View Profile: 76512390ag12 - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 12:50 PM
    CapnZapp, that's certainly true, which is one reason why many other RPGs out there are more conscientious about time pressure mechanics. E.g., running out of light/torches in Torchbearer, countdown clocks in Blades in the Dark, and randomized countdown rolls in Index Card RPG. The countdown clocks in Blades, in particular, is pretty genius. Everytime the PCs go into downtime mode to recover,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 12:10 PM
    Does anyone have any experiences running or playing Shadow of the Demon Lord? If so, what are your thoughts and feedback? What did you like or dislike? How does it feel? Ease of use? Points of contention? Etc. I have been toying with using SotDL for a homebrew, though gutting its grimdark edgelord flavor for a more standard flair. (Supposedly Robert Schwalb is planning on releasing a version...
    1 replies | 11 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:27 AM
    That's basically what my players do. They police themselves for speed and that includes just keeping them on a single target. It's not really about banning the spell BlivetWidget. It's just players realizing that it can slow down play and taking reasonable steps to mitigate that.
    7 replies | 328 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:13 PM
    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my favor is that the table rule is that if you're the sort of player who can't manage this sort of spell without bogging down the turn, you simply don't cast it. The player has a responsibility here in my view. (Same for summons, pets, etc.)
    7 replies | 328 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:20 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    Yes on the double-dash. There tends to be a LOT of movement in my games due to terrain, so it comes up quite a bit.
    18 replies | 459 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:41 PM
    You can resolve by applying the mob rules in the DMG (pg. 250) which foregoes any attack rolls, saving time. Then use average damage.
    7 replies | 328 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:04 PM
    Same, but the Aspects are almost a subsystem due to how they tie everything together.
    15 replies | 610 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:15 PM
    It doesn't matter if you keep track, really. The PCs should be counterspelling everything anyway.
    13 replies | 533 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:57 PM
    I did suggest Perception earlier, though Intuition may also work. Willpower (i.e., wisdom saves) could then be moved to Charisma.
    84 replies | 3144 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:56 AM
    Other classes can also get thematically appropriate abilities for their reactions. Paladins have Retributive Strike. Wizards can pick up Counterspell. Etc.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:29 PM
    AoOs have been mostly reimagined as reactions that would make sense for each class. So a wizard, for example, could not necessarily perform AoOs as per a fighter given their training, but they would likely know how to counterspell when those situations rise.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:21 AM
    Got you covered. Done and done. ;)
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:11 AM
    Too early to say.
    16 replies | 795 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Ad Hominem? I don't care about your argument. It was a dry comment that it would not be a pemerton megathread without your usual appeal to the lexicon at some point in this discussion. ;)
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:05 PM
    Actually, it is as "semantics" is fundamentally about 'meaning,' and you are currently doing what is referred to in the field of linguistics as 'lexical semantics.' For someone who likes to drop lexical entries into arguments, I'm surprised you don't know that. :D Yeah, but what about imagining a persuasion roll in D&D?! :p
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:47 PM
    Ah, there we go. It's not a pemerton megathread until Maxperson gets into a debate of semantics and pulls out a lexicon so that he can argue definitions. We are also just missing Maxperson broadening the sense of a term such that it becomes meaningless in the discourse; let's say, something akin to "Everything is a challenge." ;)
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    This is probably my most consistent dissatisfaction with D&D. There are many times where I have brainstormed possible campaigns or games of D&D that I have wanted to run. But in the process, I invariably find myself feeling like my vision of the world becomes a slave to the rules and not the rules to the world. D&D does D&D fantasy well, and many could run nothing but these types of stories,...
    81 replies | 2721 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 12:22 PM
    CapnZapp, why do you keep letting your @$$ do all the talking when it comes to PF2? When will you get it in your head that this is a complete non-issue for probably the hypermajority of players?
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:24 PM
    Okay? I never said that you did. I said that Paizo made a choice to restrict the initial wave of classes to the Old Core 11 + 1 New. This meant that while one would be added, others would be excluded, and this requires making a choice. As I have said, I think that the Alchemist was a far more compelling choice for Paizo, though you strongly feel that the Witch should have been included. So which...
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:43 PM
    I get that you have a zealous appreciation of the Witch class, but I don't think you can make a strong argument that the Alchemist doesn't have a more compelling case for most deserving of the coveted 12th class spot. This survey data from d20PFSRD, for example, has the Alchemist ranked 11th as the most played class, with the Druid coming in at 14th and the Witch coming in at 15th, with a...
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:21 AM
    Not everything would make the cut, and it seems that Paizo wanted to keep it simpler (and reduce the page count) by going Old PHB Classes + 1 New Class. The Witch was a popular class according to Paizo, but the Alchemist gives Paizo the excuse to make alchemy rules less of an afterthought. I am also inclined to regard the Alchemist as being more unique conceptually from the Witch in terms of what...
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:23 PM
