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  • billd91's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:59 PM
    Maybe - but I'd be tempted to describe it in terms of formal vs informal style. Ultimately, that's really a cosmetic difference, not one in essence. Whether formal or informal, it's narration if you're laying it out for your players. Conversation, as far as I'm concerned, would be defining it through back-and-forth discussion with players contributing elements - and even that would be started by...
    123 replies | 2761 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:05 PM
    If a module says something about a creature escaping (because it's losing or is left alone), that doesn't mean it needs to succeed - rather that it's motivation is to get the hell out of Dodge to survive another day. If it fails... well, things happen. There are some games and genres where escaping makes great sense, but there's usually a reason. Take a superhero game, for example, villains...
    47 replies | 1290 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 01:58 PM
    Do I miss it? No. Didn't particularly like it.
    24 replies | 916 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:48 AM
    His right to cherrypick out of context with the best of them? The issue with the lizard men in the Saltmarsh series may be drawing the PCs into a misunderstanding (and may work against the colonialist narrative), but picking that one as if it refutes all really isn't dealing with the issues in Keep on the Borderlands, the name level privileges of some high level characters in 1e, and so on....
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Shocked! Shocked I am that someone from somewhere east of Western Europe might have a different perspective of a work that treats nations that come from further east than the Men of the West as dupes of evil at best. Shocked some more(!) I am that someone might make a derivative work to rebut ideas in it.
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:20 PM
    You're not? You could roll up a red dragon encounter with 4 of them, the mated pair being on the larger size and ancient. That might not be survivable for 3 players depending on their levels. And the encounter tables... not really keyed to character level. Or, given your disdain for house rules in determining how a game should work, how exactly are you determining the game is designed around a...
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 01:55 PM
    Why not three players and a GM? That's even closer than 4 in this case! Honestly, you're reading way too much into that statement. It comes nowhere close to making the same statement about the number of players that 3e does with its 4 player design assumption.
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:53 AM
    No you don't. Most casual players aren't going to bother with that kind of medium to long-term planning.
    109 replies | 5386 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:58 AM
    The accounting error story from NC is almost certainly bogus. If it weren’t, rhe producers would be filing a lawsuit. The terms of the grant would have been very clear when they applied for it, as well as the limits in the amounts they could even have applied for. Besides, $40 million seems to be about $9 million more than the film grant program’s annual budget. There’s no way NC offered $40...
    8 replies | 447 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:23 PM
    2e - Kits - yeah, I know, many were unevenly designed, but I submit the idea was still a good one and Al-Qadim put them to fabulous use - much needed boost to dragon power - thief abilities being personally adjustable - specialty priests - wizard school specialization 3e - Ability score damage. I really liked having an alternative track other than hit points. It made updating A4 -...
    51 replies | 1987 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:17 AM
    I notice it doesn’t say anything about seeking out combat. What you highlighted could easily be expected behavior at the point combat has been rendered unavoidable. Or, you know, the stuff that isn’t adventuring (which includes other stuff like doping out riddles and traps, exploring, etc. You’re way too hung up on “killing and looting”. You should get that looked at...
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:11 PM
    I'm not entirely sure they're outdated thinking. D&D's success may derive significantly from its brand, but the class/level paradigm is easy to grasp for new players and casual players. The requirements of point buy systems are a barrier to casual interaction with the game. To put forth an anecdote, when I ran Mutants and Masterminds for my group, a group in which the least experienced player has...
    109 replies | 5386 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:54 PM
    2e: Settings - some of the best stuff done for 2e was in the setting work - particularly Al-Qadim and Kara-Tur, but also the art concepts for Planescape (though I hated the annoying patois in which some of the writing appeared). 3e: Somewhat related to mechanics - but I was impressed at how well some of the newer mechanics enabled me to handle special elements of AD&D modules better than the...
    68 replies | 2209 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:13 PM
    Individual level advancement started to be seriously problematic with 3e. In AD&D, advancement was less regular in general for things like the to-hit tables and saves, plus monster vs party balancing was less granular. The game tolerated having PCs at varying levels in the same party better. 3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in...
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    It's fantasy - I don't mind it at all. It helps serve as a means of distinguishing them from humans. Without some elements of it, it's all just a numbers game whether you play a dwarf or an elf. And that, to me, is backwards. If I want to play a dwarf, it means I want what that entails - the bonuses and the penalties and not just to make a more min-maxed character. And I'd also like it to mean...
    77 replies | 2926 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:41 PM
    Well, yeah, you veer into making evaluations of the person involved, you go past critiquing the game and into the personal sphere that's against the rules around here. Keep it away from that and things should be fine.
    93 replies | 4487 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:36 PM
    You don't even have to drill negative consequences into them. Kids bite, for example, because they don't yet have the means to express themselves in any other way. As they develop communication skills, toddler violence goes way down.
    350 replies | 10647 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 01:22 AM
    Almost 4e. Played through the demo scenario and was so frustrated by that final encounter that I was about ready to completely pack it in. In the end, we gave it 9 months because 2 of the players really wanted to give it a go. But I never liked it. In the end, once one of those 2 player had gotten fed up with it, we dropped it to go back to 3e. Several other games were kind of Meh experiences...
    61 replies | 4619 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 01:09 AM
    Traveller: New Era - If you thought Classic Traveller and MegaTraveller were too militarized, you ain't seen nothing yet. Traveller 5 - the big black tome - don't... just don't. Total waste of $75 for the worst organized, most propeller-headed RPG book I've ever seen Dogs in the Vineyard - totally put off by the game's inherent milieu Vampire - largely the same as DitV
    93 replies | 4487 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Honestly, I've enjoyed the lore of 5e for the most part. I think the extra effort they went through to understand their likely market this time paid off. Most enjoyable Monster Manual in years.
    77 replies | 2926 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:23 PM
    Online campaigns have almost certainly colored a number of firings in the computer game (online and console) game world. Alison Rapp, Jessica Price, Peter Fries. I don't think you have to find a case of an innocent GM being targeted to be wary of social media campaigns and the impact they can have on real people's lives. Fact is - the tool can be put to evil uses as well as good (depending on...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:48 PM
    Indeed. And given the fact that the GM in question doesn't seem to be learning any lesson from the ban, then that punishment fits that infraction. The process there is functioning reasonably appropriately, even if it got started indirectly. And I think the overall community is strengthened by knowledge of cases in which these processes work. Doesn't stop me from worrying about some of various...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:11 PM
    As long as we're going to refer back to John Dodd's statement - he also pointed out that 12 of the more than 20 people who contacted him about the incident had misidentified the GM in question. Hence his exhortion to determine and work with reliable information rather than internet rumor. This is why the mob process is risky - it's hard to avoid playing a game of telephone as the story moves...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:54 PM
    That's partly my point - there's no redress, no proportionality you can extract from the mob. The Central Park 5 were able to obtain some redress because there are mechanisms in place that can allow for that (though even the appellate courts had failed them), specifically, there was some entity they could legitimately sue. We'll see if Frog God Games is successful in the suit they've filed.
