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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 06:50 PM
    Honestly, I don't think the 5e designers were up to the task. Everytime I hear them talk about 4e I'm amazed by how little they get the appeal of 4e.
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 05:35 PM
    I think people do not always get how over all structure contributes It kind of relates to 5e designers take on healing surges mentioned earlier.
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 05:20 PM
    Let me check... ok that is not what I had in mind. Doesn't look like a viable alternative to me. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, it looks interesting in its own right, just not a substitute. I kind of expected a more serious effort to have surfaced by now.
    187 replies | 12679 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 04:31 PM
    On the semantics side, Spanish needs more information to convey a message than English does. For example if you have to translate "I'm bad at studying and I could use your help." Which of the six possible constructs -each one with different meaning- should you use? You need a lot of contextual information to decide. That is more work than many translators bother to do. Some would only take the...
    55 replies | 1523 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:27 PM
    I am currently not happy with the options I have found so far. I might be missing something
    7 replies | 57 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:06 PM
    These two accounts of 5e seem pretty congruent with one another. They remind me of a certain, fairly common, sort of approach to 2nd ed AD&D. I've also edited a post about half-a-dozen upthread having read these posts. EDIT: and I also just read this, which seems equally congruent with the other two posts:
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:56 PM
    I don't understand. Are you saying that sometimes the GM has to ignore successful checks and treat them as failures because otherwise the players will win the game unfairly or too easily? That's a strange assertion, if it's the one you're making. I also don't understand what "combats that are unavoidable" has to do with anything. That's just more checks. If the player's dice are "hot" (as you...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:55 PM
    Insert DM in the equation who doesn't have that 4e as a resource and you have a need for the obvious part of a tactical module. The thing is character abilities need to interact interestingly with monster abilities the ability to easily stand up from being prone is meaningless if nothing prones you. I do not see this stuff as operating in isolation.
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:41 PM
    An action declaration is a proposal that the fiction should include a certain content. For instance, I climb the wall is a proposal as to the content of the shared fiction, namely, that it includes the PC climbing the wall. I don't know what playing their character means here other than some improv acting. If the GM is deciding everything that happens, what else are the players contributing...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 03:39 PM
    I see. So TTRPG systems and play are not objective things and cannot be analyzed empirically and anyone that attempts to do so is a big jerk? Is that pretty much the gist? Following from that, youíve just wasted my (and others) time with a rhetorical request to evaluate 5e that you obviously had no interest in engaging with. Feels bad. Please donít make such requests, get sincere...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:38 PM
    I find the accusation that people want it to be exactly the same is ummm insert something not nice. I mean really why not actually try to be better? 4e had some experiments later in the edition where a class could shift battlefield roles for instance swapping out your general fighting specialization dynamically. Not that they were totally locked down any way but explicit fluidity is good too.
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:27 PM
    That was a 192 page book... sounds pretty extensive.
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 PM
    One of the appeals of the previous edition was it was very easy to DM...
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:22 PM
    And some are kind of innadequate like how second wind is very nearly un-used in 4e due to action economy and which is even more tied down in 5e. But it gets a variant?
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:17 PM
    You named one right there dude... do you really think you can go and change virtually every monster an easy fix to the game?
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:15 PM
    Because increasing the tactical element of play interleaves with every class used and any combat spell and every monster in use. How many bits and pieces do you have to interact with just for one element is what makes it difficult? I already mentioned the bloodied condition I will point out more broadly why that example works. It can give us monsters who have tactically interactive abilities...
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 02:52 PM
    * The ďLight ClockĒ in Torchbearer and how all of the other game mechanics are integrated perfectly with it and how, working in concert, they bring home the intended play experience (cognitive space inhabited, mood, theme, pace). * Same thing goes for Blades in the Dark with its holistic integration of all of its system machinery which engenders bold, devil-may-care scoundrels, each uniquely...
    43 replies | 1476 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 02:10 PM
    I donít know what the point of this response was. It doesnít engage with anything Iíve said. You wonít me to...say that I donít know what Iím talking about? Huh? Further, itís a claim about me that has absolutely no evidence to back it up. What claim from ignorance do you think that Iím making that isnít backed by evidence and wonít stand up under scrutiny? If youíre looking for an example...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:04 PM
    I see this as somewhat similar to what I posted upthread - that in AD&D there's no systematic way to put your connection to family on the line.
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:38 PM
    I've highlighted you use of the word things. I think you're using it to refer to certain sorts of events in the fiction. The sorts of things that might be presented on a messageboard in the form of a transcript. In my post I was talking about experiences had by the players, at the table. The transcript - the in-fiction events - is one component of these. But does not exhaust them. To give...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 PM
    I guess I'm assuming that - or wondering whether - there is more that can be said than just It's my preference. That is, that it's possible to articulate why it's good. Upthread, Lanefan asserted that 4e's hp mechanic is flawed because it doesn't conform to his expectations for a hp mechanic. That's a pretty strong claim - that his way of thinking is better. Presumably there's something that...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 11:40 AM
    Action resolution in Burning Wheel (which can be ported to other systems eg Classic Traveller): * Intent and task action declaration; * Say 'yes' or roll the dice; * Success is success on both intent and task; failure is narrated by the GM by reference to intent and/or task as will keep things moving and maintain or increase the pressure; * Let it ride (ie results stand - no rerolls).
    43 replies | 1476 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 11:35 AM
    Dredging up arguments do little good to this thread.
    123 replies | 7322 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 07:54 AM
    My Princes of the Apocalypse game plays monthly, maybe 4 hours. There is still resource drain - several fights between (1 week) long rests is common - the fights aren't normally trivial since a trivial fight doesn't drain significant resources anyway. 5e expects PCs can do 6-8 medium to hard fights per LR before being tapped out.
    32 replies | 665 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 07:00 AM
    I'm afraid this will sound like damning with faint praise, but it is the result of an honest evaluation that comes from running and playing 5e. Much like Fate, I consider 5e to be a really well designed game that excels at a style of play I have very little interest in. 5e excels at GM led and mediated storytelling where the emphasis is on resolving the adventure that is put in front of the PCs...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    4 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 06:10 AM
    Right, there is really very little reason why you would NOT want that bonus. In any case most rangers are only going to have one HQ in play at a time, so they tend to focus fire. There is just not much to be gained by splitting up your attacks unless you're reduced to pinging minions with TS, which is a pretty silly thing to do in most cases (but stuff happens). As I said before Prime Shot is...
    27 replies | 1070 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 05:48 AM
    Quite honestly it seems like it would be prohibitively difficult to add on like a patch in the first place so I wasn't really expecting to see it. Just adding in the bloodied condition for its fantasy fighting pacing fun might be extensive let alone a broad tactical boost. 5e design paradigm seems to make it an extensive rewrite not a add on.
    25 replies | 434 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:40 AM
    Except they needed doorways and extra rows of pikeman to do anything at all apparently AD&D was my first experience and I didnt see in home games or conventions much different sizes of party than I have seen in 3e and in 4e or 5e.
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:31 AM
    Row of pikeman... LOL you must have been gaming with entirely different people than me.. never saw once in my gaming career a row of pikeman in the party that sounds so heroic like the fighters are incompetent buffoons oh yeah they were. The infamous doorway let's play bugs bunny and pop one out so we always have one not everyone was only doing tunnel fighting nor thought it really needed to...
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:41 AM
    Here is some rules text from Apocalypse World (which is one of the games Campbell was referring to), pp 12 and 194. The rule for moves is to do it, do it. In order for it to be a move and for the player to roll dice, the character has to do something that counts as that move; and whenever the character does something that counts as a move, itís the move and the player rolls dice. Usually...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 03:20 AM
    The Adventuring Day XP table would suggest three deadly encounters per day.
    32 replies | 665 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 01:07 AM
    Speaking of this, wasn't there a PF1 clone of some sort in the works? I heard something about it in passing, but never got any details.
    187 replies | 12679 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:06 AM
    Not from the DM himself which is what we were discussing... a DM finding themselves now able to cut loose instead of faking it. This meant many 4e DMs were reporting more player kills than they ever had with any edition previously Yeh in a world of D&D caliber magic that isnt the guy standing in front its often the one with the pointy hat
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 12:59 AM
    Too expensive IMHO actually and Fighters have another resource there attacks... spend one of your attacks scanning your enemies for an opening you may use Int/Cha or Wisdom (or appropriate skill such as investigation, insight, deception) and your next attack vs that enemy can be as though you had a superiority die additionally add int/wiz/charisma.
    27 replies | 508 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 12:57 AM
    I have another theory, Spanish translations require more work, some other languages don't. For other languages you can easily take the plain text in English and just straight translate it without paying too much attention to context. So the result is either a trainwreck that mixes/ignores gender/closeness/person or is more expensive. Many times this is done in Spain for videogames by people who...
    55 replies | 1523 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:18 PM
    I added something to the fighter in both 4e and 5e that allows any mental attribute to be used as your initiative stat (call it battle ready). I would like tactical maneuvers for the Battlemaster as the next step similar to how the Battlemaster has Charisma mods
    27 replies | 508 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:31 PM
    The Xanathar's encounter tables are great for sandboxing, I definitely recommend them. I'm currently running a sandbox with the very good Primeval Thule Campaign Setting; previously I used the 3e Wilderlands of High Fantasy, both are on drivethru. Rob Conley's stuff like Blackmarsh (free) also good for smaller sandboxes. I definitely find adding to an existing box is much easier than starting...
    3 replies | 175 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:08 PM
    You mean the bonus if they are attacking the same monster as you?
    27 replies | 1070 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:03 PM
    Nods there is definitely that... but there is also how tactical you are willing to play the adversaries pulling your punches by having enemies play more than a bit dumb was pretty common back in the day 4e felt fair if that makes any sense.
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:03 PM
    Which is why I regularly encourage people to play more and different types of games. And I also regularly recommend people (at least in my life) be willing to have the self-awareness and humility to say ďI donít know.Ē I donít understand this modern phenomena of being unwilling to simply recognize that you donít know what you donít know. There are lots of things I donít know...even in the...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:03 PM
    Level appropriate is a bad word LOL
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:59 PM
    There are three effects of the vampireís bite: (a) the target takes 7 (1d6 +4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage, (b) the targetís hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and (c) the vampire regains a number of hit points equal to the amount of the reduction. All three of these effects happen immediately on a hit. I think everyone agrees on...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:11 PM
    I suppose in 5e style false opening and taunt should be distinct one based on str/dex and the other based on cha
    164 replies | 5735 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:43 PM
    But on your own account this isn't true. Because the GM can always narrate something else. As you're presenting it, all the players get to do is make suggestions that the GM may or may not follow up on. How is that possiby a success, given the declared action? It's obviously a failure - the PC has not got what s/he wanted (namely, incriminating financial documents). So when do the players...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:42 PM
    There are certainly ways to adjust these things though, if "hitting" becomes too easy. I believe that the Fantasy AGE Companion provides some alternate rules (especially to address the oft-cited problem of HP bloat) and there is the upcoming Fantasy AGE Campaign Builder. That said, the Stunt points are fun. They add both additional chaos and tactical choice to combat. Plus, players in my...
    43 replies | 1476 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:14 PM
    That would not be the plan for it. I don't think that most campaigns last that long anyway. Nerf the monsters? I read elsewhere that the frighten/corruption/etc. rules were meant to balance higher level parties. If it's too much, in your experience, then maybe take it out? I don't plan on the grmidark insanity stuff anyway. I have a copy of DCC, and I can't say that I was impressed or...
    7 replies | 274 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:54 AM
    Ever since I went to 1 week long rests, this sort of 4e problem vanished. The players definitely do care about resource draining encounters when it may mean eg the Barbarians not having a Rage left when they face the BBEG. Really 5e is built around an expectation of 6-8 encounters per Long Rest, with the majority of those only resource drains. Officially only a Deadly encounter has a...
    28 replies | 609 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:44 AM
    Yeah, this actually reminded me much more of the 5e Warlock, where you can pick Invocations related to one of your paths (e.g., Blade, Chain, Tome), but most are essentially class features of your choice. Part of the popularity of the warlock, IMHO, is in how it provides players with greater build and customization points.
    38 replies | 1411 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:41 AM
    Truthfully, the Beast Master build is NOT at all underpowered in a basic sense. The only issue it has is the lack of access to a certain set of highly potent feats. Beyond that, the lack of the TWF's larger off-hand weapon is trivial (.5 point of damage on a hit, not a big deal). The only other lack being access to a truly world-shaking PP like Battlefield Archer. So, you don't REALLY need to...
    27 replies | 1070 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:23 AM
    Well, Xeviat, HoML does mostly group powers by source, though it doesn't really outlaw 'cross sourcing' by gaining boons which provide powers outside your source. In that sense source is a bit more 'thematic' than it is in 4e. Anyway, I think AoE damage IS control, very much so! However, I think wizards could profitably have gone much more in the direction of terrain effects, like walls and...
