View Profile: Ovinomancer - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    Not if you can't attack, which is the point. It doesn't, not sure why you think that's relevant. It's certainly not something U've claimed ir would claim. Thank you? You can't Dash twice seems to cover not being able to Dash and then Dash and not being abke to Dash and then Ready a Dash. It's the repetition of "Dash" that does it fir me. Also, I don't play with jerks, so I...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:15 PM
    I Readied a 2nd Dash on my turn. Being unable to Dash twice would have prevented this, as you cannot Ready an action you don't have available (a Champion Fighter, frex, cannot Ready a Meteor Storm just because it doesn't hapoen on his turn).
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 10:07 PM
    Attacking was not the goal.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 02:07 PM
    There's a thread on this that didn't resolve the situation, either, so you're telling me your ruling as if it's rules. Also, for what it's worth, Crawford says you can ready a dash -- it gives you your speed in movement.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 01:58 PM
    Sigh. Already had this conversation. I didn't bring up out of combat movement, that was others. So, no. I don't, actually. Calling it a walking speed comes with a host of assumptions, like "what's your running speed?" that are entirely unwarranted and not intended by the rules of the game. I also note that you didn't provide the reference to Athletics increasing your speed.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 05:10 AM
    Okay... yes? I feel you're trying to say something but it's just not quite complete... Huh, I've completely missed that rule, and have also completely missed all the threads talking about how that works. Where is this strongly implied? Is there a thread talking about reasonable DCs to set for, say, doubling your speed? Also, where is your move speed called your walking speed, as I seem...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 05:05 AM
    Is that all? You want someone to tell you what 5e does well? Sheesh, you're like that character Warren from Empire Records that holds up the record store because he wants a job there -- your approach is wildly divergent from your goal. As I have disagreed mightily with you this entire thread but yet also run a weekly 5e game, I should be well qualified to answer this: 5e does exploration...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 04:49 AM
    It's a mechanical artifact because "Expert Sprinter" isn't a rogue fluff bit -- it's not mentioned anywhere. Hence, the effect of the rogue being an expert sprinter is a mechanical artifact -- it comes from interaction of the mechanics. The rogue as the maneuverable guy is maintained fully even if you drop double-dashing -- they're still the only class that can, without resource expenditure, do...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 01:26 AM
    When did I say my problem was a race? You added the race to add the chase mechanics to show me my problem with how the rogue is 50% faster in combat time isn't a valid complaint because they aren't, maybe, that much faster in the chase mechanics. Mechanics that you then used to present a tortoise-and-hare example while openly showing the rogue rapidly outpaces the fighter right out of the gate....
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 01:05 AM
    I'm going with no. Putting aside a theoretical possibility that you could, if everything was perfect, do so, I think that the incentives involved prevent any reasonable or even unreasonable assumption that this is possible. To explore this, look at how the Powered by the Apocalypse game Blades in the Dark does characters. When you create a character in Blades, you have things you must have...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 10:51 PM
    To be fair, lightly armored rogues also outran heavily armored rogues by the same margin. Honestly, at this point, I'm far more amused at the justifications than I ever was annoyed about the design.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 10:06 PM
    Sorry, but when did I say anything about how the chase rules work? I apologize if I've mistaken given you that impression.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Right. Issue: a mechanical artifact leads to an odd result. Response: use a different resolution mechanism and just try to ignore it otherwise. Good talk?
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:13 PM
    And all of your points are still true if you can't double dash.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 12:07 PM
    Not if you run the race in combat rounds. There the fighter loses badly. This is my gripe, really, that the issue is a mechanical artifact others defend by pointing out cases where it doesn't exist. As for rogues are nimble, this is very well covered by being able to dash as a bonus action after doing something else. Take away double dash and they're still super nimble and mobile...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Yes, lack of STR is a small hinderance for athletics, but it doesn't address that fighters, who can get Remarkable Athlete, are 1/3 slower than rogues. And the bit where it drops out if you go to chase or overland movement rules just underlines it's a mechanical artifact. I dislike mechanical artifacts that result in strains of suspension of disbelief. Note its note "rogue go fast" its the...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:57 PM
    Double post
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:14 PM
    So thematic it never existed before, isn't nentioned in the fluff, and disappears immediately in the chase mechanics? Sure. Meanwhile, fighters are powerful athletes that are handily outrun by scrawny rogues, who, weirdly, aren't just half again faster but also better athletes.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 01:37 PM
    Nope. No problem with classes doing different things. I like rogues being able to do lots of things. Fight and dash. Spell and dash. Some other thing and dash. Very thematic, very cool. But there's no real explanation as to why rogues can just run faster. Note I have no issues with the monk doing so -- it's thematic and tied to resources. Rogues don't run fast because it's thenatic,...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:45 PM
    My design problem: rogues get to run fast while fighters don't. Design constraints: minimum intrusion Your solution: add concrete sub-system for using athletics to run faster. Because rogues will now run even faster because expertise (lacking in fighters), add and balance change to class progression to add limited expertise choice to all classes so they can choose to offset rogue run...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:50 AM
    My problem isn't that rogue can go "fast," it's that no one else can. That said, I haven't done anything about it. It's just gone in the bucket of 'Many of my biggest complaints about 5e are summed up in the Rogue, but they haven't been worth the time to houserule.' It's not a heavy bucket.
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:41 AM
    Yes. That you don't see a way is somewhat telling. The ruby is cursed. The ruby belongs to a powerful entity who now declares enmity. The ruby.... so many ways to make finding exactly what the player wanted into something that the character suffers for. 1. applies only to stories the GM has already written down. 2. nope, this is already a caveat that player outcomes cannot violate...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Well, yes, if you move the goalposts then the declaration violates established fiction. Upthread it was clearly stated in regards to the player decides that prior fiction and genre logic both act as constraints. I'm not sure what pointing out that if prior fiction prevents a declaration that it shouldn't happen like that really helps -- we're in agreement. And sometimes what the player...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Yes, there is good reason -- to allow the player control over what happens on a success. You may have a different preference, and that's fine, but there is a very good reason. Coming from the D&D mindset, I can easily understand how this doesn't seem workable, but this is based on the thinking that it's the GM's story being uncovered by play. Even in the sandbox play revolves around...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 05:06 PM
    Counter-point: there's nothing preventing the asked for solution from being THE solution in the fiction. This is an important distiction from the real world. In fiction, the solution is whatever we agree it is. The real world, sadly, doesn't work this way. As an engineer working with customer requirements, and the usually horrible state those are in, I see this all the time. I have little...
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 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
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 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
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 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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    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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    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:03 AM
    So, not a flaw if it might hurt you.
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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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    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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    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:20 AM
    Yup. No change. Have you tried to log in and post and had success?
    12 replies | 709 view(s)
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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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    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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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.
  • 05:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...u actually run a game in which, as a GM, (i) your role is to frame the PCs (and thereby) the players into situations that (a) engage their expressed concerns/dramatic needs, and thereby (b) force choices, which (ii) are then resolved via the mechanics (without recourse to secret backstory) in such a way as to produce outcomes in the fiction that are then binding on all participants, and (iii) that - if failures - conform in their content to framing constraints (a) and (b)? This the template for player-driven play that I have quoted multiple times from Eero Tuovinen, and that is set out in the BW rulebook that I quoted not far upthread, and that I set out in the post that you replied to (and have requoted above). The question is asked genuinely, not rhetorically, but I am guessing that the answer is "no", because if the answer was "yes" then I honestly don't think you would say that "the most railroady of APs" can satisfy these constraints. I think that the answer is "no" also in Ovinomancer's case, because Ovinomancer keeps making assumptions about the dynamics of play that assume violation of those constraints: eg Ovinomancer, quite a way upthread, repeatedly insisted that the consequences of failure in the search of the ruined tower for the nickel-silver mace was overly harsh; and more recently assumed that, because the advisor to the baron had a backstory that had unfolded over multiple episodes of play (beginning as mere colour, and gradually emerging into framing) that it must be a case of "secret backstory" being used by the GM to force a particular outcome. Whereas, if one considered those episodes of play assuming the player-driven approach I am describing, one would make the opposite inferences. Thus, learning of the consequence for failure in relation to the mace, rather than saying "That's too harsh as a consequence for failing to find an ordinary mace", one might ask "What goal/aspiration/need had the player established for his PC that made the discovery of...

Thursday, 20th April, 2017

  • 02:56 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...I think the primary distinction between DM and player driven is the reactionary status of the gameworld -- if the world only every reacts to the players, it's player driven. If it exists outside of the players, and acts without player input, then it's DM driven. Taken at face value the claim that "the gameworld only reacts to the players" makes no sense to me. Adding in the adverb "as determined by the GM" doesn't help, because it's still the case that the gameworld doesn't react to anything. Apparently it's clear to you what is meant, but unfortunately that doesn't help me! (I know that you believe that noone "should need to clarify" these things. All I can do is apologise for my difficulty in making sense of the claim. The metaphor is not working for me.) I can only comment on my interpretation of Ovinomancer's original point. I've quoted it again here, pared down to the essential bit. The distinction that I feel he is making is that in a player driven game, the fiction of the game takes shape only around the PCs based on their decisions. If the PCs are not engaged with a particular element of the fiction, then that particular element ceases to exist for all intents and purposes. The fiction only "reacts" to the PCs. The GM is never giving thought to story elements or parts of the world with which the PCs are not currently engaged. Where as a GM driven game would have fictional elements that "exist" whether the PCs interact with them or not. Things can grow or change independent of the PCs and their actions, as well as in response to their actions. The GM is updating the game world as things move along. So let's say that an assassin is going to try and kill the king. In the player driven game, this would only be introduced in response to player choice and as a result of PC action....
  • 04:28 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...o agree that pointing out such a distinction is pedantic, and distracts from the discussion rather than adds to it. Now, I could be wrong and perhaps there was a compelling reason for the distinction, but none was offered....and the original point being made was never directly addressed.I've responded to both these things in multiple posts, begining way upthread when I noted the same apparent category error in a post made by Lanefan. I will do so again. Taken at face value the claim that "the gameworld only reacts to the players" makes no sense to me. Adding in the adverb "as determined by the GM" doesn't help, because it's still the case that the gameworld doesn't react to anything. Apparently it's clear to you what is meant, but unfortunately that doesn't help me! (I know that you believe that noone "should need to clarify" these things. All I can do is apologise for my difficulty in making sense of the claim. The metaphor is not working for me.) In a post following yours Ovinomancer refers to "the viewpoint being used to create the fiction". "Viewpoint" here is itself a metaphor - my best reading of it is as a reference to purposes or considerations that guide the authoring of the fiction. If I am misunderstanding what was meant, Ovinomancer no doubt will let me know once again! So anyway, with that interpretation in mind, here is the nearest true thing that I can see in the general neighbourhood: Player-driven: The GM authors the gameworld (i) having regard to consistency with the fiction already established in the course of play, (ii) having regard to the concerns/interests of the players as manifested through their creation and their play of their PCs (this is especially relevant when framing the PCs (and thereby the players) into challenging situations, when narrating consequences of failed checks, and the like), and (iii) bound by the outcomes of action resolution. It is worth noting that (iii) cuts both ways: if the players succeed, the GM is bound b...

Wednesday, 19th April, 2017

  • 04:13 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    How can the gameworld react to the players or the GM? It can be authored by them. But (being a fictional work, that is, some sort of abstract object) it can't react to them. I believe that @Ovinomancer agrees with me on this point. Well, I cannot say if @Ovinomancer agrees with you or not, but I'll go ahead and repost the bit I quoted from him. You would call the second method DM driven. I've used DM centric, largely because I believe the -driven categories are too binary. But, regardless of terminology, I think the primary distinction between DM and player driven is the reactionary status of the gameworld -- if the world only every reacts to the players, it's player driven. If it exists outside of the players, and acts without player input, then it's DM driven. I'm okay with this, with the clear caveat that nothing is fully one or the other -- it's a spectrum. My games are both -- the macro is DM driven, in that there's a plot ongoing that will continue without player involvement, and on the micro in that I break my arcs down into sandboxes that largely react to the players. I imagine that this is along the lines of having to explain that as a fictional thing, of course the...
  • 11:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    I think that this distinction about the game world reacting to the players or to the GM is spot on. Well said.How can the gameworld react to the players or the GM? It can be authored by them. But (being a fictional work, that is, some sort of abstract object) it can't react to them. I believe that Ovinomancer agrees with me on this point.

Tuesday, 18th April, 2017

  • 02:14 PM - Maxperson mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    Interestingly, when I suggested that Ovinomancer was making a category error, in attributing real causal power to NPCs, he (? I believe - please accept my apologies if I'm misremembering), Ovinomancer accused me (more-or-less) of engaging in ridicule, or deliberate distortion of what had been said. But here we see Maxperson making exactly that claim! And I will re-assert that it is a category error. NPCs do not "author themselves", and that sort of talk by authors is loose metaphor at best. Ovinomancer was right. I did not say they authored themselves. I said they make that decision through the DM who makes the decision the NPC would make in that situation, not the one the DM would make in that situation. In having an NPC do X rather than Y, a GM is making a choice. In extrapolating one way rather than another from established fiction, the GM is making a choice. Every day, all over the world, real people makes choices that no one would readily foresee based on a passing familiarity with their previous history and behaviour. A ...
  • 02:04 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    How do you know he's not seeing the advisor has having agency? NPCs do exercise that power over events. They do it through the DM who has created the personality, desires and goals, quirks, etc. for that NPC and puts himself into the NPC's shoes to make that decision. When I make a decision for an NPC, I am not making a decision for myself at all. The NPC may decide to take a course that I myself would not take were I to make the same decision on my own.Interestingly, when I suggested that Ovinomancer was making a category error, in attributing real causal power to NPCs, he (? I believe - please accept my apologies if I'm misremembering), Ovinomancer accused me (more-or-less) of engaging in ridicule, or deliberate distortion of what had been said. But here we see Maxperson making exactly that claim! And I will re-assert that it is a category error. NPCs do not "author themselves", and that sort of talk by authors is loose metaphor at best. In having an NPC do X rather than Y, a GM is making a choice. In extrapolating one way rather than another from established fiction, the GM is making a choice. Every day, all over the world, real people makes choices that no one would readily foresee based on a passing familiarity with their previous history and behaviour. A RPG doesn't become less verisimilitudinous because it has NPCs with similar degrees of unpredicatability! Have you given us any reason to believe the advisor's agendas, whatever they are, are permanently and concl...
  • 04:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ... adventures. Following advice given by LostSoul on these boards back in the early days of 4e, my general approach to running the skill challenge was to keep pouring on the pressure, so as to give the players a reason to have their PCs do things. And one particular point of pressure was the dwarf fighter/cleric - in two senses. In story terms, he was the natural focus of the Baron's attention, because the PCs had been presenting him as their leader upon entering the town, and subsequently. And the Baron was treating him as, in effect, a noble peer, "Lord Derrik of the Dwarfholm to the East". And in mechanical terms, he has no training in social skills and a CHA of 10, so putting the pressure on him forced the players to work out how they would save the situation, and stop the Baron inadvertantly, or Paldemar deliberately, leading Derrik into saying or denying something that would give away secrets. The NPC pursued his goals. He lost. There is no difference between you, Maxperson, Ovinomancer and me over whether or not NPCs have goals and pursue them. The difference is over how to determine when the PCs fail in that pursuit. The advisor's motivations do not enter the storyline at allThis is wrong. The advisor's motivations are central to the scene, as is evident in the description of it in the actual play report (linked and quoted above). I see the advisor as being capable of having an agenda that can be pushed via narration (by the DM/GM of course just as the players narrate the agendas for their PC's). you say this isn't possibleNo. To repeat mysefl: I'm saying that that already happened, and the NPC lost. This is why I keep using the word finality. The NPC tried to push his agenda, but it didn't work. The PCs' counter-agenda succeeded, resulting in the advisor's standing at court being undone. (This is why, in multiple posts, I have made the comparison to Wormtongue being outed as a traitor at the court of King Thedoen.) I don't think the confusion was ar...

Monday, 17th April, 2017

  • 07:35 PM - Imaro mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...ir PCs, have secured. This is why I made the comparison to reducing an enemy to zero hp; or to a moral or loyalty check in classic D&D. These are all mechanics the produce finality in resolution: they don't simply generate temporary pertubations in the fiction which the GM is free to retest or reopen. I think that if I had described the PCs using (say) some sort of Geas spell on the advisor, @Maxperson would not be positing that the matter of the advisor's capacity to change his relationship with the baron is still open. Which is to say, Maxperson is not confused, in general, by the concept of finality in resolution. For whatever reason, though, he seems unable to accept that finality had been achieved on this occasion, via this particular mechanical procedure. But even with your example of a geas spell... it isn't a permanent settling of said relationship. It has a duration, means of dispelling it, etc. I don't think the confusion was around finality in resolution but around, as @Ovinomancer cited, a difference of playstyle in how NPC's are run and what purpose they serve. This is not correct. (And, again, appears to involve the same category error.) The advisor had his own agenda. He pursued it. He attempted to force the PCs' hands, in two ways (at least: the session was several years ago, and so even with the benefit of an actual play report my memory is not perfect): (1) The advisor tried to trick/goad the PCs into revealing information about the whereabouts of the tapestry; the players dealt with this by such measures as taking steps to ensure that the most vulnerable PC, the dwarven fighter/cleric with CHA 10 and poor social skills, was not at the table with the advisor; (2) The advisor escalated things to try and force the PCs to reveal him to the baron, so that they would be tarnished as trying to smear him and/or take advantage of his magic secrets (eg the tapestry), rather than being the heroes who had saved the baron from his influence. Had the players fail...

Thursday, 6th April, 2017

  • 06:54 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...the gaming experience is as important as the fiction itself. I'm sure not everybody plays it that way, but that's the sense I get. I don't know BW/DW well enough to be able to give a precise example. In a thread at least a year ago, somebody asked me to explain how I would play out a scene that they described in Dungeon World. If I recall, I didn't even have to really tweak any rules to do it. Now that was to describe a scene, and the control over that scene would have shifted a bit, with the players having less overall control of things that are outside of their character's control, so it's not exactly the same. I think you or pemerton might have been part of that thread. So I think that pulling concepts out of BW/DW is very doable. Some just require a different perspective on running the game, others would require some mechanical changes. But it's probably a bit more difficult to duplicate entirely, and I agree, I'm not sure you'd want to. See my post directly above to Ovinomancer as it addresses a lot of this. I'll comment a bit more though because it was a conversation with me that you're referring to on mapping a Dungeon World play excerpt to 5e (which is, interestingly enough, the primary premise of my engagement with this thread...along with mapping it to B/X). You're referring to the "sled and the glacial crevasse hazard" scene that I splocked in response to hawkeyefan 's request for further context above. The problem with mapping that scene (and a host of others including the one that I'm engaging with in this thread) has to do with all of the stuff that I mentioned in the post to Ovinomancer. That stuff happens organically and reliably/consistently as an inevitable outgrowth of all that stuff I mentioned. 5e does not have an analogue for that stuff. It doesn't possess an analogue for most of that stuff (and what it kind of has an analogue for isn't integrated holistically into the system like it is in DW). If you just go with the most b...
  • 02:49 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    Corpsetaker, Ovinomancer I think chaochou's question is fairlyi straightforward - who is bored by a world that is not changing when it is not part of play? Corpsetaker says "I don't really like games where nothing happens in the world unless it's by the direct actions of the players." But this seems to be quite a different point. For instance, if I was running the KotB, the (secretly evil) priest might approach the PCs, saying "So-and-so suggested that you were interested in advice about the nature of undeath". That is "something happening in the world other than by the direct actions of the PCs" (namely, one NPC spoke to another). But it's not offscreen - it's part of the ingame situation into which the GM is framing the PCs. Whereas Ovinomancer said "A world that doesn't change unless a player looks at it is boring" - and chaochou's question is, Who is getting bored? On the (apparently reasonable) assumption that the players aren't going to be entertained by something they're not looking at (eg the GM's s...
  • 02:32 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...layer-side moves, which state expressly what the player is entitled to on a success, and what the GM is entitlded to do on a failure? Or contrast the following cases: in BW, a player declares that his/her sorcerer casts a spell, the difficutly is set, the casting is resolved. Certain failure results can lead to the spell fizzling. In AD&D, on the other hand, a spell can fizzle if cast into an anti-magic zone, which the GM is allowed to keep secret until the player declares the casting, and even then the GM is not obliged to explain why the spell fizzled - the player is expected to work it out. These are all differences of procedure that create different sorts of scope for various GM approaches. What does "Framing" entail? What about where the GM must determine the consequences of failure? You don't think that a GM could nudge things in the way that he would like in these ways?On "framing", I had a lengthy post not too far upthread (here). On consequences, as I replied to Ovinomancer, if the narrated consequences don't speak to the Beliefs of the PCs (which are authored by their players) that will be evident. The plaeyrs will no that the GM is not running the game as advertised. There's no illusion. chart. I think storylines can also be designed that way. In that sense, they are the same. Kind of an "if A, then B or C" and then "If B, then D or E or F"....that kind of thing.But a map isn't a flowchart, is it? Even a recipe isn't a flowchart, in the sense that you might change the sequence of steps (eg often I don't turn the oven on at the start like the recipe says, because it doesn't take that long to heat up and I want to conserve power). Whereas an "event-based" flowchart isn't a map. It's a temporal sequence of events - a "plot", if you like. Appendix B of LotR is something like a story; an atlas isn't.
  • 02:25 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    this discussion has (d)evolved into a mirror of many other discussions in similar threads with the same participants.One of the interesting things about this thread, for me, has been the distinctions that Campbell has been drawing between "scene framing" approaches and "MCing/principled GMing" approaches. To me, at least, that's new - I don't recall seeing it in any of the other threads you referred to. Another interesting thing has been the discussion - especially between Lanefan and me - over the difference between a "static" situation, which reacts to player action declarations for their PCs, and a "GM puts the world into motion" situation. Some posters (eg Ovinomancer, I thinik also Maxperson) seem to classify these both as sandboxes and see the salient difference only being whether the world is "boring" or "interesting because living/breathing". Whereas I feel my discussion with Lanefan has brought out quite a different point of contrast, namely, the extent to which one tends to support a style of player-driven RPGing, whereas the other tends to put the GM into the driver's seat. I recognise that others may not be interested in these matters, but - as the one who started the thread! - I regard them as worthwhile outcomes. one abhors any sort of DM interference (fudging, illusionism) into "player agency" and the other will have a cow if their PC dies.I'm not sure I get this: what is the connection betwee "illusionism" and players not wanting their PCs to die?

Tuesday, 21st March, 2017

  • 08:30 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    Ovinomancer Good stuff, thanks for sharing. The term interstating does seem to fit. I like the idea of small linked sandboxes. My style is likely close to yours as I tend to mix lots of playstyles and material into it. For instance, in my prep for this coming Friday, I kind of loosely plotted out 3 distinct paths that the players are likely to take. They certainly could surprise me and force me to adapt, but I'm not very concerned about the possibility as they are pretty invested in the ongoing stories that form our campaign. They're currently in Sigil, which is kind of their home base. They recently learned of some information that may lead them to the prime material world of Golarion, or they may return to their home world of Toril, where the bustling town of Phandalin is being threatened by the spread of elemental cults from the Dessarin Valley. Or, they may hold off on leaving Sigil and may instead investigate some connections between various plot threads that they recently learned about,...

Monday, 20th March, 2017

  • 09:46 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ...ter what happens in the game (outside what the players do with their own characters) through those unknown elements and thus keep things somewhat consistent.Well, first, as a side point, I can assure you that it was not a problem at all, either big or small. Second, there was no previous interaction with the brother in play: only as part of the backstory of two of the PCs (the brother PC had not seen him since his possession; the wizard-assassin PC had been tutored by him subsequent to his possession, and had had some bad experiences in the course of that, leading to her resolution to kill him, flay him and send his soul to . . . [a bad place]). Third, to the extent that the brother PC's memories of and affection for his brother were invalidated, that's the whole point! That's what makes it a failure. (And that's why I find the notion that "fail forward" means "no real failure" or nothing more than "success with complication" completely misses the point.) As I posted in reply to Ovinomancer (post 314): The PC has chosen to return (for the first time in 14 years) to the site where he last saw his brother; the tower they had to abandon when it was assaulted by orcs; the place where, in trying to fight off those orcs, the brother tried to summon a mighty storm of magical lightning and instead opened up a conduit to hell and was possessed by a balrog. Having returned, the PC hopes to find the item he was working on, seeking to enchant, when the orcs attacked. That is not a low stakes situation. It's a high stakes one. The player chose to put all this to the test; and failed. If the player wanted to remain safe with his PC's nostalgic memories of his brother, he shouldn't have tried to reclaim his past legacies. But he took the risk. That's the point of the game! (The motto for Burning Wheel is "Fight for what you believe!" The player (and PC) believed that by recovering the lost mace, he could advance his attempt to redeem his brother. But he lost the fight. That...

Friday, 3rd February, 2017


Thursday, 2nd February, 2017



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Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 06:29 PM - Oofta quoted Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Oh, I see the game now. You aren't naming people so you can technically claim you aren't talking about someone-specific's play. One wonders, then, what playstyle are you contrasting here when you say, "I don't have a problem with [other playstyle]"? Clearly no playstyle, but that then renders your post unintelligible as your contrasting make believe against your preferred play. In shorter words: don't buy the vagueness routine, and I similarly don't buy that you've recently acquired understanding. Seems to me like now you're just looking for an excuse to be offended. Have a good one.
  • 06:01 PM - Oofta quoted Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This post is a good example of you not inderstanding what's being presented. Minor obstacles are quickly dealt with in my games because they don't require a check at all -- you almost always succeed outright. And play isn't: DM[in best Monty Python bridge guardian voice]: what's your goal?@ Player: um, get to the top of the wall. DM: what's your approach?! Player: I climb it? DM: okay, you can pass. Next up is Bob the Fighter. What's your goal?! Instead, it's: DM: okay, you've reached the base of the outer wall, which is made of rough stone blocks. You don't see any guards. What do you do? Player 1: I'm going to study tge wall to determine hiw hard it eould be to climb. DM: Sure. The rough construction offers lots of hsndholds. It's just a matter of doing it. Player1: I'll climb the wall, trying to quiet in case therr are guards at the top. DM: good thing, too! You scale the wall and when you get to the top, there are two hobgoblin guards looking bored. Go ahead and make a...
  • 03:31 PM - iserith quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    That said, I'm pretty loose with player introductions in 5e because I strive to use my GM "no" as rarely as possible. Still, there's a limit in play and an understanding at our table because there are no mechanics available to resolve a conflict. I advise the players to keep everything in terms of an action declaration as that is what I'm on the lookout for since that is when I have to adjudicate. I even discourage asking questions of the DM, if those questions can be answered by taking action in the game world. "How many doors are in this room?" is better stated as "I look to see how many doors there are in this room..." in my view. The stop-n-chat with the DM interferes with the flow of the game in my view, plus questions are often a form of out-of-game risk mitigation as the players fish for the best solution. Anyway, I also follow the general concept that if it wasn't introduced in play then it doesn't exist and I have the option of adding it right now as long as it doesn't contradict s...
  • 01:47 PM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    there are no mechanics available to resolve a conflict.This probably could have been in the same post as just upthread, but I didn't think of it first time round. Couldn't my example be done as a CHA check? With success/failure narrated along the lines you sketched upthread - success is fond memories and letting the PCs through; failure is either mistaken identity, or what about my poker money, etc. Is the (or one) issue that it might be hard to set a proper DC? I'll admit I haven't thought that through, but it doesn't seem too big a hurdle. I'll agree that table dynamics can get strained if the players push too hard in establishing fiction, but the same is true if the GM does: "rocks fall" is obviously at the absurd end, but I think most of us have heard stories of, and at least in my own case I've experienced multiple instances of, games failing because GMs couldn't get player buy in for the fiction they wanted to establish. In the player case just as in the GM case, I feel that this is...
  • 01:31 PM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I clearly notice, though, that my overhead in running 5e is much higher than in Blades because I have to do more heavy lifting on the content side AND be careful to maintain "fairness" with that content. In Blades, I just have to GM within the clear constraints and don't have to worry too much about "fairness" at all.This is interesting and really worthy of its own thread, about the burdens (or otherwise) of GMing. I get what you're aiming at here, I just question why you're doing so, or maybe why you're coming at the issue so obliquely.Well, it started by just following some thoughts where they took me. But one place they ended up taking me is that I think some of the constraints/rules that are being taken for granted in the 5e context aren't actually found in the rules but are imported from some more generic conception of RPGing. To elaborate: in one of these recent threads, someone posted about GMing a couple of kids. Kid A, in character, tells Kid B (also in character) to scout ahea...
  • 05:23 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    it's the player assuming some of the DM's role. 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.I'm happy to accept that it's malformed in the context of 5e D&D. But I don't see how that conclusion can be reached without giving some account of who has what authority over which bits of the the fiction. And saying that the player has authority over what his/her PC does, thinks and feels isn't going to do the job - because Hey, that's my old friend Frances - I ask her to let us throu...
  • 05:23 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I did read Burning Wheel, many years ago, and failed to understand it at the time. I should give it another look now that I've got a better grasp of the play it's meant to create.As you know I'm a huige BW fan. I think it's a very demanding game - it's as mechanically intricate as (say) RQ or D&D 4e, but also has the character/thematic demand of the PbtA games you're familiar with. I could understand someone being put off by the intricacy of the mechanics. I spent nearly 20 years GMing RM, though, so I say bring 'em on! As you also know I haven't read or played BitD - but one impression I've got from discussion of it is that it uses some mechanical innovations to "tighten up" some elements of PbtA play, especially the complications on partial success and the choice of hard or soft moves. Perhaps a little bit similarly (at least at a sufficient level of generalisation), BW uses mechanics to "tighten up" those aspects of the character, and the character's engagement with the fiction, that in a "...
  • 05:08 AM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    As I read it, that was the big takeaway -- the rest of the 'context' was explaining this sentence. The context was critical. Out of context it sounds bad. In context it isn't at all. You've clearly said that you do not care what subjective experience on if an addition adds realism or not, because you can categorically say that there's an objective realism added outside of subjective opinion. That's a lie. What I said is that their subjective experience doesn't matter with regard to whether something adds realism or not, not that I don't care about their experiences. Out of context what it sounds like is that I don't care about their experiences.
  • 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...


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