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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:23 PM
    Well, all I can say is that this has very much not been my experience. As soon as you get away from D&D, suddenly race of the character seems to matter - things like clan in Vampire and whatnot. But, yeah, if you stripped out racial stats from the game, the only people who would play non-humans would be those actually interested in portraying a character as something other than just a human...
    87 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:19 PM
    This is your very first post on the boards? Well, welcome aboard bud. I'm sure you'll make friends in no time. :p
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:13 AM
    There is far too much truthiness in this post. :D But, the point about the Star Wars Cantina is well made. And it's funny because if you actually play Star Wars, no one plays aliens that are just humans with funny ears. No one plays a Wookie and doesn't play up that fact. Or a whatever race. Star Trek as well. You don't see Vulcan characters that are just identical to the humans. People...
    87 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:42 AM
    But, what it cannot be is a success narration if the player decided that is not what the PC searches for. IOW, Lanefan's point about narrowing possible resolutions does stand. A success can only be what the player decides.
    643 replies | 16336 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    I'm not sure I'd include Heinlein as being "sophisticated". At least as far as gender issues go. Funny thing is, if you click the link, there's a big red button for an additional thought to the comic: Kinda funny.
    7 replies | 367 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:30 AM
    So I've skimmed the recent bits of the thread. In a follow-up post, I'm going to relay a recent PC:PC social conflict in Strike (!) and invite folks to chime in on how they perceive this anecdote (a) contrasts with gameplay where social conflict isn't formalized and (b) there are neither mechanical feedbacks nor PC build components involved. But first, I want to post some text from Strike (!)...
    643 replies | 16336 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:28 AM
    Just a bit of a tweak to the nose. :D from http://smbc-comics.com/comic/golden-age
    7 replies | 367 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:35 AM
    Gimme a break. No one is telling you to conform. You are being asked to not fling poo every single time the issue comes up. He’s got a point. There is NOTHING stopping you from having 2e style tieflings in your game. Zero. Zip. Nada. So why are you trying to force everyone else to adhere to your tastes?
    104 replies | 3231 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    The original Terminator (i.e. the T-800 that was destroyed in Terminator), or an aged model of the original Terminator? Maybe the person the T-800 was modeled after? Curious how they are going to explain this. Was it stated that John Connor was dead?
    36 replies | 814 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:10 AM
    That’s your definition of small? Ok. I can see why you think the way you do.
    104 replies | 3231 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:33 AM
    Very pretty. And, oh look, North is at the top of the map. :D :p
    58 replies | 9353 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:28 PM
    I run two versions of D&D; 4e and Moldvay Basic. So the answer is while D&D 4e can scratch an itch similar to Mouse Guard, Cortex+ , Dungeon World, and Mouse Guard, it and Moldvay Basic can't reproduce Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, Dread, Blades in the Dark, Torchbearer, My Life With Master, Sorcerer, and Star Wars like Strike (!) and Scum and Villainy. Because system matters.
    81 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Ultima 1 got me into CRPG's...I played all of the Ultimas religiously. To me, the best was Ultima 7/ 7.5...a wonderful story, open world, and a game I can play over and over again. I absolutely loved the original D&D gold box Pool of Radiance. I also remember it was effing HARD!!
    8 replies | 268 view(s)
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:41 PM
    I think the question is strange. It treats D&D as some kind of default, as if one needed a reason to play something different. For me, D&D was just one of the games I tried; neither the first nor the best one. In general, I prefer varied experiences. I switch between games to do something different. Sometimes, we play series of one-shots, jumping between games. At other times, we play...
    81 replies | 2618 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:25 AM
    Shhhh. If you added this sort of thing, the edition warriors would have had the WotC dev's heads on pikes. After all, this is precisely what 4e did and apparently everyone hated it because it was a spectacularly bad idea. So bad of an idea that it retroactively kicked puppies before they were even born. So, good luck with this.
    224 replies | 5602 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:07 PM
    I recently watched KickBoxer (Jean-Claude Van Damme) on Netflix...I think that it may be the most 80's movie in existence. Training montage, sad JCVD roaming through the streets being sad...slow-mo action scenes with him making funny faces. The Running Man comes a close second.
    32 replies | 912 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:04 AM
    Heh. I’m glad I’m not the only one.
    49 replies | 1857 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 06:52 PM
    This is where these conversations get so unwieldy. I mean...how is this question even conceived? OF COURSE THEY DO. If the point of play is (a) competitive integrity and (b) autonomy and expression of agency in decision points (and it is in this case; Gamism)...well, in any_activity where these things are the apex play priority, the legitimacy of (a) and (b) utterly depends upon win/loss...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 06:27 PM
    It was a fun movie, but there were some plot holes that were large enough to drive semi-trucks through. All-in-all, though...I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the return of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jamison.
    8 replies | 366 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:09 AM
    Never minding the number of sock puppet accounts people have as well.
    177 replies | 5872 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 12:14 AM
    Hussar replied to No Magic Shops!
    Not sure I buy that Maxperson, since the last two modules I bought - Dragon Heist and Ghosts of Saltmarsh include rather lengthy rules additions. GoS contains all the rules needed for running naval combat, for example. So, it's not like modules are not a source of mechanics. Traditionally, as well, in D&D, modules have often served as the source for new mechanics or for adjustments of existing...
    960 replies | 46154 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:03 AM
    Hussar replied to No Magic Shops!
    Heh. One of the most unfortunate things about 4e is a LOT of the really interesting stuff that came out for 4e came out after so many folks had left. Had they led with a lot of the stuff, they would have been much better off. :(
    960 replies | 46154 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Hussar replied to No Magic Shops!
    Funny how experiences differ. My 4e rogue believed that he was touched by a god (Kord) and that he was a prophet of Kord. He had a life stealing dagger (granted you x temp hp if you killed a target) and he consecrated all his kills to Kord. :D He wasn't really running on all 8 cylinders. :D "Souls for Kord" was a great line. But, that dagger became a major focus point (as well as a faintly...
    960 replies | 46154 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:32 AM
    I'm no big fan of GNS theory, mostly because bringing it up tends to be like invoking Tolkien in RPG discussions - it's the geek version of Godwinning a thread and more time gets spent debating the theory than actually using it. But, Tony Vargas, I do think you are way off base here. GNS theory is not exclusionary at all. It's, as Lost Soul above pointed out very concisely, simply a...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:08 AM
    Hussar replied to No Magic Shops!
    No. It didn't.
    960 replies | 46154 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 07:57 AM
    No horse in this race, but, it's kinda interesting anyway. No. Matters in the sense that there will be mechanics in place to deal with this element. Thus, broken builds matter in a gamist game because they violate the win conditions - the same way that using a cheat code or an exploit in a video game violates the nature of the game. In non-gamist games, broken builds don't matter...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 11:07 AM
    Considering that in a given round of combat, you are likely having somewhere around 5 attack rolls per round (probably more), I find that very hard to believe. Two four round combats in a session (hardly a heavy combat session) would result in 40-60 attack rolls. I seriously doubt you have that many skill checks in a given session. But, even if you did, how much of an impact is guidance...
    132 replies | 65233 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 11:01 AM
    Hussar replied to No Magic Shops!
    Note, that Ghosts of Saltmarsh makes buying magic items a la carte entirely possible. Granted, you might have to wait for Magic Amazon to deliver your bespoke item, but, it is entirely possible to buy magic items in Saltmarsh.
    960 replies | 46154 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 01:40 AM
    Only very, very tacitly following this thread, but this caught my eye in a "what in the world...?" sort of way. I think this may in fact be a source of dissonance that you and I have in some of these conversations, particularly where it pertains to The Forge and, more specifically, "system matters." The most fundamental core mechanic of VtM and White Wolf games is "The Golden Rule" or...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:16 PM
    You young whippersnappers don't understand the concept of core classes. Back in my day, we walked to school uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes on, and we only had 3 core classes (fighting-man, magic-user, and cleric), and we were HAPPY to have them! Now get off my lawn!!!!
    60 replies | 1863 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:12 PM
    Stupid double post! It's those youngsters, I tell ya!!!!!
    60 replies | 1863 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 10:04 AM
    It's really fiddly. :D
    1012 replies | 71406 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 03:55 AM
    Good post. I think one of the big problems we have in this sort of discussion relates to your first paragraph. There is a common refrain shared by a lot of TTRPG players that people (in this case their PCs) possess a level of cognitive continuity and coherency, or a lack of disunity among the various mental states and hardware that we all inhabit/deploy simultaneously, the sum of which...
    643 replies | 16336 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 09:45 PM
    Well, no. A +6 would change the success rate from 1/8 to 3/8 - a tripling of success rates due to the bonus. Something that bumps almost half of your failures into successes is a major change. Something that bumps one failure out of eight into a success isn't going to have a whole lot of impact on the game, especially when a single character is unlikely to make more than about 8 skill checks...
    132 replies | 65233 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 09:41 PM
    That died down very, very quickly outside of a poster or two (hello Mr. V). I certainly didn't see the forums as "full of 4e fans". I saw some quibbling that very quickly disappeared. But, again, we've all got our own bias filters. :D
    1012 replies | 71406 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:23 PM
    But, that's the point I've made already. "Huge impact"? Really? Succeeding 1 in 8 more times than you would without the spell? How is that a "huge impact"? I'm seeing lots of theorycrafting and very, very little actual evidence. And, I'd point out that other than this thread, which was necro'd, this has been a virtual non-issue for the past five years. If it has such a massive...
    132 replies | 65233 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:21 PM
    Now, when I say it's close to 4e, I'm talking about the mechanics. 2 step resource recovery, a multitude of preroll mechanics, virtually all classes being built around a suite of special abilities (typically spells for most of the classes). Very little niche protection. Overnight HP recovery and virtually unkillable PC's. And that's just off the top of my head. When you say it's close to...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Any game that encourages the GM (myself) to covertly or overtly subordinate player decision-points or action resolution mechanics (and through it the integrity of player decision points) to their personal conception of what play trajectory should look like. So much of late 80s through mid 90s TTRPG design. I’ve run many of these games or sat in on them, so it’s probably too late for that.
    111 replies | 8189 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 11:13 AM
    Heh. DM'd today and I made a mistake. I thought that Guidance in 5e was d4+1, not d4. Player piped up and said, "Isn't that d4?" Me: No. It's d4+1 Player: Are you sure? Me: Well, I was until you said that. One sec. Whoops, you're right. D4. To me, that's the job of a rules guru. I had a number wrong, not a MASSIVE mistake, but, a mistake, I fixed it and we moved on. ...
    95 replies | 3785 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 11:05 AM
    Well, of course not. Since most of the mechanics were cribbed from 4e, admitting that 5e's mechanics are the reason for 5e's popularity would require folks to admit that 4e had some good ideas and that's just not going to happen. :D
    1012 replies | 71406 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Nope, that would be me. The greatest trick WotC pulled off was reskinning 4e and selling it as 5e. Because, frankly, there's so much of 4e in 5e mechanically. 4e was just as much the DM's game as 5e was since so much of 4e was about reskinning, refluffing and page 42. I mean, good grief, I never even opened the 4e monster manual because writing up my own monsters was faster and easier. ...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 10:41 AM
    You can't have it both ways. You can't on one hand talk about how it's providing a 10% bump (on average) on a d20 roll and then talk about how that's game breaking. If it's only going to matter 1 in 8 times, which is what you said, then, well, that's pretty much precisely how useful it is. Why would you say that 5e thinks it matters? It is a cantrip after all. The writers seem to think that...
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:51 PM
    While I like many systems, I put Fate at the top of my list 1. Aspects and fate point economy. A beautiful way of making various facts of the fiction tangible and meaningful. Compels help in introducing complications that the players are interested in. 2. Concessions and stress-out. Making failure and loss interesting instead of game-ending, thus incentivizing players to embrace troubles...
    47 replies | 3205 view(s)
    3 XP
  • steenan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:44 PM
    Exalted. I fell in love with the setting, but the system was awful - overwhelmingly complicated and completely unbalanced. I tried several different rulesets instead. Ended up running a very satisfying campaign with a Fate-based system. Cthulhutech. The concept is inspiring, but both the rules and the setting details are bad. I'm still looking for a game that would give me the kind of...
    111 replies | 8189 view(s)
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:42 PM
    Isn't this what the IIEE framework for resolution is about? There are two separate but connected parts of an action a player declares. What the character does (in a "thin" sense) and what the player wants to achieve. Action description is necessary to give it a solid form in the fiction. Intent is necessary because that's what gets resolved. As soon s the action and intent are known it's...
    643 replies | 16336 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:36 PM
    Might even make Drizzt somewhat palatable... Ooooo!!! And his teeth could play Gwenwyvhar!
    56 replies | 2191 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Danny DeVito
    56 replies | 2191 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 06:46 AM
    Oh no. That was 100% personal based on the rules interpretations you’ve tried to argue in the past.
