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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 07:00 PM
    Sure but dont you figure it actually didn't require as much skill or art because EL delivered..
    65 replies | 1223 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 06:50 PM
    I like 'em once they're printed & bound. :D
    30 replies | 509 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 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)....
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 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
    65 replies | 1223 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 03:15 PM
    U We’re 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.
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    3 replies | 137 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    13 replies | 257 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 02:03 PM
    I’m not Campbell, but I’ll 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 it’s trivially true that cognitive predispositions and mental...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 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. :)
    30 replies | 509 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 705 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 171 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 03:25 AM
    Not really. It’s more like, “If your hit point maximum being reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken reduces your hit point maximum to 0, you die.” 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.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 01:33 AM
    Venetian? I don't know. But that's what I would suspect just hearing about it.
    31 replies | 812 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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,...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:17 PM
    I was trying to draw attention to the fact that this interpretation, that you can “finish” 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 it’s right there in the long rest...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:46 PM
    The rule you’re 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...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 PM
    I find it a little odd that you gloss “benefit from” as “take” in the case of the once per 24 hours restriction, but maintain that the 1 hit point requirement doesn’t prevent you from taking a long rest but only prevents you from benefiting from it. Do you find this as inconsistent as I do? I’m not sure how you think Trance is supposed to work in-game. My understanding is that an elf can...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:06 PM
    Or in other words, you can start a long rest (which is really just an action-declaration, i.e. “This is what my character is going to do for the next eight hours.”), but you just can’t finish it. The thing is, I don’t 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.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:28 PM
    In dim light I’d say yes. In darkness, if something’s at stake, I might ask for a Wisdom (Perception) check. edit: At disadvantage no less!
    9 replies | 241 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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)
    33 replies | 1055 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    146 replies | 5189 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:00 PM
    Ask a Platypus.
    146 replies | 5189 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:59 PM
    S'mon replied to Double Dash
    Yes, same as an Action Surging Fighter can Attack Action twice.
    77 replies | 1734 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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....
    31 replies | 812 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:57 PM
    Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:09 PM
    That’s pretty much how I’d 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. I’m not sure what you mean by “recover naturally” though, because even if a 20 was rolled on a death save, the PC’s hit...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:35 PM
    I agree, but the rules for recovering spent spell slots reference finishing a long rest, just like the vampire’s bite.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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:
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:55 PM
    I don’t think anyone has answered jaelis’s question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. I’d be interested to know what your answers would be. If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then I’m sure you’d both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:50 PM
    CapnZapp, that's certainly true, which is one reason why many other RPGs out there are more conscientious about time pressure mechanics. E.g., running out of light/torches in Torchbearer, countdown clocks in Blades in the Dark, and randomized countdown rolls in Index Card RPG. The countdown clocks in Blades, in particular, is pretty genius. Everytime the PCs go into downtime mode to recover,...
    30 replies | 972 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:10 PM
    Does anyone have any experiences running or playing Shadow of the Demon Lord? If so, what are your thoughts and feedback? What did you like or dislike? How does it feel? Ease of use? Points of contention? Etc. I have been toying with using SotDL for a homebrew, though gutting its grimdark edgelord flavor for a more standard flair. (Supposedly Robert Schwalb is planning on releasing a version...
    3 replies | 137 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:16 AM
    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.
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:13 AM
    I agree with this. I use the phrase inhabitation of the character to try and convey this idea. 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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:27 AM
    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? Paragraph 1 Response: That makes...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:59 AM
    I would hope this would be obvious, but a system which in no way constrains GM narration is offering nothing of value. It says nothing. Provides nothing. It has no teeth. If a die roll does not constrain GM narration what is the point except empty ritual?
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:55 AM
    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 character. What's required is for everyone (GM included) to play with integrity and not put their creative...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    1 XP
  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:23 AM
    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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    5 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:09 AM
    In other circumstances I would have pre-ordered already. I kind of need an alternative where character building is less cumbersome and fiddly than PF, but I want a little more that what 5e gives. I want to like PF2, but I need to see the finalized rules before committing to it.
    20 replies | 987 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:40 AM
    They can pick up and use the weapons, sure, but if they bring them to market, weapon dealers will turn their noses up at “foul orc-make” or whatever. And I use the variant that requires found armor to be tailored to the individual for 10-40% of market value before it can be used.
