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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Today, 07:51 AM
    Without specific rules in 5e, spellcasting works normally underwater. There are no penalties of any kind such as disadvantage on the spellcaster's possible attack roll or advantage to the target's saving throw, and there are no concentration checks necessary. You can normally cast a spell that has verbal, somatic or material components underwater. Yes, also verbal component, because you can...
    18 replies | 330 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Today, 04:40 AM
    I was surprised there weren't more. I used to collect the series way back when we had a group playing in the setting. I think I have almost 170 of the books, without counting duplicates or variant editions (like the Annotated Legends, which might be my single favourite book of the bunch). Most of what I'm missing are the young reader books, which I'm not up to date on.
    18 replies | 477 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Today, 01:01 AM
    Yeah, a swarm of wraiths could really mess up your day. In fairness, 1e did generally assume a larger party size: parties of 6-9 PCs were commonplace. Most 0e-1e modules were written with this kind of party size in mind - check their intro notes and you'll see. It wasn't until 3e that the party of 4 PCs became the standard.
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:15 AM
    If they won initiative. But if they lost they'd be eating a 92-point blast of fire (46-point on a made save), with potential subsequent item losses on failing the initial save, when the dragon breathed on them before they got to act. Chances are that'd turn the 6-9 character party into a 3-7 character party, with each of the remaining characters down a bunch of h.p. and possibly down some...
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:00 AM
    And that's what makes them great!
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:43 AM
    And IMO the game works even better if some of those things are modified to be perhaps a bit less simplified and-or a bit more realistic. Ease of recovery is trivially simple to alter. Armour actually works not too badly as is. The turn-based system can be made much less rigid simply by rerolling initiative each round (and allowing ties). Adding a wound-vitality or body-fatigue system to HP...
    184 replies | 3890 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    There's one thing rather notably missing from any of the above write-up, which would if included end up slowing play considerably: social interaction; either between PCs and-or between PCs and NPCs. This is where a huge majority of characterization and character development occurs, to the point where if you intentionally strip it out you haven't got much R left in the RPG. Also, what happens...
    57 replies | 1447 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:33 AM
    Round here the general reaction I seem to recall was that the novels were OK but the modules were generally awful, in that a) they expected the PCs to be led by the nose far more than most modules of that era and b) for anyone who hadn't read the novels, large parts of them made little to no sense.
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:29 AM
    That 60% or 80% or even 99.5% of encounters were/are resolved by combat is not the point, at least not the one I'm getting at. My point is that in 1e by RAW all that combat would still, in a typical published module* and given typical play, only represent about of the x.p. you'd usually earn for the adventure; with a very small percentage coming from non-combat encounters and the vast...
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:17 AM
    side note So much for 5e's promise of reining in the numbers bloat - yikes! /side note
    184 replies | 3890 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:12 AM
    I'm not the world's fastest reader but I can get through a typical FR fiction book in one evening*. To have the game-at-table progress at that speed would be ludicrous. Hell, the players wouldn't even be able to get through a quarter of the spoken dialogue in that time, never mind the travel, exploration, information gathering, combats, and all the rest of what goes into the amount of...
    57 replies | 1447 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    Who cares? Internal consistency very much cares, in that it somewhat demands that the rule that was got wrong must then stay that way for the rest of the campaign such that the campaign/setting can be and remain consistent with itself. Which means, take the time to either a) get it right or b) think long and hard on the downstream ramifications of whatever wrong ruling you have in mind before...
    57 replies | 1447 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:13 AM
    It'd never get that far. During the second reload phase (or maybe even the first) one or both of the duelists would say screw this and just charge the other one with fists swinging...
    184 replies | 3890 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 10:32 PM
    I have to add my voice to the growing chorus here: how would (or could) this work with any kind of open-ended or sandbox-style game where the DM didn't have a pre-planned story in mind? I ask because if your idea is that ND&D only cater to the pre-planned story type of DM then it'll lose a very big - as in, enormous - core element that makes D&D as successful as it is: flexibility. As it is...
    57 replies | 1447 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:23 PM

    280 replies | 24393 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:31 AM
    Well, first off just because it's an Age of Sail setting doesn't mean conventional adventuring can't exist. In such a campaign the early levels could be maritime or navy based*, with the characters moving farther away from that as they advance (either that, or becoming fleet commanders etc.). * - it'd be easy, for example, to run U1-3 Saltmarsh series with the characters based on ships rather...
    184 replies | 3890 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:24 PM
    I haven't ever had this problem that I know of, but I use firefox. Maybe it's a chrome thing?
    25 replies | 450 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Same; on a desktop using firefox if that helps at all.
    79 replies | 4403 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    In fairness, I think Lylandra was referring to newbie players rather than characters. But yes, and back to the theme of system flexibility, 0-1-2e are far more flexible as regards in-party level variance than either 3e or 4e are; 5e has trended back towards this flexibility which is excellent. (EDIT: billd91 got to this ahead of me, upthread) And that brings up another issue I have with...
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:03 PM
    Agreed. Still is. A number of reasons, mostly revolving around not wanting characters getting rewards they don't deserve. Milestone levelling brings everyone up no matter how much they did (or didn't) contribute, where I much prefer the reward be more commensurate to the individual risk taken. I've used individual x.p. forever and I've yet to see it as discouraging newbies. If anything,...
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:54 PM
    My experience shows the kill rate to be more or less the same across the levels (except 1st level, which is higher); the difference is that higher-level types can either afford revival spells or have them available within the party, meaning that while the kill rate is the same there's much less actual character turnover. The cause of death changes - less come from direct combat, more from...
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:13 AM
    The word you're looking for is 'flexibility'. 0e-1e were flexible enough (yet, amazingly, robust enough in their own cobbled-together way) to handle almost anything you could throw at them. Couple that with a design ethos that didn't always take itself too seriously and the result is pure gold. Later editions started taking both themselves and the game far too seriously on the whole,...