    95 replies | 3785 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:47 AM
    Like I said, it's going to matter 1 in 8 times. You will succeed on a skill check 1 time more out of the 8 times you failed. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the long term. You are still failing 7 times. Can't really see how that's changing the game too much.
    132 replies | 65233 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:44 AM
    This is a truly horrifying thought.
    95 replies | 3785 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:42 AM
    Not sure why you say that when the number of gamers and the market have been growing year on year for five or so years now and show no signs of decline. For example, the 5e PHB is STILL in the top 100 on Amazon. If new gamers had peaked, you'd think they'd slow down sales of core books.
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 02:45 AM
    OTOH, in play, an effective +2 generally isn't breaking anything. How often is the difference between success and failure the difference of the Guidance d4? Sure, it's handy, and I'll say that it's something every character that can cast it will have it in my group, but, overall? It's not really doing an awful lot. The Help action generally is more effective and pretty much anyone can do...
    132 replies | 65233 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 02:32 AM
    But, in finding loopholes and exploits, the rules lawyer sucks all the fun out of the game and actively poisons the table. It's one thing to keep to the rules, that's fine, we're playing a game after all. But, deliberately looking for loopholes isn't playing the game that the rest of the table is playing. It's no different from online gamers who look for exploits in games to get ahead of...
    95 replies | 3785 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 02:01 AM
    So, basically, what EVERY RPG company has been doing for the past forty or so years;.
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 12:13 AM
    Let's be fair here. They've released, what, about a dozen books per year (or more) for the past 10 years. That's a frigging mountain of material. It's not unreasonable to want to update the system after that long, and that many hours of refinement. It's doubtful they'll go full on change. But, they do need to stanch the bleed of losing players to simply aging out. People move on from...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 12:02 AM
    epithet - to be honest, I find it hard to believe that you would think that this is a purely grammatical issue. It takes a special kind of myopia to look at gender roles in language and think, "Well, we'll ignore that massive cultural and historical baggage with this issue and focus entirely on the stuff that no one other than grammarians actually care about" and then stand back with wide eyed...
    1012 replies | 71406 view(s)
    7 XP
  • steenan's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 09:18 AM
    Our long campaigns last for 20-30 sessions, 4-6 hours each. It translates to 1-2 IRL years. We have also played a few short (5-10 sessions) campaigns and a big number of single adventures (1-3 sessions). The campaigns generally last until they get an appropriate closure. None of our campaigns in the last 10 years fizzled and were abandoned halfway.
    47 replies | 2102 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 04:34 AM
    I think it's a good idea to make the distinction between rules lawyer and what my group calls a rules guru. A rules guru is just someone who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the mechanics of the game and you can always ask her (in my group it's a her) for the rules and know that whatever she says is going to be right far, far more often than it's wrong. I LOVE rules gurus. Hug one today. ...
    95 replies | 3785 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 04:25 AM
    What do we call it when the GM subordinates the players' decision-points and/or the resolution mechanics' attendant outcomes to said GM's preconceived metaplot? And that's fine. But call it what it is. In fact, if you and your players are looking for that play experience, then being honest about what it is, openly analyzing the machinery of it, and getting better at deploying it should be a...
    59 replies | 2523 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 04:16 AM
    No.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 01:48 AM
    You've always been able to start a sentence with a preposition. It's ending sentences with prepositions that people refer to. :D
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 01:45 PM
    You are obviously playing the game entirely wrong dontchaknow? You aren't supposed to level that fast in classic D&D. You should still be second level after a hundred sessions. :D :uhoh: :p
    47 replies | 2102 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 01:42 PM
    I believe, although I could be wrong, that someone was making a joke. :D
    1012 replies | 71406 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 08:04 AM
    Umm, of course it is? Was there any question that the use of they as a singular pronoun isn't ideologically driven? That the whole point of the use is because of the ideological issues surrounding this? What did you think was driving this? Yes I am, and no I haven't. But, I have to admit, that's a right effective discussion strategy you've got going there. That's going to win...
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    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 05:27 AM
    With rapiers. Must not forget the rapiers.
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 05:23 AM
    Meh. You'd almost think that every language in the world has this issue, other than it just being largely an English problem. I wonder how on earth all those other languages that don't use, or barely use, third person pronouns get along. Oh, noes. You might make a mistake because the writer isn't perfectly clear in pronoun use. The shock and horror that you might use something in a game...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 09:38 PM
    Other - needs to come in Fantasy Ground .mod format.
    27 replies | 995 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 05:35 PM
    Look, Keanu is already a superhero. The only logical Marvel character that Keanu could ever play is... Keanu Reeves! Look, he's like a younger, better, more awesome Chuck Norris. He deserves his own Comic book franchise.
    24 replies | 920 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 01:13 PM
    Hrm. Not sure how much I can add to this to be honest. I'm seeing where folks are coming from and I keep nodding my head as I'm reading. Frankly, thought, and perhaps this is just my own biases, something like this: basically sounds like a scene to me. As soon as you decide which of those options to go with, you have a scene. That you like a looser structure is perfectly fine. ...
    181 replies | 5630 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:35 AM
    Let me start with: "I don't have much interest, if any at all, in this conversation...so I'm not particularly interested in getting drawn back in." However, I think I have some virtual ink to spill on the internet on this one. For my money, the two have significant differences in TTRPGs. In TTRPGs, I associate "scene" with "a discrete unit of play, whereby situational framing >...
    181 replies | 5630 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:46 PM
    Umm. Aren’t location and scene synonyms? As in “place where stuff happens “? What’s the difference?
    181 replies | 5630 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:19 PM
    We’re a bit longer. 3 hour sessions and generally about 50-80 sessions per campaign.
    47 replies | 2102 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:16 PM
    But as soon as the player tells you his intentions to go to the casino you know what the next scene is. It’s already established- go to the casino to confront Iron God Meng. How would the players even think to find a tailor? They have stated what they want to do. Do your players routinely change direction before the even start? But, in any event you have a scene - the casino. Whether you...
    181 replies | 5630 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 09:28 PM
    But, see, at least three other people - dragoner, Michael Silverbane and myself WOULD describe this as bog standard narration and a scene. The fact that you happen to be using an idiosyncratic definition of the word seems to be the major sticking point here. Had you actually posted something like this a long time ago, when asked repeatedly to do so, would have saved a LOT of time. So,...
    181 replies | 5630 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 02:15 PM
    Bedrockgames - you didn't answer my question. The PC's encounter an NPC that they have never met before. The reason isn't all that important, although that will obviously come up a bit later when resolving the situation. But, how do you convey information about the NPC to the players without any narration? What does that even look like? You even admit that you "describe him". What do...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:08 AM
    Ok, umm, how does this work? You have an NPC that the players have never seen before in a place that they have never been before. Now, how do you explain the scene (ie narrate) to the players without actually describing the scene, describing the NPC or anything like that? But, to be fair, if that's the definition of narration that you're working from - that players are passive listeners to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 06:52 AM
    Meh, semantics. Scene, situation, it's the same thing. You have the characters, you have the NPC's and you have some sort of action going on. Nothing about narration has anything to do with how things resolve. The point is, you have to introduce that NPC bully. Which means you have to narrate the scene where that bully appears. The point is, you still have to narrate. It's kinda like...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 11:48 PM
    Umm, where did the situation come from? Who initiated the situation? Who set the location, the opponents (or allies or whatever is being reacted to)? Now, there are games where the answer to that might be "anyone at the table", but, outside of those games, by and large, it's the GM/DM who is setting the stage so to speak. Sure, the PC's open the door, but, it's the DM who describes what's...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 11:41 PM
    Yeah, that's a better way of phrasing it. Sure, I'll agree with that.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    I'm with Aldarc here. I don't think the answer is a single general use Urban Fantasy TTRPGing system with theme/premise-neutral mechanics to rule them all (this almost always leads to an overwhelming GM presence in play trajectory to manufacture an experience...typically putting players in a significantly more passive position than in a game like Blades in the Dark). This is precisely why I...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 03:16 PM
    Ah ok. (I’m asking this out of a position of ignorance) So when someone refers to “Urban Fantasy” in TTRPGing, are they referring to “a malleable game/system without a tight play premise baked in so it can be drifted to (say) the modern focus of ‘paranormal romance’ or something similar?”
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 03:14 PM
    Well, kinda sorta. Look at that description of the Dursley's above. That's adopting a very specific "voice". It's a sing songy story telling voice because the story is written for 10 year olds. It is a very deliberate choice. Your choice of a conversational tone is deliberate since you don't like a more prose style pattern. But, make no mistake, you are still narrating the scene. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 09:28 AM
    Sorry, Pemerton, but, I'm really having trouble tracking the changes you are making here. Can you actually write out the paragraph that you think is more conversational? Trying to move back and forth between three different posts and two different pages means I am losing track of what you're trying to say. And, please, tone down the level of grammatical analysis. It's extremely difficult to...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    Something similar to that play anecdote that you're mentioning above happened in my 2nd 4e game that went 1-30. While that was a Bladesinger rather than a Fighter, it was all martial, so its applicable. It was mid-Paragon Tier. While the Druid and Rogue dealt with an endless tide of mooks, the Bladesinger was locked in a duel with the Captain of the Guard (CotG). The player wanted it to...
    11 replies | 689 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 01:21 AM
    I can walk into your house and tell you which bedroom is a guest bedroom just by looking (assuming you have one). That's not really a stumbling block to me. But, effectively, pemerton, we're back to vocabulary differences. You're simply using simpler language. So, is it fair to say that the division, for you, between conversational and prose is vocabulary choice? After all, you didn't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 12:36 AM
    And, something to remember is that the ship is coming sometime. So, making some defensive preparations and then holing up makes sense for the smugglers. They aren't terribly interested in fighting.
    7 replies | 430 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 09:34 PM
    Does Blades in the Dark not qualify as Urban Fantasy? Grimdark, cutthroat urban setting (Duskvol) - check Paranormal (overruneth and all kinds) - check Magic - check Factions/tribes embroiled in endless war to ascend hierarchy - check
    101 replies | 5017 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:48 AM
    Ah, now, there, I think is one of the bigger divides that's going on. For me, while dramatic pacing is one thing (I'll let them shank the villain too), but, in general game pacing is something I've very, very conscious of. Gaming, as it is, tends to have a lot of down time and anything I can do to speed things up is good IMO. Which means that things like boxed text, for example, are a huge...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:43 AM
    I'm going to echo the others here. If you're feeling the time pinch, it might be a great idea just to buy a "campaign in a box" sort of module. One of the WotC adventure path offerings or something off the DM's Guild. Something you can basically just run from the book. And, while that's going on, you've bought yourself lots of breathing room for time to spend prepping your next campaign.
    39 replies | 1387 view(s)
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Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 05:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...g the DM should be judging the efficacy of a player's stated approach to the goal is telling the person choosing to be DM about his or her role in the game.I follow, but actually am now a bit more puzzled (not by you - by the overall logic of the situation) because of the post of Elfcrusher's that I've posted. (The emphasis is original, though I've changed it from italics to underlining so as to maintain it in the quote format.) And maybe "intrigued" would be a better word than "puzzled" - I'm not sure, but will post on. Judging that an approach would work very clearly requires a robust sense of a not-too-mutable fiction. But (as you say) the player is permitted to exploit the mutability of fiction to make sense of his/her play of the character. For this to work requires - I think - very clear boundaries around what is mutable in the hands of the player, and what the GM is permitted to rigdily establish in advance of adjudicating the "woulds" and "coulds". I think that (eg) Hussar's use of fortune very close to the framing, and postponing nearly all of the narration to afterwards, might be one way of trying to manage (by trying to avoid) this need for boundaries. EDIT: I saw this just after posting: Who's to say the character can't know these things? You, as the DM? Sure. But maybe your player disagrees. Maybe he/she says, "There was a village elder who was a great adventurer in his youth, and as a child Gord the Barbarian sat at his feet and listened to all his stories." Now, you, as DM, may want to overrule that and say, "No, it's my game world and that didn't happen." But in that case the problem isn't metagaming (as AngryDM has done a great job of explaining) it's a problem between you and your players.Presumably if the player disagrees, in the context of disarming a trap, about what would work because even one's grandmother could do it without trouble, the GM is expected to have the last word. But in the PC backstory case, and the action de...

