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  • Derren's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:26 AM
    Its not level based. That alone makes it a thousand times better than D&D and allows for much more character concepts than in D&D where non-combat skills are always tied to your ability to murder stuff. Not to mention that Skills are a lot more important in SR than in D&D.
    87 replies | 3402 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:36 PM
    7th Sea after getting to the "lets throw random german words we don't know the meaning of into the names to make them sound more exotic" part.
    87 replies | 3402 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:28 AM
    Because the entire point of ranged weapons is to kill the enemy before he can get close. But in D&D this is not possible and thus it creates very different combat scenarios than those in the real world which are also associated with more modern settings like westerns. In D&D western most combats would devolve into melee fights with axes and knifes or close range gun-fu. But that is not how...
    216 replies | 5163 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:53 PM
    Yes, and also a choice which makes D&D unsuitable for any setting with primarily ranged weapons, simply because D&D is written to support melee. Unless you play at 1st level or have super optimized characters it is impossible to kill enemies from range before they reach you and go into melee because of the short ranges and HP pool. Just imagine another common western scenario, the wagon fort...
    216 replies | 5163 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:21 PM
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... The D&D combat and HP system favors melee so much that any setting with primarily ranged weapons will look very strange, no classes or not.
    216 replies | 5163 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:31 AM
    oWoD is not D&D. D&D, especially the current edition, has the problem that the non combat part is very underdeveloped and because of the leveling system tied to combat power. That makes several archetypes in SR impossible and also complicates the non combat gameplay in SR which depending on the playstyle can be as important if not more so than combat. And speaking of combat, the SR system is...
    216 replies | 5163 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:07 AM
    Imo that won't work very well. D&D is much too inflexible to handle the full spectrum of SR gameplay and the combat system would create a completely different dynamic than what SR goes for.
    216 replies | 5163 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:03 PM
    (removed the color to make it actually readable) More often than you think. Basically every time you delve into a dungeon. And why only limit it to humanoids? D&D is full of nonhumanoid sapient creatures. Yet I doubt many players had a second thought about killing a dragon for just existing and having loot. Imo, how monsters a treated in an RPG is a interesting example of how...
    321 replies | 8614 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:26 PM
    Not elves, but there is a (imo rather good) book series about Napoleon + Dragons (Temeraire)
    21 replies | 740 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:25 PM
    There will apparently also be another reveal tomorrow Larian Dev: https://twitter.com/Cromwelp/status/1136690306277974016
    99 replies | 4683 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 08:58 AM
    I usually try to use lesser known historic events as source for campaigns. That way there is a lower chanve that players will recognize it and start to project things into it or try to use history as metagame knowledge. Whats lesser known history depends on the group, but so far anything from the near and middle east, India, and events between the 6th to 9th and 14th to 17th century have been...
    21 replies | 740 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Netflix is producing an MtG animation series. It will be a completely new story and not a remake of an existing one. Directory are the Russo brothers (Avenger). The authors are Henry Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (Marvel's Agent Carter, The Tick) Yoriaki Mochizuki (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) will be Co-Producer and Supervising Director.
    1 replies | 237 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 06:45 PM
    Well, the Stadia demo for the 6th got confirmed, so its very likely that the rumours of a BG3 reveal are true, too. It will be live streamed.
    99 replies | 4683 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 09:21 PM
    There are rumours that there will be more info about Baldurs Gate 3 next week on a Google Stadia (their game streaming service) show on the 6th. Thats the only connection between BG and Google I can think of.
    99 replies | 4683 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:50 PM
    The implementation will certainly be interesting. While Larian has done serious games in the past, the last few ones had a higher comedy ratio than what I would expect from a Baldurs Gate. Also the 5E settings will cause some problem. The lack of rewards is not really suitable for a video games and the time jump means that there is hardly any connection to the old Baldurs Gate, especially as...
    99 replies | 4683 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 07:45 PM
    Not sure if the thread should be here or in the Misc. Forum So Larian, the creators of Divine Divinity, have posted a new teaser picture on their front page showing a III In the metadata of that picture the name "BaldursGate logo III" can be found and a copyright entry for Wizards of the Coast. So with that as good as confirmed, it looks like that D&D might finally get a good video game as...
    99 replies | 4683 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 11:41 PM
    Imo there is no difference between mercenaries and adventurers so all those buckets would be counted together.
    94 replies | 4540 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 04:59 PM
    The Mongols took huge herds of animals with them. They of course also pillaged but as long as they had enough pastures for their animals to graze they were find. But that made them very vulnerable in places with sparse vegetation like Syria.
    48 replies | 4648 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 10:51 AM