    20 replies | 601 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:21 AM
    I follow the Basic Rules guideline that weapons and armor used by monsters is generally in too poor a condition for resale.
    20 replies | 601 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:45 PM
    Well, you’re unconscious, and unconscious people aren’t really sleeping, but laying down is about all you can do. I still wouldn’t call that a long rest because none of the effects of a long rest will proceed from that episode of laying down.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    My contention is that you can’t finish a long rest unless you had at least 1 hit point when you started it.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:48 PM
    I would say that ending the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite is a *benefit* of a long rest. My reading is that finishing a long rest is the same as gaining its benefits, and that you can do neither unless you have at least 1 hit point when you start the rest.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Rubs off was also used in the same sentence if you are going there
    24 replies | 931 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:45 PM
    My 2˘: revivify should have brought the character back to life with 0 hit points. The 1 hit point of healing would have been lost, and the character’s hit point maximum would still be 0. After that, greater restoration would end the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite, allowing the character to heal.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:40 PM
    It was realistic. It was also sad. Dustin bestowing the Basic Set upon Erica was a good save, but seeing Will put it in the donation box* and hearing Mike's half-hearted objection broke my heart. (*"You fool!" I cried. "Twenty years from now you are going to be so mad at yourself!" :) )
    49 replies | 2016 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:12 PM
    DMZ2112 replied to OSR Gripes
    I started a BECMI game for my D&D5 group at the beginning of 2018, with the intention of running the Basic canon as a palate cleanser. I started with the Great Escape scenario from Castle Caldwell and Beyond as a funnel, with everyone running three unequipped 1st-level characters generated in the traditional way (3d6 in order). I ran as by-the-book as I could, although the stilted wargame...
    231 replies | 7892 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:04 PM
    Same, but the Aspects are almost a subsystem due to how they tie everything together.
    33 replies | 1055 view(s)
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:40 PM
    I don't see the advantage. I mean, you can argue that no one really understands what the mental ability scores mean, and that is definitely a problem I have with D&D: Is Intelligence a measure of education, or "IQ;" is Wisdom willpower, sanity, or common sense; is Charisma physical beauty, leadership ability, or personality? But as to whether mental ability scores should be removed...
    88 replies | 3417 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:16 PM
    Noteworthy difference ... you opt in to the extra hd based healing
    3 replies | 258 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:57 PM
    I did suggest Perception earlier, though Intuition may also work. Willpower (i.e., wisdom saves) could then be moved to Charisma.
    88 replies | 3417 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:46 PM
    I love Mikes work even the times I disagreed with details the fresh eyes on the game and how it can invoke heroic archetypal characters is right up my alley
    11 replies | 305 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:12 PM
    Sounds like some very similar rule idea.
    3 replies | 258 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:24 AM
    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.
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:01 AM
    Healing Surges the 5e variant rule should be called Second Wind. Ok not a big deal right? nothing to get teary or sniffles over however once you notice that it implements something rarely ever actually used it kind of becomes annoying (SW was kind of a back up thing not the meat of HS use). Second Winds were rarely ever used in my experience unless your party lacked the leader class or were...
    3 replies | 258 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:45 AM
    Offhand Commands is going to be a build choice feature or actually just a class feature that has no impact unless you are a beastmaster if you have 1 hand free you may more adeptly command your beast companion, your attacks gain a tier scaling bonus to damage of +2 +3, +4. Inherently Endowed as you level your awesome rubs off on your beast and they gain effective inherent bonuses (equal to...
    24 replies | 931 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    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.
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 12:57 AM
    How about recommended I mean trust your players to be thematic and give them an extra if you want
    65 replies | 1826 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 12:56 AM
    Other classes can also get thematically appropriate abilities for their reactions. Paladins have Retributive Strike. Wizards can pick up Counterspell. Etc.
    117 replies | 6658 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:20 PM
    I believe many more people have watched The Avengers than have watched The Seventh Seal. But that doesn't mean that every time I want to talk about the latter I talk about the former instead or as well. If people who only want to talk about D&D, or who have no interest in talking or reading about how other systems do things, don't want to participate in this thread, that's a risk I'm prepared...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:15 PM
    Reposted:
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:03 PM
    Reason(s)?