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 05:56 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    And let's talk about traps that aren't telegraphed for moment, and see if we can figure out what exactly the gameplay for this is supposed to look like. Option 1: Every 5' Square The players are just supposed to all make Investigation and Perception checks every 5', and hope that somebody in the party rolls high enough. I'm not saying this is how it must be played; just trying to cover all bases here. Can we all agree this one is not a desirable outcome? Analysis: didn't we stop playing this way in about 1980? Option 2: Passive Perception If anybody's passive score is high enough, the trap is discovered, otherwise it's not, with no decision-making by the player. This might be what some refer to as "challenging the character" (or "challenging the build", as it were.) Analysis: In addressing @iserith's trapped hallway, @Hussar claims that once the Perception check succeeds no further explanation/input by the player is required; the DM can infer that a trap of which the party is aware is also successfully avoided. So it would seem that the players don't actually need to do anything here: if their passive Perception is high enough, nothing else happens. Otherwise the trap is triggered (presumably with some narration by the DM: "It's a poison arrow trap, you take X piercing and Y poison damage.") Instead of actually doing all this work behind the DM screen during play, it might be more expedient to add up the average damage of all the traps, multiply by the odds of the trap being triggered, divide by the number of people in the party, and just have everybody reduce their hp by that number. You could speed things up even more by not reducing damage and instead having everybody check off the spell slots and HD necessary to negate all that damage. Option 3: Clues There's some clue that challenges players...oo...
  • 01:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...** knowing the Raven Queen story - their character does. The second is it seems an example of my #4 - both are required (if I read it tight) because specific language skills in character *and* a riddle answered in player are required. Riddles do not have to be player only, no argument there. They just fo seem to be that way quite often.I think at my table they're probably closer to your 1 (? I'm not sure I'm remembering your categories correctly), in the sense that there is not going to be any check made. At the table, the discussion is all between the players, playing their characters - so eg in the second you see the player of the paladin declining to take part because he's not interested in debating "good" ideals; and in the first, he is the one who is most excited about being in the Mausoleum of the Raven Queen, and so it's not a coincidence (although also not guaranteed) that he is the one who works it out first. I don't know 100% how this fits into your conception, or Hussar's, or Elfcrusher's - I would say it is challenging the player's ability to inhabit and play as his/her character. And of course it takes for granted that the player is immersed in the fiction of the campaign (riddle 3) or its moral logic (riddle 2). I think the first riddle - the one I can't remember - was probably weakest in this repsect because it didn't draw enough on that immersion.