    iserith replied to Languages
    The DMG also has a section on languages in the campaign world planning section that basically tells the DM to figure this out on his or her own according to the kind of setting he or she wants to present.
    9 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    I think what you are saying is true from a technical point. PF1 simply had more decision-making paths, variables, and moving parts flying around: e.g., prestige classes, archetypes, multiclassing, etc. However, this strikes me more as the illusion of greater design space, because a lot of these various components were performing the same functions with redundancy. There may have been a...
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:53 PM
    I will look later, but in the mean time check out the Paizo forums and the PF2 subreddit. I believe I saw links to those images floating around there.
    4 replies | 355 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:52 PM
    My apologies then.
    81 replies | 2721 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:27 PM
    Four pages in and no one has still linked or contextualized the original tweet? ORIGINAL TWEET THAT Morrus REFERENCES HERE And here are some follow-up questions that they ask some of the responding posts that tease at the issues that press the author:
    81 replies | 2721 view(s)
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  • Michael O'Brien's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:27 AM
    The final PDFs from the RuneQuest Classic Kickstarter are now available. All groundbreaking releases for the RPG art form in their day, and now easily compatible with the new edition of RuneQuest. —TROLLPAK - https://www.chaosium.com/trollpak-pdf —BIG RUBBLE - https://www.chaosium.com/big-rubble-pdf —PAVIS - https://www.chaosium.com/pavis-pdf All fully-remastered PDFs true to their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 06:05 PM
    Agreed, and that is certainly what a lot of people who were playing 3.X when PF1 came out did. What gives me some optimism about PF2 in comparison to PF1 on that front, IMHO, is that it looks like a more robust foundation for expanding new character options than what Paizo was previously using. PF1 had alternate class features (i.e., archetypes), prestige classes, multiclassing, and hybrid...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:40 PM
    It seems to me all that really matters is whether the player thinks it's fun. If he or she does, carry on, I say. If not, then you can either jointly tinker with the rules to make it less certain, create conditions in the game that accomplish the same effect without tinkering with the rules, or the player can just choose not to have the character hide all the time.
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:19 PM
    It may help if you embed or supply the Tweet in context. I know that Tweet, if this is the one I think it is, has essentially gone viral among my contacts and triggered a lot of responses from designers, writers, and players alike. But the question is more from the design-side of things, essentially about designing games in the context of D&D as the elephant in the room.
    81 replies | 2721 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:16 PM
    I think that's fine to wait then, but I don't think that determines the quality of the edition. There were a number of tables that were still finishing their games of 4e and PF1 past 2014 before switching to 5e (my own table included). It would seem silly to argue that this would represent a valid indictment against 5e.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:07 PM
    I'm a bit perplexed here, as you seem to presume that we haven't been talking about the character's mind. In fact, I don't think that any of us have talked thus far about the player's mind, as we have been focused on the character's mental states. But again, I think that this touches upon my earlier point that your whole "black box" perspective - since you appear to be introducing a novel idea of...
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:26 AM
    Then point taken. It does seem a bit annoying though when people complain about not being able to make a Gunslinger/Monk at the outset of PF2. I sympathize with the frustration of not having your character build immediately provided from Day 1, but it's not as if Paizo has ruled out Gunslingers or other class options entirely. Some will probably be better served by the multiclass-archetypes,...
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:04 AM
    And Starfinder... and 5e... and nearly any game designed by someone who had to touch 3e NPC creation for prolonged periods of time. So what is your point?
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 12:00 AM
    PF2 is going with skill tiers that layer on top of your proficiency bonus. So someone who is an Expert in Arcana is of a different caliber at the skill, capable of doing different things with that skill than someone who is merely Trained in Arcana. Though I think that this is a neat idea, it does force a lot of additional work to give each skill additional cool things to do at each tier, or even...
    43 replies | 1327 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 09:55 PM
    To each their own. I found it a great setting story hook that plugged both tieflings and dragonborn into Nentir Vale's past.
    104 replies | 3288 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 09:25 PM
    iserith replied to OSR Gripes
    I played Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is one of these old school D&D-esque games. I lost 5 characters in one session. No exaggeration. That's just how it goes.
    227 replies | 7270 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:55 PM
    No insult is intended. Certain of your specific objections seem rooted in issues of spotlight management and other issues that are not the fault of the game. I make no judgment as to what you should or shouldn't do in your own game, only that some of your objections are easily solved without modifying the rules.
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:54 PM
    Like I said, house rules are fine. Personally, I don't actually care how the player makes the decision in the face of the NPC's attempt to persuade (to continue with that example), but I'm not calling for a roll here as DM. That breaks the rule of players determining what their characters do. The player is free to roll a die to figure out what the character does if he or she wants. Or flip a...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Magic is the difference. House rules are fine, but the issue in this situation for me is that the players always determine how their characters think and what they do and say. That means there is never uncertainty as to the outcome of the NPC's attempt to persuade and thus no ability check. The outcome is whatever the player says it is. I might, in some circumstances.
