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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:24 PM
    Thanks for that, though there's some as would debate those claims. :) In part that's because the first bit of something you encounter is what tends to stick in the memory, no matter how much comes after or how good it may be. I've read Wheel of Time from stem to stern and while I remember some specific scenes I mostly couldn't tell you whether they're from Book 1 or Book 9 or Book 6 -...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:11 PM
    No, I'm saying just the opposite: that the GM has to abide by the rolls in principle; and then pointing out that doing so carries a risk of making things too easy and thus making the game less enjoyable. See below... In 1e or similar systems the presence or absence of a secret door is determined by what's on the GM's map long before anyone searches for it...thus searching where there isn't...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:56 PM
    Exactly! Hallelujah, we agree! :) It's a proposal to change the fiction, and the dice will then determine the outcome - pretty binary, in this case - you either climb it or you don't. The complications arise when other more general goals, or corollary specific goals that may or may not conflict, get thrown in to the same declaration e.g. I (try to) climb the wall and kill the guard...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:41 PM
    Empirically? Perhaps, but I'd posit true empiric analysis can only really ceom from someone outside the hobby. Those inside it have largely lost objectivity (whether we like to admit it or not) in favour of what we know/like/prefer. Nothing wrong with this, of course, but we - all of us - have to admit it; and further have to admit that down-calling someone else's viewpoint as "subjective"...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:31 PM
    If you're looking for a fully-game-mechanical means of generating or forcing such conflict then no, you won't find it. But that in no way means the system doesn't or can't support it. In 1e that connection can be put on the line via story elements introduced by the GM (most often), by the PC's own player (less common), or by another player/PC (rare, but I've seen it happen). Example. It'd...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 PM
    To save us from yet another hit-points-and-what-they-mean debate, I'll throw in just this: realism. In real life each of us has a certain threshold of physical damage or trauma we can withstand before our body shuts down and we die. And, though we don't numeritically measure it by hit points, the general concept is the same. If, for example, I go out this afternoon and get hit by someone...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:57 PM
    Levels ain't no straightjacket, laddie! :) My current campaign is well over ten years in now, and the highest-level PCs are 10th. There's a small chance one of 'em - maybe even two! - might make 11th by year's end. It'll hit 800 sessions early next month unless something goes very much adrift. How's this possible? Running multiple parties side-along in game-world time but sequentially in...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:36 PM
    There's people out there who don't do this?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:26 PM
    Depends how fine-tuned you want to get with it. The 3e idea of templates might hold water here: tactical templates (say, a forced-move template or a marking template or a minion template or whatever) that you could then apply to whichever monsters you like and in whatever combination you like; without having to go in and change the write-up for every monster in the various MMs which, without...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:19 PM
    What we were told and-or led to believe in the pre-playtest and early-playtest days were three things: 1. 5e would be 'modular', the intent being to limit or even eliminate knock-on effects to other modules when making changes to one 2. 5e would be designed with kitbashers in mind, such that a DM could - with more or less effort - massage the game into what she actually wanted to run 3. With...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:20 PM
    Let me check... ok that is not what I had in mind. Doesn't look like a viable alternative to me. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, it looks interesting in its own right, just not a substitute. I kind of expected a more serious effort to have surfaced by now.
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:31 PM
    On the semantics side, Spanish needs more information to convey a message than English does. For example if you have to translate "I'm bad at studying and I could use your help." Which of the six possible constructs -each one with different meaning- should you use? You need a lot of contextual information to decide. That is more work than many translators bother to do. Some would only take the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:51 AM
    As Charlaquin says, the bigger question is what happened to the idea of modularity in general?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:46 AM
    Which version of D&D are you running? And what level are the PCs? If it's 0-1-2e then the simple encounters, particularly at low level, shouldn't take long at all (though for the love of your sanity avoid RAW 1e initiative like the plague!); and for some of them you might not even need a detailed map. At about 4th level or below in 1e I can usually get through several simple encounters in a...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 AM
    At some point there's a very blurry dividing line between 'fail-forward' and what I call 'succeed-backward'. Depending on context, finding a 1000 g.p. ruby instead of 1000 gold coins could fall into any of: full success, succeed-backward, fail-forward, or outright fail. In fairness there's certainly been some support from that quarter for D&D 4e over time, and even in this thread, so it's...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    Ah - you're thinking movie actors where I was thinking live-stage actors; and yes, there is a difference. But portraying a different emotion than what one really feels at the time? That's common to both stage acting and RPGs. If my PC has reason to be mad at someone about something then I'm going to portray it - through my words, expression, and tone - as being mad, never mind how happy...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:07 AM
    Speaking of this, wasn't there a PF1 clone of some sort in the works? I heard something about it in passing, but never got any details.
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:57 AM
    I have another theory, Spanish translations require more work, some other languages don't. For other languages you can easily take the plain text in English and just straight translate it without paying too much attention to context. So the result is either a trainwreck that mixes/ignores gender/closeness/person or is more expensive. Many times this is done in Spain for videogames by people who...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Ditto the GM, who in presenting the entire setting is merely making suggestions the players may or may not follow up on (in the example, the players/PCs might decide the Southtor seal isn't enough, or if the GM throws in the bit about the love letters, might decide to follow up on that instead...or ignore it; it's their choice). You're concatenating two goals into one here - a specific one...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:53 AM
    Well, ignoring the question of when is a comma or semicolon missing or not (since that can be a story telling style decision): - line 9: missing word "as" after word "smiled" - line 17: personally I'd place a second "that" after the single one - line 17: replace "mentaly" with "mentally" - line 18: replace "need" with "needed" as otherwise the sentence has a time frame mixup - third to last...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:54 AM
    I just focus on important spells. I've never played 5e at high level, but I would write down a list of maybe 10 spells prepared and ignore the rest as if the NPC had prepared other spells for out-of combat use. Of those 10 or so, I would focus on highest level spells. If the battle lasts so long that the NPC runs out of slots and has to use low level spells, he either tries to flee or I...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:36 AM
    I was with you all the way to here, but this is where you lose me: acting very much is roleplaying. An actor, pretty much no matter what else might be involved, universally does one thing while on stage or screen: plays a role.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:26 AM
    The quote tags in the post I'm replying to here are a bit of a hot mess, so if some quoted bits don't quite make sense it ain't my doing. :) Aye, that I was. Because it's a great big setting out there with lots of stuff in it? Why wouldn't she? And sometimes she'll be right, and sometimes she won't; and the same can be said for the players. The players control the fiction by what they...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:26 AM
    "Shoot Seth." sounds weird to me, even in the context it's said. Aside from random spelling mistakes, it reads like one of those this-really-happened-to-me diary-style novels. Which isn't a bad thing if that's what you're going for.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    The phrase "subvert the expectations" has been thrown about a lot lately for a particular reason. I don't think I was ever quite sure what it meant, especially since my background is in information technologies where subversion refers to a very specific thing (by now 20 year old brand of version control software). Imagine my surprise when I finally realized that subversion means the same thing as...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Er...in 1e splint-and-shield by RAW gives AC 3, doesn't it? (and by common house rule where shields give 2 AC points, that'd be AC 2). That's going to lower the odds of hitting a bit, and thus the DPR.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Agreed - it's one of PF's better productions, and largely adaptable to almost any system with a bit of work. Well, this assumes both players and PCs are looking at things first and foremost in terms of DPR and so forth rather than characterization and flavour...which kinda brings up a peeve of mine, that being players who only view their characters in terms of how much damage they can give out...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:25 PM
    Quite right, and most often it will be. My point is simply to say that there's no good reason that it always has to be, hence my example of looking for one thing in the Duke's desk and finding another.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:23 PM
    For any number of reasons, some that you might like and some you might not: - to introduce new or unexpected elements to the fiction (whether pre-authored or generated on the fly) - to give the players (as their PCs) something new or different to think about; or to get them thinking a bit more outside the box - to, in the specific example given, point out there's more than one way to...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:27 AM
    Fair enough. I'm coming from an old-school background where sometimes it's the healer that's down and if you don't get that potion into him half the party are hooped... :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:15 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Our body-fatigue point system (developed in about 1983) ends up working almost the same. Everyone - even peasants - has body points; for humans these are rolled on a d5 with a Con-based minimum (2 unless your Con is truly awful, 3 if it's pretty good; and a lower roll becomes set to the minimum) and are locked in for life unless some tragedy like losing a limb permanently alters them. Your...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:09 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Tony Vargas , to compare apples to apples, what happens if you put up your happy little 1st-level Fighter against its clone (i.e. another Fighter-1 with all numbers exactly the same) in each edition?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:02 AM
    If memory serves, I believe IRL that if an unconscious person is put into the correct position to avoid choking it is in fact possible to get a liquid into him-her, as swallowing is a reflexive action much like breathing. Given that, no reason not to allow it in the game. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:59 AM
    Er...in my example the PC does achieve what she hoped for: she found incriminating evidence against the Duke. That the evidence didn't take the exact form specified in the action declaration doesn't reduce the success, or turn it into a failure - and that's just my point: a roll of success gives success, but the GM should have some latitude to narrate what form that success takes if something...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:09 AM
    In other circumstances I would have pre-ordered already. I kind of need an alternative where character building is less cumbersome and fiddly than PF, but I want a little more that what 5e gives. I want to like PF2, but I need to see the finalized rules before committing to it.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Not quite, in my view. When the roll shows 'success' the GM is bound by that to narrate a successul outcome...of some sort. This successful outcome doesn't (or at least IMO shouldn't) necessarily have to directly match what the player had in mind* as long as the narration reflects an overall success for the PC. My example above, though not the best, tries to show this: the search doesn't...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:13 AM
    I have to say no in at least 80-90% of the games I've played. Most of the times IMXP a PC race has only a minor and very occasional impact on the story, such as providing some benefit in character interaction (e.g. you have an Elf in the party so you can try ask support from local elves for a shortcut through the forest) or otherwise an impediment (you can't really take a half-orc into the...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:29 PM
    Technically true, though the 1e DMG also in various places says - in flowery Gygaxian prose, of course - the much-more-to-the-point Burning Wheel edict you quote below. It also suggests (more than once, I think!) that rule changes be carefully thought through before implementation, wich rather goes against the notion of changing rules on a whim. In general this is fine - 'don't be a dick'...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:02 PM
    The Book of Erotic Fantasy very vaguely - and IMO very badly - waved at this, but that was it as far as I recall (though I'll freely admit that there was probably a lot of d20-era stuff that passed me by and-or never even made it to this market). This was one of my many great disappointments with the BoEF, in fact; that it didn't go much more deeply into fantasy-race inter-breeding, genetics,...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:51 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Per round was everywhere, as most things couldn't be used or done more than once per round anyway...and that hasn't really changed. We've both house-ruled in that some spells can only be cast once a week and added various magical devices that only do their thing once per week or per month (or in one currently-existing case per year, though the item's owner hasn't figured this out yet). ...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:42 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    If one assumes that the party in each game loses few enough hit points per day on average that the characters all survive until tomorrow, then the comparison is valid...except: In 5e you can be at 3 h.p. and lose a boatload of 'em, but you'll only go to 0 whereupon you'll fall over and start making death saves and during that time someone can cure you up. What this means is that any attempted...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:31 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Interesting. I always thought this was an ancient house rule adopted before I started playing - never knew it had an official basis. I can think of gobs of per-day things and even a few x-per-hour devices but I can't for the life of me think of anything that recharged after a turn.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:13 PM
    Even though this thread's in 'General RPG', given that historically D&D has represented more or less 80% of the RPG market and player base (and still does) talking primarily about anything else is going to quickly send much of the potential readership off elsewhere. Using other systems for comparison is great. Ignoring the primary system, however, seems a bit foolish. Good question. To...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    This to me is a false premise, in that not all (or even all that many) challenges need only have two clear mutually-exclusive outcomes to still be defined as challenges. Outcomes often run on a scale, with highly-desireable at one end and highly-undesireable at the other and a whole lot of other options in between. Which is fine provided it's done within the framework of the game mechanics. ...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:11 PM
    This leads into a whole other field of study, should one be so inclined, and that's to go through the Monster Manual, find all the cross-breed races (e.g. Tabaxi is part human, part cat), and then from there figure out what can in theory breed with what and-or have what in its bloodlines. Can, for example, a half-orc breed with a half-elf and produce an offspring that is genetically 1/4 elf, 1/4...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:03 AM