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 01:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I don't know what to tell you, man. The D&D 4e Rules Compendium is the most up-to-date version of the rules, whether you choose to adopt them or not. They tell us how to play the game and that includes players asking to make skill checks and the DM almost always saying yes.This is where I start to have a bit of sympathy for Hussar's view about the significance of "how to play rules" vs the actual play of the mechanics at the table. I mean, you seem to be telling me that I played 4e wrong because I played in accordance with the published "how to play" advice which was, in a late release, modified/watered down for no very clear reason. Suppose that, for whatever reason, WotC changes the "how to play" rules in publisehd versions of 5e. Would that mean that, retrospectively, it turns out you've been playing 5e wrong for all these years? In my view that would be a silly view to take. And I think it's equally silly for you to tell me that I should recognise this huge contrast between 4e and 5e about player and GM roles when, in fact, I played 4e in accordance with the published rules and thus did not experience any such contrast! (And to be clear, I'm not disputing that there is a difference - I've identified it multiple times in this thread - but it's a difference about the principles according to which a ch...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 02:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...had lost control of the campaign, and wanted to reestablish that control.) I quite the game a session or two after that, and I heard that it ended not long after. If details are important, add them. Add in an extra level of interaction. But if it makes sense for the story for there to be a somewhat difficult to climb run-of-the-mill wall I may include it. Unless it's important I get past it with as little muss and fuss as possible.To me, this would seem a good reason not to call for a check at all, because nothing is at stake.. Just narrate the climbing of the unremarable wall and keep moving until something more significant comes up. So, just to be clear, y’all would allow a player to roll (and potentially fail) to perform a task that you didn’t initially plan to require a roll to succeed on, simply because they announced that they were making a check? That’s actually how you would all rule in that situation?For my part, it would depend. If the DC is zero/automatic (as per Hussar's comments upthread), no. But if what's going on is a mismatch between GM and player expectations as to whether something is at stake, it might be time for a re-calibration in our understanding of the situation. Either way, I couldn't imagine it playing out like Elfcrusher's example.

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019


Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 03:21 PM - 5ekyu mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...l in this manner. DM: Sets the DC for Athletics check based on the player's statement. The DC could be anywhere from automatically successful (i.e., using a ladder) to impossible (bare-handed while trying to carry everyone else in the party on his back up a wall made of ice). Player: Rolls if necessary. DM: Narrates the success or failure of the action. Now maybe that is what you meant, but then you misunderstood/misrepresented the person you were responding to. The point they and others were making is that you cannot make a roll much less determine the chance of success unless you have a clear understanding of the player's goal. This interaction loop applies to combat, social, and environmental interactions. The only real difference is that for combat, many of the variables are already predetermined (AC, to hit bonus, damage to be applied, etc.). The other two pillars have many more undefined variables that cannot be set until a clear statement of action is made.I admire Hussar and Oofta for their persistence in agsin climbing down the morphing shifting rabbit hole offer up, but hey, evetybody's got to have a hobby. I find the ladder funny and just tha latest swerve retread so I will toss in a line or two which I am sure clearly shows I misunderstand the wonders of the approach. I (and Hussar I suspect and many others) consider cases in which **as GMs** we provide a wall the PCs might need or want to get over **and** a ladder they can just pick up (or crates they can stack) and use as **not an obstacle** or **not a challenge**. Its the equivalent to "I get out of bed" or "I eat lunch" and so on and so on. They dontvrise near the level of challenge, obstacle or as I tend to specify "challenge that matters." The only way these have significance worth their "resolution" is if something else makes it a challenge - like bad guys en route do you havevtimevyo stack or are you better off preparing to fight using crates stacked up as cover - not ladder. In all my...

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 05:32 AM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Hussar I think the posters were blocked from the various threads not from Morrus himself. As for GoT, TWD and Battlestar Galactica - they don't have the history of a show like ST with 5 series and a dozen motion pictures. The ST following is big...so people will watch it because they're ST fans. Some will obviously complain of continuity. Some of just poorly thought out storyline. And others of both. The protagonist exacerbates the issue since she is not likeable.

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 10:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Why is the shortest lived edition, still one of the most popular?
    I want to add: Moldvay Basic is also a really clearly presented set of D&D rules. It's better in this respect than the original books, than either edition of AD&D, than 3E or 4e. It sets out clear procedures for character building, for the processes of play (adventure turns, encounters, combat resolution), for GMing, for scenario design. This made it very playable. Which helps explain the degree of penetration that Hussar describes.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 03:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    ...ow suppose that, in a game, what is taking place is not the search of a bedroom with bureaus but (say) the search of a workouse that was the site of arson; or the search of a town to see where some stolen horses are stabled; or the search of a library containing hundreds of feet of shelving holding many hundreds of volumes. None of these would be out of place in a D&D game. How is the bedroom search example to be extrapolated to those cases? What details is the GM obliged to narrate in framing the situation? What details is a player obliged to narrate in declaring an action? In the rulebook example, the GM doesn't seem to have described what clothes are in the bureau; does the GM have to describe what books are on the library shelves? Where the shelves are in the building? Whether the building has north or south facing windows? If so, which volumes are faded by the sun to what degree? I think framing this discussion as one of following vs disregarding the rules as opposed to, say, Hussar's and Reynard's dfferences of preference and playstyle, is actively unhelpful.
  • 02:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ok, fair point. I was scanning for the pattern I use [approach] to accomplish [goal], so in each case Perception sounded like the approach, and I read, for example, "listen for an ambush beyond the door" as a goal. If he had just said, "I listen for an ambush beyond the door" I can see that being a goal and an approach. However, I will say that in each case the approach is awfully vague. Especially "use my senses".I personally think this issue of vagueness vs adequate precision is a matter of taste - not arbitrary taste, but still a wide range of table variation based on local expectations, context, experience with adventure design and adjudication, etc. Which to some extent relates to Hussar's "pixel bitching" complaint: one table's sufficiently precise action declaration is another's overly detailed pedantry. This is also why some posters keep coming back to notions of "sufficiently detailed" decriptions, despite being told it's not about quantity of detail, nor its luridnesss, but about precision. Think about other contexts, too. Is "I attack the orc with my sword!" enough? That's about as vague as "I listen at the door." Or does the player have to declare a more detailed combat move? Does it make a difference if the player wants to feed in a Battlemaster manouevre - eg does the player have to describe how s/he is wrongfooting the orc, or whatever? Is it enough for the player of a bard to declare "I flirt with him to see what information he might drop"? Or does the player have to perform the actual words, mention the placing of the hand on the arm, etc? The last time this sort of thing - ie flirting with a NPC to learn information - came up in a game I was refer...

