View Profile: Lord Mhoram - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 04:09 PM
    How about word count in system dedicated to explaining grappling as one axis?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 03:10 PM
    I have variously encountered this issue as well, depending on party composition. One potential quick work around is to remove static damage and replace it with variable die damage. So Light weapons do d4; Medium weapons do d6; and Heavy weapons do d8. Or knock them up a die. See what works best for your group. This gives a bit more chance that some weapons can exceed typical damage reduction. The...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:57 PM
    4e: * The WARLORD * Power Sources and Class Roles: This led to 4e having the gumption and vision to pull the trigger on something that not even 2e could commit to doing : removing all divine magic classes from Dark Sun. * Class parity and balance * Scene/narrative-based mechanics (AEDU) * Martial classes had interesting and thematic tactical choices that were typically privileged to...
    29 replies | 949 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:39 PM
    I seem to recall that a lot of people also use Mythras, which derives from BRP, as a more generic Homeric fantasy sort of game.
    18 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 PM
    Sure, but it does inform how I contextualize the conversation of this thread. I don't necessarily think, for example, in terms of a personal preference for "conversational" vs. "literary" narration, but, instead, in terms of communicating what's important in the game fiction for players to engage the scene. The stylistic aesthetic is of lesser importance than the pragmatics. This matter can...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:46 PM
    I feel like the actual discussion in that thread was about the primary GM role that new gamemasters should focus on learning: scene-framing for player agency or literary performance. The whole conversational vs. literary narration bit was a red herring conversation that we unwittingly got roped into when literary performance camp asked us to conceive of GMing as a conversation without the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:11 PM
    So the literary content of the written text (e.g., diction, structure, style, content) was deprecated by the tone and performance? What if the DM had not read the boxed text aloud - a rote performance - but had instead engaged in a more natural style that communicated the message of the boxed text without reading from it? What you say here suggests that something else that has not really been...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:06 PM
    4e had an incredibly refined sense of its own mythos, a dramatic, tension-filled Chaoskampf that permeated its cosmology and every creature, character, location, and often mechanics.
    60 replies | 1769 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:44 PM
    And my point was not about how basketball was being played in different arenas. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:13 PM
    Agreed. 7th Sea 2e felt kinda "meh." My gaming group in Austria loved 7th Sea 1e, but 2e left them feeling flat and uninspired to run it.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:05 PM
    That's probably because the entire basketball analogy was originally framed in terms of greater importance. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:40 PM
    Not so much superfluous as much as less fundamental to the basics. You will naturally develop a style, but the basics of ball-handling, shooting, and play-making are important fundamentals of the game that propel it forward. Many great players of the game typically have both, but we generally expect one over the other. Those who are style without substance are typically overrated players with...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I know, and what I said applies to that.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    This certainly shows you don't watch much basketball. Theatrics are definitely there. It's part of the dunks, the juking, the fade aways, the finishes, and playstyles of many players. Legendary basketball player Julius Erving (Dr. J.) even got his start in a league dedicated to the theatrics of basketball: the Harlem Globetrotters. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    My take on this thread debate using basketball: What's more important in playing basketball, being able to dribble, shoot, and set up plays or developing a theatrical style to your gameplay.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:04 PM
    Pick a system used for Tekumel. Any system. Nope. If you want to navigate the byzantine culture of the Petal Throne, it seems that you must first navigate the byzantine rules that always seem matched to this setting.
    79 replies | 3018 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:10 PM
    Though I love this reference, I do have to quibble. Polyphemos did not hate "Nobody" (Οὖτις) more than Odysseus, because in his escape Odysseus reveals his actual name to Polyphemos, who then prays to Poseidon for vengeance.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 AM
    It turns out, according to Paizo, that the opinions expressed on their forums represent a vocal minority. That is one reason why the "paladin" is getting renamed to the Champion in PF2.
    77 replies | 2783 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Yeah, I have experienced playing with a number of GMs who were not good at phrasing, narration, or the performative aspects of GMing but excellent with framing scenes, stakes, and pacing.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:09 AM
    Shadow of the Demon Lord: No matter how awesome the rules may be, I can't get past its pessimistic, bleak, grimdark setting.
    79 replies | 3018 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:33 PM
    On the whole, most of the lore cohesion that 4e provided and that 5e backtracked on. 1. Primal Power (4E): Druids draw their power not from divine magic of the gods or the arcane magic of the cosmos, but from the primal power of the the material world and the spirits of nature. 2. Monk powers (i.e., ki) are psionic (4E) 3. Diabolic succubi/incubi (4E) 4. Demons as corrupted...
    77 replies | 2783 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:38 PM
    Though you may have had this game in mind for your OP, pemerton, Dungeon World is built on what you describe: GM frames the scene - turns to the PC: "What do you do?" - and then the PC narrates how their character develops or responds to the fiction. Depending upon the results triggered by the dice, the GM then may shift the fictional framing of the story and repeat the cycle.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:51 AM
    These paragraphs, especially the bold, lets me know that you missed out on a lot of my past discussion. If you go back to a lengthy reply I made to Sadras fairly recently, I explain that much of what is getting labeled as "literary," including foreshadowing, actually belongs to the broader category of narratology. I regard TTRPGs as narrative endeavors but not literary endeavors. I get the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:00 AM
    If a gazebo was charging at my character with a knife, I would definitely have questions as a player.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:40 AM
    It's not necessarily the literary work that has been done, but, rather, the cognitive ques are likely already present for "zombie" as part of the player's Euro-American culture. Zombie films, IME, probably have a greater mass cultural impact than zombies in literature. You are correct that a "qallupilluit" will likely be unfamiliar to those same players. Where I think you are mistaken,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:47 AM
    The thing is, Hussar, you're assuming a lot about the nature of the conversation and inserting things into my text that was not necessarily there, aren't you? In literature, we refer to that as "eisegesis," and that is fairly typically frowned upon. Nowhere did I establish, for example, that the automechanic is talking to a customer. The automechanic may be talking to a friend, a family member,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Nope.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Except that isn't what it amounted to at all, Max. The point is that the discourse of conversations are contextualized based upon the interlocutors. So I would suggest that you learn to read and accept the fact that you goofed.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    This is hardly a gotcha moment you imagine. And I apologize now that someone had to explain to you how the conjunction "but" can work in your own native language at this late of a stage in your life. Grammar is boring, but it's necessary. The conjunction "but" does not " what came before by carving out an exception to explain why what came before is wrong." Here's one example. In the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:50 PM
    Except I would say that they are still speaking conversational English, but the conversation will also be contextualized for the various interlocutors.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:30 PM
    Okay. Good for you, I guess. But even if pemerton never addressed the question explicitly, it does not seem all that difficult with a modicum of effort to piece together pemerton's answers within the page frame of 1 and 119. I also feel that it's important to point out, since you had mentioned it earlier, that Karl Popper's falsification testing (1) is not necessarily applicable outside of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:29 PM
    I would also like to repudiate the fallacy of equating vocabulary size with conversational or non-literary narration because this seems to be surfacing in various forms over the past few pages. This is because we can see literary quality, attention to stylistic features of word composition, and word-sculpting within the framework of a smaller than average English vocabulary, particularly in...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:35 AM
    Considering your emphasis on interactionism as an integral part of the RPG process, where an important part of the gameplay is PCs interacting with the gameworld, I have been somewhat surprised by your position in this thread. From what I can tell, pemerton, is offering an incredibly pragmatic sense for the purpose of GM narration that is focused on aiding the player agency and decision-making...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:15 AM
    An automechanic will have a range of vocabulary that "falls outside of normal, everyday conversation," but I don't think that we would credibly accuse them for using the technical jargon of their field as part of their conversation as speaking with "literary language." That would be ridiculous. This is because we can recognize that they are not speaking with any sense of sculpted prose or word...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:00 PM
    What are you talking about? I even explained the specific context in which the goalposts were moved, Max. Did you not even bother to read it or did your eyes just glaze over?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 05:40 PM
    You're correct. I read a question mark there. But the issue is not the ebb-and-flow of conversation but how the goalposts for what was being asked for was moved after an answer was supplied. That is more than simply the conversation changing.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:58 PM
    Why would it be? What particular post would it be moving? Bedrockgames already demonstrated quite convincingly how you were equivocating with your terms at least 50 pages back. You're just upset because you got caught doing it and others in this thread likewise haven't been fooled by the word games you like to use to win arguments. There have even been a number of people who are arguing in...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    I am not inclined to view the latter as a literary endeavor. This again delves into a conversation piece that I have repeatedly brought up in this thread between NARRATIVE and LITERATURE. Not all narratives are literature and not all literature are narratives. If we look at what you wrote starting with this second paragraph, we are talking about narrative...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 03:25 PM
    Okay. But the point has been that "evocative language" is not required to convey game information to players. Hussar's original question was how it could be done, and I provided an answer. Then it was raised that it would break immersion if it was done in this manner completely, which definitely shifts the goal posts of the conversation. I'm glad that you an admit that critics to the OP have...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 12:12 PM
    Tough call between Blades in the Dark or Invisible Sun.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:29 AM
    I don't think that we should equate clarity of the situation with evocative language. Sometimes evocative, literary language can also confuse the players and create different interpretations of the situation. We should probably back away from that fallacy.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:18 PM
    Is this another new goalpost? But not necessarily the literary text of D&D. The point being is that the cognitive context for this TTRPG is informed by the entirety of a person's experiences within a culture. This does not make TTRPGs a literary endeavor simply because D&D has literature. If you want to claim that D&D's associated literature is literary because it is literature, then you have...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:52 PM
    I attempted to summarize and steer the conversation back to pemerton's premise in his OP. But it seems like people are arguing not about what he said, but misconstruing what he said so they can argue imaginary point. And, yes, equivocating on the meaning of "literary" has been a part of the frustration that people like Bedrockgames and I have had with people criticizing pemerton's argument. Even...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    This seems like some major BS that relies on a trite cliche to make a truth statement. The ontology or nature of a picture as a picture does not change into literature or evocative language just because "a picture is worth a thousand words." I would also add that the argument that pemerton put forth is that RPGs are devoid of evocative language, but (1) they are not a primary concern, and (2)...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:25 PM
    I will address your earlier post, but I will shortly say here that this entire conversation has never been predicated on the presumption that constant immersion was required for TTRPGs or should be required. So it feels like you are moving the goalposts by requiring extra standards to be met.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:21 PM
    That's what I am asking you.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:18 PM
    And?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:26 AM
    "It's a part of the universe that is about like combining outer space with heaven." "Oh, cool. Okay. Got it." Did you miss the part - which would not surprise me at all at this point - where I said that the GM and player can engage in a conversation through their questions? I'm not sure why, nor have you done a good job, in explaining how evocative language is required for communicating...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 10:13 AM
    Or, Hussar, you can just tell players what the monster or thing is. It's not like evocative language is required for saying "Oh, Thor? You know that he is the god of storms in this land." Or "a githyanki is a race that lives in the astral sea that looks like this ." If players want more detail, they can ask and initiate a conversation. I don't know why you present this as either evocative...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:41 PM
    To remind you that this has probably been answered before in the thread if you bother to read the thread. I took the effort to go back to the OP and some of the early posts to read through because it was my resonsbililty to do so in order to contextualize the thread. I think that you can manage.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:37 PM
    It's not my job to do your work for you.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:03 PM
    So if you were ordering a single pizza for the entire group to share, and you knew that one of your friends had dietary restrictions that precluded those toppings, that you would still order the pizza that disregarded those dietary restrictions of your friends? I'm sorry, but how are you even a functioning human being? How is that not being selfish and callous to others? How is that person not...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 12:08 PM
    Yes, it is just like pemerton said in the OP: ;) But the literary quality of a description that compares a horse to a Lamborghini would be wasted on someone who lacks the appropriate cognitive context to contextualize the utterance. The literary quality of the narration is unimportant in comparison with the GM's ability to describe a situation that engages the players' ability to motivate...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 08:42 AM
    Please see what I wrote later:
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 10:15 PM
    I don't think that we necessarily have to go to a high end of prose quality to say that the wordcraft quality of GM and PC narration is not of primary importance. But again, I think that pemerton wanted to emphasize what he regarded as more important for the "participation in the creation of fiction": This it say that GM narration should not treat players as passive recipients of their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:35 PM
    I said who preferred eating pepperoni. That said, I am certain that if anyone who preferred pepperoni salami pizza genuinely believed that they were being unfairly excluded from a group ordering a cheese pizza when there are people with vegetarian, halal, or kosher diets present, then that person is probably a rude, self-centered dick who should be excluded though for reasons other than their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 08:51 PM
    No. It's because I already explained how it is a false equivalence. It's not waffling to say that we should not equate "not regarding the wordcraft of GM narration as important" with "not caring about the narrative." It is insulting to claim that that these positions are equivalent. If you can't figure out how these two distinct positions are not the same or don't have the courtesy to bother,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 08:36 PM
    Your false equivalence remains false. Try again next time. How is accusing the other position of a position they don't hold - i.e., not caring about the narrative - not insulting? That's :):):):):):):):), Imaro. That is utter :):):):):):):):).