    Somewhat surprised to see more than one mention here of non-LG Paladins being a pet peeve, where my biggest gripe with them up until recently was the opposite: that they could only be LG. Reason this was a problem was that their rigid codes etc. very much restricted what alignments/classes/character types other players could hope to play. With Paladins having more than one alignment option, a...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:52 PM
    To answer a few of those: 2. Because once the eggs hatch the feeding-the-young process might be largely mammalian. Nothing says Gith biology has to have anything to do with our own... :) 3. Same way electric eels in the real world do it, or a close variant. 1 and 4, though... :) As for mine:
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:39 PM
    See below... Agreed with the second part of the above quote - speeding up combat can make a big difference. But the first bit I'd take some issue with. Sure, at campaign start the players/PCs might be presented with five objectives...but is that all they're allowed? What happens if they find (or invent) a 6th and a 7th? I'll try to dream up an example here - forgive me if it's not the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:12 PM
    To save quoting a bunch of recent posts and replying line by line, I'll just sum up with this: The title of the thread - "Players choose what their PCs do" - almost sums the whole thing up before we start. Put it instead as "Barring external pressures e.g. magic or game mechanics, players always choose what their PCs (attempt to) do and always choose what/how their PC thinks and-or feels"...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:36 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    If 5e had really lived up to the degree of modularity promised during design and playtest it might actually have been nicely on its way to being just the system you posit is impossible: a functionally complete system that'll keep GM B happy but fully modular and kit-bashable such that GM A can mold it into the game she wants to run without too many unforeseen knock-ons. But, that modularity...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:28 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    To make 5e play the least bit old-school you'd have to change some rules too, so it goes both ways. There's many examples, but I'll just start and end with resting and recovery rules...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:25 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    And then far too often take all that information and somehow use it to make the wrong decision, often for reasons external to the actual process (in RPG design, it might be furthering of an idea just because it's yours even though objectively it's not the best; in the corporate world it might be choosing an objectively lesser design because it's more profitable...that sort of thing). Question...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:59 AM
    However - and this seems to be getting ignored here - in choosing which side you win on you're also choosing which side you lose on (which, to reverse your words above, also means you cannot succeed this challenge); and in the RPG sense it's most likely the chosen loss that'll have the consequences attached. And yet again I ask you: does every challenge have to be a binary succeed-fail affair?...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:45 AM
    RPGs live and die by their setting. Only D&D can afford to go "setting agnostic" (and that is barely) by virtue of its size and prominence. Without a strong setting a random RPG is but a set of bland mechanics, and if it's fantasy themed, it is just a heartbreaker. For identity purposes World of Darkness is Storyteller, Freedom City is M&M, and Golarion is Pathfinder. Yes, other settings can work...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:50 AM
    Ideally I would have ability modifiers not affecting skill bonus by themselves, I would rather high ability bonuses helped you have higher proficiency levels faster. Edit: An on topic, this isn't necessarily a judgment of value, what I got from the playtest was that PF2 somehow managed to have the bad parts of 4e without the good stuff. I'm still on the fence on whether to give it some of my...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:25 PM
    I never said I wanted the Alchemist gone. All I said was leaving Witches out of core was a bad decision. I only speak for myself in this. The choice to make bards occult made what it means to be occult confusing -seriously, it is a conversation in the Paizo forums-
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:20 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    In any era players pretty much always had agency over their own characters - or should have (more on this below) - which is fine. As time has gone on, however, players have slowly been given more agency over and access to things and rules beyond their characters - which is not fine. That said, a part of player agency over their characters is being allowed to play what you-as-player want...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:15 PM
    I think it is a glaring omission because: a) The witch is important in Golarion (the most common non-divine caster) and b) the witch is an obvious primary occult caster, by not having it the bard was square pegged into the tradition and as a primary caster at the expense of other stuff. (IMO primal or arcane fitted better for the bard)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:09 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    No, sadly, it's highly relevant: someone who cheats at char-gen is much more likely to cheat at other times. Best to nip it in the bud right from square one and have done with it. Hardly the first time I've been in the minority... :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:04 AM
    Why does it have to be limited to a binary pass-fail outcome, is my question. Having the goals of getting the piece of pumpkin pie and getting the piece of apple pie leads to at least four possible outcomes: 1. You get both. 2. You get apple but not pumpkin. 3. You get pumpkin but not apple. 4. You get neither. And this is ignoring any nuances and-or repercussions arising from any...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:46 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    This assumes one can select the spells that end up in one's book. In 1e you could pick a few spells (or have them rolled random) when starting out at 1st level, but after that it was all based on what you could find (via loot) or buy or swap with other PC MUs...and you had to roll to learn each one, with low intelligence making this roll more difficult.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:43 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    We don't start brand new groups very often but we're always reshuffling the lineups within the parties that are out there. Yeah, sometimes a character visualizes better than it plays - I've had several of these over time, and I either retire them or get them killed off once I realize that whatever I had in mind just ain't gonna work. The flip side, though, is when a character that really...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:39 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    And people love it! That is, if the eagerness with which any Deck of Many Things is greeted is anything to go by.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:53 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Not necessarily - I've had parties take their dead back to some major temple in town and pay for a raise way way WAY before they were anywhere near 9th level. :) That said, getting access to raise in the field is very much a tipping point for long-term character survivability. Yes, but your example was of someone with Con 17, which is a high-90's resurrection chance.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Over the years I've had many wishes cast in my games and of those I can only remember one that was specifically cast to improve a stat...and even then only after a fashion: the character wished he was psionic. But I've never had a problem with devices, tomes, etc. showing up that increase stats. It feels much more like an in-fiction reward for adventuring than any sort of auto-increment...
    231 replies | 8191 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Rolled on the table in full view of everyone else? I'll guess not. It goes beyond that - in old school much more so than new, there's always the underlying threat (or promise?) that some effect from some random table or randomly-generated device somewhere might completely change your character: alignment change, stat change, race or class change, etc. Put another way, there's an overall...
    231 replies | 8191 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:27 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Er...only if it had a penalty due to a very low Con score. An 11th level Fighter in 1e as written would have 9d10+6 h.p. The average on a d10 roll is 5.5; 9 of those gives 49 (rounding down) + 6 for a total of 55 h.p. And just how many Fighters made it all the way to 11th without dying once or twice? Remember, in 1e every revival ocst you a Con point...
    231 replies | 8191 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:29 PM
    Levelling 1st to max in 10-12 sessions would mean level-ups about twice per session, thus your players would spend half of each session bookkeeping and rewriting their character sheets. That, and such a campaign would have to be on a pretty hard railroad to prevent players from (oh the horror!) deciding to veer off-story and maybe explore the setting a bit deeper...
    53 replies | 2396 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Given a decent level of immersion there shouldn't be all that much difference between the two. Not all tests are strictly pass-fail. Sometimes all options lead to varying degrees of failure and-or success e.g. choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils. The questing knight, for example. Forget Excalibur for a moment, and let's just say he's on a quest to retrieve a McGuffin. (let's for...
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:55 PM
    AFAIC all of those are fair play - I've had effects crop up in my games over the years that have done all these things. One easy example of a forced change to character concept is a forced alignment change e.g. from a Helm of Opposite Alignment. But that's both mechanical and forced. I think the type of challenge being brought up here is less (or not at all) mechanical or mechanics-based....
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:35 PM
    Yes, and IMO that's an outright glaring error in how 4e handles these things. Put another way, it dredges up the old glass-cannon monster design issue from 1e and dials it up to 11. Why in the name of sweet bejeebers would a designer take a known problem and intentionally make it worse? Not bizarre at all. I'm saying it's mkstaken because to make that system work one has to make a...
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:29 PM
    That ship has long sailed, and sank. Nobody survived, and there's nothing left of the shipwreck...
    123 replies | 7409 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:20 PM
    It all depends on context, it isn't a clear cut black and white issue. In this particular context doesn't matter that badly. But for example, in 5e what's core and what isn't does matter. I still can't have an aasimar divine soul in AL for example, because neither is core! Core matters, some DMs play with core-only. Some groups demand core-only. Core classes/races receive more attention from...
    123 replies | 7409 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:05 AM
    Correct: they are not the same. The latter describes an action, the former tries to tie a result to it. The key word there is IF, which remains undetermined until-unless game mechanics resolve. After that happens and it's determined that the wink succeeded in melting her heart then yes, you can bundle action and result together. Which means describing the result before this point is...
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:54 AM
    And by that we can reasonably extrapolate that for game purposes a cave troll has lots of hit points and-or a high Con score. Each reflects the other. Just as you can't say a creature described as being particularly tough (relative to other creatures) in the fiction doesn't have lots of hit points, you can't say a creature with lots of hit points (relative to other creatures) isn't tough. ...
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:48 AM
    < I came across this old Playstation 1 game that I had never heard of so I checked it out on Youtube. The game hasn't aged well, but man is the sound design amazing. Even has pretty good voice acting. Anyways, I was listening to this particular track and for the longest time couldn't figure out what it reminded me of, but then it hit me. It's this old thing:
    298 replies | 28968 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:40 AM
    (chart snipped to save space) The chart says how many events were offered but doesn't say how many of them sold out, or got cancelled due to not enough interest. It's a decent guide to who was willing to run what type of game but not so useful in gauging player interest. 2003 was my first GenCon and I'll freely admit to not remembering much of it (I ran on about 8 hours total sleep over 4+...
    88 replies | 3149 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:41 AM
    Never mind that their odds of making that resurrection survival roll keep dropping along with their Con scores...
    39 replies | 1538 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:26 AM
    Agreed so far. Oddly enough, it's not the GM's notes that are put in jeopardy here: it's the player's notes. :) Why, you ask? Because one expects that a player is going to have some sort of basic idea about what makes a character tick, and will maybe even have some notes to that effect e.g.: Chastain rose to knighthood from the common ranks, and though he tries to be noble he cannot...
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:14 AM
    Hit points per se aren't a part of the game world but what they describe - a creature's general degree of toughness and resilience - is. Take a typical ogre. They're usually pretty tough and can take a few solid hits from pretty much any other ogre before going down - this is represented in game mechanics by their usually having a decent amount of h.p. - let's for argument's sake say 60 each....
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:56 AM
    It didn't. The invokation and use of a mechanic (the Resist Passion roll) kept it at 'test', which was then failed, thus giving the GM the right to narrate the results of said failure. All is good. But the second statement without any mechanics involved isn't a test, it's a manipulation. It's magic, which allows a certain amount of bypassing the normal rules. Same idea, in a way, as how...
    719 replies | 20080 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:34 AM
    And generally speaking, D&D is NOT supposed to be a model or simulation of real life. If you want a top-accurate representation of it, go fight monsters in real life. - Li "I've owned a piano for 20 years, never played it but had a very successful career in medicine, how come I am still not a good pianist" Shenron
    224 replies | 5896 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:26 AM
    Because. It could be like you say, but it just isn't. When it was (4e), a common complaint was that the character who never ever wielded X or used Y was getting better at it just by doing nothing, and better than a fully-dedicated character just a few levels lower. It's simply a design choice, and every design choice as well as its opposite can be criticised for not making sense...
    224 replies | 5896 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:44 PM
    The game multiverse is not our universe, the laws of nature don't have to be the same. Normally I expect reasonable similitude with RL locally, meaning that macroscopic effects such as gravity, combustion, heat, light and sound etc. can be expected to work like IRL. On the other hand, beyond locally I encourage the pkayers not to care, and by that I mean beyond the reach of the characters...
    69 replies | 2257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:35 AM
    But you can. Remember the key rule of 5e that it is up to the DM to grant a check in the first place? You can decide to grant a check for a "premium" result only to a character who has expertise. The only thing the game doesn't do this is exactly to codify this for you. Partly because there are so many possibilities that it would take a whole book just for that, and partly because...
    43 replies | 1381 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:15 AM
    There's an app? Sheesh. That's the problem. :D Goes to show how little I've done anything online with a phone. I've just used it for calls and texts.
    8714 replies | 458279 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 12:25 AM
    Those of you viewing Enworld on mobile, are you able to see posts that have received experience? Because I can't see the experience system on my phone at all.
    8714 replies | 458279 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:49 PM
    Depends on level of system mastery. I saw Clerics broken in official-only 3e pretty early on, long before 3.5, but it took a fair bit of system mastery (and robotic heartlessness) to accomplish. With the splats, the level of mastery required to break 'em is much lower; as in not far from zero.
    286 replies | 10912 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Before anything else, check with your distracted players whether they are seriously interested in the game. It can happen at any age, but might be highest at yours, that some people are actually just dragged a game while all they really wanna do is just hang out with friends. They will first be easily distracted and next they can become disruptive.
    32 replies | 1478 view(s)
    1 XP
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Saturday, 20th July, 2019