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 04:18 PM - oreofox mentioned Hussar in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    This version is "setting agnostic", so it could be any river. I am referring to this image that Hussar posted a few replies above mine: http://www.enworld.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=105330&d=1552310131 This map looks to be made by Mike Schley, or someone very good at replicating his map style. On this map, there are numbers within circles, and 2 names: "Saltmarsh" at the top, and "Kingfisher River" on the left side. This is typically called a "DM Map", and those circled numbers will coincide with some text within the book detailing what is in the locations the numbers are. Mr Schley normally sells high res version of both the DM Map, and a "Player Map" which doesn't have the numbers. However, they do have the names still on them. So, the "player map" version of this Saltmarsh map will still have "Saltmarsh" and "Kingfisher River" on them (if he is consistent with his previous maps). Orienting the map to have North at the top, will make it look like this: https://i.imgur.com/6hv9eWB.jpg Turning the map screws with the name of the town, name of the river, and the distance...

Friday, 12th April, 2019

  • 01:22 AM - Celebrim mentioned Hussar in post How do you handle hit points?
    Hussar: I concede that since this be a matter of human instincts, I may in fact just not get it. I don't think that D&D's wound abstractions produce nearly as much of a potential for contradiction as you suggest. I also don't think D&D dictates who is responsible for the color of the fiction in as far as it impacts the players, and I certainly think in the absence of guidance the players are free to narrate the consequences of their own failures and successes. Indeed, at my table I try to keep a hard and fast rule that as the GM I will never dictate to the players how they feel and try to as much as possible never dictate to them how their characters respond to events, either by thought, word, or action. And, if a player insisted on dictating their own successes and failures, I'd be quite happy with that (few players I've played with want that much burden to produce narration and description though). So, whether a player sees self-narration as a bonus or a burden isn't somethi...

Thursday, 11th April, 2019

  • 02:17 PM - Laurefindel mentioned Hussar in post How do you handle hit points?
    If you choose not to spend them, what happens? Like @Hussar said, then your character suffers the full consequences of the attack or hazard. If your opponent wanted to kill you - the most frequent situation - then it succeeded and your character is dying, unstable, and you have to roll death saving throws. If the opponent just wanted to slap you behind the head, then you allowed it to do so, probably without further complications. The most obvious muddy corner is whether you keep the hp you have when you can't spend enough to negate the attack (i.e. you have 4 hp left and receive 10 damage). We know by this interpretation that you couldn't avoid the consequence and become dying, but do you still have 4hp? That's where the DM needs to stay consequent with RAW and rule that if character with 0 hp is dying, a dying character has, by definition, 0 hp (otherwise it would be stable and conscious). A character that cannot spend enough hp to negate an attack becomes dying and drops to 0 hp. There might be some mental gymnastics to do with things like...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 02:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yes, I know. I play Dungeon World. Honestly I find this conversation a bit surreal. I'm not even sure how to respond. One of us totally doesn't understand what the other is talking about. Or possibly both of us.Well, I think there are (at least) two alternatives to Oofta's approach. iserith is describing one. I think Ovinomancer may be describing something a bit different, but he can clarify that if he wants to. I'm not sure what your overall position is. Both alternatives equate action declaration with describing something that happens in the fiction. This is a contrast with Oofta, Hussar, etc. In iserith's approach to 5e, following such an action declaration the GM then adjudicates this to determine whether or not a check is required, and if so how hard it is. As he puts it, the ultimate player goal is to avoid the risks of the dice. I see this as a type of puzzle-solving play, though (obviously) not like solving riddles or chess puzzles. By way of contrast, in DW, DitV, Burning Wheel, Prince Valiant, HeroWars/Quest, Maelstrom Storytelling, The Dying Earth, etc (just to name some of the games I'm familiar with that adopt this alternative approach), there is no avoiding the risks of the dice, assuming that something is actually at stake. (If nothing is at stake, then the GM should just "say 'yes'" and try to work with the players to progress the fiction to something where there is something at stake.) The point of the player's account of what his/her PC is doing is to provide fiction that is able to be extrapolated either in success or failure. The emphasis of play i...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 11:18 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    One thing I don't believe you have answered, Hussar, is my hypothetical scenario about the players that just want to sit in the tavern...in the sense that they don't actually narrate where they go and who they talk to and what they search...and just want to roll Investigation to solve the mystery without having to describe any actions on their part. I'm intentionally choosing an extreme case, of course, but that seems to fit the description of how you play: you aren't requiring the players to figure out likely leads, you are letting their characters do it.This seems to raise questions like (1) Who at the table gets to frame scenes, and decide what "the action" is?, and (2) How are action declarations able to be framed? For instance, if the GM has authority over framing scenes, then it seems that the players won't be able just to have their PCs sit around in a tavern. And if the PCs are sitting in a tavern, what sorts of Investigation checks can they declare? Or, more generally, what sorts of actions can they declare? In Hussar's ...
  • 02:07 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...L] by doing [INSERT DETAIL]". Because if that approach is equally effective as "goal and method" you are training your players to skip the goal and method, nudging your game closer to a bland series of dice rolls. How are you not diminishing the values of investment in skills if a person can just describe what they're doing to get an automatic success*? Because those who don't invest in the skills are much less likely to get automatic successes? (Seriously, I don't understand how this one could not be understood...) Why is finding/disabling the once in a blue moon trap/secret door with a couple of dice rolls a deal breaker for you if you aren't the person doing it and it takes a minute or so to resolve? It's a minor speed bump I put in for flavor, not the focus of the game for me. Even if it happens very rarely, if it exists in your game it exists in your game, and then players feel they either need to say "I use (skill) to search for traps!" at every door and chest, or @Hussar's fears are realized and they start going through a pre-flight (or pre-kick-in-the-door) checklist on every portal. Why is it a big deal if the DM wants to keep the players guessing about whether or not the PC is using deception by having people roll an insight check? [I]*I don't know how many people do this, but at least some do or they have not made it clear if they ever call for a roll. I think you left a word or two out of that one, but I get the gist. This one is mostly me. 1. NPCs don't "use deception" they lie. Or leave out details. Or exaggerate. If and when it comes down to a contested roll, their success at doing so may be determined with an appropriate ability check. (Just have to get our terminology straight.) 2. For me this is not a rules thing, it's a flavor thing: most of the time I think it's more interesting and immersive for the players to have some uncertainty about what the truth is. We could spend all day listing books and movies that would have been bor...

