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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:37 AM
    By the spell you can "violent thrust" a target in any direction, up to a total distance of 10 feet per caster level. Attempting to pick up and carry via "sustained force", they move at a maximum of 20' per round, so using that a caster could slow hoist, over a number of rounds, up to the maximum spell range. At 9th level caster that's 190 feet, or 19 dice of falling damage. That would take 9...
    8 replies | 300 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Continual Flame has it's uses, but costs a bit in terms of Ruby dust. Consider Permanent Illusion to create a well lit ceiling. Saves you all of the trouble of scrubbing the real one and gives the effect of modern indirect lighting. Or, if you prefer, create the illusion of a stone channel that runs around the edge of the room, near the ceiling, and is full of flaming oil. We've all seen that...
    5 replies | 195 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:37 PM
    Saw a replica in a fantasy/game shop and had a chance to handle it. The hand grips were a bit thin on that particular one, so it could easily twist in your grip and not always hit edge first. Fix that, though, and yeah, it's entirely practical. It's essentially an axe though, as in, it's a chopping weapon with a two handed grip, with the hands spaced at about shoulder width. I compare...
    16 replies | 638 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:28 PM
    We ran an entire Grecco-Roman campaign and it was a blast. The entire mythology of the region was there to play with, not just Greek and Roman, but any other culture the Roman empire had contact with: Egypt, Ireland/Scotland, North Africa, the middle east, the Norse, all of it. With all of that in mind I have to say that the best source book I found was Bullfinch's Mythology. We also had...
    8 replies | 384 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:11 PM
    Hmm. 25 D6 is achieved by simply hoisting a target up to maximum spell range (100 feet +10 per level) and dropping them. Of course, this all presumes that you're someplace where you can hoist/fling someone that hard/far. BAB isn't that big an issue for the personal fling, since it's based on a ranged touch attack, and uses the casting stat instead of Dex for the bonus (caster's stat is...
    8 replies | 300 view(s)
    1 XP
  • practicalm's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:48 PM
    I prefer that players do not access monster stats of the creatures they are fighting. 1. It just breaks the tension of what the enemy they are facing is capable of unless they've fought one before. 2. I probably gave the enemy some extra powers or something and I'm not interesting in players arguing about how that's not what the book says (rare at my tables) 3. It distracts from the game...
    34 replies | 850 view(s)
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:51 AM
    If you want a magic system that has the kinds of things that might be historically relevant you should find a copy of Bruce Galloway's Fantasy Wargaming. There were not spells per se but instead of you defined what you wanted to do, then the GM looked all all the related modifiers (materials, time of day, aspect of moon, and more) and then the player made a roll against it. It seemed terribly...
    20 replies | 511 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:41 PM
    To me the difference is simple: Science is reproducible. It's an essential component in the Scientific Method, after all. Reproduce the conditions and you will reproduce the results. Doesn't matter if I do it or you do it, if we do it in my lab or on a park bench a thousand miles from here. Push button A and effect B comes out, every time. Magic, on the other hand, isn't...
    69 replies | 2258 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:12 PM
    I'd say yes. People read in dim light all the time. Add a dice check if you feel it's needed, but if it was something written by a darkvision creature then they'll have used colors and script sizes that would allow it to be easily readable.
    9 replies | 276 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:04 PM
    Hey, this involves a 3.5 campaign, though conceptually the ideas may apply to just about any other edition. My character is a Wizard of 17th level. He just finished crafting a Ring of Telekinesis, which took months of down time, a small fortune and a ton of Exp. Now that my character has the item though, I'm thinking it's too much: Use of the Telekinesis spell every round means,...
    8 replies | 300 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:35 PM
    I don't recall that particular detail, but it's been a few years since I read the books, and they weren't exactly written with game adaptations in mind. (The original Nine Princes in Amber series pre-dated D&D by at least a decade.) If that were the case though, you'd think major wizardy types like Merlin would keep his hung spell pool damned near full. But again, it's a story, and there...
    25 replies | 846 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:16 PM
    Magic was, traditionally, tied to religion almost exclusively. Just about the only exception I can think of would be "Faeries", and their magic, and even then there are some tales/variations that give even that a religious source. To me, though, "Science" is really just a skin you put over the game mechanics. In super-hero games they use the term "special effect" to distinguish the...
    69 replies | 2258 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    Following up on my own ramble: In D&D, different classes have different spell lists. Some, like the Bard in D&D 3.*, were really light on combat spells. Like, nearly none. (Glitterdust actually counted as an offensive spell for a 3.* Bard. That's how starved they were for damage dealing spells.) The Zelazny style of magic would tend to blur the lines from one class to another. Suddenly...
    25 replies | 846 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Having read the books and considered this, there was one aspect that caught my eye: Casters "Hung" spells (i.e. prepared them) and they could stay there for a few days before fading. The character involved was specifically Merlin (no, not *that* Merlin), and he tended to hang a few defensive spells, an attack or two and that was it. As he put it, "After that it just came down to throwing raw...
    25 replies | 846 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:26 PM
    Like most of the above responses, I use paper and pencil. If you want a hard mechanic for it, go to a craft store and buy a bag of "wooden nickles", simple wood disks with blank faces. Now, mark one disk for each spell they have prepared, or for each spell slot they have for each spell level. Mark the other side with a number, referring to which NPC caster they belong to. DO NOT try to...
    21 replies | 760 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:14 PM
    Odd example, needing Survival or some other skill check to start a fire. Consider a setting from dark ages up to the colonial period: How does someone light the cooking fire at home? How do they keep their house warm? Remember, "Tinder Twigs" (3.5 alchemical item) were special things and kind of pricey for the average peasant. Answer? The same way your PC lights a lantern or a torch: ...
    88 replies | 3524 view(s)
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:00 PM
    I cannot tell if you are intentionally trying to misunderstand what flaw aramis erak was pointing out or not but having experience with many SF Bay Area conventions, the number of games being run in systems other than D&D are a reflection of the game events being run by the staff of an RPG team or just dedicated players/playtesters. Having a list of events without the attendance data for each...
    88 replies | 3151 view(s)
    1 XP
  • practicalm's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:50 PM
    If you want a breakdown of RPGs by mechanics and genre I would recommend you start with the BoardGameGeek database on RPGs. You probably can get a list of RPGs by mechanic and genre which might be more effective than a forum thread.
    18 replies | 783 view(s)
    1 XP
  • practicalm's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:38 PM
    If you have an Alexa device available to you, check out today's Daily Illuminator. http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archive/2019-07-14 Rule 3 from the link one of the worst-kept secrets about a secret conspiracy is, the more people who know about it, the more fun it is. I don't have an Alexa to play with this but I think it's similar to the SJGames Fnoder app in which case: The Bermuda...
    0 replies | 138 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:23 AM
    Thanks. Our exchange seems to have come full circle: What passes for science in a magical setting? Chemistry becomes Alchemy. Physics becomes meta-physics. Astronomy becomes astrology. And as we've come full circle, geometry seems appropriate, specifically a tangent: While Astrology and zodiac signs are casually dismissed, recently scientists (the real thing) have determined that part...
    69 replies | 2258 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:16 AM
    I'm not going to get into a spell by spell debate. My points were simply to show that, while we can make "sciencey noise" about magic and spells, the fact remains that that's all they are. Could we use heat transference to explain fire spells? Sure. Interdimensional shift to explain summoning and conjurations? Okay. Now, how does wriggling fingers and chanting words make that happen? And...
    69 replies | 2258 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    You can make sciencey sounding noise, but since there's no way to actually do any of those things... There used to be discussions about converting components to energy to power evocation spells. The problem is that this would be the equivalent of having a tac-nuke in your hand. The energy release would so far exceed the spell requirements that the overflow would vaporize you. Bending...
    69 replies | 2258 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:36 AM
    Monsters have blood. Depending on how exotic the critter the blood may have some odd characteristics, but even that is mostly for color. So, to put it simply, is Metaphysics a subset of Physics? No. Physics is science, subject to reproducibility. Condition A results in Effect B, every time. Metaphysics is an "art". Fifteen different people can say the same words, repeat the same...
    69 replies | 2258 view(s)
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:20 PM
    I play games other than D&D because I'm not always interested in the leveling treadmill. D&D is designed with the leveling treadmill of getting to more interesting content the more you level. I like games where the challenges are less about scaling the enemies but solving the mystery or puzzle. What 5th edition seems to be doing well is party synergy. Player A does a special thing, then...
    88 replies | 3151 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:39 AM
    Being primarily a 3.5 player, I see it through that lens. In 3.5, Genie are the ultimate Elementals, and they aren't interchangeable. Different attitudes/alignments. Djinn can't actually grant wishes, unless they are noble. Generally Chaotic Good people, they can't grant wishes very often, but they won't willfully mess with you for asking. Efreet are Fire elementals, and are Lawful...
    4 replies | 485 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:29 PM
    It's easy to have a player be smarter than their character: Let them take longer than six seconds to think of something he character has to figure out in a single round. Can a character be more likeable than the player? Yes and no. The diplomacy/persuasion aspect is really hard, since a lead-tongued player is going to be really bad as a silver tongued Bard. Other than that, though, it's all...
    88 replies | 3524 view(s)
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:17 PM
    I've seen a lot of arguments on this topic. For me, the big one against such things is "additional effects". Poison, for example, wouldn't be delivered if the poisoned weapon never actually touches/cuts the target. Weapons with energy damage the same, though to a lesser extent. We see hit points as the ability to take a punch, to roll with the blow so as to reduce or minimize the damage. ...
    76 replies | 5578 view(s)
    1 XP
  • practicalm's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:16 AM
    I like to build my games with some story arc and then the game ends when the arc is complete (or whatever the players ending up doing to resolve or ignore the situation). Games can run from 25-40 sessions for me. This way it's easier to switch to a new GM who now can do his story arc. You could even have GMs list their game ideas and then players can select which games they are...
    53 replies | 2421 view(s)
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 06:33 AM
    I've been on the forums and was on the Pyramid private usenet group before that and I've never heard of Steve Jackson saying HERO system was the main inspiration. I can check my copy of Man to Man which was the first GURPS and it was very much like The Fantasy Trip. And I've never seen any conflict between GURPS and HEROs players as most of the people I know used both. The Point by was...
    14 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:38 PM
    Do you have a source for this? because as I understood it, GURPS comes more from The Fantasy Trip which Steve Jackson designed and recently gained rights to and launched a kickstarter The point buy system for Wiards and Melee designed by Steve Jackson predates HERO by 2 years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GURPS
    14 replies | 640 view(s)
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