. DMs have been...
    580 replies | 20979 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:14 AM
    To be fair, I only credit 1e with those qualities. I'd quibble with 2e, since it did pour on a /lot/ of er stuff. ;) But 1e and 5e both have something going on that isn't quantified in the rules or just the sum of the sub-systems or anything quite objective or tangible, it's the DM's freedom to explore way from the system that's a big part of it. 1e had that going for it more or less by...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Edition warring, in the brief 4e era, during the playtest, and right now, in this thread, has generally been initiated /against/ 4e. This is no exception. 4e is dead, you got to help kill it, you got to dance and spit all over it's grave. But, now, with 4e taking a /slight/ lead, in a trivial little 2nd-favorite-edition-after-5e poll, you're at it again. Why? What possible threat could...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Yes. 5e is both easy and hard. It's hard to DM, requiring a lot of skill/talent/experience/gall/whatever to just take up that imaginary absolute power and run with it - but, if you /have/ meet that preq somehow (or you just don't care), it's also /easy/ to just wield that power and have fun with it. I'm not sure if it's 'conversely' or 'by the same token,' or both, but from the players'...
    46 replies | 1833 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Not to mention liking 4e and some prior editions (I was a straight-up 4venger, but I'm also one of those old guys for whom nothing will ever match what I had with 1e, for instance - and more on that below, since you bring it up...). THE biggest reason for preferring one older edition is that it's the edition you started with. It's just a powerful emotional connection, I guess. The 1e...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Well, there is a PF forum. I suspect if you put this poll up there you might see the result you'd expect. BTW, I'm curious why you play 5e rather than 3.5 or PF?
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 04:01 AM
    Selective memory of the present? There is no edition war being waged against 5e.
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 01:51 AM
    Fans of 4e were necessarily drawn from the segment of the fan base most willing to give a new ed a fair shot. You had to be, to look past the rocky introduction and the vitriol of the edition war, and form an honest impression of the new ed. 5e's introduction was a lot more considerate and measured, there may not have been a lot of enthusiasm for Next, but when season 19 rolled around, we...
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 11:33 PM
    Consider that this is being asked in 5e forum. The most effusive praise I've heard of 5e has come from 2e fans. 0e/1e/OSR and 3.x/PF fans have their things, so may not drop by here. 4e fans, by definition, were those most willing to give a new ed a chance. So what you're seeing isn't absolute popularity of editions, but a prevalence of 2e & 4e fans within the 5e community.
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:34 AM
    One set in the alternate universe of Je ne suis pas un homme facile, for instance. Or, for us older fellas who may not have netflix, any of those 70s battle of the sexes spoofs, like Queen Kong or Star Maidens.
    104 replies | 2706 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:03 AM
    1e AD&D. Every edition since has been better in many ways, but can't compete with those early experiences.
    217 replies | 6872 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:41 PM
    You could slip in something of the kind in one of two ways that *might* not go over too badly: 1) Have SIZe and BuiLD stats chosen by the player, together they determine your characters weight, and put limits (min & max) on STRength and DEXterity. They're independent of the player's choice of assigned sex, but will probably result in gender-stereotype-conforming PCs. 2) Setting. If a...
    104 replies | 2706 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I've heard all sides in such debates way too much to get into it, there's political issues fueling different sides, and it involves autopsy-level detail that'll never be modeled with a hp system. The takeaway is that lots of things can kill you, where guns stand out is in how easy they make it, regardless of size/strength/skill of either party involved. 'cept for 4e, iff, by 'people' you...
    161 replies | 5002 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:45 PM
    Or what's appealing, sure (I recall harboring some hearty skepticism in the playtest when Mearls started going on about reaching back to early experiences with AD&D to get insight into what would make 5e appeal to new players - being a new player in the 80s or 90s has gotta be very different from being one today!). And the dynamics at the table can have a big impact. But, while 39 years (yeah...
    46 replies | 1833 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 07:18 PM
    While a 4e approach might have been as or more accessible to new players as 5e's, and might've become more so in the long run, it's failure with established fans and 5e's reversion to type means that a new generation of fans are being indoctrinated into the same expectations as the old generation. D&D as it was in the 80s, and is again today, is how it will remain for the foreseeable future. If...
    46 replies | 1833 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Obviously, the guy that made the potion has to concentrate. That's dedication. Ö or, no, wait if the potion requires concentration do you have to run it through a high-vacuum evaporator before use? Store it in a freezer?
    67 replies | 9440 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I suppose it doesn't have to be conventional black powder (in my 4e pirate game, 'thunderfire rods' used 'alchemical reagents'), and could have different characteristics, like merely smoldering when touched off outside of a gun rather than being a functional low explosive.
    161 replies | 5002 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:08 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I'm not even so sure it's that big a deal. Why do firearms have to be particularly lethal? They just punch holes in people down range. Spears punch holes in people, arrows & quarrels punch holes in people - a dagger can certainly kill, but only does a d4. Historically what made firearms so revolutionary wasn't that they were deadlier or longer-ranged than bows but that they required less...
    161 replies | 5002 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:08 PM
    In a D&D world, the bolded, above, could include: Kings, Emperors, Vassals thereof, Tyrants, humanoid chieftains, Theocracies, Magocracies, Mad Liches*, Demi-gods, Diabolic powers, and, well, Dragons if they really felt like it. I'm guessing the average attitude of governing bodies is not one disinclined to accept rampant poverty among the general populace.
    137 replies | 5911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:47 PM
    It's funny how the subject has turned to hps. The second-earliest, second-most-vicious, second-best-justified criticism of primordial D&D was that characters gaining hps through 'experience' made no sense. (Obviously that's second after 'forgetting' spells upon casting being ridiculous.) EGGs exhaustive defense of the system was a useable rationalization if you were willing to suspend...
    189 replies | 15827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:42 AM
    I'd think, if you're working back from the kind of world you want, you would be considering which spells &c to include that would support that vision, and cut those that don't fit. Otherwise you're really back to the same exercise.
    137 replies | 5911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:37 AM
    My usual advice for new DMs is play a lot first, if at all play possible with a series of experienced DMs. Playing develops familiarity with the rules, and the informal process of play (and how much both can vary from DM to DM). It lets you see what DMs do that works and doesn't work for you and for other players. And, of course, it sparks ideas, though it sounds like you already have those. ...
    12 replies | 472 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:41 PM
    He'll be fine. Ö and often to not so good effect and/or for not so good reasons Ö really, most of the time, said tradition is unexamined. OK, you deserved XP already, but you're getting it for that reference. Honestly, back in the day, I recall what we'd now call 'sharing director stance' /just happening/ as part of the GM* & player trying to get through the...
    580 replies | 20979 view(s)
    0 XP
More Activity
About Tony Vargas