    53 replies | 1604 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:00 AM
    I can think of three, of which Leatherhead already hit one and Ashrym narrowly missed another: Classical Roman/Greek sword-and-sandals (say, -200 to +200 era) Age of Fighting Sail (1750-1850 except neither the steam engine nor industrial revolution come along to ruin it) Full-on Steampunk (1875-1910 era)
    184 replies | 3890 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:53 AM
    Sources or not, though, Riley37 does - somewhat obliquely - raise an interesting point: reward mechanisms in RPGs have changed over the years, and it'd be interesting to know if there's ever been any competent research done on how playstyles adapt and morph as a result of these changes both within successive editions of a game and across the hobby as a whole. An easy example of what I'm...
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:19 PM
    My very simple answer to the thread-title question: because it isn't real. A fine corollary thread could and should be titled "Why aren't we OK with sex in RPGs", as I've seen numerous posts over the years in here from DMs who don't even allow inter-PC romance, never mind sex.
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:59 PM
    Keanu sounds so excited to be part of the game.
    3 replies | 529 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:49 AM
    Just because violence is in the game, it doesn't mean that all possible violence has to be in the game. In all my D&D games, certain kinds of violence will never be featured (rape is one, anything specifically against children is another), and other kinds can be mentioned but are not narrated in detail (torture).
    272 replies | 7098 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:41 AM
    Good-only Paladins, and Nymphs that can kill you just by being looked at.
    77 replies | 2766 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Lore I'd like to see 'officially' reintroduced: Some settings from 2e - Mystara/Known World and Birthright just to name a couple - and their associated lore. The idea that some races or species simply cannot be some classes e.g. no Dwarf Wizards, and the lore that backs this up. Racial antipathy (some others here already hit this one) And then there's one piece of lore I'd like to see...
    77 replies | 2766 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    This was and is all fine. The problem with Pallies as written is that having one in the party forces all the other players to play characters who the Pally will find acceptable...which means not only no evil characters allowed but no chaotics either. Bleah! After about 25 years of humming and hawing I finally redesigned Paladins last year such that they can be any one of the four extreme...
    77 replies | 2766 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:03 PM
    Games I've read and-or own but would decline to play based solely on that reading: 4e D&D. Pathfinder. Various d20 knockoffs. Late-era 2e D&D with all the splat. 3e and 3.5e D&D are games I've played so thus don't qualify for this list, though I'm not sure I'd ever want to play either again.
    75 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:48 PM
    Probably true, but as the thread title not only includes the word 'literary' but highlights it, it only follows that some time then has to be spent nailing down a) what the OP specifically meant by the word and b) what the word means to everyone else in general. These two things so far don't appear to be the same, and this difference represents about 500 posts so far. And even this comes down...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:23 PM
    I'd say that's a matter of opinion. Without words, there is no framing; and without the right words the framing very likely isn't going to come off in the manner intended. Perhaps, but it's still a slimy creature with big teeth and an attitude that the PCs have to deal with in whatever manner they see fit. I'm saying it's possible to present the creature as consequential etc. without even...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:02 AM
    I keep them as saves, Reflex save, fortitude save, Will save. I just redefine saves as DCs for enemy attacks. The beauty of this all is that 4e has such a precise and clinical language -in order to avoid interpretation- that natural language can describe basically the same while looking wildly different.
    320 replies | 11043 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    Umm, let's see now. What I said was that Bethesda brought nothing new to the table. Fallout 76 isn't new, and we already knew there's going to be a steady supply of stuff coming for it, E3 or not. Ghostwire isn't made by Bethesda. Neither is Deathloop. Doom Eternal we already knew about (theres's been gameplay videos posted of it for months by players), and they already made the "story...
    8596 replies | 441062 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    Maybe I was a bit harsh judging the thing by those two companies. The rest of it has been pretty ok. Still very low hype level for me.
    8596 replies | 441062 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:15 AM
    Where I wouldn't mind some of this. :) Comes down to expected pacing, as so many of these things seem to end up doing: it's an open-ended game* with no set schedule for what adventuring has to be done by when; and if long-winded descriptions of what, why and how a character does something is what keeps (a) player(s) engaged, I'd say to the DM "Sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and let it...
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:09 AM
    I can bring my experience of teaching D&D 5e to our own kids, and also both 3e and 5e to many adult beginners/casual gamers, but I'll focus on the purpose of teaching a 10yrs (my youngest were actually younger when we started playing). You are absolutely right to avoid excessive rules explanations at all costs. In fact, I suggest you teach nothing about the rules before starting. It's not...
    19 replies | 596 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    Though sometimes, "just another creepy monster" - something new that the PCs (and players!) haven't seen or heard of before - is exactly what's required at the time. As in: DM rolls give a random encounter, DM quickly thinks to self: "Hmmm. Do I throw yet another monster at 'em that they've seen and beaten a hundred times before, or do I dream up something brand new right now that suits the...
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:04 AM
    According to gog.com's bestselling games list Cyberpunk 2077 is selling like crazy. It has already sold more copies on gog than games like Saints Row 3, the Hitman series, or Mirror's Edge (and those are all a lot cheaper). The bulk of the games ahead of it have been on gog for ever (number one right now is Heroes of Might and Magic 3). On steam's top selling list the game is number one, but...
    3 replies | 529 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Is the E3 happening now the worst one ever? I've never been so bored watching the coverage. Like, EA somehow managed to bring in a Star Wars game that really does look pretty good and make me not excited for it. Bethesda's entire thing was them patting themselves on the back without having anything new on the table.
    8596 replies | 441062 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 09:31 AM
    Even that's counterintuitive, as 15 - 18 = -3, not +3. You skipped mentioning the step that says 'reverse the +/- on the answer given by the formula to get the AC you'll hit'. Either that, or you got it backwards and it should be .
    166 replies | 5523 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:37 AM
    The game just became available for preorder and now there's a date as well. It says "playable on April 16, 2020". :cool:
    3 replies | 529 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    One thing that occurred to me via seeing a few posts a couple of pages back is this: One thing a description or narration should strive for, however else it's delivered or phrased, is to answer any obvious questions before they need to be asked. The example given was, I think, something like "You enter a room. Passages exit to the north and west. There's a staff." in its simplified form. ...
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:44 AM
    Situationally dependent. As far as possible I try to have enough prep done well ahead of time (as in, even as far back as setting design) that a session can largely run itself if it has to; meaning that if they're either in mid-adventure (meaning the adventure's already as prepped as it's going to be) or in town during downtime I can largely wing it all. But, if I have to prep something and...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:33 AM
    Candians - from Candyland, maybe? ;)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    Oh, I'm all about the practical - but I also don't mind if it's dressed up a bit when and where it can be. I also freely admit to being myself rather poor at doing so when I DM. I blame beer. :)
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:30 AM
    10. Slow-Motion Overthrow: Some halfway-powerful individual (a Mage, when I used this one) wants to overthrow the King and take his throne. The villain is patient and is running this as a 5-10 year operation; he also realizes the biggest threat to his plans will be mid-to-high level adventurers. But, he also knows that if he can kill off or drive away all the local low-level adventurers now...
    7 replies | 379 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:12 AM
    If they want to go murderhobo, then murderhobo they go. I-as-DM am not going to stop them in the metagame: they can play their characters however they want. Consequences in-game will (or won't) arise depending on the in-game situation - what was done, and-or to whom, and-or whether there were survivors and-or witnesses to tell the tale, and-or whether the PCs can be found, and-or whether...
    24 replies | 915 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 09:59 AM
    Ahead of? No As a part of? Certainly! Quality prose, unless completely overdone, is far more likely to add interest than diminish it.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 09:55 AM
    Following quote altered slightly by addition of numbers to make my response easier to parse... Where I say a GM should focus on using 2 to make 1 more interesting and-or immersive and-or exciting whenever she can, because 1 is always going to be there no matter what and at whatever quality it was going to be at anyway. Why not dress it up a little?
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 11:05 PM
    I've been playing Thronebreaker. Last time I had this much fun with a card game on a computer was at the end of the 90's playing the Magic the Gathering adventure game. There's a lot of similar game elements in both (like the light roleplaying between battles).
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 09:09 PM
    I'm melting. It's 35 celsius here. Those are southern Italy numbers, my goodness. Wish I was in southern Italy, I could at least be melting on a proper beach.
    8596 replies | 441062 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Update: for me at least, things seem to be working again as normal at the moment - I can give xp, reply-with-quote works, and so on - though it seems a bit slower than before.
    79 replies | 4403 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure THAC0 was kicking around in Basic before this - which probably explains some of the confusion, as many of us kinda lumped Basic and AD&D together at the time mostly by using Basic modules in AD&D games. This, however, I don't mind - it reflects the warrior learning more about the foe she's facing as the combat goes on. And there's still some guesswork...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 04:56 PM
    I'm thinking we're seeing different behaviour from different browsers to the http/https switch. Have you tried clearing your browsers cache? (I doubt that that's the issue, but you never know)
    79 replies | 4403 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 04:48 PM
    testing quote
    79 replies | 4403 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 02:45 PM
    Dad called me over to his house to help fix something. Wouldn't say what it was on the phone. I get there, and there's a hole in the wall. He was trying to hammer in a nail for a painting, but the hammer went right through. Over here the walls are usually pretty damn solid (my previous home I spent an hour trying to drill a hole for a mirror, broke two drill heads), so that's not normal.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:18 AM
    Is isn't. But I still never used THAC0, for two reasons - one philosophical and one practical. Philosophical reason: both as player and DM I want the combat matrix (or later, BAB) to be DM-side info rather than player-side. Practical reason: for me as DM it puts in an extra unnecessary step in figuring out whether an attack hits or not; that step in fact being that I have to start the...
    166 replies | 5523 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:07 AM
    Problem with that was - and still is - those adjustments can change back and forth fifteen times within a single session! Someone casts Strength on you - change adjustments, and again when it wears off You're firing a missile instead of swinging an axe - change adjustments (unless your Str and Dex just happen to give you the same to-hit bonus) Your axe is +2, your bow is +1 and your sword is...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:55 AM
    However, as there's times when it does matter, wouldn't it be best policy to treat these things - clarity of narration, inclusion of all relevant material, and good enough wordsmithery to hold the players' interest - as if they matter all the time and just get them right?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:47 PM
    Can't xp those who reported the same issues I'm having, so they'll have to be virtual xp this time. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:41 PM
    In part that's why I've never used THAC0. :) Which, going in to any battle, I posit you shouldn't; though figuring it out as the combat goes along is fine - it reflects the in-combat knowledge-gathering of your fighter. Same happens if you don't know the actual cutoff point - a high roll gets the hit, a low roll doesn't, with the added benefit of some tension on middling rolls when you're...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:29 PM
    Which very neatly gets you out of having to describe much detail at all, as the mechanics can cover all sorts of things at once. Mechanics like this are a cop-out, I think - instead of just calling for Brawn tests (low granularity of detail) I'd far rather be told the actual situation and then asked what my character specifically does about it (higher granulartity of detail). 'How shallow?'...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:23 PM
    I also notice that when I go to edit a post I have all of the text editing functionality enabled and working. Edit: hmm, actually that doesn't apply for every post. Odd.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:21 PM
    How: 1. I click the little content warning icon in the top right on Opera to open it. 2. I click the unblock button to bypass it. 3. I reload the page. 4. Experience
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 07:38 PM
    Wayback Machine has this: https://web.archive.org/web/20060720171136/http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=197789 Only the very first page seems to load.
    1 replies | 203 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    I'm on Opera and I get an "Insecure Content" warning when I open the website, which isn't supposed to occur when the site is in https. That warning should be specific to http-sites. And yes, I have checked that I'm on the https version when the warning occurs.
    79 replies | 4403 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:04 PM
    Are you referring to this? https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659872-News-Digest-Magic-The-Gathering-TV-Series-Announced-Baldur-s-Gate-Video-Game-Tease-UK-Games-Expo-Controversy-and-more! That's in the tabletop rpg forum, and the monster title meant that it never caught my attention.
    7 replies | 419 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 05:52 PM
    I really like Larian's sense of humour. :)
    7 replies | 419 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:46 AM
    jonesy replied to THE SWAMP THING
    I'm seeing reports that despite critical acclaim the show has just been cancelled. Am confused.
    6 replies | 306 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:55 AM
    How else do you do it? It's not like the combat matrix is player-side information. In this instance telling the DM your THAC0 is needless info for her. Just tell her your roll and your then-applicable bonuses and-or penalties; and she'll worry about a) the combat matrix and b) any bonuses/penalties that you don't know about. Why? Less for the players to worry about, and once you've done...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:49 AM
    Which represents a big underlying philosophy shift: it moves that information from the DM side (combat matrix) to the player side. I'd rather it stayed with the DM.
    166 replies | 5523 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:42 AM
    I'm about as old-school as it gets and I've never used or liked THAC0. As a DM, I just use the 'rule of 21' (if the roll + bonuses - penalties + target's AC + attacker's fight level (a.k.a. BAB) adds to 21 or higher it's a hit). As a player, I'd rather let the DM worry about it. It's what she's there for. :) EDIT TO ADD: That said, I've never yet had a problem with the concept of...
    166 replies | 5523 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    You still need to paint the picture and make it all clear somehow, even if the players are already fully engaged. Why? Because if you don't you'll end up with players imagining or "seeing" the same situation in completely different ways both from each other and (worse) from you the DM, and reacting to it based on their own interpretation of what you-as-DM said. I've had this happen...
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 12:07 AM
    https://www.pcgamesn.com/baldurs-gate-3/larian-developer-interview https://www.pcgamer.com/baldurs-gate-3-everything-we-know/
    7 replies | 419 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:37 PM
    From Larian Studios, the makers of the brilliant Divinity rpg franchise:
    7 replies | 419 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    SO have a mental defense and a physical defense?
    320 replies | 11043 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:48 PM
    How about two levels of support? And doing it over the weekend?
    320 replies | 11043 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:06 PM
    At this point I believe many here believe it is doable in principle. We just disagree on how. How about we make it a challenge? NaNoWriMo Style? (Ok, not exactly that). We establish an start point and an end point (could be two weeks, could be a month). The challenge, to write a clone using OGC, four races, four classes, combat rules, skill rules, ten levels of feats and support, and a sample...
    320 replies | 11043 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 03:30 PM
    It's still a patch, and not a good one like Divine Soul/Shadow Magic (it costs a feat/ASI). Ritual Caster is a good feat on itself -it obviously closes the utility gap-, but it shouldn't be taken into account when weighting class against class. I mean, give ritual caster to a Champion Fighter, that particular fighter gets utility on par with a wizard. Would you say that because of Ritual Caster...
    124 replies | 7485 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:51 AM
    Well, not yet they haven't. All they've done at this point is shown interest and, in effect, said "show me more". That said, if they keep coming back to subsequent sessions of the same game then yes, they've bought it. :) True; and one of those reasons could well be the quality of the DM's narration. Is it flowery or is it dumbed-down? (too much of either could send players packing) Is...
    1470 replies | 39933 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:50 AM
    Taking the Ritual Caster feat is a capitulation, it means giving up the most essential part of what means to be a sorcerer. The in world description of a sorcerer is a magical creature in (demi)human form, there is no room for a book in there. If you take Ritual Caster you are a wizard period. Maybe some people don't care about the flavor of what it means to be a sorcerer, but a sorcerer isn't...
    124 replies | 7485 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Orius's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 11:25 PM
    Core yes. But I'm talking core, and splats, and PO, and that's not even getting into supplements. That was a problem for me BitD when I didn't have enough experience to balance and customize things properly. These days, I can handle that better, but much of what I want to do 3e does already.
    162 replies | 6533 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:22 AM
    If you liked Volo's for the monsters, I think you will also like Mordenkainen's, even tho it doesn't have the in-depth monsters ecology chapters as Volo's, it still has plenty of monsters to use (the demon princes of nearly-unusable CRs are just a few pages). I think you can easily look at book previews just googling for them, so that you get a better idea at the page counts of different...
    33 replies | 1147 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:17 AM
    No, the world exists for ME, the DM!
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 03:46 AM
    This is why I propose the "innovation" of giving some stats the chance to apply to a second defense so this situation doesn't happen. If you have the STR/CON pair, then Str can apply to Ref, if you have INT/DEX, int can apply to Will, if you have Cha/Wis, Wis can apply to Fort.
    320 replies | 11043 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    Yes, for several reasons: 1. Not everything that happens in the setting is dictated or even affected by what the PCs happen to do or not do. The world is bigger than they are. That said, obviously at the table more attention is paid to things the PCs do and-or affect. 2. An NPC now could become a PC later. By that I mean if John's character dies at 7th level and doesn't come back John...
    44 replies | 1277 view(s)
    0 XP
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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...

