View Profile: Jhaelen - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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Preferences regarding "save to resist" vs. "roll to hit" mechanics? Thursday, 24th January, 2019 04:31 PM
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Sunday, 14th July, 2019


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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.


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Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 06:03 AM - Shasarak quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    No real person is always good or always evil. No real person is always lawful or always chaotic. If we were only going to play what real people could do then there is not much in DnD left for us to play. That is why I was surprised that Alignment was the unrealistic thing.

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 11:43 AM - Imaculata quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    No real person is always good or always evil. No real person is always lawful or always chaotic. That is of course correct. But the D&D alignment system do not suppose differently. Real people don't commit evil acts because they're 'Evil'. They always rationalize their actions in some way. If your 'Evil' character commits atrocious acts for no reason other than being 'Evil' what is she? What you (well, at least myself) really want, is players describing their goals and motivations, their personality traits. Following these will result in actions that others may consider good or evil. Again, D&D's alignment system does not claim that people commit evil because they are evil. All the alignments do, is describe if your character is more likely to commit good acts, or evil acts. Likewise the lawful/chaotic axis is way too one-dimensional: You ask: "Do they obey the law, even if they think the law is wrong?" I ask: How does your character feel about law "X"? How about law "Y"? It'...
  • 10:54 AM - Lylandra quoted Jhaelen in post PF2: Spells!
    Mostly this: In my experience (sic!) players were quite reluctant to cast spells with an xp cost. Not only in your experience. That was also the main reason why we didn't care for magic item creation in 3e (okay and the fact that using myriads of exp for high level items would have made no sense at all for the creator... You wish to buy a headband of intellect? Okay, gotta slay a dragon to get enough "resources") Also, many groups use different means of gaining levels now, so an XP cost wouldn't really work for those models.
  • 09:46 AM - Aldarc quoted Jhaelen in post PF2: Spells!
    Mostly this: In my experience (sic!) players were quite reluctant to cast spells with an xp cost."Wish" in Pathfinder has a material cost (a diamond worth 25K gold) and not an XP cost. "Wish" in 5e has no associated cost other than a 9th level spell slot. It remains to be seen whether one of the biggest unbalancers of magic in 3.PF - bonus spell slots based on caster stat - will be present in PF2.
  • 09:37 AM - Xavian Starsider quoted Jhaelen in post Gygax IP To Be Made Available For Video Games
    Board games are also on the rise. Of course they don't sell as many units as video games, but they're far from dead; they're thriving! Meanwhile I have heard that video games are at a bit of a crisis point, because in terms of units sold, video games aren't selling more copies than they were a decade ago, but gamers want more. More voice acting, more game modes, more story, lots of things that raise the cost while they are bringing in the same amount of revenue (because gamers also don't want to pay more for the games) Of course, there's also a fair share of Indy hits. But the companies making the AAA titles have to invest a lot for smaller and smaller returns.
  • 09:08 AM - Lanefan quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    No real person is always good or always evil. No real person is always lawful or always chaotic. Absolutely true. And the same can be said of many PCs. But over the medium to long term a DM can observe what your PC does and how it acts, and take an average; which gets noted as your alignment. (over the short term when a PC has just been introduced the DM often has to guess a bit) And that's not even getting into the issues how alignment is used mechanically in D&D. Because in (almost) all editions and settings your alignment choice is tied to potential consequences. Classes you can't choose (or class abilities you risk losing), spells and magic items you can't use, etc. This is exactly why I keep alignment, as I quite like having all those limits and consequences as part of the game. I also like aligned items and places. And then, worst of all are the (misguided) expectations of many players and GMs: For players it's an excuse to have their character act like a jerk, and for GMs...

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 01:01 PM - Aldarc quoted Jhaelen in post PF2: Spells!
    What I definitely dislike, though, is the idea of 10th level spells. Who wants a wizard casting wishes all day? I don't. Hopefully, most campaigns will end way before their players get access to 10th level spells.Perhaps I have missed something, but how is that different from getting Wish from 9th level spells in PF1 or D&D?
  • 12:35 PM - TwoSix quoted Jhaelen in post PF2: Spells!
    What I definitely dislike, though, is the idea of 10th level spells. Who wants a wizard casting wishes all day? I don't. Hopefully, most campaigns will end way before their players get access to 10th level spells. Also, what about using scrolls? Can I just buy a bunch of wish scrolls and cast the spell from them? That would be utterly terrible. Considering most campaigns end well before anyone gets 9th level spells, I don't think that will be much of an issue.
  • 10:41 AM - Imaculata quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    ?!!?! So, if I buy a gadget that's been advertised as something everyone requires and find out later that it serves absolutely no useful purpose and is actually detrimental in certain circumstances, it's a not a problem with the gadget? What I mean is that the alignment system is not designed to be a replacement personality for your characters. So if players create their characters this way, that is a problem with the player's imagination, not with the rules. As for being totally useless, I couldn't disagree more. I think the alignments help get a basic idea of where your character stands in regards to morals and values. For example, whether your character is good, neutral or evil, is already a pretty clear step to defining what kind of character you are going to play. If your character is lawful, then this poses the question in what way your character is lawful? Do they obey the law, even if they think the law is wrong? Or do they follow a personal code? I wouldn't call that useless, ...
  • 08:45 AM - Imaculata quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    No. My problem with alignment is that it serves no useful purpose; especially regarding the creation of (realistic) characters. Unfortunately, many players apparently don't realize this and assume choosing an alignment is sufficient as a description of their PC's personality. That seems hardly a problem with the alignment system though.

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 06:17 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Did I mention recently that D&D's alignment system sucks? It's not a system that supports (or helps with) the creation of realistic characters. If you haven't personally, lately, someone else, somewhere, probably has, prettymuch every day for the last 40 years. ;) It is kinda terrible in that way. It also introduces good & evil (and law & chaos - go Moorcock!) into the cosmology as palpable forces, not just philosophical viewpoints. It's a potentially powerful concept that could be used to paint a very high-fantasy style of campaign. D&D has mostly used it on old-school gotchyas and 3.x's 'Team Alignment' mechanics, though. So still kinda terrible, I guess. The issue is the reverse from the one you mention. In classic D&D it is fairly straightforward for any character of note to have Know Alignment cast on him-/herself to confirm his/her alignment; and there is a further argument that one knows one's alignment innately, in virtue of knowing an alignment language. Which means tha...
  • 10:55 AM - Shasarak quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Did I mention recently that D&D's alignment system sucks? It's not a system that supports (or helps with) the creation of realistic characters. So the problem you have with creating realistic characters using DnD rules is alignment?
  • 10:36 AM - Imaculata quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Did I mention recently that D&D's alignment system sucks? It's not a system that supports (or helps with) the creation of realistic characters. Its not designed for that purpose. D&D alignment system is a general guideline, although the distinction between good and evil is pretty clear. But why would it need to support/help-with the creation of realistic characters specifically? Most D&D characters are unrealistic.
  • 09:57 AM - pemerton quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Does it really matter what the Character think of themselves? Just because you dont think that you are Evil does not mean that you are not Evil.The issue is the reverse from the one you mention. In classic D&D it is fairly straightforward for any character of note to have Know Alignment cast on him-/herself to confirm his/her alignment; and there is a further argument that one knows one's alignment innately, in virtue of knowing an alignment language. Which means that, in classic D&D, evil protagonists and antagonists know that they are evil. Which is weird. Even when Milton's Satan says, "Evil, be though my good" he is most naturally read as using "evil" ironically, or to refer to that which others judge evil but which is his good. Did I mention recently that D&D's alignment system sucks?I think it sucks if you want to have a campaign where what counts as good or evil is a live question - because the system already answers that. (Respecting rights and fostering wellbeing is good; want...

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 12:53 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Jhaelen in post Can anyone point me to an excellent, visual, article on dungeon design? (or the lost images of a certain enworld thread xD)
    I agree that there are players who don't mind being railroaded. A few may even prefer it. It's a great way to play if you're in the mood for a beer & pretzl game and you don't want to exercise your brain. Over a hundred million people enjoy playing "Candy Crush", surely they can't all be wrong. However, why bother playing an RPG if you could just as well play "Candy Crush"? The thing is, I'm not sure a linear dungeon counts as "being railroaded". Let's say there are 17 different routes you can take through the dungeon to reach the dragon at the end. Aren't you still being directed to reach the dragon? So it's still a railroad, right? I don't think so. A railroad, in my opinion, is the DM trying to prevent players from making choices they want to make. (If you force them to fight the dragon, even though they are doing a good job avoiding such a thing, that might start counting as a railroad.) Furthermore, each time you add an alternate path in a dungeon it becomes more difficult...

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

  • 12:55 PM - Hussar quoted Jhaelen in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    In our current Pathfinder game my DM would simply have a court mage standing beside the duke casting a Geas on the PC party to make sure they accept his 'offer'. Yeah, it sucks. But, according to the prevailing opinions in this thread, that action is perfectly fine. I absolutely cannot use skills on the PC's, but, spells are perfectly fine. So, what's the problem? Why does it suck?

Saturday, 31st March, 2018

  • 07:33 PM - Richards quoted Jhaelen in post What are you Reading? March 2018 edition
    I hope you enjoy 'The Hollow Man'! Please report back, when you've read it.I did indeed enjoy The Hollow Man - it was a refreshing take on telepathy and the downsides having such a power would be like. As for the ending, I think it helped that I had already previously read Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man, as the concept of "jaunting" was already known to me (although I think he did a fine job of filling in any readers who weren't already familiar with the concept). And the ending reminded me of a short story I'd read by Larry Niven, in which the suicide rate skyrockets after definite proof of an infinite number of possible universes was proven: if every possible action happens in at least one universe, why not let this be the universe where I just kill myself and be done with it? Anyway, I'll definitely put him on my list of authors to seek out (while avoiding The Abominable - thanks for the warning). I'm now reading The Shogun's Daughter, the sixteenth of a 17-book series of mystery ...

Thursday, 29th March, 2018

  • 08:53 AM - Aldarc quoted Jhaelen in post Pathfinder 2 Playtest Preorders, Podcasts, & "Pathfinder 1.5"
    Am I reading this correctly? Fighter alone might have 30-40 class feats? I'll probably stop reading (and posting) anything pf2 based until the edition hits print next year cause I'm not in their market now with feats being given away like Halloween candy on the 31st. Even when it does hit I'm not likely to pick it up based on what I've seen so far. That's pretty much my first reaction. Do they really think that a metric ton of feats is a good thing?Pathfinder's MO as a off-brand D&D has always been its robust character customization. The "feats" are essentially renamed class talents. Here, my preference would be to wait and see rather than cast aspersions on what little info we have.

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 06:12 PM - Eltab quoted Jhaelen in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    So, what's the truth of the matter? We may never know for sure. Why do I hear the theme from The X-Files playing behind this line?
  • 11:38 AM - TheCosmicKid quoted Jhaelen in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    I'm not so sure about that. You do know that history is written by the winners? I suspect you may have fallen for Roman propaganda ;) The way I recall it, the Carthaginians were mostly a trade empire, built on the basis of their vastly superior ships. They founded countless harbor cities all across the Mediterranean, most of which are still of import today. Thus, they were a thorn in the side of the Roman Empire and an obstacle in their grasp for control over the known world. Roughly: First Punic War: inevitable clash of rival trade powers Second Punic War: Picked by Carthaginians spoiling for a rematch Third Punic War: Picked by Romans spoiling for a rematch (even though they won last time) Viking society was more democratic than Rome could ever hope for. In several ways their system was more democratic than the 'modern' U.S. system. "Viking society" spanned three thousand miles and four centuries, and was politically unified for precisely none of that time. Any generalizations about their...


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