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:12 PM
    iserith replied to Languages
    There is no call-out in the rules for dialects other than Primordial. So as far as I am concerned, PCs that speak Common can't speak Undercommon, nor can creatures that speak Undercommon speak Common. Personally, I prefer it that way as it gives choice of language relevance and sets the PCs up for needing resources such as spells or NPCs to assist with communication. It's another problem for the...
    9 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:58 PM
    I use it and it works well enough. For those unfamiliar with it, it basically splits the challenge into what I call "The 'Tude," "The Chat," and "The Ask." In "The 'Tude," the DM frames the NPC's disposition toward the PCs and establishes the context of the challenge (what's at stake). This is also when players might try to have their characters recall lore about the NPC to garner useful...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:35 PM
    Sure, but I am not really seeing how PF2 deviates so strongly from its predecessor that the stories told would be radically different. So far, the PF2 game that Jason Bulmahn is running on YouTube seems like a standard PF1/D&D game set in Golarion.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:03 PM
    That depends on the point of decision. I don't think that the test of character rests in whether your heart melts or not, but in how you choose to respond to the fact that it did. The former seems like a psychosomatic reaction to an external stimulus, while the latter implicates the potential for having to make a moral choice. This discussion is not about whether or not Max needs someone "to...
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  • JonnyP71's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:10 PM
    In the example of my game, these are PCs that have been lovingly developed for a couple of years ;) But at level 9-11 in AD&D, the Clerics are able to cast Raise Dead, so it's rarely permanent... (at -1 CON each time a PC is raised, their CON stats are suffering though, the G series has been brutal)
    39 replies | 1501 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:04 PM
    I think they're okay for D&D standards. But almost nobody uses them in my experience because I don't think many DMs actually read the DMG. The rogue isn't being skipped and it isn't really planned though - at least no more than combat where everyone gets a turn. If that doesn't bother you (does it?), why should what amounts to taking turns in a social interaction challenge be bothersome?...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:57 AM
    Overall, Tony Vargas, I don"t think that your point of contention in this thread is that far removed from several of the talking points of the OSR movement that tend to focus on player skill rather than leaning on character mental and social abilities.
    84 replies | 3144 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:04 AM
    I have, but I don't necessarily think that these design goals are antithetical to what I mentioned about their intent for people to play the same sort of stories. Not necessarily identical stories, but the same sort of stories. What might "same sort of stories" entail? At least the sort of stories that we find in their adventure paths.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 09:42 AM
    Because there are roleplaying games where these lines and boundaries blur, as there are games, for example, where the player may narrates the successful results. As examples of these sort of ambiguities had been mentioned and discussed in passing before your initial comment, I thought that this would be unnecessary to explain. :erm:
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:46 AM
    It just sounds to me like the argument is not so much "Expertise is problematic..." but "Expertise is problematic when I chop away two of the three pillars underpinning the game and things get wobbly." Which doesn't so much sound like a problem with Expertise per se, but the choices the DM has made. I think we agree here? Also there does seem to be an underlying assumption in your post that...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:19 AM
    Really that just argues for the DM to balance the pillars of the game as much as he or she can in my view and to incentivize play to that end via XP and treasure. If the DM is leaning too heavily on any one pillar or incentivizing particular play to the exclusion of others, it's reasonable behavior for players to create and advance characters with particular skill proficiencies and other features...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:09 AM
    "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that this character can do a thing well and others can't? Wouldn't it be the case that this expert won't be able to do other things as well in this or the other two pillars? Also, how is "deception in the hands of a creative player" troublesome? Setting aside that the DM decides whether there is a roll or not in the first place, what's the actual...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:05 AM
    I'm not really "going" anywhere, only checking to see if there's a rough correlation between people who have some kind of issue with the ability check system and playing the game in the very common way I described upthread wherein the players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks. Without taking anything away from your perception of the problem you outline above, could you...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:53 AM
    Why do you think that is a problem?
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:48 AM
    As opposed to the DM deciding whether there is a roll at all, then what ability check to make and any skill proficiency that applies (per the rules). And in this case I'm not referring to a paradigm where the DM can decide a player-proposed roll is not necessary (e.g. Player: "Can I make an Investigation check to..." DM: "Nah, you just figure it out...").
    43 replies | 1327 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Out of curiosity, if you have a problem with expertise, do you also play the game such that players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks?
