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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 04:04 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    Yeah, but I think you're treating the discussion as if folks are choosing their wordign along strict logical lines, when that behavior is not terribly common. "Any DM (OSR or not)..." may not be strictly true. Though, it may be - they may *see* the logic, but reject it. But whatever the case, in spending your time refuting the strict statement, you miss the actual point that perhaps lots...
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 03:51 PM
    Well, it isn't like the pantheon and cultural structure are cleanly separable. The gods support particular social structures. And, in our fantasy worlds, the gods have a say in things - if a god gives spell power to elvish worshippers/clerics, and does not give power to non-elves, that's going to reinforce religion being a racial characteristic. Um... we have the phrase lingua franca...
    8 replies | 173 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 02:41 PM
    What part of "particularly on a success" didn't connect for you? Your response to that is to note that the failure case is always infinite, so there's no narrowing at all? Really?
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 02:19 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    Or, the also not-uncommon "start at 3rd level". Note that "a half-dozen people before you suggested X" does not actually mean that those half-dozen are representative. Using posts here for that is like using self-selected poll data - it does not represent what portion of people actually feel that way, as much as how strongly this small number of people feel about the point.
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 02:03 PM
    You didn't go with "The Tick"?!? There's a missed opportunity for you.
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 01:34 PM
    The Diana Jones Awards (named after the remaining piece of the Indiana Jones RPG encased in the trophy) has announced its nominees for 2019. Every year an anonymous group of industry members select a handful of nominees, which are announced at a private event during Gen Con. Last year's winner was the movement of Actual Play. This year's nominees are: Dungeons & Dragons Art &...
    3 replies | 464 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:50 PM
    Occasionally a game mechanic jumps out at me, and makes me think "wow!" -- it's not always brand new, and sometimes it builds on something else, or sometimes it's just new to me, but I like it when a simple mechanic catches my eye. Here's a couple of my favourites: D&D's advantage/disadvantage is a really elegant way to replace all those fiddly bonuses. It's one of my favourite things about...
    10 replies | 388 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:28 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    With respect, this doesn't tell us anything until you also do a measure of how fast PCs are expected to *lose* hit points. If AD&D monsters generally did less damage, or an AD&D party dealt with far fewer monsters in a day, yes, it could be moot.
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:58 PM
    I am not sure that this is somehow more true of gnomes than it is of, say, elves, with all the sub-races that have been out there. And, heavens forfend you can't summarize *an entire race of people* in a neat little stereotype! The horror!
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 PM
    It matters to my play experience. It probably impacts the choices I make in play. So, by that measure, it makes a difference in the campaign. Also, as a GM, I take the player choices to be indicative of things they want to see. If you play a gnome, we're probably going to see a lot more gnome culture and social role in the game than if nobody chose to play a gnome. That probably means...
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:18 PM
    Modiphius has announced that the Alpha Quadrant Sourcebook for Star Trek Adventures will be out on July 25th. 11 alien species, new starships, and lots of information about the Federation and worlds of the quadrant, available from their web store very soon. ďIn the end, it comes down to throwing one pitch afteranother, and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins...
    5 replies | 720 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:49 AM
    We did a skit about that in last week's podcast, with a player suggesting more and more outlandish races, starting with deep gnomes and tieflings, through aaracokra and minotaurs, to mind flayers and dragons, to daleks and Borg Queens, to, eventually, V'ger. The idea of somebody playing V'ger as a PC still cracks me up.
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:11 AM
    Both of you decided to continue a personal dispute despite the warning. Time for both of you to take a walk - find another thread where you're not going to engage in personal sniping. Don't post in this one any further. Despite how clear this case is, one or both of you will likely disagree and want to argue with me. Take it to PM, please, and leave the thread alone. Anyone else?
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:43 PM
    I see several signs of people getting snippy, personal, and being far more interested in being right than exploring ideas. Folks are looking dug in, defending positions rather than thinking about whether the other guy has a point. That's a good sign that the thread's about done. Keep it respectful, keep it constructive, or find another topic, folks.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:35 PM
    The moment when you have to say, "To not understand and agree with me, you are either doing bad thing A, or bad thing B," is the moment you should step back, and consider that this means you must be flawless. Are you flawless? No? Then bad things on the other guy's part are *not* the only option. Maybe, just maybe, there's another basis for the misunderstanding. Until you are more...
    106 replies | 2230 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Iím pretty sure Iíve never once seen you post on-topic. :)
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:17 PM
    abe ray your habit of starting a thread asking a question, and not even acknowledging (let a alone thanking) those who go out of their way to help you is a little rude. Itís been going on for some time. If somebody helps you out, please have the decency to thank them before asking them something for something else. Thanks! :)
    9 replies | 544 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Morrus started a thread PF2 Are you moving from 5E to PF2?
    (A question for those planning to play PF2; if youíre not, this isnít really for you - donít threadcrap, please). So youíre planning on playing PF2. While you are probably coming from PF1, is anybody coming from 5E? Obviously, itís not a permanent thing; you can play more than one game, try out others, all that stuff. But I was curious whether thereís a demographic out here who feel PF2 is...
    13 replies | 610 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:53 PM
    Streaming video. Netflix. Podcasts. Audio/video media, basically. I get through several GB/month, and I'm not as bad as some people I know.
    8 replies | 127 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:42 PM
    There are only a few days left to back the A TOUCH MORE CLASS Kickstarter! Join nearly 2,000 backers with these nine new classes for your 5th Edition games. Remember, we delivery Kickstarters immediately they end, so there won't be any opportunity for pledge managers or late pledges! Here's a look at all the stuff you can get in this epic-sized Kickstarter! Play as the brilliant...
    0 replies | 503 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    Modiphius has announced the official Vampire: The Masquerade 5th edition Organized Play campaign, with a sign-up form to run games at major conventions, receiving the official adventures before release starting with The Fall of London before Christmas. Other upcoming books: The Fall of London campaign
    6 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:52 AM
    Umbran replied to Science in D&D
    Yes. I agree. That's exactly the point. But when you tell them the speed of light, or how gravity scales, you are telling them how the fantasy universe works! They don't have to assume it when you tell them. I meant that a GM shouldn't use the language of real-world physics to express how real-world physics doesn't work. Because when the GM says these things, they are Truth. And players...
    56 replies | 1727 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:04 PM
    Umbran replied to Science in D&D
    As a physicist, my advice: don't go there. One of the big points we get to when we look at the fundamental constants is not just that "Hey, the physical constants are exactly what they are", but "Hey, if the physical constants change even a small bit, life (and even matter) as we know it ceases to exist." This is one answer to the question of "Why is the Universe exactly the way it is?"...
    56 replies | 1727 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:17 AM
    Folks, There comes a time when folks no longer willing to budge or learn from each other butt heads, and can move forward no further. However, humans are built to not give up, so the head-butting can go on for some time. I can make it so neither one of you has to give up. You probably don't want me to do that. But if you do, by all means, continue in this same manner. I will take that...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:06 AM
    It is late, but let me see if I can construct one... I will use example presented before - the chaste knight is offered Excalibur in exchange for their chastity. We can call this... "The Maiden and the Sword". On the face of this, it is just a hard question - and only hard in the sense of our having put a stake in the ground in claiming the character was chaste, and we often dislike being...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:48 AM
    I tend to agree. "Need" is an absolute, and there are few absolutes that actually hold for us. Mechanics may make it easier to make such challenges, and/or make them eaiser for players to accept. "Fidelity" has two connotations. One is "strict adherence" - this is like a "high-fidelity recording". I don't think that's the sense meant here. The sense intended here is probably...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:15 AM
    That's because you are again swapping between different kinds of "challenge" willy-nilly. We typically talk about "challenge the player" and "challenge the character" in a rather game-centered* manner. If I had you a sudoku puzzle to solve, with no reference to the mechanics your character uses, I am challenging you, the player. If I give a strictly constructed skill challenge (make skill...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 01:33 AM
    Folks, If you are going to publicly admit that you're intentionally being jerks, you don't leave moderators a lot of wiggle room. Continue down that path, and you are unlikely to enjoy the result. There's this thing, called "being a reasonable, mature person". Try it out.
    104 replies | 2819 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:36 PM
    There seems to be a recent, growing trend of people mistaking EN World article comments for the YouTube comments section.
    4 replies | 74 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Completely missing the point. Please keep spoilers to threads with warnings so people know to avoid them. Iíll add a spoiler tag to this one for you, but wonít be reading it further.
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:01 PM
    Dude. Spoilers. Some of us are interested in seeing this film, even if you arenít.
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Itís not GURPS. Sorry, zero pointless snark points for you. Thanks, though. ;)
    95 replies | 1666 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Well, weíre certainly not American.
    80 replies | 2470 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:46 PM
    His company website has been taken down. Is the KS still running?
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:58 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    ďYou lot {humans} would rather watch someone suffer untold horrors than watch them enjoy so much as a cool drink if you donít have two of your own, and yours have cherries in them as well as more ice and little paper umbrellas, and even then most of you would still prefer to take theirs and have three. This is not the behavior of a sentient race.Ē -Space Opera, Catherynne Valente
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:48 PM
    Will it make it better if we tell you that you'll take your nemesis with you when you go? "Goguenar Gorecannon's Seventh Unkillable Fact: Dying happens to everyone, even stars. Even the stuff between the stars. But if you believe in yourself and achieve your goals, you can die so hard that no one will ever forget you, and thatís almost as good as not dying at all. Well, it isnít, really, it...
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:12 PM
    Dude. Please stop telling me Iím going to die.
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:39 PM
    Is that a death threat? ;)
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:24 PM
    There are almost no original IPs... in movies. In print (novels and comic books, for example) there's loads of new stuff. It is far, far cheaper to produce a novel or comic book run than it is to produce a movie, so it will often make far more sense to take something that's at least been tried out in the public arena before you spend $75 million and more on a movie.
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:11 PM
    There's time travel involved. The difference between sequel and reboot is negligible.
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:39 PM
    Gosh. Man, you're on fire today!
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:28 PM
    It's pitched very much as a sequel rather than a reboot. And I'm not planning on dying any time in the next 40 years, thanks!
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:08 PM
    Where did you hear/see that assertion, out of curiosity?
    19 replies | 632 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:02 PM
    This is not the forum to discuss anti-vaxxers or other general political topics.
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:57 PM
    Oops! Itís formatted separately, so I have to remember to insert it at the end of the PDF each time I update.
    95 replies | 1666 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:55 AM
    I think it's the screenshot from the blog (now deleted but saved in that Twitter thread) of somebody else's Facebook post which he was mocking, which showed him logged in to his own account in the "reply" box.
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:21 AM
    Theyíve rebooted Terminator repeatedly. This one gives me more confidence than Salvation or Genysis. Weíll see. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor is a waaay bigger draw than a John Conner actor #6.
    36 replies | 797 view(s)
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  • darjr's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:55 AM
    Wait, thatís an interesting idea. What ideas or rules unique to PF2 does anyone see a D&D implementing or appropriating? Anyone?
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:31 PM
    A Kickstarter convention?
    2 replies | 143 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:31 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    We're talking about how we pretend to be elves, Celebrim. Expect depth to match the topic. Consider it less an observation of the nature of love, and more an observation of the nature of people, and it will probably be more functional for you.
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:47 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    I think we get a sense of it, at least. So, here's the difference - you define viability in terms of "pulling weight", doing damage, and such. And I can accept that as something that can be important enough to a player to be a deal-breaker. Most of the time, I figure even-handedness in spreading around effectiveness is a useful thing for a game's design. But, my personal definition of...
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:36 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    "My uncle used to say that we like people for their qualities, but we love them for their defects." - B.P.R.D. Agent John Myers, Hellboy, 2004
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:28 PM
    In a very practical sense, nothing that isn't D&D has really caught on. What was the statistic Morrus gave - 40 million people play D&D? By comparison to that, everything else is just an corner experiment, isn't it? Market realities have so much say in the success of a line that I don't think we can say market success speaks to the whether the mechanical design is flawed in concept all that...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:15 PM
    With respect, two things - 1) I was speaking about a challenge *to the core of the character*. You are talking about a challenge to *you*, the player. You don't get to change th referent, and then asses my statement against the new referent. 2) I was also pretty clear about what I was talking about when I spoke of challenge in this context. If Chris Claremont writes a comic book about...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:11 PM
    What conclusion? If you are going to accuse folks of jumping to things, please be clear. Misunderstandings cannot be corrected when you are being vague.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:10 PM
    Yes, it was. I liked the Neverending Story bit even more, but it was funny. So, true story... Long before I met my wife, she played D&D. It was a time with many missionary types going door-to-door to try to entice people to come to their religious congregations. My wife's group was playing one day, when missionary types rang the doorbell. The group wasn't playing in costume, but......
    49 replies | 1813 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:01 PM
    With respect - I think it is more that you expressed your idea here... very poorly. It became controversial because... well, your words didn't say this. Sorry.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:52 PM
    Thatís too bad. I really liked the band.
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:50 PM
    It is perhaps as much a nod to him being... a tad desperate. Look at the past two seasons, what that kid went through. Consider how much of life (and growing up) he's missed just dealing with all that crud and the repercussions. He, very desperately, wants things to be *NORMAL*. Which, to him, is still hanging out in the game room with his friends playing games. They aren't interested. So,...
    49 replies | 1813 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:11 PM
    He's blocked me pre-emptively on Twitter for some reason. He had his account set to approved followers only, so it's not like I could ever see it, but I guess he's decided he doesn't want to see my tweets either. Never tweeted the guy or mentioned him!
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:04 PM
    I was using that term in contrast to things like strategic combat, or narrative/cinematic combat. Um... you know that there are/have been dice-less RPGs, right? RPGs that have no random elements exist. There is uncertainty not in what the random generator will produce, but instead uncertainty in what they other person will choose as their priorities.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:04 PM
    I dunno if this thread covers it, but one of the reasons I liked PF1 was itís broad compatibility with 3.5 and 3.0. Not only adventures and monsters but even splatbooks and classes. In fact it was MORE important at the time. I looked at other games but it was among the best for backwards compatibility. PF2 in the playtest was far from that kind of ideal, as far as I could tell. And I havenít...
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:38 PM
    For D&D (any edition), I don't think you can make that general statement. In some games, the GM says, "this is a tough encounter," and the mechanics *will* be tough - the narration literally determines the mechanics. D&D, though, has a significant past tradition of tournament play, and a current tradition of purchasing adventures created by others, and presenting them with minimal editing. ...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:55 PM
    Define, "role-play in perfect character". I will assume a few things that I figure are solidly in-genre here for the point. The noble knight wants to be chaste. He also wants to protect the kingdom from whatever threatens it this week. So, the knight has a conflict of priorities - both of which are part of his character. The point here is to ask which is dominant, and have that be an...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:51 PM
    "interesting" is subjective, so no, this is not generally true. Especially when you call out that combat is "fun" - fun things aren't interesting? I know players who find tactical combat or cinematic combat scenes very interesting. Don't you? I think most of us use dice-rolling combat not as a "standard" for measure, but as an example/analogy that is ready to hand. If this analogy does not...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:43 PM
    I was trying to say that, if you are in complete control, you always have the ability to say, "Nah, this has no impact," and so there is never a challenge to the core. Challenge does not happen in a position of certainty.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:14 PM
    Umbran replied to OSR Gripes
    Yes, but do you realize how much variation in playstyle and play goals there still is/was between groups given those parameters? I mean, correct me if I am wrong, but a run-of-the-mill thief would not be considered viable under your parameters. Do you actually think most of the rest of us who played found that to be true? If not, we ought to consider why others found it viable, and you did...
    210 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:43 PM
    I was only asking about players. My question was prompted by that tweet, but it isn't the same question. The question I wanted to ask is the one I posted. :)
    80 replies | 2470 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:25 AM
    Most people (including third parties) who have access are under an NDA. It comes out in a couple of weeks though! You might be able to find scattered bits from what people remember from recent playtests etc.
    4 replies | 330 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Nope. But they do have to provide product for evaluation.
    12 replies | 261 view(s)
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  • darjr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:16 PM
    Who? The internet has some really dumb obscure corners. That the hate comes back to bite him? I donít appreciate the vitriol, but he fought with that sword. Wait!? Is this a corner Iím standing in?
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:59 PM
    A large factor in my supporting a Patreon would be the behaviour of the person running it.
    27 replies | 995 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    This has blown up on social media the last couple of days. YourRPGisSh*t, an attack site which attacked game designers, retailers, and publishers, along with nasty screeds against various demographics, turned out to have been run by a publisher. Not one I'm personally familiar with. Geek Native has a more detailed report on the matter. The author outed himself with a screenshot which contained...
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
    0 XP
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Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 10:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    the playstyle I suggest doesn't lead to that unless a player ignores their character conceptualization.If the player is avoiding expedience by sticking to conceptualisation, how is that conceptualisation going to be challenged? Or changed? If the player is at liberty to change conceptuatlisation in response to choices, what governs those choices? Self-evidently it can't be conceptualisation. You don't want it to be expedience. Is it whim? Do you have actual play examples to post that illustrate the point you are trying to make? Before the hard decision, I did not know X about my character. Until I made the decision, X was still unknown to me. After the decision, X is now known to me. That's a discovery about the character, which makes it something I learned. How many times over the years after someone ends up in a unique situation and makes a hard decision, have we heard, "So and so really learned something about himself."?As Umbran pointed out way upthread, we are not talking here about actual people living actual lives. We're talking about actual people authoring imagined lives. When an author chooses to have his/her protagonist do X rather than Y, perhaps s/he learns something about him-/herself. (Eg I empathise more with an X-er than a Y-er.) But s/he doesn't learn anything about the protagonist. S/he makes a decision that the protagonist is an X-er rather than a Y-er. The idea that decisions cannot result in discovery is absurd. If decisions prevent discovery, then we shouldn't make any decisions at all. Let the dice randomly determine everything and make tons of discoveries.[/quote]Discovery implies externality. That's why, for instance, philosophers once spoke about our knowledge of the external world, and why one of my teachers once glossed idealist theories of knowledge in this way: you can't get more out of knowledge than you put in. To discover something about my character requires something exter...

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 10:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ... It's not that a choice can't be part of a challenge. A choice to enter a room full of monsters usually kicks off a challenge and becomes part of it, but that challenge isn't "do I decide to go in or not" it's "do I overcome this room full of monsters" and your choice is many-fold for how you might do this. I think that some mechanic is necessary for an RPG, because we have no other way to resolve uncertainty, and uncertainty is necessary for challenge to exist. Just as the chance to fail must exist or there is no challenge. And, again, you cannot fail to exercise your authority over characterization because you make a choice about your characterization. Those 2 sentences appear to contradict each other. Let me elaborate: At first you say a hard choice isn't a challenge. Then you say you believe a challenge can be made without mechanics. What other method could possibly result in a challenge besides either mechanics or a hard choice?There's the example that's been given by Umbran. Here's another example, which is based on an actual play experience I had many years ago now. The basic structure of the example is not too different from Umbran's. One of the PCs was a paladin. He was a member of an order devoted to the relief of suffering and freeing victimes of torture and slavery The system was Rolemaster - for those not familiar with it, RM uses crit rolls as its main mechanic for resolving hurt in combat; and it's very common for foes to be defeated in combat without being killed - they're knocked out, or disabled, or stunned, or whatever. At 5th level the player of the paladin hit an NPC in combat, and then rolled a 00 crit - decapitation. It was the first time he had killed a person. It caused a crisis of faith: can I be the person of faith that I aspire to be, and be a killer? There is no mechanical test that will answer this question. It's been prompted by a mechanical resolution process, but not one that was intended to make this particular que...
  • 04:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I agree with Ovinomancer and Umbran that making a choice - even a hard choice - isn't a challenge to character and character concept of the sort that has been raised in this thread. Whether you need mechanics (social mechanics, emotional mechanics, whatever they might be) to generate that sort of challenge is a further question. My view is that you don't, although obviously they might help. To expain why I think you don't need such mechanics, I want to quote a recent post: If I am playing or running a game that is supposed to be more character focused I absolutely do make aesthetic judgments of other players and I expect the same in kind. We should all be invested in each others' characters - be fans of them. For that to happen players should play their characters as if they were real people with real passions and real relationships. Players should play their characters with integrity and want to find out who they really are. They shouldn't try to drive play to some preferred outcome. Still ultimately their decisi...
  • 02:06 AM - Maxperson mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I wanted to add, it's not just about challenging the player. Everything I've said also applies to the character. The character is really just a sheet of paper. It's the player inhabiting the idea of the character that gives it life. That's why I don't understand this idea that you can challenge the character socially, without challenging the player. When Umbran said that I was switching the challenge from the character to the player, I had a vision of Leslie Nielson in an interrogation room with a character sheet sitting on a chair, demanding that it confess. After a few minutes he turns to Nordberg and says, "I never thought it would be so hard to challenge a character." You cannot challenge a character without simultaneously challenging the player. A challenge where the DM takes control and informs the player that his PC's heart warms is no less a challenge to the player than what we are describing. It's just a different sort of challenge.

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 03:41 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    A long post as I catch up on this thread. If it's left to a die roll or the DM's decision, there is no real test of character. <snip> There's a huge difference between me struggling with a decision for my PC, and clack, clack, clack! Oh, look. This time he's an ass, maybe next time he'll be noble. *yawn*The second bit here suggest to me that you're not familiar with the play of any of the non-D&D games that Aldarc, Umbran, Ovinomancer and I have referenced - Fate, Pendrgaon, Prince Valiant, MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Bunring Wheel, etc. And the first bit is odd, because the way you find out whether a D&D character is tough enough to beat Orcus in a fight is (among other things) to roll some dice. Of course D&D combat is not nothing but die rolls. But nor is a skill challenge, or a Duel of Wits, or whatever other mechanic a system might use to find out whether or not your PC is steely-hearted enough to resist the maiden's wink. Consulting rules makes zero difference here. It's just a question of whether or not you trust the GM to set up the game to be fun. Adding a veneer of rules on top is just a comfort blanket for gamers who really like rulesI certainly find it interesting that FrogReaver and Maxperson are fine with the maiden melting a PC's heart of the GM has written down (i) that the maiden has such a special ability and (ii) it allows a saving throw. Given that there's no rule in D&D that limi...

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 09:15 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I didn't provide a crazy example, but to answer your question, it would be a valid reason and here's why. Sometimes people who have flaws can just overcome those urges. Now, if the player is doing it all the time and/or only at times when it would be detrimental to the PC/party, then he's abusing the system and would need to be talked to after the game. If it's just once in a while, then it's fine. Sorry, the highly specific example of having found out in play that 6 of her 7 husbands had vanished seemed a bit unlikely as a reason why the wink would not affect your character as opposed to something more routine like the character resisting the urge to give in to a pretty face. Thatís all I meant. The latter part of your comment is what Iím getting at. This kind of stuff absolutely falls to the groupís shared expectations for the game and the like. And it may go perfectly fine that way. I think itís more likely with a longstanding hroup of players whoíve established trust, as Umbran mentioned. But, absent a group of players being together for years, such rules can replace that trust. They establish what can happen and when and how, and so in. They can provide a clear process for how such interactions are handled. Again, this all depends on the game and the mechanics, and with 5E D&D itís left up to the group pretty much entirely. No, it's not flawed. It just requires that the player not play in bad faith. Semantics. Itís a weak point meaning itís subject to abuse through bad faith play. Itís the same thing. Why? Because you claimed that a Melted Heart dictated exactly what happened. But since the phrase ďmelted heartĒ is kind of vague, I figure Iíd check the Condition descriptions to see the exact effects.

Saturday, 6th July, 2019


Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 05:21 PM - Morrus mentioned Umbran in post Hidden
  • 02:33 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    We are living in a golden age of RPGs, where there are options to support many styles of play. Have fun with yours! I agree completely with this (and with the remainder of what you wrote). I also agree with the way Umbran put it- Who does, or should, get to establish the truth of descriptions of PC actions... depends on what game you are playing. It isn't as if we all like the same foods, music, or books. So, we should not expect everyone to like the same games. We should instead, expect a varied collection of games, with different ways of doing things. So when the OP posits the following- What do others think about who does, or should, get to establish the truth of descriptions of PC actions, and how? It sets up an incorrect distinction, because of the varied nature of different RPGs. It would be like someone stating, "What do others think about the best way to tally points for victory in athletic endeavors?" The inherent absurdity of that question becomes manifest in the asking; a debate between different individuals who enjoy basketball, (American) football, cricket, and soccer (futbol/football) would show that different sports cater to different preferences; and this is before getting to ...

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 04:25 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Umbran in post Abilities....Which check would you use?
    Yah. If a 15 year old city kid decides to play a ranger, you shouldn't expect the *player* to know proper approaches to how to acquire food or shelter, or follow tracks. The game very explicitly works to help you play characters who know and do things you, the player, cannot. Expecting player understanding of the character's domains of knowledge is not fair. People are so... unforgiving. Really. Take that 15 year old kid. How is it *really* different to say, "My sheet says I know about Survival, and I'd like to use that knowledge to acquire shelter in these woods," and "I'd like to roll Survival to find out more about the tracks"? I mean, yeah, asking for a skill check is more metagamey. We can encourage description of in-game approach, sure. But to outright not accept a basic, relevant request seems... a bit dogmatic, doesn't it?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 know it sucks?

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 10:26 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Umbran in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    No, but you said more people would be comfortable with them not existing. So I was addressing that. I think that's mostly due to expectation and tradition, or maybe a feedback loop of both. I'm currently playing a game that treats all the combat and non-combat actions the same....it has a universal mechanic that's resolved the same for all actions. Combat is still a big part of the game. But non-combat is just as important, and is just as engaging. So I think the existence of engaging mechanics for social interaction can actually add to play rather than detract from it. The problem is that the most common social interaction rules aren't really all that engaging. So, w/r/t and what Umbran said earlier, I am reminded about the controversies over the introduction of the original Thief class. One of the issues with introducing the class was that people were worried that if you introduced a Thief with certain defined skills (like Hide in Shadows) that would mean that individuals who were not Thieves could not perform the skill. Moreover, once you start to require these types of skills to do things, people would demand that these sorts of things be done by skill. And two observations I would have are: 1. Most people fought against this line of argument. "Of course people can still do what they want!" 2. That said, my observation (anecdotal only) was that only thieves hid in shadows. If you give someone a hammer, they start to look for nails. Using social resolution mechanics will result in players using those mechanics to solve problems. To put it in old school terms- (1)You can either just RP everything, in which case charisma is a useless dump stat and everything...

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 07:52 AM - MichaelSomething mentioned Umbran in post Should I play 4e?
    ...te: We haven't had to moderate folks for edition warring for a long time. But if you are going to be a jerk about editions, we will deal with you. Moreover, consider, for a moment, how not-fun all that was for moderators. And how much we will (not) thank you for bringing us back to that again. So - you are allowed to like a thing, or not, and say so. But treat each other with respect. And don't pay the pain of the past forward. Continuing blood feuds over how we pretend to be elves forward is... dumb. Okay? Any questions - take them to PM or e-mail, please and thank you. This is an example of another feature of 4E; Marking! Marking is an action "Defender" classes (or in this case mods) can do to discourage monsters (or in this case edition warring posters) from attacking the rest of your party (or in this case the rest of the posters in this thread/any edition of D&D). Note that Marking does not stop you from taking an action; it punishes you for it. Like how Umbran can't magically prevent people from edition warring; but instead promises punishment if you do. The idea is the threat of punishment prevents edition warriors from, well, warring.

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019


Saturday, 1st June, 2019

  • 05:47 AM - innerdude mentioned Umbran in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    Using @Umbran's evolution analogy, it feels like the RPG landscape is somewhat solidifying around five or six fairly distinct "genetic pools" in terms of rules systems. These are the ones where when we compare them to games we'll be playing 25 years from now, we'll look back and be able to trace their heritage to a common starting point. 1. D&D 5e is obviously far and away (85%+) the largest genetic pool. If individual players are "species members," at this point I don't think it's hyperbolic in any way to say that D&D 5e is the largest tabletop RPG "gene pool" / ecosystem in the hobby's history. And despite it now being a full 5 years following its release, it still doesn't feel like it's peaked in terms of popularity and economic viability. 5e isn't just a home run, it's a bases-loaded grand slam, followed by a triple, two walks, and another grand slam. Clearly there's going to be some "genus" of the 5e genetic pool in the hobby for 20 years or more. It hasn't fully killed off 1e/OSR, or 3e/Pa...

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 09:05 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Umbran in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...nent than the content. here is my reasoning: That's a great example, and I can understand why it was so compelling for you. Would you say that it was the prose itself that made it so deep for you? You say that the content and the mechanics of the game itself were not to your taste, so that's how I read it....but I don't want to assume that I get all the nuance. Would you say that this was a compelling experience as a game? Or more like experiencing a work of art? Were you invested in the play? An aligned thought: It occurs to me that the games where I most value presentation over content are games focused on personal drama (as opposed to resolving procedural action). It may be that people who only play procedural games don't feel the need for presentation as much. Certainly when I play D&D it's nowhere near as big a draw for me as when I play Fiasco, DramaSystem, Indie one-shots, Bluebeard's Bride or the like. Yeah, I think this has a huge impact on the discussion for sure. Umbran mentioned LARP, and that obviously has some significant differences from most other RPGs, despite also having similarities. I've played Microscope on a few occasions, and I've found that to be fun, and I think that the effort the group put forth was interesting and evocative....a literary endeavor....but I didn't really feel like I was playing a game as much as I do with most other RPGs.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 07:27 PM - LordEntrails mentioned Umbran in post How do you get to GURPS?
    I agree with Umbran and others. You seem to be under the premise that complexity is good. Not all of us agree. For me, it was it was about personal development and growth. Different phases of my life I wanted different things. Decades ago I like crunchy and complex systems. I liked learning all the complex interactions and how things might go together. Then I learned how to "optimize" and as part of that I learned how to "break" these complex systems. And that was fun for awhile. But now, nope. I'm not interested in breaking systems or optimizing. So, I prefer simpler systems where we can role-play and use any character theme etc and not worry about balance or not accounting for some esoteric or obscure situational rule. Fun to me is now not about what I know or how lever I am, but rather the interactions I have with the other players.

Friday, 24th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - acpitz 1 mentioned Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    What is this about, acpitz 1? You appear to be a new member who has decided to start insulting us. Something up? As I said in reply to Umbran I stand corrected. But in these times of shadow banning is a norm it's just very suspicious that posts disappear like that.


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 04:45 PM - Celebrim quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    Yeah, but I think you're treating the discussion as if folks are choosing their wordign along strict logical lines, when that behavior is not terribly common. Well, most of my daily communication is with computers...
  • 03:28 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    So while your answer makes some sense, I don't think it's grounded in reality. Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot. Further, if your answer does make sense, then it becomes a table rule of some sort the simplest and least time wasting version of which will be something like "max hit points at first level". I recall Max 1st HD (because Rangers) being a very common variant. One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those. Or, the also not-uncommon "start at 3rd level". The version of that I encountered was the "brevet" - start at 2nd, but 0 exp...
  • 02:27 PM - Celebrim quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    Or, the also not-uncommon "start at 3rd level". Yeah, I've encountered that with one group as well. Note that "a half-dozen people before you suggested X" does not actually mean that those half-dozen are representative. Using posts here for that is like using self-selected poll data - it does not represent what portion of people actually feel that way, as much as how strongly this small number of people feel about the point. For the purposes of my claim, I don't require a representative sample, since the claim I'm refuting - "Any DM (OSR or not) can see the logic in that request" - is refuted by showing at least one OSR DM that doesn't see the logic of that request.

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 11:25 PM - Seramus quoted Umbran in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    And, heavens forfend you can't summarize *an entire race of people* in a neat little stereotype! The horror!I think the stereotypes are important. Certainly not the best thing from an IRL perspective, but within the realm of fantasy those racial stereotypes are what makes those races distinct. You can play to the stereotype, subvert the stereotype, or do all kinds of neat narrative things with the stereotype... but without that anchor? Elves and a Dwarves just become Humans with different stats. Granted, there is no one true stereotype. But having one is what makes them unique.
  • 10:09 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    With respect, this doesn't tell us anything until you also do a measure of how fast PCs are expected to *lose* hit points. If AD&D monsters generally did less damage, or an AD&D party dealt with far fewer monsters in a day, yes, it could be moot. 5e recovers not 3.5 times the hit points, but 3.5 time the ratio of hit points that are available. So in order to make that particular point moot (which again, doesn't account for additional healing such as healing kits, potions of healing being a common item, and more classes that can heal or class abilities that can heal), 5e monsters would have to inflict 3.5 times the ratio of damage compared to AD&D. I.e., if a level 1 PC has 5 hp and the typical monster they face in AD&D does 1d6 points of damage, then the average damage (3.5) does 70% of damage to the available hit points. In 5e, with a level 1 PC having 8 hit points, that in order to hit the 3.5 times value in order to offset the 3.5 times increased healing rate, that same opponent ...
  • 09:42 PM - Lanefan quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    With respect, this doesn't tell us anything until you also do a measure of how fast PCs are expected to *lose* hit points. If AD&D monsters generally did less damage, or an AD&D party dealt with far fewer monsters in a day, yes, it could be moot.If one assumes that the party in each game loses few enough hit points per day on average that the characters all survive until tomorrow, then the comparison is valid...except: In 5e you can be at 3 h.p. and lose a boatload of 'em, but you'll only go to 0 whereupon you'll fall over and start making death saves and during that time someone can cure you up. What this means is that any attempted comparison of hit point loss ratios between 1e and 5e is liable to fail due to the "missing" lost points in 5e that would otherwise have taken a character below 0. (remember, in 1e death at -10 was a very commonly-used option) This same thing will also skew the h.p. loss ratio in that the 5e party can in theory lose lots more h.p. than they have and yet ...
  • 09:10 PM - Charlaquin quoted Umbran in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    I am not sure that this is somehow more true of gnomes than it is of, say, elves, with all the sub-races that have been out there. Elves absolutely have too many subraces, but at least the base race has a clear and consistent identity. And, heavens forfend you can't summarize *an entire race of people* in a neat little stereotype! The horror! This is why I am a huge proponent of separating race from culture.
  • 04:58 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Umbran in post Portrayal of D&D in Stranger Things 3 -some spoilers
    Thatís how I took it. Will Byers went through some terrible trials those last two seasons. Also, heís switched from being a player to being a DM. After being trapped in the Upside Down and then possessed, heís probably in need of some sort of control in his life, someplace safe. I thought the passing of the red box to Erica was very sweet. It is perhaps as much a nod to him being... a tad desperate. Look at the past two seasons, what that kid went through.

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 11:16 PM - Celebrim quoted Umbran in post Science in D&D
    One of the big points we get to when we look at the fundamental constants is not just that "Hey, the physical constants are exactly what they are", but "Hey, if the physical constants change even a small bit, life (and even matter) as we know it ceases to exist." You mean like Martin Rees "Just Six Numbers"? Yes, I've read that. As a physicist, my advice: don't go there. My advice as a game master is never let a physicist assume anything about a fantasy universe works the way that they expect. If you cut the speed of light down to, say, 500 km/sec, is that relativistic effects become much, much stronger, to the point of likely being noticeable to normal people. Which assumes that the imagined universe even has relativity. I mean, I've already asserted that kinetic energy in this universe increases linearly rather than with the square of velocity, so not only are the fundamental constants probably different, the equations are likely different as well. Even so, maybe if ...
  • 10:39 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Umbran in post Science in D&D
    As a physicist, my advice: don't go there. One of the big points we get to when we look at the fundamental constants is not just that "Hey, the physical constants are exactly what they are", but "Hey, if the physical constants change even a small bit, life (and even matter) as we know it ceases to exist." This is one answer to the question of "Why is the Universe exactly the way it is?" called the Anthropic Principle - if the Universe were much different, we couldn't exist in it to see it." What *sound* like small changes usually have large impacts. If you cut the speed of light down to, say, 500 km/sec, is that relativistic effects become much, much stronger, to the point of likely being noticeable to normal people. When some player raises that point, you're forced to shuck and jive, and if they know physics better than you, you end up with your player quickly proving your world cannot exist as stated, as matter likely collapses in on itself or fails to become matter at all. It is bet...
  • 10:15 AM - pemerton quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ... It's not that a choice can't be part of a challenge. A choice to enter a room full of monsters usually kicks off a challenge and becomes part of it, but that challenge isn't "do I decide to go in or not" it's "do I overcome this room full of monsters" and your choice is many-fold for how you might do this. I think that some mechanic is necessary for an RPG, because we have no other way to resolve uncertainty, and uncertainty is necessary for challenge to exist. Just as the chance to fail must exist or there is no challenge. And, again, you cannot fail to exercise your authority over characterization because you make a choice about your characterization. Those 2 sentences appear to contradict each other. Let me elaborate: At first you say a hard choice isn't a challenge. Then you say you believe a challenge can be made without mechanics. What other method could possibly result in a challenge besides either mechanics or a hard choice?There's the example that's been given by Umbran. Here's another example, which is based on an actual play experience I had many years ago now. The basic structure of the example is not too different from Umbran's. One of the PCs was a paladin. He was a member of an order devoted to the relief of suffering and freeing victimes of torture and slavery The system was Rolemaster - for those not familiar with it, RM uses crit rolls as its main mechanic for resolving hurt in combat; and it's very common for foes to be defeated in combat without being killed - they're knocked out, or disabled, or stunned, or whatever. At 5th level the player of the paladin hit an NPC in combat, and then rolled a 00 crit - decapitation. It was the first time he had killed a person. It caused a crisis of faith: can I be the person of faith that I aspire to be, and be a killer? There is no mechanical test that will answer this question. It's been prompted by a mechanical resolution process, but not one that was intended to make this particular que...
  • 06:11 AM - FrogReaver quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    It is late, but let me see if I can construct one... I will use example presented before - the chaste knight is offered Excalibur in exchange for their chastity. We can call this... "The Maiden and the Sword". On the face of this, it is just a hard question - and only hard in the sense of our having put a stake in the ground in claiming the character was chaste, and we often dislike being put in a position where we turn out to have been wrong. Even if there's a mechanical loss in no longer being chaste, there's a mechanical gain in having Excalibur. It is still just a choice. But, we can re-position this, so that it becomes a challenge: "Knight, do you have what it takes to remain chaste *and* keep the realm safe?" This is not a choice. It is a test that one can pass of fail. It does not have a specific mechanic associated with it. This is a place where the core concept of the character (chaste protector of the realm) is challenged. If the character does not pass this challenge, th...

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 06:08 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    ďYou lot {humans} would rather watch someone suffer untold horrors than watch them enjoy so much as a cool drink if you donít have two of your own, and yours have cherries in them as well as more ice and little paper umbrellas, and even then most of you would still prefer to take theirs and have three. This is not the behavior of a sentient race.Ē -Space Opera, Catherynne Valente You know how Americans are, Umbran. They all love to travel, and then they only want to meet other Americans and talk about how hard it is to get a decent hamburger.
  • 07:07 AM - Maxperson quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    With respect, two things - 1) I was speaking about a challenge *to the core of the character*. You are talking about a challenge to *you*, the player. You don't get to change th referent, and then asses my statement against the new referent. I'm not changing anything. I AM the character, including its core. When I am in a roleplaying challenge, I'm viewing it from the point of view of my character and making a decision that my character would. The challenge is to the core of the character. I'm just making the decision, because I'm the one that best knows the circumstances and the PC himself. 2) I was also pretty clear about what I was talking about when I spoke of challenge in this context. If Chris Claremont writes a comic book about a conflict between Professor X and Magneto, there is no actual challenge to Professor X - only the illusion of one. This isn't the same, though. I'm not proposing that I set up both the challenge and the solution. Unlike the comic book writer, I...
  • 12:39 AM - Arilyn quoted Umbran in post Portrayal of D&D in Stranger Things 3 -some spoilers
    It is perhaps as much a nod to him being... a tad desperate. Look at the past two seasons, what that kid went through. Consider how much of life (and growing up) he's missed just dealing with all that crud and the repercussions. He, very desperately, wants things to be *NORMAL*. Which, to him, is still hanging out in the game room with his friends playing games. They aren't interested. So, what does he do? Try to up production values! Careful battlemaps, costumes, all the bells and whistles he can, to get their attention and company. What's not true about that? Remember - the show is about the characters first, not about all the things it references first. This is what I was thinking too. Will, trying to get back to the way things were, before the real monsters showed up...and girl friends.😮 At the end, Mike tells Will that be can find a new group, but Will rejects this. He'll play with his friends, but he's not going to look for a new D&D group in his new town. This fits W...
  • 12:11 AM - FrogReaver quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I was trying to say that, if you are in complete control, you always have the ability to say, "Nah, this has no impact," and so there is never a challenge to the core. Challenge does not happen in a position of certainty. Do you know what future reprecussions your characters choice will hold? Then it's not done in a position of certainty. It's only certain in this moment which is what every choice in real life is like too. Are real life choices not challenging?

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 09:55 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    With respect - I think it is more that you expressed your idea here... very poorly. It became controversial because... well, your words didn't say this. Sorry. Perhaps, if so I apologize.
  • 09:27 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    What conclusion? If you are going to accuse folks of jumping to things, please be clear. Misunderstandings cannot be corrected when you are being vague. 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.
  • 09:21 PM - Lanefan quoted Umbran in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    1) I was speaking about a challenge *to the core of the character*. You are talking about a challenge to *you*, the player. You don't get to change th referent, and then asses my statement against the new referent. Given a decent level of immersion there shouldn't be all that much difference between the two. 2) I was also pretty clear about what I was talking about when I spoke of challenge in this context. If Chris Claremont writes a comic book about a conflict between Professor X and Magneto, there is no actual challenge to Professor X - only the illusion of one. 2a) You, the player/author may feel anxiety, uncertainty, angst, or other emotions over making a decision - but in the sense I defined it, this is not a "challenge", for the simple reason that there is no success or failure to be had. Mr. Claremont does not "succeed" if Professor X wins the comic book fight. You don't "fail" if the knight chooses chastity over Excalibur. The choice *isn't a test!*Not all tests are st...
  • 08:54 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Umbran in post OSR Gripes
    "My uncle used to say that we like people for their qualities, but we love them for their defects." - B.P.R.D. Agent John Myers, Hellboy, 2004There's certainly both people who love the classic game in spite of it's flaws, and those who love it /for/ it's flaws. There's also the more conflicted set who hate it when those flaws are addressed elsewhere, as if it somehow diminishes or invalidates their appreciation of the still-flawed original.


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