    146 replies | 5189 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:55 PM
    The rapier should be called the arming sword. Also, elves should not have a natural lifespan. I interpret the number of years given as the time after which they are overcome with the sorrows of the world and seek the West (Feywild) by either leaving the world physically or, if they cannot, leaving their bodies behind.
    146 replies | 5189 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:41 PM
    My pedantic complaints are really old and while I can express them I am over the majority of them...
    146 replies | 5189 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:15 PM
    I might have to build that group as a D&D party
    40 replies | 3994 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:29 PM
    AoOs have been mostly reimagined as reactions that would make sense for each class. So a wizard, for example, could not necessarily perform AoOs as per a fighter given their training, but they would likely know how to counterspell when those situations rise.
    117 replies | 6658 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:55 PM
    In your case, you seem to know both BW and D&D, which are the two systems I referenced in the post of mine that you quoted. Do you have any thoughts about this mind flayer and false memories example that might draw on either of the systems? Or if you want to engage it by reference to another system, that would be interesting too!
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:48 PM
    Do you have much experience with 4e D&D? It's a bit of an open question exactly what tools 4e provides, because the skill challenge is - as presented - such an open-ended or un-nailed-down framework that (experience suggests) needs users to bring ideas and/or experience from outside to really get the best out of it. I think a skill challenge might be able to handle the scenario you're...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:45 PM
    Has anyone investigated this.... the idea of "courtly intrigues" has me wondering about whether it might be a flavor of Martial Practices.
    1 replies | 737 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:42 PM
    There are very few elements in 4e that have flavor so far knocked down that you cannot shake them up. Dispel Magic and Martial Practices vs Rituals are ones so far I have seen brought up. MP and R are generally fixed by giving MP sufficient support or allowing extremely liberal reflavoring of rituals. So do we create zones with a different flavor we call them areas of influence and allow...
    115 replies | 4883 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:22 AM
    I'm not sure about incentives. 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...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:16 AM
    This is an interesting question - in general, and about D&D play: To what extent is the GM permitted to rewrite player-authored PC backstory by drawing upon a combination of (i) situation and stakes and (ii) failed checks. In BW (for instance) I think this is fair game. The only version of D&D I can think of able to handle this is 4e. I don't really see how it would be done in AD&D. And from...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:02 AM
    If the player is avoiding expedience by sticking to conceptualisation, how is that conceptualisation going to be challenged? Or changed? If the player is at liberty to change conceptuatlisation in response to choices, what governs those choices? Self-evidently it can't be conceptualisation. You don't want it to be expedience. Is it whim? Do you have actual play examples to post that...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:29 AM
    It's a situation the rules don't cover. I think a vampiric curse would be interesting for roleplay - I didn't say anything about taking away the character.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:30 AM
    So I've skimmed the recent bits of the thread. In a follow-up post, I'm going to relay a recent PC:PC social conflict in Strike (!) and invite folks to chime in on how they perceive this anecdote (a) contrasts with gameplay where social conflict isn't formalized and (b) there are neither mechanical feedbacks nor PC build components involved. But first, I want to post some text from Strike (!)...
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:59 AM
    If I was converting this adventure, I’d want to stick with the original level range, keeping in mind that it was written for a slightly larger party size (4-6 PCs) than is typical in 5E. So I’d gauge difficulties for a party of four 8th-level PCs. Depending on what other encounters the party is expected to overcome in the same day, it might not be a bad idea to let there be a deadly encounter...
    3 replies | 199 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:21 AM
    Got you covered. Done and done. ;)
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:11 AM
    Too early to say.
    20 replies | 987 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:55 PM
    Yay give me some swordmage please
    106 replies | 2310 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Ad Hominem? I don't care about your argument. It was a dry comment that it would not be a pemerton megathread without your usual appeal to the lexicon at some point in this discussion. ;)
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:14 PM
    It isny exactly a house rule but my daughter liked the option of turning potential enemies into allies
    34 replies | 2157 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:15 PM
    Once they're Raised the Gentle Repose would not be in effect. They've been infected with vampirism, a magical disease, so they come back vampirised. I'd have them turn into a vampire later, as happened to my first PC in ES IV: Oblivion. She completed the game without feeding, then after failing to find a cure she walked into the sunlight.
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:27 PM
    I would be more than willing to discuss the merits of Exalted 3e elsewhere. It is a fundamentally different game that I feel delivers on the promise of previous versions of the game. Here I would like to focus on social mechanics, their effects, and implications.
    680 replies | 18220 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:44 PM
    I'd probably have them come back as a Vampire. :D Their hp maximum is 0 so they can't be alive, so if they come back it'll be as undead. Edit: Well really I'd probably let them come back with 1 hp apparently alive, and be able to rest to raise their hp total. The vampire stuff would come later...
    149 replies | 3090 view(s)
    2 XP
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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 I’ve been missing that changes everything in d&d I cannot role play the character that can never lose at combat as such a character isn’t supported by the rules of the game. The pre- step is that I as a player don’t conceive of a character that the rules wouldn’t 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 I’ve been missing that changes everything in d&d I cannot role play the character that can never lose at combat as such a character isn’t supported by the rules of the game. The pre- step is that I as a player don’t conceive of a character that the rules wouldn’t 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 @pemerton’s 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 @Hussar’s 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 help—skillful presentation matters in RPGs as in other mediums—but 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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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 I’d better write it down: you can’t make a declaration that contradicts previously established facts. Don’t 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.
  • 12:52 AM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    This is why the baseline argument fails -- D&D is a specific model, not a general one. You can't logically argue from the specific to the general. This is amplified in cases where the model is of poor skill, such as D&D and social skills. As I said before, the D&D way is akready endlessly argued from within the ruleset, so hiw can it be an effective model for general discussion.It's Sisyphean, but starting with the familiar concepts of D&D, and explaining the broader alternatives in those terms, would be using it as a baseline, but not assuming it as the only thing. Maybe? This, frankly, smells of "but if you just agree with me upfront, you'll see that you agree with me."There's some of that in "if you'd just master this other system and accept it's paradigm, you'd understand..." This is an interesting question - in general, and about D&D play: To what extent is the GM permitted to rewrite player-authored PC backstory by drawing upon a combination of (i) situation and stakes an...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    By my count, there are only three recurrent posters in this thread who make D&D the baseline assumption: Lanefan, FrogReaver and Maxperson. I'm not interested in talking primarily about D&D. It's not a system I'm playing at the moment, and I doubt think that focusing on it is going to shed any particular light on the questions raised in the OP or subsequently in the thread. If you think that there is some aspect of D&D mechanics or play that will help address those questions, then by all means post it.Even though this thread's in 'General RPG', given that historically D&D has represented more or less 80% of the RPG market and player base (and still does) talking primarily about anything else is going to quickly send much of the potential readership off elsewhere. Using other systems for comparison is great. Ignoring the primary system, however, seems a bit foolish. This is an interesting question - in general, and about D&D play: To what extent is the GM permitted to rewrite player-a...
  • 08:56 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In your case, you seem to know both BW and D&D, which are the two systems I referenced in the post of mine that you quoted. Do you have any thoughts about this mind flayer and false memories example that might draw on either of the systems? Or if you want to engage it by reference to another system, that would be interesting too! I'm not familiar with the example in question, what page was this on?
  • 08:55 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    In your case, you seem to know both BW and D&D, which are the two systems I referenced in the post of mine that you quoted. Do you have any thoughts about this mind flayer and false memories example that might draw on either of the systems? Or if you want to engage it by reference to another system, that would be interesting too! I'm not familiar wiht the example in question, mind elucidating it for me?
  • 04:01 PM - Ovinomancer quoted pemerton in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Do you have much experience with 4e D&D? It's a bit of an open question exactly what tools 4e provides, because the skill challenge is - as presented - such an open-ended or un-nailed-down framework that (experience suggests) needs users to bring ideas and/or experience from outside to really get the best out of it. I think a skill challenge might be able to handle the scenario you're describing. Of course it would depend on table norms - and of course so does everything, but for this sort of thing among D&D players the need for clear norms I think is especially important. In my long-running 4e game - currently on hiatus while one of the players finishes renovating a house, which is a multi-year project! - we've had memory stuff happen with the PC wizard/invoker who turned out to be a deva invoker/wizard and who has memories of 1000 lifetimes. There's been GM narration as well as PC narration of memories, but not quite as confronting/contested as what you're describing. So I can't say ...


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