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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:39 PM
    I see. So TTRPG systems and play are not objective things and cannot be analyzed empirically and anyone that attempts to do so is a big jerk? Is that pretty much the gist? Following from that, youíve just wasted my (and others) time with a rhetorical request to evaluate 5e that you obviously had no interest in engaging with. Feels bad. Please donít make such requests, get sincere...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:52 PM
    * The ďLight ClockĒ in Torchbearer and how all of the other game mechanics are integrated perfectly with it and how, working in concert, they bring home the intended play experience (cognitive space inhabited, mood, theme, pace). * Same thing goes for Blades in the Dark with its holistic integration of all of its system machinery which engenders bold, devil-may-care scoundrels, each uniquely...
    44 replies | 1543 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:10 PM
    I donít know what the point of this response was. It doesnít engage with anything Iíve said. You wonít me to...say that I donít know what Iím talking about? Huh? Further, itís a claim about me that has absolutely no evidence to back it up. What claim from ignorance do you think that Iím making that isnít backed by evidence and wonít stand up under scrutiny? If youíre looking for an example...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:03 PM
    Which is why I regularly encourage people to play more and different types of games. And I also regularly recommend people (at least in my life) be willing to have the self-awareness and humility to say ďI donít know.Ē I donít understand this modern phenomena of being unwilling to simply recognize that you donít know what you donít know. There are lots of things I donít know...even in the...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 12:54 PM
    Now that I can't really argue with. 4e modules, particularly early ones, were egregiously bad. To be fair, the Dungeon ones got better towards the end - the Chaos Scar adventures were actually a ton of fun. On the other hand, magic items in 4e were what you made them. My rogue with a life draining dagger and my warlock with the Crown of Winter were both fascinating to play. Again, it's...
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 11:00 AM
    LOL. I always shake my head when folks say this. Hrm, 2 step recovery system, skill system that is virtually identical (strip out the level adjustments from 4e and you get the 5e skill system), every class is built on the same model, instead of powers, nearly every class gets spells, many of which do the same things that powers did in 4e. What else... oh, removing the need for magic items -...
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:25 AM
    Larger than man sized target.
    127 replies | 2826 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:20 AM
    Heh. It feels that way because of the presentation. It's certainly not the mechanics which are virtually identical to 4e. If 5e is the proper successor to 3e, then 4e was as well. But, the trick that WotC has performed has been to convince everyone that 4e and 5e are not related at all, while, at the same time, retaining virtually all of the mechanics of 4e. The primary difference between...
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:35 PM
    If you've never been a grappler, it will be a little bit difficult to attempt to convey things conceptually, but Chess (which I suspect you've played or at least had exposure to) should suffice. Look at grappling (Brazillian Jiu-jitsu in particular) as a series of decision-trees where your opponent is imposing ever-progressing catch-22s upon you as they control you (takedown > deployment of a...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    My posts on this subject over the years (and in this thread) involve pretty intensive analysis on why resolution procedure/GMing technique/reward cycle/play ethos/PC build setup (a) objectively provides a different experience than(b) in many different areas (from table handling time to distribution of authority to intraparty balance to party: obstacle balance to cognitive workload and on and on)....
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    U Weíre complicated animals who live complicated lives. And these games, all of them, are complicated, relatively speaking. Nothing is ever one thing. But I think the line of evidence that I love running something like Dogs, something like 4e, while having many times more experience (and just as much enjoyment) with Moldvay Basic and AD&D1e is a pretty strong one.
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:03 PM
    Iím not Campbell, but Iíll throw some words at this from GMing perspective. Its definitely true that most people almost surely enjoy the experience of games they like, and through their affinity they develop or have a natural aptitude for better play. Humans have pretty extreme neurological diversity, so I would say that itís trivially true that cognitive predispositions and mental...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:29 PM
    Heh, my snark aside, it really is an attempt to compare apples and oranges. Because, sure, you had a lot of save or die type monsters in 2e and, again depending on the character stats, parties could really vary. The trick about comparing across edition is that 3e changed every single aspect of the math of the game. Sure, you could have this or that build - but, now we're getting away from low...
    127 replies | 2826 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:31 AM
    Ok, let's use Snakes. Medium viper in 3e deals d6/d6 Con damage DC Fort 11. Fail the save and you could lose up to 12 con from each bite. You die at 0 con. That 2e viper was only lethal about 15% of the time: And even then you were generally at a +2 to your saving throw - that's a what, 7 for a 1st level fighter? I'm getting the feeling that lowkey13 was maybe closer to right than...
    127 replies | 2826 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:23 AM
    I agree. The GM's primary role in TTRPGing (outside of a few instances) is (a) to know what adversity is relevant to this particular play and (b) bring that adversity to bear against the PCs in the imagined space in the most interesting/compelling/challenging/provocative (and these will be contingent upon the game) way possible. Above I mentioned a Dogs play excerpt. The adversity I...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:01 AM
    Honestly I think the math here is right out to lunch. Because 3e monsters have stats and stat bonuses, by and large the do about three times more damage per round than 2e monsters. While 3e did give pcs some more hps, they certainly donít have three times as many. Try this for a test. Single 1st level fighter vs 5 orcs. Which edition fighter survives? My money is on the 2e fighter. He can...
    127 replies | 2826 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:47 AM
    Of course this also ignores the fact that a by the core 2e fighter does about six or seven times more damage per round than virtually any other edition fighter of an equal level. I mean even without a str bonus a 2e fighter with longsword specs and a short sword vs a dragon pumps out potentially 36 points of damage on even rounds and 24 on odd rounds. Letís see any edition first level...
    127 replies | 2826 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:31 AM
