View Profile: Ovinomancer - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 03:26 AM
    I agree with this. How a player makes a choice for the character can tell us something about that character without a challenge. I've said this before -- choices are still good play, they just aren't challenges. There's lots of tools in the box to get character out, but the nature of message boards is the hyper-focus on a point of disagreement until it looks like the whole point to begin with.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 AM
    Wait, you're asking what detriment exists if you don't gate everything through the GM's approval? I'm going to need to sit down awhile on that one. I mean... but... really? This is, well, a bit philosophically confused. I'll let pemerton bring the big words, but you're doing a decent job pointing out that what happens in game is a fiction and therefore different from what happens in...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 12:48 AM
    This goes right back to the OP where the question was about the difference between what your character does, as in proposes an action that the DM then determines the result of, or what you character does, as in you get to say the action and the outcome. This is firmly in that former group, the thin declaration, whereby the player is essentially asking the GM to do something nice if they succeed...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:01 PM
    I think that the default for D&D is that the GM can ask the player for a change to the mental state of the PC. I think this is important to D&D because the GM enjoys broad authority to directly change the PC's physical state, and has control over the fictional positioning at all times. Therefore, this narrow player authority is both important and essentially the third rail of D&D. I agree 4e...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:37 PM
    Using D&D as tge baseline, how can I, as GM, have an NPC mauden wink at a PC and melt the PC's heart without it being an ask of the player? This is why the baseline argument fails -- D&D is a specific model, not a general one. You can't logically argue from the specific to the general. This is amplified in cases where the model is of poor skill, such as D&D and social skills. As I said...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:39 AM
    I think, in D&D, it would be a serious overstep to do so. In the scene above, the player threw me for a loop. Previously, the player had established that the character had no recollection of their time before being a thrall. But, in the scene, the player revealed that they dud recall. I had been planning to offer a way to recover memory in exchange for helping this mindflayer, but that went...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Like? I mean, you do know that the above method for D&D is straight from the rules, right?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:54 AM
    Dang it. I had yesterday in the dictionary pool. :( But, to address your bolded part above, the invitation is to do something. Can you fail to do something? Yes, especially if it's difficult or impossible. So, yeah, you, um, supported my argument with the dictionary. Even in the example, one can fail to make up one's mind. I'm keenly aware of this every time I have the marital "what do...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:51 AM
    Let me clarify, I find saving throws against charm to be "not much of a challenge" because they're boring and are heavy with force. The GM decides to have an NPC with charm, and the GM decides when to use it an on whom, and then the player gets one roll to see if they can prevent this GM chain from continuing to putting limits on their character. In other words, the only thing the player stakes...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:32 AM
    How do you have a baseline of doing something one way so that you can talk about doing it another way? Take cooking, for instance. If the baseline is using the oven, because that's the most popular, is it worthwhile to have to refer to using an oven every time you want to talk about microwaving? No, you just talk about microwaving and skip referencing everything to the oven because how you do...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:25 PM
    Why, when discussing the ways that you can do something in RPGs, should D&D be the baseline assumption? Because it's popular? That seems a silly assertion to make, that you have to assume the popular way to do something in order to talk about ways you can do something. The base here is RPGs. D&D is a big contender -- how it does things should definitely be in-bounds. But, D&D being...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:09 PM
    You're imagining bad play, and so it is bad. Go back to the example I presented about the knight and the maiden. All the results of that were from the knight attempting to do things -- ie, player initiated. All of the outcomes were due to what the player explicitly had up as stakes -- ie, player initiated. These are in game where the GM's authority is much more limited and the players have...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:33 PM
    This reads very much like someone without experience in other play trying to suggest that other play must be more limited because, obviously, their play isn't limited at all! But, let's look at the outcomes that are okay in this example above. The PCs ignore the NPC. The PCs initiate combat with the NPC. The PCs agree with the NPC. The PCs do something else entirely. All of the...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:08 PM
    It wasn't ignored. I'm saying it's not a challenge, and you're here adding support for that. As for why a challenge has to be binary, well... if you don't risk anything, ie, there's nothing you can lose, then you're not being challenged. If you can't win something, then it's also not a challenge, because you're just engaged in a choice between two bad things proposed by someone else. It's...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:02 PM
    I'm 100% for playing with integrity. But, this thread has largely been about three things -- the proposition you posed in the the OP about the difference between two types of action declaration, if a GM should have authority over the characterization at any time, and what constitutes a challenge. Your example does address integrity of characterization, but doesn't touch on any of the previous...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:17 PM
    Tsk-tsk. Given your experience in the thread, you should know better. ;)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:15 PM
    Your example is fun play. I like it, and I enjoy when such things happen in my game. What I don't see, though, is how your example illuminates the discussion about choice not being a challenge or risk to characterization. You player decided that this crisis happened, and, absent a scene or scenes where this crisis is tested in a way that the player risks their characterization, it remains just...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:01 AM
    Dude, irony.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:56 AM
    Yes, you are confused. Finally, agreement.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:34 AM
    Is there a mechanic? Can you fail? Can you succeed? There's your answer, three times over. If you play chess against yourself, is there a challenge? This is more akin to using your sole authority to determine characterization to make a choice about your characterization. You can't fail this challenge, you can just choose which side you win on.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:32 AM
    Dude, irony, again.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:28 AM
    What do you have if there's no failure, and no success, though? Not a challenge. If you can't fail, if there's no risk, then it's not a challenge. Does it have to be abject, absolute failure? No, of course not, but there has to be something at risk and that risk has to be losing that something. And here's where we're having a disconnect: you insist that the player has 100% sole authority...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:17 AM
    Actually, I think save or be charmed isn't much of a challenge, either. My argument has been that making a choice isn't a challenge if you can chose between all the choices. Even the unknown repercussions don't make it a challenge, just a guessing game. A challenge requires that something be staked and that you have a risk of losing your stakes. There's lots and lots of ways to do this, even...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Dude, irony. Those comments were made about taking things either out-of-context or imagined and then trying to pin those arguments on other posters. Like you just did to me. You cannot find anywhere in this thread (or others) where I've gotten even close to saying that telling a player to make a saving throw out of the blue is a challenge. You've erected a strawman. Have fun with it.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:01 AM
    I do, too. Weird, huh, that I'd agree with this last bit so easily, like maybe you've missed something fundamental?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:58 AM
    So, success would be maintaining your chastity and getting the girl. How pseudo-zen of you.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:54 AM
    If you cannot succeed nor fail, how are you challenged? You keep insisting that there are other challenges that don't include possibility of failure, but you haven't presented the case -- you just assert it. Show the work. Edit: multiquote is stuck
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:42 AM
    The choice is what's been presented as the challenge. This is the first instance of the example choice being part of a larger, interconnected story. Even there, I'm not clear on what you think the challenge is, or how the choice leads to success or failure at the challenge rather than just another part of a larger choice tree. I can see choice as part of an actual challenge only if you're...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Then what does a success on this challenge look like and how does it differ from a failure? You're confusing a choice, even a hard one, with a challenge. You can fail to overcome a challenge, or succeed at it, but you can't fail or succeed at a choice.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:27 PM
    If you need me to tell you what conclusion you reached that you then blamed on another poster's phrasing... well, I'm just gonna have to let you wonder about that.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:10 PM
    I didn't have any trouble understanding him. If you don't add words to what he said, you can avoid the conclusion leapt to.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Re: challenging the character concept I was using risk earlier, because it's a better framing for the issue. Are you risking your character. Challenging is so vague as to mean anything. Heck, the example of chastity versus a sword is being used, but that doesn't challenge the character at all, it challenges the player to make a choice as to what character they want to play. This isn't...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:05 AM
    Huh? Are you taking Frogreaver's meds, too? The ask is to explore the reasoning behind the sudden change, not to refute it if doesn't meet guidelines. Heck, Aebir-Toril even says they wouldn't know what to do with "lol, magic sword duh" which strongly suggests that this would just be a confusing answer, not one that's censored. Perhaps I'm wrong, and AT really is running roughshod over his...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:02 AM
    Yes, I agree, it is the weirdest turn. No one's mentioned calling the choice cheating, yet here you are arguing as if this was said. It's like before, when you tried to use "roll-playing" to dismiss arguments. I though that had to be the most ridiculous thing in the thread, but, no, I was wrong. This is going a bit further. I'm not sure if you just don't understand what's being said, or if...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:02 PM
    You're missing my point, but that's partly on me for not being consistently explicit. There are no consequences to characterization. Your characterization is not at risk. Everything you mention here is external to the character -- and, I'm not, nor have I been, talking about that. So, I get you fine, it's you missing my points.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:27 PM
    No, it isn't. If you're the only one that decides, then the concept is never at risk. There has to be a loss of control for there to be risk, and you're refusing loss of control.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:25 PM
    This is just asking permission, though, something that you've roundly rejected from the player side (ie, you've rejected that player propositions are just asking permission of the GM). So, yes, there is a difference. If you risk your characterization and the result of a failure is that you're offered a choice to go through with it or ignore the failure, then there's no real failure, here -- you...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:44 PM
    Mechanics for that risk, not that decide. There's nothing in D&D that calls into question a PC's concept except indirectly. The game isn't built to do this normally, with how it frames scenes, with how it resolves uncertainty, heck, with what it treats as uncertain. D&D is bad at this, and that's fine, because it's pretty good at what it does do. But, some games have mechanics that allow...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:33 PM
    Sure, if that's how you think characters are tested, I suppose it is boring. Instead, picture the knight on a holy quest that has sworn a vow of chastity until the quest is complete. Then, a maiden melts his heart with a wink. The knight now has to decide between his love for the maiden and the importance of his quest, and, either way, we'll learn something about this character. I think...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:04 PM
    But you're assigning that role (also) to characterization, which is misplaced. Mechanics are how the system resolves uncertainty, they're not constraints on characterization, unless you're putting undue focus on them. Here, look at this next bit: This is what I'm talking about. You, on the one hand, tell me I'm misrepresenting you looking to the mechanics for protection of your...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:03 AM
    Yes, well, I thought it odd that you started by saying that you aren't focusing too much on mechanics and then talk about nothing but mechanics and how they enable your characterization and how you couldn't successfully characterize without knowing the mechanical boundaries. I mean, yeah? Weird. And, it completely doesn't address the point I initially made that you're too focused on...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:44 AM
    So, you're not too focused on the mechanics, but you determine your characterization by your focus on the mechanics. All good, I guess.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:43 AM
    Seems you have a good handle on it and don't need my advice. Enjoy it!
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Case 1: PC in dim light, NPC in bright light -- PC makes perception checks normally, NPC has disadvantage (on vision based checks). Case 2: PC in darkness, NPC in bright light -- PC makes perception checks about the NPC normally, NPC cannot make vision based perception checks about the PC (is effectively blinded with regards to the PC in darkness). Case 3: PC in darkness, NPC in dim light...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:18 PM
    1) don't confuse DCs with contested rolls -- rolling a 33 is not a Nearly Impossible challenge, even if it's pretty much a de facto one. 2) You don't challenge a rogue with stealth challenges at this point, except on rare occasion and then well telegraphed. They are really, really good at sneaking. If you apply the stealth rules reasonably, this is just very awesome and not an "I win...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Yes! Although, you're too focused on mechanics. Just the fact that your character is at stake in more ways that just dying in combat is the real crux. Contests are just, "might my character die in this fight," but may be, "do I find out my character isn't who I thought they were at all?!"
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:09 PM
    You invited it. Hard to complain about it when you just explicitly did it.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:03 AM
    So, not a flaw if it might hurt you.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    I think it might get your table in mutiny, but most? Doubtful. As for cause and effect, well, don't look to closely at D&D, then. You might notice that you determine the effect of an attack roll and then go back and determine the cause for the description. Or, most any check, really. Other games move the check even further in front of the resolution so as to be able to resolve an intent...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:42 PM
    Yup. You're locked into a mindset that's best represented by D&D, even if you've played other games that support that same mindset (or, given some of the games on the list you presented, you've played those games and brought with you the D&D mindset and so didn't see a difference). I mean, you're defending taking authority away from the player so long as the mechanic used has the word "magic"...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 10:36 PM
    Slow down. It's not an insult. It's a statement that no progress can be made while basic assumptions are so far apart. And, yes, I love 5e's play loop. I'm a champion of it, when discussion how 5e plays. But, if you assume that's how a game should be play, it will prevent discussion of other ways to play games so long as you don't look up from it. You can prefer it, that's awesome! Go...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 07:16 PM
    So, at this point, I see that the Maxperson, FrogReaver, Satyrn nexus is doing the following: 1) assuming D&D in their arguments, and 2) confusing choice/authority with roleplaying (at least Max and Frog are). No conversation is possible so long as these are the assumptions, as these are different from the assumption set of the other side, who is talking about all games, not just D&D...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 04:12 AM
    Right, the mechanical means in most other games is that you fail a check. If you insist it must be a save against magic before you're comfortable, that seems like an overly specific exception that really isn't -- it's just an exception you've internalized as okay and so you wave it away when it comes up. Charm Person is actually far more invasive a mechanic into player authorities than most of...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 02:54 AM
    Right, because determining elements of the fiction that you're playing a role in has absolutely nothing to do with playing the role. Wait, what? Nope, it totally does. But, this is a very nice rhetorical trick where you take me talking about play preferences and pretend it's a post about the definition of roleplaying.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 04:45 PM
    I can understand that. I feel the same way in D&D ganes, but that's becayse the only authority I have in D&D is to make thin declarations -- the DM has authority over everything. So, when the DM intrudes into my very limited authority in game, it's a massive imposition. In other games, though, I have a lot more authority as a player. Many aspects if the game are my call, from foundational...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    Let me give you another version of this: No, I don't. You're reifying magic when it's just another mechanic through which the GM, in this case, is acting. There is no 'other character' in the fiction -- they don't do anything in the fiction without a player directing them, so trying to say that because the GM is telling you what to do but using a fictional cover for the mechanic isn't...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:48 AM
    This misses that, in games where this method is used, your objections don't matter. This outcome is the truth, and the players and GM have to figure out how it can be the truth, not look for ways for it to not be the truth of the game. If you're looking for procedural truth generation -- where every prerequisite is met prior to establishing the fictional truth -- then this is going to be very...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:42 AM
    It means that you take the one the role, as in you think about how to interact with the shared fiction as if you were that character within it. No, they do not, by necessity, always determine what actions said imaginary character is taking. So long as when they have the option to make a choice they do so from within the role, this is roleplaying. When and how they get choices has nothing...
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    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:51 AM
    I'll leave this here again for FrogReaver, as he seems to have missed it on his last pass.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:45 PM
    We're not in disagreement at all. I said that in 5e players have authority to make their own thin declarations, except in some specific circumstances. While my preference wouldn't be what you presented, it's not an uncommon example of play. And, your AW example is dead on what I've been saying about DM directing PC action on a failure in some games. So, nope, not much, if any,...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:32 AM
    Magic is just a game mechanic, though. You could say "social check" or "Tuesday" or "Bob did it" with exactly as much explanatory power as to how the game works. "Magic" is just a fictional label.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 10:57 AM
    Roleplaying is simply taking on an imaginary role in a shared fiction. There are a number of ways of doing this, including acting, therapy, and playing games. A roleplaying gane is one where the players roleplay a character(s) in the game and where the player is expected to advocate for their character. None of this is impacted by a GM being able to declare actions for a PC in some...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:20 AM
    Yup. No change. Have you tried to log in and post and had success?
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    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:15 AM
    Strongly disagree with this. You've defined 'roleplaying' as 'how I prefer to play' and not in any terms outside of your preferences. Burning Wheel is very much a role-playing game and yet has mechanics where the DM can indeed direct a PC's action. This is because it's play loop is contested truth statements, and the winner of the roll gets their statement as truth. On the GM side, this can...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:12 AM
    See, I disagree. Without asking for specific duties and authorities that constitute the "GM role", we can say that whatever these are they must be severable -- ie, exercising one of these authorities does not necessarily entail the ability to exercise all of the authorities. In fact, in many games with a GM, the specific authorities are defined and do not constitute the same set of authorities....
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    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:51 AM
    Morrus, Oooh, getting closer! Nope, can't post, and almost all the threads show as unread. If I click 'mark forum as read' it does so, until I refresh the page, then they're all unread again. There hasn't been a new post since the 26th, which is unusual.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:09 PM
    Is there, maybe, a middle ground between 'I pull my sword" and the entirely of what you posit? Could, maybe, discussion happen about things in that middle ground? In other words, no, you can't do the bottom in any game, but that's because you're not engaging the fiction of the scene or the genre of the game and are, in fact, being a jerk. Can we please dispense with the "but if a jerk does it"...
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    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:01 PM
    That is, indeed, one way it happens, and one of the ways pemerton noted in his OP. There are other ways, though, like the other one in the OP, that you've dismissed as a falsehood. Given that it exists in a number of games, and can exist in even more, you should reconsider whether or not you've grasped the intent of the OP and whether or not you're the one engaged in a falsehood. As pemerton...
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    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 05:41 AM
    Yes? How does this advance a discussion about the differences in play who chooses makes? A good example of a game that can go either way, look to 4e, which has a split personality depending on which method of outcome resolution you choose. So, no, it's not always about the game you've chosen -- there are opportunities in a number of games to let choice of outcome drift. I let this drift in...
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    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 05:36 AM
    Yes, and the topic is about who gets to choose the outcome -- the GM or the player.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:54 AM
    You know, thinking on this a bit more, I'm not sure where the resolution mechanic comes in. Are you talking about the outcome on a successful resolution? I'd guess you are, but it's best to be clear. Note that I'd lump, "saying yes" under successful resolution.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:52 AM
    Sounds like you have half of it down pat. Now, you need to work on grasping how the player determines the outcome of the wink rather than the GM.
    645 replies | 16336 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 01:19 PM
    That it's a according to preference. Firstly, I agree with the way you've presented this -- so no issues at all with how you've explained the difference in approach. That said, the choice is really a matter of preference. There's two different kinds of games going on here, with different play goals, and that means that it's the play goals that are making the choice, not the actual mechanic. ...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 12:26 PM
    Course it doesn't. Then it wouldn't be fun!
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 03:36 AM
    Morrus I know it's low priority, but CM is straight up broken today. I tried to post something and it said "This forum requires that you wait 30 seconds between posts. Please try again in 37372418 seconds." That's not a typo, I C&P'd it. Also, thread read status is broken in all subforums (everything shows as unread and won't change), recent threads aren't showing, and somehow goldomark...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 10:59 PM
    Okay, so, your point is that players can't understand enough to make reasoned choices because the play loop is so fixed (who said this? Oh, no one, it's a strawman) that they can't ask questions and the DM will refuse to answer questions because, well, the play loop won't let them (again, strawman), but, nope, there aren't any jerks involved here. This is even more hogwash. For one, you're...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 09:15 PM
    No. What turns out is that this PC is capable enough at that level of uncertainty. Uncertainty does not append to the outcome of the check -- this presupposes a check -- but to the action -- is this action uncertain to be successful. What you're doing here is assuming a check and looking for uncertainty in the outcome of the check. This is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you look at...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:49 PM
    This seems... odd? You use you understanding of the approach and fiction to set the DC to double check your understabding of the approach and fiction? Let's say I think that a given approach is uncertain and seems moderately difficult. How is setting the DC to 15 a check on the above? What if I think it's super easy and set the DC at -5. How is this a check against my thinking the approach...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:21 PM
    D&D's shift is pretty sudden. There's a reason people have talked about the combat whoosh before. Otherwise, yes? Was there a point beside this extra qualification?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    The same way you determine the DC? You consider the approach in regards to the fictional positioning? I honestly don't understand this question, given you're doing the same thing only you've cloaked it inside a mechanics check and are pretending that makes it somehow more valid. I work at the level of the approach, not the specific PC. You seem to want to never ask for a roll that...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    This is so confused. You start by asking how I can tell if an action is uncertain, then repeat what I said I did as an example of how you do it. You even say you set DC based on approach! I have absolutely no idea what your question might be, as it appears the one you asked was answered by you.
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 03:56 PM
    Core play loop is in chapter 1. Everything else serves the loop. This, though, is why I said earlier that D&D does a hard entry into combat. Combat is an extended uncertainty resolutuon mechanic that is much more granular than the non-combat resolution mechanics. Yet, the DM decides when to use the combat rules when they determine character actions are uncertain and the proper resolution is...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 12:38 PM
    Totally disagree. I consider whether the action is possible in the fiction first, tgen, if it seems uncertain, then determine the mechanic. Take walking across a room with no hazards. According to you, I have to determine the controlling mechanic, determine the difficulty, and then determine success/uncertainty status. My way, I just say yes. But, this is easy, so let's go harder. Now...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 12:19 PM
    Simply put, it's the core play loop. There's no "NPCs declare actions" there. This is because that would end up being solo play for the DM. NPC actions are part of "describe the scene" or "narrate outcomes." Combat is, as I said previously, the odd case in D&D, because NPCs appear to take actions independently and leverage the same mechanics. However, if you view combat as an extended...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:31 AM
    Nope. It is the same loop, just different expectations and mechanics. The 5 step loop I presented is essentially core to most RPGs, with small edits to the scope of abilities and roles here and there. You can use the 3.x expectations in 5e -- just look at how many people on this board do so. The loop is flexible enough to even support very different rulesets. All PbtA game follow the same...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:03 AM
    Well, I can say that Bawylie isn't the jerk. He's running three games where everyone's happy using his rulings. The argument against his ruling so far sums up as "but if a jerk did it, it wouldn't work, right?" Or, some form of, "but if you were running for jerks, it wouldn't work, right?" That's the extent. You can't even argue his ruling is outside the rules, even. The core game loop is: ...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:06 PM
    Man, I do so love the "But what if a real jerk is the one running your game, how does it work then?" argument. As if the problem is the ruling, not the jerk.
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:40 PM
    D&D has always had a hard transition into combat from other play. And, D&D has always had a hard line in detail between combat and other play. Because of this, it makes it difficult to do things that are very near or even astride that line, like the situation in the OP. There will always be many that say that since you've touched on the combat pillar, the hard transition must be accomplished,...
    178 replies | 5492 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Sorry, but how is this a defense against mischaracterizing a playstyle? I mean, if this is generally applicable, all manner of things can be said to other people while avoiding the actual content being dismissive if others (and incorrect). So, really, you are 100% dead wrong - I am having a discussion with someone that seems to me 100% grounded in our play experiences. I don't doubt you...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    Thanks. I have 5ekyu on ignore, so I can't respond. You got it in one.
    63 replies | 2020 view(s)
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Thursday, 14th September, 2017

  • 06:49 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned Ovinomancer in post I want skills decoupled from stats. Suggestions?
    Feats are terrible solutions to system problems. Please don't feat-tax me just because the system failed to be able to deliver a realistic character. A feat tax (which just puts me further behind at whatever else I could have used that feat on) just to play a realistic character is just ill-conceived.The purpose of feats is to expand the possibilities for your character. I don't know what you think feats are for, if you think that any feat which facilitates a character concept is a "feat tax" and bad and wrong. Because, especially in 5E, that's most of the feats. Wanna be a linguist? Take Linguist. Wanna be lucky? Take Lucky. I don't think you have any intention of saying that Lucky is a feat tax and that the system should instead provide some intrinsic method of creating more or less fortunate characters. But I don't see any qualitative difference between that and what you're saying about Ovinomancer's Savant (which, for the record, I think is a damn elegant feat and a worthy addition to any house-rule collection).

Thursday, 7th September, 2017

  • 02:00 AM - FrogReaver mentioned Ovinomancer in post "when circumstances are appropriate for hiding"
    Ovinomancer I think we end up in the same place. It's simply that you view the standard hiding rules in combat as starting off very lenient and allowing the DM to tighten things up at his discretion. I view them the opposite. I view the standard hiding rules as being very tight and I view the rules as explicitly being given the latitude to make hiding easy. The only difference in our opinions is whether the standard in the rules begins as lenient or difficult for hiding in combat. Your evidence of course revolves around the rogues ability and the halflings ability and the wood-elfs etc. If I may paraphrase it basically boils down to those abilities being existing and the fact they would be nearly useless in a game with as strict of hiding rules as I propose. I get the logic and reasoning. My evidence is the hiding rules tell me a monsters demeanor in combat is generally that the monster is alert for signs of danger all around. The rules themselves list the DM allowing you to ...

Tuesday, 15th August, 2017

  • 01:11 PM - Sadras mentioned Ovinomancer in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    I guess my first question would be...What's the main adventure and why is it not in and of itself influencing the environment in a consistent campaign (this is why this is a hard thing to theorycraft on there's always missing info).... (snip) I almost feel like some are arguing for a consistent world but are in fact creating a non-dynamic world that is frozen in place and doesn't change with the threats, actions of NPC's and actions of PC's. Now in that type of game it does become harder to explain anything (not just encounters) that changes the status quo... but then you aren't creating a consistent world IMO, because a consistent world would change and respond to threats. The first adventure could be the tracking of an elven heirloom that was stolen from the home of a clan elder and during the chase/travel/tracking = "deadly encounters" for attrition purposes. It can be connected, it might be a story element later on, but it doesn't have to be. @Ovinomancer mentioned something similar between the travel between the FR cities. ToD have a list of travel encounters between Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep - they don't all need to tie in the Cult, but making them all deadly implies this road is super dangerous. It was established that introducing Elminster as a possible social encounter would more than likely lead to players questioning his lack of involvement in the ToD, PotA, SKT and OotA storylines (Realm Shaking Events) - since officially I think he has none (stand to be corrected on this, I dont own all the APs). If PCs are likely going to raise the question(s) then you are going to have to provide logical reason/s (world build). Why would it not be the same for deadly combat encounters? Surely eyebrows might be raised.

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017

  • 07:02 PM - LordEntrails mentioned Ovinomancer in post Why does WotC put obviously bad or illogical elements in their adventures?
    @robus, Well, as I just said, I probably didn't phrase that post well and I apologize for that. @Ovinomancer, As mentioned, I apologize if you felt that post was denigrating to people. Given that you are so ready to take me to task for rudeness, it is interesting to note that only now do you address Lost Soul's behavior. Maybe you don't think implying someone is a liar is a big deal and is only "coming on strong".

Monday, 7th August, 2017

  • 06:13 PM - Imaro mentioned Ovinomancer in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    ...utting deadly encounters in the safest places it doesn't make sense. It seems we're in violent agreement. And my point is you easily could do so if you wanted to. Encounter building and world building are two different things. D&D has rules for encounter building that can affect worldbuilding if the DM wants them to... or he chooses to use them in an absurd way (Like placing deadly encounters in a safe area, which nothing in the encounter rules states has to be done). There are no mechanics for worldbuilding in D&D that dictate where deadly encounters have to be... so again your argument makes no sense. It's a choice you are making as a DM not one dictated by your use of deadly encounters. Again, you're now arguing with me using my argument! No I'm not... you've yet to show me where the rules for deadly encounters force changes on worldbuilding. What I have seen is you choose deadly encounters that make no sense in the context you're choosing to place them in...but that is an Ovinomancer problem, not one of using deadly encounters for balance. Given you've now taken my positions to argue with me about my positions, this part is pretty moot. So you agree that it's your choices around how to use the encounter rules vs. the actual rules themselves that is causing your problems? If so yes, we are in agreement.
  • 04:27 PM - Imaro mentioned Ovinomancer in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    How about, if the PCs are mid-high level, you - as DM - decide that the random encounters are less monster based and more story/NPC based? How do they treat the diseased peddlar? What if its really a polymorphed wizard? Or a gold dragon? Have them encounter a crazed mystic who tells them their fortune? Or have them ambushed by the family of the goblins they cleaned out of that dungeon back at level 1 when they interrogated one and let him go? All of which predicate less of a random encounter and more of a planned encounter, true. But that's part of the game, or the job if you will, as DM. Three pillars. Not just combat. Because apparently the only deadly encounters involve 600 Orcs, unintelligent bestial dragons, or anything else we can come up with to purposefully break the verisimilitude of @Ovinomancer 's world. It's just too much work to create deadly encounters that actually work in the places he's choosing to put them...
  • 04:16 AM - Hussar mentioned Ovinomancer in post Why does WotC put obviously bad or illogical elements in their adventures?
    Ok, so, let's take Ovinomancer as being right. What would actually constitute "effective" guards against something(s) that can outright kill a storm giant? After all, the queen is dead and the king was abducted. IOW, the perpetrators here are VERY powerful. So, what would you actually put here on guard duty? Dozens of storm giants? Do they even have a dozen storm giants available to stand outside a door for hours on end? What would you consider to be "logical" door guards, Ovinomancer? What would be reasonable to you?

Sunday, 6th August, 2017


Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017

  • 03:12 PM - robus mentioned Ovinomancer in post Why does WotC put obviously bad or illogical elements in their adventures?
    I think this is actually hitting on a core aspect of RPG fun. Usually the quirk element that gets introduced come from the players, but in others, it comes from adventure writing. It might be more 'logical' for the guards to be elite storm giants, but I think it is most likely going to be more fun for the players if it's a couple of hill giants. It opens up more opportunities to try new and different gambits other than bringing the A-game combat. It offers a welcome change as well as, by this point, highlights how powerful the PCs have become, giving the players a chance to revel in it should they choose to do so. And that's the logic of adventure design. Sure - I guess perhaps Ovinomancer and I have players that do pay very close attention to the surrounding circumstances leading up to encounters. And try to spot deeper meanings (the scenarios I've heard my players discuss are quite enlightening!) so perhaps that's the root of our trouble. We've got players that are actually trying to understand the world they're adventuring in and that means if things don't make sense then there's a deeper meaning that they're missing and that leads to unnecessary confusion.

Tuesday, 1st August, 2017

  • 02:04 PM - Sadras mentioned Ovinomancer in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    So it is possible for worldbuilding? I mean you've given 3 suggestions off the top of your head. The funny thing is that this is exactly the default set up for a points of light campaign... which again seems to point to it being possible to have cohesive worldbuilding with a "deadly wilds" conceit. I remember the players at my table made a comment about how weak the lizardmen were, so this topic has been on my mind recently. Encounter frequency as well as deadliness of encounters is now quite a large factor for my worldbuilding. I'm not well versed with PoL, but it is easier to say areas of civilisation are safe because of technology, heroes, magic + artifacts...etc But trade routes and the less civilised areas (including that of other species such as lizardmen, goblins...etc) require some prethought/planning. Increasing the stakes to 3 deadly encounters / day means more consideration on world-building.
  • 01:16 PM - Sadras mentioned Ovinomancer in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    I agree with @Ovinomancer - To give an example @Imaro In my HotDQ campaign the adventurers were guided by lizardmen to a long forgotten temple. Along the way they encountered all manner of creatures where some where quite dangerous/deadly. For that session I followed the 6-8 encounters model. I didn't even have to make encounters deadly for it to mess with the worldbuilding aspect of it. You see, when worldbuilding one has to account how the lizardmen and bullywugs have managed to survive in The Mere of the Dead Men when its full of crocodiles, large spiders, shambling mounds, undead or yuanti hunting parties and this is before the harsh terrain. So do lizardmen and bullywugs breed relatively quickly compared to other races? Are there areas which work as safe zones (hallowed), which prohibit the undead from passing through them?...etc Now when you're increasing the Deadly Encounters ratio to 3 a day, you seriously need to take into consideration how this might impact your worldbuilding.

Monday, 31st July, 2017

  • 02:26 AM - LordEntrails mentioned Ovinomancer in post Why does WotC put obviously bad or illogical elements in their adventures?
    That's exactly what you're doing, ... There is a mirror somewhere around you I'm sure. You should try looking into it sometime. And yet when I tried to withdraw from the discussion two things happened; 1) You made an insulting wise-ass comment that attempted to goad me into continuing the discussion. So yes, to you and robus I have been condescending. You have earned such an attitude because of your comments. Ones that you have clearly stated and can not be misinterpreted. 2) Ovinomancer made a nice and polite request for me to continue to try and explain my position. So, because of Ovinomancer, I have attempted to continue to try and explain myself. At this point I would politely ask you dropbear8mybaby to no longer respond to my posts in this thread. They are not directed at you and are not for your benefit.

Saturday, 29th July, 2017


Friday, 16th June, 2017

  • 09:49 PM - Soul Stigma mentioned Ovinomancer in post Is my DM being fair?
    Ovinomancer is essentially saying that "gotchas" are bad form, and I agree. I can't sum it up much better, but I'll reiterate the point - you don't have to reveal the specifics of the threat, but never, ever, put a player in a position where they have the initiative advantage and have zero information to act upon. It's not fun for the player, just frustrating. Sent from my iPhone using EN World

Monday, 8th May, 2017

  • 08:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...e choice made, the players encounter the ogre. Scenario #1 1) The players are given a choice. 2) The results aren't fixed until the choice is made. The DM doesn't place the prepared encounter until after the choice is made. What about a random result? It's the same fundamental thing: Scenario #2 1) The players are given a choice. 2) The results aren't fixed until the choice is made. The DM determines the results randomly after the choice is made. What about when the result isn't prepared ahead of time? Scenario #3 1) The players are given a choice. 2) The results aren't fixed until the choice is made. The DM determines the results on the fly after the choice is made.Until we know what the players think will be the consequence of this choice, we can't know whether or not any illusionism is involved, becaus illusionism is about the covert exertion of influence over the content of the shared fiction. This also goes to the claims by hawkeyefan, Imaro and Ovinomancer that "story now" RPGing can involve illusionism. In "story now" RPGing, either (i) the players already know what is at stake in the choice, in which case if the GM then overrides that the use of force is overt, not illusionistic; or (ii) the players don't know what is at stake in the choice, in which case the GM is failing to do his/her job properly (ie to frame scenes that engage player-authored dramatic needs and thereby provoke PC choices) and that failure is overt. This is why the concept of "illusionism" is simply not apposite in relation to "story now"/"narravitistic" RPGing. The only way to avoid Illusionism is to ensure that any choices provided have at least two actual results. Which means the results need to be pre-determinedHuh? This is just false. Here's one (of myriad) counterexamples: In my 4e game, at a certain point the PCs were travelling through the Underdark on their quest to find Torog's Soul Abattoir. This was being resolved as skill challenge. A check (...

Sunday, 7th May, 2017

  • 09:07 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...ities for the hat being there. But again, isn't that also discouraged in Story Now games? That is, thinking of possibilities ahead of time? Based on what you've described with the Relationship role, the brother has to come into play at some point, right? I think the hat is a very cool way to go about it. So my question is this - the hat was there. Now what? Can you start to define the brother's place in the story even though he's still offscreen? Or do you have to wait until the right circumstance? There are all sorts of reasons you can come up with as to why the hat was there, but not his brother. If the brother doesn't show up now, you've just planted a seed that the brother is present in some manner. It could be any number of sessions before the brother actually shows up, right? If it were me, I would not have the brother show up yet. Right now it's just the hat. I'm also curious as to when you decided the brother's hat was on the table. 1) See my post above to Ovinomancer. I wasn't asserting my own opinion. I was soliciting yours. I may not have framed things in a way to get that across. When you say "Story Now games sort of have a higher incidence of coincidences like this," that is exactly correct. Table time for the players and on-screen time for the fiction should be spent "on the action". Baker's axiom for this in Dogs is "at every moment, drive play toward conflict." But I was asking you personally about it because I've seen a lot of concern for "realism fidelity" and "table time/on-screen time exclusively spent on 'the action' " aversion throughout this thread (not necessarily all from you). 2) See my post directly above to Ovinomancer on GMing this scenario. To help, I'm going to give you some Dog's specific GMing direction straight from Vincent Baker: a) "Follow the players' lead about what's important and what's not." b) When you create The Towns, "something's wrong (Pride, Sin, False Doctrine, False Priesthood, Hate & ...

Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017

  • 12:06 AM - OB1 mentioned Ovinomancer in post Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats
    Like others, my concern is that if we start hard coding skills with specific results these types of things won't happen as often. It's very similar to how they handle stealth. They could have come up with very concrete rules, but chose to do more vague and give the DM a lot of leeway. That encourages me to reward my players for having their characters do creative things like hanging off the ceiling to hide from the guards entering the room even though there's technically line of sight. The more skills with non-combat uses are "hard coded" the less creative the game gets. This says it perfectly. And it's why I had no issue with the Weapon feats or the Racial Feats. Skills, as Ovinomancer put it, are some of the most intentionally vague rules in the game and I hope they stay that way. Again, I'd love a generic skill master feat that gives expertise and the ability to shorten a skill that would take an action into a bonus action. That remains nebulous enough that depending on how your table rules regarding skills and actions, it would be a benefit regardless of the table.

Saturday, 22nd April, 2017

  • 07:55 AM - Campbell mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    Imaro Ovinomancer I take issue with framing design trade-offs in terms of drawbacks. The framing feels overtly hostile in a way that feel leads to debate and argument about which way to play a role playing game is superior. I am far more interested in discussion, analysis, and fruitful criticism of techniques and principles. I am more than happy to speak to the specific expectations, social environment, suitability, pain points, and risks entailed in the approach I favor most of the time. I am willing to engage with that conversation. I am not really interested in having a conversation about justifying preferences. I would also appreciate it if we could avoid bringing the popularity of various approaches into this. First, it largely ignores the particular cultural context of the greater community and geek culture in general. It also feels like an attempt to shame those who fall outside of the orthodoxy. It also does not meaningfully speak to issues of flexibility or the actual details of the exper...

Friday, 21st April, 2017

  • 08:42 PM - Ilbranteloth mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...without the NPC's motivation as well, by just using skill checks and rules to do so. But I'd rather know more, in case things go in a different direction. The NPC could go from being an incidental player to a more important part of the campaign. Regardless, the player can take care of their own motivation. Motivation is the why. Why is the character doing this? In order for me to react to the player, though, all they need to tell me is what they are doing, and possibly how. I don't need to know the why. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the DM shouldn't know the PC's motivation. Just that they don't have to. As we've already discussed, through a combination of a shared backstory and the actions and statements throughout the game, the DM will learn quite a bit about the character. And both the player's and character's motivations and such are something the DM can leverage to great effect, and I recommend it highly. But it's not a requirement to run a game. Even a good game. Ovinomancer was giving an example of secret world backstory: that the problems in Calimshan are affecting the prices of silk. Until the DM divulges this information, it is a secret. In his example, the PCs overhear merchants talking. But it's just as possible that they try to purchase silk, and can't. Whether the merchant tells them why they can't purchase silk or not doesn't matter. Sure, the PCs might be curious, and continue to investigate. Or they might not care at all. Whether the DM knows that silk is in short supply and why before the session or not doesn't really matter either. A much larger example is my use of the published APs in my campaign. Three of them are currently in progress in the campaign. Even though it's published material, being that they are active adventures that they could potentially intersect with the PCs, and they might opt to involve themselves in those APs to one degree or another, I'd prefer that they don't read the adventures. There is other material, such as th...
  • 09:28 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...il to find the goods they're looking for? But what this discussion is about is the process, at a table of RPG players, for determining when such an event might occur. not bad DMing in the slightest to have pre-determined there'll be a war in Calimshan starting last winter** <snip> ** - and things like this would need to be pre-determined just in case the party had happened to wander over Calimshan way during that time and maybe get caught up in the war. (1) Things like this don't need to be pre-determined. It can be worked out any number of other ways: * The GM might make something up on the spot; * The GM might roll on a random table (AD&D used to be big on these; so is Classic Traveller); * A player might says "Haven't I heard rumour of war in Calimshan" and then roll some appropriate skill (say, History in 4e; or Calimshan-wise or Campaign-wise in BW); * Etc. (2) I have not said a single thing about bad GMing. That is a concept that you, hawkeyefan and Ovinomancer have used. I am talking about various techniques, and why I do or don't like them in my RPGing.


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Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 04:32 AM - quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yep, I'm totally uninterested in engaging in a discussion where your basis for argument is that players are largely incapable of grasping the game and need to be coddled within your preferred style. Enjoy! Cool I'm glad you're going to lie about my position and willfully misconstrue anything I say to be something it's not. Reported.
  • 04:31 AM - Celebrim quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    No, you're a bit off, here. Almost certainly to some degree. I've never seen the rules. The GM has to be open about how and why he's picking position and effect... Ok sure, but can the players except by DM wheedling/persuasion override his choices? and the Tier level is selected by the players as part of their choice of who to run their Score against, so it's not a freely set kind of thing. That's sort of interesting. I guess. So the player's get perfect information about the mark? You don't run into a situation where you are running a con or a heist, and whoops, you realize you've just stolen funds from the city's Kingpin? Also, I'm not sure that "difficulty" is the right term, because we were discussing probability of success -- which is fixed in Blades. It may not be the right term, since I recognized that the players had a limited ability to modify probability of success (basically only by attempting moves that they were 'skilled' in). However, just because the ...
  • 03:51 AM - Celebrim quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    And, as I have a moment more to go back to this post and discuss your conjecture that such a game would devolve. This is actually well discussed as the Czerge Principle, and comes in when a player can both set the problem and propose the solution. It's most often avoided in games that allow the players the latitude to make such declarations by the reason you cite for Mouseguard -- the DM sets up the obstacles and the players' attempted solutions are tested. I find it interesting that you're familiar with Mouseguard to this extent but don't recognize a Circles test in pemerton's example. I haven't played MG or BW, but I could easily see the Circles test lurking. If D&D had anything like circles that a player had to spend resources for in chargen in order to obtain the advantage of, then sure, then sure. You have some sort of reasonable check and balance on the claim, including, as in Mousegaurd, that the GM can set the OB of the test. What bother's me about pemerton's example is less that...
  • 03:38 AM - Celebrim quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I believe Burning Wheel has these mechanics. And, generally, no, the difficulty is usually fixed with the weighting I described above. So the GM can set and adjust the difficulty in a whole variety of ways, it's just done in a slightly different fashion, success as by setting the level of success ("limited") that success will obtain and the degree of failure that failure will result in ("desparate"). Plus, you have an additional control in that you can claim that the action is one or more Tiers above the character, with a commiserate increase in the degree of success required. I don't know the rules, but I'd guess this is what prevents a player from just declaring that they summon lightning bolts from the sky and fry the guard. A high Tier character probably could, if they had the right actions, but then you'd be playing by agreement of the fiction some sort of demigod or superhero. Also, you mention the character could "burn Stress to improve the Effect", which sounds like a case of nar...
  • 03:28 AM - quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think you may be unaware of a number of games where what occurs is solely generated in play, at the table. The GM has no "plan" and is playing to find out what happens alongside the players. Then, no offence, he's not the GM. He's a player. And I'm not saying anything is wrong with that kind of play. But if the only functional difference between the GM and the players is that they defer to the GM for rulings, then all he amounts to is a player with two hats. His "PC"s are simply the opposing forces. And I don't think talking about games where everyone is kinda the GM and also kinda a player, really applies to what I was describing, and it certainly doesn't sound anything like what Celebrim was talking about. This kind of game puts a lot more burden on the players to bring the game, but often generates exciting content. BZZZT! Judgement call detected! I've been there. I've played these games. If the players are skilled and up to the task of being a GM-lite, then yeah, it c...
  • 02:22 AM - Celebrim quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Actually, there are a number of RPGs that this kind of declaration is possible in, without the use of plot point tokens. The GM can either say yes, or challenge the assertion by asking for a roll....The mechanics of these games are pretty heavily weighted so that success with a complication is the likely result of a check, with small bonuses to things the PC is skilled at. Fail forward is also the default assumption o play. Can you point me at an example. And can the GM set the difficulty of the roll?

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 06:39 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think this is malformed: you're asking if this action declaration violates a principle of the DM not controlling characters thoughts before establishing that the action declaration violates established norms on who has this authorial control. In other words, we can even reach your last question before resolving the authorial control one. And, simply, in 5e the GM has this authority, the player does not. So, again, we can't reach your last question without stipulating that the player has already broken the rules. In which case, I think your question is mooted. Yes. And also 'yes' to iserith's response. Now, in my own games I welcome this sort of thing, even though it's technically a violation of the Player/DM division of authority. If for some reason I didn't want the guard to be the Francis the player knows, it would just turn out that he's mistaken, this is not Francis. IT'S HIS EVIL TWIN!!!! Or just somebody who looks like Francis. But, anyway, it's not an action decl...
  • 11:45 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    ...hat if my chance of success is 1 in 20, then advantage nearly doubles that (39/400 is near enough to 1 in 10); while if my chance is already good, then advantage doesn't increase it as much (eg if its 50/50 it goes to 3 in 4, which is only 50% more likely; if its 4 in 5 then it goes to 24/25, which is only 20% more likely). But if I'm following properly, the general experience is that doubling a small chance doesn't, in practice, make much difference (eg because those checks don't come up often enough for the doubling to show through) while the more modest increase in to big chances does make a difference (eg because those checks come up a fair bit and already weren't too likely to fail and now are even less likely). You mean 'Bounded Accuracy?' Or the nominal easy/hard/etc guidelines?The two in combination, I think, because its the relationship between bonuses and DCs that determines the prospects of success, which matter to the viability of conflict resolution for the reasons Ovinomancer has given. Thinking through some more maths: Suppose a DC of 15 and a bonus of +1. Then the chance of success is 7 in 20, but with advantage is 231/400, or about 11.5 in 20. The latter sort of odds is enough to support conflict resolution in Burning Wheel, but the result is that the players (and their PCs) do fail a lot and hence the play experience can be pretty demanding on them. And demanding on the GM too, because it puts a lot of pressure on the GM to effectively narrate failures. I think D&D (and I include 4e here) has never provided a lot of support to the GM in narrating failure effectively. I don't have a good sense of how much better 5e might be in this respect, but if the general tendency in play is to incline towards making checks with significantly better than 50/50 odds then maybe it doesn't come up too much? I think this also touches on another corollary to your posts, that task -> conflict resolution, when well coupled, doesn't imply that a successful task ...
  • 11:26 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    My own conjecture is that a number of those who you are arguing with - maybe not all - either formed their RPGing tastes in the era of Dragonlance and then 2nd ed AD&D, or had their RPGing tastes informed by the legacy of that era (eg at 3E tables playing in a similar fashion). They are therefore working with radically different conceptions of what the GM's role is, how the players are expected to engage with the shared fiction, what the relationship is between mechanics and fiction, etc.This last bit. The conjecture that only those that agree understand is wild confirmation bias. Only those that agree will bother to defend the style, generally. It should be noted that there's really only a double-handful of posters active in this thread, which has largely separated into two loose camps. Drawing any broader conclusion from this is ridiculous.I wasn't sure - are you agreeing with my conjecture, disagreeing with it, or saying that I'm conjecturing on too weak an evidence base? The last would pro...
  • 05:51 AM - Chaosmancer quoted Ovinomancer in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    So the player who chooses not have his/her PC study the situation and instead simply to act is in many ways hostage to the GM's prior decision-making about the nature of the situation. S/he isn't making any sort of informed or deliberate contribution to the overall state of the fiction. There is a lot here, so forgive me if I'm missing some parts. But I don't see how this making your point that it is better for the DM or GM to tell you the consequences of your actions. Looking at this for example, if the player chooses to rush forward and smash the liquid containers, in the example you gave, bad things happen because the liquid was a retardent for the reaction. If the DM stops the player, and tells them the consequences, there are two options for that. 1) Vague: You tell them that breaking the glass might have negative consequences because of the arcane nature of the machinery and their limited understanding of it. This likely does not tell the player anything they did not alread...
  • 12:20 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    5e actually fights back as a system if you try to fully embrace this. The resolution mechanics in 5e differ from both AD&D (which had none asude from 'roll under stat') and 4e (which used the system such that expected chance for success/failure remained pretty static). 5e's bounded accuracy and largely defined DC structure (easy/medium/hard/etc) against increasing bonuses means that success/failure resolution works well for tasks, but isn't well suited for conflicts. That said, awareness of this can lead to GM principles to keep task->conflict tightly coupled and avoid the success at one but failure at the other. <snip> Just the ad/disad mechanics fight against doing this by making success/failure less probable.Thanks - this is a useful contribution and deals with something that I've been curious about, but on which it's hard to find clear commentary, namely, the effect of the 5e DC rules. The only thing that really caught me by surprise was the comment about the advantage/disadvanta...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 09:45 PM - Umbran quoted Ovinomancer in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    You're attacking the example of how things can go wrong, not what pemerton is advocating. Then I misunderstood the purpose of the quote, and I am not sure why it was included. Hopefully, he'll elucidate for me. Well, this is like saying that dealing successfully with the trap on the door to the bbeg lair isn't resolving the bbeg. It's asking for too much horse for the cart. I don't think so. To claim you let the players know the stakes, and then layer consequences on them later that weren't part of the proposal, is not fair. That's like, "You lost a hand of poker an hour ago. Now, give me $100 more." Knowing the liquid is important is plenty sufficient to knowing you don't want to spill it. No, it isn't. There's any number of times when a thing is important because it is a critical resource of the BBEG, that ultimately the PCs want to destroy. Maybe spilling it on the floor, ruining it, is exactly what the PCs want. At this stage, they don't know. Heck, the GM didn't kn...
  • 09:19 AM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    As a professional who must engage in travel to do my job, I very rarely find I lack a tool to overcome an issue onsite. We take drills, hardware, test equipment, etc. Long experience informs our packout. Assuming my character has long similar experience with their job and can reasonably plan ahead, I don't know why I as a player should akso have such experience. The corollary questions then become, how many tools do you take on a typical site visit that don't end up getting used? And, is this all gear that's carried by you or is it carried by/in a vehicle to be pulled out if and when required? I ask because the comparison being made is with examples of game mechanics trying to emulate limits - in some cases rather severe limits - where people are carrying only what they themselves can carry. The character isn't taking a gear-laden horse to the site of the score, for example, if for no other reason than its presence would likely be a dead giveaway that someting was afoot. :) Another poss...
  • 03:06 AM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    As a professional who must engage in travel to do my job, I very rarely find I lack a tool to overcome an issue onsite. We take drills, hardware, test equipment, etc. Long experience informs our packout. Assuming my character has long similar experience with their job and can reasonably plan ahead, I don't know why I as a player should akso have such experience. As such, I do not at all agree with what you are saying here. Cool. Let me know when it's your job to go into the UNKNOWN and face monsters, traps and situations where aren't going to be aware ahead of time what is going to happen. Then, and only then, will your personal experience be relevant here. However, addressing your point, I would think that a player is akways making chouces to "win" (whatever that means) by succeeding at their chisen tasks. Isn't, then, all play tmaimed at trying to succeed "gamist" under your definition, including, say, trying to preplan your gear to be as comprehensive as possible? In short, your ...

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 09:10 PM - Erekose quoted Ovinomancer in post Avengers: Endgame SPOILER THREAD
    Well, it appears this is incorrect, as a zero stone Thanos appears to be capable of the same feats a multi-stone Thanos could do without the visual tells of stones activating. I mean, we could argue this, but I'd have to wonder if you're looking for consistency in the movie or just defending your prior assumptions. Hulk and Tony both also had moments where they looked to be infused with power from the gauntlet, but that appeared to be more merely trying to survive the combined might of the stones, not a power-up, especially since neither of them evinced any greater ability or power afterwards. Hmm ... maybe 😀
  • 07:45 PM - Erekose quoted Ovinomancer in post Avengers: Endgame SPOILER THREAD
    There's a visual tell whenever a power stone is used. Thanos doesn't use it against Hulk, and is prevented from doing so against the ambush (until he isn't). Everything without a glow-y stone effect is just Thanos. Sorry I didn’t ignore you when you said this before and I agree that when a stone specific power is used there’s a visual tell. However, as Thanos adds each stone to the gauntlet he appears to get suffused with power that takes him a moment to control. I.e. I think he does get a more generic physical power-up as well as when he uses the stone specific powers.
  • 07:08 PM - Erekose quoted Ovinomancer in post Avengers: Endgame SPOILER THREAD
    Thanos pretty effortlessly beats the Hulk in IW, then goes on to almost beat the Stark/Strange/Spidey/GotG team ambush without the stones. Using the stones has a visible tell fir each stone -- everything else is straight up Thanos. Hmm - I’m not so sure. Thanos has the Power Stone already in Infinity War when he fights Hulk and it’s not until the beginning of Endgame where we see him fight without any Infinity Stones and he’s dealt with pretty easily (albeit he’s nearly died recently destroying the Infinity Stones). Which begs the question of how the Avengers so easily handle the individual stones when collecting them in Endgame. Guardians of the Galaxy had an ending that showed what happens if your half-Celestial and half-human and handle a single stone!
  • 01:40 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But there is planning beforehand in both. It's a matter of play focus if that planning is something the player does at the table or the character does before the score, not "authenticity" or "realism". It's a play preference, not one of "realism." Switching to "authenticity" is just more hiding the pea. This is wrong. Yes, in both scenarios the groups are picking gear in advance. In real life, however, you will often not have exactly what you need for a given situation. When you pick the gear in advance and know what that gear is, you will often not have exactly what you need for a given situation. When you pick the gear in advance and don't set what that gear is, allowing you to just pick whatever is perfect for you to use in a given situation you encounter later, you will have exactly what you need far more often than you would in real life. It's less realistic than knowing what gear you are picking before you get to a situation. As many of these things your talking about are na...
  • 11:17 AM - Sadras quoted Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But, it's kinda not. The gear mechanic is very tightly tied into all the other mechanics such that, while it may appear super loose, it generates many hard choices as well and isn't nearly as loose in play as it looks in isolation. When @hawkeyefan first mentioned the mechanic I pretty much realised how it could be used in a game and given your above post, this confirms it. It is an excellent mechanic! Hard choices and integration can be incorporated in both gamist and more authentic mechanics. But, that aside, your objection isn't one of "realism" but rather play focus. You may prefer the detailed planning and gearing and detailed encumberance, but in the fiction generated in play there's no realism difference. This is an argument about where we prefer to spend our game time. Planning beforehand ticks more realism/authenticity boxes. Play focus does not enter the conversation, it is a completely separate issue in this instance. In the same vain one could have weapon slots so when yo...

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 11:09 PM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Yup. Prefering this kind of sim play is cool, but it doesn't make the fiction any more "realistic". You can do this and still have unrealistic outcomes (the fighter that survives the fireball but none of his gear does, frex). Actually that example is quite realistic: the gear in effect sacrificed itself for the wearer. Similar to throwing a closed wooden box full of papers into a bonfire and then after a while suddenly realizing you weren't done with the papers yet - when you haul it back out of the fire the box could be burned beyond repair yet the papers inside might be mostly undamaged.


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