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:31 AM
    It may not be the gaming community, but there's always the Central Park 5 (recently in the news again thanks to documentaries). We certainly don't want the mob mentality and fake news to reach that point too often. Within the community, I'd have a hard time saying the Satanic Panic of the 1980s wasn't driven by mob mentality. Think of the kind of power it would have via social media. I know...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 06:31 PM
    Psst. Check the date on that article.
    171 replies | 11523 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 06:30 PM
    Whenever I read people comparing the complexity of the two editions (2nd and 3rd), I usually find how many people forget the complexity 2e had to offer. For example, there may have been multiple ACs in 3e, but there were caveats with AC in 2e as well. Did you use a shield? If so, your AC depended on facing and position as well as how many attacks were directed at you from the directions covered...
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:23 AM
    Yeah, but it kept the PCs from using their Force points to defend themselves because they could no longer use one to gain a bonus on their saves. In the end, it felt like a net loss for the system, particularly with respect to the setting and the heroic/Jedi ethos of using the Force for defense in preference to attack.
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:40 PM
    billd91 replied to OotS 1166
    First class ticket to Valhalla, baby!
    2 replies | 246 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 07:56 PM
    But the words also mean the bonus you use against that AC because it's telling you your "to hit" bonus adjusted for that AC. So, I remain unconvinced that your interpretation is what the designer intended. I would agree that's what most people did, particularly when they jettisoned using weapon vs AC type entirely as too cumbersome (and punitive) to be worth it. But use on the ground and intent...
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:06 PM
    I'm not entirely convinced it's about knowing what target number you had to roll to hit that AC - rather, those columns in the weapon table are AC types in the 1e PH. A player could record their net modifier against each of those AC types. The basic D&D character sheet is clearly different since it doesn't tie those boxes to specific weapons, but since I think that came out after the goldenrod...
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:39 PM
    Simple - it denies the potential for rehabilitation. Used to be that was a liberal value, but now in the extreme shaming culture that has erupted with social media - that's all chucked out the window in favor of the mob's pound of flesh. And as a liberal, the excessiveness, lack of nuance, and rigid unforgiving attitudes that I see piss me off. Shaming and sanctions have their place, enough to...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 05:08 AM
    I generally subtracted my die roll from my character's THAC0 to get what AC he hit. Other players I knew tried the same with varying results thanks to the conceptual challenges lots of people have dealing with negative numbers. So I don't know exactly where your misunderstanding is coming from... but the main issue here is the DM wasn't telling us what our target was. We were telling him what...
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 05:01 AM
    I think a lot of it comes down to the psychology. D&D's ACs and THAC0 were proud nails. They didn't make much intuitive sense - they just were and mastering them was a cultural marker that gamers of a certain type (mainly the ones who mastered it) valued.
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:53 AM
    Maybe not, but just try to explain it. I was enough of a math geek that I got it. But try to explain it to someone who's new and deal with questions like: "So... I add up the +1s, +2s etc and then subtract them from my AC but I add the defensive modifier from my Dexterity to my AC? ...Is adding good or is subtracting? This is stupid." Yeah, that sucked. The armor class system was full of PITA.
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:48 AM
    I'm pretty sure you're catching DannyA's drift and enjoyment of the irony.
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:52 PM
    Why would you know your target number before you roll with THAC0? Is the DM telling you your opponent's AC?
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Algebraically, maybe not. But from a practical perspective, it is more difficult because there are always going to be people having more difficulty with negative numbers than dealing entirely with positive numbers. It has a bad reputation, compared to turning the AC values around in 3e, because it served as a barrier to people understanding and using it. From a usability perspective, there is...
    166 replies | 5879 view(s)
    4 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 06:16 PM
    You know, people are bitching about that a lot, but it's not connected with the behavior at UKGE at all. Plus, while the kickstarter is years late - it's actually still generating updates and content, which is doing better than others in the industry (Ken Whitman, I'm looking at you). Frankly, I get tired of the raging complaints lodged by people about Kickstarters. There are people who...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:19 AM
    Smells fishy to me. If the GM was going for an Inbetweeners kind of vibe in which the PCs start in a compromising position and hijinks ensue, he didn't get off to a good start. My guess, even if he did intend for the PCs to have sore asses because of the squirts, he probably just described them waking up naked in a van with sore asses and left it to the players to infer what that signified. I...
    419 replies | 18157 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:38 PM
    I've judged some AL at GameholeCon and the standard for DMs is, more or less, willing to show up. So, yes, it's a pretty low bar. That said, the module I ran (and had to run pretty fast since the time slots last year were only 2 hours), was actually pretty good. Most groups were able to achieve a reasonable 2 of 3 objectives and it seemed like everyone was having a reasonable amount of fun and...
    26 replies | 1160 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 06:55 AM
    Using just pregens is pretty much old school AD&D Open and RPGA tournament territory. But once they started running "Living" campaigns, they found them to be really popular - Living City, Living Greyhawk, Pathfinder Society, and now Adventurer's League. For a lot of people, developing the character as they level up is part of the fun. But, yes, it can lead to challenges in fitting the table or...
    26 replies | 1160 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 11:30 PM
    Ultimately, in case like this, if you've communicated with your players about the type of game you want to run and they still come up with a set of freaks that won't fit in, and won't adjust to fit, then clearly you're at an impasse and that game isn't going to work. But that doesn't mean that the better approach is to design the game simply around what the players want to play if that isn't...
    106 replies | 3854 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 04:52 AM
    There may be a lot of different directions TSR material was going in the 2e era, but I think its core is a lot less of a hodgepodge of semi-disconnected ideas than 1e was.
    173 replies | 8202 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 02:22 PM
    That's what a lot of people assume, but it's not actually true. The "Hovering at Death's Door" rule was explicitly an optional rule presented in the DMG. The PH says the character dies at 0 hit points. Most people may have used it, but it's not in the core assumption and I find it interesting that the game stepped toward more lethal territory in 2e than 1e in this respect.
    173 replies | 8202 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:52 PM
    There was some power there, but the trick was in successfully casting. It was highly interruptable in 2e to a degree not easily matched in subsequent editions. Initiative, action declaration, and casting time played a significant role in this, though it could be fairly complex at times. Stoneskin may have been a fairly useful counter to that, but it was ablated away by attacks directed at the...
    173 replies | 8202 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 06:35 PM
    Game designer Alejandro (Alex) Melchor has passed away. According to facebook page Roll for Alex, where they were doing some fundraising for medical expenses, he suffered a stroke. He had quite a few writing and design credits with Mongoose and Green Ronin over the years.
    171 replies | 11523 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 04:37 PM
    There's still a lot of dislike of 4e out there, and not just on the boards. Most D&D players I know on a personal level aren't fans either. But, as has been pointed out, this is a current-edition D&D-oriented board with an active group of serious 4e fans that it has had since 4e debuted. It's not that representative of gamers at large because it involves a lot of self-selection bias in its...
    290 replies | 10155 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Wisconsin lost a legend today . . . https://www.packers.com/news/packers-legend-bart-starr-dies-at-85
    171 replies | 11523 view(s)
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About billd91