    2 million is a bit much, but 1 million is reasonable as several cities reached that size without having an empire like Alexandria and having magic in Waterdeep is certainly more than equal to the fertile nile delta. Some proposed number of adventurers look a bit low to me. An adventurer is basically a mercenary and there were a lot of them around.
    94 replies | 4540 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 08:37 PM
    So when you have normal planets, why all this backstory with the dyson sphere?
    33 replies | 1098 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    A interesting followup question would be what effect being born in that village has on the PCs, especially in a feudal society.
    18 replies | 594 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:11 PM
    I only listed internal wars as the entire point of the council was to bring stability to the 6 kingdoms. There were more external and internal wars with external participation. And as I said, that were not all wars, just the ones I could find quickly. Inside the HRE someone was nearly always at war. And all that, at least partially, because the Emperor was weak thanks to the elective system and...
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:23 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    If you want "lesser" firearms go with rifling. That rifling increased accuracy was known for a long time, but it was very expensive to make and hard to reload properly. Those would be your "greater" firearms. The lesser ones would be smooth-bore muzzle loaders used by the masses.
    161 replies | 5624 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    Okay, lets go with that. 1435 to 1618 In that timeframe you had 4 wars between Brandenburg and Pomerania, the Landshut war of Succession, several conflicts between Württemberg and an alliance of swabian cities, the Old Zürich war and the Swabian War, just to name a few. There are more. All of those wars were internal to the HRE, had nothing to do with religion and the Emperor was powerless...
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 06:46 PM
    I am not so sure about that. HBO wanted D&D to make more episodes and even more seasons (it is their cash cow after all), only to be told by them they don't need/want it. And then they delivered something that disappointed fans, damaging the brand, and is especially criticized for being too rushed and that there should have been more episode. I don't think that HBO is all that happy about how...
    24 replies | 718 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:50 PM
    Okay, I give up. You are obviously not able to see a difference between the many internal wars inside the HRE, including before the reformation, and the, compared to that, rather peaceful live in France (at least as internal wars are concerned) and how an elective government system which lead to an nearly impotent emperor who was unable to check the power of his subjects played into that.
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:38 PM
    Again, you ignore all the wars inside the HRE before the reformation and there were a lot of them. Without a strong emperor, and the electors did the best to elect someone weak, the princes inside the HRE could do as they please, including waging war against each other, which they did often because of matters of territory or succession. Religion only later became just another reason to wage war...
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:24 PM
    Yes, but internal wars are something different. France with its centralism never had that much of internal strife as the HRE had. And as the goal of the kingdoms in GoT was to prevent further conflicts between the houses, choosing an elective succession is the worst possible idea as the HRE shows.
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:16 PM
    Not really. There were a lot of wars between the individual princes even before the reformation.
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 10:57 PM
    And yet there was constant internal strife and wars with the emperor too weak to prevent it.
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:34 PM
    Space combat in SF is kinda lacking once you know the winning formula, which is getting the biggest turret you can. That way you don't really need all that much of a shield as you can always present the enemy with your strongest side (the way the enemies skills are calculated the PCs will nearly always win initiative) and can blow away the enemy with a few shots. Only when the DM starts to...
    2 replies | 220 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:27 PM
    I don't think they do an "Arya goes west". The subject is much too touchy, especially if they do it GoT style, and it would throw away too much of the Westeros we know (although that hasn't stopped movie makers in the past). No idea if they use the "Evil Bran" idea, but that would be a major story and not simple a spinoff. Drogon will certainly play a role in one of the series I guess. Hes...
    24 replies | 718 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:15 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Even outside of large battlefields 1800 is much too late for your vision of weapons. The 16th or 17th century like in the 30 year war would fit much better. And honestly, in my opinion I think the Warhammer Fantasy dwarves are much better. There they are the masters of firearms. Think about it, they are slow, so getting into melee is hard, usually have no mounts to ride on making the slowness...
    161 replies | 5624 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Depends on the bayonet. The first plug bayonets, while looking like a knife, lack a handle so are awkward to hold. Socket bayonets are made to go around the muzzle and have no handle at all. Only very late in the development were sword bayonets which were supposed to be usable as sidearm. There were a lot of pistol-X variants made in the early days of firearms where the range was very...
    161 replies | 5624 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:25 PM
    Calling the Holy Roman Empire successful is stretching it quite a bit. Not to mention that it was very unstable, so exactly what they tried to prevent with going for an elective system.
    110 replies | 3768 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:56 AM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Okay, but then don't forget that wet (cross)bow strings don't really work either. Crossbows are also far from silent.
    161 replies | 5624 view(s)
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Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