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 08:10 PM
    (1) This is something of a false equivalence though. It's about like saying that ordering a cheese pizza for those who don't like pepperoni salami or who have vegetarian, halal, or kosher diets then we are being exclusionary for those who want pepperoni salami on their pizza. Sure, they may like or prefer the taste of salami, but the ordering of one pizza over another are not equal positions. And...
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  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:49 PM
    Lost City - 25 Desert of Desolation = 27-2=25 Isle of Dread - 23 Castle Amber - 23+1=24
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:03 PM
    You are going to an opposing extreme to argue your case. Let me put it this way... (1) More Requirements for Game Expectations (with Wordcraft) > (2) Less Requirements for Game Expectations (having or not having Wordcraft doesn't matter) Not everyone will necessarily run their games with (1) so expecting or demanding (1) excludes those who run their games as (2).
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 06:12 PM
    If chefs were to expect that people must use high end ingredients in their cooking (or top quality kitchenware), then it tends to exclude the cooking efforts of those who can't afford, find, or even regards those high end ingredients (or kitchenware) as essential. (Not to mention potential diet restrictions.) I also don't think that these people should necessarily be aspiring to possess those...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 05:39 PM
    You may be seeing this differently than I am, but it seems to me at least that claiming that high quality wordcraft for GM narration is highly important for TTRPG gameplay is far more exclusionary of a statement than saying that it's not fundamentally necessary. And honestly there are many things that may break the game for people - especially recalling our past conversations on Fate points -...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 04:39 PM
    It can (for some people) but I don't think that the quality of narrated wordcraft is fundamentally necessary to initiate a campaign. Companies hire advertisers to get people to buy the product. If people are already sitting down to play your TTRPG campaign, then they have already "bought the product" (i.e., playing the game). Whether or not they will continue playing is something else entirely,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 04:30 PM
    Is this really the only point that you want to engage? That said, I'm not sure if I agree with that either, Imaro.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 04:22 PM
    I do agree with your point quite readily that players have different preferences in terms of engagement. Though pemerton may indeed have the presumption in the bold, I'm not sure if his argument in this thread hinges on it. Pemerton's initial thesis in the OP, for example, is silent about whether the fiction that the players engage through play is something that they have an a priori hand in...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:26 PM
    Is this not you equivocating again on the meaning of "literature" and "literary"? If we take "literary" to mean "wordcraft" (as per pemerton) then why are you using it to mean "written literature" here? What do you mean by your terms, Hussar? Or is defining terms only a standard you expect from others? Conversational: "Horses are expensive and one of your status symbols of wealth as a knight....
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 04:20 PM
    Except they did do magic in Eberron, which is where the hegemonic Artificer concept in D&D derives. Artificers in Eberron, however, had a different approach to their magic than other spellcasters. They were more about broader patterns of magic in the abstract rather than "arcane" or "divine" divides. Eberron did establish that they did not cast spells, as their "spells" were called "infusions,"...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 03:51 PM
    The point is and has been that it is inaccurate to refer to 'narrative devices' as a "literary" when discussing TTRPGs as a medium/genre. If you believe and/or demonstrate that TTRPGs are literature, as Maxperson attempted to argue in this thread, then it would be applicable. Even if we summarize pemerton's meaning of "literary" to mean "wordcraft," that does not make your (mis)use of "literary"...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 01:55 PM
    Now it is my turn to ask how you are defining your terms, because you appear to be doing some heavy equivocation of terms here, especially around what you mean by "literary," keeping in mind how pemerton has defined his sense with how you are using it here almost interchangeably with other meanings. However, it has been my point ever since you misused your terms and repeated the categorical...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 01:25 PM
    Your circular reasoning remains circular.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:53 AM
    I agree with you that "there is no outside text," or in other words, there is no text outside of context. However, I don't understand why you concede that worldbuilding is a storytelling/narrative element that is not limited to the literary and yet then refer to it as a "literary conceit" when speaking of creating narrative contexts in TTRPGs. That seems like some duplicitous double-speak,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 03:51 PM
    That's fine, but this thread is about fitting 4e on the 5e engine and not reinventing the engine entirely from the ground up. Nowhere in my post do I speak for anyone other than myself, Yaarel.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:19 PM
    You seem to have a one-track mind. I'm not interested in the 4e that you are trying to sell.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 07:24 PM
    FYI, your suggestions do not interest me in the slightest. I would personally like to see a 4E-esque game that reduced the level spread to 10. Much in the spirit of what Zardnaar has been saying, I don't think that it's a coincidence that so many fantasy heartbreakers have designed their classes around 10 levels instead of 20. It's easier to condense the leveling experience so that you can do...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 09:55 PM
    But it's kinda meaningless. It's like every boardgame is initiated by someone indicating a desire to play it. In academia, as we often ask, "so what?" I am missing the "so what" of this statement. Sure, RPGs involve one or more people organizing the event, but that is true for nearly every group activity, including ordering a pizza. Step back from the internet web forum and look at the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 02:43 PM
    So you're not moving goalposts: you're just not listening then? Gotcha.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 02:01 PM
    It still qualifies unless either Lanefan or you plans on arbitrarily moving the goalposts.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 12:22 PM
    Yeah, since that person is often the DM in TTRPGs, I suspect that the desire to include this as integral stems from a desire to find another way to privilege and aggrandize the DM.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 10:18 AM
    Done. Next quest? I don't think that it's necessary for us to build up the importance of this "someone" for RPGs as if it were something unique and particular to them.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 08:23 PM
    So a producer?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 03:49 PM
    I'm not sure if I could answer, but your question, Imaro, is definitely a question worth asking. But we can also find tremendous diversity in video games, film/television, and other media as well. Presumably it's the experience of participatory roleplay conjoined with mechanical processes to create shared fiction that binds everything together. Everything else are probably bells and whistles....
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:11 AM
    You are asserting a general opinion of preference as if it were an objective fact of the system. Even if I agree that it were broken (not saying either way), I would not use language that strong for such an opinion.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 10:01 AM
    IME, sometimes yes. Not to speak for hawkeyefan, but one of the points that I raised in this thread has been about how different storytelling mediums have different tools at their disposal. Films can create mood in ways that books can't. Likewise TTRPGs have more tools than any sense of literary wordcraft available to utilize for establishing the mood: music, terrain and minis, pictures,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 02:14 PM
    A big part of that will likely depend on the play mode in which RPGs are performed, which will shape how scenes can be framed. But at most this would mean that RPGs can be literary but that they are not inherently so. But I think that it is important that we recognize how the crafting of story and narrative will differ through TTRPGs than in other media forms.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 01:43 PM
    I think that sort of equivocation is misrepresenting what seems to be meant by "wordcraft" in this thread.
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About Lord Mhoram

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Date of Birth
January 10, 1967 (52)
About Lord Mhoram
Introduction:
RPGs: HERO, Genesys, D&D 5E
About Me:
Been gaming since I got the D&D box in '77, then moved to AD&D when that came out. Played and read many many systems. Married my GM (she was running a Champions game when I moved into the area).
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Utah
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Ogden
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Weekly group game - HERO - one supers, one sorta fantasy.
GMing D&D5E fora second group.
Do solo play with Genesys with the wife.

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Town:
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Weekly group game - HERO - one supers, one sorta fantasy.
GMing D&D5E fora second group.
Do solo play with Genesys with the wife.
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Friday, 28th September, 2018

  • 09:41 PM - vicberg mentioned Lord Mhoram in post Why does 5E SUCK?
    Lord Mhoram, you're absolutely right. This isn't my first rodeo in being a GM. I started in 1983. This was my first foray into 5e, having taken a long hiatus from D&D (GOT 3.5 was the last D&D I ran) and I didn't limit feats or multi-class. If I ever jump into it again, I certainly would as it would have alleviated a lot of headaches. And yes, power gaming has been in an issue in every system since role playing started. That's not new. What really surprised me was the sheer number of people focused on the power gaming side, in large part due to feats and multi-classing. They were actively out there looking for builds that would do 800 HP in a single hit, stuff like that. So I can say, I shot myself in the foot. It was amusing, tbh.

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 12:59 PM - Aldarc mentioned Lord Mhoram in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...t on, and they invite them into their circle. Maybe the other characters use this as a distraction to get the information they need. But isn't that metagaming? Sure, but part of Fate's social contract is that a player creates the Troubles that the player wants their character to experience in the game. The player is getting rewarded for roleplaying the character they wanted. This "metagame" is important for Fate as a game. The mechanic engages the player to embrace and think as character. You can spend Fate points when you put yourself into opportunites that lean on your character aspects. You gain Fate points when you put yourselves into opportunities that lean on your character aspects. I do not doubt that this process can be immersion-breaking for some, but these transactions most often transpire in-character for most Fate games I have played or run. Not only has Emerikol raised how this makes him feel like they are playing a chess piece, I had a similar conversation with Lord Mhoram about this awhile back too. But several of players in my D&D group have said that D&D makes them feel more like minis in a tactical war game than characters, and they find Fate's mechanics more conducive for in-character roleplaying. (Though I wager that most people who game don't care.) My point here being that people have different preferences for mechanics that engender the in-character roleplaying experiences they want, and different games can produce different results depending on those preferences.

Wednesday, 5th July, 2017

  • 01:00 PM - Aldarc mentioned Lord Mhoram in post The Pride Of Blue Rose
    Lord Mhoram: I prefer to abstain from double-posting, so forgive me. I have been giving your fate point conundrum a bit more thought, particularly the issue of playing Fate without worrying about fate points. I may have an easy possibility that hopefully you would be willing to entertain. The biggest problems that you have raised regarding fate points has been (1) character compels and earning fate points (i.e. immersion breakers), and (2) what you perceive as its dissociative mechanics. So here is my suggestion. (1) Remove compels entirely from your Fate game. No "cheating" rewards for playing your character or having your immersion broken by fate point haggling. So how do you get fate points back? (2) Tie Fate points to the character via an X times per day/encounter mechanic. (You may have to adjust the standard.) Fate points are not earned via compels or refresh every session, but instead per the character in the world. This grounds fate points more closely to the character, namely ...

Thursday, 29th June, 2017

  • 04:02 PM - Aldarc mentioned Lord Mhoram in post The Pride Of Blue Rose
    Lord Mhoram, that's a lot to process in that post, and I wish that you had not deleted your far more congenial post that I tried to award an XP before you deleted it, as your most recent post feels like two steps backwards. If you feel that you are being unfairly targeted or that my tone is too confrontational, then I apologize. I am not saying that you should like Fate (points) or that you should play it. I admit, that it's not for everyone. I do get that. One of the problems, for me at least, has been a fairly persistent tone within some of the criciticism of Fate and its mechanics that often contains a veiled sense of "One True Wayism" or "Not True Roleplaying!" And some of the criticisms that I have seen lobbed at Fate do stem from misunderstandings or gross mischaracterizations of the system, and in manners that are somewhat hypocritical (as they ignore similar mechanics and issues in other roleplaying games).

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Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 03:32 AM - dnd4vr quoted Lord Mhoram in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    That's just target practice though - in a real fight bob would be able to half dodge lots of incoming arrows (higher hit point total) than his son. 5E combat keeps accuracy bounded but has experience in combat dealt with by other mechanics. I am not talking about survivability or lethality, I am talking about pure odds of hitting. That's all. With the sole exception of the SS feat removing disadvantage at long range (a feat that Bob might have and Tim might not), Bob has very little advantage (only +2) over his neophyte son despite likely years of experience. I am also not saying I think it should still be a 1-1 level to bonus increase, but I do think bounded accuracy went too far in leveling the field between lower level characters and higher level ones. It goes back to the other philosophy of bounded accuracy: players will feel better if they hit more often even though since we gave pretty much every more hit points it takes just as long to bring it down. The trade-off is simple: you h...

Tuesday, 5th February, 2019


Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 04:37 AM - guachi quoted Lord Mhoram in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Note that kind of situation came up in a game I was in. Everyone at the table loved it. It sounds like fun when everyone is on the same page. Players control their players. But the party controls the party, if that makes sense. And that's why I as a DM am hesitant (unless asked to adjudicate) to intercede in intraparty actions like convincing B.A. to go along with the plan (or your party's equivalent). The player and the rest of the party can resolve the persuading however they'd like and probably to a more enjoyable resolution when it doesn't have to be filtered through the DM. The DM controls everything else, let the party control itself. As a DM, I enjoy sitting back and being an observer for once and not being in control.

Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 10:14 AM - clearstream quoted Lord Mhoram in post Skills used by players on other players.
    To me using a skill (even a social skill) to influence another character is tantamount to using combat skills (like swinging a sword) at that character. Personally If I had a GM that made my character "go along" because another character used a social skill on me- thus taking away player (not character) agency and the GM allowed or encouraged that - I'd walk. If you allow PC vs PC combat and encourage that as easily as you did the social skill, then that is how your game works. But then I ban PC vs PC combat, so I am comfortable banning PC vs PC skill influence on agency. I think you're conflating two concerns here. One is - should a player character swing their sword at another player character? PC vs PC combat. That depends on groups, but for many groups the PCs agree they won't attack one another. A distinctly different concern is - if a player character swung their sword at another player character, and if they roll the attack die and it hits, then should that attack deal damage? Do...
  • 07:07 AM - Ratskinner quoted Lord Mhoram in post Skills used by players on other players.
    But social contract trumps role-playing, in my opinion. Making this player do something he doesn't want to do because of skill and "roleplaying" is no better than the CN jerk who screws everything up and says "I'm just roleplaying my character". Who knows - maybe the Barbarian had a situation like what happened in game as part of the player's mental construction of that character and backstory, and this sequence brings that up and he is "No, not gonna do that, it's not good". So he won't do what the charismatic guy wants. Then he is completely justified, in character and being a perfect roleplayer, to not go along. My characters often surprise me with attitudes and decisions I don't expect when I play them - that is the exact reason I play. As for the first part - anything imposed from outside that forces the player to act differently than he sees how his character would act/react is taking away player agency. Does your social contract include playing the character as written and developed...
  • 07:05 AM - GameOgre quoted Lord Mhoram in post Skills used by players on other players.
    I don't know if that is a typo, but it is perfect roll playing to make the character/player do what the charismatic guy wants, but bad roleplaying. So, you think listening to someone else and being convinced to do what they want instead of your original thought on the matter is out of character on any of your characters? See I just don't get it. This happens every single day in every single community in every single country in the entire world. Role playing this happening in game however is BAD Role Playing? and yeah just typo its like 2 am here. I will say I think it shouldn't even really be rolled for. It should actually just be role played. It's just like the other systems in the game however. If you didn't make players roll for things they would never ever get hit and always hit and do max damage and make every save. In this case they would NEVER be fooled or taken advantage of. THAT is simply bad role playing.
  • 06:39 AM - GameOgre quoted Lord Mhoram in post Skills used by players on other players.
    In my opinion the play has complete control of his character's choices unless affected by mind control/charm kind of spells. To me using a skill (even a social skill) to influence another character is tantamount to using combat skills (like swinging a sword) at that character. Personally If I had a GM that made my character "go along" because another character used a social skill on me- thus taking away player (not character) agency and the GM allowed or encouraged that - I'd walk. If you allow PC vs PC combat and encourage that as easily as you did the social skill, then that is how your game works. But then I ban PC vs PC combat, so I am comfortable banning PC vs PC skill influence on agency. To me it has nothing to do with Roleplaying good or bad, but about the social contract and player agency. I was in a game (Rolemaster) that the GM said about 6 months into the campaign that he was going to make all PC combat rolls behind his screen in secret - I handed him my characters sheet, and...

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 09:25 PM - Panda-s1 quoted Lord Mhoram in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    Ah, so we're shifting goalposts. Twosix didn't say the entire group. He said a vote. A simple majority.[...] Are we really at this level of nitpicking now? One big thing is fairness. The rules of the campaign are set up at the beginning and DM and players agreed to it. Say everyone at the table (but one) hates dragonborn (for whatever reason) - so dragonborn are banned from the game (the one guy who likes them thinking "oh, I can play one in a different game". Then a new player comes in and wants to play a dragonborn - most everyone at the table hates them, and the one guy who would have played a dragonborn, but didn't because he was ok with waiting - would then have thier fun lessened by catering to the late-coming player. I don't get how working together with a player to figure out their race is "catering". This doesn't even address the same as the scenario(s) I presented. Another reason - Everyone's job at the table is to make sure everyone has fun - DM and players. And just as a D...
  • 09:07 AM - Panda-s1 quoted Lord Mhoram in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    Man I stop paying attention for a day and people are still hung up on me saying "coward". Let's go over what I said again: In my experience some DMs are just cowards. Oh hey look, an important word here is "some"! I didn't say all DMs are cowards, but to be fair at this point I could be splitting a dichotomy between DMs who will and won't ban official material from their games. I mean okay some stuff might not make sense thematically, or sometimes things will gain a reputation for being problematic. I give some understanding here. I get why DMs might want to ban official material from their games. Hell, I like to be pretty open as a DM, but I've had to say X material won't be allowed for Y reason in my game before. But I've known DMs who take a look at some official material and their knee-jerk reaction is that it needs to be banned from their game. HUH in this sentence I'm pointing out a specific type of DM. Specifically, one that I've had to deal with before. Let's see if I elaborate ...
  • 04:20 AM - epithet quoted Lord Mhoram in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    I'll admit I'm on the side of the fence that thinks the phrase DM entitlement is a non-sequitur, because putting those limits on is something I consider part of the GMs job (especially if it is non D&D game, Like HERO or GURPS that can easily be abused). But I do agree with you about consensus... I think we just completely disagree on when. The person in the group has an idea for setting/world and tone and approach. That person explains that idea to the group, lays out the rules limitation, and asks the group what they think. The group then agrees on whether or not to play - once that agreement has happened, then the game proceeds with the GM being the absolute final arbiter of what is allowed/banned. If in the initial pitch the players don't want to play that game, he doesn't run it, and someone else can GM. If the rest of the group doesn't have anyone who wants to GM, and it would dissolve without that person running the game - the players suck it up and play the way the GM wants... or they c...

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 05:57 PM - gyor quoted Lord Mhoram in post Ravnica Table of Contents & More
    The way I look at it - this isn't the "Guide to MtG in D&D" it's about Ravnica - and that is all about the guilds. I didn't want to see any spells, or planeswalking in the book. I wanted the setting that informs those magic sets to be written for D&D. It looks like that was done. So I am happy for the way this looks. Look under the guilds in the table of contents and it lists Guild Spells and there is a section for magic items.
  • 05:47 PM - Kramodlog quoted Lord Mhoram in post Ravnica Table of Contents & More
    I don't want a super detailed timeline, a huge gazetter.I do. It gives me tools to make campaigns and aventures. It is also fun to read. Since 4e WotC has forgotten that lore is also one of the reasons people bought D&D products.
  • 05:28 PM - Kramodlog quoted Lord Mhoram in post Ravnica Table of Contents & More
    The way I look at it - this isn't the "Guide to MtG in D&D" it's about Ravnica. Ravnica isn't even in this book.

Sunday, 30th September, 2018

  • 07:03 AM - MNblockhead quoted Lord Mhoram in post How Do You Enjoy D&D Away From the Table
    Not much these days - I spend a bit of time here, and at Paizo's forums. For the last 20+ years - I spent hours reading books, including 3rd party books, building characters, designing house rules - For Pathfinder & 3.x. Did similar things with Hero too. But these days, I don't. I found 5E to be freeing that way - there isn't the huge amount of rules and options to engage with away from the table. So these days, instead of engaging with RPGs away from the table, I play board games or video games with the wife, read more fiction, watch more movies. With the free time 5e afforded, I picked up a few more TTRPGs. I'll fill the space created by efficiency and simplicity with more complexity. :-/

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

  • 08:12 AM - pemerton quoted Lord Mhoram in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    But that is straying, almost in the opposite direction of a discussion of mechanics, which is the opposite of what the thread is about.Not at all! Isn't this thread about play experience? One of my main reasons for playing RPGs, is the roleplaying itself. Deep immersion, in becoming the character, feeling what the character would feel, being what the character is. That can be achieved with nothing but dialog and emotionI prefer to get that experience by engaging the situation, and having feelings about the outcome that mirror those being felt by the character. So if my PC would be anxious or uncertain, I want to have that same experience; if my PC would feel the pull of loyalty, then I want the mechanics to make me feel the same thing. Some games are more light-hearted than others in these respects: of systems I play/GM, I would say Prince Valiant and Marvel Heroic/Cortex+ Heroic are at the lighthearted end; 4e and Classic Traveller are intermediate; and Burning Wheel is intense sometimes t...
  • 06:25 AM - Charlaquin quoted Lord Mhoram in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I can understand where you are coming from, but I don't agree. There are plenty of places where roleplaying happens with no mechanical impact; interactions between characters as they get to know someone, dialog for a romantic scene with an npc that is done without dice rolls (just as a way to enjoy experiencing the conversation) as a couple of example. There are lots of situations where you just interact by roleplaying that have no stakes, and have no need for a mechanic widget tied to it. In D&D 5th Edition, however, that is still interacting with the game’s mechanics. The core mechanic of 5e is that the player describes what their character does, the DM determines the results of the described action, possibly calling for dice to be rolled to resolve any uncertainty in the outcome, and then describes the results. Even if the DM determines that a dice roll is not necessary to determine the results, describing what you do and having the DM describe the results is still interacting with D&D 5e’s co...
  • 06:21 AM - pemerton quoted Lord Mhoram in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I can understand where you are coming from, but I don't agree. There are plenty of places where roleplaying happens with no mechanical impact; interactions between characters as they get to know someone, dialog for a romantic scene with an npc that is done without dice rolls (just as a way to enjoy experiencing the conversation) as a couple of example. There are lots of situations where you just interact by roleplaying that have no stakes, and have no need for a mechanic widget tied to it.I think I might already have quoted Chrisotpher Kubasik's Interactive Toolkit in this thread, but I'll do so again, because it expresses where I'm coming from fairly well: The tales of a story entertainment [his term for a RPG] are based not on the success of actions, but on the choice of actions; not the manipulation of rules, but the manipulation of narrative tools. The primary tool is Character. Characters drive the narrative of all stories. However, many people mistake character for characterization...

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018

  • 05:33 PM - pemerton quoted Lord Mhoram in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    if there are modifiers to that roll, then that helps, because some situations are harder than others - without modifiers then I would feel it is a bad rule. In the game that that rule comes from - Dungeon World - the way we find out whether or not one situation was harder than another is by seeing how the dice come out. (A bit like how, in Moldvay Basic, we learn if these goblins are friendlier than those goblins by finding out how the reaction roll pans out - it's "fortune in the middle" with the fiction being read, in part, off the result of the roll. Gygax uses the same approach for hit points and saving throws in his DMG - we learn if the poison got into the wound or not by seeing how the save comes out; we don't first decide how badly poisoned the PC was and use that to affect the saving throw.) There is one modifier, though: INT. So choosing to play a high-INT PC is choosing to play a PC who is more likely, more of the time, to be able to oblige the GM to tell one interesting and perhaps ...
  • 12:19 PM - pemerton quoted Lord Mhoram in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    The whole point, as I see it, of ruling vs rules, is that you rely on the GM to tell you how the interaction with his world works, and the rules are a support for the GM to do this... as opposed to the rules defining how you interact with the world. To me that is a welcome change of pace, and a nice return to the "old days".How would you characterise the following rule: When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something, roll 2d6+Int bonus: ✴On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting and useful about the subject relevant to your situation; ✴On a 7–9, the GM will only tell you something interesting—it’s on you to make it useful; The GM might ask you "How do you know this?" Tell them the truth, now. I don't see how it fits into a dichotomy between "the rules supporting the GM telling you how your interaction with his/her world works" and "the rules defining how your interact with the world". My reason for asking is that because I don't think your ...
  • 05:12 AM - pemerton quoted Lord Mhoram in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    When there are rules for everything (3rd and 4th) then you get constrained on what you can do by looking at character sheet. In a more freewheeling game, you just think up stuff your character would do, and the GM tells you what roll to attempt to do it. You present this as if it is a dichotomy that covers the field. Given that in my 4e game the PCs have set back ghouls with their prayers (other than by way of the Channel Divinity mechanics), used jellies at a banquet to illustrate the vulnerabilities of gelatinous cubes, opposed city officials in court cases, used their chaos sorcrery to seal the Abyss, tamed bears that were attacking them, stolen a triceratops from its hobgoblin handler and ridden it across the battlefield, and countless other stuff I can't recall - none of which is an action declaration mentioned in the rulebooks or on a character sheet - I don't recognise your characterisation. Like many other posters in this thread, you seem to equate uniform resolution system with a se...


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