  • 03:41 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...e other than some improv acting. If the GM is deciding everything that happens, what else are the players contributing to the game? I've played games of D&D in which the players did more than improv acting, but that's because, in those games, the GM didn't decide everything that happens. This is why I regard it as controversial to assert that, in D&D, the GM always decides. Because that doesn't describe all my D&D experiences. So what actual reasons do you have for asserting that a 1000gp ruby can never be a success? (not that a 1000gp ruby with a major downside is not a success).I didn't say it can never be a success. I said that it's not per se a success ie it can be a failure (which I took you to deny). If the intent is to find some treasure, then a ruby may well be a success. But the action declaration you described was to find 1000 gp. If you meant an intent to find 1000 gp worth of treasure then of course finding the ruby would be a success. This is very similar to Lanefan upthread, who seemed to treat an intent to find incriminating financial documents as equivalent to an intent to find something that might be incrminating. If you're meaning the more general intent then I don't quite get why you're presenting your examples by reference to the narrower more specific intent. Rolling a dice doesn't challenge a player.No one asserts that it does. The challenge is putting the consequence of the die roll on the line. you don't need dice to challenge the players conception of their character or the fictional world as the same narration that challenges the player can be achieved with no dice being rolled.This claim hasn't been demonstrated. For instance, how in AD&D, or 5e D&D, can a player put his/her PC's connection with a friend or a family member on the line, without this just being an invitation for the GM to make a decision about what that NPC does? It's interesting to note that all the systems with good to have experiences are not D&D. I...
  • 12:23 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The obvious answer is that it depends on the type/style of game. In many versions of D&D the DM is granted a special status. In some indie games the dice determine who narrates or how the narrative flows. Both options are good. It is elegant but it doesn't suit all stories or styles of play.I guess I'm assuming that - or wondering whether - there is more that can be said than just It's my preference. That is, that it's possible to articulate why it's good. Upthread, Lanefan asserted that 4e's hp mechanic is flawed because it doesn't conform to his expectations for a hp mechanic. That's a pretty strong claim - that his way of thinking is better. Presumably there's something that can be said to expain the weaker claim that it is good. EDIT: So I've read on now almost to the end of the thread. Some posters have posted about why this can be good (neither FrogReaver nor Lanefan, oddly enough). As I've just posted in response to them, I'm reminded of a certain approach to 2nd ed AD&D. The good of the GM's "special status" seems to consist in curating the players, via their PCs, through an adventure with a reasonably pre-determined structure/sequence of events, or fictional elements to be encountered. (I think this is what Ovinomancer means by "exploration", and what Lanefan has in mind in expressing worries about challenges/obstacles being "bypassed".) Now can someone tell me how that sort of play is going to put fundamental pressure on the player's co...

Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 03:04 PM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    If the answer is never, then I come back to my question - why does the GM get special status here? The obvious answer is that it depends on the type/style of game. In many versions of D&D the DM is granted a special status. In some indie games the dice determine who narrates or how the narrative flows. Both options are good. Whereas I have an obvious answer to the questions I've posed - when the check succeeds the player decides, when the check fails the GM decides. It's so simple it's elegant! It is elegant but it doesn't suit all stories or styles of play. Both yourself and Lanefan seem to be arguing for a particular style of play - being your specific preferences. Same debate, different thread.

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 10:56 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I say, slightly in jest, "I search the Duke's desk for a huge ancient red dragon...." In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. what are we more interested in seeing - the players getting exactly what they ask for, or the players getting what they overall want? Because they are not omniscient, and what they ask for may not actually be what they wanted, needed, or could best use.As Ovinomancer has posted, this seems to assume that the fiction has a content that is independent of the players. But why would, or should, that be so? There is a demonstrable effect in the software industry which generalizes - when you ask someone what their problem is, what they are more likely to tell you is not the problem, but their preferred solution. That solution is generally either 1) the most common solution to similar problems or 2) the first solution that came to them when they had the problem, that's been rattling around in their head, so that their thinking is in a bit of a rut. Neither case is innovative, nor necessarily a *good* solution to the problem at hand.Why would the G...
  • 06:16 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    it appears that Pemerton want's failure to always be some sort of success (fail forward) at all times.I have neither said nor implied this. All I said was that Lanefan's example, in which the PC doesn't achieve what the player hoped for, is not a success and hence might be a feasible failure narration.