    26 replies | 833 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:21 AM
    Always remember never bother saving the bar maid just the princess because greed is good
    84 replies | 5285 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    First they came for the skeletons, and I did not join the armies of the deadó Because I was not a skeleton. Then they came for the zombies, and I did not eat the brains of the livingó Because I was not a zombie. Then they came for the ghouls, and I did not consume the flesh of the livingó Because I was not a ghoul. Then they came for meóand there was no one left to eat me.
    73 replies | 13931 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:35 PM
    If you've never been a grappler, it will be a little bit difficult to attempt to convey things conceptually, but Chess (which I suspect you've played or at least had exposure to) should suffice. Look at grappling (Brazillian Jiu-jitsu in particular) as a series of decision-trees where your opponent is imposing ever-progressing catch-22s upon you as they control you (takedown > deployment of a...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:29 PM
    The ghoul problem for me is that in 5e they are underpowered and not nearly scary enough. I think they should have 3 attacks at +3/d6+1 necrotic, each being a DC 10 paralysis save. Save to end, fail 3 saves and you're paralysed for an hour. Still weak compared to 1e-3e but at least has the flavour and the theoretical possibility of being chewed on while still alive.
    73 replies | 13931 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 08:33 PM
    The ghoul makes only one attack, with either its bite or its claws. Since it has hands, it can certainly use its action to grapple instead.
    73 replies | 13931 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:00 PM
    Sure but dont you figure it actually didn't require as much skill or art because EL delivered..
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:50 PM
    I like 'em once they're printed & bound. :D
    55 replies | 1523 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    My posts on this subject over the years (and in this thread) involve pretty intensive analysis on why resolution procedure/GMing technique/reward cycle/play ethos/PC build setup (a) objectively provides a different experience than(b) in many different areas (from table handling time to distribution of authority to intraparty balance to party: obstacle balance to cognitive workload and on and on)....
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:36 PM
    I have heard DMs say in 4th they can go full out.... also a level +4 encounter is an acceptable encounter in 4e. Th DM has so much control over how dangerous things are by RAW the comparisons fail
    108 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    U Weíre complicated animals who live complicated lives. And these games, all of them, are complicated, relatively speaking. Nothing is ever one thing. But I think the line of evidence that I love running something like Dogs, something like 4e, while having many times more experience (and just as much enjoyment) with Moldvay Basic and AD&D1e is a pretty strong one.
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:51 PM
    Is that perhaps intentional given the tone of the setting? Recommendations for adjusting that? Or do you know of any alternate rules among his MANY supplements that address this? It seems like this could be fairly easily adjusted so that the save dc equals the casting stat (i.e., Intellect or Will), but I am not sure how that would impact balance since I am not sure how high stats typically...
    7 replies | 274 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:11 PM
    Great assignment! I'm going to assume this is the first step in a redesign of the features in question because otherwise there'd be some balance issues. Also, I'm assuming we're leaving things like size, speed, and languages as is. I'm only going to consider features from the base races. Anyway, here's my list: Dragonborn: Breath Weapon Dwarf: Tool Proficiency/Stonecunning Elf: Keen Senses...
    24 replies | 608 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:03 PM
    Iím not Campbell, but Iíll throw some words at this from GMing perspective. Its definitely true that most people almost surely enjoy the experience of games they like, and through their affinity they develop or have a natural aptitude for better play. Humans have pretty extreme neurological diversity, so I would say that itís trivially true that cognitive predispositions and mental...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:16 AM
    Well I agree that the tactile elements of D&D are a big draw for me. Nothing like a pint of warm beer, good company, a nice pub room, a colourful battlemat covered in minis, dozens of dice, pencils and weighty hardback tomes. :)
    55 replies | 1523 view(s)
    4 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:06 AM
    Had a battle yesterday with a bunch of Great Old One Warlocks, 14th level casters. Never played or ran a Warlock before, though I've seen them played a fair bit so I know eg Eldritch Blast is a good fallback. I just looked up the spells that seemed useful during the fight and cast those. I also took advice from a player ("Don't bother with Crown of Madness, it's crap in this edition"). We're...
    21 replies | 760 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:56 AM
    I agree with the analysis. I run a lot of big battles in 5e, I think the main thing for me is use average* damage and have plenty of d20s handy. I do a few things like have squads of mooks all move then all attack, pre-3e style, but otherwise I stick to the regular rules. *While I resent losing .5 average damage per hit, when you have 60+ multi-attacking NPCs on the battlemat the speed...
    1 replies | 231 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:23 AM
    I agree. The GM's primary role in TTRPGing (outside of a few instances) is (a) to know what adversity is relevant to this particular play and (b) bring that adversity to bear against the PCs in the imagined space in the most interesting/compelling/challenging/provocative (and these will be contingent upon the game) way possible. Above I mentioned a Dogs play excerpt. The adversity I...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:13 AM
    FrogReaver I think you are starting from a faulty premise. You are assuming that game mechanics cannot meaningfully contribute to play despite having no direct experience of games where the rules are meant to supplement role play. We play these games because we value what they have to say about human nature and how people interact with each other. They help us form mental models of who our...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:57 AM
    In some game no one gets to decide if a mechanic is invoked or not. In Apocalypse World if a character attempts to do something in the fiction that triggers a move the mechanics must be applied. One of the things a GM must always say is Always Say What the Rules Demand.
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Not really. Itís more like, ďIf your hit point maximum being reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken reduces your hit point maximum to 0, you die.Ē So 3d6 are rolled, generating a numerical amount of necrotic damage, and that number is subtracted from your current hit point maximum. If the difference is a non-positive number, you die.
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 01:33 AM
    Venetian? I don't know. But that's what I would suspect just hearing about it.
    33 replies | 1014 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Jim McGarva has a perfect catch-phrase for this sprinkled throughout the Strike (!) rulebook, which is basically a riposte to all of the stuff we heard about with genre-incoherent drift in 4e: "DON'T DEMAND NONSENSE!" One such quip is on fictional positioning and permissible action declarations: If I'm running Dogs and the player thinks someone is under the thrall of demonic...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:56 PM
    In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. As Ovinomancer has posted,...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:24 PM
    I think some games can, but I don't know if that's a product of the system or the people. My Apocalypse World and Burning Wheel, FATE, Dogs... they all tend to the gritty and streetwise. It's why I want to run The Veil - cyberpunk is a natural genre for my style, and Gibson one of my favourite authors. So my Prince Valiant might be a shade or two darker than yours, your Apocalypse World...
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:17 PM
    I was trying to draw attention to the fact that this interpretation, that you can ďfinishĒ a long rest without gaining its benefits, leads one to the conclusion that a wizard can recover all his/her spent spell slots or the victim of a vampire bite end the reduction to his/her hit point maximum more than once per day or when at 0 hit points. I think itís right there in the long rest...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:46 PM
    The rule youíre citing limits you to gaining the benefits of a long rest only once per day, just like the other rule that prohibits you from gaining the benefits of a long rest when you have 0 hit points. If despite that rule, you could take and finish a long rest whenever you had eight hours available, then a wizard would regain all his/her spent spell slots upon finishing that rest and could do...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    I think the main distinction for game purposes is between unconscious due to having 0 hit points and unconscious due to being asleep. Technically, sleep is a state of altered consciousness, rather than unconsciousness, but because Trance is called out as a semi-conscious state, I use the Unconscious condition for both asleep and knocked out. The distinction is important because while sleeping or...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:52 PM
    I find it a little odd that you gloss ďbenefit fromĒ as ďtakeĒ in the case of the once per 24 hours restriction, but maintain that the 1 hit point requirement doesnít prevent you from taking a long rest but only prevents you from benefiting from it. Do you find this as inconsistent as I do? Iím not sure how you think Trance is supposed to work in-game. My understanding is that an elf can...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 05:06 PM
    Or in other words, you can start a long rest (which is really just an action-declaration, i.e. ďThis is what my character is going to do for the next eight hours.Ē), but you just canít finish it. The thing is, I donít think a player of an unconscious PC is in any position to say what their character is going to do. Unconsciousness is not sleep. It has its own rules for hit point recovery.
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:28 PM
    In dim light Iíd say yes. In darkness, if somethingís at stake, I might ask for a Wisdom (Perception) check. edit: At disadvantage no less!
    9 replies | 275 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:10 PM
    Some of my favorites: * Aspects (Fate) * Fate Points (Fate): notably saw less cheating with rolls from players and less compulsion to "fudge/cheat" my GM rolls. * Success with a Complication (e.g., Fate, Apocalypse World, Blades in the Dark) * Countdown Clocks (Blades in the Dark)
    43 replies | 1476 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:03 PM
    The idea of functioning D&D societies as the default setting is just a 3e trope. IMCs the OD&D Wilderlands or 4e Points of Light/Nerath are more typical - there basically is no functioning society, it's more Fallout than Greyhawk.
    153 replies | 6084 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    Ask a Platypus.
    153 replies | 6084 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:59 PM
    S'mon replied to Double Dash
    Yes, same as an Action Surging Fighter can Attack Action twice.
    116 replies | 2954 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:47 PM
    The Indonesian language is basically an artificially standarized variety of Malay, which has been used as a trade language among the archipelago for centuries. The actual most common language of the archipelago is Javanese. So "Indonesian" essentially exists as everyone's shared second language. The Session Tapes, as far as D&D settings are concerned, I would recommend looking at Eberron....
    33 replies | 1014 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:57 PM
    Sorry for my cross-editing. As Iíve posted up-thread, I donít think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you canít sleep/trance while unconscious.
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:09 PM
    Thatís pretty much how Iíd have run it. I left death saves out of my response because stabilizing a dying PC seems trivial enough, if deemed necessary, once revivify was cast. Of course, care would need to be taken to prevent further damage to the PC, or the PC would die again. Iím not sure what you mean by ďrecover naturallyĒ though, because even if a 20 was rolled on a death save, the PCís hit...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:35 PM
    I agree, but the rules for recovering spent spell slots reference finishing a long rest, just like the vampireís bite.
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:24 PM
    Why? In a relatively traditional RPG a GM gets to establish a lot of fiction: much of the setting; many of the NPCs; the framing of many situations; the narration of failures; maybe other stuff too that I'm not thinking of at present. What is the function of successful checks if the GM also gets to establish what happens there too? I was just responding to what you posted:
    713 replies | 19873 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:55 PM
    I donít think anyone has answered jaelisís question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. Iíd be interested to know what your answers would be. If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then Iím sure youíd both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell...
    165 replies | 3859 view(s)
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Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 05:06 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...a *good* solution to the problem at hand. This is an important part about asking for the player's intent. It isn't usually about asking for the players *detailed* goal, but for their *general* goal. Do you want detailed financial paperwork with which to confront the Duke, or will any incriminating evidence do, such that you could pick the most interesting or effective evidence?Counter-point: there's nothing preventing the asked for solution from being THE solution in the fiction. This is an important distiction from the real world. In fiction, the solution is whatever we agree it is. The real world, sadly, doesn't work this way. As an engineer working with customer requirements, and the usually horrible state those are in, I see this all the time. I have little interest dragging it into my games. Then, from there, we need to determine how we arrive at that agreement. Bob Says is a method, as is the player says, or we can use some form of mechanic. This is the large point pemerton is making.
  • 03:24 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...ing dice in this world is the only way to challenge a PC in the fictional world no? Or are challenges not real in our world? Do we only misperceive them as challegnes when in fact they aren't because there's no god ordained dice roller for our universe? Rant over! I mean it may even be fun to roll dice and they likely can be used to enhance the game part of an RPG, but all roleplay can be had without them. In fact it should be obvious that dice and roleplaying are at odds - imagine a game that only ever used dice to determine everything about your character and everything they do and everything they think etc. There is no room left to roleplay in that scenario. That should make it obvious that the more you use the dice to determine the less room you have to roleplay. Likewise the more the GM determines for you the less room you have to roleplay. It seems to me these are obvious truths, or at least should be so. This is, well, a bit philosophically confused. I'll let pemerton bring the big words, but you're doing a decent job pointing out that what happens in game is a fiction and therefore different from what happens in the real world. You break up a bit when you assume that roleplaying a character has anything like the fidelity of being a Real Boy or that the roleplaying game can present a world as rich and uncertain as the real world. The mechanics don't exist because dice are cool (but, you know, they are) but because of that lack of fidelity. The game is a model of a world (fantastical, even) and, as such, it cannot be true to the real world. Further, we are each our own island -- no man can know another and all that. So, assuming that you, a person, can perfectly render a fictional character that is not you with any real fidelity is a bit silly-sounding. We do our best, but for those cases where it's murky because of the lack of fidelity there are mechanics. Otherwise, there's absolutely no need for any social mechanics in D&D -- no persuasio...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 10:21 AM - aramis erak mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    pemerton Many authors describe the process of authoring as letting the character speak to them, or even through them; dissociated from their own personality to some degree. So, while they are just making the choices, the choices don't always feel like choices to the authors.

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 12:42 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...nge based on choice alone and without any mechanic to determine a result. Even diceless systems have mechanics to determine results. All this isn't to say that the above play isn't fun -- it is. I put hard choices in front of my players all the time. Nor is it to say that you can't have character development using this play -- you clearly can. What it says is that it's not a challenge and you aren't putting your concept of the character at risk with this kind of play. In other words, it's part and parcel of the play where the player declares their intended actions only and the GM decides the results vice being able to make rich action declarations on behalf of the character where both the action and the outcome are determined. In this play, you're staking that action AND outcome and a failure may mean you get both a different action and outcome than you intended, because that's what was at stake. I tried earlier to explore what kind of play this might be, and no one except pemerton has bothered to engage it. I suppose it fell flat for the rest of you, either in conceiving the play presented or caring about it.

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 11:07 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ambiguous: doubtful or uncertain especially from obscurity or indistinctness. NO it is NOT ambiguous at all. That is how it is mostly done in RPGs. The player decides describes what his character is doing or trying to do. THEN the GM takes over and describes the results.Apart from numerous RPGs that are exceptions to this, which have been mentioned previously in this thread. So we return to "ambiguous." Catching up on this thread after a weekend vacation: As to the wink, I agree, there probably is a scenario where it makes sense, but it's going to be off the beaten track as far as systems go.I don't necessarily think it's that unusual. Pemerton has mentioned this in the context of Prince Valiant/Pendragon and Cortex+. I am familiar with a similar idea in Monster Hearts (a PbtA game). Monster Hearts was really the game that opened my eye to this sort of thinking. You are playing teenage monsters and the like (think Twilight, Teen Wolf, etc.), but teenage sexuality also plays an important role for the game. One of the things that can happen is that while you may - with all your self-professed player "agency" - declare that your character is straight, you may also find yourself in a situation where you feel a sudden, unexpected romantic attraction to a NPC of the same sex. What now? How do you choose to react to that real emotional response? Your male character's heart just unexpected melted in the presence of another guy. To me, that's where the actual player agency lies. It lies in deciding how our characters choose to respond to their emotional and psychological urges rather than in deciding the particular emotional and p...
  • 02:14 PM - FrogReaver mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    pemerton i think there is a pre-step Iíve been missing that changes everything in d&d I cannot role play the character that can never lose at combat as such a character isnít supported by the rules of the game. The pre- step is that I as a player donít conceive of a character that the rules wouldnít support so in the case of the maiden winking melting my heart I can imagine a game that possesses such a mechanic so that I know not to conceive of a character possessing a trait that would be against said mechanic. Maybe that hat is the real crux of the issue.
  • 02:13 PM - FrogReaver mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    pemerton i think there is a pre-step Iíve been missing that changes everything in d&d I cannot role play the character that can never lose at combat as such a character isnít supported by the rules of the game. The pre- step is that I as a player donít conceive of a character that the rules wouldnít support so in the case of the maiden winking melting my heart I can imagine a game that possesses such a mechanic so that I know not to conceive of a character possessing a trait that would be against said mechanic. Maybe that hat is the real crux of the issue.

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 04:19 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    pemerton - the phrase monster abilities was more shorthand for mechanically supported game actions I guess. Obviously not too many flesh golems are dropping successful come hither winks in any system (although now that I've said that, it is going to come up in my game because it's awesome). I was more railing against impact by fiat rather than mechanic. Players agree to the mechanics in a game when they agree to play, and if the game they agreed to play happens to have seduction mechanics then fine, that's the game. I would propose however that there is a pretty vast gulf between the results you list, such as complication dice, or any other complicating modifier, and straight dictated action. I'm fine with the former but not the latter. My apologies if that wasn't as clear as it could have been.
  • 02:45 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The wink doesn't pose a problem for me as a PC action, although generally there would also be a mechanic involved there but there doesn't have to be. As an NPC action with a dictated result it's ... wacky. Even if you could find a system that supported it I'd still be against it. Obviously the extent of the forced action plays a big role too. If the forced action just consists of telling the player they get swollen love nodes, which is more an invitation to action than forced action anyway, I'm fine with it. But as soon as the DM says something like "she beckons you with a finger and follow her out the door" then I'm firmly against, and will reiterate my earlier contention that this doesn't happen in RPGs generally so is probably a silly example. I don't really feel the need to explain how monster abilities with mechanics are a different class of example. The minion example is easier to deal with (I'm with pemerton on this). The internal consistency of a lot of fantasy fiction fits (and RPGs) the minion example to a tee. Those randos at the bar are indeed panes of glass to the PC and not to each other, and the fact that they are so is part of the unstated contract a player signs when they agree to play said RPG. Just like the fact that they aren't panes of glass in grittier RPGs is also understood by everyone involved at the outset of the game.

Thursday, 4th July, 2019

  • 07:27 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...my character sometimes is much less of an imposition, especially since I can impose back. For me it's not about how much authority I have, though. I could have more authority over other aspects of the game and I would feel the same way. For me it's about the PC being mine. I'm the only one, barring some sort of mechanical means like charm, who gets to control what he feels and does. If you look at this issue only from the point of view of D&D, then you're missing the forest for the tree. Especially since you actually give up far more authority in D&D since everything happens at the permission of the GM. D&D strongly relies on principled play by the GM to protect the limited authority of the players and this principled play is not explicit and often assumed by veterens of play to be understood. At least, their understanding of it us assumed, which is the primary cause of many disagreements on this board. I understand that. While I haven't played as many different games you or pemerton has, I have played other RPGs and experienced differences. I'm not saying the games that allow others to assert control over PCs are bad. They just aren't for me.
  • 03:42 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...etermine the characters actions in that world. That's not what begs the question means. I say it means that, when you have the option to make choices, you do so from the role you have assumed. You're assigning a separate axis here -- what limitations exist on choice -- to roleplaying. It doesn't belong there. This is, again, your preference for how to play the game leaking into definitions that have nothing to do with that preference. There's no way that the GM declaring actions for the PC doesn't impact what we are talking about above. It may have a minimal effect, but an effect it does have. - And more importantly, if I am right about what it means to take on an imaginary role in a fictional world, it by definition precludes the player from doing that for the period of time the GM is controlling their PC's actions. You are not right, this is what pretty much everyone in this thread is contesting with you. Maybe pick up on that? But, as an example, the play that pemerton gave for AW -- in the fail state, the GM has carte blanche to dictate actions for the PC. This doesn't reduce the roleplaying occurring, it limits when the player can make choices. Orthogonal to roleplaying. I'm not sure what you mean by control of PC actions in failure conditions. Maybe you can elaborate. Sigh, it's been mentioned a number of times in this thread. If you're only going to read/engage with posts aimed at you, then I'm not going to bother to try to restate those posts you've skipped. If your definition of taking on an imaginary role in a shared fiction is as I elaborated on above then it most definitely does impact their ability to take on an imaginary role in a shared fiction. Don't see it. I'm still roleplaying that character just as much as I was -- I'm still representing that role within the shared fiction when I have a choice to make. Frankly, your argument is steeped in a single-point-of-view of how RPGs are played. It shows a lack of understa...
  • 01:40 AM - Manbearcat mentioned pemerton in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    https://www.enworld.org/forum/images/Styles/Blackend/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by pemertonhttps://www.enworld.org/forum/images/Styles/Blackend/buttons/viewpost-right.pngGame systems that are generally oriented towards such play include AD&D, CoC, Vampire: the Masquerade... Three radically dissimilar games. Only very, very tacitly following this thread, but this caught my eye in a "what in the world...?" sort of way. I think this may in fact be a source of dissonance that you and I have in some of these conversations, particularly where it pertains to The Forge and, more specifically, "system matters." The most fundamental core mechanic of VtM and White Wolf games is "The Golden Rule" or "there are no rules" or, apropos, "system doesn't matter." @pemerton is referring to AD&D 2e above (surely), not 1e. AD&D 2e went all-in on this ethos (unlike OD&D, 1e, and B/X). CoC does as well. The lifeblood of those three gaming systems are overwhelmingly GM Force and opacity, inadequacy, incoherency, or impotency of action resolutions mechanics (which, not coincidentally for...

Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 03:09 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...t action(and all of its micro-actions) concludes, there is the result of that action, the softening of her heart. The act of winking concludes before there is a softening of the heart. In a game, I don't get to declare that I am going to pull out my sword, threaten the prince, have him concede half of his lands to me, go farm those lands, harvest the crops, and then sell them all as a single action. Is there, maybe, a middle ground between 'I pull my sword" and the entirely of what you posit? Could, maybe, discussion happen about things in that middle ground? In other words, no, you can't do the bottom in any game, but that's because you're not engaging the fiction of the scene or the genre of the game and are, in fact, being a jerk. Can we please dispense with the "but if a jerk does it" arguments? Stating the result of your action isn't the same as assuming success. That's why games have resolution mechanics. In your above, it fails because there are multiple goals. pemerton's example doesn't fail because it's a single goal -- soften the heart of the maiden. The action is to wink. The difference between what you're trying to say and what pemerton is saying is that, in your preference, the player can state their goal as information to the GM, but the GM will decide both what a success and what a failure will look like. The other way to do it is to take the player's goal as the only success option. In other word, if a success is rolled, then the GM's job is to narrate how they player's goal comes to be given the player's actions. The GM doesn't get to decide what success looks like. That said, actions and goals need to be rooted in the fiction of the moment. Your example runs off into future goals that aren't established as at stake in the current scene. This is a player violation of the game construct, and is just bad play, not a problem with the player getting to say what success is.
  • 03:01 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The premise statement is a longstanding falsehood, all too often unchallenged. Players decide what their character attempts, not what they do. GM's decide what the PC's do, based upon the stated attempt, the rules, and their common sense, and sometimes, their story sense. Players may or may not be deciding how their PC's feel; many systems allow forced emotional states, which only works when players agree to those stakes, but can be fun for some. That is, indeed, one way it happens, and one of the ways pemerton noted in his OP. There are other ways, though, like the other one in the OP, that you've dismissed as a falsehood. Given that it exists in a number of games, and can exist in even more, you should reconsider whether or not you've grasped the intent of the OP and whether or not you're the one engaged in a falsehood. As pemerton noted, Burning Wheel's core loop is opposing truth statements about the world, on the player's the other the GM's, which the dice then decide which occurs. If the GM wins, the GM get to both narrate their outcome AND any actions the PC takes to realize that outcome. If the player wins, they get to do the same. This fundamentally disagrees with your universal assertion. "There are other ways than these," to paraphrase. I like Blades in the Dark, which does a similar thing. The player nominates both the action and the outcome -- what they want to happen and how they're doing it. The GM then sets the risk of that action (how bad will the consequences o...

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 12:21 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    Just realize that the definition of narrating a scene in no way actually implies or explicitly says that there is any passive listening going on at all. That probably the reason that so many people are pushing back against you is that you are working from a definition that no one else is.I don't think Bedrockgames is mistaken here. This sense of literary prose narration happening at you, with the players in more passive roles as an audience to GM performance, was present as far back as the OP of pemerton's thread that spawned this one. He is working from a definition or understanding that others had been using.

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 01:21 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I can walk into your house and tell you which bedroom is a guest bedroom just by looking (assuming you have one). That's not really a stumbling block to me. But, effectively, pemerton, we're back to vocabulary differences. You're simply using simpler language. So, is it fair to say that the division, for you, between conversational and prose is vocabulary choice? After all, you didn't change any word order. So, is it down to vocabulary, yes or no?

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 02:26 PM - lowkey13 mentioned pemerton in post Formatting- Quotes Not Coming Out Correctly
    Hi Everybody! (HI DR. NICK!) Now tell Dr. Nick where is the trouble. ...so, @Dannyalcatraz first pointed out a problem in my posts, specifically, this one- https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659985-Why-are-we-okay-with-violence-in-RPGs&p=7618903&viewfull=1#post7618903 Since then, two other commenters have noted the same problem. @pemerton @Manbearcat Q. What is the problem? A. I don't know- I can't see it! Everything looks good to me. But it looks like, from what is in Danny's post- https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659985-Why-are-we-okay-with-violence-in-RPGs&p=7619116&viewfull=1#post7619116 That my "quotes" are disappearing. It seems that pemerton reports it as a text formatting issue. So, I think this is recent? Maybe an "https:" change? And it's not universal ... it looks fine to me. Quotes that I use from someone else seem fine ... I think it might just be a combination of: Using the "quote" feature around text that I paste into the text box, and paste as "plain text formatting" (in order to avoid html issues). But I'd like the Powers That Be to look at this, and either tell me it's a bug (with a fix on the server side?) or that I need to do things differently so everyone can see what I'm doing; I'm guessing that this bug has led to some recent miscommunications. :) EDIT- Here's a test: Nece...
  • 02:48 AM - Hriston mentioned pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Really?? Because I literally brought up this idea that how content was presented could in fact determine whether a group would be interested in the content earlier in the thread (and one of the reasons I thought of it as core to the game) and these were the replies... Emphasis mine. I don't know about @pemertonís post, but that post of mine you quoted was not made in reply to you or anything you said. I made it in response to @Hussarís post which directly preceded mine and which asked why dungeon dressing appears in most editions of the DMG.

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 09:41 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    All substance, no style, and you are just playing a boardgame ... or a wargame. All style, no substance, and you are just doing community theater. That's why it's neither ... or both. It tastes great, and is less filling. (Its a STYLISTIC .... SUBSTANCE, or, put another way, it's a ROLE PLAYING .... GAME ;) ). Yeah, I think I acknowledged that in my post, and I think we've made that clear throughout the thread, despite proponents of either using extreme examples as support. Both are necessary. But I would imagine that most of us feel that one is more important than the other, such as pemerton's stated preference in the OP. To use your comparison (dated though it is, I sadly get it :p), for some folks, lite beer being less filling may be more important to the taste. For others, the opposite is true. While it's both, what matters to people is, I think, what's interesting to discuss.
  • 07:40 PM - uzirath mentioned pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Look at the comments you have made in defense of this theory. Long, lengthy, well-written, good grammar, decent vocabulary, engaged with the argument, and so on. Sure. Yes. My framing, narration, gaming conversation, etc., is probably, by some metrics, more "literary" than someone with less formal education, less experience with public speaking, etc. My point wasn't solely about my experience though. I teach RPGs to children ranging from ages 6-14 (and some older). Many of them do not have well-honed skill with language. Many of them succeed at running (and playing in) awesome games, despite that weakness. I am not arguing that good narration can't helpóskillful presentation matters in RPGs as in other mediumsóbut I've slowly come to accept pemerton's basic premise that it is not the most significant element. I regularly see GMs with strong language skills struggling to attract players to their tables because they talk too much or only want the story to go their way. For the kids who stick with it, there is much to enjoy: the GMs may write great descriptions, have good voice control, use spooky foreshadowing, etc. But, often, the table nearby, with a GM who is flustered and has weak vocabulary manages to be more popular because that GM is refereeing a more engaging story, a story primarily written by the other players, dependent on interesting (or hilarious or gruesome) interactions between characters and the fictional environment. Similarly, in college, I had the opportunity to do a two-year folklore study of RPGs. (This was amazing. Still pinching myself.) I referred in my last post to the "torture" of typing up transcripts. That was a big part of the project. I ended up with hundreds of hours of recordings of live D&D games....


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Saturday, 20th July, 2019

  • 06:38 PM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I've highlighted you use of the word things. I think you're using it to refer to certain sorts of events in the fiction. The sorts of things that might be presented on a messageboard in the form of a transcript. I meant it as non-specific and all-inclusive. In my post I was talking about experiences had by the players, at the table. I would absolutely include things like those things, in 'things.' The example was illustrative, not exhaustive. Now, if you want to get down to the level of experiencing system artifacts, sure, even freestyle, with no system to speak of could be said to have those, and they'd be different from an actual system. But, my point was not that all systems, are the same because they're the same as no system, just that nothing is outside the scope of a given instance of RP, just because it's outside the scope of what the system in use does, or does well, as the participants can hypothetically fall back on freestyle/make-believe/non-systematic RP. I see t...
  • 12:38 AM - FrogReaver quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Some other posters have already explained how finding a ruby can be a failure. Here's another way: the PC is searching for gold pieces because only gold pieces can lift the curse of the whatever-it-is (I'm imagining some variant of the gem-crushing gargoyle in ToH). Finding a ruby is a, in that circumstance, a failure - although maybe if the PC can make it to a gem market and cash in the ruby s/he can get some or even all of the gold s/he needs. As to your possibilities: (1) I don't really see how this can be known in advance unless the GM has already plotted the story out. Which maybe s/he has, but then that brings us back to the question of what the role of the players is in relation to the fiction. (2) This has been dealt with ad nauseum by @Ovinomancer and by me. If the action declaration would violate the established ficiotn then that should alreayd have been sorted out. Furthremore, this is not particularly a GM function. I mean, the GM's narration of the ruby could negate some prioer...

Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 08:24 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    But on your own account this isn't true. Because the GM can always narrate something else. As you're presenting it, all the players get to do is make suggestions that the GM may or may not follow up on. Ditto the GM, who in presenting the entire setting is merely making suggestions the players may or may not follow up on (in the example, the players/PCs might decide the Southtor seal isn't enough, or if the GM throws in the bit about the love letters, might decide to follow up on that instead...or ignore it; it's their choice). How is that possiby a success, given the declared action? It's obviously a failure - the PC has not got what s/he wanted (namely, incriminating financial documents). You're concatenating two goals into one here - a specific one (find some financial papers) and a larger overarching one (incriminate the Duke). Even though both are mentioned in one action, there's nothing stopping you from splitting them out and reacting only to one or the other. Otherwise, to give ...
  • 06:57 PM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Sorry to riff off of just a couple sentences but... And turning from combat to other domains of struggle, a typical AD&D game can't produce the sort of experience in relation to charavter that is being discussed here, because the typical AD&D game has neither the formal rules nor the informal practices necessary to bring the right sort of pressure to bear on the player in the play of his/her PC.Seems like "informal practices" could be pretty varied and readily mutable (or set in stone, and violently defended, I suppose). For instance, there is no way to put family relationships in jeopardy beyond either GM stipulation or consensus roleplayingIf I'm following, that's an example of 'informal practice,' and - I'm really hoping - neither 'informal practice' nor 'GM stipulation' nor 'consensus roleplaying' have any extra-special precise/unintuitive/reverse-ogive*/confuse-inveigle-obfuscate meanings? I'm actually free to go with my understanding as an indifferent native speaker of English? ...
  • 03:04 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    If the answer is never, then I come back to my question - why does the GM get special status here? The obvious answer is that it depends on the type/style of game. In many versions of D&D the DM is granted a special status. In some indie games the dice determine who narrates or how the narrative flows. Both options are good. Whereas I have an obvious answer to the questions I've posed - when the check succeeds the player decides, when the check fails the GM decides. It's so simple it's elegant! It is elegant but it doesn't suit all stories or styles of play. Both yourself and Lanefan seem to be arguing for a particular style of play - being your specific preferences. Same debate, different thread.

Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 04:30 PM - Umbran quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. I did say it was in jest. But, if you want to be a bit more pedantic about it - not all games give the GM a whole lot of space to choose when/what they can veto. And not all GMs are experienced, and know when to veto. And if the GM thinks they always know all implications of things at the time they are decided, and make a good choice on what to veto every time, they are kidding themselves. As Ovinomancer has posted, this seems to assume that the fiction has a content that is independent of the players. But why would, or should, that be so? There was a time just a few years back, pemerton, when someone would ask, "This seems to assume that the fiction has content that the players create. But, why would, or should, that be so?" Aren't you glad that One True Way didn't hold up? The reason that this would, or should, be so is that not all GMs are you, and not all groups and games are precisely like yours. People have differing needs. So, if you are talking about your own table, you may choose to be absolute. When speaking about more broad audiences, flexibility is called for. In general, play will not be confined to narrow channels, so our ways of dealing with it ought to be flexible. Why would the GM know any better than the players what is good for the fiction? You've already allowed that the GM gets to veto action declarations based on genre and fictional positioning. In this, they have effectively been given oversight of the overall health of the fiction. It is now their job. You gave it to them. The individual players are now freed up to focus m...
  • 10:26 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The quote tags in the post I'm replying to here are a bit of a hot mess, so if some quoted bits don't quite make sense it ain't my doing. :) But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. Aye, that I was. As Ovinomancer has posted, this seems to assume that the fiction has a content that is independent of the players. But why would, or should, that be so? Because it's a great big setting out there with lots of stuff in it? Why would the GM know any better than the players what is good for the fiction? Why wouldn't she? And sometimes she'll be right, and sometimes she won't; and the same can be said for the players. But this can all be done on a failed check, or in framing new situations. Why does a successful check also have to be a vehicle for this? What control are the players entitled to have over the fiction? The players control the fiction by what they have their characters (try to) do. For ex...
  • 01:15 AM - FrogReaver quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    What is the function of successful checks if the GM also gets to establish what happens there too? First let's be clear. No one is advocating that a GM turn a successful check into a failure. What is being suggested is that just like there are multiple states of failure there are also multiple states of success. A simple counter-example to establish this point. Suppose a player says, "I search the room for 1000 gold". He rolls a 1. Do you really consider a possible fail state in this example to be "you find a ruby worth 1000gp"? If you think that's a valid failure narration then you stand alone. So then with it established that there are multiple success states, why would a DM pick the one that a player didn't specifically request. A few possibilities: 1. His chosen success may move the story further along at some later point in time. 2. His chosen success may not interfere with already established fiction wheras the players precise request could. 3. It saves time. If the play...

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 11:59 PM - Manbearcat quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". Jim McGarva has a perfect catch-phrase for this sprinkled throughout the Strike (!) rulebook, which is basically a riposte to all of the stuff we heard about with genre-incoherent drift in 4e: "DON'T DEMAND NONSENSE!" One such quip is on fictional positioning and permissible action declarations: Strike(!) p 9 It seems obvious, but Iíd better write it down: you canít make a declaration that contradicts previously established facts. Donít demand nonsense! If I'm running Dogs and the player thinks someone is under the thrall of demonic possession and wants to attempt to exorcise the supernatural force...great! If they invoke Aboleths staring through the eyes of the poor soul from the void or a "Face-hugger" planted Xenomorph eggs in their stomach...then they'...
  • 09:24 PM - chaochou quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I think, though, that some systems can be more demanding on the players than others, and challenging in that sense. To give examples: Prince Valiant and MHRP tend to be relatively light-hearted in the situations they throw up; whereas Burning Wheel (and I suspect Apocalypse World) can be much "heavier"/"deeper" (I'm not sure what the right word is). Both are fun, but the latter is more likely to leave a participant feeling drained than is the former. I think some games can, but I don't know if that's a product of the system or the people. My Apocalypse World and Burning Wheel, FATE, Dogs... they all tend to the gritty and streetwise. It's why I want to run The Veil - cyberpunk is a natural genre for my style, and Gibson one of my favourite authors. So my Prince Valiant might be a shade or two darker than yours, your Apocalypse World lighter than mine. I may push a character real hard at points where you'd ease off, and vice versa. But these are aesthetic choices. Within that spectrum I main...
  • 08:23 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Why? For any number of reasons, some that you might like and some you might not: - to introduce new or unexpected elements to the fiction (whether pre-authored or generated on the fly) - to give the players (as their PCs) something new or different to think about; or to get them thinking a bit more outside the box - to, in the specific example given, point out there's more than one way to achieve the same ends In what you posted, the player declares an intent for his PC to find financial records containing information in the desk drawer. The GM narrates that the PC fails to find any such thing. I don't see how that counts as a success. It counts as a success if you leave on the rest of the GM's narration which you conveniently snipped off, where incriminating evidence is found only in a different form than the player had in mind. Otherwise the GM is very limited in what she can reply with: either yes, you find papers of the sort you're looking for (on success), or no you don't (o...
  • 04:01 PM - Umbran quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Why? I say, slightly in jest, "I search the Duke's desk for a huge ancient red dragon...." Less in jest, I ask - what are we more interested in seeing - the players getting exactly what they ask for, or the players getting what they overall want? Because they are not omniscient, and what they ask for may not actually be what they wanted, needed, or could best use. There is a demonstrable effect in the software industry which generalizes - when you ask someone what their problem is, what they are more likely to tell you is not the problem, but their preferred solution. That solution is generally either 1) the most common solution to similar problems or 2) the first solution that came to them when they had the problem, that's been rattling around in their head, so that their thinking is in a bit of a rut. Neither case is innovative, nor necessarily a *good* solution to the problem at hand. This is an important part about asking for the player's intent. It isn't usually about ask...
  • 07:59 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I have neither said nor implied this. All I said was that Lanefan's example, in which the PC doesn't achieve what the player hoped for, is not a success and hence might be a feasible failure narration.Er...in my example the PC does achieve what she hoped for: she found incriminating evidence against the Duke. That the evidence didn't take the exact form specified in the action declaration doesn't reduce the success, or turn it into a failure - and that's just my point: a roll of success gives success, but the GM should have some latitude to narrate what form that success takes if something workable other than the player's direct intent suggests itself: sometimes success can take many forms. Ditto for a failure; the GM should have some latitude to narrate what form that failure takes other than just saying 'no'. However, if a GM turns a success into a failure* or a failure into a success* with her narration she's not respecting the die roll. * - a both-ways-at-once example would be ...
  • 05:27 AM - Manbearcat quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I'm not sure about incentives. Can you explain more what you mean about not being sure about incentives? Not sure about incentives interfacing with the decision-tree in a moment of thematic choice? Incentives that push back against the impetus to establish a win condition for a scene/arc or create extra obstacles to that win condition in exchange for advancement? Something else? When I read the Strike(!) I think of "intent and task" and failure narration in BW. Or the example from AW that I posted upthread. If the check fails, the GM is entitled to narrate the failure by imposing a new and unwanted description of the PC's action. But I don't think in any of the systems this could go as far as you've fallen in love with the maiden unless that was the mere capstone to already-established fiction. More like your eye is caught by the maiden's wink, and you fail to notice . . . When I read the DitV I think of the examples I've posted upthread about the paladin and Nightcrawler. At least as I ...
  • 02:55 AM - Campbell quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    What are the necessary conditions for a genuine challenge to character concept? This is what @Ovinomancer and I have disagreed about - I believe without undue acrimony! I would be very interested to hear what @Campbell, @chaochou and/or @Aldarc thinks about it, should they care to weigh in. (Of course it's their prerogative not to.) My own views on this are heavily influenced by a certain conception of GM role in terms of framing scenes that put players under pressure by putting things that matter to the PC at stake. I don't know Exalted at all except from Campbell's accounts in this and other threads; and my experience with PbtA games is fairly limited, although I know the rule sets for DW and AW fairly well. I personally do not really care. I am not really interested in testing characters. I'm more interested in character exploration. Sometimes that means putting them through the crucible, but sometimes it does not. My own litmus test is if a scene will tell us something meaningful about a c...
  • 02:19 AM - FrogReaver quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    @Hussar, @Lanefan - if narrowing of possible resolutions = the GM being bound by the results of checks, than sure, any system other than "GM decides" will have that consequence. But unless the dice are rigged then fails are possible, in which case fail scenarios are possible resolutions, and there is no narrowing of the range of possible resolution. You are looking before the dice were ever rolled and saying see this system covers all possible resolutions. The rest of us are looking at it after the dice are already rolled - and at that moment the range of possible resolutions are restricted. But even in this belabored exchange, the more important point seems forgotten - that the GM typically has the power to call for a check or not call for a check and if he has that power then nothing is permitted that the GM doesn't permit. Do some systems avoid giving the GM that level of control? I'm sure some exist - but to what detriment? But most importantly, the dice add nothing to my character con...
  • 01:23 AM - chaochou quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The most interesting thing for me at the moment - obviously I can't speak for others - is what are the necessary conditions for a genuine challenge to character concept? This is what @Ovinomancer and I have disagreed about - I believe without undue acrimony! I would be very interested to hear what @Campbell, @chaochou and/or @Aldarc thinks about it, should they care to weigh in. You want each player to have created for their character a number of clearly defined relationships, beliefs, allegiances, dependencies and responsibilities. The creation of these should, of itself, create the arena for the game's action. The 'world' is a backdrop, the crucible in which the players' creations spark into life. Then you set the character's individual drives in opposition to each other, such that it's not possible to maintain or improve one element without cost or harm to another. You can also take each character's relationships, attitudes, allegiances, dependencies and responsibilities and set them in f...

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 08:45 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Hussar, Lanefan - if narrowing of possible resolutions = the GM being bound by the results of checks, than sure, any system other than "GM decides" will have that consequence. Not quite, in my view. When the roll shows 'success' the GM is bound by that to narrate a successul outcome...of some sort. This successful outcome doesn't (or at least IMO shouldn't) necessarily have to directly match what the player had in mind* as long as the narration reflects an overall success for the PC. My example above, though not the best, tries to show this: the search doesn't find the incriminating financial records the PC was looking for but does find something else that's every bit as incriminating: the Southtor seal, which no loyal noble would normally have anything to do with. Specific goal of finding financial records: not met. Overall goal of finding incriminating evidence agains tthe Duke: met in spades. * - though most often it will anyway, as much of the time the success-failure outcomes o...
  • 02:41 PM - Umbran quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    [MENTION=22779] But unless the dice are rigged then fails are possible, in which case fail scenarios are possible resolutions, and there is no narrowing of the range of possible resolution. What part of "particularly on a success" didn't connect for you? Your response to that is to note that the failure case is always infinite, so there's no narrowing at all? Really?
  • 08:42 AM - Hussar quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Your example doesn't show any narrowing of possible results. The scenario you describe is a possible failure narration; and it could be a success narration if that is what the player decides his/her PC searches for. But, what it cannot be is a success narration if the player decided that is not what the PC searches for. IOW, Lanefan's point about narrowing possible resolutions does stand. A success can only be what the player decides.


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