    Being more progressive than E E Smith is like being Valedictorian at summer school.
    18 replies | 717 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 01:29 AM
    I suppose it depends on how humanlike you want to get. Are we talking something like what I posted above or something that would fit into Blade Runner? Then again Legion had the Vermillion androids. Definitely androgynous.
    18 replies | 717 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:03 AM
    To be totally fair, what would be the point? Why would you make a very realistic humanoid robot where you have to give it gender based features, only to then blur those features to remove any gender markers? That seems a lot of expense for very little gain. I suppose the Japanese robot Pepper might qualify.
    18 replies | 717 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Jim McGarva has a perfect catch-phrase for this sprinkled throughout the Strike (!) rulebook, which is basically a riposte to all of the stuff we heard about with genre-incoherent drift in 4e: "DON'T DEMAND NONSENSE!" One such quip is on fictional positioning and permissible action declarations: If I'm running Dogs and the player thinks someone is under the thrall of demonic...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 05:27 AM
    Can you explain more what you mean about not being sure about incentives? Not sure about incentives interfacing with the decision-tree in a moment of thematic choice? Incentives that push back against the impetus to establish a win condition for a scene/arc or create extra obstacles to that win condition in exchange for advancement? Something else? Paragraph 1 Response: That makes...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 05:26 AM
    But, no one is saying that. No one is saying that you can change a success into a failure. What is being talked about is that if the Player defines success, then the GM cannot. Which is a constraint on the game that some of us don't want. OTOH, it appears that Pemerton want's failure to always be some sort of success (fail forward) at all times. Which again, is a restriction on the...
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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...
    107 replies | 3903 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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...
    107 replies | 3903 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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.
    720 replies | 20113 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    18 replies | 717 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 (!)...
    720 replies | 20113 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
    18 replies | 717 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. Heís 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 | 3375 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 906 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:10 AM
    Thatís your definition of small? Ok. I can see why you think the way you do.
    104 replies | 3375 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 9456 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.
    88 replies | 3149 view(s)
    4 XP
  • 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 | 302 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...
    88 replies | 3149 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 | 5896 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 | 982 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:04 AM
    Heh. Iím glad Iím not the only one.
    49 replies | 1931 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...
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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.
    10 replies | 518 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 | 5977 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 | 46446 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 | 46446 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 | 46446 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:08 AM
    Hussar replied to No Magic Shops!
    No. It didn't.
    960 replies | 46446 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...
    196 replies | 12971 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 | 65467 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 | 46446 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...
    196 replies | 12971 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 | 2003 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 | 2003 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 10:04 AM
    It's really fiddly. :D
    1012 replies | 72035 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...
    720 replies | 20113 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 | 65467 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 | 72035 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 | 65467 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...
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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. Iíve run many of these games or sat in on them, so itís probably too late for that.
    111 replies | 8384 view(s)
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  • 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 | 3895 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 | 72035 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. ...
    196 replies | 12971 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 | 3295 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 | 8384 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...
    720 replies | 20113 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 | 2242 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Danny DeVito
    56 replies | 2242 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 youíve tried to argue in the past.
    95 replies | 3895 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 | 65467 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:44 AM
    This is a truly horrifying thought.
    95 replies | 3895 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.
    196 replies | 12971 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 | 65467 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 3895 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;.
    196 replies | 12971 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...
    196 replies | 12971 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 | 72035 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.
    53 replies | 2403 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 3895 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 | 2603 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 04:16 AM
    No.
    1012 replies | 72035 view(s)
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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
    1012 replies | 72035 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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
    53 replies | 2403 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 | 72035 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    1012 replies | 72035 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 05:27 AM
    With rapiers. Must not forget the rapiers.
    196 replies | 12971 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    1012 replies | 72035 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 3rd April, 2013