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Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 11:48 PM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I am reacting to a situation, not narrating a scene. There is a HUGE difference Umm, where did the situation come from? Who initiated the situation? Who set the location, the opponents (or allies or whatever is being reacted to)? Now, there are games where the answer to that might be "anyone at the table", but, outside of those games, by and large, it's the GM/DM who is setting the stage so to speak. Sure, the PC's open the door, but, it's the DM who describes what's in the room. And, at that point, what are you reacting to? The opening of a door? That's a pretty fine line distinction. PC's are camping for the night in a D&D game. You roll a random encounter. At that point, you have to narrate the set up, it's unavoidable. Like billd91 said, the distinction is formal vs informal style. But, you're still narrating no matter what you do.
  • 01:29 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    billd91, I'd agree with that. I wonder if you were to draw a venn diagram of those who argue that chaotics are trustworthy and responsible and those who personally identify with political ideologies that emphasize personal rights and responsibility and personal liberty, if there wouldn't be a very high degree of overlap. I usually find that folks have a very difficult time separating their personal ideologies from their hobbies and any time one conflicts with the other, it always must be the other people who are wrong and just don't understand. Regardless of the amount of evidence brought forth. It's no different than when a beloved fictional character is changed and folks lose their cool. That character couldn't possibly change in that way, and it doesn't matter if the change is interesting or cool or even logical. It's not in keeping with their personal vision of that character, therefore everyone else must be wrong. Or if a beloved author is criticised and shown to be perfectly...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - Lanefan mentioned billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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.:DIn 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 milestone levelling - lower level characters can never "catch up". Also, how does one ever introduce items or events that give an individual character a level - or take one away? What happens if a character gets a wish and wishes to go up a level - does the whole party get dragged along for the ride? In a long-term campaign things like this will happen, and level variance is thus inevitable unless the DM does some very arbitrary forcing of things.