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 11:35 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You don't get to just invent definitions in order to win the internet. At the very least, I have no obligation to humor you and your fictional definition. It was Lanefan's definition, and it was the impetus fir this spur of the discussion. I neither invented it, nor particularly cared for it because there are examples of RPGs without Lanefan's defined role. Just like there are RPGs without your preferred role. I don't believe for one second that you forgot the second part of the definition. ", in particular by narrating the details of the story that are not controlled by the players." Stop your disingenuous arguments. Oh, Max. Didn't you just say the GM is also a player in your special pleading against hawkeyefan? Yet, here you are backing off of that so you can special plead against me. And, I'm disingenuous? It's not like I've tried to agree with you twice, now, on a good point but you're still arguing the infallability of internet dictionaries. Hete's a clearer example of the circle in your argument: Q: What are the properties of a field? A: They have cows in them. Q: What's a cow? A: Cows are things in fields, particularly things di...

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 09:02 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...7;(m)ˌmastər/ noun noun: game master a person who organizes and oversees a role-playing game, in particular by narrating the details of the story that are not controlled by the players." When those players in Fiasco create scenes, decide results, and play NPCs for the scene of the active player, they are stepping out of the role of player and into the GM role. Then this is true of all games, which still aligns with my argument, even though you've decided to ignore the definition that was provided and spurred this side discussion and substituted your own. It doesn't change my point -- after you've shared this role out to everyone, then it's now part of all games, including solo games. And, it also completely skips over your last argument that a GM sets up scenes. Can you pick a point to settle on, please? I didn't. I corrected someone quoting a wrong definition at me. No, you didn't, Max. I was using the definition that sparked this discussion, given by Lanefan. You switched to a different (although not really) definition, and are now trying to make not reading your mind the fault of others.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 04:50 AM - uzirath mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Almost. It also qualifies that as "especially" valued for superior or lasting artistic merit. That word "especially" allows for crappy literature as a part of the first definition. I looked up "literature" specifically, rather than "literary." (This was in response to Lanefan's statement: "If it's words on paper, it's literature.") Even for "literary," though, the "esp." qualifier suggests that the term is commonly used in a more selective fashion. It can certainly be used more broadly and often is (as is the word "literature"). My only point is that it's hardly new or unusual for speakers to limit it to mean written works "of the kind valued for quality of form."

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 04:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    tell us about how you see RPGs working. For instance, what do you see as the role of situation in RPGing. Why do you think the narratie crat with which a situation is presented is so important?What is it that you think we've been doing this whole time? It's not engaging in playstyle wars or pushing a playstyle agenda.To elaborate on my question, then: upthread Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree? What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to which players and/or PCs will engage with them. Do you agree? Upthread Hussar has complained about players who just want the GM to "roll up the plot wagon". What do you think the players have a duty to bring to the table? For instance, do you think the players have a duty to be enthusiastic about the situation the GM presents? Not at all far upthread Bedrockgame posited a contrast between GM as storyteller/entertainer and GM as facilitator/adjudicator. Do you think this is a useful contrast? If so, which side of it do you favour? If not, why not? Upthread - both a long way upthread, and in my past few posts - I've made some comments about what I see as possible tensions between a GM issuing an invitation to respond via narration and a GM aiming at literary quality in his/her narration. Do you agree that those tensions obtain? If so, what do you do about it? If no, why not...

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 03:21 PM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Thanks for this clarification (I had a similar question to @pemerton). I would have been a solid 10 for this in my gaming years in high school, college, and in my twenties. Now, in my forties, time is at more of a premium and gaming is more infrequent, so I do like to see the plot moving. But I'd still likely be at a 7-8. I do love it when role-playing happens during a game for no purpose other than to have a good time exploring our characters. My only hesitation is that I often find that this works best when it arises spontaneously. I'm less interested in the idea of everyone doing their homework and then sharing the cool stories they created than I am in spontaneously generated material in response to unexpected questions and prompts. I'm in between you and Lanefan I don't mind taking time to discuss old times with other PCs, but I'm also going to want to talk to the captain about what we can expect on the voyage and at the port we are heading to. Perhaps climb up the crows nest and watch for ships in the distance with the crew member, while talking to him about the captain and other officers, in order to get a better gauge on what kind of people they are. And so on. I don't mind the entire session being discussion, but I don't want to spend the entire time just shooting the breeze amongst the other players.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 10:53 AM - Hussar mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Well said Lanefan. One of my biggest pet peeves is when one player turns to another at the table and says, "What race is your character again? Were you human or elf?" Because, to me, that just screams that the performance of that player is so flat and uninteresting that the fact that this character isn't even human isn't readily apparent at the table. I'm not talking about someone simply forgetting. We all do that. I'm talking about the other three or four players at the table having zero idea what species the character is. It drives me straight up the wall. Granted, it's a pet peeve, so, it bothers me more than it probably should, but, it does get to the heart of what we're talking about. The performance/presentation/whateverdahellyawannacallit is so flat and uninspired that folks at the table have zero idea what you are actually portraying.

Saturday, 4th May, 2019

  • 02:00 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Lanefan This is all well and good....although the Non-Living Meat Ward seems to be about as troubling as Otilukeís OCD Sequential Backpack Exploder spell! Iíll grant you that the D&D method ďbeatsĒ the Blades method in relation to sequentiality. Iíll say that I absolutely understand the reason that you prefer that method. My point is that the Blades method ďbeatsĒ the D&D method in that it reflects the knowledge and capability of the character and removes the limitation that the playerís knowledge places on the character. So, given this, would you agree that each method appeals to realism, albeit a different aspect of realism? And if you can, then can you see why Iím saying that which works best for a given person is just a matter of preference? If not, then please quantify the two methods for me using an actual metric other than opinion in order to prove one is more realistic than the other.
  • 10:24 AM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Lanefan, I find that there is sometimes disconnect between your assumption regarding how D&D should be played and how other tables often play it: i.e., your play preference vs. broader play praxis. Equipment is one such case. At many tables I have seen, and this may also be a generational thing (though hopefully you can refrain from past condescending attitudes about "newer" players), the table doesn't really care about the equipment/resource minigame. The DM/Table may simply rule that a player having a particular piece of equipment is reasonable though it was never previously established on the character sheet, in the fiction, etc.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 09:10 AM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ... and be good to go again (e.g. a hockey player does a shift on the ice, recovers for a few minutes on the bench, and is good to go for another shift) but if your finger gets mashed that's gonna hurt for days.I don't necessarily think that it matters. From what I recall, and maybe Maxperson can clarify his views, but he plays (per RAW) in 5E that the first half of hit point loss is luck, fatigue, abstracted that do not reflect actually being "hit" while the second half of hit point loss are "meat" hits. However, 5E does not make a distinction with how the first half (fatigue/luck) are recovered versus how the second half (meat) are recovered. In fact I am not sure if D&D makes a distinction between the recovery of HP. The closest is maybe subdual damage from 3E though subdual represents damage inflicted meant to subdue. Star Wars in 3E distinguished between wounds and HP. One could make the argument that D&D does this by distinguishing between HP damage and ability score damage. But Lanefan, I'm not sure that this is a clear cut valid point at least without not scrutinizing the assumptions that our own games (namely D&D) about these sort of things.

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 03:26 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I think people are capable of recognizing reality in an imagined space, and if they can recognize reality when they "see" it, they can recognize shifts in it. It can't really be quantified for the reasons I've given, but they can tell if something is becoming more or less realistic. But, if you read the posts earlier discussing the way BitD introduces an element into the game via its architecture and mechanics which could be seen as more realistic, but where that realism is in terms of 'authenticity of the narrated outcome' vs 'authenticity of the process' (which Lanefan argued for) then you must know that at least these two deeply differing sorts of realism exist, and yet not everyone seems to recognize them, or consider them to be effective at increasing authenticity. It is really just not as simple as 'subsystem X which arbitrates injection of element Y into the game, where element Y exists in the real world is the definition of realism and everyone recognizes that'. Where that true, then your criticisms, or those of lowkey13 etc. would all be super accurate, but they're not because there really truly is no one single agreement about this. Ovinomancer cares about reality of outcomes, but Lanefan cares about process (and I assume he would say that outcomes take care of themselves to some degree).

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 03:59 PM - Zhaleskra mentioned Lanefan in post How much do you care about "balanced" dice?
    Lanefan I would never destroy a die that has been rolling poorly for me, though I do "ground" dice that continue to fail me sometimes. Even though the grounding period may be over, some still haven't hit a table, if only because I'm not playing in person as much.
  • 05:09 AM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Interesting... Don't you guys (I mean you, Lanefan, and there have been a couple others) often discuss things in terms of playing a game in which the PCs are NOT picked out by fate. Where in fact they are simply nobody special, unless perhaps they actual manage to forcefully inject themselves into the wheels of fate (and I would assume this to be a difficult process which rarely succeeds). So, I wouldn't think you would advocate for the use of encounter tables which would require such an interpretation. I mean, even in a 'you are nobody' type of game maybe PCs draw a little attention, make a few enemies, etc. and see more action than Joe Farmer, and I doubt you'd find that objectionable to a certain degree. Still, I am just curious what your take is on this Gygaxian/Anesian design element which was particularly prominent in AD&D. While I have a similar playstyle to Lanefan and some others, we do have our differences. I like that the PCs are heroes of destiny. What I don't do is have only people of destiny allowed to be members ...
  • 03:55 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    The same goes for any system in which the PCs encounter lots of monsters/deadly encounters, which is a good many of them, probably most, and maybe even all of them. It helps to think of the PCs as fated in some way. THEY encounter deadly things with this kind of frequency, but the world at large generally does not. The tables are built for them. Interesting... Don't you guys (I mean you, Lanefan, and there have been a couple others) often discuss things in terms of playing a game in which the PCs are NOT picked out by fate. Where in fact they are simply nobody special, unless perhaps they actual manage to forcefully inject themselves into the wheels of fate (and I would assume this to be a difficult process which rarely succeeds). So, I wouldn't think you would advocate for the use of encounter tables which would require such an interpretation. I mean, even in a 'you are nobody' type of game maybe PCs draw a little attention, make a few enemies, etc. and see more action than Joe Farmer, and I doubt you'd find that objectionable to a certain degree. Still, I am just curious what your take is on this Gygaxian/Anesian design element which was particularly prominent in AD&D.


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Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 03:29 AM - Maxperson quoted Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Yeah, a swarm of wraiths could really mess up your day. In fairness, 1e did generally assume a larger party size: parties of 6-9 PCs were commonplace. Most 0e-1e modules were written with this kind of party size in mind - check their intro notes and you'll see. It wasn't until 3e that the party of 4 PCs became the standard. Well, my example was for 4. If you're at 6-9 we up the number of dragons and treasure is all. The math still works out the same as far as XP from monsters vs. XP from treasure.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 03:50 PM - ART! quoted Lanefan in post Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels?
    There's one thing rather notably missing from any of the above write-up, which would if included end up slowing play considerably: social interaction; either between PCs and-or between PCs and NPCs. This is where a huge majority of characterization and character development occurs, to the point where if you intentionally strip it out you haven't got much R left in the RPG. Also, what happens if the PCs lose a battle they're supposed to win? Does the prepared narration have branches and tracks to account for this? Yeah, there would have to be some sort of "decision tree" guide for the GM. The option could be like GM Moves or Condition Moves in PbtA games (like the much-mentioned Dungeon World), where the option is described somewhat vaguely as a general direction, maybe with some automatic things that happen and the rest open to interpretation. DW and other PbtA games do some or a lot of what's TH is after here, but not everything. Okay thanks - I'm barely familiar with Dungeon World...
  • 12:44 PM - Ancalagon quoted Lanefan in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    And IMO the game works even better if some of those things are modified to be perhaps a bit less simplified and-or a bit more realistic. Ease of recovery is trivially simple to alter. Armour actually works not too badly as is. The turn-based system can be made much less rigid simply by rerolling initiative each round (and allowing ties). Adding a wound-vitality or body-fatigue system to HP in the name of realism is easy - it must be, 'cause we've done it and we ain't no hifalutin' game designers. :) As for firearms, I certainly perceive them in reality as being more deadly than melee weapons: if I'm unarmed and someone's pointing a gun at me from beyond my reach I'm screwed, but if someone rushes at me with a sword I feel like I've at least got a chance to do something about it.About your last paragraph, I disagree. Handguns in particular are inaccurate and under powered. There is also the situation of the shooter having "the bead" on you, which is not a given.
  • 12:34 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Not helped at all by the fact that in the beginning - i.e. 0e and Basic - Lawful *was* Good; as there was no good-evil axis. Just three alignments: Lawful (implied good), Neutral, Chaotic (implied evil). Very Medieval in that sense and it's a direct lift from Three Hearts and Three Lions as well as Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion books. One could argue that the relative Evilness lies in who the hobos murder, and why. Are they, for example, quite well-behaved in town and only killing everything when out in the field - where often everything is trying its best to kill them in return? Being ruthless in the field is one thing, but murder hoboism often seems to go well beyond that, though, as one says, there are degrees. I have less problem with being ruthless out in the field, but even there things can go strange. I do think there's no substitute for knowing the table, though. A DM who constantly throws moral dilemmas (e.g., what to do about the orcish dependents?) to a table that's ju...
  • 10:52 AM - Hussar quoted Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    If they won initiative. But if they lost they'd be eating a 92-point blast of fire (46-point on a made save), with potential subsequent item losses on failing the initial save, when the dragon breathed on them before they got to act. Chances are that'd turn the 6-9 character party into a 3-7 character party, with each of the remaining characters down a bunch of h.p. and possibly down some items as well. That evens the odds a bit... :) Not every party would want to risk getting hammered that hard, and so would look for ways to somehow lure the dragon away from its lair or somehow else make that treasure accessible without a direct confrontation. Meh, the dragon had a non-zero chance of being asleep when you got there. :D And, again, given that level of a party, you've got so much fire protection that the breath weapon is a joke. And, let's not forget, we're cherry picking the biggest non-unique monster in the 1e monster manual here. Most other monsters were nowhere near this dang...

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 01:41 PM - Maxperson quoted Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Perhaps, though one definition of a true CN is a (non-destructive/violent) extreme anarchist who in fact does actively seek to overturn any and all external laws and restrictions, to be replaced with personal responsibility for one's actions. A CG one sure would; a CN might stretch the definition of 'harm' just a little particularly when it comes to property - assuming, of course, the CN even believes in the concept of property/goods ownership at all. (some hardcore anarchists see ownership as the root of all evil) Such an individual would die fairly quickly in a D&D setting, as it's literally him against the world. Even here in the U.S. it generally doesn't work out well for them, we had the Unibomber, but most of the "Anarchists" don't actually do anything but complain, since they don't want to die or be jailed.
  • 12:04 PM - Hussar quoted Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    That 60% or 80% or even 99.5% of encounters were/are resolved by combat is not the point, at least not the one I'm getting at. My point is that in 1e by RAW all that combat would still, in a typical published module* and given typical play, only represent about [20%? 30%?] of the x.p. you'd usually earn for the adventure; with a very small percentage coming from non-combat encounters and the vast majority (i.e. all the rest) coming from treasure. * - possible exceptions being the G1-2-3 series; 1e Giants absolutely bleed x.p. Well, kinda sorta. Sure, the total would only be a small percentage of kill xp. Monsters weren't worth that much xp. But, in order to get that other percentage - the GP value - by and large you did it by killing the monster that was guarding it. So, yeah, the percentages were mostly for treasure, I totally agree. But, in order to get that treasure, most of the time, the solution was to beat on the xp pinata until it broke and you picked up the coins. :D ...
  • 11:37 AM - CapnZapp quoted Lanefan in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    So much for 5e's promise of reining in the numbers bloat - yikes! Of that +45, +15 comes from three times the maximum attribute modifier (3x5). The rest (+30) comes from probably the worst feat of the game. The short version: just remove Crossbow Expert. The long version: start here.
  • 01:56 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Actually, I do. If you're playing, with any consistency and without some underlying reason, what to all appearances is a CG character but it says LN on your sheet, then as far as I'm concerned you're CG and that's what detection spells etc. are going to pull from you. about all I can say positive about that is that itís a great argument for keeping alignment non-mechanical.
  • 01:24 AM - Charlaquin quoted Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    For my part, what the player writes on the character sheet is only relevant for the first while*, until I-as-DM have seen the character in action and made my own determination of its alignment as played; which trumps what's on the sheet. And sometimes what I see is a long way from what the player wrote down! :) * - during this time I also have no problem at all with a character somewhat-arbitrarily changing alignment if the player's initial idea for the character isn't working out. After this breaking-in period, alignment change - be it voluntary of forced - can have consequences particularly for some classes. Interesting. I do something similar, but I treat the alignment on the character sheet as the characterís ideals. It is, in effect, a statement of intent. The player picked Lawful Good (or whatever) because they envisioned their character as someone who holds Law and Good as noble values, and strives to live up to them. However, people donít always succeed at living up to their own ide...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 11:27 PM - robus quoted Lanefan in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Well, first off just because it's an Age of Sail setting doesn't mean conventional adventuring can't exist. In such a campaign the early levels could be maritime or navy based*, with the characters moving farther away from that as they advance (either that, or becoming fleet commanders etc.). * - it'd be easy, for example, to run U1-3 Saltmarsh series with the characters based on ships rather than onshore. Ditto X1 Isle of Dread or any other adventure set near the sea. Ah I was thinking it would entail a less fantastical adventuring world.