Basic Information

About Tony Vargas
Introduction:
I played D&D for a long time...
About Me:
I discovered D&D in middle school, in 1980, so I was kinda on the leading edge of the fad. I played avidly through 1995 when 2e AD&D lost my interest.

I continued to play other games - White Wolf and Hero System, mostly.

Late in 1999, or early 2000, I returned with 3.0, which I quite liked from the player side of the screen - running it was a bit of a pain. I stayed with that through the full official run of 3.5, and adopted 4e with no problems, in fact, I found it as much fun to run as to play, so I started running a lot more, as well, including an Heroic-Epic campaign from 2012 through 2018.

In 2010 I started playing, then running, in Encounters program at an FLGS in Santa Clara, Illusive Comics & Games. They eventually spun off Isle of Gamers - no comics, just gaming - in 2014, just in time for 5e. (Check 'em out, they're still going strong!)

5e reminded a lot of folks of 2e, and I have to concur with that observation. I did enjoy running 5e, at first, finding it nostalgic. I ran a lot of introductory games, and converted 1e & Basic modules for that purpose, and also ran AL for a while.

As of early 2019, I find I don't have a lot of energy left for gaming (I've had some serious health challenges) and not much interest in using that energy on D&D.

Maybe I'll check back in on D&D for it's 50th?

Happy gaming and best wishes to all of you who stick with the hobby.
Location:
San Jose/Santa Clara, CA
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Santa Clara
State:
California
Game Details:
The last serious game I ran was an Heroic-Epic campaign lasting from 2012 through 2018. The second-longest campaign I ever ran, the longest being '85-'95, spanning 1e & 2e AD&D. I never did get around to a 5e campaign, just AL and one-shots.
More information:
https://www.isleofgamers.com/
My Character:
The last PC I played was Ghourah the Foresworn, a Disgraced Dragonborn Noble Bravura Warlord, Mercurial Assassin*, Deadly Trickster.