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 02:38 PM - lowkey13 mentioned billd91 in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    ...as nothing I could have done with this, no way I could have seen, but it still happened on my watch and I feel responsible for it. We are all responsible, these are our shows, our people, we are all responsible… We do not stand for behaviour like this, and I’m glad it made the national news, because anyone looking can see that not only did it happen, but that it was stamped on hard and that the community does not stand for it. A short while back, I did an interview with ENworld, the content of which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMKilVWLdtQ with my comments on Harrassment policies being found around the 1:13 mark. This was how things were back then, they are still my comments now, we did what I said we would, and we did it fast. So, there was a quick (and thorough) investigation. The charges were not disputed. The Convention immediately removed him, but did not otherwise release his name. The person doing the investigation cautioned about social media (h/t billd91 !!!) What is there not be certain about? This is all at the link that @Riley37 provided to you.

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 07:58 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned billd91 in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Um... he was using liberal in the classical sense, not in the modern American polemic sense. I know because I'm usually nowhere near billd91 politically, but understand his point about liberal values. It's Enlightenment liberal, not politics liberal.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 08:18 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Smells fishy to me. If the GM was going for an Inbetweeners kind of vibe in which the PCs start in a compromising position and hijinks ensue, he didn't get off to a good start. My guess, even if he did intend for the PCs to have sore asses because of the squirts, he probably just described them waking up naked in a van with sore asses and left it to the players to infer what that signified. I wouldn't be surprised if he did so deliberately knowing that players might interpret it as being anally raped. While a show like the Inbetweeners might be able to play some of that off with humor (particularly around a character like Jay), it isn't going to work for your average con game. And obviously so. Yeah, I pretty much have to go with billd91 here. His explanation leaves a lot more questions than answers, and, frankly, I'm having a pretty hard time believing that a player would be that disturbed by a depiction of rape that it was a simple "misunderstanding" and that he had no idea, not a single clue that anything was awry. IOW, he's trying to paint the player as fabricating the whole thing just for attention. I'm really not buying it.

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 02:12 AM - 77IM mentioned billd91 in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    ...cine, maybe Nature. Conversely, :):):):)ing PERCEPTION is rolled like every 5 minutes. Skills like Athletics and Arcana and Persuasion fall somewhere in the middle. Then there are oddballs like Stealth, which can be tremendously useful for certain characters and seldom used by others. Obviously, this varies somewhat by table and DMing style. Some DMs put a lot of effort into finding uses for all skills. But I don't think it's a stretch to say that in general the current skills are not really balanced. I'm not saying that this is a problem -- I personally find the skill list "balanced enough" that it's not worth house-ruling. But, twofalls, if you are going to expand the skill list in some way, this is something you should keep in mind. Splitting up a skill like Acrobatics into Climbing, Swimming, Running and Jumping sounds good, but now each of those skills is much less attractive than the consolidated Athletics. And even though I rag on Perception as overpowered, I agree with billd91 that you shouldn't split it up, because it becomes too confusing which one to use. (The fact that it is rolled frequently makes simplicity really important.) One potential solution here is to have skills cost different amount of "points." So maybe you have Nature proficiency cost 1 point, Climbing costs 2 points, Acrobatics costs 4 points, and Perception costs 8 points, or something like that. Give everybody 4 points per skill they used to have -- so 8 points for backgrounds, 8 points for most classes but 12 for bards/rangers and 16 for rogues, 8 bonus points for half-elves, etc. This way players who pick a really great skill like Perception have to pay for it, while the low cost would allow players to pick up tons of "flavorful" but minor skills like Nature, Animal Handling, Planar Lore, Riding, Ancient History, Modern History, etc. A related idea is to have skills and fractional skills. So maybe you can buy Athletics for 6 points, or you can buy Athletics/Climbing for 2 points, At...

Monday, 18th February, 2019


Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 11:15 AM - Sadras mentioned billd91 in post Introducing Complications Without Forcing Players to Play the "Mother May I?" Game
    To me that just suggests bad mechanics! I don't see how. Ah yes. The Mother-May-I One-True Wayist manifesto. I'm not the one ascribing another style with a pejorative but hey we all see what we want to. Can a player use any skill check/ability to get the shard back? If not, why not? I have bolded the bits which, to me, suggest that the player's success in persuading the giant to return the shard was conditional on the GM's opinion about what makes for good or bad fiction (here expressed in terms of reasonable cause of action for the frost giant). You're suggesting it is better that the GM cannot roleplay the NPCs he/she introduces into the game world, and when I mean roleplay, I mean free of any mechanics (i.e. die rolls). I admit I find that odd. Could the FG in your game talk the PC out of wanting the shard returned i.e. the FG makes a diplomacy/persuade roll? Also like @billd91 mentioned in the other thread, isn't the DM ascribing a lower or higher DC to a roll reflecting his/her opinion on what makes good or bad fiction? EDIT: MMI kicks in if there is 0% or less chance of success on the player's action declaration, but 1% possible success or higher is ok? I think that is the sort of thing the OP is trying to avoid when using the phrase "without forcing players to play the "Mother may I" game". Ah, you mean without forcing players to provide further details for their action declarations so as DMs we can adjudicate the likely chance of success. Such Bad DMs. :) Eric: I try get my shard back from the Frost Giant without starting a fight. DM: How do you go about that, she has already placed it back in her hair? Eric: I use diplomacy, I'm proficient. DM: Cool, what do you say to her? Eric: Well, I ask nicely, smile a lot and bow often? DM: Is there something specific that you say? Eric: Nah, I have a +7 on my Diplomacy roll. My character is rea...

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Ralif Redhammer mentioned billd91 in post Would you invite this player?
    I’ve learned the hard way that good friends don’t always make for good people to game with. I put up with a lot of nonsense from friends at the gaming table, until I didn’t. But I suppose it depends on how much you’re willing to manage the potential difficulties. A lot of what you described could in theory be easily resolved. Stuff like, if he tries to steal from other PCS, “I’m sorry, but PCs aren’t allowed to steal from the party and other PCs in my games;” and, for the spotlight hogging “Okay, we’ll get to you when your turn comes around, but PC#2 is currently doing something.” It is a gamble, but as billd91 said, we all had to start somewhere as players, probably somewhere near the bottom. (and good friend)

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

  • 09:28 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I have found the opposite to be true, actually. Rerolling initiative every round has generally been to the party's benefit, despite some "exciting" moments. It creates unpredictability, which the player characters (being more versatile) can take advantage of better than typical NPCs. This has been true of a party level 5 - 7, and a party 11 - 13. I might be the case that rerolling init made the lowest levels more difficult, I haven't tried that. As billd91 said, anything that increases randomness benefits the DM's side of the equation. The players have to get lucky every time. The monsters only have to get lucky once. Sure, it might benefit the PC's and it likely will. But, when it helps the other side, which should also happen fairly frequently, it can radically up the difficulty of an encounter. As far as realism goes, well, that's not a consideration for me. I accept that D&D combat is largely abstract, so, trying to make it more realistic is, to me, just not something I really want to deal with. If I did, I'd wind up rewriting the entire combat section to the point where I might as well play a game that actually has realistic combat. :D

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:51 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    ...than a +1. If you need a 2 you have a 95% to succeed normally, and 95% + 5% * 95% = 99.75%, agains slightly less than +1. This is the minimum. If you need an 11, you have a 50% normally, and a 50% + 50% * 50% = 75% with advantage. That's the equivalent of +5. This is the maximum. Your +/-6 to +/-7 is outside the range of what is possible. That mean it is likely not the average. You may want to double check you math. One common mistake I've seen is working out to roll 2d20 and subtract the higher fromt he lower. That's really comparing advantage (best for 2d20) with disadvantage (worst of 2d20). It's clear if you work it out as percentages what it can be for every target. Man, these arguments hurt me because there's this weird thing where everyone tries to map a normal distribution onto a flat distribution via +/-. It's wrong in a technical way. But, I'm an engineer, so that's probably just my bag. That said, the above is the right wrong way to do it Retreater, billd91. The "bonus" that advantage applies differs depending on what the target number on the d20 is for success. It's greatest in the middle, where it increases the chance of success by 25%, and weaker on the ends where it's bit less than a 5% bump. If you need to roll a 20, advantage helps by almost doubling your chances from 1/20 to 19/400, but if you need an 11, advantage increases your chances from 10/20 to 15/20. If you need a 2, advantage bumps you from a 19/20 to 399/400.

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 10:06 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...is is insistent on the point doesn't answer the point. The idea of the DL-style game is that at least the players provide a bit of colour and a few minor decision points. But if the GM is also establishing the most important bits of PC colour, telling me what decisions are and are not appropriate for a worshipper of XYZ, etc - well, what's left for the player to do? ut no one's offered a reason why a player playing a cleric or warlock whose god/patron is happy with what s/he does, or playing a motorcycle-riding vampire, would wreck the game.I was under the impression the god/patron was not happy (being played by the DM).But that's exactly my point. If the player's preference that the whole god/patron thing be "backgrounded" was respected then the god/patron would be happy. But for whatever reason the GM is inserting his/her own preference to decide that the god/patron is not happy. For what reason? If the GM thinks the player is just a wrecker - which eg was the implication of billd91's reference upthread to "murder-hoboing" - then as Aldarc has said, that's a social problem that can be resolved by a sensible conversation among participants. It's not an aspect of game play at all. But if the issue is not that the PC is wrecking things - eg if the PC was playing a wizard or a fighter or whatever no one would have any issues - then why is the GM needing to insert his/her conception of what the patron/god wants in favour of the player's conception of the same? How is that improving the experience? Telling me that we're not talking about story-now play doesn't help - even within the follow-the-GM's-trail paradigm, I dont understand what this is supposed to be adding to the play experience. In fact when the PC played a warlock in my game and chose a darker patron, I asked him what he wanted me to explore, how much had he developed the patron and how much input he wanted from me.That seems to imply that you are interested in identifying and respecting the player's ...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 05:26 AM - Maxperson mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But, who's forcing the DM to do anything here? If anything, I'm giving less work for the DM. The DM no longer has to worry about what to do, if anything, with this patron. The player is not interested in playing that out. Why would you, as a DM, knowing that the player isn't interested, bring it into the game? Again, who is it for? It's not for the player. It's not for the other players. So, the only person it's for is you, the DM. You want to bring it into the game purely for your own enjoyment, knowing that the player doesn't want it. Are you deliberately misunderstanding billd91, or do you genuinely not understand that if the DM wants a game where he controls the NPCs, he's forced to play a game he doesn't want to play if players can force him not to play the patron? We're talking about one small change to one character that isn't going to affect ANYTHING. If it's not going to affect anything, the player shouldn't have a problem with the DM playing the patron.
  • 04:26 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...t of play) and those orc children escaped. And, after the third, fourth, tenth time, most groups are just going to take it as read anyway. This is the point I keep coming back to. We already Background tons of stuff in play because it's not terribly interesting. How many groups actually, consistently, track spell components? How many groups worry about paying the monthly living expenses? So on and so forth. Sure, you might do it from time to time, but, realistically, it just fades back and becomes a non-issue. Do you seriously destroy a wizard's spell book every time he falls in water? Or gets fireballed or whatnot? Naw, you just take it as read and move on because it's too much of a PITA. Here, we have examples that only really affect one player and the DM. The rest of the group couldn't likely give a toss about it. Do you seriously care how we hide the Druid's animal companion every single time? The funny thing about this conversation is that some posters, like billd91 and 5ekyu are framing it as a powergaming thing. But, look at that warlock's patron. There's two sides to that. Sure, if you have an active patron, then the patron might ask the PC to do something. But, it also works the other way. There's times when the PC can and should be able to call upon his or her patron for help - be it information, or contacting other NPC's or whatnot. By backgrounding, the player loses that side of things as well. Sure, the DM can't force behavior from the player, but, by the same token, the player cannot expect to get anything as well.
  • 12:25 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    At this point its pretty obvious you just want to keep inventing things to claim others have said... as i have never said anything that the GM can "force" your character to take certain actions. this was explained in great detail one or more times since you keep mixing and mashing the Gm and the patron. Nor have i said anything about forcing the paladin to take certain actions. That you choose to keep trying to portray it that way is very highly illustrative - so, thanks. wow, you agree with billd91 in the post before this, but, tell me I'm inventing things. :erm: What exactly, then, do you mean that I must accept the consequences of choosing a class if you aren't going to force anything?

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 06:52 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    It's much more than 10 outcomes! Say there are 5 people, we need a contest between each, first, and then... the pain begins... Say this is what happens A beats B A beats C A loses to D A loses to E Seems like A is in the middle of the pack, but... D loses to C E loses to B No idea where this is going, but now we need to resolve... everyone against everyone...I think the assumption that billd91 has made is probably the same as the one that Hriston has made explicit: each participant makes only one check, which is compared vs the check of all the other participants. So if A beats B but loses to E, that means that E beats B, which precludes the contradictory situation you are concerned about. The thing I don't get in this discussion is: how do you and Maxperson handle an attempt by three people to be the first to grab the ring? You couldn't do it the way you've described (independent binary checks) because of the risk of contradiction. So presumably you'd do it . . . just the same as initiative is done! (Except for having some differerent approach to handlling ties.)

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Lanefan, billd91 - Tony Vargas's reply makes the point that needs to be made aboout "realism" in a hit point paradigm. As far as narration of hp loss and zero hp is concerned - if you're narrating hp loss, and dropping to zero hp, in surgical detail, and then having your suspension of disbelief disrupted by the recovery that the game rules provide for, well, I would suggest changing your narration! As I posted upthread, as a former RM player/GM, and someone who was pretty familiar with the drfit from AD&D to RM, RQ etc in the 80s/early 90s, it remains very strange to see posters arguing for AC-&-hp combat on "realism" grounds, and to be distinguishing AD&D or 3E from 4e on that basis. Also, someone upthread (maybe Sadras) mentioned tinkering - the most trivial tinkering possible to a RPG is to change the short and extended rest durations in 4e or 5e. (I don't know how common it is with 5e; based on dicsussions on teese boards it was extremely common with 4e.)

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 09:31 AM - Lanefan mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    (1) It's not "more reallistic". It's different, but it's not realistic. billd91 already covered this one, so...what he said. (2) What makes you think a 4e PC who swoons in combat, and then recovers to fight on, has "had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her"? Maybe you're into nonsense narration, but I'm not. Even in the most gamist and-or disconnected versions of what hit points represent in any edition that I've seen posted in those arguments, a common theme is that going to (or below, pre-4e) 0 h.p. means you've taken enough of a beating that if left untended you're quite possibly going to die. The rules of all editions also have it that going to or below 0 is auto-death (0e), is auto-death* if not treated or cured quite soon (1e-2e-3e), or presents a significant risk of death if not treated or cured quite soon (4e-5e). These deaths aren't being caused by fainting. So to suggest someone repeatedly going to or below 0 within a short time "has had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her" is "nonsense narration" falls well below your usual standard, sir; and...

Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 01:42 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I don't think its the minis themselves so much as a heavy rule dependence on the spatial reality of the game. The early edition rules about space and positioning were easily handwaved. Not so much with 3e or 4e.That's what I said! But the biggest thing requiring almost pinpoint positioning of melee combatants was weapon reach - could you reach your intended foe or not? Not everyone cared too much about this, but in 1e RAW it's a thing.Rounds in AD&D are 1 minute, movement rates as 10s of feet per minute, and there are no rules for actually positioning in melee - only for getting cut down when you try to disengage from it! So while weapon reach can matter (eg in establishing first strike in a charging situation; for establishing how many soldiers can work together or fight one another in a confined space; etc) I don't actually see how you need minis/tokesn to track the ways in which it matters. (And I see that billd91 has made much the same point.)


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Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 12:19 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    The range isn't narrative vs conversational, it's prose vs conversational. An important distinction I think. I'd be tempted to describe it in terms of formal vs informal style. Ultimately, that's really a cosmetic difference, not one in essence. Whether formal or informal, it's narration if you're laying it out for your players. Like billd91 said, the distinction is formal vs informal style. But, you're still narrating no matter what you do. There is also, of course the fact that prose is typically used to mean plain or natural writing, as opposed to poetic writing. Except here, of course, where it is being used to mean something along the lines of, "of literary worth" and "something that non-nerds would not use."I'm not too fussed what terms are used to draw the distinction that's at issue in this thread. I've been trying to follow the usage that seems to have been established. Hussar told me to use prose vs conversational, so I did. If I'm now meant to use formal vs informal, that's fine. Whatever terminology is used, I think there is a reasonably clear contrast between (i) the Saltmarsh text, which describes a room by leading with a main clause that refers to rubbish and uses the phrase "there is evidence of rodent infestation", and (ii) a less formal/more conversational description, which uses the main clause to ...

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 11:41 PM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    Maybe - but I'd be tempted to describe it in terms of formal vs informal style. Ultimately, that's really a cosmetic difference, not one in essence. Whether formal or informal, it's narration if you're laying it out for your players. Conversation, as far as I'm concerned, would be defining it through back-and-forth discussion with players contributing elements - and even that would be started by GM narration. Yeah, that's a better way of phrasing it. Sure, I'll agree with that.

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

  • 04:26 PM - Beleriphon quoted billd91 in post Villains that are supposed to escape
    There are some games and genres where escaping makes great sense, but there's usually a reason. Take a superhero game, for example, villains escape all the time and will often have some kind of power or gadget to allow it. Some superhero RPGs even encourage the GM to break the rules, but with player compensation. Mutants and Masterminds, for example, has GMs giving the players hero points in compensation for defeats, complications, and escaping villains. The GM gets to stir things up, but the players get something that will help them win in the end. It helps that Superhero genre conventions include stuff like Doctor Doom actually being a Doombot - Damn you Richards!

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 09:39 PM - Celebrim quoted billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Shocked some more(!) I am that someone might make a derivative work to rebut ideas in it. If it actually treated with the ideas in LotR, I might be sympathetic. But it doesn't actually. It attributes ideas to the LotR that are not found in it, and which are often as not contrary to the text itself. It's an ugly fabrication. And if a writer of some foreign nation created an original epic based on the mythos of that nation, I'd probably be very sympathetic to it. It wouldn't disturb me in the slightest that a Russian equated Westerners with dangerous invaders. Heck, as blatant of a propaganda piece as the Stalinist work 'Alexander Nevsky' is, it's still a great work of art, and Tolkien's work is far more nuanced than 'Alexander Nevsky'. And among other things, Tolkien's work - to the limited extent it addresses colonialist themes at all, and for the most part it doesn't because it's grounded in medieval mythos and not colonialist or post-colonialist - it's explicitly anti-coloniali...
  • 09:33 PM - dragoner quoted billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Shocked! Shocked I am that someone from somewhere east of Western Europe might have a different perspective of a work that treats nations that come from further east than the Men of the West as dupes of evil at best. Shocked some more(!) I am that someone might make a derivative work to rebut ideas in it. We still are considered subhumans, they hate us for just existing. The book is in fact a brilliant take on the tale.
  • 01:15 AM - Ath-kethin quoted billd91 in post Favorite things about your favorite edition: MECHANICS/RULES ONLY
    2e - Kits - yeah, I know, many were unevenly designed, but I submit the idea was still a good one and Al-Qadim put them to fabulous use You might be interested in some of our stuff. We introduced the concept of character kits in Midnight in the City of Brass, which you can check out HERE, with a free preview available HERE. We also have a free document discussing some of our design choices and approaches (particularly to our interpretation of the sha'ir, which is one of the kits we included above) available HERE. After long discussion, we determined that there was definitely a design space in 5e for something similar to backgrounds, but with prerequisites. Unlike subclasses, our kits do not require a character to belong to a certain class, though with some of the skill requirements some classes will have an easier time meeting the criteria than others. But ultimately our kits are designed to give a minor mechanical boost to a roleplaying feature, and as such should not overpower a characte...

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 07:57 PM - Mournblade94 quoted billd91 in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    So is there similar rage against Knight of the Dinner Table? It clearly focuses on many of the same dynamics and foibles of the gamer subculture. It's no more kind to its targets (maybe even less because the characters are more stereotypical and less generally humanized than BBT). Does it get a pass because its author is more clearly a gamer geek than the writers of BBT? Because it circulates within the gamer subculture rather than among millions of viewers? Knights of the Dinner table was geeks making fun of themselves. Big Bang I thought started off that way and it felt like it, but once it became all about dating I started to see it as Nerdy friends and then I really started to feel like it lost it way and started laughing AT the geeks. I stopped watching it I don't know maybe 4 years ago or so.
  • 06:54 PM - Celebrim quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Are we watching the same movies?!? I'm pretty sure we are. We both seem to agree as to the gist of the plot. Han, as far as we can tell, just abandons his marriage and reverts back to smuggling and dealing with criminals in his own, not obviously vicious, way to get by. Just? Just? Rarely in a person's life do they have motive to engage in acts of stereotypical villainy like murdering a bunch of children. Most of the evil of the real world occurs because of more mundane acts undertaken with more mundane motives, but those actions are no less evil for being mundane and ordinary than the ones that are extraordinary. Often we find if we go digging, that the mundane acts are the basis and foundation of the extraordinary acts. For example, if we go digging in the Dominican Republic right now, I bet we would find a simple but sorrid tale of greed, deceit, and bribery around some bottles of fake high end alchohol tainted with some poisonous, colorless, tasteless achohol unfit for hum...
  • 06:05 PM - Celebrim quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Han's probably more CG than CN or N... Which Han? It's like talking about Batman at this point. Han starts out the original trilogy as CN, and then has a character arc which goes through a series of changes in his behavior and his moral priorities, so that by the end of the trilogy he is CG. Han in the original extended universe starts off as a CG idealist, but is beaten down by the world until he is the jaded CN criminal we see in the beginning of 'A New Hope' Han in the recent 'Solo' movie is presented as basically CN from the moment we meet him, with the apparent intention of setting him off on the beginning of the character arc we see in the original trilogy. Han the young idealist who joins the Academy, is on the beginning of a bright career as a pilot, and then throws it all away then he sees the reality of the Empire's treatment of its non-human citizens isn't really present. He ends up helping Chewie out of self-interest, and not out of compassion or other fine feeling. ...
  • 06:03 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    Does it get a pass because its author is more clearly a gamer geek than the writers of BBT? Because it circulates within the gamer subculture rather than among millions of viewers? I expect the latter. "We laugh at ourselves" is one thing. "Those people who used to push us around, steal our lunch money, and shove us into school lockers laugh at us," is quite another.
  • 02:09 PM - Maxperson quoted billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Why not three players and a GM? That's even closer than 4 in this case! Honestly, you're reading way too much into that statement. It comes nowhere close to making the same statement about the number of players that 3e does with its 4 player design assumption. How is reading what is says straight out as what it says straight out as "way too much?" If the game is ideal for three of more, a single dragon cannot be balanced against 6-9. That would not be ideal. Rather, one dragon is balanced against around three so as to be ideal and if you have more players than that, you add more dragons.
  • 06:32 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    I would rather favor Conan as a model, myself. Ok. Let's use Conan then. I might quibble that Conan is CG, but, fair enough, let's go with CN. Now, when you describe Conan, do the words, reliable, trustworthy or responsible immediately spring to mind? Not to me they don't. This is a character that gets blind, stinking drunk and captured on more than one occasion. His companions get kidnapped (repeatedly) due to his irresponsibility. He blows all his ill gotten gains immediately on wine, women and song. Yup, sounds CN to me. Put it this way. Would you loan Conan 20 bucks? Would you give him the keys to your car (willingly anyway)? Would you leave him alone with your wife/sister for a prolonged period of time? So, those would be my reasons for making Conan CN. What are yours?

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 04:36 AM - quoted billd91 in post Geekdom Takes a Bow
    I've seen people compare it to that before and I can say that I've been utterly appalled every time. To compare making a little fun of geekdom (with the full-on participation of people in the fandom community) with anti-black racism is incredibly tone deaf. Considering the other comments that user made, I suspect I know exactly what side of the argument they're on, and can probably guess their sentiments on actual​ blackface.

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 06:27 PM - Charlaquin quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    I think the implication is he disagrees with your standard. Wha... It’s my standard. I’m not asserting that it’s the way D&D presents it, nor the way it “should” work. On the contrary, I call it my standard specifically to denote that it’s a personal preference that varies from common practice. Nobody has to share my preference, but arguing against it doesn’t make sense. I’m not asserting anything to make an argument against.
  • 08:03 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    I notice it doesn’t say anything about seeking out combat. What you highlighted could easily be expected behavior at the point combat has been rendered unavoidable. Or, you know, the stuff that isn’t adventuring (which includes other stuff like doping out riddles and traps, exploring, etc. You’re way too hung up on “killing and looting”. You should get that looked at... Ok, ok. I surrender. 1e players were renowned throughout the hobby, throughout all the history of RPG's as the greatest, most wonderful roleplayers of all time who never once picked up a d20 unless they absolutely had to and solved nearly every single encounter through spectacular exposition and wonderous words of wisdom. Now, with the revisionist history out of the way, can we get back to reality where D&D=hack and slash was pretty much common knowledge, even back in the day. I mean, good grief, look at the flack Dragonlance gets for trying to inject a story into the game. Heck, among the AD&D crowd, storyga...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 12:16 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    The players who make CN into a problem are simply problem players. They’re going to try to be problematic whether they have CN on the sheet or NG, CG, LG, etc. One of my basic rules: don't play a jerk, play someone who will play well with others because this is a team effort. It doesn't have to be all hugs and kum-ba-ya, but the group has the right to eject you if you don't want to play along. I agree overall about the issue of jerks, but in my experience it's often not so cut and dried. I know certain character types can bring out the worst in some people. These players may be totally fine with one kind of character but become really problematic with others. I can think of a few good examples from my own personal experience, but a classic one is a character that really doesn't "play nice" with the rest of the group can be quite difficult. People can also be going through bad times in their lives (relationship stress, divorce, unemployment, etc.) and act out. Furthermore, there can be so...

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 06:59 PM - Oofta quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    The players who make CN into a problem are simply problem players. They’re going to try to be problematic whether they have CN on the sheet or NG, CG, LG, etc. Get rid of the problem players, you get rid of the CN problem. One of my basic rules: don't play a jerk, play someone who will play well with others because this is a team effort. It doesn't have to be all hugs and kum-ba-ya, but the group has the right to eject you if you don't want to play along.
  • 04:19 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Not really, no. You don't have to be unreliable in any way to be chaotic - rather, the motivations are personally driven rather than based on some kind of external or social expectation. I might expect the PC to speak up for those motivations in discussions, in contrast to group or external expectations, but still be able to 100% fulfill their obligations if they agree to them and still be chaotic neutral. Observable behavior isn't the sole determinant of alignment, particularly the lawful vs chaotic part. Is an action chaotic or lawful? Who the hell knows... unless we know WHY the character did it. Law and chaos are fundamentally different from good and evil because they involve motivation to a far stronger degree. Did the PC choose not to murder someone because murder is illegal and breaks social norms? Or did they choose not to murder someone because it's a nice day and they feel good? Either way, someone didn't get murdered, but the mere fact that someone didn't get murdered tells me...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 03:49 PM - Elfcrusher quoted billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in this factor). Characters who lagged more than about a level were put, relatively speaking, at more of a disadvantage. Ultimately, the tighter the design, the more it makes sense to advance them all as a group than as individuals. One thing I really appreciate in games is the extent to which they support/tolerate mixed levels.
  • 02:16 PM - Sadras quoted billd91 in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Individual level advancement started to be seriously problematic with 3e. In AD&D, advancement was less regular in general for things like the to-hit tables and saves, plus monster vs party balancing was less granular. The game tolerated having PCs at varying levels in the same party better. 3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in this factor). Characters who lagged more than about a level were put, relatively speaking, at more of a disadvantage. Ultimately, the tighter the design, the more it makes sense to advance them all as a group than as individuals. Good point! Never thought about it before from this perspective. Thanks.


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