    43 replies | 1327 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 12:44 AM
    Hardly. (1) Matt Colville has referred to as a dressed-up tactical skirmish war-game. (2) John Wick (7th Sea, LotFR) has controversially said that D&D is not a roleplaying game. (3)Tony Vargas (without taking sides) has discussed elsewhere the debates of the '90s between "rollplaying vs. roleplaying" which featured D&D as a common point of debate about its place as a roleplaying game. So no, I'm...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 12:21 AM
    I believe that other prior examples had already been offered where these things are not strictly the purview of the player, including some past discussion of Fate, for example. I'm not sure if it's a case of "most don't" or if it's just that the "elephant in the room doesn't." I also think that the problem with an argument of "most don't" is that it tries to downplay the frequency of those...
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:34 PM
    Paizo has said (repeatedly in a number of public statements) that they wanted to make PF2 so that people could play the same sort of stories and character that they could play with PF1.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:24 PM
    In a practical sense, this means that the rogue will almost always surprise monsters (unless he's traveling with other, less stealthy people) and will almost always have advantage on the attack roll if there's a place to hide in combat. If the rogue is on his or her own, it will also mean that scouting around without being detected will almost always succeed. Personally, if a rogue tries to...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Apart from numerous RPGs that are exceptions to this, which have been mentioned previously in this thread. So we return to "ambiguous." Catching up on this thread after a weekend vacation: I don't necessarily think it's that unusual. Pemerton has mentioned this in the context of Prince Valiant/Pendragon and Cortex+. I am familiar with a similar idea in Monster Hearts (a PbtA game)....
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
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  • JonnyP71's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Last Friday... 1E AD&D, Module G3 - Hall of the Fire Giant King. A true classic. 3 of the 8 PCs got killed, 1 of them due to save or die poison, another was turned to stone, the third marched off by themselves due to a cursed Ring (contrariness) and got eaten by Fire Lizards. D&D as it was meant to be :p
    39 replies | 1501 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:18 PM
    So what are the implications then going forward for what a "perfect edition" of D&D would entail for the cleric, niche protection, and healing?
    286 replies | 10630 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:52 PM
    It works. My entire game is run like that, almost as a one-on-one between myself and one other player (when they're not talking among themselves) for a minute before switching to someone else. If a combat ends without finishing the round, I'll mentally stick to initiative order and call on the people who haven't gone that round to kick off whatever activity is next so that they aren't shorted on...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 04:32 PM
    How long are people taking on their turns? One thing I've noticed at other tables is that players are planning what to do on their turn instead of acting, which is a huge no-no at my table. Your turn is for acting, not for planning or stalling by asking 20 Questions (another common player tactic when they haven't planned off-turn). I think a turn is 30 seconds or less, ideally, which means your...
    31 replies | 1300 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 03:20 PM
    First, ask for them to pay attention, then ask them what about the game isn't holding their attention. From your own observation, what parts of the game are they tuning out on? What can you do to minimize those parts of the game or make them more interesting?
    31 replies | 1300 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:05 PM
    They likely did make more sense then in their community, but (1) a lot of this was getting hammered out because it weren't terms, and (2) a lot of the waters were muddied by people - typically critics - who took those terms and ran with them in different directions, often as if they were monolithic preferences: "That game is gamist - and gamism is bad - but I prefer simulationist games, which is...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:33 PM
    I don't think that your first case is a good example of roleplaying. In most games, there is little roleplaying that transpires at these points, because the character often is effectively handing their character over to the DM as a result of the magic. It's essentially the TTRPG equivalent of "skip a turn" in a board or card game, usually IME resulting in player disengagement with their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:31 PM
    I like your basic idea, but I think that trying to preserve the six main stats is a bit of a fool's errand here. Part of the problem, IMHO, is that three mental stats are effectively doing a variety of things stretched between them: Intelligence: knowledge/wits Wisdom: willpower, knowledge/wits, perception Charisma: willpower, social You could reduce the stats to about four: ...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:05 PM
    In 5e a cleric only needs a background that provides proficiency in thieves' tools to be able to disarm traps, plus they already have a high wisdom for perceiving traps. I don't think that we should conclude then that therefore the cleric is OP. It just means that a lot of classes in 5e are already divorced from strict notions like "key function." WotC provided rules that allow players to cover...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Yes, but if you say that these are co-existent types of kobolds, as a canonical fact as it were, then you are just creating a new "it just is what is." I don't agree here, but this a difference largely of aesthetic differences. I'm not the biggest fan of post hoc explanations that exist mostly to justify the pre-existing traditions, and I'll leave it at that. IME running the system,...
    286 replies | 10630 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Yes, that's technically a choice.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:54 PM
    I think what gets left off in the last few assertions that are floating about is that, in a game where the DM isn't concerned with any particular conclusion so long as it's fun, exciting, and memorable (even if it's bad for the characters), then said DM isn't also putting them into situations where they have no chance of success. In such games, the players choose to get themselves into those...
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 03:45 PM
    Yep, that would be one possibility, though I think that you still run the risk of presenting a singular lore that becomes a new canon with your approach (i.e., these are the multiple different subspecies of kobolds) as opposed to presenting alternatives (i.e., you may prefer your kobolds like this instead). My own preference, though I respect yours differs, is that druids are distinct from...
    286 replies | 10630 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 01:43 PM
    Why settle for either/or? You could always go with their "son" Superboy?
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 01:00 PM
    Same. I have also heard a number of people who were initially critical of the PF2 playtest who have since become enthusiastic about it either from trying out a more polished version or simply from reading the changes from the playtest that have since been slowly revealed. I'm cautiously optimistic.
    116 replies | 6187 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:29 AM
    People spend their entires lives using imprecise definitions to prove things, including nearly the entire enterprise of academia. If academia has taught me anything so far, it's that useful definitions are hardly as precise (or meaningful) as people often like to imagine them being, especially when it involves people arguing on the internet. It's usually about finding serviceable, sufficient, and...
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:01 PM
    Can they take short rests? If so, they should be able to do 6 to 8 medium or hard challenges with a couple of short rests. If the villain challenge is deadly, then reduce the number of preceding encounters accordingly, perhaps setting it to 4 to 6 medium or hard challenges followed by a deadly encounter. If the players are experienced, this seems doable.
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 04:24 PM
    Make clear the risks and trade-offs inherent in the challenge, then let the players make their own decisions. Err on the side of giving "too much" information rather than too little. Use whatever contrivances you can think of to impart that info in a way that makes sense in context. Perhaps a grizzled veteran adventurer faced such a challenge before and made the mistake of doing battle with the...
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    Maybe that's the success of D&D? Everyone thinks that their edition receives enough love that they can play their old games. (Though 4e's presence in 5e must be masked with hushed tones.)
    147 replies | 10099 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:52 PM
    Time is an important resource in my adventures. It's yours to waste, but much like wasting hit points or spells, there may be consequences. In many cases, the longer you give the villain to prepare or complete his or her goals, the harder things get. To some extent, that may be desirable from the player's perspective as it potentially means more XP, but that must be weighed against the likelihood...
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:42 PM
    But this issue could also be feasible if backgrounds, as per Sacrosanct's suggestion (or inclusion in his list), had more umpf. If you knew you were going to become an Eldritch Knight, and you're not a vuman or a high elf (two subraces that can grab cantrips at 1st level), but wanted to reflect that early on, then maybe you could grab a background (e.g., Magical Apprentice) that provided you...
    286 replies | 10630 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:41 PM
    We didn't. We used Point Buy.
    67 replies | 1964 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:15 PM
    Reads Maxperson's post: /disarm trap and continues with thread.
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 01:56 PM
    If they were polite, they would invite the BBEG to join them for roasting marshmellows and telling horror stories about their experiences with LG paladins around the campfire.
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 01:45 PM
    It's probably not wise to resume this past debate, Maxperson, especially in a thread that has managed fairly well with keeping on topic. It's okay to disagree without comment. ;)
    651 replies | 16747 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 01:11 PM
    In a feeble attempt to move things back on topic: :-S Business Plan/Vision: I hope this means removing the 5e art for the halfling. Flavor/Lore: I would also like to see even a few snippets per monster entry that suggest other ways outside of the lore to use the monster. Something that invites the Gamemaster to not necessarily strictly adhere to the MM lore for their own homebrews or...
    286 replies | 10630 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    It's not that it's complicated - it's just that it's more transactions per turn or round which necessarily takes longer than just the one, even with very capable players. Turn after turn, combat after combat, it adds up. An important part of DMing in my view is sharing the spotlight, that is, making sure that the PCs have more or less the same time in the spotlight over the course of the session....
    22 replies | 914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 12:36 AM
    I think the biggest concern above all is: How much are your minions going to bog down the game? Because, frankly, they will, at least to some degree. In a game like mine which runs fast, it's very noticeable. When a player in my game wanted to play a necromancer, he had the good sense to ask me for my opinion on how many undead he could have at one time. I told him "When the game slows down...
    22 replies | 914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 11:09 AM
    Paizo does not exist as a company to give you that 5e dream product you want nor will they have necessarily failed, should they fail, because of the reasons you say. (Seriously, if Paizo fails, it will not be because the market cares about LFQW. That's laughably absurd as a hypothesis.) So why not work on your 5e crunch product yourself? You are the only person who seems to know what you are...
    147 replies | 10099 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 15th June, 2017