  • 05:13 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    I disagree. If your character is consistent, reliable, dependable and never impulsive, in what way is that character chaotic? What about any of those descriptors would lead an observer to the conclusion that this character is chaotic? As far as ďpolicingĒ goes, Iím not really sure where you are getting that. I guess my question to the player would be the same as my question to you - if this character never does anything that would be described as chaotic, then how is this character chaotic? If the chaotic character acts exactly the same as the lawful character then why bother with the distinction? you seem to think that the chaotic alignment imposes severe mental instability on a character. That is not the case. Itís as simple as that, really. You also continue to invent arguments to refute, instead of addressing what I and others are actually putting in our posts. That isnít useful. A chaotic character can work as part of a team, because a chaotic character isnít some sort of comic ...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 09:58 PM - Umbran quoted Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    And that brings up another issue I have with milestone levelling - lower level characters can never "catch up". The thing about milestone leveling that breaks the association of levels to combat is that it gets applied when you reach the milestone, *however* you reach the milestone. It doesn't have to be "you gain a level when you hit a milestone." It can be, "you gain some number of XP when you hit a milestone." And I think that fixes all the issues with milestone leveling you mention. People who are behind still catch up - they gain the same XP as those at higher level. Items or wishes that add or remove levels are then of no difficulty, as you still refer to the XP chart.
  • 11:17 AM - Morrus quoted Lanefan in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Also, a DM who bans CN as an alignment is a DM in whose game I wouldn't play Now I have to recall that fancy gold-embossed invitation I sent you.
  • 09:52 AM - Bagpuss quoted Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Sources or not, though, @Riley37 does - somewhat obliquely - raise an interesting point: reward mechanisms in RPGs have changed over the years, and it'd be interesting to know if there's ever been any competent research done on how playstyles adapt and morph as a result of these changes both within successive editions of a game and across the hobby as a whole. An easy example of what I'm talking about: early-days D&D was very risky for the PCs and gave x.p. for treasure recovered. This put a strong focus on looting every shred of valuable material from the dungeon ("Greyhawking" was, I think, the term for this), and so the foundational goals of play were to a) survive and b) get rich. Exactly in the early days avoiding conflict to gain treasure was one of the better ways of getting XP, because of the risk vs reward, was significantly less than getting into a fight. I remember scouting was a very popular strategy in those days. A pushback aginst this trend has seen the development of non-...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 10:59 PM - Riley37 quoted Lanefan in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    A fine corollary thread could and should be titled "Why aren't we OK with sex in RPGs", as I've seen numerous posts over the years in here from DMs who don't even allow inter-PC romance, never mind sex. Hard disagree. You have clear evidence that SOME of us aren't OK with sex in RPGs. Do not confuse "some of us" with "all of us". That leads to treating the rest of us as "not really us", which is all too often a step towards humanity at its worst.

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 06:53 PM - Manbearcat quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Though sometimes, "just another creepy monster" - something new that the PCs (and players!) haven't seen or heard of before - is exactly what's required at the time. As in: DM rolls give a random encounter, DM quickly thinks to self: "Hmmm. Do I throw yet another monster at 'em that they've seen and beaten a hundred times before, or do I dream up something brand new right now that suits the surroundings? Yeah, let's go for something new..." And it doesn't even have to have anything to do with someone's sister in order to make it a) a threat and b) interesting, if the DM does it right. :) Couple things: 1) In the spirit of this thread, I was trying to demonstrate that the framing of the creature is hierarchically more important than the words used to depict it (though again, they matter...theyíre just lower in the hierarchy). 2) If you arenít thematically framing a ďbogeymanĒ as a bogeyman, then it seems pretty apt to point out that the situation the PCs are confronted with would be ďbo...
  • 06:34 PM - Beleriphon quoted Lanefan in post Let's Talk About THAC0
    Even that's counterintuitive, as 15 - 18 = -3, not +3. You skipped mentioning the step that says 'reverse the +/- on the answer given by the formula to get the AC you'll hit'. Either that, or you got it backwards and it should be [THAC0 - net roll result = AC hit]. I totally did, which just goes to show that subtraction is not the way to go.
  • 03:46 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Where I wouldn't mind some of this. :) Comes down to expected pacing, as so many of these things seem to end up doing: it's an open-ended game* with no set schedule for what adventuring has to be done by when; and if long-winded descriptions of what, why and how a character does something is what keeps (a) player(s) engaged, I'd say to the DM "Sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and let it happen". * - assuming a typical home game, rather than a con game or some other limited-time affair. Sure, as anything, it can always be brought back to table expectations. Commenting only about my home game, which is indeed a long-standing, open ended game.....we still want to get stuff done each session, and we want that stuff to be relevant.

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 04:18 AM - hawkeyefan quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    One thing that occurred to me via seeing a few posts a couple of pages back is this: One thing a description or narration should strive for, however else it's delivered or phrased, is to answer any obvious questions before they need to be asked. The example given was, I think, something like "You enter a room. Passages exit to the north and west. There's a staff." in its simplified form. This leaves a boatload of unanswered obvious questions and thus fails as a useful description. Some of the numeric dimensions can be left out of the verbal description if you're using a grid and map and just draw it out (which I often do) but noting the location of the staff, what it's made of, and whether there's anything else in the room; also noting anything special or unusual about the environment here e.g. the north passage has some water on the floor and there's an unusual amount of lichen on the west wall of the room - all of these seem like no-brainers to just describe up front as they'd be f...


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