  • 02:20 PM - N'raac mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    If I was the GM in question, and knew that @Hussarhad no interest in the desert crossing, there are at least two options I can think of: have the NPC turn up, wandering prophet-style out of the desert, as the PCs are mounting their centipede; or have the NPC meet them in the city. How is this any less contrived than meeting the NPC in the desert? I think this is the sort of responsiveness to manifested player preferences that Hussar is advocating. It's certainly the sort of responsiveness that I prefer. Part of Hussar's point is that, if the only upshot of the riding will be a few falls dealing a bit of subdual damage or minor scrapes that can all be trivially healed by the PCs' daily allotment of cure spells, why go through the details? I have not seen anyone disagree with that. But I think the issue posed has been where those riding rolls indicate his plan is untenable, or at least poses a non-trivial risk to the characters, Hussar feels they should still be waived – but only this one time – so that his desired sc...
  • 10:03 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...ion of the MacGuffin (assuming that's what's going on here) as a piece of random wartime looting. If your point, and/or N'raac's, is that it can sometimes require deft GM judgement and real-time adjustments to properly deploy the distinction between "irrelevant distraction" and "interesting complication which the players can leverage as a resource", then yes, it can. That's why Eero Tuovinen, in describing the standard model of narrativist RPGing, talks about sheer GMing experience as being something which helps with determining what complications to put in the way of the players. Sometimes I don't know if a complication is going to work until I try it in play. But if it's clear that it's falling flat, I don't stick to my guns come-what-may. I certainly don't wait for the players to activate the so-called "nuclear option", or hope that if I persist the players will come to see that it really is worthwhile after all! I take proactive steps to get things back on track. That's what Hussar's GM didn't do, in either case. My own campaign, revolving around the cryptic 'Esoteric Order of the Golden Globe' would pass your litmus test. The villains are meant to be at least somewhat sympathetic. <snip> with a different composition and different players with different beliefs, and I'm not sure that they wouldn't eventually end up siding with the cult.OK, though I'm not sure what to make of your use of the word "villain". This relates to our "poof, you're out of sim" exchange uphread. The key for me is not that the players can play "evil" PCs, or align with the "evil" forces in the gameworld. That's completely compatible with sim play. It's that what counts as evil, or as villainy, is itself up for grabs. I think it's in this thread that I mentioned the BW aesthetic as having existentialist or Nietzschean dimensions. This current point of discussion is an elaboration or amplification of that idea. It's hard to come up with non-contentious illustrations, of co...
  • 02:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...larations, requiring the GM to respond. Whereas in 4e, while the player can introduce cosmological antagonists (eg Orcus, by building a Raven Queen worshipping PC), s/he can't introduce 1st level agents of those antagonists, and lacks the ingame resource to tackle the cosmological antagonists themselves. (Of course, it would be different if the game started at Epic tier.) So it's not clear to me that it is really the 'beliefs' that are achieving this in any functional sense. And what is really achieving what you claim is achieved is much less well described and nebulous and seems to come down to 'they talk about it'. <snip> This whole 'Belief' system is extremely weak in addressing player narrative empowerment. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest it does nothing to address that, and what really addresses that isn't the system but the OOC talk about the system that consitutes prep.Beliefs are a formal flag. There's been quite a bit of discussion, in this thread, by me and Hussar and others, about informal flag techniques. The contribution of Beliefs to player "empowerment" is precisely this formal flag dimension. That operates in conjunction with an unequivocal statement to GMs to follow the players' formal flags in framing situations. As you note, BW doesn't rely just on Beliefs. It also relies on shared construction of backstory, which also has both formal (Relationships, Circles, Wises) and informal (brainstorming at the start of a campaign, as per the stuff I posted in the OP of the BW thread) dimensions. a GM that regularly uses handwave technique to skip over things that matter, significant player choices, and conflicts is doing it wrong. Thus, in the same sense there can be disagreement over what matters and when "Say yes" is warranted.Yes. Chaochou and I are having a discussion about this very issue, around the notion of "GM permissions". But a clear sign that saying yes is warranted is that no Belief, Instinct or Trait is in play. Or, in...
  • 01:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...part, the two parties have opposed interests. The social contract is different, though. It's not clear that the interest of the participants in an RPG are opposed in quite the same way. So it's not clear that renegotiating the social contract in response to actual events in play is necessarily a problem. At least arguably, in some RPGs (like AD&D, with its sprawling and ambiguous ruleset) it's actually a necessity! The GM would still be free to say, "You encounter nothing of interest in crossing the desert," of course. But, interestingly, it now comes out that really, there is something interesting in the desert - an NPC that is apparently supposed to help frame the issues the party is going to encounter in the city! Several times now, I raised the issue of dismissing scenes out of hand - "How do you *know* there's nothing relevant to your city jaunt in the desert?" And lo and behold there apparently *WAS* something! Go figure!If I was the GM in question, and knew that Hussar had no interest in the desert crossing, there are at least two options I can think of: have the NPC turn up, wandering prophet-style out of the desert, as the PCs are mounting their centipede; or have the NPC meet them in the city. I think this is the sort of responsiveness to manifested player preferences that Hussar is advocating. It's certainly the sort of responsiveness that I prefer. Typically when there is nothing at stake and "take 10" would be adequate to ride the chosen mount successfully. Which is when the rules explicitly say "no need to roll". Celebrim agre with that 60+ pages ago, and I don't recall anyone disagreeing. Where the disagreement seems to lie is the belief that, even if Take 10 will not succeed, we shoul just handwave that and let them "take 12" or "take 20" or "take 24" or whatever they need to handwave the issue.Part of Hussar's point is that, if the only upshot of the riding will be a few falls dealing a bit of subdual damage or minor scrapes that ...