Saturday, 15th April, 2017

  • 07:55 PM - LordEntrails mentioned 76512390ag12 in post How to keep women in the game?
    As satbunny says, look to your own behavior. It doesn't mean it is wrong, it just means that it's not the environment or the game that the women you have invited care to partake it. It's probably all about conflict (in game and out), but as said, ask the women. They can tell you better than we can.

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Friday, 28th December, 2018

  • 10:58 PM - daddystabz quoted 76512390ag12 in post Should I pick up Starfinder if I hate Pathfinder
    Don't get it. Have you played Savage Worlds? Get that and the SF Companion instead That's half as complex as PF but with lots of aliens and sci-opera I am very familiar with Savage Worlds. The big issue with doing something like that is I need a pre-made sci-fantasy or sci-fi setting to jump into with aliens, tech, etc. already built. I do not have the time to create it all.

Friday, 21st December, 2018


Thursday, 15th February, 2018

  • 02:56 PM - Reapernazara quoted 76512390ag12 in post Need some help gm'ing
    Was your wife amused or puzzled or cross? If the first, then roll with it. The second, she's paying attention and looks for cloos. Potentially great detail player. Oops, better not lose her enjoyment. Make notes, but also make light of your own mistakes, you are allowed to make errors, and so are they... Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk She was puzzled. I think I may have described like the person they were following and a couple guards on the walls, so she was wondering where everyone else was. I know I'll make a lot of errors being new, but I'd like advice from long time players. I also know this is a problem not just limited to the game. I often leave out details in real life because I already have the info, usually from puzzling it out myself, so I subconsciously tend to assume everybody must do that and must know all the same info I do.

Sunday, 4th February, 2018


Tuesday, 31st October, 2017


Thursday, 7th September, 2017

  • 07:15 PM - Tony Vargas quoted 76512390ag12 in post How viable is 5E to play at high levels?
    I would like to suggest that the question isn't Science vs Art. It's Craft versus Art. Someone asserts DMing is "more Art than Science." That's an idiom with a well-known meaning. Why quibble with it's use of the word 'science.' Alright, I'm going to start small and precise (due to both time constraints and to clarify/focus conversation) and we can work our way up/out from there. I think everyone can easily distinguish the "art" component of design and GMing: - A piece of artwork or a brief narrative is meant to compel/inspire the GM to engage the PCs with the conflict that the picture/commentary captures. Kinda on the nose. - A player makes an action declaration and the GM decides whether that is genre-off or genre-on and freaking cool (therefore permissible)! - Maintaining the game's momentum requires the GM to abstract some mostly irrelevant play time that would bog things down. - Tailoring your campaign to the PCs created. Stuff like that. Yes. Art. What about thi...

Wednesday, 6th September, 2017

  • 10:58 PM - TwoSix quoted 76512390ag12 in post [5e] Book of Righteous
    I get that. Kinda. I'll need to soak in it a bit longer but right now they are all feeling a little too 'modern', what some religions regarded as good in history we'd view quite differently now, and in fantasy one can (should) go beyond that. However.. D&D had always been a modern mind set in a comfortable fantasy pseudo nostalgia place, and that's fine and has it's place at the table. What I liked is the space the book gives to add or twist it, with no need to break it.. I think there is room for a Mother of Monsters goddess, in fact that might be the Lillith goddess, just as she could also stand in for or be Lolth. Yes, I am starting to appreciate the calm normal and fun canvas they've painted and how different tables might or might not take that in different ways. I also quite liked the fact that although it doesn't have a setting, it suggests one thru the text, and later reminds you of some of the places in the mythology that you *might* want to put on the map. Well, outside of a couple of ...

Thursday, 4th May, 2017

  • 05:08 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted 76512390ag12 in post Nonstandard Races You Love And Want Back
    I'd actively remove the standard races and replace them with some of the ones here. Including humans.. But I grew up with Tunnels and Trolls *and* RuneQuest... I'd love a game with more trolls and gnomes and shadar-kai, and no or very few humans. In addition to the setting I posted about above, I'm building a whole game set in an alternate Earth where magic, and supernatural races, are real, and hidden, and there are 9 "Worlds" which all intersect via Crossroads, which are waypoints where the savvy, or unlucky, person can step from one world to another. In that world, the classic relationship of Knight, Monster, and Damsel, is upended in terms of who plays what role. The trolls, the villagers, or the wandering fighter/hunter could each be any of the other three, and sometimes there is no "monster", and the only way to resolve the situation and "save the day" is to realize that. It's a lot of fun to explore what being a hero means in a world where people have false expectations of what a hero...

Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017


Thursday, 20th April, 2017

  • 05:18 AM - PMárk quoted 76512390ag12 in post How to keep women in the game?
    Frankly, listen to what they like. It's not very PC but an average woman likes more roleplaying, intrigue, romance, and less combat. Thing is, an awful lot of men do as well, so maybe just crank that right up. But, asking is best, some women I have played with loved being buffee up battlefield tanks or deathly assassins just much. Plus, do a check on just how 'laddish' or locker room your group's language and topics are... Oh, and shower, change clothes and open a window... Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk Honestly, I think that's the best advice. Obvious things aside (like not being a total filthy nerd stereotype and treating women as equals, etc.), when speaking abut just the kind of games, the above is generally true. It's not a surprise that Vampire the Masquerade brought in a lot of new women players back in the day and that even nowadays there's much more women around the narrative-focused games than D&D-like ones. It also isn't a surprise that D&D 5e is probably the most-played...

Saturday, 15th April, 2017


Wednesday, 12th April, 2017

  • 02:25 PM - Chaosmancer quoted 76512390ag12 in post Unearthed Arcana Explores Downtime Activities
    Yes, why? I can think of one obvious reason but why else? For me that's in and of itself a potentially character building moment. I'm confused how you see a character building moment here. Either A) The Wizard player just says "Yeah, sure what do I care" and nothing happens B) The DM insists on this being bad, because it is a complication, perhaps making up reasons the character doesn't want this guy (or insisting the player makes up a reason) or messing them over for letting the guy watch (hey you were nice, let's make sure you don't do that again) or C) very, very rarely, they might decide that this complication is actually a reward, which is against the nature of the event and what is expected according to the UA IF you have C, I could see character interactions come from this, but the other two aren't good character building moments to me Now i like that. A lot of potential for enjoyable roleplaying in just reaching that conclusion. Again, huh? I wasn't talking about the characte...

Wednesday, 5th April, 2017

  • 05:54 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted 76512390ag12 in post Do you use all of the P.C. races and classes from the PHB?
    I like dragonborn and I have seen some lovely tieflings. Never bought into the monk in a quasi European fantasy world but I understand that it only takes repaint of the scenery and they fit right in. I play with a group that used to have a 'no small folk' rule but that's ended. Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk To be fair, the stranger in a strange land is as old a trope as the hero's journey. I voted "anything goes", but the wording almost had me not voting. It's not because "it's just a game", it's because I don't buy the mindset that more races is at all negative to good storytelling or roleplaying. But yeah, all the published races and a few homebrews.

Monday, 3rd April, 2017

  • 04:49 AM - MechaTarrasque quoted 76512390ag12 in post D&D Fluff Wars: 4e vs 5e
    Can you explain this? Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk I tend to think that most NPC's (and even PC's) have a primary alignment, but adventuring (or dealing with pesky PC's) often takes people out of their comfort zones, so the dedicated servant of the law may have to use their discretion where the law hasn't been written (and it is good to know if they will be nice or merciful or indulge the odd urge to lord it over someone), the normally solo villain who circumstances have forced to join a group may have to decide to be a team player for a while or stir up trouble inside the group, etc. It is easier to have these decided beforehand (although some PC's could test the patience of a saint). It also reflects that some aspects of alignment may be more temporary than others. Now outsiders are a different story.....