* yes, that was a terrible choice, but it fit - he worked /for/ a Mercury Dragon for a while, who turned out to be an Exarch of Bane - really, a terrible choice on a number of levels.

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
14,380
Posts Per Day
2.27
Last Post
Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system Today 03:35 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
14
General Information
Last Activity
Today 03:26 PM
Join Date
Sunday, 20th January, 2002
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0
My Game Details
Town:
Santa Clara
State:
California
Game Details:
The last serious game I ran was an Heroic-Epic campaign lasting from 2012 through 2018. The second-longest campaign I ever ran, the longest being '85-'95, spanning 1e & 2e AD&D. I never did get around to a 5e campaign, just AL and one-shots.
More information:
https://www.isleofgamers.com/
My Character:
The last PC I played was Ghourah the Foresworn, a Disgraced Dragonborn Noble Bravura Warlord, Mercurial Assassin*, Deadly Trickster.







* yes, that was a terrible choice, but it fit - he worked /for/ a Mercury Dragon for a while, who turned out to be an Exarch of Bane - really, a terrible choice on a number of levels.
Page 1 of 12 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Monday, 27th May, 2019


Sunday, 26th May, 2019


Saturday, 25th May, 2019



Page 1 of 12 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Page 1 of 16 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 05:28 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned Tony Vargas in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    I don't know about PrCs. The current MC rules already have a lot of min-max type synergy built in, adding PrCs could just make that worse. That's a design issue though, not a barrier to service. In fact, in a lot of ways, a 3-5 level MC dip functions a lot like a PrC anyway. Tony Vargas - the player controlled part is a potential issue. Maybe put the whole PrCs thing in the GMs hands and tie them in to the specific world and story. If there is a knightly order that has certain standards and whatever, then make the player work for it in character, rather than just choosing a knightly PrC based on pre-reqs.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 02:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    ...9hp is significantly on the low side for a hill giant, but the rules tell us that these do exist. This one is just significantly less tough than its brethren. It probably doesn't get in a lot of fights. Likewise, it's possible for a goblin chieftain to have more than 9hp. It's possible for the world's toughest goblin to be tougher than the world's weakest giant. But in every case, that HP total still represents its ability to withstand an impact of given force. Or, alternatively, and still well within the bounds of HP as explained by Mr. Gygax, this particular giant, while just as tough as other giants, simply lacks the connections to fate and luck needed to avoid a particularly skilled thrust made by a dwarf fighter with his trusty bastard sword on the rd of Crackrock in the Forest of Grin, land of Kinergh. It is really that simple. And when we are talking about humans who gain dozens, possibly even 100 hit points, over time, it is pretty hard to justify it any other way, as Tony Vargas has just pointed out. You are factually incorrect on this point. I played at level 16, and nothing was going down from one hit, unless it was a minion. A level 1 (non-minion) goblin has between 25 and 29 HP. As a level 16 character, my at-will arrows still only deal 1d8+10 (or so). Even my encounter powers could fail to break 25, if I rolled low. I would leave someone like MwaO to comment on this in detail, but I find it unlikely to say the least. I'm sure it is POSSIBLE to neglect your attack capability to a great degree, but even level 1 PCs generally do the sorts of damage you are talking about here (Level 1 sword and board fighter, 16 STR, long sword, making an at-will attack, and assuming the player took even one feat which helps damage, is already at 1d8 + 5, and this is a low damage output PC using his worst attack. Give him 16 levels and he's now got STR 20, and at least a +3 weapon. This already got me to 1d8 + 10 and I have EIGHT FEATS to spend which can improve on that....