Tuesday, 2nd April, 2013

  • 07:31 PM - Jackinthegreen mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...terestingly, it now comes out that really, there is something interesting in the desert - an NPC that is apparently supposed to help frame the issues the party is going to encounter in the city! Several times now, I raised the issue of dismissing scenes out of hand - "How do you *know* there's nothing relevant to your city jaunt in the desert?" And lo and behold there apparently *WAS* something! Go figure! Perhaps it could be said that the players don't want there to be anything interesting in the desert right now, or in the future, that affects their goals in the city. They don't know whether something was interesting in it, but they don't want complications from it screwing with them getting to the city or interacting with it. It's possible that the player(s) want to dismiss the desert scene entirely. I can envision a player that even might want to murder the desert and everything it stands for since it's seen as such a roadblock, but I don't think anyone in this thread (even Hussar) is of that mind. He tried to give it an in-game reason to handwave it after all instead of ripping up the map and proclaiming the desert no longer exists. And I don't think anyone in this thread or even on these boards would try that stunt. I'm not suggesting that the players should be perfect analytic machines who never make mistakes. I'm suggesting players bear some responsibility and should hold themselves accountable for predicaments of their own making and not get shirty when they aren't given a pass out of them -- particularly when the predicament can be made interesting (at least to a large subset of the player base) relatively easily with complications that follow the tropes of genres commonly emulated in the game engine. If the other players agree (including the DM) to move on then obviously the group moves on. But without unanimity, the group should continue normal play. No player should expect to control flow save through the resources the game offers him ...
  • 03:19 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...tty much the definitional purpose of a house rule. "Players need not concern themselves with strategic travel options as the narratives will generally take care of it." is certainly on par with "This campaign will have limited supernatural creatures. The most common enemy will be human".A 3E player is building a ranger, and asks the GM "I'm tossing up between favoured enemy: orcs and favoured enemy: dragons. Any advice?" The GM replies, "I was planning to run Red Hand of Doom whereas I just sold my copy of Draconomicon. I'd suggest orcs." That's a house rule now? Anyway, for the record, the only rules on overland travel in 4e specify distance per hour and day of travel. When applicable, I apply those rules. My game doesn't have house rules for overland travel. It's just not something on which I focus in play. I even pointed out that I use the magic item rules (Basket of Everlasting Provisions) as part of the device for creating the requisite degree of verismilitude. (Upthread Hussar mentioned Dark Sun's "survival day" rule as a different device, in his game, for doing much the same thing.) Try looking in the index for ďtravel, overlandĒ or something similar. I assume 4e does have rules for long distance travel.The rules pertain to distance travelled per unit of time. I use them. There are no rules in 4e of the Marsh/Cook Basic or Gygaxian AD&D variety, about mapping, getting lost, periodic encounters, etc. The absence of such rules - the fact that 4e is focused on the scene as the key element of play - is part of its attraction to me as a system. The nature of authorial control is that the entities it lies with make the call. Part of what is involved in describing something as bad GMing is saying that the call was wrongly made. When I criticise the president for the making of an executive order, I'm not typically questioning his authority to have made it. I'm criticising the choice that he made in the exercise of that authority. Likewise here. Hussa...
  • 04:58 AM - Jackinthegreen mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ... suffer through either through in-game resources or meta-resources? (snip) The players abdicated their ability to shortcut when they arrived without the ability to shortcut. As mentioned before, players can and do screw up those kinds of things. It would be nice to expect them to fully prepare for such instances, but let's face it: Not everyone is going to be that involved. Hopefully the DM would be able to nudge them towards being better prepared, but eventually the players might very well feel screwed over by the game and the DM if they find themselves at the desert and thinking "let's just pass this" and the DM says that there's no way to resolve handwaving it like the players want to because they don't have some magical ability at that moment. The point is that sometimes the players should have the ability to just say "screw this, let's move on." Yes, it can sometimes mean abdicating all responsibility and consequences of whatever they choose to bypass. I'm pretty sure @Hussar mentioned it wasn't a decision he took lightly, and one certainly shouldn't expect anyone would take the possibility of giving up all responsibility lightly. At the end of the day though, it's still a game meant for enjoyment, and, for some people, sometimes having fun means getting away from the consequences and responsibilities. Basically some people just want a cheat code to get through a particularly crappy part of the game so they can go on and do other stuff that they are interested enough in that they don't want to use a cheat code because it's something they want to engage in.
  • 03:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    Sure, but these don't bear on the players' goal of engaging the city. Neither does the siege.I don't understand this. How does a city being under siege not bear on the player goal of engaging that city? As Hussar has pointed out, it is likely to affect nearly everything going on in the city. So how is sneaking into the city under cover of bombardment "leveraging the siege to engage the city" when, with no siege, they would simply have walked in? I don't really understand this, either. Of course if there is no siege and the PCs just walk in, the players are leveraging a different fiction - a city at peace - in pursuit of their goals. The point is that the fiction is different in each case, and in either case makes a difference to what is happening in the city. The fictional positioning of the PCs is different. Furthermore, I think for many players at least sneaking in under cover of bombardment would be more exciting than walking through gates past bored city guards. the PC builds and player resources are focused on mutual matters of interest.Um...no. They are focused on matters of interest to you.Of course they're matters of interst to me. "Mutual interest" entails interesting to me...
  • 03:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    in the D&D tradition, there's a running theme that traveling the planes is *not* just like going to the corner drugstore. It is supposed to be difficult, and is supposed to typically force you to interact with the plane <sip> this limitation means that inter-planar scry-buff-planeshift tactics aren't possible.This "theme" in D&D is confined to 3E. In AD&D there was no rule the Plane Shift wasn't accurate. The 3E auto-inaccuracy feature seems to be a consequences of merging 5th level cleric Plane Shift with the plane-hopping ability of 7th level magic-user Teleport Without Error, plus noting the undesirability of scry-buff-teleport as a tactic. Given that scry-buff-teleport wasn't in issue in the episode Hussar has described, it is not going to destabilise the balance of the game to (for instance) just free-narrate that the PCs arrive outside the city walls, or (if the dice are rolled) to move throught the travel part pretty quickly. So why shouldn't that one player take the responsibility and prepare to transition/mitigate scenes he doesn't want to suffer through either through in-game resources or meta-resources? That's what summoning a huge centipeded would be. That's a pretty clear example of using a player resource (which is also a PC resource) to transition the scene. I've been ignoring that the group probably can't even find the city without further exploration/interaction with the setting.If they can cast Plane Shift maybe the can cast Commune, or Divination, or Legend Lore, or have a druid or ranger with decent Intuit Direction. You've house-ruled out strategic travel as a player consideration.You're working with a pretty liberal definition of house rule! Can you point me...

Monday, 1st April, 2013

  • 07:46 PM - Jackinthegreen mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...r known (but still relatively unknown) area that is the current focus. Some players will want to explore and milk the unknown area for what it's worth, and others will want to make the unknown area be as easy as possible so they can get to their focus. And of course those aren't the only two options since someone could just stick to the easiest path from A to B and get what they could out of that part of the desert, but there's no denying there is diversity in how players would want to interact with it. How the players perceive it is going to shape how it's done. So why shouldn't the desert be framed as an action sequence? Because at least one player, if asked his real opinion, would vehemently object to slogging through it. Is it worth the player being shirty and perhaps even leaving when said player can also bring a lot to other aspects of the game? Is it worth dividing the players in that portion to get to something else that the players can be united in their efforts? To @Hussar and pemerton, and to me, no. Is it worth letting the almost certainly sucky scene (because of player involvement, or rather lack thereof. Nothing to do with what's actually in it) be handwaved to get to a scene that is going to at the very least feel better to the players in general because of their interest and involvement? Yes.
  • 03:07 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...his due to: a) a fundamental playstyle difference? b) player-authored goals for the characters? If it's (b) why would I need to be involved?In my game, if the players are playing out some debate that is grounded in conflicting player-authored PC goals then that discussion will involve a mixture of in-character and out-of-character discussion. In-character stuff will appeal to considerations like what is at stake in the fiction. Out-of-character stuff will appeal to considerations like how much play time something will take, or how different things might interact with the levelling dynamic of 4e D&D. I will get involved, not in trying to adjudicate but by kibitzing, and reminding players of infiction matters that are relevant to their particular PC - basically trying to keep fictional stakes in their minds to discourage too much easy or expedient compromise. The role of agent-provocateur. That was one session. A "mini-adventure". I'm pretty sure a lot of this applies to Hussar's and pemerton's thoughts but I'll let them comment on thatMy main comment is that I enjoyed seeing the notorious gorge episode finally written up in its full glory. Otherwise, that looks similar to something I could imagine running. It wasn't clear to me how much of the geographical/backstory knowledge that the players had (i) was narrated by them (perhaps BW-Wise style) as opposed to (ii) narrated to them by the GM in response to successful knowledge checks, or perhaps free narration. I ask questions: "Where are you? What does this place look like? Who do you know here? Who here wants your head on a pole? Where's the nearest place to here? Who lives there? Why did they kill your brother? Why did the machine go wrong? What do you need to fix it?" My friends will create crazy stuff based on their desire to make this fun and character goals, dream up new relationships to make this place interesting to them, talk through what would be fun for them as players (even if it means p...

Sunday, 31st March, 2013

  • 04:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    Umbran, thanks for the reply. Quite a way upthread I was mentioning the significance, to at least some of the issue being discussed in this thread, of "say yes or roll the dice". When that is part of the rules, then "handwaving" through stuff of little thematic significance isn't breaking the rules. I think Hussar was also getting at this in post 688 upthread, when he was talking about a hand-waving approach in relation to players having the game-mechanically mandated resources. In AD&D 2nd ed and Storyteller rulebooks there was the idea that the GM could suspend or fudge the action resolution rules in the interests of story. At least as I understand it in its BW version, "say yes" is extending this idea out of the realm of the GM into the realm of the whole group, and making it overt rather than secret: so we only engage the action resolution mechanics, as opposed to free roleplaying, when there are thematically significant stakes.

Saturday, 30th March, 2013

  • 09:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    The city seemed to be "just setting" to Hussar, and not "plot", as he described it. He explicitly doesn't care about "setting". He only cares about what's "relevant" and part of the "plot". If your siege is unrelated to the goal, then it's just a roadblock. Like the desert.I prefer Hussar's account of his preferences to your account. Upthread, when the siege was first mentioned, I predicted that Hussar would not object to it. And that prediction was correct. The reason for my prediction was obvious to me, namely, that the siege speaks to Hussar's play desires (doing stuff in the city) in a way that the desert does not. And Hussar's own posts have borne out my reasoning. If you want, I can upack some of those preferences. For instance, contrary to what you say, the city is (for the real Hussar) not just setting, but situation. The siege complicates that situation in an interesting way. The desert does not. You may be able to construct, in your imagination, some pseudo-Hussar who would object to the siege as much as the desert ...

Friday, 29th March, 2013

  • 02:31 PM - N'raac mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    hmmm...lost my edit. Which is what @Hussar's GM did. Which is what led Hussar to criticise the GMing in this thread. Are you now agreeing that Hussar's criticism was warranted? I'm a bit lost. Hussar's GM ruled in faviour of the centipede solution. Hussar's criticisms have been directed against any GM who would proceed with the Desert Crossing scenario, as adjusted to take into account the Centipede Mount, or who would have the gall to suggest we follow the rules for riding beasts in resolving the failure or success of his approach. This may have been the right answer. It certainly was if the challenge presented was simply "get through the wasteland to the city". To me, the GM style that would merit criticism would be a series of Ride checks that serve only to determine how dusty each PC is on arrival at the city, and/or meticulous tracking of time and use of supplies only to discover the time of crossing makes no difference on the other side, and there is no danger of supplies running out. I don't know 3E or the Binde...
  • 02:08 PM - N'raac mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...et to the barbershop we see the police leading the barber away in handcuffs, or perhaps the barber's body being wheeled on a gurney to the ambulance. The desert is the barrier between us and the city. Nomads in the desert could be a relevant aspect to resolving that barrier, or irrelevant. Just like division 2 of the besieging army could be a relevant encounter we must get past, or backdrop scenery as we negotiate with their General or slip by the siege in its entirety. Our entry to the city is an essential preequisite to achieving our goals in the city. The desert and the siege are obstacles to our entry to the city - we need to somehow get past them to achieve that prerequisite. The nomads and the Division are elements of those obstacles which may be scenery, impediments to overcome the obstacle or resources we can leverage to overcome the obstacle. Neither is inherently - much less self-evidently - superior to the other. This has no resemblance to the episode of play that @Hussar described, which was insisting on playing out a desert crossing when the players had zero interest in the desert and wanted to get to the city. HISTORY LESSON: We do not know how the desert crossing would have played out in @Hussar's game. The GM accepted the centipede solution. The party did not interact with the desert. Only when other GM's suggested that this may not have been a bulletproof solution with 100% success [eg. Celebrim's comment that "I expect none of these issues to present insurrmountable problems to a party, but I do expect the journey to go less than smoothly - however much it may beat walking. I'd also expect that this is a perfect time for intraparty characterization and role play. If you really want to impress me, stay in character as you play out these difficulties." To which Hussar replied: See, I tend to get a bit... shirty when DM's start doing this. As an aside in this regard, I believe it is that statement that creates a perception of a whiny playe...
  • 01:44 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    Huge centipede wouldn't work without handwaving the conjuration spell since the duration is more than likely less than what's required to traverse the wasteland and without the ability to communicate with the creature, you cannot control its actions. <snip> As I mentioned above, if the DM is playing by the rules, their solution probably wouldn't work (I don't know all the details). They need different spells and from what I gathered, they didn't have them. Again, I wasn't there, I don't know all the details.I don't know 3E or the Binder very well. I'm relying on Hussar's account that the centipede could be summoned at will and controlled. As best I understand it, Hussar's GM wasn't disputing that Hussar's PC had the capabilities either.
  • 01:42 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    Well, I guess it's possible that a GM could set up and run the wilderness in such a way that it ends up having no bearing on the PC's goalsWhich is what Hussar's GM did. Which is what led Hussar to criticise the GMing in this thread. Are you now agreeing that Hussar's criticism was warranted? I'm a bit lost.
  • 01:40 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...ng that that prisoner has information about the goal in City B? I don't want to accuse people of not wanting to budge just for the sake of argument, but the desert is being judged regardless of content (and continually assumed its irrelevant), while the siege is continually put into a light where it is relevant. Well, the relevance of the siege is entirely in the hands of the GM. The siege is of the city we are wanting to explore/interact with/loot/etc. It's therefore per se relevant - like chaochou's police tape around the barber shop that we're going to. You can set the nomads up in that way, sure - in chaochou's example, as we're walking down the street to the barbershop we see the police leading the barber away in handcuffs, or perhaps the barber's body being wheeled on a gurney to the ambulance. But we're no longer talking about a desert crossing being relevant. We're talking about bringing the city into the desert. This has no resemblance to the episode of play that Hussar described, which was insisting on playing out a desert crossing when the players had zero interest in the desert and wanted to get to the city.
  • 08:07 AM - Jackinthegreen mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    ...on't surprise them when they get there; after all, now those refugees make sense. If they want to, they can even hire the mercenaries away from the refugees. They can ask the nomads questions. Whatever. This, however, is not acceptable. It's been communicated as contrived, or irrelevant. But there's no need for it to be. You just make the scene relevant. If you want it to be even more relevant, have it be religious refugees, fleeing after the temple was sacked, or whatever. The temple in the city, where the goal is. You just tie it to what is relevant. I don't want to accuse people of not wanting to budge just for the sake of argument, but the desert is being judged regardless of content (and continually assumed its irrelevant), while the siege is continually put into a light where it is relevant. Why can't they both be easily as tied to the city, or even the temple? Maybe it's just me, but I think they can be. As always, play what you like :) So far we've gotten no indication from Hussar (as far as I can tell, and I'm not about to go through the whole thread again at this point) to determine what exactly was the goal other than "the city." So the only thing I think I can say to that is "There's a siege on the city, and since 'the city' is the goal then the siege is relevant regardless of the specifics of what the siege is doing besides attacking the city." I can't make it my own little story because it never was and never will be mine since it was that singular experience @Hussar had. After contemplating it a bit I'm wondering if there simply isn't enough information to even do "what ifs." But I do think that I would change things for different groups of people, even if it was a published adventure. And those players are going to influence what I play for them. What I like isn't the biggest factor because I am merely an accomplice to the players. A DM without players is like a business without customers. And like any good business, I'd better be able to change...
  • 05:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post You're doing what? Surprising the DM
    Letís flip that around. Why are we playing out the Grell battle? Iíve conceded that Ė if the players succeed Ė they get the benefits of having defeated the Grell. Iíve concluded it wonít break the game. So letís just call the Grell defeated and move on.Of course you might do this if the grell battle was just a grind. But we've already establish that the players were invested in it. Given that, why would we skip over the bit the players are interested in? The whole point Hussar and I are trying to make is that we want a game where the focus of play is on the stuff that the players are invested in. Why do you not accept that your desire that a given task be accomplished without complications does not mean that it can, or even should, be?At least in my case, because the tasks in question are narratively trivial ones the detailed resolution of which would add nothing of interest to play. It's not as if, because we skip over them, we won't have anything to do in our game! We'll do the interesting stuff, like getting vengeance on the grell! I've avoided this threadWelcome! I think scale is making this example more complicated than necessary. We could restate this exampleNice restatement. I could, possibly, do something like: "You see an old man on a bicycle get clipped by a car and knocked over. You see blood spilling onto the pavement." If in that situation the player had reason not to want to draw attention to their visit to the shop, then sudden...


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Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 02:17 AM - The-Magic-Sword quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Well, let's be honest. Setting purists will always have issues. It's just a thing. And, to be fair, everyone has a line that they don't want crossed. It doesn't have to be logical or really, even make a whole lot of sense since it's largely a taste thing. For me, I dislike psionics in D&D. Always have. Mostly my objections have been more mechanical than aesthetic, but, really, I have a lot of sympathy for anyone who doesn't want psionics in their setting. When we're being honest with ourselves, most of the objections really are based purely on personal taste and have virtually nothing objective to ground them. The problem really comes when people try to pass of their personal tastes as some sort of objective truth which leads to a everyone spinning their wheels because once you've made that a sticking point - that your personal tastes are objective truth - there's no way forward. "I don't want X in my setting because I don't like X" isn't a reason not to officially include it in...

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - OB1 quoted Hussar in post Critical Role's Kickstarter Breaks $1,000,000 In About An Hour!
    On the other hand, I'd point to things like Rooster Teeth's Red vs Blue series based on the Halo video game. Which has been put up on Netflix as well. Millions of viewers and now 17 years of seasons. Pretty darn successful I'd say. Like I said, a very good way to test the waters. Not that this is a mainstream big budget movie. That's not what a test is. If this is successful, they can show that it's possible to make a D&D show that can make money. Right exactly! I think itís a great test for doing either an animated or live action series that would run on a streaming service. I just donít think we should set a theatrically released film as the standard or even the goal. Iíd much rather get a 10 episode a year live action series budgeted at $100m a year like GoT rather than a single $150m theatrical release. Hopefully the success of this can help something like that get made!
  • 11:29 PM - Morrus quoted Hussar in post Umbrella Academy - Not bad, not great
    Actually, I think the scoring was the low point for me, although I did like the show overall more as episodes went on. In the 1st episode, they have the big musical number to Debbie Gibson's I Think We're Alone Now. But, these people were born in 1989. That's a song that came out a few years before they were born. Why would they be all grooving on this? Same reason I groove to the Beatles.
  • 11:04 PM - OB1 quoted Hussar in post Critical Role's Kickstarter Breaks $1,000,000 In About An Hour!
    Wow. A perfect way to test the waters for a D&D movie. I think weíd be better served by a good live action Netflix show. Big budget films need to be safe in order to be successful. D&D is inherently weird. I donít want to see that weirdness removed to make it palatable to a large general audience. As amazing as this Kickstarter is, and even if they end up with 100,000 backers and $10m in contributions, thatís 20 million fewer people then would need to show up to make a feature film successful.
  • 03:20 PM - FrogReaver quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    But, which are we talking about? Your games or games in general? It seems that your list of presumptions just gets longer. I would think that anyone playing an Umbral Ranger is going to make strong efforts to get out of the light as fast as possible. Considering torchlight isn't actually all that big of an area, getting into darkness shouldn't be that hard. But, I suppose if your adventures are always well lit, then, sure, it's going to put a serious crimp in an Umbral Ranger's style. But, again, that gets right back to my point - you are insisting on the perfect set up for the fighter, but, every other class is automatically in the worst possible position it can be. Of course you're going to think that fighters are head and shoulders better in that case. I mean, good grief, you're using a human archer. In many, many situations, he should be attacking at disadvantage because he has to rely on light sources. Note, the ranger doesn't have to be human - doesn't need bonus fea...
  • 02:54 PM - Azzy quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Not exactly unique. There are more than one crashed spaceships in Greyhawk. The Warden II crashed in Tomoachan. I'm sure there are other goodies from Dungeon or Dragon as well. So, one in Barrier Peaks, another in Blackmoor, and still another in Tomoachan? It's practically raining crashed spaceships in Greyhawk. :D And, let's face it, an artificer can't build a spaceship either. Greyhawk did quite a lot of genre bending. Space travel was certainly done - they went to Mars as I recall as part of the original campaign. Dragon 258 introduced "Sheens" which were tied specifically to Greyhawk. Heck, going all the way back to Dragon 17, there's a canon story where Greyhawk natives traveled to the Metamorphosis Alpha universe and back. Like I said, there's more than enough GH material to justify an artificer. And given that Greyhawk has Murlynd, the god of Magical Technology, artificers seem like a natural fit for those that venerate him.
  • 10:53 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Here's a question: Why does Arcane Weapon work on Martial Weapons when the character doesn't gain any martial weapon proficiencies? Maybe this spell is going to be available to other classes when released? RAW a bard could acquire it through Magical Secrets for a start. That raises an interesting point though: the spell description only requires the caster to be holding the weapon when the spell is cast. So, hypothetically, they could cast the spell on the fighter's weapon and give it back to them. It's a concentration spell, so it might not be too overpowered read like that.
  • 04:48 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    That is a point to remember though when talking about "tiers". Like the bard example, how much does adding a bard to the group improve the group as a whole? Between bardic inspiration and other goodies, it does make a considerable difference. The trick is, how do you calculate just how much difference is it making? That's going to be a judgment call. Hang on. But, there's the problem. No matter what, you can only convert 4 misses/short rest, 5 at level 7. You will miss more than 4 times/short rest meaning that you will not convert all your misses. And, since you are only converting 2/3 of your misses at best, in the 26 attack example we used before, you will still only hit 20 times - 17 for regular hits + 3 for precision attack. 3 extra hits cannot possibly equal the 30-40 d8 bonus damage that the ranger has done. No. It doesn't. You don't have to use the bonus action every round. You only use it when you've first marked something. At worst you've lost about 7 p...
  • 03:25 AM - Zardnaar quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    That is a point to remember though when talking about "tiers". Like the bard example, how much does adding a bard to the group improve the group as a whole? Between bardic inspiration and other goodies, it does make a considerable difference. The trick is, how do you calculate just how much difference is it making? That's going to be a judgment call. Hang on. But, there's the problem. No matter what, you can only convert 4 misses/short rest, 5 at level 7. You will miss more than 4 times/short rest meaning that you will not convert all your misses. And, since you are only converting 2/3 of your misses at best, in the 26 attack example we used before, you will still only hit 20 times - 17 for regular hits + 3 for precision attack. 3 extra hits cannot possibly equal the 30-40 d8 bonus damage that the ranger has done. No. It doesn't. You don't have to use the bonus action every round. You only use it when you've first marked something. At worst you've lost about 7 points of d...
  • 12:41 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    As far as ranger/fighter comparisons go, I'd point out two things: 1. As soon as you miss by 2, Precision Strike no longer guarantees a hit. It's entirely possible that you will miss with every one of them. And, you only get 4 Precision strikes, or 5 by higher level, so the maximum effectiveness it can possibly have is 4 hits/short rest. Since, in a 20 round adventuring day, you are making 26 attacks ( presuming 2 short rests - a big presumption), the absolute best you could do is convert 12 misses. And, it's far more likely that it's only going to work about 50% of the time. So, you go from 17 hits standard (66% hit rate) to hitting about 22 times. Those extra 5 hits just aren't going to make up the difference. I gave you the math for it. In a 40 attack adventuring day you on average will convert 68.75% of your misses to hits when using precision attack. You use it when you think you miss by 6 or less. It's a very forgiving skill in that regard. Even if you misjudge and use ...
  • 12:23 AM - Zardnaar quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    As far as ranger/fighter comparisons go, I'd point out two things: 1. As soon as you miss by 2, Precision Strike no longer guarantees a hit. It's entirely possible that you will miss with every one of them. And, you only get 4 Precision strikes, or 5 by higher level, so the maximum effectiveness it can possibly have is 4 hits/short rest. Since, in a 20 round adventuring day, you are making 26 attacks ( presuming 2 short rests - a big presumption), the absolute best you could do is convert 12 misses. And, it's far more likely that it's only going to work about 50% of the time. So, you go from 17 hits standard (66% hit rate) to hitting about 22 times. Those extra 5 hits just aren't going to make up the difference. 2. Hunters mark lasts for an hour. If we're going to give the fighter his absolute best results, then the ranger should never lose an attack for casting HM. There's no reason he can't cast it before a fight, or at the beginning of one fight and it lasts for multiple en...

Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

  • 05:13 PM - DrMapzo quoted Hussar in post Color Maps for Virtual Tabletops by Me
    That is some seriously pretty stuff. Thank you very much!
  • 04:26 PM - FrogReaver quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    Yeah, this is a point that I never really buy. Precision attack isn't going to make that much of a difference. Most attacks are hitting about 66% of the time. That's what the game is set at anyway. Given Archer specialization for either fighter or Ranger, that's actually probably higher. So, if 3/4 of your attacks already hit, then precision attack really only matters for those other 1/4 of attacks. If your adventuring day is 20 rounds of combat long, we're talking 10 attacks, at the absolute most. But, it's never going to turn all 10 into hits since at least some of those will miss be more than the Precision Attack will make up - there will be wasted Precision Attacks and attacks that simply cannot hit, no matter what. So, essentially, we're talking about maybe 5 hits difference between the ranger and the BM fighter. But, the ranger either gets a +d8 on every round (or close enough) of combat or an extra attack a lot of times depending on the type of ranger. Since they're b...
  • 10:52 AM - Eubani quoted Hussar in post Is Mike Mearls Happy Hour still a thing?
    Controversy? Apparently a consultant back in 2014 was taken on despite warnings of domestic violence, sexual assault and abusive online behaviour. When face with this MM asked for information and many who had dealings with the consultant emailed Mike on their personal experiences with the consultant. Apparently Mike took the view that things were exaggerated or made up only after forwarding the emails to the consultant. Mike of late made a statement that the consultant was only a play tester and that WotC has stopped dealing with him. The consultant known as Zak S has a credit in the PHB as a consultant which is separate to play testers mentioned. Many were upset with Mike trying to low key his part in this and for him failing to take any personal responsibility. His twitter account with the message and the responses is probably more enlightening.
  • 09:04 AM - R_Chance quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    There is a pretty wide gulf between "every class or race or spell (or anything else) has to exist in every setting" and "setting never change from its first printing". Sure, you don't have to add everything, but the default answer shouldn't be, "Well, it wasn't there thirty years ago, so not now" either. If adding to the something makes sense and is in keeping with the setting, then, IMO, it should be added. Alchemists and mad scientists in Greyhawk? Yuppers. Fits right in. This setting always played fast and loose with genre lines. Like I said above, you have at least two crashed spaceships in the setting, a giant mechanical spider, and a wizard most known for carrying six-guns. I'd say that its a pretty small jump to add in alchemists to the setting. And I agree with you as well. Especially about Greyhawk. It even has Blackmoor in it :) Of course EGG kind of paved over it, but hey, it's there along with the Great / Grand Kingdom! See my reply above this... *edit* Spelling and G...
  • 08:22 AM - Gladius Legis quoted Hussar in post The New Class Tiers
    So, if 3/4 of your attacks already hit, then precision attack really only matters for those other 1/4 of attacks. If your adventuring day is 20 rounds of combat long, we're talking 10 attacks, at the absolute most. Well, except you're forgetting the rounds that you Action Surged in. If in your example adventuring day you took 2 short rests, you get 3 Action Surges that day, so you get an extra 6 attacks. So it's more like 11-12 attacks that Precision Attack can effect. But, it's never going to turn all 10 into hits since at least some of those will miss be more than the Precision Attack will make up - there will be wasted Precision Attacks and attacks that simply cannot hit, no matter what. Thing about Precision Attack is that you can choose when to use it, like during a round you Action Surged, when you're expressively trying to deal as much damage as you possibly can. A Precision Attack used during such a round is going to be very valuable. And you only use it to begin with when yo...

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019

  • 08:44 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Heh. It's really funny how we all have different take aways from different settings. You mention this not fitting in Greyhawk. But, GH is a setting with fallen spaceships (multiple), one of the iconic wizards of the setting uses six-guns, and one of the first encounters in the Slave Lords modules involves a wagon mounted flamethrower and goblins (or orcs, I can't remember). The notion that artificers wouldn't fit in GH seems strange to me. That is a good point, and I definitely agree. Sorry if I was a bit unclear, but what I was really aiming more towards there isn't an overall society or group in Greyhawk that would naturally produce them in bulk, unlike Eberron as a whole, Lantan (or even Thay, should they return to their 3e "magic sellers to the world" mode) in the Forgotten Realms, and the tinker gnomes of Dragonlance. Greyhawk could definitely have them, but they would be more one-off exceptions (in other words, ask your DM), instead of springing full-formed from an already existing...
  • 06:00 PM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post It's a Good Thing D&D Isn't a Toy
    They remade Star Wars with entirely new characters in The Force Awakens and, surprise, surprise, it's the same movie as Star Wars and everyone loved it. Everyone loved it? We have very different perceptions of the word 'love'. I would say everyone wanted to love it, and now they are feeling like someone who was excited to go on a blind date because they hadn't had a relationship in a while who afterwards is beginning to realize their date was a self-centered jerk and the more they reflect on the evening, the more disappointed they are feeling.
  • 08:59 AM - Azzy quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Heh. It's really funny how we all have different take aways from different settings. You mention this not fitting in Greyhawk. But, GH is a setting with fallen spaceships (multiple), one of the iconic wizards of the setting uses six-guns, and one of the first encounters in the Slave Lords modules involves a wagon mounted flamethrower and goblins (or orcs, I can't remember). The notion that artificers wouldn't fit in GH seems strange to me. Yeah, I'm rather tired of the mentality that "if it didn't exist in 1e, it doesn't belong in Greyhawk".
  • 08:53 AM - Ash Mantle quoted Hussar in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Heh. It's really funny how we all have different take aways from different settings. You mention this not fitting in Greyhawk. But, GH is a setting with fallen spaceships (multiple), one of the iconic wizards of the setting uses six-guns, and one of the first encounters in the Slave Lords modules involves a wagon mounted flamethrower and goblins (or orcs, I can't remember). The notion that artificers wouldn't fit in GH seems strange to me. Also the mentality of "X thing doesn't belong in Y setting because it wasn't in the original books for the setting." I mean, it didn't exist back then, so... I honestly think it's more the mentality of "I don't like it in these settings, therefore it doesn't belong."


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