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Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 12:07 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Derren, you’ve now spent two years doing nothing but complaining about how bad this show is. At what point does hate watching become pathological? It’s not about not criticizing the show. We’ll all do that. But when a “fan” feels the need to take a weekly constitutional on every single episode, week in and week out without a single positive thing to say, well, at that point you become what Tor.com calls a fangoober.

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 03:59 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    My guess is that they'll stay in the future. That way they can do new stuff, not have to worry about gaggles of complaining "fans" who want to do nothing but pick holes in things, and can actually move forward. New stuff to explore and all that. Destroying Leland did not destroy Control Derren. Control was destroyed by Star Fleet HQ at the end of the show. All they destroyed was a local instance that was controlling (heh) the fleet. Can't pilot all those ships remotely with all the subspace relays down now can they? And, I'm sorry, but that fight scene was AWESOME. Sure, the bulkhead thing was lame, but, let's not forget, they did actually tell you that with the bulkheads closed, they'd still lose a big old chunk of the ship - which they did. With the bulkhead open, the whole ship would be lost. Does make you wonder what they make the bulkheads out of. :D And, as far as the shuttles go, I would assume that they did have the shuttles - they did just fight a major war against the Klingons. Every Star Fleet ship would still be geared up for that. Which means lots of shuttles. That's not even breaking canon if you're a Star Fleet Battles fan. As far as using it against the Klingons, how often did we actually see a battle with the Klingons after the first epi...

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 09:48 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    So you have to go back 40 years and 3 editions to find something to support your theory. And why is this relevant today? Seems it has already been corrected. Derren, once again this has been asked and answered. IIRC, more than once. It would help if you would go back and read the thread before asking us to repeat what's already been discussed. It makes it difficult, and honestly, rather frustrating, to keep having to justify why we're having this discussion every five pages or so whenever someone else comes in the door. Why not presume that we've actually already discussed this, and presume good faith? The same presumption we should extend to you and not presume that you are simply trying to derail the thread, no?
  • 12:57 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    That is another good point about the video. In the video I think, if I remember, someone accosts an Asian person who is getting on a bicycle and asks the question. So it is clearly different from people who have an existing friendship. It is sort of like asking someone their religion based soley on their appearance. Hussar, you had mentioned your experience in Japan and Korea informing your thoughts on this. I am just curious what that experience was if you don't mind sharing. Let's just say that I have a pretty good sense of what minorities go through. Not to an extreme, but, I'm certainly sympthetic. When you travel around, asking people where they are from is a great conversation starter, because most people like talking about their home town. I think this is one of those things where what bothers Asian people is there is no visible reason to think they are not American and they often get asked that question to mean "what part of Asia are you from?". Yup. This. Derren - the question has been asked and answered. I don't feel a need to repeat the answers.

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 02:15 AM - Maxperson mentioned Derren in post What's the point of gold?
    I tend to use the view of tool proficiencies provided in XGtE not the stricter PHN minimal reading. "assumes that a character who has proficiency with a tool also has learned about facets of the trade or profession that are not necessarily associated with the use of the tool." So spotting someone palming cards is a place I would allow your cards proficiency to apply even tho the cards are not in your hand being used by you. That's fair. We just have two ways to get to the same point. Either way it happens, though, it was achieved through the 5e rules, so Derren is still wrong with his assertions. I would more be inclined to suggest they create a custom background than a new skill to further their concept. A custom background is what I was suggesting. Two skill/tool proficiencies. But we are discussing different addresses in the same neighborhood and their merits, so we are much closer than those who deny that neighborhood even exists or who cant seem to find it with a GPS, Google maps, a road atlas and an eagle scout... so it's all good. Absolutely.

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 08:54 PM - Morrus mentioned Derren in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    And the usual suspects show up instantly like bad pennies. That’s two of the trifecta. One to go. @jimmifett and @Derren, don’t post again in this thread, please. Jimmifett, it would be nice if you posted about something else sometimes, but since as far as I can make out the only reason you post in this community is to decry any hint of inclusiveness, it's time for you to leave.

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 10:03 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    For monsters you need a place for them to live which is not right next to the local village, so you need to put some distance between the civilized places and the uncivilized places. Sure. But, when it takes a day to travel 10 miles, just how much distance do you actually need? Derren mentions Odysseus. Yeah, that's kinda my point. He sailed the Med. You realize that's about half the size of the Sword Coast right? The entire Odyssey takes place in an space considerably smaller than the Sword Coast. And yup, Muslims travelled to Mecca. Doing the Hajj is a once in a lifetime event that many don't actually do AND we're talking people who lived in the area. It's not like they were traveling much more than a thousand miles and many would be far, far less. Monks traveling to India. Ok. But, as you say, from Constantinople. While still very impressive, it's STILL a shorter distance than what is represented in the Sword Coast. And again, let's be honest here, we're talking a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. No, travel was not common. And, my point being that you certainly don't need these massive, ginormous settings to run an RPG. Good grief, the Sword Coast is larger than EUROPE. And that's just a pretty small slice of the Forgotten Realms.

Tuesday, 31st July, 2018

  • 04:24 PM - Sadras mentioned Derren in post American Indians Colonize the Old world in 1250 BC
    Cultural minefield is a nice way of saying don't be racist. That someone else has been racist in the past so that it's ok to be racist, is possibly some of the worst advice I have ever heard. This has nothing to do with racism, the fact that a few detractors on this board decided to bring in the issue of racism in a what-if fantasy game is on them. So @Derren is 100% right - the OP should pretty much ignore them.

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018

  • 12:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Derren in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...a dungeon, that the players are going to explore and loot? That seems completely unrealistic for 1st level PCs, given the level of some of the NPCs. But if the Chief Priest is intended to figure as a NPC quest giver, or as an element of backstory, then by all means tell us that he wears a magnificent neck ornament with a bejewelled cudgel hanging from it, but we don't need to know about his secret compartment, do we? Okay, this might relate more to the other thread we are discussing (which I haven't yet got back to), but I have to ask. Given that the characters CAN attempt to deviate from the intended plot line, is the gaming style a railroad?Well, different people have different views as to what counts as a railroad. An interesting discussion came up in this thread, which I had started to get some ideas on the current situation in my Classic Traveller game. When chaochou started suggesting some ideas about how the players might try and infiltrate and take the NPC starship, Derren replied by explaining why - given various elements of the GM-authored backstory that he was imputing (not based on anything I'd said about my game, but based on his own intuitions, I think, plus maybe some 1980s Traveller sourcebooks) - chaochou's ideas wouldn't work. Derren kept saying that the players should look for more information. chaochou and I made the point that, in the context of a RPG, "looking for more information" means, in effect, making moves that will trigger the GM to read out/paraphrase/make up more backstory. And the point of this seemed as Derren was calling for it seemed to be, in effect, to channel the players towards Derren-as-GM's preferred resolution of the situation. (Ie finding the "right" answer for how to defeat the NPC conspiracy.) chaochou described this as a railroad, on the basis that the GM has already conceived of a correct series of outcomes, and the players can't succeed unless they go along with that preconception. The fact that the players c...

Friday, 5th January, 2018

  • 02:28 AM - pemerton mentioned Derren in post Should the PCs try and capture the NPC starship?
    ...succeed, but in any other game there are better and worse choices for any situation. The players can of course attempt your simple trick, but that is risky as it depends on the crew of the other ship to be stupid (without any evidence to support this) or on thr boat to be damaged, again without any evidence that this is the case. <snip> the enemy captain might have exactly the flaw you describe. But do the PCs know that? Thats why information gathering is so important. You find out who you can bribe, blackmail or turn and then act on that knowledge. You do not make plans hoping that people you have no information of have the exact flaw that you need.Following up on this line of discussion (which is slightly tangential to the ostensible topic of the thread, but relevant generally to RPGing involving conspiracies, wacky plans etc): I think chaochou's point (at least in part) is that, in the context of a RPG - where everything is fiction - there is no evidence in the sense that Derren refers to, except by dint of GM authorship. Which means that if the players have their PCs to take steps to gather such "evidence", this means - in effect - that the players are waiting around for the GM to feed them more plot and backstory. Hence chaochou's characterisation of it as railroading. Conversely, if the game is to have content othe than that authored/pre-judged by the GM, then either (i) the players get to write it (this is what happens under "say 'yes' or roll the dice" GMing when the GM says 'yes'), or (ii) we have some other process for generating it (this is the "roll the dice" side of the aforementioned slogan). Traveller doesn't expressly call out "say 'yes' or roll the dice", but can be played in more-or-less that way, I think, as there are dice rolls for nearly every aspect of content generation and resolution! In the paticular context we're discussing here, the basic dice roll would be a reaction roll (perhaps with a negative DM if it is established in the fi...

Sunday, 24th December, 2017

  • 11:27 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Tension, Threats And Progression In RPGs
    In general, these genre discussions follow the same pattern. "I like X, I don't like Y, so, my chosen genre definition will include X and exclude Y". IOW, people's genre definitions are a reflection of their own personal preferences and not grounded in anything remotely approaching an objective viewpoint. It's simply tribalism. I would differ with Derren in one way. While I agree that combat without any risk of dying is probably boring, this simply doesn't apply to D&D. While 5e is a lot more forgiving than, say, OD&D, it's still quite possible to whack a PC. The question becomes, what odds? What odds of the PC getting killed are high enough to be fun without being so high that the game becomes frustrating for the players?

Monday, 14th August, 2017

  • 01:02 AM - Connorsrpg mentioned Derren in post Esper Genesis : 5E Sci-Fi Art Sneak Peak and Gen Con Plans...
    I don't think Derren was 'writing this one off'. But he has a very valid point. I often find it very hard describing all the 'hits' when lasers & bullets start flying. Such systems don't seem deadly enough and describing endless grazed shots etc can sound odd. Whittling down of HPs has proven to be odd for me in these systems too. But yes, hopefully Starfinder addresses these issues.

Monday, 3rd July, 2017

  • 07:11 PM - Satyrn mentioned Derren in post Why wimpy SLING damage and range?
    The battlefield is a pretty specific case, and even in those times, quite rare. Even the soldiers who wore plate on the battlefield would spend much more time not wearing it than wearing it. That is exactly what I was getting at. I mean, Riot Gear is what the cops wear when they go out on what is the closest thing in their line of work to a battlefield. But I think Derren is applying "rare" to the situation differently than we are, so the conversation is failing a little. He seems to have interpreted the first poster's use of the word as applying to "how many suits of plate exist in the world," while we're applying it to "how often people in possession of a suit actually wear it."

Tuesday, 17th January, 2017

  • 02:59 PM - 77IM mentioned Derren in post Keep Your Powder Dry! Part 1: Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns
    Derren Spoiler Alert: These are extremely early firearms and are presented as inferior to crossbows in almost every way. The harquebus is a simple ranged weapon dealing 1d10 damage and carrying a nasty host of drawbacks regarding weight, range, loading time, chance of misfire, stench, etc. So it's marginally more effective than a light crossbow at close range (short range is 25 feet!) but sucks otherwise. The article does have some good explanations of WHY early armies adopted such lousy weapons; the short version is that it's much easier to train soldiers to fire a gun than to use a longbow or heavy crossbow effectively (in D&D terms, simple vs. martial proficiency) and the ammunition is cheaper to produce and transport (which is not borne out by the rules presented; ammunition is as expensive as bolts and weighs a bit more). This article seems reasonably well researched and certainly "feels" historically accurate me, although I don't know a whole lot about early firearms, other than what I...

Sunday, 13th November, 2016

  • 03:45 PM - Platostotle mentioned Derren in post Putting Characters on Trial
    Derren The rulers are divided. At least one of them is good and will not allow the party to be killed or jailed indefinitely without a trial. The trial would be held in secret. The white dragon was the muscle behind a group of dragon cultists. When the party started killing cultists, the dragon attacked. The players should be able to plead self-defense, but no one else saw the beginning of the fight.

Tuesday, 31st March, 2015

  • 11:49 AM - Charles Rampant mentioned Derren in post Player stronghold
    ...ving role as companions in Bioware games. As the tenants have fled, there is no income from the castle lands, meaning that I can quietly ignore the accountancy side of things, at least at first. And, having played a fair bit of Pendragon, I can see all the benefits for downtime that this gives. The players will have a reason to allow the winter months to pass in downtime - they have a sweet castle to chill in. And then they get summoned to Spring Court, good place to meet and greet with the kind of people that give quests out... One alternative option to inheriting the Earldom is, I guess, to go for the shared tenancy option suggested by Tony Vargas which allows for the group dynamic to stay normal; the king offers the castle to them as heroes, to tend over and rule for as long as they live. I don't normally like 'adventuring' to be a recognized profession, but it wouldn't hurt in this case. That way it can also be given some gloriously goofy title, like Griffon Lodge or something. Derren is totally right to voice concern over random strongmen wandering in and stealing royal land, and I'm keen to avoid ruining the verisimilitude of a semi-feudal setting.* I have asked my players if they are interested in this. I don't see any point in trying to spring a surprise like this on them, since it would be fairly fundamental to how the campaign plays, and they could very rightly complain that they didn't sign up for this style of campaign. * Fun fact: I work in a History department, and the medievalists get very upset if you use this word. Apparently it is a modern word that describes so many different legal and social structures as to be essentially meaningless. :D

Friday, 13th March, 2015

  • 12:29 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post What's the point of gold?
    ..., magic items aren't available, players very rightly are going to point to the DMG and ask why. And, of course, once you add in a price list, now you have to design the game to follow the idea that PC's will have access to those magic items. You completely break the idea of bounded accuracy which is predicated on the idea that no, you can't simply throw cash at your character and upgrade. 3e built that presumption right into the game. Monsters were designed around the idea that a PC of a given level would have a certain number of magic items, which meant a certain range of AC and attack and damage bonuses. There's a reason you have 42 AC dragons in 3e. And a very good reason you don't in 5e. If you get a price list in an Unearthed Arcana article, then fine and dandy. That's fantastic for you. I hope you do. What I don't understand is why you insist on forcing your play style on everyone else. Mirtek - again, why can't you use the 3e pricing? What's stopping you? Derren - you ask if the party wizard is the only one capable of casting Continual Flame - again, you're forcing demographics onto other people's games. What's wrong with the party PC being one of the very few out in the world who actually could cast this? I mean, Dragonlance is based 100% on that demographic. Wizards are very few and far between and almost universally live in a few places and clerics are unheard of prior to the War of the Lance. So, why should my Dragonlance world have every noble's house lit with Continual Light torches? 3e demographics is not the only way to play D&D.

Wednesday, 11th March, 2015

  • 11:49 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post What's the point of gold?
    ...s. If players were "having fun" with magic items, wouldn't we have seen more diversity? Instead, we got character after character with identical equipment - everyone HAS to have that stat boost item, every HAS to have that AC boost and save boost and whatever boost item. Seven years of playing 3e/3.5 and not one player EVER asked to buy Sovereign Glue. About the most out there item I ever saw bought was a Lyre of Building and that's only because we were playing a naval based campaign and in that context, a Lyre of Building is insanely powerful - make your ship 100% impervious to all damage for an hour at no cost with the possibility of further 100% invulnerability with successful skill checks. Thing is, in 5e, you don't NEED these items. That's the whole point of bounded accuracy, which, AFAIK, actually works. Your character doesn't need those bonuses just to keep up with the scaling monster stats because the monster stats DON'T SCALE. ((Well, other than HP anyway :D)). Derren asks if buying a castle comes with a title. Isn't that up to me, the DM to decide? Do I really need the DMG to give me permission here? Sure, the extra information he asks for, historical castles and whatnot, would be nice, but, jeez, can't I just open up Wikipedia and get the exact same information? It's not 1979 anymore. The DMG is not my primary source of setting information. That's not "make it up", that's DMing 101.

Wednesday, 18th February, 2015

  • 02:12 AM - Trit One-Ear mentioned Derren in post Developing new plot line - Rebellion!
    ...ly, thanks for all the comments and support! This is getting the wheels turning. I haven't decided what the King's secret to his long life was yet. This idea that it may have had something to do with his children is actually really interesting... going to file that away for later, either as a rumor or the truth. I'm in a bad habit of making plot characters male by default, which is something I'm working on. As such, the suggestion that the king have a daughter, not a son, is something I'm going to adopt. I've been getting better about gender representation, and this will be another step in the right direction. Add to that the idea that there is a grandchild who survived, and is in fact older than the young daughter, and we have an interesting dynamic to play with. Older male heir, however he is a generation "below" the younger female heir. Infinitely more interesting. Perhaps the grandson even sides with the rebellion then, leading to conflict within the royal family. As for Derren's notes on dungeon crawls etc, I would ultimately love this to be a more intrigue focused game. I'm leaving it a little open ended to see how engaged with all this courtly drama my players end up being, and if they take to it, we'll focus much more on the intrigue. If they feel like they want to kick down doors for a while, I'll let their successes and failures in the dungeon crawls influence the flow of political events. We tend to focus on a more on story than anything else so the character development will be the main focus regardless. Thank you all again for reading my mass wall of text, and commenting with such great insight! Trit

Thursday, 22nd January, 2015

  • 03:18 PM - Sage Genesis mentioned Derren in post Werewolf Damage Immunity Question
    Derren: Respectfully, if you want that level of world-simulation out of your RPGs then D&D might not be the best game for you. No edition of D&D was ever built with that kind of internal consistency. It came kind of close with 3e, where damage resistance meant that huge flying rocks could do damage while a flung pebble couldn't manage to go over the reduction. But now in 5e it's only full/half/none. Simpler but with a sacrifice of granularity. There is no in-game explanation. It's a system abstraction.


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Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 02:26 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Derren in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    Its not level based. That alone makes it a thousand times better than D&D and allows for much more character concepts than in D&D where non-combat skills are always tied to your ability to murder stuff. Not to mention that Skills are a lot more important in SR than in D&D. Really?, I haven't looked over Shadowrun rules in a while, and not in great detail. However, now that you say this, I remember a sort of level-less system. I will have to read the rules again sometime.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 12:24 PM - Ancalagon quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Yes, and also a choice which makes D&D unsuitable for any setting with primarily ranged weapons, simply because D&D is written to support melee. Unless you play at 1st level or have super optimized characters it is impossible to kill enemies from range before they reach you and go into melee because of the short ranges and HP pool. Just imagine another common western scenario, the wagon fort surrounded by native americans. In D&D western they would have no trouble to rush the people inside the forth with melee weapons, even if that takes 1-2 rounds and the entire scene would devolve into some strange gun-fu close combat shooting with the cowboys running circles inside the fort to shoot and the natives charging every round to hit them with tomahawks (*play yakety sax*).Which edition are you talking about? In 5e range is superior to melee. Most of us are pretending it isn't but...
  • 08:49 AM - CapnZapp quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    In D&D western most combats would devolve into melee fights with axes and knifes or close range gun-fu. But that is not how "western" worked both in real life and in fiction. D&D combat also do not capture how medieval fights worked because of HP pools, but the fights were still melee, both in D&D, other medieval media and history, so there is much less of a disconnect there. This.
  • 08:37 AM - CapnZapp quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Yes, and also a choice which makes D&D unsuitable for any setting with primarily ranged weapons, simply because D&D is written to support melee. Unless you play at 1st level or have super optimized characters it is impossible to kill enemies from range before they reach you and go into melee because of the short ranges and HP pool. This
  • 07:55 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    but the fights were still melee, Actually, no they weren't. See decisive weapons: English(Welsh) Longbow, Mongolian horsebow. There is also a story in a very old book in which a cheating shepherd boy takes out the enemy's best warrior with a sling before he can get close enough to use his weapons. It doesn't matter what period of history you are dealing with, it's always advantageous to be able to take out the enemy at range before they can get close enough to use their weapons.
  • 01:37 AM - MarkB quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Because the entire point of ranged weapons is to kill the enemy before he can get close. But in D&D this is not possible and thus it creates very different combat scenarios than those in the real world which are also associated with more modern settings like westerns. In D&D western most combats would devolve into melee fights with axes and knifes or close range gun-fu. But that is not how "western" worked both in real life and in fiction. If both sides are using ranged weapons, then neither side is trying to get close. Instead, they're firing at each other from positions of cover in an extended ranged battle. Which is exactly like any typical Western movie.
  • 12:48 AM - Beleriphon quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... The D&D combat and HP system favors melee so much that any setting with primarily ranged weapons will look very strange, no classes or not. Most westerns usually went with hero goes out at High Noon, and gets ambushed by the bad guy's gang who are hiding on roofs. Hero High Tails it to a handy barrel, and they proceed to have a ranged version of D&D Combat.
  • 12:32 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Because the entire point of ranged weapons is to kill the enemy before he can get close. But in D&D this is not possible … well, it's not easy to kill PCs and PC-level enemies before they close (though, in some eds, certainly quite possible, just not with mere weapons). But it's quite easy to kill under-level enemies (or, in 4e, minions) before they close.

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 07:46 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Yes, and also a choice which makes D&D unsuitable for any setting with primarily ranged weapons, simply because D&D is written to support melee. Unless you play at 1st level or have super optimized characters it is impossible to kill enemies from range before they reach you and go into melee because of the short ranges and HP pool. Just imagine another common western scenario, the wagon fort surrounded by native americans. In D&D western they would have no trouble to rush the people inside the forth with melee weapons, even if that takes 1-2 rounds and the entire scene would devolve into some strange gun-fu close combat shooting with the cowboys running circles inside the fort to shoot and the natives charging every round to hit them with tomahawks (*play yakety sax*). If that's the standard you're using (kill the enemy quickly before they close in), then D&D sucks at melee combat and can't capture historical melee combat as well. Heck, even heroic movie melee combat. Look at somethin...
  • 05:41 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... The D&D combat and HP system favors melee so much that any setting with primarily ranged weapons will look very strange, no classes or not. That doesn't actually look that strange, not if the characters are running around, dodging, seeking cover, breaking Los and trying to get the drop on eachother (and lots of minor characters gunned down in the process)... as sometimes happens in genre - if all that hp-ablation is narrated on accord with genre (near-misses, even actual misses that still inflict damage and/or some other effect), down to the final dramatic-wounding or fatal shot. Now, an actual quickdraw showdown would need special *ahem* sudden-death rules...
  • 05:24 AM - Ancalagon quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... The D&D combat and HP system favors melee so much that any setting with primarily ranged weapons will look very strange, no classes or not. *blink* What edition of D&D are you talking about? Because in 5e, you can do TONs of damage with ranged. Archery style, Sharpshooter, crossbow expert, good dex, you are looking at 3d6+45 damage per round, assuming level 5-10 range. If the foes have 60 hp and light armor, this will be over in a round or two!
  • 01:54 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... The D&D combat and HP system favors melee so much that any setting with primarily ranged weapons will look very strange, no classes or not. Like I said, change the damage of guns.
  • 12:13 AM - Lanefan quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... It'd never get that far. During the second reload phase (or maybe even the first) one or both of the duelists would say screw this and just charge the other one with fists swinging...
  • 12:10 AM - Oofta quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... The D&D combat and HP system favors melee so much that any setting with primarily ranged weapons will look very strange, no classes or not. Well, in the "real" shootout at the OK Corral (which didn't take place at the Corral) there were about 30 rounds shot in 30 seconds. So 30 attacks in a 5 round combat? Sounds a little low for the number of attacks, but it's in the ballpark. The whole concept of standing 20 yards away from each other and ending a fight with a single shot was a convenience for old westerns that rarely had the budget or desire to have realistic gunfights. Not that there were all that many gunfights to begin with. As far as one bullet always being fatal, somebody should tell this guy that that was shot 21 times that he's actually dead. O...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 11:35 PM - MarkB quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    High Noon. They meet at the middle of the road, draw and shoot. And shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, reload, shoot, shoot and shoot and the loser drops dead has his 60 HP are out.... Not very realistic for that specific sort of duel, I agree. But in an RPG where I'm hoping to be playing the same character for more than a session or two, I'd prefer that to having the outcome essentially determined by who rolls the higher initiative.
  • 04:31 PM - Giltonio_Santos quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Imo that won't work very well. D&D is much too inflexible to handle the full spectrum of SR gameplay and the combat system would create a completely different dynamic than what SR goes for. I think you're probably right, but I wouldn't be too worried about emulating SR gameplay, I just want 5e rules for orcs and shamans in cyberpunk Earth. :)
  • 12:32 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Derren in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Imo that won't work very well. D&D is much too inflexible to handle the full spectrum of SR gameplay and the combat system would create a completely different dynamic than what SR goes for. The best game of SR I was ever in was run using M:tA (oWoD Storyteller), so, IDK, a very different dynamic from the native system may not be such a bad thing...

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 07:30 PM - KahlessNestor quoted Derren in post Historical Campaign Ideas
    Not elves, but there is a (imo rather good) book series about Napoleon + Dragons (Temeraire) https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/88bf3f12-b942-4993-9140-62d0498b8a3b/dam6asd-2e6e36da-802b-4a46-8e55-64cc84fd8939.jpg/v1/fill/w_1408,h_567,q_70,strp/battle_by_neboveria_dam6asd-pre.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwiaXNzIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsIm9iaiI6W1t7ImhlaWdodCI6Ijw9NjQ1IiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvODhiZjNmMTItYjk0Mi00OTkzLTkxNDAtNjJkMDQ5OGI4YTNiXC9kYW02YXNkLTJlNmUzNmRhLTgwMmItNGE0Ni04ZTU1LTY0Y2M4NGZkODkzOS5qcGciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9MTYwMCJ9XV0sImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl19.9ixz71AEgYlxg4xfy7zea4DezMIMslTnykM01RQWf_8I think I have heard of that. I should check it out. Also Brian McClellan's Powdermage series was dreamed up after watching Horatio Hornblower or Sharpe's Rifles or something and thinking "What if we add magic?"

Monday, 3rd June, 2019


Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 11:29 PM - MarkB quoted Derren in post Baldurs Gate 3 apparently in development (with evidence)
    The implementation will certainly be interesting. While Larian has done serious games in the past, the last few ones had a higher comedy ratio than what I would expect from a Baldurs Gate. Also the 5E settings will cause some problem. The lack of rewards is not really suitable for a video games and the time jump means that there is hardly any connection to the old Baldurs Gate, especially as Bhaal is back now, so everything was for naught anyway. Well, Minsc is also back. Here's hoping he's a playable character. And the reward levels in a videogame don't have to conform to the standard tabletop levels. For one thing, they can easily do away with bounded accuracy, and require higher-level weapons and armour to take on higher-level foes.


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