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 06:10 AM - Hussar mentioned Tony Vargas in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    *ducks back in, waving a white flag* Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest. I just want to point something out iserith. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, Oofta and now Tony Vargas, all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is. I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well. I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued. I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. However, it took an actual example to see that. I guess what I'm trying to say is, continuously repea...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 02:58 AM - OlegRu mentioned Tony Vargas in post Help me with good RP/Optimization balance for Half-Elf (probably)Valor Bard (archer?)
    So from reading all of the replies, here are my follow-up ideas/questions for you guys - @Zardnaar, @TwoSix, @Mistwell, @Tony Vargas, @Treantmonklvl20 I'll format this to go by topic: Is there something you'd recommend outside an archer bard that would fit my char's style (maybe some simple-type multiclass I mentioned in the OP or something else)? Also, is a ranged bard preferable to keep him safer due to lower defense/HP and for spell concentration? Ability Scores: Cool so I'll probably take the STR10 DEX16 CON12 INT10 WIS12 CHA16 then. (I care about strength as I'd like to have decent athletics score and wisdom, again, for the skills) Although, I'm a bit worried regarding the CON - I've seen a lot of talk that it's important - for concentration I think? So in order to avoid issues casting, I should equip just a sword if I'm not using ranged at the moment, not the shield? (and keep shield around just in case, but I'm not sure when I'd use it) For armor, yeah I don't want penalties to stealth as I'd like my char to be able to sneak around in the wilderness camouflaged or hide places, so I guess the best opti...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:05 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post messy's 4e newbie questions thread
    83. do 4e elves and eladrin correspond to 5e wood elves and high elves, respectively? While I think Tony Vargas has a decent answer, I think that 4e's elves and eladrin aren't PRECISELY like anything that came before. Eladrin are more like 'Fey creatures', the 'shee' of Celtic myth in essence. They live in an otherworld, the Feywild, and often readily travel back and forth, entering the mortal world through 'Fey crossings' and such. They are inherently magical, being more loosely tied to time and space than mere mortals. Powerful Eladrin enter into the ranks of, and become indistinguishable from, the 'arch fey', a category of creatures somewhat analogous to things like demons and such. Elves, I would say, more represent something that doesn't really exist in European folklore, and is much more closely aligned with Tolkien's depiction of 'Avari' or something like that. A race which has withdrawn from its more magical roots and become essentially mundane creatures, though still with some distant connections to their ancient fey origins. There simply aren't exact parallels with AD&D elf t...

Friday, 1st February, 2019


Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 09:40 AM - Sadras mentioned Tony Vargas in post Robert Schwalb releases his version of Warlord
    Over 10 pages in a Warlord thread and no @Tony Vargas. Consider me nonplussed. EDIT: Just saw that the North American meaning of the word nonplussed is considerably different to the UK meaning of the word. In this instance it is very much the UK version being used (surprised..etc).

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 Iím not playing just the rpg anymore. Now Iím playing that adventure. IOW, I canít just play the rpg. The rpg is the game creation engine and operating system, but the actual game is that module. I donít think youíre 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.


Page 1 of 16 1234567891011 ... LastLast
No results to display...

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 10:43 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post [4e] OSR Clone
    5e PH.Well that's not a very liberal interpretation, is it?
  • 10:40 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Clearly, it's a good illusion, if even you are missing it! ;) Maybe a hypothetical non-illusory treadmill would helpI have to confess that I didn't read your treadmill word-for-word, I'm sorry - more of a quick skim to get the gist. I guess I don't think layering meaningful fiction over the maths of a RPG is an illusion. I tend to just call that playing the game!
  • 03:17 AM - dnd4vr quoted Tony Vargas in post More uses for ability scores?
    That occurred to me shortly after my first look at 4e. It seems like a fine idea, there's nothing wrong with It mathematically... .... but I never did get around to trying it. The only thing I don't like is how spells are separated into two groups: attack spells and affecting spells, one versus AC and the other gets saves. I would prefer to retool spells so they are save only, reserving AC for combat only. Since spells are usually light of sight, you focus the spell energy at the target and the save represents the target avoiding (or lessening) the effect. I am writing house-rules for AC and to remove armor from AC, granting it damage reduction instead. But this is already getting away from the OP and I don't want to derail it farther.

Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 08:18 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    back to the treadmill illusion, as those minions and swarms will be of about the party's level, again.I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? The problem is, in an accuracy treadmill, a swarm or minion still needs to be tailored to a specific level of challenge. So, while the horde of low level enemies thing is doable with minions, you have to pick the right minions for the right party, which either means making a ton of different stat sets for each type of enemy at different levels, or accept that certain enemy types are just not going to be relevant at certain levels.With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count of individual goblins. EDIT: I think one effect of the 4e approach is th...
  • 08:14 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post [4e] OSR Clone
    How many PH classes are two words?Adopting a liberal interpretation of "PH" and "two words", I came up with the following: Fighting Man. Magic-User. Wu Jen. Thief-Acrobat.
  • 06:40 AM - Charlaquin quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Unless you have save:1/2 AEs flying around at high levels, then the hordes get auto-killed. It's more dramatic, since volleys from said hordes will also be quickly fatal, but it's still problematic. No doubt! Like I said, the survivability treadmill is not without its drawbacks, theyíre just drawbacks I personally find less irksome than the drawbacks of the accuracy treadmill. I mean, ultimately I prefer horizontal advancement over vertical advancement anyway. Iíll take a system where leveling up gives you a cool new power over one where leveling up gives you a simple numerical bonus any day of the week. But for better or worse, vertical advancement is a core part of the D&D experience. Heck, even within bounded accuracy thereís a small amount of vertical advancement. But in small amounts it doesnít feel like as much of a treadmill, and feel is often more important than the statistical reality in game design. Iíd love to see D&D with a much flatter advancement curve, for HP and damage as well...
  • 05:06 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post CBLoader - a booby trap - a fix and a wild house rule part file...
    Y'know, towards the end (HotEC) more and more powers were being written that way. Melee Training sort of laid foundations much earlier but I think Themes are where we really see it happening first.
  • 05:05 AM - EzekielRaiden quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    You couldnt really do 'builds' in 1e, especially not that depended on items. And multiclassing meant significant level limits. But the point wasn't mainly toughness (though wizards get slightly tougher with each ed, too), it was casting in melee: in 1e, it was risky (though the rules weren't super clear even by 1e standards, and even clear rules could vary from table to table), and you could lose the spell automatically if hit (or even just knocked down or whatever, casting was heavily restricted). In 3e, all that could be countered with optimized concentration, in 4e you just risked an OA with range & area but not Close spells, and in 5e you just freely cast in melee. In a certain sense you could achieve builds over a long period of time--by bequeathing items from dead/levelled-out high-level characters, you can build up enough of a foundation that subsequent characters can start "expecting" certain things. That was, as I understand it, a big part of why Gygax resorted to "DM arms ra...
  • 04:59 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    You couldnt really do 'builds' in 1e, especially not that depended on items. And multiclassing meant significant level limits.Multi-classing doesn't mean particularly serious level limits eg 7/11 for an elf F/MU, or 8/8 for a half-elf F/MU, assuming decent stats. You can also build by researching spells, by pooling items, by choosing which items to keep and which to sell, etc. But the point wasn't mainly toughness (though wizards get slightly tougher with each ed, too), it was casting in melee: in 1e, it was risky (though the rules weren't super clear even by 1e standards, and even clear rules could vary from table to table), and you could lose the spell automatically if hit (or even just knocked down or whatever, casting was heavily restricted).As you say, the rules aren't that clear. And you can always use wands, which tend to have good casting times.
  • 04:43 AM - EzekielRaiden quoted Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    Yeah, don't make the mistake the "tactical module" did and create something for the 4e fans, based on how the game's detractors painted it. Given my love of 4e, if I ever did make such a thing, you can be sure the "tactical module" fiasco would not be repeated. I was among those openly incensed by the way WotC handled that (and most other 4e-related things during the playtest). Skill Challenges are a plenty robust sub-system, what they lacked was da flavah. The best SCs I ran or played in where the ones that had been added to, creating a sort of game-within-a-game, that had the success and failure map to something more concrete, in the fiction, that could be readily tracked by all players at the table. I disagree. They have nowhere near the level of support that combat encounters have. That's what I want. Skill Challenges are good for generic skill-related stuff, or as a template for off-the-cuff skill-based problem solving. They are nowhere near good enough to be even a shadow of the str...
  • 04:28 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Actually, with decent hps regardless of CON, and Close spells that could be cast safely in melee - barring the 1e MU casting Tenser's Transformation or Shapechange - yeah, he did. (So, for that matter does the max-concentration 3e Wizard... and the heavy-armored 5e Mountain Dwarf Abjurer.)If you build for it, sure. Which you can do in AD&D as a F/MU, or using powerful Bracers of Defence, or . . . But the wizard/invoker in my 4e game didn't strike me as particularly atypical - and has always had Thunderwave ready to hand - but gets absolutely pasted in melee. That the precise consistency of the paste might differ from its AD&D analogue seems a secondary point.
  • 04:21 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post [4e] OSR Clone
    Commander is much narrower, and more strongly implies just barking orders (one of the more controversial visualizations), rather than inspiration, leading by example, executing cooperative maneuvers or giving tactical advice.Hence battle captain!

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 10:56 PM - Hexmage-EN quoted Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    Skill Challenges are a plenty robust sub-system, what they lacked was da flavah. The best SCs I ran or played in where the ones that had been added to, creating a sort of game-within-a-game, that had the success and failure map to something more concrete, in the fiction, that could be readily tracked by all players at the table. I know all the best skill challenges I've ever heard of have been ones that used the base system as loose guideline and then added different spins on it.
  • 05:51 PM - Retreater quoted Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    You don't, but, unless your opus is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will vanish into a void of abject indifference, along with all the money you invested in self-publishing it. ( If it actually is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will win some obscure awards for "best new game of the year" before being forgotten.) It's likely going to be forgotten in any case. You might as well do what you love.
  • 04:26 PM - MechaPilot quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Nod. And, if you always face exactly at-level foes. . . If you always face exactly at-level foes, I'd personally call that boring adventure design. On a per day basis, some encounters should be below level, some should be at level, and some should be above level. On a per adventure basis, some should also be so far above or below level that they're either a total breeze or so deadly the party shouldn't fight them.
  • 03:32 PM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    And, hey, why not go the other way: Toying With Them: "I am going to duel him left-handed, otherwise Ö is over too quick." Faced with contemptible foes, you decide to make it interesting, striding unconcerned about the field, and trying showy tricks you wouldn't risk against a real threat. For some reason this reminded me of Runequest where they track closely "how" you advance perhaps the above tricks might allow one to gain experience fighting foes which are significantly beneath your capability when otherwise the DM wouldn't grant them.
  • 08:47 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Tony Vargas in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    They don't random-roll them, either. They don't have numeric stats, at all. It's numeric stats (and classes &c) in the game that are /trying/ (often unsuccessfully) to model them. When you're trying to model an archetype with a character class, though, everything that class choice touches comes up. What benefits you get from which stat, and the trade-offs that creates becomes very relevant. So if you're trying to model a concept that's pretty good in melee, and "inspiring" to a significant degree, a class that gives lots of benefits for STR or DEX, but virtually none for DEX wouldn't be great. While one that gives benefits for STR & DEX both - though still not able to 'afford' maxing both, at least faces a more practicable trade-off when balancing the two. (I assume you mean STR and CHA?) The point: if you random roll, there IS NO TRADE OFF. Ergo, Random Roll is much better at modelling fictional heroes than Point Buy. The reason you feel the rules are "unsuccessfully" trying to model t...
  • 07:52 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post [4e] OSR Clone
    at time's I've looked up something in OSRIC and it seemed word-for-word identical.Well, some people think that OSRIC is on the margins (or crossing the margins) of copyright infringement. S'mon and I have discussed this before - I'm a bit more doubtful of its legality than S'mon but he's the better IP lawyer of the two of us - so probably it's OK! (If only just.)
  • 03:25 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Hit points, damage, and number/complexity/power/versatility of powers & feats would still support that arc, though. That's what 5e BA did, relative to 4e. I tamped down the impact of level on d20 checks, and inflated hp/damage and spell progressions.Yes. I'm not sure a hit-points/damage "treadmill" is inherently more virtuous than a to-hit/defence "treadmill". And it seems to have some side-effects ("sack of hp" monsters, for instance) that 4e largely avoided. I will concede the following: many D&D players seem to regard a +2 to hit that is (roughly) matched by a comparable +2 to AC on the GM side as an "illusion" of advancement; whereas they regard getting a second attack per round, matched by a comparable doubling of hp on the GM side as "genuine"advancement. But personally I don't get it. It's all just numbers, whether you're doing it by way of addition or doing it by way of multiplication. if you always face exactly at-level foes, it creates an illusion that you haven't progressed,...
  • 12:13 AM - Morrus quoted Tony Vargas in post [4e] OSR Clone
    Nothing snaps a h4ter back to full edition war mode Edition wars havenít been a thing for years. Language like ďh4terĒ is only used by those still trying to hang on to them. Please do not use terminology like that here again. Thanks.


Tony Vargas's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites