View Profile: Jhaelen - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
No Recent Activity
About Jhaelen

Basic Information

Date of Birth
August 12

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
7,894
Posts Per Day
1.70
Last Post
Preferences regarding "save to resist" vs. "roll to hit" mechanics? Thursday, 24th January, 2019 04:31 PM
Albums
Total Albums
1
Total Photos
0

Currency

Gold Pieces
5
General Information
Join Date
Thursday, 26th October, 2006
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
15

Sunday, 14th July, 2019


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Tuesday, 10th September, 2013

  • 04:50 AM - Fiddleback mentioned Jhaelen in post 500 Pounds of Beef – 5 Meaty Board Games for Long Weekends
    I like your suggestions tomBitonti. Though I do have to say I think Squad Leader leaves the realm of board games and heads squarely into war gaming. Nothing wrong with that, just an important distinction to make. Jhaelen, glad Origins piqued your interest. It is out of print, but with some judicious hunting around (and a willingness to part with no small amount of cash) you can find ways to purchase it, or even rent it. Big Megafauna, which I believe used to be called American Megafauna, is, according to the designers, the prequel to Origins. They can, it is suggested, be played back to back for an VERY lengthy gaming experience.

Monday, 5th August, 2013

  • 04:25 PM - Baumi mentioned Jhaelen in post My Review of 13th Age
    Wow this looks awesome. 8D There is only one thing so far that I dont like ... it has no bookmarks, which is really bad for tablet). Strangely enough, the Index and Contents are fully linked. Jhaelen: You can put 5 Points into a Background. There is a list of examples and also some advice on making a good backgrounds. It also warns about miss-using it and that the GM can just rule one out.

Monday, 17th June, 2013

  • 05:40 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned Jhaelen in post Game Design 113: Duplication
    @Jhaelen : That's the way to do it. :) I love to hear those kinds of stories. @Fetfreak : Well said. I like how Pathfinder made their approach. Not too crazy, but fixing things along the way, tool.

Tuesday, 15th January, 2013

  • 10:43 AM - Bluenose mentioned Jhaelen in post The One Ring - Cubicle 7
    To add to what Jhaelen says, The One Ring is written specifically for Middle Earth. Things that are significant in the sources include travel, meeting new people, and being/becoming part of a group. Accordingly, The One Ring devotes a lot of rules attention to those things. It's the most "Tolkein" game I've played.


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
No results to display...

Friday, 2nd February, 2018

  • 02:24 AM - Saelorn quoted Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    Who says that you need more rules to model encounters that deal with something else than combat? What I'm proposing is to use the same system to resolve encounters, i.e. using a skill system. Why should using a weapon skill be inherently different from using a debate skill? Both can be determined by a die roll with a target number derived from the opponent's abilities. This actually results in fewer rules, not more.History shows us that a system which requires combat skills and non-combat skills to compete for character resources will almost invariably end with players investing in combat skills and ignoring the non-combat skills. Words don't work against zombies or otyughs, but swords are effective against everything. Games that use a unified system for everything tend to have worse balance issues than games which keep those activities segregated. As long as you maintain the distinct resource groups, like 5E does with combat skills coming from your class while non-combat skills come from you...
  • 12:55 AM - Lanefan quoted Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    Who says that you need more rules to model encounters that deal with something else than combat? What I'm proposing is to use the same system to resolve encounters, i.e. using a skill system. Why should using a weapon skill be inherently different from using a debate skill? Both can be determined by a die roll with a target number derived from the opponent's abilities. This actually results in fewer rules, not more.My question is this: how do any of these more-die-rolls-for-social-situations proposals do anything other than mechanically discourage players from actually role-playing their characters in character in favour of just rolling dice? That's right, they don't. Which by default makes them bad ideas. I would really start with framing and consequences first, because that's how combat works: GMs (typically) frame combat so that all the PCs get drawn in; and there are consequences for all players in combat (ie their PCs take hp loss). If you are playing the weakling mage, and choose...

