View Profile: Tony Vargas - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:12 AM
    I picture the specialist as being darn-near unplayable, like a 3e NPC class. Though, the mostly-daily is pedantic, I think it would work better as an all-at-will like the Stalwart. Maybe Wild-something for the mostly-daily type...? The point, though, is intentional imbalance favoring the 'Hero.'
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  • bmfrosty's Avatar
    Today, 02:56 AM
    bmfrosty replied to 6e? Why?
    I really just see it as a way they could do more printed level 1-4 adventures and more art boxes. If they were to do an art box a year with a new adventure exclusive to that art box for the duration of the year, I'd buy a new art box every year. Both something cool for the shelf, and a new adventure to jumpstart a campaign. Notes on SKT chapter 1: 1) Clear out the goblin invasion of...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:55 AM
    One of the 4e descendant threads has something very akin to that... on 4enclave.org however my experience has been it's way way too easy to yank the game into being all about the specialist mayaps the problem is they become a specialist in so many things as they level instead of staying a narrow solution.
    35 replies | 816 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:09 AM
    In a linear adventure, where there is no adventure but through the door, /forward/ would be more litteral. But, sure, more broadly, point taken. I rather like that one. I suppose that, with 5e, the penduulum has swung back to more DM-directed styles...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:04 AM
    Add some formal downtime-day requirement and that sounds like a perfectly reasonable alternative to the stat preq.
    98 replies | 2471 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:34 AM
    I suppose the idea is that you're not getting trained up in the class for a long period, like you presumably would be for your first 'Apprentice' level, but are cramming to master the new class more quickly, which requires greater raw talent? Not a terrible thing. There's enough 'traps' as it is before adding MCing to the mix...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:15 AM
    But, at 15, it's not even 'Green' yet...?
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:53 PM
    Eh ... you are correct, but in a way that makes me cringe. D&D sidesteps the idea of having to deal with unintentionally captured enemies by making foes die at zero. But if the in-game narrative holds true, it makes a weird case for every single inhabitant except the PCs. In that everythign they have ever experienced is that if you intend the last blow to be a killing blow IT IS - except for...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:36 PM
    "Judge?" They still call GM's 'judges' over there? I thought that was a 70s wargaming thing...? ...sorry... anyway... It depends on the con, and I suppose varies regionally, so my experience may have no bearing, but cons often schedule at least some time between the end of one session and the start of another, so generally, just not going over time should keep you from having the problem...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:27 PM
    If you order a creature you summoned to attack and then afterwards cast Sanctuary, does it break it when the creature attacks? If you order a paid mercenary to attack and then cast Sanctuary? If you order a party member completely not under your control to attack and then cast sanctuary?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:17 PM
    Darn it, now I have to go and agree with you. And we were having such a nice argument. ;) Sub-classes are in essence a way of hiding class proliferation. Instead of admitting you have 40 classes, some of them really kinda redundant, you bundle them under a few classes and call them sub-classes. They can, and in 5e do, stand in for specific MC combos, presumably, the most popular ones -...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:09 PM
    I was trying to hold up a darkly sarcastic mirror to the (miss)use of those terms, yes.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:47 PM
    Pretty sure it was clear that he was echoing things he knew were nonsense... but which seem to be "common use/understanding". It seems he also didn't get much out of them either but that seems different. (I kind of found Forge to be fun mental exercise of modelling those who model - LOL)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:46 PM
    Further off on a tangent, maybe I should ask in your HoML thread, but, with regard to quasi-classes, things that act like classes but combine with them, I've often thought that you could leave Role & Source independently 'floating,' so you could just choose Martial & Defender, instead of Fighter, say... But, other threads about resource mixes have me thinking if it wouldn't be kosher to have a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:33 PM
    That's certainly a thing that can happen. 3.x was big on rewarding system mastery, and 4e both invalidated that mastery and greatly reduced the relative rewards for gaining & applying mastery of it. I got less bent out of shape by that than I did when the 6th ed of Hero did the same sorta thing - though, to be fair, the challenge of acquiring system mastery was greater (and quite...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:23 PM
    Though it varies with the group, D&D /is/ a social activity, and often a lot of play time is bled off in what is essentially socializing. What isn't bled off in rules debates, protracted planning sessions, or the table-top equivalent of 'pixel-bitching,' that is. So I'd say what you're experiencing is pretty normal, and what you're seeing is the result of video-editing, maybe awareness of being...
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  • bmfrosty's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:08 PM
    bmfrosty replied to 6e? Why?
    I'm not sure the difference between what you're talking about and what's in the starter set already. There's an adventure that's the equivalent of 4 modules. 1) Ambushed by goblins and investigate their cave - brings you to level 2 2) Do quests within the town - brings you to level 3 3) Do quests across the countryside - brings you to level 4 4) Explore a dungeon - play this at level 4...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:52 PM
    It seems reasonably hostile to D&D, too, describing both as "incoherent." In this particular instance I was posting my impressions of how the boards tend to (miss)use Forge terminology. And, no, I have made a small effort, but never found much sense in the Forge. The Threefold Model made a little sense to me back in the day, but it still mainly came off as intellectualizing the essentially...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:32 PM
    It's assuming characters can do that. But, such is only optional in 5e, so when that option is exercised, the statement is "more true" in the sense that exclusivity is more pronounced and applies to more featuers. A lot of people balked at 1e MCing. Not that demi-humans could do it, but that they could do it with only certain class combos, and had level limits, and/or that humans couldn't...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:49 AM
    Yes, but I should note that Story Now doesn't mean No Prep At All. You can certainly prepare potential encounters the PCs may face. However, in a Story Now context what you would also do is a) allow for multiple pathways for "defeating" the encounter, b) make sure each encounter is meaningful to the shared fiction, c) do not pre-prepare outcomes for any given encounter, and d) do not assume the...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:24 AM
    We'll have to agree to disagree. ;)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:56 AM
    That's fine, I'm certainly not attached to the name. I can only speak from my own personal experiences, where drawing upon one's willpower to do something intensely physically demanding is a) definitely a thing, b) something human beings can do of their own volition with practice and experience, and c) not something you can do as often as you want to (i.e., its a "limited use" ability we might...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:46 AM
    Well, as I said before, I consider railroading to be much more common than most would probably be willing to accept. And it can be good fun with the right group and the right GM, so there's nothing inherently "wrong" with it.
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:41 AM
    Yep. As Tony pointed out earlier in the thread, Edition Warriors hijacked the jargon in order to demonize game systems they didn't like (in what context has "gamism" ever been used as anything other than a pejorative around these parts?). As opposed to the original intent of creative agendas, which was to talk about people's actual experiences at the table rather than dragging rules systems...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 AM
    Right, not sure you're really disagreeing with what I've said here though. ;) My larger point is 4E will be an exceedingly unsatisfactory experience when railroaded because of its encounter-based design whereas in my experience railroaded games in certain other systems will produce more enjoyable play experiences. I believe this is a feature and not a bug, as 4E definitely has an anti-railroad...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:29 AM
    It sounds like your issue is less with the concept than the name, then.
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 AM
    I'm sorry, Emerikol, but there are low-impact maneuvers that can only be used in specific circumstances but are highly effective when pulled off. This is what limited use martial exploits represent. Now, yes, you could represent these maneuvers by making a melee combat system that is incredibly detailed and complicated and give specific fictional triggers for when to pull these off. However, at...
    407 replies | 8420 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:14 AM
    True, but in this case it seems to owe to willful ignorance moreso than linguistic evolution. Its mostly the elements of 4E that make it amenable to Story Now play in general, although GMs are free to ignore much of these elements (and clearly quite a few did). I actually think the Skill Challenge framework is important here and how much it gets utilized by a 4E table (as well as how it...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:02 AM
    No, there are many options that are exclusive by class or race, for instance, or come at a different cost to different classes, etc... D&D has long moved towards classlessness, just never very far or fast. 5e is, as in so many ways, between the other WotC eds and the TSR eds, that way.
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:20 AM
    While I can't claim to be any kind of expert, I do have several years' experience training in wrestling, martial arts, and weightlifting. What I can claim, however, is that I categorically disagree with both of these statements and they do not mirror my real-life experiences in any way, shape, or form. I can also claim that other gamers I have spoken to who have similar background in martial arts...
    407 replies | 8420 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:59 AM
    Heh, nice. Here are the actual definitions courtesy of the Big Model wiki: Gamism/Step On Up: http://big-model.info/w/index.php?title=Step_On_Up&redirect=no Narrativism/Story Now: http://big-model.info/wiki/Story_now Simulationism/Right To Dream: http://big-model.info/wiki/The_Right_To_Dream Basically, in a nutshell, "Gamism" is about overcoming challenges and doing strategic play in...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:26 PM
    Exclusivity is a key feature of class systems, yes. If any character can take any feature, at the same 'cost,' you have a classless system.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:19 PM
    AFAICT from the way they get used, they mean something like: Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing. Narrativism: the Role half...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • ardoughter's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:45 PM
    I got some of my friends on to VTT play when WoTC were testing their own VTT as part of DDI (4e period) and when they canned that and my group decided that they did not like 4e I looked at a lot of alternatives. I tried them on Maptools but they decided it was too complex to learn and setup. Then Roll20 came out so we adopted but changed to FantasyGrounds when it got official WoTC licencing. ...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:44 PM
    Of course, nobody actually uses those Forgite terms accurately anyway. When people call 4E "gamist", for example, I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes. 4E is probably the version of DnD least suited to a Step On Up creative agenda. Meanwhile it maps to "simulationism" pretty cleanly with its fidelity to heroic fantasy genre emulation. All of which ignores the fact that Forgite creative...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:06 PM
    Princess Bride reference wins the thread. ;)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:59 PM
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate. And plenty of that, too, sure. ".... first casualty of war" and all that.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:42 PM
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate.
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:29 PM
    The Original OD&D 3, before the theif & paladin, map precisely to the 3 Sources in the 4e PH1. The 'Big 4' map less nearly to the 4 Roles, since the roles were so much more nearly balanced. Its been problematic since day 2, when the Thief came out, and established, that while it was OK for the magic-user to tap all the magic in genre & more ('cept healing), and for the cleric to you no...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:06 PM
    The GSL, compared to the OGL is an impediment to 3pp support. And, of course, the threat of renewed edition-war hostilities (it's not like they've really stopped, just tapered off), is an impediment to WotC. I thought OSRIC got some kind of permission? I've glanced at it, bits look to be virtually verbatim. There's hundreds of powers - per class - compared to yoinking the srd and having a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:09 PM
    To model a wider range of characters without creating a class for each. Multiclassing options move a game from the class based extreme towards a build system. 3e is an example of a hybrid of the two, though still clearly on the class side since it preserves exclusivity with distinctions like class level, favored classes and exp penalties. 5e, as always it seems when compared to 3e, is muddled,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 05:52 PM
    You are working very hard to make a clear, simple thing conform to your expectations of ambiguity and needless complexity. Simply repeating the same mistakes won't make them into a valid alternate interpretation. No, you are no longer Hidden in those instances. Once you are no longer Hidden, you are no longer Invisible to the creature that made the check or that you no longer have...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:28 PM
    In development Forerunner an OGL derivation of 4e concepts and core functionality without IP or copyright issues.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:58 PM
    I generally think I can make heroic tier characters in 4e feel pretty legendary or mythic ... how one handles minions and how both players and DMs presents things can be a huge difference. Although things could definitely be adjusted to make some of that easier.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:37 PM
    Theres always the name "Map makers who run away as much as possible and steal whenever they can til spell casters can kick everythings ass" but that is too long and the theme has already been taken.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:35 PM
    This post was removed from where I posted it in the first place so meh...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:53 PM
    They actually expand on that in the following books, it becomes more solid.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:35 PM
    But the question was not about an anachronistic weapon, or rather it was already acceptable that they had grenades. It was about a weapon that did greater damage. That's like saying an ogre's club is anachronistic because it does as much damage as a chainsaw.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 08:11 AM
    In objectives, for instance, it's quite similar. 13A & 5e are both compromise takes on D&D, harkening back to the classic game; both intent on enabling TotM by default, both trying to balance classes with different resource mixes, and both deflating bonuses... The GSL. 4e can't be cloned. 3e & 4e were both pretty explicit that players could describe their characters' gear as they like...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:56 AM
    Not if it's just one of many things a character can acquire. It was also HD, attack & save matrices, and learning another crappy weapon every 5th level, back in the day. Kits (backgrounds) & schools since 2e, skills & feats since 3e, class features since 4e... Exclusive, yes, until you get into multiclassing to circumvent it.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:25 AM
    The "lots of..." I keep hearing in these discussions. I see no indications of PF2 being that game in any sense... certainly 13A was closer, and it wasn't close, at all. You'd be in good company, but little if it. D&D is just the easiest game to pull a groupbtigether around. Want to play something better, there's no shortage of games, the problem is finding a few other former-D&Ders...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:02 AM
    The context is 4e, in which Hidden and Invisible have precise, clear meanings. Since that's the context, you have been unequivocally proven wrong. No amount if ranting, dictionary definitions, or attempts to manufacture ambiguity are going to change that. But, only when the tangent drifted into that context. In 5e, you could have this whole argument in natural language, and, in the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:44 AM
    As I've said, I'm suspicious of appeals to popularity in any form. On top of that, consider what it meant to be a 4e fan. It meant you gave the new ed a fair chance, even when negative reviews cane out, even as the edition war heated up, and misinformation became common wisdom. They gave it enough if a chance to come to understand and appreciate a very different game. 4e fans may be...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:34 AM
    Especially since your title is Heros of Myth and Legend. You doubly need to assure the awesome is explicitly enabled and encouraged. If your title was Adventurers Guild not so much or Lost Treasure finders not so much.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:08 AM
    I have monsters attack according to the monster. Some are beasts and go after those that hurt them or are the closest. Some are tactical warriors who focus fire. Some are honor bound that go one on one. Some are undead that will stop to feast. Some have area of effect attacks and will inflict additional hits to finish off opponents. Others have goals that involve defeat but aren't...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:04 AM
    Exhaustion on Death saves leaves to death spirals like Shadowrun. It starts by making you bad at EVERY SINGLE THING outside combat besides spells - because the only mechanical support for anything outside combat is an ability check (all skills are ability checks) and you have disadvantage on them. Then you become worse at combat, so you get more, and then you likely die. And because of the...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:25 AM
    I think that really is a big takeaway from this discussion taking a standard action is competing with at-wills... so aid other, aid defense, aid attack and the like have to be on a fairly similar scale because of it.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:18 AM
    The distraction of a Mark is a type of distraction and depriving enemies of opportunity actions is another 4e is very broad in this regards...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:29 PM
    Basically help someone who is focus fired on that way.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Aid defense should affect defense against all enemies if you still wanted it. I think they forgot from the ground up that the everyman abilities would effectively compete in the action economy with at-wills.
    32 replies | 1191 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:47 PM
    Give a fighter something to boost it up was my thought. True about the obsolescence of Aid Defense but they already made it automatic no roll with errata.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 05:17 PM
    If we start enumerating stunts for high end abilities (strength over X lets you do things like these) we might to let those mythic stuff happen.... but are you going to enumerate long distance teleporting that way?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 05:09 PM
    Heroes Shout, Hurl into Space, Wrestling with Death.... Quasi-Instant Social connections, Sequestering/Hiding an item, Preventing death "after they die" . I think we have a need for permission to achieve mythic extremes. This needs communicated a Mage gets it easily almost by default.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 04:38 PM
    Remember a fighter can throw an improvised rock and mark an enemy while delivering damage. If we want that to be valuable for them... it will take more. (d4 psychic damage +?) Or perhaps it can cause the enemy to grant combat advantage to adjacent creatures
    32 replies | 1191 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 04:31 PM
    I think you misunderstood what I meant maybe or maybe not. it might mean you want to take the long haul if you have high CON... but does that mean you can always choose to do so? It means you do athletics better when you can repeat and retry and take a longer time to finish ... generally where failures are allowed. Something allowing few or no repeats requires the precision. ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 02:54 PM
    Just paying attention to the taunter is kind of a basic success I am thinking a bloodied opponent might do the full switch targets and considered marked, ie if primarily a melee combatant rushing away without shifting at the taunter next turn in addition to losing opportunities as described. I am now thinking about AbdulAlhazred and his Homl with different degrees of success.' I think...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:52 AM
    Asking questions of the DM in 5e is slightly off. The PC does not have a hot line to an omniscient being (well unless he has access to powerful divinations). Rather, the player needs to declare an action - as simple as trying to remember or put together anything he might already know, or searching, seeking out experts, questioning witnesses or whatever. Once a player has an action the DM is...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:42 AM
    It's whatever/however the DM narrates it to be. I see no reason to presume that. In fact, even assuming a DEX(stealth) check will be called for is presumptuous. Any action declaration by any player of any character in any circumstance at any time can be narrated by the DM as failure or success at the DMs sole discretion. Your assumption is unwarranted, and, yes, they are.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:31 AM
    Frankly, if PF2 succeeds in appealing to 4e fans, it's more or less doomed. The level of h4ter bigotry in the community is that overwhelming.
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:18 AM
    They didn't assume feats, MCing, items, or other opt-in sub-systems when balancing, pacing, or otherwise calibrating the game. It works better without them. It is clear that they were trying to avoid some of the issues 3e had with 1-level dips and dead levels. In typical 5e fashion, the implementation was mixed. Avoiding dips erred on the side of hurting single-class builds, while avoiding...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:47 AM
    One problem of leveraging intimidate? it's almost totally open ended... Ignoring that ;) OK so the direction this is going is that Taunting could easily be a function of Intimidate (fighters might like that a lot - a rogue or bard might get some skill swap or not ) so let's examine the root effect. For those who like a visual - Verbalization as a standard action might be something akin to...
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  • The Grassy Gnoll's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:36 AM
    Tenor: Killing in the name of Percussion: De-da-dum Bass: Gruumsh! Tenor: Now you do what Gruumsh taught ya Bass: Now you die like a troll Tenor: Now you do what Gruumsh taught ya Bass: Now you die like a troll Tenor: Now you do what Gruumsh taught ya Bass: Now you die like a troll Tenor: Now you do what Gruumsh taught ya
    13 replies | 465 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Yes, totally OP. If a first-level thread dies, just roll up a new one! (I was going to say "that was good enough for us back in the day!" But, back in the day, we dialed up a BBS on a 300 baud acoustic modem.... and were greatful we could do it!!!) #getoffmylawn
    87 replies | 13361 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:16 PM
    Whatever bug causes brand new people to see really old threads should really get fixed one of these days.
    87 replies | 13361 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:12 PM
    Whoever makes the most noise on the internet, apparently. Burning books also seems to help. That's level. You can have one without the other. Class/level often go together thanks to D&D and the many games derivative of it, but they don't have to. The strength of class based systems is imposing limits & structure. If the setting demands magic work only one way, and magical abilities...
    98 replies | 2471 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 09:59 PM
    4e had some sterling qualities, balance among them, and, as you point out, clarity & consistency. But it's hard (and perhaps pointless) to point at one of them and say "most fans of this ed must like this specific thing." We just don't have the statistics to back it up. Maybe 4e fans will like PF2 if it's clear but not balanced, or balanced but not consistent, or maybe not. If what 4e...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 09:54 PM
    Lot of over-thinking going on.
    194 replies | 6299 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 08:36 PM
    The future of D&D was look'n pretty grim there for minute. But, had that been the case, and D&D been shelved for the last six years, we still might be seeing the come-back, just with the OSR & PF (mabye a more 5e-like TSR-era-evoking PF2 or Advanced PathFinder or something) reaping the rewards and Hasbro not noticing/caring. See, to me, when I read: I nod in agreement, but also think: ...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 08:20 PM
    Frightening thought: you could just have spell levels track caster levels. 1-9 spells levels over 1-10 caster levels... ...I suppose the caster class like that could be an 'advanced'/prestige/paragon class that you take as your second 10 levels...
    98 replies | 2471 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:46 PM
    Play more before you run would be the best kind of doing to learn by, but if you have essentially disposeable players available, why not? ;) If you're not running a stable group, Defiance in Phlan can be pretty easy to deal with, it's a number of relatively disconnected episodes, so you can run with different players or characters in different sesssions. One of the few I enjoyed playing in,...
    5 replies | 239 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:42 PM
    I think this isnt a bad analysis for 4e - but so far the taunts on here miss out on a lot. However the everyman abilities lack something that is implied in Bilbos taunt and it was affecting multiple opponents in a way to help allies escape (marking is certainly power oriented version) NOTE technically if someone can affect multiple enemies with intimidation telling them to attack you...
    32 replies | 1191 view(s)
    0 XP
  • bmfrosty's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:41 PM
    bmfrosty replied to 6e? Why?
    Totally would love to see new starter sets. Like yearly. I'd love to see a 2018 starter set with a new adventure that's 1-4. LMoP is amazing, but I think it would be easy to rotate it and include a new adventure and new box art. That could be done every year. I can't see reason for a 6th edition of the rules. Maybe a 5.1 as a raft of small adjustments would be good. I think there...
    144 replies | 6932 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:33 PM
    OK, one of the three examples in the OP was a spell, and I didn't notice you were addressing that one, specifically (I actually noticed Umbran's post first). Sorry.
    29 replies | 675 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:23 PM
    Apparently, the whole "Core Brand" concept that called for such an unrealistic goal was just dropped. If it had been dropped a couple years earlier, 4e may not have gotten the desperate Essentials-redesign... a few years before that, might not have existed at all. Business.
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:17 PM
    Of course, a strong point. You could simple give all healing sources more oomph, across the board.
    100 replies | 2593 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:16 PM
    MCing increases the complexity of the system and the system mastery required to use it, in exchange for that somewhat increased flexibility. Classless systems just cover more concepts without needing kludges and increased complexity. Class-based systems do have their advantages: they can be evocative of a property or genre, can make character generation more of a broad-strokes process, and...
    98 replies | 2471 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:07 PM
    I played one session of one GUMSHOE game - Night's Dark Agents - at a Game Day, like two years ago, so I know basically nothing about it. But, I did get a positive impression of how the investigative skills work, and a less positive one of combat... OK, I find it interesting that this side-discussion immediately went to using SPELLS in D&D as the analog for SKILLS in another game. ...
    29 replies | 675 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:01 PM
    True. 3.5 fans have had active support the whole time, but for maybe a year between the end of 3.5 and release of PF. 4e fans have been without active support since 2012. Maybe I need to look at it more carefully, but it seemed like casters were still basically Vancian, for instance. Avoiding dead levels is something PF was already doing, and even 5e does, sorta. So IDK... I don't...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 06:32 PM
    From the melee training thread: Engineering? I'm just wondering: I'm assuming this is from HoML, and I guess it indicates you added an Engineering skill. Why Engineering, and how many other skills did you add? Seems the answere was in this thread... So, - Dungeoneering, + Leadership, + Engineering. I don't see Engineering covering things like Kruthics & Gelatinous Cubes &c, let...
    60 replies | 2595 view(s)
    0 XP
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My Game Details
Town:
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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.
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Episodic, but with an overall plot-arc.
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My Character:
Brother Enoch, a Human Radiant Servant and refugee from a zombie apocalypse.

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

Damrak, an heroic-level Kobold Bravura Warlord.

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

Past characters include: Lt David Freeborn, a Demigod Battle Captain; Varinhal Mith'renial, a Wizard of the Spiral Tower; Blaize Fairchilde, Deva Devoted Cleric; Nappo the Lion, Gnome Resourceful Warlord; Stephano di Orsini, Brawling Fighter; Ghourah the Foresworn, Dragonborn Warlord; Kern Ilgrath, 1/2 Orc 'archer' (Slayer); Vincent Draco, Mage (Enchanter); T'kli, Shardmind Warlord|Shaman; Herrak Shield-Biter, Dwarf Berserker; Illara, Watershaper Druid(Sentinel);
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Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

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

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

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

Friday, 13th July, 2018

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

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

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

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

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

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

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

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

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

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

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

Sunday, 1st July, 2018

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

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

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

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

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

Friday, 22nd June, 2018

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

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

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

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 09:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Suspense in RPGs
    I keep thinking of the late scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. Cary Grant is with Ingrid Bergman and they have to escape her Nazi husband who has been poisoning her. But they keep drawing out the scene even though we've also seen her husband and his Nazi cronies and we know that if they don't get a move on and get out of the house both of them are in deep trouble. So there's this massive tension and you wonder if they will escape in time or she will die of the poison.But isn't this a bit like Vincent Baker's example of Babe? We're pretty sure, aren't we, that Ingrid Bergman will survive - so what exactly is generating the suspense? That's not to object to the sorts of reveals (and cut scenes?) that you mention in your post, only to wonder more about how they're related to the generation of suspense. Another issue has to do with making a RPG work - which is what I was trying to get at with Tony Vargas upthread. If the players fail their check, and so they don't get out of the house and get found by the Nazis, how does this feed into the maintenance of suspense? How does the scope for paying further costs get introduced into the play of that game at that moment?
  • 01:04 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Tony Vargas, if you really think that skills in 3E/PF are capable of carrying the same heft in play as they do in Classic Traveller (where they are the whole of the PC sheet) then I guess there's no arguing it with you! To me it seems obvious that, in 3E/PF, the main way of resolving out-of-combat challenges is not the skill system but the magic system, with the skill system acting as something of a secondary framework. This is why I made the point that an INT 2 bruiser was also the one who was able to save the data: in Traveller it is quite feasible to have a INT 2 ex-nayy guy like this one who, as a result of the lifepath rolls, happens to have Computer-2 (in the backstory: he was passably competent in the Engineering section, but when transferred to bridge duties his limitatins became clear and he was mustered out). In D&D that role would be played by a spell-user, or (perhaps) a thief, but not by a fighter or barbarian. I'm not very familiar with D20 modern, but my understanding is that ...

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 01:38 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Tony Vargas in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    @Aldarc and @Tony Vargas Just read the last page or so right quick (anymore my reading of EnWorld is extremely sporadic, quick, and bouncing around) and I just wanted to add something to clarify your discussion. I'm not a big fan of the term "fiat" to describe GMing in games like BitD, DW, etc. When we deploy the term "fiat" with respect to GMing in RPGs, we're typically talking about a game that affords a GM basically (or nearly) a full mandate, extraordinary latitude to make decisions about the mechanics and the fiction under the auspices of some very zoomed-out agenda like "whatever (the GM thinks) provides the most fun/tells the best story." So these decisions can either be somewhat arbitrary (under scrutiny) or feel arbitrary in the moment. Contrast this with games like the aforementioned BitD and DW where GMing is extremely (transparent and explicit) principle-and-premise-constrained. GMs who enjoy the former latitude will often struggle under the enforced discipline and directives of the latter (...


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Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 02:55 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Melee Training Restored
    But, other threads about resource mixes have me thinking if it wouldn't be kosher to have a quasi-class that floated free of Role & Source and determined your resource mix? I don't have a good name for it or anything, but the standard 4e AEDU version might be the 'Hero,' a dynamic character who comes through when it coutns; an all-at-will 'Stalwart' who always puts in the same solid base-line performance for his Source & Role, regardless of what he's facing or how long he's been at it; a mostly-daily 'Specialist' who's awesome in one narrow specialty and can pull out the perfect, even overwhelming, solution infrequently in that specialty as well, etc... One of the 4e descendant threads has something very akin to that... on 4enclave.org however my experience has been it's way way too easy to yank the game into being all about the specialist mayaps the problem is they become a specialist in so many things as they level instead of staying a narrow solution.
  • 02:35 AM - Maxperson quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    In a linear adventure, where there is no adventure but through the door, /forward/ would be more litteral. But, sure, more broadly, point taken. That's not precisely true. A linear adventure is one where you have to go from say A to Z. There's nothing that says that B can't also have a B1, B2, and B3, where the door to B3 is locked and where B3 has no exit. The players can get "stuck" at that door, and still go back to B and progress to C. Perhaps C has a C1, C2, C3, and C4 where C4 comes re-enters the line at E, allowing the group to progress linearly to Z, but skip D. It doesn't require one way in and one way out at all times in order to be linear. So yes, there can be adventure outside of through the door in a linear game. Not a whole heck of a lot, and it generally pushes the part forward down the line anyway, but it can and often does exist.
  • 01:47 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Tony Vargas in post How do you pronounce "bulette"
    But, at 15, it's not even 'Green' yet...? The computer sent it in a mission to find Sanctuary, so made it Clear.
  • 01:16 AM - MechaPilot quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    Add some formal downtime-day requirement and that sounds like a perfectly reasonable alternative to the stat preq. Thank you. I usually go with the standard 250 days. Although any increases to HP, HD and Proficiency Modifier are automatic on the first day. I'm also willing to credit days for certain things. For example, if you're proficient in the Arcana skill and MC into Wizard, I'll usually credit the character 50 days to represent their having some existing training in the fundamentals.
  • 01:05 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    In a 'fail forward' paradigm, not being able to open the door gets you (with some added difficulty/consequence) to where getting through the door would have (for instance, while you're unsuccessfully tyring to open the door, an enemy patrol you were hoping to avoid comes through it, and you have to silence them quickly or the jig is up).This is another example of terminology drift. "Fail forward" is a technique that was championed by certain indie designers. The 13th Age rulebook (p 42) describes it thus: A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG designers have championed this idea, and they’re exactly right. You can call it “fail forward” or “no whiffing." In Luke Crane's Burning Wheel ruleset, it is elaborated in this way (Gold edition, pp 31-32): When the dice are rolled and don’t produce enough successes to meet the obstacle, the charac...
  • 12:41 AM - MechaPilot quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    I suppose the idea is that you're not getting trained up in the class for a long period, like you presumably would be for your first 'Apprentice' level, but are cramming to master the new class more quickly, which requires greater raw talent? Depends how it's handled. I've never used 5e's MC ability requirements, but I do require finding a trainer, paying said trainer, and taking the time to learn from her to MC. If you can't get in all the training before the next adventure or session, you can get some features of the class based on how far you made it through the training. Not a terrible thing. There's enough 'traps' as it is before adding MCing to the mix... I agree about there being enough traps, but MCing is an optional rule that really should only be employed by experienced players. The section on MCing should probably point out that multiclassing in some combinations can leave a character worse off (effectiveness wise) than if they stayed as a single class. Plus, as a DM I ...

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 06:37 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    That's certainly a thing that can happen. 3.x was big on rewarding system mastery, and 4e both invalidated that mastery and greatly reduced the relative rewards for gaining & applying mastery of it. I got less bent out of shape by that than I did when the 6th ed of Hero did the same sorta thing - though, to be fair, the challenge of acquiring system mastery was greater (and quite different), and the reward lesser, than in 3e. Not sure I follow? 1. I hear you regarding HERO System. 2. Since my profession pretty much makes anything you learned three years ago almost obsolete or irrelevant, the need to pick up new things in order to be relevant and marketable helped me avoid group thinking that the switch from 3e to 4e was anything less than completely normative. Granted, that's a really foreign line of thinking to most folks. KB
  • 06:06 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    I think that attitude must have shifted. Suggestions for reskinning 5e around here go further than 4e ever did: Valor Bard for Warlord, GOO Warlock for Psion. Not without resistance from those that want the thing, naturally. Similarly, the only resistance to 3.x re-skinning of weapons I recall was bastard sword for katana - and quite a resistance it was! The difference: When the publisher puts out a game that is perceived to be hard to skin - people get bent. When the publisher puts out a game that is perceived to be easy to skin - people skin. My opinion is that folks got so hung up on losing system mastery gained over the years when playing 4e that it colored everything that 4e had to offer. My experience from being someone that's forced to retrain myself every three years at my own expense (because I work in tech) is that I was hardwired to be 4e's core audience just because of the way things went. KB
  • 01:35 PM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate.Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. Obviously, I don't put much stock in the Forge, creative agendas, GNS, Threefold theory, or Roll v Role.For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing.From "Simulationism:...
  • 08:39 AM - TheCosmicKid quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    No, there are many options that are exclusive by class or race, for instance, or come at a different cost to different classes, etc... And is there any part of this statement that is rendered any less true if a character can possess multiple classes?
  • 07:10 AM - CapnZapp quoted Tony Vargas in post Baldur's Gate Designer Leaves Bioware To Form D&D Publishing Company
    He must have decided he hates money. He probably likes moneys well enough; only he decided he had enough of them.
  • 05:33 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    all I can tell from that is you seem enjoy fun. You can also see stuff that is absent (eg no GM-authored mysteries to resolve) and stuff that is present (eg significant player contributions to the fiction, to what counts as a "solution", etc).
  • 05:18 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    AFAICT from the way they get used, they mean something like: Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing. Narrativism: the Role half if the Role not Roll debate, fanatically dedicated to the proposition that bad rules make good games, and that it is impossible to RP if you touch dice. If you must touch dice, their relationship to the all-important narrative should be as abstract & non-deterministic as possible. Gameism: the Roll opposite of Narrativism, gameists are shunned and reviled for their bizarre expectation that any RPG, by virtue of the G, could in any way be held up to any standards of what makes a game any good at all. (And, if I could squeeze any more any's into that, I would.) Obviously, I don't put much stock in the Forg...
  • 05:13 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post Melee Training Restored
    The Original OD&D 3, before the theif & paladin, map precisely to the 3 Sources in the 4e PH1. The 'Big 4' map less nearly to the 4 Roles, since the roles were so much more nearly balanced. Its been problematic since day 2, when the Thief came out, and established, that while it was OK for the magic-user to tap all the magic in genre & more ('cept healing), and for the cleric to you no healing & biblical miracles while wearing heavy armor, the non-supernatural skills & feats of genre had to be not only under-modeled but split between two classes. The martial source never recovered, not even in 4e. That's just one of the weaknesses of a class system. Class + quasi-classes like race, sub-class, Kits, Feat-chains, Backgrounds, Themes, Paths, Destinies, and Archetypes can help with that. Just classes by another name. That was the upshot of my experiment, I could call it something else, but I just ended up with effectively 3 classes, or you could call them 'power sources', whatever. A...
  • 03:11 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    The GSL, compared to the OGL is an impediment to 3pp support. And, of course, the threat of renewed edition-war hostilities (it's not like they've really stopped, just tapered off), is an impediment to WotC. I thought OSRIC got some kind of permission? I've glanced at it, bits look to be virtually verbatim. Well, there may be plenty of business reasons, or at least political ones, for WotC to shun 4e. I mean, TBH, given that they were producing a new edition, there's nothing specifically amazing about the amount support or non-support that they've given 4e really. I mean, its not like 3.x got much. They HAVE IIRC issued a couple of fancy cover 3.5 core books? That was part of the 40th Anniversary stuff as I recall. I wouldn't really have expected some sort of active support of 4e. DDI is actually STILL functional, if you had an account before 5e launched. They'll still take your money and the tools all work fine. There's hundreds of powers - per class - compared to yoinking the srd and hav...
  • 01:48 AM - TheCosmicKid quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    Exclusivity is a key feature of class systems, yes. If any character can take any feature, at the same 'cost,' you have a classless system. Is D&D a classless system?
  • 12:59 AM - heretic888 quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    AFAICT from the way they get used, they mean something like: Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing. Narrativism: the Role half if the Role not Roll debate, fanatically dedicated to the proposition that bad rules make good games, and that it is impossible to RP if you touch dice. If you must touch dice, their relationship to the all-important narrative should be as abstract & non-deterministic as possible. Gameism: the Roll opposite of Narrativism, gameists are shunned and reviled for their bizarre expectation that any RPG, by virtue of the G, could in any way be held up to any standards of what makes a game any good at all. (And, if I could squeeze any more any's into that, I would.) Heh, nice. Here are the actual definiti...

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 10:07 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted Tony Vargas in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    To model a wider range of characters without creating a class for each. Multiclassing options move a game from the class based extreme towards a build system. 3e is an example of a hybrid of the two, though still clearly on the class side since it preserves exclusivity with distinctions like class level, favored classes and exp penalties. You missed my point. You keep writing stuff with the implicit assumption that exclusivity is an essential feature of a class system and multiclassing rules in some way reduce a system's "classiness". I am challenging that assumption. It's like claiming that a bicycle with a gearshift is less of a bicycle.
  • 09:59 PM - Charlaquin quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate. Oh, absolutely. I didn’t mean to suggest that GNS and Threefold were invented for the purpose they were used for in the Edition war. They were preexisting concepts that got co-opted as euphemisms to disguise edition warring from the powers that be. It is very funny to me now to look back on the d20 vs Storyteller/Roll vs. Role wars, as Storyteller falls far on what would be considered the Roll side these days.
  • 09:44 PM - heretic888 quoted Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate. Of course, nobody actually uses those Forgite terms accurately anyway. When people call 4E "gamist", for example, I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes. 4E is probably the version of DnD least suited to a Step On Up creative agenda. Meanwhile it maps to "simulationism" pretty cleanly with its fidelity to heroic fantasy genre emulation. All of which ignores the fact that Forgite creative agendas refer to gameplay table experiences and not to actual game systems. What a joke!


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