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    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 05:06 AM
    My problem with the Destroyer is that The Barbarian was actually a really good movie, one of the best fantasy flicks ever made - a true classic. It was as if with the sequel they remembered the era and they made just another silly 80s fantasy movie, in the vein of Krull, Beastmaster, and Sword & Sorcerer. ​But yeah, it is kind of fun.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 02:29 AM
    "Bad" is so subject to interpretration, but if you're talking solely about box office flops then I'll go with Dark Phoenix. It wasn't great, but it was much better than the Last Stand and still a decent movie. I didn't feel like my childhood was destroyed like I did with the Last Stand. Here's a list of 52 box office flops:...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 01:35 AM
    This looks so good; I agree, more expansive and interesting than I originally imagined. Who do people think the young woman is? Obviously she's tied to the Borg somehow...maybe the first "Borg child" somehow?
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:01 AM
    I agree probably notas well, but considering the large populations of Latin America and Asia, I think it is worth at least sending a line out to see if it catches. To address your specific points: We Americans do seem to be obsessed with violence, don't we? I find it rather disturbing how embedded the idea is in media culture that everything can be solved with violence (see just about any...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:39 PM
    OK, fair enough. I shouldn't have said it wasn't at all interesting or implied that either of you are guilty of BadWrongInterest, but I was irked in that it is the only quasi-controversial thing in the article, and of course it happens to be the center of discussion. I was concerned that it would be yet another opportunity for people to be offended, feel entitled and/or mis-treated by WotC for...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:36 PM
    The PDF thing is one tiny aspect of the article and not really a very interesting one, but oh well - let's fixate on that and ignore the rest.
    81 replies | 2728 view(s)
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:56 AM
    This article is about a month old, so pardon me if it has already been discussed. It brings up a point that I haven't really considered all that much, that "the future of D&D is international." Chris Perkins said they're looking at South America and Asia, with Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese languages a focus. Considering that there are almost 900 million native Mandarin speakers (and over a...
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    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:16 AM
    Bump again! :D Allan.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:34 PM
    First of all, I'd check out futuretimeline.net - you should find lots of good stuff there, and maybe even the answer to most of your questions if you comb through everything. But as far as details go, it is hard to answer because there are so many routes you could take. Scifi tends to be optimistic, but we currently live in a world that is perpetually on the cusp of disaster, great or small....
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 04:36 AM
    Well, the Beginner's Box maybe? But to address the second sentence, I don't think Pathfinder could possibly be anything resembling "strong" competition for D&D. It was to 4E, but that's a different story. My sense is that Pathfinder serves those wanting a crunchier game, and also loyalists - which is, of course, a Venn diagram. Part of the impetus behind starting this thread is that P2 seems...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 10:22 PM
    ...very simply, it sucked. So I've had Wrath of Ashardalon for a few years and never played it. My daughters and I had played and enjoyed Dungeon maybe a dozen times over the last couple years, and I wanted to up our game, possibly in preparation for eventually transitioning to D&D. I thought Wrath might be a good step up. But we were all underwhelmed...it was just...boring. Game play was...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 10:15 PM
    Of course. But you'll probably want to playtest the system extensively, at least if you want a quality finished product. You have more "creative autonomy" with the setting, but the system is best served ironed out with the help of others.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 10:41 AM
    I'm not really sure if this belongs in the Pathfinder or D&D forums, so put it here in General as it touches upon a variety of topics and is more meta than system-specific. I don't know a lot of details about Pathfinder 2 and haven't been following whatever discussions might have happened over the year, but upon doing a cursory browse, I'm reminded of what happened with 4E. Like 4E, P2 seems...
    217 replies | 14784 view(s)
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Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 07:43 PM - dave2008 mentioned Mercurius in post Kids D&D Intro Books: Young Adventurer's Guides
    Are these rules specifically for younger players? If so I will definitely pick these up for my daughter. Shes still a little too young but I'm eating her into the game. No I don't think so and Mercurius backs that up based on what Amazon has posted. FYI, my 4 & 6 year old sons and their friends were able to pick up D&D without simplifying the game or a D&D light for kids version. I don't know the age of your daughters but I wouldn't be surprised if they could handle it. Also, there have been a couple of threads on these forums with advice for playing D&D with young children. You might want to check them out.

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 10:45 AM - cbwjm mentioned Mercurius in post Matt Colville, and Most Tolkien Critics, Are Wrong
    Mercurius One thing I will definitely agree with is that when a teacher is interested and engaging with a topic, students tend to pay attention. It's something I noticed myself as a student at uni. I don't know if I fully agree with attention spans and devices but thinking about it more as I write this, maybe people do need to switch off more. Certainly as a teacher this is a phenomenon that you would be in better position to see. All I can say is that my nieces, and nephews, despite having devices still love to read and draw and play. They aren't teenagers though. I do wonder if it might have more to do with that period of life than easy access to devices and the internet.

Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 08:12 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Mercurius in post How to trim 5E down to "Rules Lite" (for kids)
    Mercurius My go to source of inspiration has been James Stowe's blog: http://jamesstowe.blogspot.com/2011/09/dnd-for-8-year-olds.html He took 4th edition I believe and created simplified character sheets oriented for kids. Good stuff! :)
  • 05:41 AM - Blue mentioned Mercurius in post Optimizing a two person party
    Mercurius had an thought provoking post about going through a published dungeon crawl with a small party, possibly a two person group. http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?655479-quot-Solo-crawling-quot-Dungeon-of-the-Mad-Mage That got me to thinking. We often discuss optimization of a single character, but how about a pair of characters (only!) that need to complement each other. Say we needed to handle: RP and social skills Knowledge skills Exploration and discovery Combat where usually the foes have a lot more actions then us Healing/recovery between challengesFind/remove traps, open locks, find hidden things (Assume standard type adventures, not the DM tailoring specifically to two characters - though that does mean the might advance faster so be a bit in level above where a 4-5 character party would be.) Can you suggest character pairs that will work at (around) 6th, 12th and 16th, providing a high degree of synergy as well as covering the needed tasks? It's okay if the...

Thursday, 2nd August, 2018


Tuesday, 31st July, 2018


Friday, 16th March, 2018

  • 02:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post Mythological Figures: Achilles (5E)
    Like Mercurius, I was surprised to see such low physical stats. And like Polyhedral Columbia, I was surprised by the lack of allusion to Achilles's rage. But anyway, the personality traits seem to be missing. Achilles is a great warrior, but there are other great warriors in the Iliad. What distinguishes literary/mythological peronsalities tends to be their character. As a starting point for Achilles I'll suggest Ideal: Glory; Bond: Patroclus; Flaw: Pride.

Friday, 2nd February, 2018

  • 01:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...he player should describe what the character does and then let the GM determine the outcome based on what's been established and the results of whatever check may be required (Search or Perception or what have you). The player is limited to describing what his character attempts to do.This isn't how D&D handles combat (subject to a qualification in the next paragraph). In combat the player doesn't have to describe what the player does (other than the very generic "I attack with my sword"); and the GM doesn't decide the outcome - we roll to hit dice, and damage dice, and track hit point totals, and some (not all) of us track figures on a map, etc. I agree with you for non-combat, though, in contemporary D&D (I don't know that it was always thus, but it has been at least since 2nd ed and its NWP system). Also, GM fudging of hit point totals or monster to hit rolls or monster AC will tend to change the character of combat to being what you described. That's why upthread, in reply to Mercurius, I described this approach to player action declarations as the player making suggestions to the GM as to how the fiction might be developed. Okay, but if we compare the search for the letter and the attack on the orc, I don't think they're exactly alike. One is the player actively seeking something, the other is the player responding to action from the game world. What if the orc is 100 feet away from the PC and is attacking them with a bow? Is not allowing the PC to retaliate with a melee attack denying their agency? Is the player free to resolve the issue of the orc in any way he sees fit? Or is he bound by the constraints of the fictional world? Is that any different than the hidden letter? It's location determines the chance of finding it.I posted a lot about this upthread. The difference I see is that in your orc example the player knows the fictional positioning - the GM has framed something, and the player has to deal with it. (If the player declared an action to sn...

Sunday, 28th January, 2018

  • 03:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Okay, but please explain how one type of note doesn't constrain the DM but another type does? Again, this reads like special pleading: this thing I prep isn't that kind of thing that's prepped, the one that constrains you.I think my longer post (just upthread) explains my analysis pretty clearly. But the short version is: an encounter map I'm carrying around in my backpack ready to whip out if/when needed (or a Monster Manual, or notes about a mysterious benefactor, or whatever) isn't an established element of the shared fiction that is secret from the players and yet that might be a factor in adjudicating the resolution of the actions that they declare for their PCs. And once the map is on the table, there is no secret. The players may not like the GM's framing (it's boring, it's contrived, whatever) but they can see what action declarations are and are not feasible within that framing. So it's not like Mercurius's omnipotent GM, who - in principle - enjoys the power to mediate every action declaration through his/her conception (be it prior, or made up on the spot) of what the fiction contains and has room for.
  • 03:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...es a desire about the state of the fiction, and the action resolution rules then determine whether or not that desire becomes true. In conventional D&D play, I think the GM is expected to exercise a fairly strong mediating role in narrating the outcome even on a successful check (eg the GM probably decides whether or not the crossbow bolt shot the orc in the head or the chest). In BW, by contrast, the GM is permitted only to add embellishments (so if the player says, "I shoot the orc in the head", and the dice deliver a success, well that's what happened). The player asking "Is the map in the study" and then - on a good roll - fiding it there is strictly analogous to the player "introducing" (by way of successful action resolution) that the orc is dead. Now, if it's controversial that RPGing should include players expressing desires as to the content of the fiction, which then become true if action resolution works out a certain way - well, we're back at what I talked about with Mercurius, namely, player action declarations as, at best, suggestions to the GM as to possible narrations of furure states of the fiction. Under no secret backstory conditions, the player has now signaled that they wish to introduce a map, and the DM has to engage this hook and say yes or roll the dice. If the dice are rolled and successful, then the player has now introduced fiction.Well, this takes me back to the two contrasting cases, both of Circles checks that I've seen occur in BW play: (1) "Jabal the Red is leader of my cabal. I reach out to him to see if he can help us." That is direct authorship of fiction - the cabal is led by Jabal the Red. Then there is a statement of desire - the player wants the fiction to include Jabal helps the PC who has reached out to him. (2) "I wonder if any knights of my order are living around here. As we travel, I keep an eye out for any signs of them." That is a statement of desire - the player wants the fiction to include As I travel through...

Thursday, 25th January, 2018

  • 04:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    This was a request to comment directly on a commenter's statement that world-building by the GM was an art, was something they appreciated as a creative enterprise in and of itself, and that (one of the primary) roles of players is to explore and appreciate that effort and/or engage in a choose-your-own adventure approach to RPGIng based on that worldbuilding. - This come on the heels of (after and before further) aggressive commentary by a GM stating that THE SETTING IS MINE (and other related commentary). This was not rebuked and this sentiment has been reiterated in other forms in this thread by other commenters and throughout ENWorld's many threads (again, especially in threads that decry players for optimization).And as (I think) the one who requested the comment - thank you, it was interesting! For what it's worth, I find your analysis pretty plausible, though - as I posted upthread following Mercurius's post - I think that there may be subsitutable values of your (2) (eg "Someone's got to do it!") which then feed through, in pretty straightforward ways, into your other points without fundamental effects on them. I want to say it was one of the Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards threads of yore!That sounds right. I believe that (as relates to this thread), the pair of contentions you, I, and others were making were the following: * In D&D systems with (a) Vancian casters with Enchantment spells (especially with prolific spell load-outs) and (b) noncombat action resolution governed by a process sim (internal causality rather than genre logic) task resolution (rather than conflict resolution), Wizards/spellcasters are going to be inevitably dominate noncombat action resolution. * The only way this doesn't take place is for GMs to either (a) preemptively protect crucial plot-points/NPCs by pulling out the classic (eye-roll-inducing to any hardened, long term player) block...
  • 01:20 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...gainst a difficulty set by the GM in accordance with the skill descriptions; but that mechanical difference doesn't mean that the GM gets to make the passive check fail automatically just because s/he thought it would be better for the map to be somewhere other than the study. In other words, (i) there is not only one model for RPG mechanics, and (ii) even when the mechanics are similar (both D&D and BW use checks against a difficulty), that doesn't tell us why it is the GM's job to do the stuff you say. To be clear: I'm not asserting that there is no answer to the question. But answers that don't take account of the range of ways RPGing works will (necessarily) be incomplete. I mean, obviously setting provides depth - but it doesn't have to be GM authored to do that (witness the various examples I've posted upthread). So a more complete answer adds information eg Caliban says that many players don't want to contribute to establishing the backstory, so someone else has to do it; Mercurius says that he wants the GM to tell him the backstory as part of his process of immersion (to me that seems very similar to being told a story by the GM - I think Mercurius queries that characterisation, but from my point of view I'm still working out why, and also why it's considered pejorative - I went to the pictures recently, and had a story told to me, and that doesn't make me feel offended). Nagol gave some different reasons: GM worldbuilding establishes levers/tools for the players. It makes sense that someone else has to do this, in that being able to just deem your own tools into existence seems a bit cheat-y. To me, that speaks to a style of play much closer to classic dungeoneering, though mabye Nagol would not agree with that. Also, the very term "action resolution" is here a bit misleading. Yes a PC has declared an action, and that action gets resolved...but the resolution of that action only applies to the PC and her immediate surrounds, not to anything static withi...
  • 12:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Congrats. You're free to play the way you enjoy. That doesn't make your way the "right"way, but it seems that was the entire purpose of this thread - and we all knew it. Your inability to understand why I prefer to play a different way has no bearing on the validity of that playstyle. Happy gaming.Three things: (1) I've never talked about a "right way" to play. I started a thread with a question: some posters answered it (@Nagol, Caliban, etc). Some other posters - Mercurius, Lanefan - asserted or implied that by asking the question I was insulting them. To be frank, that's on them, not on me. If they don't want to answer the question "what is GM worldbuiling for", or think that the answer is so self-evident that to ask the question is to commit some RPG faux pas, well, no one is forcing them to post in the thread. (2) What makes you think I don't understand why you prefer to play a different way? When I say "This is why I don't like such-and-such", what makes you think I'm telling you why you shouldn't like it? (3) I've replied with courtesy and honesty to all your posts in this thread, and have not attacked you or your preferences (unless you consider me explaining why my preference are different an attack - in which case see (1) and (2) above). I'm a little surprised that you don't seem capable of doing the same.

