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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 10:33 PM
    We've got lots of awesome stuff for mutants in Cursed Earth, upcoming! The psyker would take the Mutant race with the psionic mutation. This is a cool origin, though! It's very focused just around getting extra (or saving) PP though.
    2 replies | 12 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 09:54 PM
    It isn't like this is a modern forensics game, where the PC can choose to take pictures of image processing, or take samples to the lab for analysis for approaches. Nor are players likely to be forensic scientists, or even people who actually have the skills in question, that would be able to name approaches would actually be fruitful. This is, honestly, a major problem with the "goal and...
    6 replies | 122 view(s)
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  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Today, 08:40 PM
    I agree in general - but I do have a specific challenge in mind for an upcoming session that is motivating me to put this down on paper.
    16 replies | 255 view(s)
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  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Today, 07:59 PM
    Here's some of my ideas. Taking the three key actions that I mentioned earlier: parkouring up a wall in a narrow alley, wall running, and running up a wall to catch a ledge. The core idea is that, like jumping, parkouring is keyed to 10+dexterity or acrobatics bonus. Parkouring up a wall in an alley or narrow corridor: Alley must be narrow enough to allow this: 5 feet max width (could be...
    16 replies | 255 view(s)
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  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Today, 07:28 PM
    That pretty much my plan. I also agree with this - it solved a lot of my players problems when I realized climbing mostly didn't require rolls unless its particularly dangerous. This is true, but thieves need to be able to climb walls!
    16 replies | 255 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 06:56 PM
    There's this large swath of territory between, "this has no impact" and "the game depends on". Maybe we can consider what happens in that in-between, rather than driving to extreme strawmen used to assign "failure" to a GM, hey what?
    16 replies | 344 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 06:11 PM
    Moral superiority of the adventurers, sure. It is only "colonial" if said adventurers move in and take over the place. Settling down is not in the Murder Hobo Manifesto - they are typically raiders, rather than colonizers.
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 03:58 PM
    The urban element is a major trope of the genre from its roots in fiction. Saying "urban is merely a setting" is like saying for Space Opera "laser/blaster guns are merely another weapon". Yes, you can play a Space Opera game without laser guns blasting away, but they are so common in the fiction as to be ubiquitous, and it is probably fair to build you game with the assumption that such things...
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Today, 03:54 PM
    Has anyone created any guidelines for Parkour in 5e? I've got a bunch of roguish players (not all actual rogues) with high dexteritys, low strengths, and a fear of walls, climbing, etc :) I've been kind of winging it to this point but am thinking of trying to come up with a set of guidelines to allow them to use Acrobatics to parkour through some issues - parkouring up walls in narrow alleys,...
    16 replies | 255 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 03:52 PM
    It seems the OP wants that. It isn't part of Urban Fantasy in and of itself.
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 03:16 PM
    Hey, Bobble, flinging insults may go okay on other platforms, but it isn't acceptable around here. We expect you to treat your fellow posters with a modicum of respect that is missing in this post. Please bring your discourse up a notch or two. If you have any questions, please take them to private message or e-mail with a member of the moderating staff. Thanks.
    39 replies | 979 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:43 PM
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 08:39 PM
    Seriously? Somebody held you down and drilled into your tooth against your will? Medical procedures without consent are criminal acts. If what you are saying is true, you’ve been seriously assaulted by somebody who should be in prison. I don't really know what to say. You have dentists holding you down and torturing you against your will, dentists fraudulently forcing you to undertake...
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 07:59 PM
    Dentists aren’t usually on the NHS, and we rarely have dental insurance. My dentist is private and I pay for everything. $80 sounds quite reasonable.
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Zardnaar watched Marathon Man’s torture scene and thought “I can do that!” In other news, I have never heard of a dentist who would do a filling without a local anaesthetic.
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:16 AM
    Sounds to me like your insurance is the problem, not the dentist.
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 10:45 AM
    5d6 monsters vs 7d6 players are trivial. The match total assumes the MDPs are roughly equal.
    5 replies | 5418 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 02:49 AM
    Okay, there's a fundamental logical issue here. You spend a long post complaining about how WoD is fixed in one particular version of the supernatural, and then when someone points out that one corner of it isn't like that... that it can manage many different kinds of supernatural, you say it doesn't fit your fairly narrow image of what these supernatural people should be! Pick a complaint...
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:39 PM
    The mage helping the bandit captain escape *is* the hint about what they are dealing with. You may want to telegraph offensive capabilities that are beyond level appropriate - save-or-die, or "this is a huge ancient dragon, not some punk hatchling". But I don't think you need to telegraph that an enemy has a well-considered escape plan, which doesn't harm the PCs. An escaped villain is one...
    47 replies | 1266 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 01:48 PM
    IANAD, but periodontal maintenance probably means you have gum disease, which can be halted/held at bay by ongoing maintenance but the damage can't be reversed. Those 20 years without visiting a dentist is probably when that set in.
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:07 AM
    ICv2 has a gallery of miniatures from Descent into Avernus, as well as the upcoming DM Screen. The minis include Zariel, Mad Maggie, Sylvira Savikas, Mahadi (a Rakshasa), Thavius Kreeg, Little Lulu and Slobberchop, Lucille, as well as Joe Manganiello's character, Arkhan the Cruel. Click here for the full gallery.
    9 replies | 1976 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:23 PM
    I have played a lot of Shadowrun in my day. And I'd say.. go either 2nd edition or 5th. Do not bother with 3 or 4. If you want a bit of retro-future - what the past thought future technology would be like, go with 2nd. If you want a game that does a nod to understanding wireless technology, go with 5th, but be ready for people to be so paranoid that they won't use the technology in question,...
    21 replies | 722 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 08:14 PM
    Blackadder is second only to Fawlty Towers. There is literally nothing even close to being as funny as those two things.
    95 replies | 2000 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 07:54 PM
    Which would make it two or three times better than the previous FF movies, so... win? We would have the point that it is more a family of siblings/peers, rather than strict parent/child, so it can be a little different.
    17 replies | 441 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:53 PM
    I don't doubt that Kamala Kahn/Ms Marvel and Squirrel Girl will hit the big screen eventually. I am not sure I see what about their dynamic doesn't work. It isn't like the personality types in question are rare today, or anything.
    17 replies | 441 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:30 PM
    This September, Nightfall Games will be launching a Kickstarter for the 2nd Edition of the 1993 British RPG SLA Industries, where the titular corporation rules over a dystopian world. "SLA Industries is a role-playing game of urban horror, set in The World of Progress; a vast world of ruin and decay. At the very heart of this world lies Mort City, a false beacon of hope upon an...
    7 replies | 1600 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 04:20 PM
    Well, families are still a thing, right? So, the Fantastic Four still works, today. The problem with FF movies has not been that "they don't work". It has been that Fox does not, at its core, understand superheroes, at least of the Marvel variety. They have fundamentally missed what is most important to the superhero properties they touch. For the Fantastic Four, that is about family. ...
    17 replies | 441 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 04:01 PM
    Dude. We have only a few rules around here - one of them being that you can't go around blatantly insulting people or questioning their personal character over a difference of opinion about game rules. Or maybe you are trying to be funny? If so... folks can't tell. Either way - you should stick to being respectful.
    280 replies | 6102 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 12:00 AM
    Probably not in a Dredd campaign. Magic fits in with a bunch of other worlds of 2000ad but Dredd is more sci-fi. Maybe if they were psionic artifacts instead?
    4 replies | 203 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:42 PM
    No. I was definitely a geek, and hung around with my geek friends, but there was no bullying. I get that other people have different experiences.
    95 replies | 2000 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:52 PM
    Liminal is a new RPG by Paul Mitchener, just launched by Modiphius. It deals with "the boundary between the modern day United Kingdom and the Hidden World- the world of secret societies of magicians, a police division investigating Fortean crimes, fae courts, werewolf gangs, and haunted places where the walls between worlds are thin." UPDATE: The core book appears to have already sold out. ...
    0 replies | 1631 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:42 PM
    Two new miniature sets are now available from Modiphius, for use with their Star Trek Adventures RPG. These are the Original Series Landing Party, and the Iconic Villains sets. These are 32mm scale, unpainted resin miniatures. This set contains one male officer and one female officer of the Andorian, Denobulan, Tellarite, and Vulcan species, as well as two male humanoid miniatures. ...
    0 replies | 1168 view(s)
  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:41 PM
    One bit of possible inspiration: the recruitment scene from "The Untouchables" where Kevin Costner and Sean Connery are trying to find honest cops in Chicago to add to their team. "that's the future Chief of Police..."
    14 replies | 460 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:35 PM
    FrogReaver, let us be clear: EN World does not have a strong concept of thread ownership. It isn't really *your* thread. You don't get editorial power. You don't get to say who posts in it, or what they say. Mistwell, that said, you could do to learn to limit how much you lay a wet blanket on other people's ideas. You made a suggestion for a change in direction. That suggestion was...
    76 replies | 2446 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 11:10 AM
    At the moment they’re in PDF but we do have print plans.
    12 replies | 295 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 11:09 AM
    These books are already written. :)
    12 replies | 295 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    TBBT is a sitcom. Sitcoms are generally the same, just the characters change. There have been sitcoms featuring wartime medics, upper class toffs, pretty people in New York, and everything in between. The characters are always the butt of the joke. This time it was scientists. The fact that geeks finding scientists in the same mainstream sitcoms as everybody else gets them upset kinda...
    95 replies | 2000 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:42 PM
    Hello poster, all right? I’ve moved this to the promotions forum for you.
    1 replies | 174 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:38 PM
    I don't think there's anything fundamental, here - I'm talking more about categorizing, and setting expectations. I just think about it, and realize there are parts of play where the GM is acting more like a judge/referee, and parts of play where the GM is acting more like an author. The former I'd call adjudication, the latter, not. There's connotations to "adjudication" that I don't think...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:58 PM
    Beast-tamers, gunfighters, tinkerers, savants, and more! The Kickstarter for A TOUCH MORE CLASS has now launched! This brand new book includes nine new class for your 5E game, and the Kickstarter also includes the original book, A TOUCH OF CLASS, which contains seven original classes! In 2017 we produced A TOUCH OF CLASS, a softcover book containing seven new classes for your 5th Edition...
    12 replies | 737 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:32 PM
    Well, OK then.
    90 replies | 3596 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    They do that for two reasons: 1) it’s more visible on the store shelf 2) you can put your own stuff in it too
    90 replies | 3596 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:57 PM
    Boogeyman: "If I have the mechanics, I don't actually role play - I just use mechanics." FATE, as an example, puts social interaction on the same mechanical footing as physical interaction. In FATE-based games, if you say, "I attack" in physical combat, all you get is a very basic roll of your skill, which in general isn't so high as you'll be able to down anything other than a mook. ...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:36 PM
    Beast-tamers, gunfighters, tinkerers, savants, and more! The Kickstarter for A TOUCH MORE CLASS has now launched! This brand new book includes nine new class for your 5E game, and the Kickstarter also includes the original book, A TOUCH OF CLASS, which contains seven original classes! In 2017 we produced A TOUCH OF CLASS, a softcover book containing seven new classes for your 5th Edition...
    12 replies | 295 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:07 PM
    I am suggesting, as someone said upthread, that the GM has several functions, only one of which is adjudicating. When the GM is just deciding a result, for their own reasons unrelated to the rules of the game - that's not adjudicating. That moment when the GM is *authoring* a result, whatever their inspiration for that - that's not the moment they are adjudicating. I don't buy it. I...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Do they?
    112 replies | 4807 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Wiki threads.
    2 replies | 117 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:30 PM
    I rather think that depends upon what the focus & intent of the game is. Just this weekend, I played a game which had no combat mechanic. The PCs weren't people addressing their challenges via personally applying physical force, so no system for doing so was included. We didn't miss it. If the intended action in a game is "kill things and take their stuff" then yes, your game needs a combat...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:35 PM
    Why do you need rules for one, but not the other? GMs are capable of just saying, "Yes, this social interaction plays out in this manner, with these effects," and do so fairly, but they are somehow incapable of doing so with combat? They can't take a player's description of physical and magical actions, and just run with that like they can social interaction? That, really, is kind of...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 04:35 PM
    Morrus replied to Armour skill?
    Off the top of my head I can't remember page numbers, but small or light = 2, medium = 3, large or heavy = 5.
    7 replies | 239 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:44 PM
    Morrus replied to Hand Bombs
    Two rolls. One to determine where it lands, the other to attack all in the resultant burst.
    4 replies | 179 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:43 PM
    Morrus replied to Armour skill?
    No, that’s the opposite of what I just said. :) It literally just does what it says in that paragraph — to benefit from higher quality equipment, you need an appropriate skill. You can’t benefit from an exceptional quality pistol without enough ranks in pistols. Same with armour.
    7 replies | 239 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:24 PM
    Morrus replied to Armour skill?
    It's used exactly the way you quoted, from page 23. Lets you benefit from higher quality armour.
    7 replies | 239 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:22 PM
    You roll the damage as normal and divide by two. There's no stun charge limit.
    2 replies | 151 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:11 AM
    Morrus replied to Hand Bombs
    See Burst attacks on page 99. Area attacks use a single attack roll (in this case AGI (throwing) or similar) vs VITAL DEFENSE of all targets, and a single damage roll. Otherwise it is resolved just like any other attack roll.
    4 replies | 179 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:11 AM
    The sixth adventure in the War of the Burning Sky adventure path is here! A 5E fantasy adventure for 11th-level characters. In search of the Torch of the Burning Sky, the heroes set out for Sindaire and Castle Korstull, the canyon fortress where Emperor Drakus Coaltongue was slain. Witness the mighty and terrible face of war in a world of magic!A critically acclaimed high fantasy...
    3 replies | 791 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 10:56 PM
    The Origins Award winners are in, and Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition takes the roleplaying game award, with WotC's Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes winning the RPG supplement category. The full list of winners: Game of the Year: Root (Leder Games) Board Game: Root (Leder Games)
    2 replies | 2694 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:18 PM
    DO YOU NEED TO SHOUT?
    116 replies | 2525 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:58 PM
    The thing about milestone leveling that breaks the association of levels to combat is that it gets applied when you reach the milestone, *however* you reach the milestone. It doesn't have to be "you gain a level when you hit a milestone." It can be, "you gain some number of XP when you hit a milestone." And I think that fixes all the issues with milestone leveling you mention. People who...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:35 PM
    I think you are missing the point a bit. Folks are asking whether "violent" is the "natural state" for humans. They then have to turn and look for what the "natural state" for humans actually is... and wind up reaching for straws, because they want to find the thing analogous to the feral cat, when no such thing exists. Basically, "natural" human behavior is everything we already see. ...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:28 PM
    Tough crowd. It was OK.
    8 replies | 648 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:56 PM
    You aren't the only one in the thread that has tried to refer to something like the human "natural state". I was speaking to the entire concept with your post as merely a jumping off point, as it was the most recent to use the concept. No. Just as a wild cat is not "without cat influence". Wild is variously, "in a natural environment" or "undomesticated" - which I restated as 'without...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Morrus started a thread Secret Faces of Velsburg
    Secret Faces of Velsburg. While traveling through the wilderness the adventurers come across a small hamlet plagued by a recent rash or murders committed by 'The Ghost'. The longer the party stay in Velsburg however, the quicker they realize that the supposedly bloodthirsty spirit preying upon the settlement is not the remote village's only mystery. In this sidequest to save Velsburg the PCs are...
    0 replies | 138 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:03 PM
    One option missed in the OP is "Ineffable: The exact nature of the gods is not known, or undetermined. Divine magic happens, but nobody has proof of why or how." This is how most of my games run - unless or until the actual nature of divine magic impact play (so, it becomes mechanically- or plot-relevant), then I don't bother to specify. This allows for more belief systems in the world.
    31 replies | 1080 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:46 PM
    Sounds like Eric Noah's old April Fools joke from back in 2002. http://www.enworld.org/ericnoah/aprilfools2002/april02.html
    8 replies | 648 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:09 PM
    The plan is to upgrade from vBulletin to Xenforo, which is an entirely different software. No, there is no ETA.
    87 replies | 6887 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:03 PM
    Really. Both of you. @Riley, ordering people not to reply to you is not how to handle a disagreement. Either politely disagree, or use the block function. @Immortal Sun, calling people names is DEFINITELY NOT how to handle a disagreement. I will also add -- if you report a post, and then immediately respond to it with namecalling or insults, we are *not* going to look favourably on it. ...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
    0 XP
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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.
  • 10:10 AM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    Morrus Umbran darjr I think I may have discovered the trigger for the posts disappearing: every one I know of that got blacked out was reported.
  • 07:44 AM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    Morrus Umbran darjr As I noted above, I’ve personally encountered two blacked out posts by spammers (whom I subsequently banned). The text wasn’t merely color matched to the back, because the reported text didn’t show even when I quoted it to check. What had been there was simply gone. Something odd is going on.
  • 06:54 AM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Umbran in post Hidden

Thursday, 16th May, 2019


Saturday, 11th May, 2019

  • 01:55 AM - Hussar mentioned Umbran in post Avengers: Endgame SPOILER THREAD
    But Darth Vader didn’t become a Sith because he was sterile.* I mean, really- imagine if the window into the Vader’s darkness revealed he became what he was and corrupted himself because he was infertile. But somehow, this is OK with Black Widow? * “Duh!”, as his kids might say. Becoming a cold hearted killing machine wasn't because she was sterile. She was forcibly sterilized as part of her transformation into a cold hearted killing machine. Why would anyone even think that her "dark side" moment is because of her forced sterilization? The forced sterilization was a symbol of the horrific things they did to her to turn her into a monster, not the reason she became a monster. And then, when she destroys a family, she begins to try to redeem herself by switching sides - the whole "red ledger" thing. At the end, she balances the ledger by saving a family through her own self sacrifice. As I said, I'm really not seeing the issue here. Umbran, if the only thing you took out of my entire argument was that line, then, sure, there isn't much to talk about here. Talk about cherry picking an argument. Gamora? Maybe, you might be able to make the argument, because the death of Gamora drives Quill. But, even then, that's stretching pretty hard. Not every female character that dies is a fridging. Sometimes, it's actually ok to kill off female characters. Heck, why isn't the death of Vision being touted as fridging? Seems to be the driving force behind Scarlet Witch after all.

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 03:55 PM - SkidAce mentioned Umbran in post GMs are an endangered species!
    Umbran , you are bringing sensibility to the parody of the sky is falling thread. Methinks thou dost protest too much....;)
  • 02:37 AM - DMMike mentioned Umbran in post GMs are an endangered species!
    You too can help the endangered species. Just for pennies a day your can help restore the species. Send $99.99 to Jasper add redacted redacted. That is just 27 cents a day. Oh who are we kidding just send DMMike 1 issue of prophylactics, 3 lipsticks, 3 pair of nylon stockings, Mickey can pay his own way to vegas. You forgot heels. I could work some wonders with heels. Umbran: ask, and ye shall receive: good DMs are non-existent. Spencer Crittenden: not seen since 2017. Wil Wheaton: no Titansgrave since 2015. Looks like everyone's in a bad mood today. I could have called the thread RPG Trends That Undermine the Traditional GM Role, but isn't that a little boring? Seriously, (I know, hardly the thread for it, /and/ out of character for me) GM - and, especially, DM - scarcity is self-correcting. The harder the game is to GM, the scarcer GMs become, the greater the 'reward' for DMing. The easier a game is to run, the more players can hop into the GM role when there aren't enough to go around. The system will tend towards equilibrium, even if the dynamic seems to favor one or the other. This actually is the thread for it. Although I'm not sure I buy it; if a game is hard to GM, doesn't that mean that people just choose a different game to play?

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 12:29 PM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    ... failing is bad" is not what I have taken that to mean. <snip> Or reading the next few posts, is knowing the consequences for an action are simply bad, and that failure will have an effect on the game, all you were going for? Because if that is the case, then I see no reason to tell the players this before every single roll, which was what I was arguing against in the original thread.I've honed in on these bits of your post because I think they might be the best place to start. I personally think the issue of telling - if that means explicitly stating as a precursor to the roll - is a bit of a red herring, because in RPG play, especially among participants who are used to playing together, there are many ways to convey information and establish expectations other than explicit telling. But I think reducing what is conveyed to [/I]consequences for an action are simply bad[/i] is not correct. And that's really what I see as the focus of the discussion. It's not irrelevant - Umbran canvassed, upthread, that a consequence of spilling might be good (eg if it stops the BBEG getting the fluid) and that's a possibility that is excluded in the context of my play example - but it's too simplistic. What's the nature of the badness? Who is implicated? What sorts of things might be required to effectively respond to it? I've played games in which the answers to those questions are known only to the GM, and the players can't act on them except by way of either (i) guesswork, or (ii) declaring actions that will get the GM to release the answers, or bits of them (which is the analysis/study I referred to in my OP). Whereas in my example, the player knows the parameters of the answers to those questions without having to guess and without having to engage in further action declarations. The player knows that the badness will pertain to something that the player has put forward as significant in the game (in virtue of his PC build) - the master/servant relationship, the prop...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 04:29 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Umbran in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yes, my character has no training whatsoever in persuasion and a below average Cha, but, because me the player can do good talky talky, I don't need to spend any resources there because I know that most of the time anyway, I can convince my DM that I don't need to make a check. Play the character you brought to the table or bring a different character. Umbran, did you include this one in the spreadsheet?


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Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 11:03 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Umbran in post Challenging assumptions/tactics while giving hints
    There's this large swath of territory between, "this has no impact" and "the game depends on". Maybe we can consider what happens in that in-between, rather than driving to extreme strawmen used to assign "failure" to a GM, hey what? Then, by all means, explore it. It's fine to drop by and say that there's a lot of territory, but that's a bit easy. Are you advocating for an encounter where, say, half the players pretending they know you use fire against trolls and the other half doesn't, and this makes the pretending have impact between 'no' and 'I, as GM, built my encounter based on players pretending they don't know about trolls and fire?' I'm curious as to where in my premises you actually have a dispute, or is it just rhetoric about rhetoric? Let's be frank. Most people that complain about metagaming are talking about players using knowledge of monster mechanics to secure success in encounters, to which my complaint stands fully on it's own and I disagree there's any middle gro...
  • 10:36 PM - Bawylie quoted Umbran in post Abilities....Which check would you use?
    It isn't like this is a modern forensics game, where the PC can choose to take pictures of image processing, or take samples to the lab for analysis for approaches. Nor are players likely to be forensic scientists, or even people who actually have the skills in question, that would be able to name approaches would actually be fruitful. This is, honestly, a major problem with the "goal and approach" way of dealing with things - if the *player* doesn't have domain knowledge, they can't always guess what approaches are reasonable. This can lead to, "I beat the ground with my club until the very Earth itself tells me what I want to know to avoid the pain," frustration approach. I think we can presume, "I examine the tracks," to be the basic approach, and all those skills are applicable to that approach. So, in answer to that - you could determine which skill the PC is best at, use that one, and give them information that's appropriate to that skill. Perception and Investigation, for exa...
  • 10:32 PM - iserith quoted Umbran in post Abilities....Which check would you use?
    It isn't like this is a modern forensics game, where the PC can choose to take pictures of image processing, or take samples to the lab for analysis for approaches. Nor are players likely to be forensic scientists, or even people who actually have the skills in question, that would be able to name approaches would actually be fruitful. This is, honestly, a major problem with the "goal and approach" way of dealing with things - if the *player* doesn't have domain knowledge, they can't always guess what approaches are reasonable. This can lead to, "I beat the ground with my club until the very Earth itself tells me what I want to know to avoid the pain," frustration approach. I think we can presume, "I examine the tracks," to be the basic approach, and all those skills are applicable to that approach. So, in answer to that - you could determine which skill the PC is best at, use that one, and give them information that's appropriate to that skill. Perception and Investigation, for example...

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - BoxCrayonTales quoted Umbran in post The urban fantasy market seems awfully stagnant
    Okay, there's a fundamental logical issue here. You spend a long post complaining about how WoD is fixed in one particular version of the supernatural, and then when someone points out that one corner of it isn't like that... that it can manage many different kinds of supernatural, you say it doesn't fit your fairly narrow image of what these supernatural people should be! Pick a complaint and stick with it, I say. You’re right. That’s why I mentioned fiction where there are multiple kinds of magic. Charmed (the reboot) featured both “witchcraft” and “Yoruban” magic. The Magicians has an entire multiverse with many different magic systems. Buffy has technopaganism. The Everlasting has a bunch of magical traditions. Mage goes off the rails by making the main conflict of the setting (either one) into what one critic described as a “cosmic wikipedia edit war.” The tone is firmly in the realm of what many describe as “gonzo” taken to the most extreme. Heck, the 2e rulebook opens w...
  • 06:02 AM - Dire Bare quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Nobody is saying that everyone who has experienced shaming does or should react the same way. Just that having had the experience is perhaps sufficient to have issues with TBBT. Um... "lighten up" or "just get over it" are things I've been told you *never* suggest a trauma survivor do. It is dismissive. Sorry, my word choice was awful and I was being quick and insensitive. I do think that if you find a piece of art, like a TV show, upsetting or triggering for any reason, that's of course fine and shouldn't be criticized. Hell, if you just plain don't like an expression of art, for whatever reason, that's fine too. But I think a lot of us confuse our personal reactions to a TV show (or movie, or book, or whatever) with it's objective qualities, it being "crap" or "amazing". Of course, the quality of artistic expression is subjective (even though you can make technical criticisms), but an individual not caring for something, or finding it triggering, does not make it a bad piece of art...

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 09:48 PM - Istbor quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Yeah, this isn't a critique of his prose in a technical sense. It is the content. I think I have only ever read Through the Ice. Back in High School. I still have that book somewhere. I don't recall it being very... offensive. I do recall science and magic as two separate worlds. Though, that book separated the physical and the mind as well. Anywho. There were some good episodes for TBBT. I don't know that I will ever sit down to watch the whole series though.
  • 04:26 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Funk is fine in music. It isn't like I haven't tried it in cheese. I just find that funk is how food tastes when you shouldn't eat it. As for Piers Anthony - with respect, when was the last time you read any of his work? Upon review... Xanth, Apprentice Adept, Incarnations of Immortality - all badly misogynistic crud. If the guy writes 60 books of crud, the overall categorization seems fitting. If you find a book by him that doesn't make you want to slap him on behalf of your wife/sister/friends, well... I do like blue cheese with buffalo wings. An exception doesn't invalidate the general rule. Oof. I remember liking Piers Anthony when I was younger and didn't know better. Except Xanth. Even in my youth, that was too stupid for me to read. But the first few books of Incarnations of Immortality, Apprentice Adept, even (retrospective YIKES!) Bio of Space Tyrant. So, he is a good, concise writer*. For real. And he has some great concepts (although he does return to the whole "Science an...
  • 11:30 AM - Ryujin quoted Umbran in post Keanu in the MCU
    Which would make it two or three times better than the previous FF movies, so... win? We would have the point that it is more a family of siblings/peers, rather than strict parent/child, so it can be a little different. Sure, until Jack-Ja.... I mean Franklin comes along. When the parody gets it right but the original continually fails, you've got a problem.
  • 06:18 AM - Dire Bare quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    To loop back, Morrus, you asked, "Why shouldn’t geeks be in the same mainstream sitcoms as everybody else?" So, now we see some reasons. You haven't been subjected to geek-shaming, so no, you wouldn't share the feeling. Shows that lean too hard on sexist or racist tropes are understood to be problematic by folks who are not usually subject to racism or sexism. This show, which leaned on other traditionally negative tropes for its jokes... should also be understood as problematic, no? Maybe not as egregious, but still an issue. I've been subjected to geek-shaming, and love TBBT. Hell, the characters on the show deal with bullying issues, sometime for laughs, sometimes for feels. Don't remember which, but a previous poster in the thread suggested geek-shaming is a lesser problem than others . . . . there is no competition on which type of traumatic experience is "worse" and whatever trauma we each have endured in our lives was impactful to us, unchanged by potentially "worse" thing...

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 09:19 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    As I have come to accept that the number of hours I have on this Earth are numbered, I have realized that terrible things - funky cheeses, Insane Clown Posse, the works of Piers Anthony, etc - are equivalent to reducing the number of those hours, to no good purpose. As a result, my consumption of truly bad things is rather low. I keep my perspective based on the fact that the world is all-too-good at providing me with horrible stimuli, despite my best efforts to avoid them. :/ You ever play those old video games? You know, when you score so high, it goes all the way back to 0 again? It's like that. Some things are so bad, it loops all the way around to be being awesome.
  • 08:31 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    The International Standard Unit of mass is the Kilogram. For length, it is the Meter. Let us take, for sake of argument, that the International Standard Unit of Cinematic Badness is the Zardoz. How many Zardozes are we talking here? Zardoz has enjoyable elements. The other two are merely risible. Assuming the more Zardoz ISU a film gets, the worse it is, The Room surpasses the entire output of Ed Wood by orders of magnitude. And give The Creeping Terror am additional Zardoz ISU beyond that.* To pull the curtain back a bit, there was a film called The Disaster Artist released in 2017, which was essentially a dramady about the making of The Room. Tommy Wiseau went to the debut, and when interviewed, he said he liked it, but complained that the cinematography was flawed. It was too dark to see what was going on at times, he said. He had watched the film with his sunglasses on. * It should also be noted that the films Funny Games- both the 1997 original and the filmmak...
  • 08:23 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    I think there's a palpable difference between having some characters be nerds, and having them mostly be nerds. Same thing in Better Off Ted - the nerds are only a part of the cast, and by no means the only ones who get sent up. Never saw it, but your point is congruent with my gut feelings on the comparative show structures.
  • 08:14 PM - Morrus quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Rowan Atkison is brilliant... but I can only take him in small doses before his style begins to wear on me. I definitely get more full-on guffaws and "hit the pause button because I am laughing too hard to pay attention to the show" from these latter programs, I'm afraid. But then again, I'm not British. And sure as heck comedy is context-dependent. I probably don't have the cultural referents to really *get* Blackadder. Blackadder is second only to Fawlty Towers. There is literally nothing even close to being as funny as those two things.
  • 07:53 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Hear that whizzing sound? That's the reference going clear over my head. :) :) You need to cultivate a better taste for terrible things.
  • 07:16 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Well, I *was* trying to call out shows that transcended their genres. If I had chosen examples that weren't among the best... well, that'd be weird - "These transcend their genre... but suck!" You're tearing me apart, Umbran! I, too, enjoy The Room. Oh, hi cmad1977 !
  • 04:35 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    I kind of thought that was an unspoken truth that came along with "sitcom". This is kind of, "Well, yeah, it is bad, but it also has these other issues..." :P I can think of a couple sitcoms that transcend their genre: The Good Place. Better Off Ted. Some, but not all, of Community. But TBBT lacks the genius of those shows. Also? Three shows without laughtracks. Coincidence? Nope. PS- Also, not fair to name three of the best sitcoms of the last few years. Throw in Arrested Development & Peep Show and you've got a Murderer's Row of 5.
  • 04:27 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Keanu in the MCU
    Well, families are still a thing, right? So, the Fantastic Four still works, today. The problem with FF movies has not been that "they don't work". It has been that Fox does not, at its core, understand superheroes, at least of the Marvel variety. They have fundamentally missed what is most important to the superhero properties they touch. For the Fantastic Four, that is about family. They have focused on "Ooooh! Doctor Doooooom!". They've focused on the team's internal arguments. They haven't focused on what makes a group of such disparate people still stay together, despite the stresses in life, which in this case just happen to be super-powered. It is hard to write a movie about a family, and really capture the dynamics. But, if Jordan Peele can do it in "Us", someone can do it for the FF. Well, I mean, look .... if Marvel can make Guardians of the Galaxy work and be a hit, I wouldn't put anything past them. Why not Squirrel Girl? But the particular dynamics and powers of the...
  • 03:19 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    To loop back, Morrus, you asked, "Why shouldn’t geeks be in the same mainstream sitcoms as everybody else?" So, now we see some reasons. You haven't been subjected to geek-shaming, so no, you wouldn't share the feeling. Shows that lean too hard on sexist or racist tropes are understood to be problematic by folks who are not usually subject to racism or sexism. This show, which leaned on other traditionally negative tropes for its jokes... should also be understood as problematic, no? Maybe not as egregious, but still an issue. I mean, can't we just hate on TBBT because it's ... bad? I don't really have a dog in this fight (apologies to Michael Vick), but the little bits of TBBT I have seen aren't very good. And I'm pretty sure that they are representative of the whole; some of my relatives LOVE this show, and based upon their general taste*, I am reasonably assured that the show must be pretty terrible. *I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by i...

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - Henry quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    I didn’t say ignorant, I said I didn’t think they gave it a serious look. So... they don't know the show. In other words, they are ignorant of the show. Or, you alternatively allow that they could be being dishonest (to themselves) How is that *NOT* the "you must be ignorant or lying to disagree with me" argument that we generally frown upon? I understand that it is not comfortable to be told that folks find something you like to be problematic. But that rhetorical structure? It isn't appropriate, now is it? .... but bashing it for the sake of bashing because it’s “nerd-baiting” I am noting that there's good reasons for people to find the show to not be all that positive. Somehow, that's bashing, now? Seems a lot more like valid critique, to me.
  • 11:40 PM - Morrus quoted Umbran in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    To loop back, Morrus, you asked, "Why shouldn’t geeks be in the same mainstream sitcoms as everybody else?" So, now we see some reasons. You haven't been subjected to geek-shaming, so no, you wouldn't share the feeling. Shows that lean too hard on sexist or racist tropes are understood to be problematic by folks who are not usually subject to racism or sexism. This show, which leaned on other traditionally negative tropes for its jokes... should also be understood as problematic, no? Maybe not as egregious, but still an issue. Yes, I fully understood your point.


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