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 11:24 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Hussar, Lanefan - if narrowing of possible resolutions = the GM being bound by the results of checks, than sure, any system other than "GM decides" will have that consequence. But unless the dice are rigged then fails are possible, in which case fail scenarios are possible resolutions, and there is no narrowing of the range of possible resolution.
  • 08:42 AM - Hussar mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Your example doesn't show any narrowing of possible results. The scenario you describe is a possible failure narration; and it could be a success narration if that is what the player decides his/her PC searches for. But, what it cannot be is a success narration if the player decided that is not what the PC searches for. IOW, Lanefan's point about narrowing possible resolutions does stand. A success can only be what the player decides.

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 10:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...ossed idealist theories of knowledge in this way: you can't get more out of knowledge than you put in. To discover something about my character requires something external to take place. I've given examples in this thread. So have others. It doesn't have to be done through random number generation. There are other resolution systems possible. But it does require some way of establishing salient elements of the fiction other than via decision-making by the player of the PC. To my mind this is actually not a radical thesis about RPGing, given that this type of game has relied on resolution mechanics, including random number generation, to establish external constraints on player choices and interpretation of the fiction from the outset. D&D is (though not necessarily should be) the baseline assumption. If we can't argue from a base of some sort, then there is no argument.By my count, there are only three recurrent posters in this thread who make D&D the baseline assumption: Lanefan, FrogReaver and Maxperson. I'm not interested in talking primarily about D&D. It's not a system I'm playing at the moment, and I doubt think that focusing on it is going to shed any particular light on the questions raised in the OP or subsequently in the thread. If you think that there is some aspect of D&D mechanics or play that will help address those questions, then by all means post it.

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 03:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Lanefan, FrogReaver - you've both made some recent posts which dispute the analysis of action put foward in the OP. Eg you both deny that I melt the maiden's heart with my wink is a true description of a PC's action, and a description of the same action as I wink at the maiden (although obviously a different description). I'm not that interested in turning this thread into an argument in the philosophy of action, but I think that the objections to your claims are overwhelming. (And there's a reason why Davidson remains, even posthumously, one of the leading figures in contemporary philosophy of action.) Just to give one: if the character in fact melts the maiden's heart with a wink, then it is obviously true to say of him/her S/he melted the maiden's heart with a wink. It's also obviously true to say S/he winked. If you deny that these are the same action (under different descriptions) then you suddenly have the person doing two things although she performed only one bodily movement (the wi...

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 02:16 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    @pemerton i think there is a pre-step I’ve been missing that changes everything in d&d I cannot role play the character that can never lose at combat as such a character isn’t supported by the rules of the game. The pre- step is that I as a player don’t conceive of a character that the rules wouldn’t support so in the case of the maiden winking melting my heart I can imagine a game that possesses such a mechanic so that I know not to conceive of a character possessing a trait that would be against said mechanic. Maybe that hat is the real crux of the issue. Lanefan I think this above is precisely what you have been saying about it being okay as long as their is a mechanic

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 03:44 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...lso be a mechanic involved there but there doesn't have to be. As an NPC action with a dictated result it's ... wacky. Even if you could find a system that supported it I'd still be against it. Obviously the extent of the forced action plays a big role too. If the forced action just consists of telling the player they get swollen love nodes, which is more an invitation to action than forced action anyway, I'm fine with it. But as soon as the DM says something like "she beckons you with a finger and follow her out the door" then I'm firmly against, and will reiterate my earlier contention that this doesn't happen in RPGs generally so is probably a silly example. I don't really feel the need to explain how monster abilities with mechanics are a different class of example.I'm not sure what monster abilities you've got in mind. In Prince Valiant, for instance, Incite Lust is more likely to be found on a maiden than a monster! Because the NPC maiden melting a PC's heart with a wink is Lanefan's example he'll have to tell you exactly what he had in mind. I've been thinking about the example as a placeholder for stuff in the same general neighbourhood in RPG systems I'm familiar with. For instance, just to pick one fairly well-known system, Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic doesn't have any problem with a NPC placing a Come Hither complication or a Melted Heart complication on a PC. And when the PC takes action that is at odds with that complication, the complication die figures in the opposed pool. That particular mechanical dynamic isn't wildly different from player-vs-player Seduce/Manipulate in AW, which can result in doing other than the requested thing requiring a successful check to "act under fire". Prince Valiant says this about the Incite Lust special effect (p 46): The current Storyteller will have to make a ruling as to how the lustful character behaves. If the lustful character is an Adventurer, the controlling player decides how lust affects his character. ...
  • 10:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...a description a PC's action, I soften the heart of the maiden with a wink. Systems I can think of where that is a permissible action declaration include Prince Valiant (probably a check on Presence + Glamourie; it might also be done by using a Storyteller's Certificate to Incite Lust as a special effect), Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic (a check intended to inflict a Complication, or perhaps Emotional or Mental Stress, depending on context and further elaboration), Maelstrom Storytelling (I think I got the example from a rulebook example of a Quick Take), 4th ed D&D if the table is in the right mood (it would be a CHA check, or in the right context perhaps a Bluff or even a Diplomacy check - 4e is not super-prescriptive in respect of what skills can be used to do what), even Burning Wheel or Rolemaster if the setting/genre is not too grim (a Seduction check). I can't remember the scope of Seduction in The Dying Earth but I wouldn't be surprised if it covers this sort of thing also. Lanefan was the one who started a conversation about the reverse scenario, of a maiden softening a PC's heart with a wink. He didn't suggest any particular X as an action to be performed by the PC. As Tony Vargas correctly noted, he only suggested an emotional response - the PC's hear is softened - and didn't further explore what that might mean for play. Systems I can think of where something like this is possible I think I already mentioned: Prince Valiant (especially if the GM uses an Incite Lust special effect against a player's character); Marvel Heroic/Cortex+ Heroic (the situation of the PC is quite symmetrical to the NPC, and the cost of not going along with the softened heart is that the complication/stress will figure in the opposing dice pool - this is the same mechanic the system uses to adjudicate psychic mind control); The Dying Earth; Burning Wheel (the rules for NPC social skill use outside the context of a Duel of Wits are a bit thin, but as best I can tell it's intended to...

Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 10:48 AM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post The perfect D&D edition (according to ENWORLD)
    The name is exorbitantly familiar from the wotc boards, believe him if you like... he is a parrot at best maybe even a sock puppet so they can get their ewar and not get banned but since the banning isnt happening anyway they can just laugh and laughOkay. I was not a regular enough visitor to the WotC forums to know who was or wasn't a part of the forums. Lanefan looks to be his ahem mentor to me.He most definitely isn't. Lanefan isn't the biggest fan of 4e and we definitely don't often see eye-to-eye on various issues, but he is not an edition warrior. Honestly, most of this discussion probably does not even affect his games, because his group (mostly) plays with his 1e house rules, though Lanefan can correct me here.

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 01:03 AM - Hussar mentioned Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    It's all a big waste of time... both the alignment system *and* all the discussion about the alignment system. Just play your character and then worry about how you might've defined him with one of 9 boxes after the fact. Honestly, that's how I view it. Lanefan's "breaking in period" makes sense to me. I think this all boils down to a fundamental disagreement over what the word Chaotic means in terms of alignment. You seem to be of the opinion that being Chaotic is like being a kleptomaniac - both require the character to follow their impulses with little regard for the consequences. Myself and others are of the opinion that Chaotic is NOT like being a kleptomaniac - one is basic motivation that can easily be overridden by other factors such as maintaining friendships, fear of punishment, etc., while one is basically a mental disorder. Neither opinion is factually wrong - this is a game of make-believe, after all - but can you see how our interpretation might make the Chaotic alignments a little more acceptable as part of an adventuring group? Because you're right, under what I believe your and others' interpretation of Chaotic to be, no one in their right minds would allow a Chaotic person in their adventuring group (even, I wou...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 11:29 AM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    mh, but should or could the reward for creative and smart solutions not be positive in-game consequences? Could be loot, could be a new ally, could be a favor, good political standing or some unforseen twist. 100%. 5e adds to all those positive in-game consequences with mechanical positives too, as you likely know, like Inspiration points and in the DMG you have Faith, Faction progression...etc So yes, there is plenty to use as a substitute for XP. Individual XP seem to be shunned upon in most groups I've played in as it discourages newbies or tends to be unfair or biased. In addition to setting unhealthy risk-reward incentives for players to "go solo". Sure, XPs has its 'negatives' too, although not everyone sees all of that as bad. Having read many of @Lanefan's posts about the table he and his group run, I'd say they're ok with much of it. They easily run disproportionate leveled characters at their table with no worries, and have a lot of fun doing so. The higher-leveled characters shielding the newbies, with character death being a certainty.:D
  • 10:38 AM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    I'm curious as to why you wouldn't use it, what problems do you feel it doesn't address or it creates, in comparison to monster slaying for XP. I'm not Lanefan, but the obvious limitation is that it removes XPs as Reward. Milestone seems to negate individual creative/smart efforts by characters, moving from individual level progression to a party-progression paradigm. Milestone certainly has its uses. Personally I would use that style of progression in more linear/railroad-y games which have a strong storyline buy-in.
  • 07:42 AM - Hussar mentioned Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Lanefan, I'm not sure I agree with your premise. AD&D, while lethal at low levels, was not particularly dangerous at higher levels. Granted, save or die effects might have made it more dangerous, but, most save or die effects are not a result of combat - poisons, traps, that sort of thing. By the time the PC's were about 6th or 7th level, they were among the most powerful combatants in the game. By double digit levels, they were competently taking on unique monsters. And, really, to me, the shift from 1e to 2e wasn't all that great. We killed everything we could in 1e because, well, why wouldn't you? Outside of dragons, there was virtually nothing that could take on a PC one on one and the group of 6-8 PC's plus a few henchmen and whatnot could mow through a LOT of combat. I found 3e a LOT more deadly than AD&D to be honest. The massive increase in monster damage while the PC's didn't actually get a whole lot more HP's than in AD&D meant that I was killing PC's straight up in ...

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 02:25 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...experience (given the ready availability to most RPGers of genuinely quality narrations and performances), whereas protagonism in the context of engaging situation is the distinct thing that RPGs offer. When Hussar and Imaro say that they would quit games with ordinary-language descriptions because they'd find them too boring, my thought in response is that those games must have weak situations, or GMs who don't facilitiate protagonism. After all, both experience and reading lead me to think there's plenty of that going around. To elaborate on that last point: Hussar has tended to equate situation with content referring eg to boring content. But as I've indicated in and since the OP, good situation isn't about non-boring content. It's about the call to action, the invitation to protagonism. As far as I can tell those sorts of notions play little or no role in Hussar's conception of RPGing - if they do, he hasn't said anything about them in this thread as best I can recall. Lanefan, too, has quite recently posted that a GM should use language to make situation "more interesting", and has said that "situation is always going to be there no matter what". But this second claim isn't true if by situation one means what I've been talking about since the OP. I've played in, and witnessed, and read reports of episodes of RPGing in which there is no call to action, no meaningful framing, no genuine action and consequence. My contention that that is a failure of RPGing regardless of the literary quality of the narration and the evocative nature of the performances.

Saturday, 8th June, 2019

  • 04:35 AM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Right, but the argument wasn't skipping key details, it was, in fact, about non-key details not being those that can be elided or glossed. You presented scenarios where key details were left out as if it was countering this claim, when it was part of the claim that the focus should be on those details necessary for the character to engage the challenge. You argued against an argument not made. Yes, you countered a post about how players imagining unnecessary specifics in different ways isn't an issue with presenting how you imagined key, necessary details differently from your GM and how he was a jerk about it. Totally not the same thing. The argument that it's okay to imagine necessary, key, sufficient details differently was not made, but you've argued that one down very well. This is what he said. "Somewhat contra Lanefan, it often doesn't matter at all if the players think different things about the fiction." Where in there does it specify non-key details? It doesn't. He was very general with his claim.

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 04:21 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Somewhat contra Lanefan, it often doesn't matter at all if the players think different things about the fiction. Last Sunday I GMed a session of Prince Valiant. One of the PCs is a bard/entertainer who wears "colourful clothes". What colour(s) are they? We've never specified. If I think about it I guess I think red, orange, yellow, maybe blue also. What does the player of that character have in mind? Or any of the other players? Another PC has a jewelled sword that grants a bonus in certain social situations. What sorts of jewels? Colour? Size? Monetary value? Again, it's never come up. What colour are the horses? Ditto. When the PCs boarded a ship to France, how long was it? How broad of beam? When it foundered on a rock shelf, and I described the water between the ship and the beach as "shallow", how shallow? As per the scenario I was using, I called for Difficulty 3 Brawn tests to get to shore unharmed. The rules describe that as a Normal difficulty, sitting between Easy and Difficult, but in this...


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Saturday, 20th July, 2019

  • 10:31 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    To save us from yet another hit-points-and-what-they-mean debate, I'll throw in just this: realism.Realism? In a discussion of hit points? In real life each of us has a certain threshold of physical damage or trauma we can withstand before our body shuts down and we die.Nope, we don't. A very slight trauma involving relatively little injury can kill instantly, profound trauma over much of the body can be survived. The human body is freak'n weird. People fall in the shower and die. People fall out of airplanes without parachutes and live. It's not because some people rolled 1 on their HD. It's not because falls do d1000 damage. It's because reality is far, far more complex than something like hps can even begin to model. More over, "Realism" was the bludgeon with which critics attacked D&D in it's earliest days - /for having hit points that increased with level/. Because, if hps were, as you just blithely claimed, just a measure of ability to absorb trauma, then 'experience' incr...
  • 10:04 PM - Scott Christian quoted Lanefan in post How Many Actual Sessions Do Your Campaigns Last?
    Levels ain't no straightjacket, laddie! :) My current campaign is well over ten years in now, and the highest-level PCs are 10th. There's a small chance one of 'em - maybe even two! - might make 11th by year's end. It'll hit 800 sessions early next month unless something goes very much adrift. How's this possible? Running multiple parties side-along in game-world time but sequentially in real-world time, players running multiple characters and cycling them in and out, an open-ended series of available storylines, and my own expectation that the game will run until either a) nobody wants to play in it any more or b) I and the players run out of story ideas or c) I die. What you see as wasted creative space others see as depth and breadth. Any competent author can tell a good story in one book, and not even a long one at that. But that brevity comes at cost of fully exploring the author's setting and - to some extent - characters; and while further setting exploration is possible with ne...
  • 09:22 PM - happyhermit quoted Lanefan in post Resource-Draining Model D&D Doesn't Work (for me)
    There's people out there who don't do this? This was one of those things I never would have guessed was a thing before reading forums. Decades of D&D and I never saw any reason to connect abilities recharging with end of sessions (in contrast to other systems with "session" or similar schedules). It would certainly make attrition (and cliffhangers) a lot different.
  • 08:38 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Lanefan in post So whatever happened to the Tactics Variant/Module or Whatever
    So whatever happened to the Tactics Variant/Module or Whatever It's in the DMG, it emphasizes the grid, including flanking, adds /facing/ of all things, and lets anyone mark (or maybe that's a separate variant?). Anyway, it credibly delivers the "grid dependence/tactical-boardgame" people who didn't like 4e complained about. Honestly, I don't think the 5e designers were up to the task. Everytime I hear them talk about 4e I'm amazed by how little they get the appeal of 4e.They did seem to be working primarily from criticisms of 4e. What we were told and-or led to believe in the pre-playtest and early-playtest days were three things: 1. 5e would be 'modular', the intent being to limit or even eliminate knock-on effects to other modules when making changes to one 2. 5e would be designed with kitbashers in mind, such that a DM could - with more or less effort - massage the game into what she actually wanted to run 3. With enough kitbashing 5e could be largely made to play like an...
  • 03:56 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    when the check succeeds the player decides, when the check fails the GM decides. It's so simple it's elegant! And it doesn't exclude any possibilities - the players are free to declare the full range of possible actions, the GM is free to narrate the full range of possible failures.Which means a player rolling a hot die can - and IME almost invariably would - have her PC bypass any and all obstacles the setting wants to throw in its way, and sail through the story/adventure/mission/whatever without any delays or frustrations or, dare I say, effort...with the one exception being any combats that are unavoidable. The setting, and by extension the GM, exist in part to oppose and-or challenge the PCs and by extension the players; meaning that whether you like it or not there's always going to be that element of adversarialness (yeah, new word there) in their relationship. If the players are given free rein to narrate their successes then most if not all players IME would take that as license t...
  • 02:34 PM - Scott Christian quoted Lanefan in post How Many Actual Sessions Do Your Campaigns Last?
    See below... Agreed with the second part of the above quote - speeding up combat can make a big difference. But the first bit I'd take some issue with. Sure, at campaign start the players/PCs might be presented with five objectives...but is that all they're allowed? What happens if they find (or invent) a 6th and a 7th? I'll try to dream up an example here - forgive me if it's not the best: At campaign start, during some exposition phase, the PCs and players learn their aim is to accomplish these goals: 1. Put an end to the Orc raids from the hills to the north - with a few exceptions their loot will become yours as your reward if you finish them off 2. Find out what became of Harold the Wizard, who vanished two years ago today - rumour has it he may have been captured by Orcish raiders and his family have offered a nice reward for info 3. Determine if the northern Orcs are being secretly supported by the neighbouring realm of Westmarch - your own realm of Larenth would reward you handso...
  • 09:05 AM - CapnZapp quoted Lanefan in post So whatever happened to the Tactics Variant/Module or Whatever
    As Charlaquin says, the bigger question is what happened to the idea of modularity in general?It died when WotC decided to not rock the boat afraid that any new ideas would jinx the edition and stop the profits rolling in. They avoid doing anything that could be interpreted as "new edition" like the plague.
  • 03:08 AM - FrogReaver quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In fairness there's certainly been some support from that quarter for D&D 4e over time, and even in this thread, so it's not like D&D has been left completely in the dark. Sure. I would just love once to hear their take on the pros of 5e in relation to roleplaying. What can it do that all these other systems can't?

Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 11:33 PM - FrogReaver quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I was with you all the way to here, but this is where you lose me: acting very much is roleplaying. An actor, pretty much no matter what else might be involved, universally does one thing while on stage or screen: plays a role. Maybe you just have a much more romanticized view of acting than I do. Actors stand in front of a green screen all day, Repeating the same scenes over and over till everyone gets it just right. They cry on demand. The recite lines. They know how to portray what appears to be genuine emotion even when they aren't feeling those emotions. I don't view acting as roleplaying. The two are not mutually exclusive as I think some of the best actors likely do roleplay to some degree. But roleplay isn't a requirement IMO. I think it's easy to take the final product and read roleplay into it when there wasn't necessarily alot of it there.
  • 12:43 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The players control the fiction by what they have their characters (try to) do.But on your own account this isn't true. Because the GM can always narrate something else. As you're presenting it, all the players get to do is make suggestions that the GM may or may not follow up on. I suppose another way a GM might have handled a success roll would be to have the PCs find some financial papers in the desk that weren't incriminating at all.How is that possiby a success, given the declared action? It's obviously a failure - the PC has not got what s/he wanted (namely, incriminating financial documents). Why would the GM know any better than the players what is good for the fiction?Why wouldn't she? And sometimes she'll be right, and sometimes she won't; and the same can be said for the players. <snip> Isn't a GM allowed to have an occasional cool idea and throw it in? Or supply a twist? <snip> what about unintended and-or unexpected results? Are these not allowed?So when do th...

Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 08:32 AM - Sadras quoted Lanefan in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    That said, because you're dealing with small whole numbers it's not very granular and thus a whole lot of different weapons get shoehorned into doing d6 or d8 damage. 1e tried to mitigate this a bit by differentiating weapons vs armour type, and 3e kinda waved at differentiating between slash-pierce-bludgeon; but any such system is going to add lots of complication for, really, not all that much return. So in the end we kinda have to live with it. Additional weapon properties/traits/qualities is another way such as Bulk, Defensive, Fast, Hook, Nimble, Piercing, Staggering which could be added to the ones that are included already (Finesse, Range, Reach, Two-Handed...etc). These qualities could increase the scope of weapons +1 on AC or +1 vs Disarm or Trip, or dislodge opponents shield for a round, +1 additional damage for every 5 above the AC required, on a Crit opponents of x size roll DC 8+Prof+Str otherwise knock prone or imposed x Condition, bonus to initiative, damage opponents armou...

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 10:56 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I say, slightly in jest, "I search the Duke's desk for a huge ancient red dragon...." In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. what are we more interested in seeing - the players getting exactly what they ask for, or the players getting what they overall want? Because they are not omniscient, and what they ask for may not actually be what they wanted, needed, or could best use.As Ovinomancer has posted, this seems to assume that the fiction has a content that is independent of the players. But why would, or should, that be so? There is a demonstrable effect in the software industry which generalizes - when you ask someone what their problem is, what they are more likely to tell you is not the problem, but their preferred solution. That solution is generally either 1) the most common solution to similar problems or 2) the first solution that came to them when they had the problem, that's been rattling around in their head, so that their thinking is in a bit of a rut. Neither case is innovative, nor necessarily a *good* solution to the problem at hand.Why would the G...
  • 08:53 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Lanefan in post OSR Gripes
    Er...in 1e splint-and-shield by RAW gives AC 3, doesn't it?.Yes. Typo. Fixed. Thanks for catching that. (and by common house rule where shields give 2 AC points, that'd be AC 2). That's going to lower the odds of hitting a bit, and thus the DPRI'm not /intentionally/ using any common variants....
  • 08:43 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Quite right, and most often it will be. My point is simply to say that there's no good reason that it always has to be, hence my example of looking for one thing in the Duke's desk and finding another.Yes, there is good reason -- to allow the player control over what happens on a success. You may have a different preference, and that's fine, but there is a very good reason. Coming from the D&D mindset, I can easily understand how this doesn't seem workable, but this is based on the thinking that it's the GM's story being uncovered by play. Even in the sandbox play revolves around discovering the GM's built world. So, in this, giving player's reign over what success neans doesnt work because outcomes must match the GM's prepared ideas (or, at least, be compatible with them for some spontenaety). However, in a system where the player has authority over what success neabs, there are no such GM notes, or they are very malleable and shallow. Play determines where things go. To balance thi...
  • 06:40 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Lanefan in post OSR Gripes
    Tony Vargas , to compare apples to apples, what happens if you put up your happy little 1st-level Fighter against its clone (i.e. another Fighter-1 with all numbers exactly the same) in each edition?Well, I mean, OK. 1e: 1st level fighter, longsword & shield, splint, 16 STR, 14 CON: AC 3, 1-10 (5.5) hps, hits self on natural 17 for 2-9 (5.5) damage (1.1 DPR). 5e: 1st level fighter, longsword, starting package, duelist style, 16 STR, 14 CON: AC 18, 12 hps, hits self on natural 13 for 1d8+5(9.5) damage (3.8 DPR, 4.275 w/crits). Edit: thanks Lanefan
  • 01:24 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    the GM should have some latitude to narrate what form that success takes if something workable other than the player's direct intent suggests itselfWhy? You are looking before the dice were ever rolled and saying see this system covers all possible resolutions. The rest of us are looking at it after the dice are already rolled - and at that moment the range of possible resolutions are restricted.In a relatively traditional RPG a GM gets to establish a lot of fiction: much of the setting; many of the NPCs; the framing of many situations; the narration of failures; maybe other stuff too that I'm not thinking of at present. What is the function of successful checks if the GM also gets to establish what happens there too? in my example the PC does achieve what she hoped for: she found incriminating evidence against the Duke. That the evidence didn't take the exact form specified in the action declaration doesn't reduce the successI was just responding to what you posted: Player...
  • 08:14 AM - Monayuris quoted Lanefan in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    If memory serves, I believe IRL that if an unconscious person is put into the correct position to avoid choking it is in fact possible to get a liquid into him-her, as swallowing is a reflexive action much like breathing. Given that, no reason not to allow it in the game. :) My thought was that it was dangerous to do so. Perhaps I'm wrong on this. I will keep it a complaint, but maybe I should adjust my rulings on this, going forward. My largest complaint is that there are already so many ways to circumvent the threat of death in 5e that making potion administration so easy just adds to it.
  • 07:49 AM - Azzy quoted Lanefan in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    This leads into a whole other field of study, should one be so inclined, and that's to go through the Monster Manual, find all the cross-breed races (e.g. Tabaxi is part human, part cat), and then from there figure out what can in theory breed with what and-or have what in its bloodlines. Can, for example, a half-orc breed with a half-elf and produce an offspring that is genetically 1/4 elf, 1/4 orc, and the rest human? I did this a long time ago using 1e's MM, FF, and MMII; and the results were rather staggering: a chart on a big piece of paper with lines connecting inter-breedable races that ended up looking like a plate of spaghetti. And that's before throwing in things like shape-shifting deities (consider the myths of deities like Zeus and Loki impregnating humans), demons, devils, and the like. Ever since then, every character rolled up in my games gets a roll during char-gen to determine if there's anything unexpected in its bloodline - are you, for example, a distant descedant ...
  • 12:48 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Not quite, in my view. When the roll shows 'success' the GM is bound by that to narrate a successul outcome...of some sort. This successful outcome doesn't (or at least IMO shouldn't) necessarily have to directly match what the player had in mind* as long as the narration reflects an overall success for the PC. My example above, though not the best, tries to show this: the search doesn't find the incriminating financial records the PC was looking for but does find something else that's every bit as incriminating: the Southtor seal, which no loyal noble would normally have anything to do with. Specific goal of finding financial records: not met. Overall goal of finding incriminating evidence agains tthe Duke: met in spades. * - though most often it will anyway, as much of the time the success-failure outcomes of a given action are fairly obvious. This gets back to our old argument regarding what 'failure' represents; here you'd have a failure just become a different type of succe...

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 07:11 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    BW is explicit about the attempt portion; it also requires players to state the method and the intent... at least outside combat... and to agree before rolling on the outcome.The only problem I have with the rest as an overarching rule is that it by forcing agreement on possible outcomes before rolling it straitjackets the GM (and the player, to some extent) into a much narrower field of possible results, particularly on a success. Most of the time this won't matter - the action and intent and possible outcomes are rather obvious - but sometimes it's nice to be able to introduce a success outcome that isn't necessarily what the player/PC had in mind. A simple (and probably not stellar) example of such: Player: I carefully open the desk drawer and, disturbing as little as I can, search for any financial records that might help prove the Duke is receiving payments from Southtor (an enemy state). (GM nods; player rolls well into the success range) GM: Well, there don't appear to be any fina...


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