Sunday, 2nd April, 2017

  • 01:22 AM - Sword of Spirit quoted 76512390ag12 in post Let's Talk About Yawning Portal
    How many *players* like instant death? I don't know. But there are apparently a lot of video game gamers out there who like to challenge themselves by cranking the difficulty settings all the way up. It baffles me, because I play video games for the aesthetic, not the challenge. But I appear to be in a majority. On the other hand, I like very challenging D&D games (maybe not for all of them, but for some of them).

Saturday, 1st April, 2017

  • 08:56 PM - The_Hanged_Man quoted 76512390ag12 in post Let's Talk About Yawning Portal
    How many *players* like instant death? Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk I imagine it depends on context for most. In an ongoing campaign, I doubt many (myself included) find it very enjoyable. Not exactly very good for continuity. However, in a one-off "Deathtrap Dungeon" situation, where death is not only taken into account but expected, I think there is some enjoyment to be found.
  • 07:17 PM - jimmytheccomic quoted 76512390ag12 in post Let's Talk About Yawning Portal
    How many *players* like instant death? Sent from my SM-G901F using Tapatalk Well, that's going to vary table by table, obviously, it's a good thing to discuss in Session 0. In terms of the Tomb game- there's a reason my table is making new characters for it, instead of dropping it into our main campaign! But, based on the reputation, I think my players will be disappointed if no one dies. We're having some drinks, I'm playing the "Mario Death" sound effect whenever a PC drops, everyone is expecting some kind of funny death story. A "Tomb of Horrors" diversion is sold to the group in a different way than my main campaign was sold to them, though, it's always good to make sure player communication is happening and everyone is clear on expectations.
  • 07:08 PM - Lanefan quoted 76512390ag12 in post Let's Talk About Yawning Portal
    How many *players* like instant death? Probably not that many...but that alone doesn't justify removing it from the game. How many players like losing to a three-move mate in chess? Probably not that many...but that alone doesn't justify removing it from the game. I mean, how much more can the game be safety-netted before it doesn't reflect the game-world realities and dangers of adventuring at all? Level loss is gone, magic item breakage or loss is (mostly) gone, spellcasting has become easier and easier as the editions have gone along...and all because players found these things inconvenient. But in the game world these things also all make sense as reasonable risks undertaken by those brave enough (or foolish enough) to take on field adventuring as a career. The rewards gained in return, of course, are obvious: your character gets rich while also getting better at what it does. Lan-"reward without risk isn't much of a reward any more"-efan

Tuesday, 28th March, 2017

  • 05:36 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted 76512390ag12 in post Where does optimizing end and min-maxing begin? And is min-maxing a bad thing?
    First off the problem of min maxing came in with the point buy system, it encourages those things. We use the old method, 4d6 drop lowest. You can get some good scores and some bad ones also, but you are sort of stuck with what you get unless the rolls are so off the DM won't approve it. Point buy does nothing for the game but encourage min/max of scores line you have done. No one in my group min/maxes their scores, yet we always point buy. You are simply incorrect. Point buy allows the player to control what exact character they are playing. IME, point buy does precisely the opposite of what you propose. Rolling stats lead to a lot of "well, I have to put the 15 in Dex, cuz I'm a rogue, and it's my highest roll. Need good con, and decent wisdom for perception, bc no one else is gonna get this traps...so the 13s will have to go there. Looks like my idea of being clever and charismatic will have to wait for another character. Maybe I could switch to primarily ranged, and have a low con? No th...
  • 04:35 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted 76512390ag12 in post Where does optimizing end and min-maxing begin? And is min-maxing a bad thing?
    It has indeed, and it is pertinent here. Bear with me.. have a cup of char and relax your breeches. There are two types of players ontologically: the numbers type and the yeehah! type. The numbers type sees the way to understand the fundamental reality of being in a game through the stats and the systems, and they are the most likely to want to control and optimise, min-max and have lots of fun through the numbers. Many don't like random, at least when it comes to character gen, but not all. The yeehah! type, appreciates the experience, the holistic whole of the game as a journey from A to B, a reality that may or may not be arbitrated through numbers, dice, dialogue, social interplay or the mood of the players. This is, of course, not the only way to divide gamers or gamers, it doesn't map cleanly onto GNS or any other conceptual approach, but I suggest, when you are in a cave, lit by torches, and you see the *shadow* of a dragon thrown on the cave wall... how you react will have more than a ...


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