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40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!] Thursday, 11th July, 2019 10:07 PM

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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019


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Wednesday, 26th June, 2019


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Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 10:06 PM - Ristamar mentioned kenmarable in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    To be perfectly fair, I'm sure that it works fine at your table, and that's the most that anyone can ask out of any house rule (or ruling). I would even expect that your ruling might change, depending on the players at the table and how they react to your rules, but that variable is beyond the scope of this sort of thread. Or, to quote kenmarable from the Prologue to Third Edition thread, "Balancing as a DM and balancing as a game designer are entirely different things."

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 11:20 AM - CleverNickName mentioned kenmarable in post Critical Role's Kickstarter Breaks $1,000,000 In About An Hour!
    They know what they are doing. If they say they don't have the time/resources/energy to do more, they know far better than we do.This. Matt, Travis, Sam, and others have said, repeatedly, that they won't add more stretch goals to the Kickstarter. They didn't say why, but I bet kenmarable hit the nail on the head. Instead, they said they will put any additional money pledged into improving the animation, adding more fight scenes, possibly adding digital effects in post-production. And that's the right call. They should be focusing on delivering the promised product--not making more promises.

Thursday, 21st September, 2017


Friday, 24th March, 2017

  • 06:27 PM - Farrem mentioned kenmarable in post Brazilian D&D Translators Fall Out Over Translation Rights
    @kenmarable, you got the general idea. @Morrus it's not a cancelation at will, in brazilian law you can cancel a contrat if one of the parts is misrepresenting themselves (an that is the case, all the plans and all the documents that Fire on Board presented to get the contract included assets from all the other companies). Seriously look at the medium article: More damning yet is an English-language document in which the four FMR members make a joint presentation of their credentials for the licence. “We present to Hasbro–Wizards of the Coast the Companies that will be involved in the licensing partnership,” it reads." (https://medium.com/@t.mcgrenery/why-brazilians-are-boycotting-dungeons-dragons-3fa37ce4d8a3#.6wi85o6fb) And right after this they just tell that the other companies withdrawn? The problem if WotC or GF9 do not intervene is that this is going to court, the judge will stop any publishing until the judgement (and that alone may take years, maybe 2 to 5 years). Not only this, ...

Thursday, 11th September, 2014

  • 11:24 PM - Quickleaf mentioned kenmarable in post Planescape: Fantasy Taken to the Edge (5e conversion)
    jabelincoln kenmarable I agree that the following rules should just be ignored outright: Priest spell level loss by how far they are from their deity's home plane. Weapon enchantment loss by how far from plane of construction. Also I would keep the unique effects of each plane as described in the original Planescape books. Very little tweaking is needed to make these work in 5e.  That leaves the more complex question of spells which required planar pathways in 2e. Traditionally, the Inner Planes are cut off from the Astral Plane (and thus the Outer Planes) while the Outer Planes are cut off from the Ethereal (and thus the Inner Planes). These spells generally came in four types: Spells requiring access to the Astral. Spells requiring access to the Ethereal. "Dual" Spells potentially requiring access to either/or the Astral and Ethereal. Spells creating extradimensional spaces (which don't work on the Astral). Here's a list of those spells. Spells with 5e versions/equivalents are in ...

Wednesday, 30th July, 2014

  • 02:36 PM - Quickleaf mentioned kenmarable in post Planescape: Fantasy Taken to the Edge (5e conversion)
    kenmarable Cool to hear from you! I remember when you used to manage Planewalker. Definitely check out Kamikaze Midget 's excellent faction conversion just down the house rules page, there's a link to his site. Really solid conversion of the spirit of each faction as backgrounds. My model was to have a group of faction backgrounds and a group of non-faction plant backgrounds (e.g. Chant-Broker, Blood War Mercenary, etc) for those players who just aren't joiners or don't grok the factions. And then each faction has one feat clustering abilities from Factols Manifesto & 3e for those who want greate attention on their faction beliefs / powers. The premise is that since belief is the main theme of Planescspe then factions should be woven into the heart of the game because they represent what character's believe. I agree that belief needs to be woven into the fabric of the rules for a Planescape game, and factions need to have some presence, but I'm not sure you need factions as background......

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Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 10:11 PM - Tony Vargas quoted kenmarable in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    Exactly my point. Just when there’s a universal claim made like what “has always been,” there’s often plenty of experience to the contrary.The expectation that DMs acquire long experience through play I first first saw articulated by Gygax in the 1e DMG (it might've been in 0e somewhere, or in a Dragon or Strategic Review article, first - heck, I might be confusing Sorcerer's Scroll with the DMG, he wrote both with much the same tone & authority). Along with a lot of other 'always been' assumptions and explanations about the game, like the role of magic items in balancing classes, the rationales for hps & saving throws, the handling of exp & leveling, the inclusion of NPCs in the party, and, among others, the obscure player role of Caller... Not that the game wasn't played differently by everyone - another expectation Gygax openly shared - just that there actually was a game, with stuff in print between it's covers. ::shrug::
  • 09:33 PM - Tony Vargas quoted kenmarable in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    Not in my experience. Vast majority of the gamers I know started with zero experience as players or DM.When was this, and how many of the 40 million in question did they constitute? ;) Certain people were interested in DMing, others weren’t. So the DMs just learned as they went. Whether they started D&D with BECMI, 2e, 3e, or 5e, every DM I know started as a DM, not as a player first. Whether someone is regularly a DM or a player, seems to have more to do with personality types than level of experience.As is typical on the boards, one person's experience is completely at odds with another's. ::shrug:: Whether you struggle to teach yourself DMing, take to it like a duck to water through sheer talent, or - as EGG layed out in the 1e DMG, come to DMing after much experience as a player - DMing is the more challenging role to assume in the game. That goes for any edition of the game, and, really, almost any RPG. But in games that put a lot of responsibility on the DM, like 5e & the cla...

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 06:56 PM - Parmandur quoted kenmarable in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    Is this confirmed somewhere? I assumed that was the case - that, at least, this product likely was subsidized by Target to keep the prize low but quality high, but I hadn't seen that officially confirmed nor that it was Target that initiated the idea. If that's officially stated somewhere, I'd like to see it because it very clearly makes the "FLGS got screwed" discussions entirely moot. Alright, I found tge interview in question: ComicBook.com had the chance to speak with Nathan Stewart, the Senior Director of Dungeons & Dragons, at D&D Live 2019: The Descent. During the interview, Stewart mentioned that the D&D Essentials Kit came out of a desire to serve a type of player that wasn't being serviced by traditional hobby game stores or Amazon. "The Essentials Kit was born out of conversations with Target asking about what players would buy next after the Starter Kit," Stewart explained, referring to the current D&D boxed set sold in Target's board game section. "Target told us that they didn...
  • 05:44 PM - Parmandur quoted kenmarable in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    Is this confirmed somewhere? I assumed that was the case - that, at least, this product likely was subsidized by Target to keep the prize low but quality high, but I hadn't seen that officially confirmed nor that it was Target that initiated the idea. If that's officially stated somewhere, I'd like to see it because it very clearly makes the "FLGS got screwed" discussions entirely moot. Yup, either Nate Stewart or Mearls went into how Target came to WotC in one of the interviews after the announcement: I'm afraid I don't recall where it was, but they got somewhat detailed about it. The old Starter Set has sold very, very well for Target, but they didn't have a follow-up product because the game books don't fit their gaming retail model. So they wanted something they could sell to people who bought the Starter Set, and worked with WotC to make this.

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 05:50 PM - EthanSental quoted kenmarable in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    Also manufacturing tech improving to be able to make high quality, low price plastic minis as well, I suppose. Back in the 80s, from what I recall, it was mostly all metal except for things like very low-detail Warhammer 40k Space Marine armies. (I remember my friend having probably 100+ of those Space Marines and I was saving up to get barely enough Eldar Aspect Warriors & Harlequins to field a force. But mine did look soooo much better. ;) Although I guess that might have been closer to 1990ish.) those 80s grenedier metal minis, although having a place in gaming culture, were pretty much blogs of metal with little detail compared to rap Partha minis and such as the industry and manufacturing like you mention got better. We have some great sculptors and companies now making great minis!
  • 01:23 AM - Mercador quoted kenmarable in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    Fun little story I could totally see the sequence, you should write books if you don't already. I thought they had Targets in Canada. At the very least you should be able to get it shipped to you. All Targets closed 2 years ago after only a year or two of business. I just checked to see the shipping cost to Canada (@Mercador lives in the same city as I) and its about 30$ for standard shipping. The produce itself is sold at 34 CAD, so I guess I'll wait for the Amazon release :P If I remember correctly, it was in 2015 that they went down, what a retail disaster... But yeah, 30$ shipping fees for a 34$ product is a bit overkill. Let's hope Amazon will get some next September or I'll just pay the Imaginaire rate ;)

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 08:26 PM - Parmandur quoted kenmarable in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    Fun little story: I decided to swing by and see about picking up a copy at the local Target here. I wasn't sure if it would be with books or board games or what, so I went to that general area towards the back of the story. As I'm starting to look around, I hear a boy's voice say, "It comes with it's own DM screen!" Of course my ears perked up and I went in that direction as I hear, "Oh, sorry. One for my friend, too." Getting to the end of the aisle, I see two boys around 10 or so, and they are staring at the back of a box. Keeping my distance because I am some random stranger in a store, of course, I say, "Hey, picking up the Essentials Kit?" One replies, "Yeah, they only had 3 left and those were still in the back. He's getting one for my friend. You here for it, too?" "Yep, it looks pretty cool." "Yeah, I guess they're going to be all out! I'm so excited we were able to get them the day they dropped!" (I can't help but think how weird but nice that is to hear a kid talk about a...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 03:42 AM - R_Chance quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Depends on what you mean. As a DM, I don't have much trouble balancing it for my particular group, either. However, as a game designer, that variable is far out of their control. them. *snip* He replied and it seems he was talking as a game designer and (commercial) adventure designer. I'm still not sure I agree on his points (I design and run my own adventures -- I don't use commercially produced ones). But you were right on what he was talking about. Thanks.

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 02:20 PM - Jonathan Tweet quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Balancing as a DM and balancing as a game designer are entirely different things. I see you explained this for me before I did, so thanks.
  • 09:05 AM - R_Chance quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Depends on what you mean. As a DM, I don't have much trouble balancing it for my particular group, either. However, as a game designer, that variable is far out of their control. So when deciding how powerful effects should be that recharge on short or long rests or whatever, there has to be a lot of assumptions made but also taking into account the fact that at any table (or even different times with a single table), those assumptions can be very, very wrong. Needing to balance all of that is extremely challenging. So I can certainly sympathize with the point that daily effects can be very difficult to balance well, and what works for one group or even one situation in a group might not work for others at all. Balancing as a DM and balancing as a game designer are entirely different things. Personally, my games tend to be run pretty fast and loose, and are pretty forgiving mechanically, so I haven't noticed it myself. But that doesn't mean I don't think it's a potentially big issue for others...

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 09:43 PM - Parmandur quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Like most generalizations, it may fit my anecdotal evidence as well, but I'd be wary of making claims about standards and overwhelming majorities without actual data citations. ;) And if someone doesn't play that way, then why is it surprising that they might want it to work differently? I'm just confused by the basic exchange being: "Such and such doesn't really work for me, so in my system we do it differently." "But such and such works for me!" Seems to be missing the point. Or in other words: "Chocolate ice cream doesn't really work for me for these reasons. I prefer orange sherbet." "But I like chocolate ice cream." "The overwhelming majority of people like chocolate ice cream." Yes, and your point is....? :) Just going off of what WotC found in their studies of the playing population, and what is happening in the streaming game world. The rules are there, but rulings from a DM matter way more and no design can replace that, and can never be "balanced." Eliminating that fuzziness is ...
  • 09:02 PM - Parmandur quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Depends on what you mean. As a DM, I don't have much trouble balancing it for my particular group, either. However, as a game designer, that variable is far out of their control. So when deciding how powerful effects should be that recharge on short or long rests or whatever, there has to be a lot of assumptions made but also taking into account the fact that at any table (or even different times with a single table), those assumptions can be very, very wrong. Needing to balance all of that is extremely challenging. So I can certainly sympathize with the point that daily effects can be very difficult to balance well, and what works for one group or even one situation in a group might not work for others at all. Balancing as a DM and balancing as a game designer are entirely different things. Personally, my games tend to be run pretty fast and loose, and are pretty forgiving mechanically, so I haven't noticed it myself. But that doesn't mean I don't think it's a potentially big issue for others...

Saturday, 8th June, 2019

  • 02:11 AM - Aaron L quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Like, if they were these strange creatures, they wouldn't call themselves something as lame as "devils." :) Whereas I think that any Demon or Devil worth its salt would absolutely revel in the name, and all of the historical, cultural, and religious connotations that come with it. Some rando peasant isn't going to have the slightest idea what in the Hell a Baatezu is, but he will damn well know what a Devil is and know to absolutely not cross it on peril of his immortal soul. The trouble with the terms Tanar'ri and Baatezu is what is known as "Calling a Rabbit a Smeerp" on TVTropes. Your characters are going out to hunt small, furry creatures with long ears and cotton-puff tails that hop around. Are they hunting rabbits? Nope, they're hunting smeerps! It's an attempt to gain the benefits of all the pre-existing cultural connotations of a known creature or mythological entity except, instead of calling it what it is, calling it a weird, made up science fiction name in a lazy attempt at...

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 10:33 PM - GreyLord quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    THAC0 on it's own wasn't so bad (other than from the start looking a lot like a sensible system that was flipped upside down for no reason*). Part of the problem that, I think 3e did an incredible job in solving in an obvious way, was that the AD&D math was all over the place. To hit you wanted to roll high on a d20, saving throws you wanted to roll low on a d20, skill checks (thieves only) were d100 and (I think) you wanted to roll low? But ability checks were back to d20s and rolling low, unless it was bend bars & lift gates, which was based on your strength but rolling d100 (and don't forget that if your strength - and only your strength - was 18, you also had a percentage with it)... A powerful character had high ability scores, low THAC0, high saving throws, negative AC, etc... Whenever we introduced a new player to AD&D, we literally had to draw up and down arrows next to everything to help them learn which you wanted to roll high and which you wanted to roll low. The simple, consiste...
  • 10:07 PM - Mistwell quoted kenmarable in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Who the heck would want to eat tacos while reading a book of that size? You're just asking to stain the pages when all the tacos stuff falls out onto it while you're eating! ;) Pretty clearly there are several of us. Just wanted to point out your post, Ken, came right after Defcons. So it looked to me like you're raising your hand saying, "Heck yes many of us want to eat tacos while reading the DMG!"

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 01:58 PM - DMZ2112 quoted kenmarable in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    Um, what? Releasing a mini version of the setting last year that they even said was the precursor of a hardcover, having Adventure League games based in the setting, and in just the past few months multiple playtest versions of a class deeply tied to the setting isn’t really blatantly broadcasting their intentions? I’m not sure any way to be more obvious until they actually announced the product! And yet, until yesterday morning, it was going to be either Planescape or Greyhawk. I even heard some Spelljammer expectations, because of the "clear link" from Saltmarsh's nautical content. I guess I could have been clearer with my criticism, but I thought the tinfoil hat reference was plain enough. What I was trying to say is that despite what a large portion of the community seems to believe, WotC doesn't drop hints. They tell us what they are going to do, and then they do it, while certain employees muddy the water to keep the hype level high. Huh? Where do you get that WotC misleads f...
  • 04:42 AM - Parmandur quoted kenmarable in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    Exactly what I was expecting, otherwise it would have been over 2 and a half year wait from Wayfinder’s to a full hardcover version. Seemed really unlikely they would do another classic setting first. Now, if they make it a regular cycle now and this summer have a Planescape PDF and open it up on DMsGuild, that would be wonderful! I wouldn't be surprised if they did a Dark Sun playtest with a Psion.

Saturday, 11th May, 2019

  • 09:32 AM - S'mon quoted kenmarable in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I don't recall specifics (and most of it, of course, wasn't real public), but the general impression seemed to be the "employee spoke up about harassment and workplace culture issues and gets fired" vs "employee is not a good fit and does not work with our customers well" sort of two sides that seems unfortunately common (especially it seems with women in male-dominated industries, but that's my editorializing). I think Lisa Stevens has always done her best to be fair to everyone at her company, and is not a whip-cracking instrument of Patriarchal Oppression.
  • 09:26 AM - S'mon quoted kenmarable in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Employees need to be friendly and nonconfrontational with customers. That was never exactly Price's strong suit... she had a really negative effect on the tone* of the Paizo forums when I was posting there, and it seems to have been what eventually got her fired (twice). OTOH I don't particularly doubt her inside-dirt take on Paizo's business, it certainly seems plausible, and not particularly out of line for small businesses struggling to get by. Of course she leaves out all the good things about Paizo, things which likely attracted her there in the first place. *When you register at Paizo forums you get a note "We want our forums to be a fun and happy place", asking posters to be polite and kind. The vast majority of posters take the message on board. Paizo's employee Jessica Price was a very notable exception!
  • 05:47 AM - billd91 quoted kenmarable in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Reading between the lines, as well as reading accounts of many other former employees, I 100% believe her version. More specifically, it seems to be a cultural view at Paizo that the customers are always right even when they are harassing and abusing the employees. It's telling that several former employees and formerly frequent freelancers won't even go to Paizo forums anymore because they claim that it is too toxic because Paizo is afraid that clamping down on that will drive customers away and hurt the business. Employees need to be friendly and nonconfrontational with customers. Now, of course, that's just one side, and I'm quite open about my opinion on it. But seeing the same story across many former employees/freelancers, and giving up on the Paizo forums myself a while ago, it does seem quite believable. As a long-time participant on the Paizo site, I don't think it's any more toxic than here - and also pretty strongly moderated. There are times I've considered it more tightly moder...


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