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 11:07 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'll agree that even when you're "challenging the character" you're still challenging the player, just in a different way. So it comes down to, in a really coarse sense: do you challenge the player's ability to remember rules, or do you challenge their ability to narrate creative solutions? @Hussar says he doesn't want to advantage some players over others, because it's all about the characters, but doesn't his version of "challenge the characters" advantage those who are good at memorizing rules? Or did I just repeat what @Bawylie was saying?
  • 03:05 PM - iserith mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If you like that ability, it seems we agree that doing whatever you can do (including attaining 11th level as a rogue) to mitigate the swinginess of a d20 is a good thing, right? If that's so, then we've made progress! The good news is that any character can do that by trying to remove uncertainty and/or the meaningful consequence of failure. But, again, you can't win 'em all and sometimes you're going to have to roll. So this is a great class feature to have when you fall short of outright success, and not everyone can do that. Floating this back up in hopes that Hussar will respond to it. Because if we can agree that reducing the impact of a d20 is a good thing as a player, then we might actually get somewhere.
  • 02:39 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Hussar: I guess we just play differently then. I don't want to force my players to be glib actors, but I do want them to solve problems using their own noggins, probably because that's what I like, too. I like that little thrill of, "Heh...I just figured out something cool." Think Zork, not WoW. But, yes, you're right: that is testing the player, not the character, maybe not in acting ability but in thinking ability. I'm ok with that. And I guess in that regard the people I game with are different than the people you game with. BTW, you never answered my question. If the player states "I study her closely looking for hints that she's not telling the truth. I'm trying to glean clues from body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms." what do you do? Ignore them? If you ask for an insight check since that's the definition of the skill, what's wrong with them saying "I make an insight check?" If you tell them they can't do that, how is that not telling them w...


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Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

  • 05:26 PM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post [Guidance] What, +1d4 to every check ever?
    But, that's the point I've made already. "Huge impact"? Really? Succeeding 1 in 8 more times than you would without the spell? How is that a "huge impact"? I'm seeing lots of theorycrafting and very, very little actual evidence. And, I'd point out that other than this thread, which was necro'd, this has been a virtual non-issue for the past five years. If it has such a massive impact, why aren't there numerous Agony Aunt type posts complaining about it?The problem with that is that it enables me to argue there's little difference between a +2 proficiency bonus and a +6 one. Each +1 bonus matters. When you have players that minmax well, guidance is the straw that breaks the camel's back. 1/8 is not trivial.
  • 04:13 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Hussar in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Well, of course not. Since most of the mechanics were cribbed from 4e, admitting that 5e's mechanics are the reason for 5e's popularity would require folks to admit that 4e had some good ideas and that's just not going to happen. :D Not according to 4e fans when 5e came out. When it did come out, these forums were full of 4e fans who said they were “forsaken” by WoTC. And betrayed. And lied to because Mearls said 5e would have elements of every edition and 5e didn’t take anything from 4e. So it would be odd that 4e fans took that position then, and would take your position now since they are opposite positions.
  • 03:54 PM - Jer quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Now, when I say it's close to 4e, I'm talking about the mechanics. 2 step resource recovery, a multitude of preroll mechanics, virtually all classes being built around a suite of special abilities (typically spells for most of the classes). Very little niche protection. Overnight HP recovery and virtually unkillable PC's. And that's just off the top of my head. When you say it's close to 1e, what are you looking at? Mechanically, it's a completely different game. So, what is the 1e DNA you're identifying with in 5e? I would add to that the fact that everyone has a single proficiency bonus that scales with level at the same rate, rather than different Base Attack Bonuses/THAC0/To-hit charts by class. 5e took the "add 1/2 your level" mechanic from 4e, changed it to (roughly) "add 1/4 your level +1" and nobody blinks at it. The "if you're not proficient in it, you don't get to add the bonus" instead of either the traditional "flat penalty for lack of proficiency" or 4e's "you d...
  • 03:34 PM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    When you say it's close to 1e, what are you looking at? Mechanically, it's a completely different game. So, what is the 1e DNA you're identifying with in 5e? I don't know what does it for lowkey13, but there's quite a bit to give it a play feel much closer to 1e/2e than either 3e or 4e. Magic items mathematics not being baked into the system of character power-ups. Least tied to grid since 2e (which, while not technically 1e, was pretty much 99% compatible with 1e) Very flexible combat movement rules that match how many people played 1e (even if the formal rules weren't as flexible then) Fewer distracting and nitpicky advancement options Bonuses don't go stratospheric thanks to bounded accuracy, which keeps it feeling more like 1e/2e than 3e or 4e Encounter design isn't so based on the CR du jour of the monster when it comes to making level-appropriate(ish) encounters Like lowkey13, we too are playing with pre-3e materials in our current 5e campaign. And with the exception o...
  • 02:52 PM - lowkey13 quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Now, when I say it's close to 4e, I'm talking about the mechanics. 2 step resource recovery, a multitude of preroll mechanics, virtually all classes being built around a suite of special abilities (typically spells for most of the classes). Very little niche protection. Overnight HP recovery and virtually unkillable PC's. And that's just off the top of my head. When you say it's close to 1e, what are you looking at? Mechanically, it's a completely different game. So, what is the 1e DNA you're identifying with in 5e? Is it though? Completely different? I mean, I'd start by noting that just above us, CapnZapp states he's playing 5e because it resembles d20 (3e) without the annoying crud, so there's that. But for my terms, using the DMG (slow natural healing) combined with self-restraint at the table (archetypes from the 1e PHB) and no variant rules from the PHB (no feats, no MCing) leads to a very 1e-feeling game, so much so that we pretty much run 1e adventures exclusively. The slo...
  • 02:25 PM - Stalker0 quoted Hussar in post [Guidance] What, +1d4 to every check ever?
    How often does it make the difference on a skill check? How much impact is it actually having, not, how much do you feel it has. We already know the math on how much it impacts the roll, all tracking that would do is lead to biases due to a limited roll set. If I had a game where guidance happened to push every single skill roll over the dc, that’s just a lucky night, not proof that the spell is op, and the opposite is also true. I’d say the better tracking is, how often does a skill check have greater consequence than an attack roll or saving throw? I’m assuming that people think a +2.5 to either of those is pretty good. So if s skill check is often as impactful, than the bonus has to be considered in the same light.
  • 01:00 PM - lowkey13 quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Nope, that would be me. The greatest trick WotC pulled off was reskinning 4e and selling it as 5e. Citation needed. ;) Because, frankly, there's so much of 4e in 5e mechanically. 4e was just as much the DM's game as 5e was since so much of 4e was about reskinning, refluffing and page 42. I mean, good grief, I never even opened the 4e monster manual because writing up my own monsters was faster and easier. Something I wish they had kept in 5e. But, yeah, I'm watching it right now - a long time 4e player stepping into a 5e table for the first time and being able to pick it up almost instantly. So much of it is immediately familiar. They just worded things differently. Well, it's good that you're back to the fold! But, honestly, as someone who skipped 2e, 3e, AND 4e as being "not D&D enough" and came back to 5e ... I have to say that this is in the eye of the beholder. If it's close enough for you to 4e, AWESOME! It's close enough to 1e for me. ....I think that might have be...

Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 09:14 PM - epithet quoted Hussar in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    @epithet - to be honest, I find it hard to believe that you would think that this is a purely grammatical issue. It takes a special kind of myopia to look at gender roles in language and think, "Well, we'll ignore that massive cultural and historical baggage with this issue and focus entirely on the stuff that no one other than grammarians actually care about" and then stand back with wide eyed innocence when no one else wants to ignore the massive cultural and historical baggage. I mean, do you honestly expect me to believe that you are that oblivious to to social and political ramifications of the discussion? Clearly, a lot of people here care a great deal about that "cultural baggage," but it wasn't even a topic of conversation back when I was in English classes. Maybe if we focussed more on language as a means of clear communication and less on and exploring the way in which it is an expression of historical baggage, we'd all be better off. I'm not "oblivious to social and political ra...
  • 01:50 PM - Stalker0 quoted Hussar in post [Guidance] What, +1d4 to every check ever?
    Like I said, it's going to matter 1 in 8 times. You will succeed on a skill check 1 time more out of the 8 times you failed. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the long term. You are still failing 7 times. Can't really see how that's changing the game too much. Then why have bonuses at all if they don’t matter? 5e has gone out of its way to make any plus to the d20 rare, so it seems to think it matters. Does that mean expertise is also a waste of ink, because for the majority of games out there that don’t go to 9th level, this little cantrip provides the same bonus.
  • 10:59 AM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Not sure why you say that when the number of gamers and the market have been growing year on year for five or so years now and show no signs of decline. For example, the 5e PHB is STILL in the top 100 on Amazon. If new gamers had peaked, you'd think they'd slow down sales of core books.The peak can still have been reached. Unless you want to argue that as long as a single new gamer joins up, it hasn't. OTOH that's absurd. Now then; let me flag that's all I have to say on that particular tidbit. Please do tell your thoughts on the rest of my post. I mean, you focused in on such a small detail it's almost weird. I'm not going to reply further on that - it's simply not very relevant to my larger points.
  • 06:51 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why Rules Lawyering Is a Negative Term
    Oh no. That was 100% personal based on the rules interpretations you’ve tried to argue in the past. Then either delete it, or I'll report it in the morning when I wake up. I won't allow personal attacks like that.
  • 02:24 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why Rules Lawyering Is a Negative Term
    Deleted personal attack Since I know you wouldn't be attacking me personally here, I have to assume that for some reason you find being fair and impartial to be a horrifying thought. That seems really odd to me. Edit: deleted a personal attack against me.

Sunday, 30th June, 2019

  • 04:31 PM - Stalker0 quoted Hussar in post [Guidance] What, +1d4 to every check ever?
    OTOH, in play, an effective +2 generally isn't breaking anything. How often is the difference between success and failure the difference of the Guidance d4 12.5% (assuming the average 2.5 on the die), unless you had an auto success on the roll. Further, it increases the chance of getting impossible DCs, which works against the notion of bounded accuracy. Failing on a roll to disarm a trap, climb a wall, or investigating a key scene often has much greater consequences than missing one attack roll.
  • 01:38 PM - Reynard quoted Hussar in post [Guidance] What, +1d4 to every check ever?
    OTOH, in play, an effective +2 generally isn't breaking anything. How often is the difference between success and failure the difference of the Guidance d4? Sure, it's handy, and I'll say that it's something every character that can cast it will have it in my group, but, overall? It's not really doing an awful lot. The Help action generally is more effective and pretty much anyone can do that. AFAIC, it does what it's supposed to. Help and Guidance are not mutually exclusive, of course, so in come cases you can double up. There are also lots of situations in which help doesn't apply. You can't help someone pick a lock, for example. But I think you are right about the impact: guidance does not break anything -- especially since almost all DCs in 5E are arbitrarily assigned by the DM anyway.
  • 10:21 AM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Let's be fair here. They've released, what, about a dozen books per year (or more) for the past 10 years. That's a frigging mountain of material. It's not unreasonable to want to update the system after that long, and that many hours of refinement. It's doubtful they'll go full on change. But, they do need to stanch the bleed of losing players to simply aging out. People move on from hobbies. It's only weird assed people like us that stay with a hobby for decades and never move on. :D And every game has the same issue - how to make sure that the number of new players is equal to the number of players leaving the hobby. Imagine trying to get into Pathfinder in 2019. Where would you even start? I hope they do pull this off. Having a stronger competition for 5e only means that both games get better.The obvious place to start recruiting is among existing 5E gamers. Without knowing for sure, I feel the vast majority of prospective gamers of this generation has already been recruited....
  • 04:36 AM - Mercurius quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Imagine trying to get into Pathfinder in 2019. Where would you even start? I hope they do pull this off. Having a stronger competition for 5e only means that both games get better. Well, the Beginner's Box maybe? But to address the second sentence, I don't think Pathfinder could possibly be anything resembling "strong" competition for D&D. It was to 4E, but that's a different story. My sense is that Pathfinder serves those wanting a crunchier game, and also loyalists - which is, of course, a Venn diagram. Part of the impetus behind starting this thread is that P2 seems to threaten both groups. So something like; "We've created products for all the good ideas we have, so we are going to change the rules just enough that we can re-use all out ideas and just convert them to the new rules." Yea, that will go over well. I would be very surprised if they take the latter-day TSR/early WotC approach of edition cycling and product treadmill re-hashing. Maybe we'll see one or two of the same, ...

Saturday, 29th June, 2019


Friday, 28th June, 2019

  • 06:50 PM - S'mon quoted Hussar in post How Many Actual Sessions Do Your Campaigns Last?
    You are obviously playing the game entirely wrong dontchaknow? You aren't supposed to level that fast in classic D&D. You should still be second level after a hundred sessions. :D :uhoh: :p Well Mentzer said 5 sessions per level but it tended a bit faster in practice. Around 80 sessions and 18-19 levels over 2 years.
  • 03:22 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Hussar in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    I believe, although I could be wrong, that someone was making a joke. :D If so, my bad.
  • 05:51 AM - epithet quoted Hussar in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Meh. You'd almost think that every language in the world has this issue, other than it just being largely an English problem. I wonder how on earth all those other languages that don't use, or barely use, third person pronouns get along. Oh, noes. You might make a mistake because the writer isn't perfectly clear in pronoun use. The shock and horror that you might use something in a game wrongly as opposed to the years of oppression and hatred and bigotry, never mind the life threatening hatred, that real people have to face every day just so you can use your RPG book the right way. I'm thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, there might be some room for give and take. Just maybe. Are you seriously suggesting that we have to dispense with the distinction between singular and plural in order to avoid "oppression and hatred and bigotry" and some kind of threat every day? You're really going to suggest that keeping that singular/plural distinction is oppressive? If so, you've lost your damn...


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