Wednesday, 31st January, 2018

  • 07:57 PM - Shasarak quoted Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    And tracking xp? It's already a thing of the past for me. Using milestones is way better. It neatly solves a bunch of problems, e.g. leveling up when there's no time to rest, lagging behind the expected power level due to missed encounters, and most importantly the freedom to solve conflicts and quests in whatever way the players prefer without having to fear that they'll be punished for not picking a solution that would grant them xp according to the rules. And let's not forget that there are plenty of RPGs that don't use the concept of 'levels'. 93553
  • 06:54 PM - adwyn quoted Jhaelen in post Feedback wanted for post-apocalyptic currency
    (Actually, I don't think cigarettes make a lot of sense, either. In a post-apocalyptic setting I'd assume something more durable would be used.) In the early days of the US Whiskey was a common form of currency. It was the consumptability that gave it value. Cigarettes are not much different. Decades long durability is not necessary for a currency, but it does make it easier to build wealth when hoarding is possible.
  • 03:58 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    "The One Ring" has pretty good rules for exploration; basically, every party member is assigned a particular role when traveling. "The Burning Wheel" has a "Duel of Wits" to determine the outcome of social conflicts. In Ars Magica there's an elaborate system to determine the winner of a debate. Maybe not directly, but definitely indirectly: It's quite a common meme that the heroes are (falsely?) accused of committing a crime and have to talk their way out of it to avoid being punished. That punishment may well be fatal. That's a rather weird example. But apparently you're so focused on combat that you cannot imagine any negative outcome that doesn't involve the pcs being attacked? I'd expect a roll of '1' to indicate that the store proprietor will flat out refuse to sell any weapons to the pcs. It's still a pretty bad example because usually you don't use a single die roll to determine the outcome of an encounter. Well, I think, it's much more elegant to have a system using abstract wealt...
  • 10:11 AM - Saelorn quoted Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    Well, I think, it's much more elegant to have a system using abstract wealth categories to determine what kind and quality of equipment you have access to. Such systems are e.g. used by Shadowrun and Ars Magica.Since when does Shadowrun use abstract wealth? Last I checked, money was still tracked to the nuyen, and ammunition could be purchased by the shot.

Tuesday, 30th January, 2018

  • 12:48 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    I've seen this argument quite often, but I'm convinced it doesn't hold water. There's nothing inherently different about combat that it merits being treated different from any other activities in an RPG. In fact there are numerous RPG systems that have seamlessly integrated combat-relevant skills in their skill system. The only reason combat is treated differently from other skills in D&D is that D&D historically didn't have a skill system. Combat encounters could be resolved purely by roleplaying exactly as any other kind of encounter. And the reverse is just as true: All kinds of encounters benefit from a rule framework, especially those that involve some kind of conflict. It doesn't matter if that conflict is fought with weapons, words or thoughts. Well, words and thoughts generally don't tend to injure, maim, or kill. The focus many games (not just D&D) place on combat is due to the deadly nature of combat. Games that go combat light on rules also tend to reduce consequences of combat...

Saturday, 27th January, 2018

  • 04:45 PM - Blue quoted Jhaelen in post Baby-Faced Jan 2018 Edition!!
    I've finished 'Red Seas under Red Skies' and just started with 'The Republic of Thieves', the third and final installment in the 'Gentleman Bastards' trilogy by Scott Lynch. Apart from learning a few new nautical terms, I found Red Seas rather underwhelming. I was especially disappointed by the predictable fate of Jean's love interest. Speaking about love interests: Apparently, in the third novel Locke's somewhat mysterious engagement with Sabetha is finally revealed. That might become interesting... Red Seas was the weakest of the three in my opinion as well. As a side note, Republic isn't the final book, it's just the last book to come out.

Friday, 26th January, 2018

  • 07:51 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Jhaelen in post Baby-Faced Jan 2018 Edition!!
    It is a problematic trope, to be sure. I've liked all of the Gentlemen Bastards books, but that part was a weakspot, to be sure. I finished Wintersmith. So good. Now I’m re-reading A Wizard of Earthsea, for obvious reasons. I've finished 'Red Seas under Red Skies'....I was especially disappointed by the predictable fate of Jean's love interest. .
  • 02:50 PM - Janx quoted Jhaelen in post What’s a Discord server?
    Wow, that definitely sounds awe[-]some[/-]ful! well played. I agree. I know forums now seem to be a passed fad, but they work a lot better for topic discussion than chats or even social feeds. I'm in a few writer groups on FB, and it is far more chaotic to continue a conversation that it is here. I can't imagine how Discord will make it better. the very name implies bad things.
  • 11:32 AM - Dioltach quoted Jhaelen in post Ursula Le Guin dies at 88
    The 'Earthsea' series are some of the few books I've read in my youth that I considered even better when re-reading them decades later. Totally agree. I must have read them at least a dozen times as a kid, then reread them last year. They blew me away.

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 03:06 AM - Eltab quoted Jhaelen in post I made a Galactic Neighbourhood map for space-based games
    wouldn't it be easiest to make two jumps: one far out from the ecliptic of the (presumably spiral type, i.e. comparably 'flat') galaxy, and the second back in? Would that that were true. There is still all the junk on the way "up" and "down" to steer around even if the trip "across" is clear. See for instance Larry Niven's story "At the Core".

Thursday, 18th January, 2018

  • 02:19 PM - pemerton quoted Jhaelen in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    That's a curious use of the term 'worldbuilding'. Before reading the OP, I'd have answered "to entertain the GM". Actually, the answer may be the same, even though 'dungeon design' is closer to what you're trying to describe.I think your second sentence is true at least sometimes. One thing I really liked about the 'mega-dungeon' module "The Eyes of the Stone Thief" for 13th Age is that it doesn't have fixed maps. I.e. the authors clearly understand that the way RPGs are played have changed. The GM can arrange the described locations in whatever way makes sense for her and the kind of story she's trying to tell.That doesn't sound like worlbuilding, because it's not establishing a truth about the setting in advance of play. It's prep, but not worldbuilding. (Though the "living dungeon" conceit does blur the lines a bit.)
  • 01:29 PM - Sadras quoted Jhaelen in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    That's a curious use of the term 'worldbuilding'. Before reading the OP, I'd have answered "to entertain the GM." I was, perhaps cheekily, thinking that exact same thing. And I'd be answering as a DM :)

Tuesday, 16th January, 2018

  • 09:36 PM - JacktheRabbit quoted Jhaelen in post Why Kill When You Can Maim?
    Well, that certainly doesn't describe me. I tend to spend considerable time creating a new character, thinking about his background, personality and motivations, and where that might lead him. Being unexpectedly maimed will usually throw a monkey wrench into my well-laid plans unless the system makes it feasible to recover lost limbs. It's the kind of arbitrary change to a pc that I consider extremely unfun. There's a very high chance, I'd just retire the character and create a new one. I guess it may have been different when I was still new to RPGs. There was a time when I considered it 'cool' for a game to use a critical hits table. These days I'm convinced it rarely contributes anything meaningful to a game and is basically just punishing players undeservedly. The main problem is there is no benefit to players to add this to a game. It may make players act a little more intelligently but then by the same token I demand the same from the DM. How many DMs would love this system bec...

Monday, 15th January, 2018

  • 12:45 PM - CubicsRube quoted Jhaelen in post One-Liner NPCs
    If my players develop an interest in npcs that I didn't have more plans than a 'one-liner' for, they get 'promoted' to 'real' npcs. For that purpose I always have a list of names ready. We're playing an RPG here, not a video game. One of the great things ive learnt from dungeo world was "to leave blanks". Im running a campaign where some npcs i thought would play a part have caught no interest and otherrs who were mere flavourings have become major forces. One for example was a witness to a cri me in the first session. Thats it. He's now become a crimelord and protector of the common people and a major political player in the key city of unknown motive. If I'd writte out too much for him then none of that would have been possible
  • 12:07 PM - Lanefan quoted Jhaelen in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    These two sentences are in contradiction. If the first sentence is true, then either (i) the game is about rescuing elves, or (ii) there is no game; hence (i) whatever game there is is about rescuing elves. So whatever happens in the shared fiction, it's going to pertain to the rescuing of elves. The scope of "something else entirely" seems to extent to trying but failing to rescue the elves.Yes Saelorn's sentences seem to contradict each other, but I kinda think I see what he's getting at. At session 0 he-as-DM says something like "The basic idea I've got here to start with is the rescue of some Elves - keep that in mind while generating your characters - and we'll see what happens after that." I might say something similar at the start of a campaign. But - and here's the key - as DM I know full well (and I think from his second sentence Saelorn also knows) that once the puck drops and the players get going that I might very quickly find myself in react mode e.g. when by session 3 they'v...

Friday, 12th January, 2018

  • 08:13 PM - Random Bystander quoted Jhaelen in post A simple, system-neutral encumbrance system incorporating weight and bulk
    ?!?! Isn't it to be expected that people who think your system is (still) too complicated start discussing alternatives they consider better? On forums I have been on before, that would be considered "off-topic", and gain mod attention. In a social situation, diverting someone's topic to discuss your own topic is widely considered rude. "Here is an idea I'd like discussed." "That's stupid. Let's discuss my idea instead."

Thursday, 11th January, 2018

  • 01:20 PM - Aldarc quoted Jhaelen in post Fantasy Grounds Game Stats for 2017: D&D 5E Up By 6%, Pathfinder Holds Steady!
    'Das Schwarze Auge' used to be (and probably still is) the most popular RPG in Germany. For most Germans it's what got it all started (although 'Midgard', another German RPG was released at an earlier date, it was much more like a fan release while DSA was released by a major board game publisher and heavily promoted). What I cannot say, is, how many German users there are on Fantasy Grounds.DSA is fairly popular in Austria as well, but most of the game shops in Vienna seem to have larger sections of Pathfinder and D&D 5e materials. (7th Sea, 1st ed., was also popular for my gaming group before I arrived on the scene.) We have been mostly playing D&D 5E. We also have played a bit of Numenera and Fantasy AGE but also want to get around to playing Fate, Blades in the Dark, and Invisible Sun (once released).

Tuesday, 9th January, 2018



Jhaelen's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites