View Profile: Ovinomancer - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Today, 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
    Today, 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
    Today, 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
    Today, 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
    Today, 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
    Today, 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
    Today, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    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.
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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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    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...
    12 replies | 602 view(s)
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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...
    178 replies | 5419 view(s)
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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 | 5419 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 | 5419 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?
    178 replies | 5419 view(s)
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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 | 5419 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 | 5419 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 | 5419 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    178 replies | 5419 view(s)
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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 | 5419 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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 | 5419 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 5419 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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 | 5419 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 5419 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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...
    63 replies | 1995 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 1995 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 04:25 PM
    The post wherein Umbran decides to continue to rely on his assumptions rather than what people actually say about hiw they play. I play with people that have no idea how to do many of the things their characters do, and yet we don't have your fears as problems when coming up with approaches. Maybe you should actually think it through trying to see how it could work well rarher than assume you...
    63 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:37 AM
    Right, but the action was just looking at the tracks, not recalling cool character backgrounds to the fore. If the player actually provides the skills his character has as part of the action deckaraction, then they aren't relying on the DM to remember those background details -- they're telling the DM about them again. I don't understand the pushback on this. It's literally the chance for...
    63 replies | 1995 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Ovinomancer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:25 AM
    The slippery slope argument is weak. Asking for an approach so that you aren't assuming character actions isn't the same thing as pixel bitching for gotchas. The former is a hood technique for running where you assume character competence and are matching in game action to the resolution mechanics. The latter is adversarial gotcha games. Please stop insisting that anyone asking for an...
    63 replies | 1995 view(s)
    3 XP
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Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 01:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... still things I don't think I will ever understand: Why is "I use " forbidden if the intent and action is clear? Because 80% of the time when people say it in my game it is. That other 20%? I ask for clarification. I encourage more descriptive play, but that may be as simple as "I use [INSERT SKILL] by doing [INSERT DETAIL]". How are you [I]not diminishing the values of investment in skills if a person can just describe what they're doing to get an automatic success*? Why is finding/disabling the once in a blue moon trap/secret door with a couple of dice rolls a deal breaker for you if you aren't the person doing it and it takes a minute or so to resolve? It's a minor speed bump I put in for flavor, not the focus of the game for me. Why is it a big deal if the DM wants to keep the players guessing about whether or not the PC is using deception by having people roll an insight check? The 2nd I've addressed above. To the 3rd I would offer an answer that is similar to Ovinomancer's - why are we including stuff in the fiction that doesn't matter to play? On the 4th: in my GMing, the point of checks is to determine how the fiction develops, not to establish uncertainty on the part of the players as to how the fiction is developing. On the 1st: I want to know what the PC is doing. I can't know how the ficiton will develop if I don't know what's happening in it.

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 03:51 PM - Oofta mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ovinomancer, I can't think of anything new to add. I've stated how I run my game and that I don't forbid phrases as long as what the PC is doing is clear. Some people do allow players to bypass skills with a good description, you've been unclear at times but if you say skills are important I believe you. I don't treat insight as a truth detector. That's all, and I still don't understand why this particular topic is so controversial. Have a good one.

Sunday, 31st March, 2019

  • 02:13 AM - iserith mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    All the people who insist that Insight cannot tell the motivations of an NPC with a successful check. It IS right there in the text of the skill. But, apparently, we're allowed to pick and choose what "rules" apply. It's perfectly acceptable, apparently, to claim that your play style is an "excellent fit" for 5e, while at the same time, not following what the text actually states. Just pointing out the inconsistency. After all, @iserith, you spent considerable bandwidth arguing with me about this, but, are completely silent when people claim that Insight cannot detect falsehoods. Unless I've missed something, I don't recall that @Elfcrusher has made any significant "rules-based" arguments that inform his or her approach in this thread. He or she often makes ones based on his or her take on realism instead plus just general preference. And @Ovinomancer suggests that Insight can be used for more tasks than determining truthfulness. Unless you're talking about someone else? Just because some of us agree on the approach doesn't mean we all think of it the exact same way or arrived at the same conclusion by the same path. Please feel free to respond to or refute someone's assertions. But please do not lump us all together as if we perfectly agree or assert that any one of us has an obligation to say anything about our respective positions. We are individuals, not identity groups.

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 12:43 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Ovinomancer in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    Maybe it works at your table, due to your own social contract, but it is very clearly against the process of play, which states that players declare their actions rather than their goals. With all due respect, you are misunderstanding the plastyle. The statement of goals is a perfectly natural extension of declaring actions and simply allows the players to have greater agency over their PCs - with the added benefit of lessening the workload of the DM and perhaps even allowing a scene to go in a direction the DM never imagined. It's that last one which is very enjoyable to me. How does that work, can you please provide an example? I'm sure @Ovinomancer can provide more, but here are a couple just off the cuff: Example 1 - climbing the tower with a stated goal DM: "You reach the top of the hill leaving the forest below you. Before you is a 40' grey tower made of large, rough blocks of stone. The tower appears to have no door or windows. What do you do?" Player 1: "I'd like to climb the tower using the blocks as hand/foot holds. But before getting to the top, I'd like to stop and get a good look around to let the others what I see." DM: "Roll a Strength (Athletics) check, DC 15 - the blocks are old and a bit crumbly" The player clearly states an action (climb the tower) and a goal (to get a better view of the surroundings before reaching the top). Without the goal statement, the DM has to make a big assumption that since the PC wanted to climb the tower that they will get to the top with a successful roll and step into a group of quietly waiting orcs.... which is in no way what the player intended. And then you have an awkw...
  • 12:39 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    it is my belief, that sometimes (and again this is due to human nature), players at Maxperson's table might subconsciously engage in some author stance. That does not mean that the table suddenly and forever switches away from actor stance due to these author instances. No, his table's primary method of roleplaying engagement is actor stance, at least this is what they strive for, this is their ideal.The thing is, as I've already posted, as a player I enjoy actor stance and associated "inhabitation" of the character. That is my ideal. But that has next-to-no bearing on how one decides what the PC knows. I think analysis by reference to stance is not all that illuminating, precisely for the reason that (as Ron Edward says) it is so labile in play. Metagaming is about not thinking in character as your decisions in game are being influenced by external factors (game mechanics for instance, or RL-time constraints/pacing...etc)No doubt Ovinomancer will correct me if I'm wrong - but I took the point to be that if a player decides that his/her PC doesn't know about trolls because of compliance with a table rule forbidding "metagaming", then the action has been taken to give effect to a player priority, and hence is author stance. Actor stance would be based on what one's character knows and wants. If the established fiction doesn't tell me whether or not my character knows about trolls, then actor stance in a troll encounter won't be possible.

Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 12:04 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I proved this false upthread. You do not need to establish motivations in advance for you to engage in a character's motivation. "I want to see if I can find a path in the forest." is 100% the PC's motivation. MY motivation is to roleplaying my PC, gain exp, treasure and levels. Yes. That's author stance - the very paradigm of it. You make the choice to have your PC do something because you have real world priorities (gain XP etc), and you impute a motivation to your PC ("I want to find a path in the forest"). EDIT: Ninja'd not far upthread by Ovinomancer.

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 04:05 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...e action, and then work out the plan as you play. Very much like how a heist movie will alternate between scenes of the crooks on the job with scenes that show how they prepared, the game allows you to Flashback to earlier and take actions in the past that help deal with how you face the challenges during the Score. The idea here is that your PCs are capable and would prepare and plan accordingly, but the game doesn't want to spend time with players staring at a map and talking about entry points, and endlessly debating variables. So this allows you to avoid that, and then focus your prep retroactively depending on what actually comes up. There are more elements to the game that really put things in the players' hands, but these are the big three off the top of my head. My players found each one to be different than what they're used to as players, but as they got used to them, I think they've found them really interesting. The design of the game and the theme are deftly woven, as Ovinomancer mentions above, and I think seeing how the desired experience is supported by the game's design is also really enlightening. I can't recommend the game enough, just for the fun of it. It's really enjoyable and my D&D players are really digging it. In addition, I think it would also add to these discussions we have online; I think one of the main reasons these talks devolve the way they do is because some folks are talking about all games, and others are talking only about one specific game. I think if you see some of these mechanics in play, you'll better appreciate some of the points others have brought up.
  • 03:36 AM - iserith mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    "If that bothers you so much you can always block me like Iserith did because I would never agree that his style on this subject is the one true way." For the record, this poster was blocked for doing exactly what Ovinomancer is taking him or her to task for now and stating I was saying things I did not say. I very patiently gave him or her the opportunity to reverse course on that. The poster did not and apparently has not.
  • 01:27 AM - DM Dave1 mentioned Ovinomancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Except you just said that you wouldn't accept anything phrased as "I think they're lying can I make an insight check". It would seem you really don't fully grasp what Ovinomancer is saying if you think that is an example of "magic words" (or perhaps "anti-magic words" as it were). Try this: https://theangrygm.com/five-simple-rules-for-dating-my-teenaged-skill-system/ I know from reading your posts that you are perfectly happy with your way of running things so perhaps you won't bother giving it a chance. But really, I'm just trying to share something that I've found valuable and that might actually give you (or someone else) insight into running 5e in a way that isn't relying on ingrained habits from older versions of the game. And no, the irony of quoting Angry is not lost on me when I'm trying my best to be nice. He's certainly a big jerk in his presentation and comment responses (that's his shtick after all) but his logic for running games successfully is pretty tight, IMO.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 02:42 AM - Maxperson mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I really can't speak to what you do or don't understand, Max. But I can state with confidence that Lanefan's posts, in general and in this specific instance, demonstrate that he filters his observations through a very particular scrim. And this specific post of his to which I responded demonstrates a conflation of two very different game design principles. If that isn't misunderstanding, I don't know what would be! He didn't say it was exactly like the Legend Lore ability. He was saying that it is similar enough to still be in the "wheelhouse" of classic D&D, and it is. They are similar enough. Ovinomancer was also incorrect in his statement about the Bard ability Legend Lore/Bardic Knowledge. If a Bard in 3.5 used his Bardic knowledge to find out about an important place, it's purpose wasn't get at DM secrets. The DM probably doesn't even have secrets about most of the important places, items and people that the Bard could use the ability on. In all likelihood, the DM will have to make up something relevant and useful about that important thing, just like he describes Spout Lore as doing. The big(little) difference is that in D&D, the DM might have something written down ahead of time that is relevant and useful to tell the bard, so sometimes he won't have to improv it.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 06:13 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Aldarc Ovinomancer Sure. You guys are right. I mean, whether we're talking about politics, or religion, or playstyle preferences, or steak/sushi .... ...or someone saying that maybe it's not a communication issue ... the real problem is people just don't understand you well enough. Got it! Carry on. I'm back out of this thread, because I'm too dense to understand y'all. :)

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 12:56 PM - Asgorath mentioned Ovinomancer in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    ... Where we disagree is on the 'rule' you made up restricting when on my turn I can take my bonus action. On p189 of the PHB, in the section entitled Bonus Actions, it tells you the rules for...bonus actions! There was a clue in the name! It says, "You choose when to take a bonus during your turn, unless the bonus action's timing is specified". It says nothing like, "...except during another action", or, "...except between taking the Attack action and executing your first attack". The only 'timing' regarding Shield Master is that you only get it "If you take the Attack action on your turn". Even if you regard this as a straight statement of causality, that results in you being able to choose to take the bonus action shield bash at the same time as you take the Attack action that 'caused' it. There is no rule forbidding simultaneous Actions In Combat, only rules which mean that each separate game element must be resolved sequentially. Please go back and read the earlier posts from Ovinomancer and me that talk about why the condition in the Shield Master feat is a timing requirement, and thus this bonus action does not qualify for "you can take it any time you like". I'd be happy to go into it again if needed, but I feel like we've already explained this. At no point do the rules say you get to decide to do multiple things at the same time. Thus, you cannot just do that. There is a rule in XGTE that says if two effects happen simultaneously, you get to decide the order in which they are resolved. The rule very explicitly says effects, not actions, and it very explicitly says that the effects have to already be happening simultaneously before the rule applies. For example, you might be standing in the AoE of Spirit Guardians and Healing Spirit. One does damage at the start of your turn, one heals you at the start of your turn. You can decide to be healed first as that might prevent you from dropping to 0 HP and thus falling prone. This rule doesn't turn into a genera...

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 05:16 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Except here the monster actually - and rather foolishly - tells the heroes what its vulnerability is!As Ovinomancer has suggested, it's not clear that the Witch King even appreciated the pun in the prophecy and hence knew that he was weak in the relevant way (ie to a blow from a woman). As Ovinomancer has also hinted at, does this mean you're agreeing with me that RPGing is more exciting when what is at issue is standing against a foe, than attempting to puzzle out the foe's weakness?

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 04:35 PM - Asgorath mentioned Ovinomancer in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    As mentioned, I don't believe that 'taking the Attack action' and 'executing the attacks granted to me by the Attack action' are the same thing, because of reasons I laid out earlier. However, IF you believe that 'taking the Attack action' IS 'executing those attacks' (because of a Tweet JC pulled out of his backside saying so), THEN you must also believe that 'taking the bonus action shield shove' IS 'executing that shield shove! Once again, Ovinomancer has addressed the timing aspect, but I'd like to focus on this part in particular. What part of the wording of the Attack action makes you believe that the action is separate from the attacks it grants? Here's the entire action: Attack The most common action to take in combat is the Attack action, whether you are swinging a sword, firing an arrow from a bow, or brawling with your fists. With this action, you make one melee or ranged attack. See the "Making an Attack" section for the rules that govern attacks. Certain features, such as the Extra Attack feature of the fighter, allow you to make more than one attack with this action. That says quite clearly that with the action, you make an attack. Extra Attack turns that one attack into multiple attacks, but at no point is there any mention of you being able to take the action first and the attacks later on in your turn. Surely if the attacks were separate, this action would include language like the Disengage action wh...

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 10:29 PM - Asgorath mentioned Ovinomancer in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    No, it doesn't mean that! Last night I was on Wikipedia researching Causality to answer the Kalam Cosmological Argument (yes, I know the correct term should be 'cosmogonical') whose major premise is, "Whatever begins to exist has a cause". It notes that 'cause' and 'effect' are time-dependant, and that 'effect' cannot come before 'cause'. But what about conditions, in the form of, "If...then"? The article says this:- So JC is 'confused' when he assets, incorrectly, that "If...then" means that you must do X before you can do Y. All that is required, RAW, is that you 'take the Attack action' on the same turn as you take the bonus action shield shove. The condition does not require a particular order. We’ve discussed this already, but sure. You take you bonus action shove first. An enemy then uses their reaction to incapacitate you, ending your turn. You never took the Attack action, and so how were you allowed to use the Shield Master bonus action? Ovinomancer made an excellent post about “if and only if” or IFF, which I’d recommend reading again.
  • 05:04 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    let’s imagine a DM who does it here and there. And I don’t mean the kind of “say no” that’s required to run the game, just the kind where it’s the DM deciding he doesn’t like what the player has introduced. He could say yes, but for whatever reason, he says no.What kind of player introduction are we talking about? If it's the creation of a place or NPC, that's not the player's job in D&D, so saying no isn't "Mother May I" or Railroading. It's simply playing a traditional game. This is too simplistic. In Dungeon World the creation of places or NPCs is (generally) not the player's job. See Discern Realities and Spout Lore above - it is the GM who establishes the new fiction. But the GM is absolutely expected to have regard to player intention and desire in doing that, as Manbearcat and Ovinomancer explained in some detail upthread. 5e D&D doesn't state clear principles like DW (I state the edition deliberately, because 4e D&D does have generally clear principles that aren't wildly different from DW) - but for that very reason there is no rule or principle in 5e D&D that precludes a GM from having regard to player interest and desire in deciding what new content to introduce. And I think that is the underlying context for hawkeyefan's question - given that nothing in D&D obliges a GM to disregard player interest and desire in introducing new content; and given that at least some D&D players might want a GM who is introducing new content to have regard to their interests and desires in respect of the developing fiction; what are your thoughts on a GM who nevertheless proceeds from time-to-time without having such regard? (For what's it worth, I don't think appeals to tradition help here. Tradition doesn't mandate paying no regard to player interests and desires in estab...
  • 04:54 AM - Maxperson mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I would agree. If a DM denies all action declarations, then things have indeed gone horribly wrong. But what would be considered “mildly wrong” or “wrong enough to be of concern”? Sure, but that's also exceptionally rare, and once you leave that realm it's no longer "Mother May I." When you get a DM denying player actions mildly or even moderately, it's no longer a "Mother May I" situation. It's a Railroad. I've seen about threeish DMs over the last 36 years who acted that way. I don’t think that’s what’s being put forth by anyone. You’re assuming the extreme where a DM denies everything the players try to do out of hand. As you’ve said quite a lot, that is a DM being a jerk. Ovinomancer said it straight out multiple times. He said that D&D was "Mother May I", because the DM has the ability to stop or allow all player actions, so even if the DM doesn't exercise that power, it's "Mother May I." Nevermind that the DM doesn't actually have that authority from the books. Instead, let’s imagine a DM who does it here and there. And I don’t mean the kind of “say no” that’s required to run the game, just the kind where it’s the DM deciding he doesn’t like what the player has introduced. He could say yes, but for whatever reason, he says no. What kind of player introduction are we talking about? If it's the creation of a place or NPC, that's not the player's job in D&D, so saying no isn't "Mother May I" or Railroading. It's simply playing a traditional game. If you're talking about introducing part of the PC's personality or something that the player has control of, then saying no is usually going to be bad. Can you see how some players might not like the idea t...
  • 04:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...t Lore When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something, roll+Int. ✴On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting and useful about the subject relevant to your situation. ✴On a 7–9, the GM will only tell you something interesting—it’s on you to make it useful. Discern Realities When you closely study a situation or person, roll+Wis. ✴On a 10+, ask the GM 3 questions from the list below. ✴On a 7–9, ask 1. Either way, take +1 forward when acting on the answers. • What happened here recently? • What is about to happen? • What should I be on the lookout for? • What here is useful or valuable to me? • Who’s really in control here? • What here is not what it appears to be? It's taken for granted in DW that that information won't have been pre-established - the GM is expected to make it up on the spot, building on what has gone before and the current dynamic of play (including previous "soft moves" made by the GM) - Manbearcat and Ovinomancer have discussed the details of this technique upthread. Similar things happen in my Traveller game, though in Classic Traveller it is mostly less formally structured. In the first session, after the PCs had been briefed by their patron, one of the players was suspicious because the whole thing didn't make much sense: Methwit thought all this sounded a bit odd - why would a high-class (Soc A) marine lieutenant be smuggling goods into a dead-end world like Byron - and so asked Li back to his hotel room to talk further. With his Liaison-1 and Carousing-1 and a good reaction roll she agreed, and with his Interrogation-1 he was able to obtain some additional information (although he did have to share some details about his own background to persuade her to share). The real situation, she explained, was that Byron was itself just a stop-over point. The real action was on another world - Enlil - which is technologically backwards and has a disease-ridden atmosphere to which ther...

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 04:24 PM - pemerton mentioned Ovinomancer in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    So in every RPG ever. The DM can alter rules in every RPG and give himself that authority, whether the rules of the RPG "allow" it or not. Therefore, he has that authority whether he gives it to himself or not. This claim is not true, except in the completely uninteresting sense that any participant in a game might try and cheat, or try and get away with fudging or whining or lobbying for do-overs, or threaten to tip over the board if s/he doesn't get his her way. You need to read the rules for D&D again it seems. If a player decides that his PC walks behind the tree, I have no ability as DM to decide that he cannot do so.This prompts a short answer and a long one. The short one is that I think Ovinomancer may have in mind the following (from p 3 of the 5e Basic PDF): The players describe what they want to do. . . . Sometimes, resolving a task is easy. If an adventurer wants to walk across a room and open a door, the DM might just say that the door opens and describe what lies beyond. But the door might be locked, the floor might hide a deadly trap, or some other circumstance might make it challenging for an adventurer to complete a task. In those cases, the DM decides what happens, often relying on the roll of a die to determine the results . . . The DM narrates the results of the adventurers’ actions. One reading of this is that it is always open to the GM to decide whether or not the PC makes it behind the tree. (And I have a memory of you arguing as much in a thread we both participated in not too long ago.) I'm not sure, myself, that that is the only or even the best reading, but I'm guessing it's what Ovinomancer has in mind. (If I'm wrong about that I'm sure he will l...
  • 04:48 AM - Asgorath mentioned Ovinomancer in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    ...re integral to being about to understand complex topics. The Rules don't have to spell absolutely everything out as we can reason. If reasoning is applied to a given interpretation and it results in something you disagree with you can not reasonably use the notion that the rules would have to state that. What's being provided is a logical deduction from your stated interpretation (the facts you've presented about your interprestion) and what the rules actually say. The whole idea is that given your truths and the truth of the rules we will be able to reason out other facts. If your arguing against that reasoning based on your interpretation "facts" and raw that leads to some conclusion you don't agree with then at least present a reasonable argument as to why the reasoning fails. Saying there's no rule doesn't cut it in such a situation. Or, perhaps the rules of the game are designed to be simple and straight forward, and not require a ton of reasoning and interpretation. As Ovinomancer so eloquently put it, just do what it says on the tin. Occam's razor: the Attack action means making attacks. Sanctuary means the attack fails if you fail your saving throw. "If you X, you can Y" means you have to actually do X before you can do Y. There's a rule that says you can split your movement before and after your action, as well as between attacks in the Attack action. If I was a game designer and trying to build a rule system that was easy for new players to understand, then I'd lean towards my previous paragraph and not something that relies on knowledge of every single word in the PHB and that the text of the Sanctuary spell radically changes the way the entire action system works (with no words about this in the actual text of that action system itself) and thousands of other obscure rules interactions. There's a really simple solution here, and my position is that this is the correct one. Which also just happens to be confirmed by the Sage Advice Compendium.


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Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 02:46 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. Your throwing out a bit too much nuance there in order that you may paint my position as nonsense. In fact, your leaving so much out I'm going to go ahead and label this a flat out mischaracterization... And, it completely doesn't address the point I initially made that you're too focused on mechanics, here. Of course it did. Making the point for why mechanics are necessary and speaking for their accurate role cannot be placing to much focus on them. It's exactly the right amount of focus. It's less about how the game does game stuff and more about what you're willing to put at stake. You're coming at it from the point of view of what you don't want at stake and then checking the mechanics ...
  • 01:51 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    So, you're not too focused on the mechanics, but you determine your characterization by your focus on the mechanics. All good, I guess. That's a very odd way to categorize what I just said. Mechanics are simply boundaries for the characterization. Beyond that they play no role.

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 11:58 PM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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?!" Not at all too focused on mechanics. Without realizing it mechancis have always been the boundaries wherein I conceptualize a character. If the mechanics simply don't support being the combat god that never loses then I won't conceptualize that I'm the combat god that never loses. If the mechanics don't support me being able to react as I see fit to a maiden's charms then I will not make a character where that factor is important to my conceptualization of him. On the flip side if a game doesn't have mechanics around having my heart melted by a maiden then I may have already decided to conceive of a character whose heart won't be melted by said maiden. So really it is all about the mechanics because th...
  • 09:30 PM - DMZ2112 quoted Ovinomancer in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    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. Maybe I'm not understanding you, but the situation seems /worse/ with contested rolls. Most monsters can't beat a 20, and the rogue will roll a 23 more than half the time and higher the other half. 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 button." As you note, you have to have the right conditions to hide, so it's not an all-the-time thing or should even be assumed -- and I'm generous with hiding opportunities. While I do on occasion design encounters in which hiding is unhelpful or impossible, generally speaking I come down the other way, on this: it /should/ be assumed. Denying the opportunity to hide has to be pretty carefully gauged, at least in...

Saturday, 6th July, 2019

  • 10:18 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    So, at this point, I see that the @Maxperson, @FrogReaver, @Satyrn nexus is doing the following: Me in direct response to you: "D&D has nothing to do with this. Here are at least a half dozen other RPGs that I've played that are the same way. You and Hawkeyfan: "So it's all D&D with you.'' C'mon guys, really?
  • 08:23 PM - Lanefan quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 confusing and hard to grasp. It is, instead, a product of a fluid set of events where you can determine the outcome and then go back to set up the prerequisite truths. The only constraint is that you can't overrule previously established truths (without good cause, at least) or genre expectations. So, in this case, when the maiden softens your heart, then she is the right type, the right gender, and the right species because your heart is softened. Your job as a player now is to play with this new truth about yourself and find out where it goes. Perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps it's a major pro...
  • 07:33 PM - Satyrn quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 and is also not confusing authority/choice with roleplaying -- in fact, this difference is the point of the OP, in part. That's my first post in this thread and immediately you post this ugly comment without even trying to engage in conversation with me. I was even directly answering the OP original question with my post: "What do others think about who does, or should, get to establish the truth of descriptions of PC actions, and how?" Well, not directly, but my answer is clearly there: the way 5e is written with its basic play loop is my preference for who gets to establish such and how it's done.
  • 05:50 AM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 the games others are talking about where the DM gets to say things about your character. This is wrong. It's not more invasive to my authority for charm to work. It's far less invasive. Since there is an in game mechanic for the control, it's just another non-invasive thing. Only control where this is no in game reason for it to exist is invasive, because it takes away control that I should have. Charm does not take away control that I should have, because I shouldn't have it. This is what I meant by missing the forest for the tree -- D&D has some very strong DM authorities that often run roughshod...

Thursday, 4th July, 2019

  • 07:27 PM - Maxperson quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 themes to scene elements to even the results -- I get to tell the GM what happens. In that case, having the GM direct my character sometimes is much less of an imposition, especially since I can impose back. For me it's not about how much authority I have, though. I could have more authority over other aspects of the game and I would feel the same way. For me it's about the PC being mine. I'm the only one, barring some sort of mechanical means like charm, who gets to control what he feels and does. If you look at this issue only from the point of view of D&D, then you're missing the forest for the tree...
  • 07:07 PM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 themes to scene elements to even the results -- I get to tell the GM what happens. In that case, having the GM direct my character sometimes is much less of an imposition, especially since I can impose back. Choosing a foundational theme or scene elements or even results of your actions - all of those things are not-roleplaying - per your own definition roleplaying is about taking on a role in a shared fiction - none of those things involve taking on a role in a shared fiction. (Well, I suppose you could be roleplaying a DM but that's not really what we are talking about here...)
  • 03:25 PM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Let me give you another version of this: It all depends on if Bob is an in-fiction character and not-Bob is an out of fiction character. I see you dropped that distinction from your other version... 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 functionally any different from the GM telling you what to do. If the maiden softens your heart, this is the same thing. You're confusing a magic for something special and unique -- it's just another mechanic. I'm reifying in-fiction.
  • 04:39 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Frankly, your argument is steeped in a single-point-of-view of how RPGs are played. It shows a lack of understanding of the broader context of RPGs and the varied playstyles. It relies on a one-true-way of playing, at least if you want to be able to claim you're still roleplaying. It fails to be a practically applicable definition -- it doesn't even work within the game you prefer without using special pleading for mechanics that subvert it (ie, "magic"). Since you keep bringing magic up let's take a moment and go more in depth on that topic. Let's take a dominate person like effect - that is a share fiction wherein the PC must obey the commands of an NPC. It's very easy to roleplay a PC that is under seem mind altering affect that makes him obey the commands of another in fiction character. That is roleplaying! in fact, that may be the easiest roleplaying any one has ever done... Contrast this with an out of fiction DM stating what your character must do. Having your PC do whatever the ...
  • 04:37 AM - Nagol quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 confusing and hard to grasp. It is, instead, a product of a fluid set of events where you can determine the outcome and then go back to set up the prerequisite truths. The only constraint is that you can't overrule previously established truths (without good cause, at least) or genre expectations. So, in this case, when the maiden softens your heart, then she is the right type, the right gender, and the right species because your heart is softened. Your job as a player now is to play with this new truth about yourself and find out where it goes. Perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps it's a major pro...
  • 02:01 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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. Hopefully this explains why this part is so important to me. What does it mean to take on an imaginary role in a shared fiction? That's the crux of the matter. Doesn't a player who takes on an imaginary role of a specific character in a shared fiction of an RPG by necessity determine what actions said imaginary character is taking? That's what is actually meant roleplay in this context right? If that's correct, then isn't your definition actually the same as mine? That a player determines the actions of the character he is portraying in the shared fiction? (I suppose by actions, it's best I clarify as being attempted actions for precisions sake - I say attempted because there is often a disconnect between the players fiction and the DM's fiction which can result in a player stating his character does something that doesn't actuall...

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019

  • 11:43 AM - pemerton quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In 5e, the expectation is that players have absolute authority to declare thin actions, except in specific cases, usually magic. Even here I think there are some interesting exceptions (or maybe they're borderline cases). Eg the search example: suppose the GM has narrated a wall that has a ledge towards its top that is too high for the PCs to visually inspect even when they stand on tippy-toes, but that they can reach with outstretched arms. A player narrates I reach up high and run my fingers along the ledge. The GM replies You run your fingers along the ledge and feel several bumps - one of them depresses as you brush your fingers over it - make a DEX saving throw!. The player makes the roll, and succeeds. The GM continues You pull your hand away as a blade springs up from inside the ledge! If you'd been slower it might have pierced your hand. That might be good play or bad play, depending on everything from table preferences to larger context in which the episode is located to the dramat...
  • 10:07 AM - Bagpuss quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Yes, and the topic is about who gets to choose the outcome -- the GM or the player. This normally depends on the system, and usually some sort of success mechanic.
  • 12:53 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Strongly disagree with this. You've defined 'roleplaying' as 'how I prefer to play' No I've not. I've defined it as what it is. 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. Which is not a true RPG mechanic. It's a narrative/storytelling style mechanic. As I said, the games are RPG's because they do contain many RPG elements as well. But the mechanic you are bringing up is not one of those RPG mechanics. On the GM side, this can very much be declaring a different action for the PC (and the outcome) than what the player wanted. Which is not a roleplaying mechanic but a story/narrative mechanic. It's a still a role-playing game though, Of course it is. That doesn't mean every mechanic involved in for roleplay though. See the distinction? ...
  • 12:48 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    EDIT: for a more D&D oriented response, see dominate person/monster, charm abilities, and emotion spells. These can all have the GM dictating PC actions, so even in D&D your argument runs into problems. See Magic
  • 12:38 AM - GrahamWills quoted Ovinomancer in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    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 ... On the GM side, this can very much be declaring a different action for the PC (and the outcome) than what the player wanted. Agree with Ovinomancer; it's not a "requirement of roleplaying" that the DM cannot direct how players react. In fact, it'd guess that pretty much every GM has had players react to being hit by taking damage, react to being scared by running, react to being knocked unconscious by falling over, react to being awed by a dragon by taking a penalty to attacks, etc. I know that some people like to make a distinction and say that the GM's job is to judge purely physical reactions only, making them play the role of a physics simulation runner. But that's only some GMs and some players -- many other of us prefer to play games where simulation of physical reality is accompanied by simulation of emotional reality also. In fact, some of use like games where that is the main role the GM plays and the physics part is shared by all players.

Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 06:05 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Ovinomancer in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    Sorry to mince the following quote to answer smoothly: Okay, so, your point is that players can't understand enough to make reasoned choices because the play loop is so fixed that they can't ask questions...For one, you're only making this argument against goal and approach,... (who said this?iserith: goal & approach requires an action declaration with a goal (acquiring information) and an approach (searching, 'trying to remember' lore from past specific study, etc...) /instead/ of asking questions of the DM. I don't think that requirement should preclude asking for /clarification/ about the DM's narration of the situation, though. Like, if the DM says standing in the room are a half-dozen goblins & hobgoblins... Asking, "is that a total of 6, or six of each for a total of 12?" shouldn't be out of line. Though the follow up "OK, but how many of the six are hobgoblins" /might/ call for an approach of /actually counting the taller enemies/, if there's more than one or two, anyway. Essenti...


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