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018

  • 09:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Mercurius If the GM has the inherent power to veto/filter/manipulate, then it is inherent that the GM is not bound by action resolution. Having regard to it when you're not inclined to overturn it is not a mode of being bound. This then relevant to your question "Why not (1) through (4)?" (3) and (4) aren't avaiable to an omnipotent GM, because they only make sense if the GM is bound. An omnipotent GM can, of course, make a dice roll or call for one from the player: but as s/he has the power to disregard/override it, it is nothing more than a suggestion, an additional factor that s/he might consider. This is why I don't like it as a GMing method: when I'm GMing I want to find out what happens; not to take suggestions, consider input, and the decide what happens. The way I do this is by following the rules for action resolution. You say that only an abusive GM would decide that "my guy wins" without action resolution: but in fact that is exactly what is happening every time a playe...
  • 07:03 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Mercurius, there are some point where I think you have mis-spoken, or seem not to understand some RPG techniques. A player's agency in the fictional world is roughly the same as our agency in the real world, and even slightly more so, as I explained. The difference, though, is that in the fictional world, there's a GM - who is akin to a hypothetical supreme being in our world.The player has no agency in the fictional world, any more than you have the power to punch Sherlock Holmes in the nose. The PC has agency in the fictional world, but it's fictional ie imaginary agency and so, as I explained to Lanefan not too far upthread is orthogonal to issues of railroading etc. (A PC might be enlaved by some other being, yet the player have unfettered autonomy, because the player determines the details of what the enslaving being asks of the PC.) And the player may or may not have agency in the real world, in the playing of the game, depending on his/her capacity to change the state of the sha...
  • 05:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...eed some other technique for dealing with retries. I had to deal with this fairly recently in my Traveller game, because it doesn't use "fail forward", and instead mostly manages retries either through it's rules for the passage of time - so if you're in your starship your life support only lasts for so many days, and so with one chance to fix the engines per day, you only get so many tries before the PCs all asphyxiate - or through a flat-out "no retries" rule. But it's mechanics for overland exploration don't have a no retries rule and don't have time constraints like starship activities do, and hence are - in my view - the weakest part of the ruleset, as they easily lead - I can report from experience - to rather boring play with dice being rolled although nothing significant is at stake.) It is a wrong question, Mr. Pemerton. You seem to have this black or white view of the situation: either the GM is telling the story or the players are. Neither are correct.Well, tell that to Mercurius. He was the one who said that it is the GM's story, and the players are actors - and it was that contention that I was responding to. I would work with the player to develop those religious organizations and the world in which they exist based on the player's assumptions. In some cases, I'd deliberately subvert the player's assumptions to keep things interesting and challenging. We'd play out the scenario, and I would use that predetermined setting information to inform my adjudication of the players' actions and the consequences thereof.Well, I guess all the action is in the words "We'd play out the scenario." I was wondering how, in actual practice, this would work. Eg what sorts of actions might be declared, and how would they be adjudicated? The players declare actions and the GM determines how the world reacts. How is the GM to determine how the world reacts without first determining the nature of the world? Assuming we agree that determination must take place, why do y...
  • 04:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Adventures that are ostensibly open world, where the players have the agency to walk away from the plot, are more difficult to run unless the players voluntarily commit to staying within the confines of the plot. The alternatives are things like railroading, moving scenery, or trusting to luck and/or skill, or letting go of the plot and leaving the players wander.Those are not the only atlernatives. A well-established alternative is the one I posted upthread (in replay to Mercurius), put forward in summary form (but in no sense invented) by Eero Tuovinen. Instead of the GM hoping to hook the players and keep them on the rails of plot, the players build PCs with "hooks" for the GM and the GM etablishes situations that speak to those player-evinced flags. It doesn't depend upon luck, nor upon any particular skill (I started GMing in this fashion as a teenager in the second half of the 80s; the player hooks, on that occasion, were provided by the Oriental Adventures character generation process). But nor does it involve the players "wandering". If the GM is doing his/her job properly, then play will be rather focused (I mean, it may or may not traverse a wide geographic scope, but whether or not it does will be a secondary matter). The ideal, of course, is that the players voluntarily stay on plot because they find said plot/story interesting and-or engaging enough to want to play it out. Which means that in a DM-driven game it's squarely on the DM to come u...

Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018

  • 11:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    We are talking about player generated content (shared worldbuilding with the player) - you cannot seemingly skip that stage in the debate when it doesn't suit you.Well I know what I'm talking about, seeing as I wrote the OP. I'm asking what GM pre-authored worldbuilding is for. You and Mercurius say that it one thing it does is support immersion, by sparing the player from having to generate content. I'm making the point that there are many, many RPGs in which the player doesn't have to generate content in the way you and Mercurius don't like, and yet which don't depend upon the GM pre-authoring content. The reason that I know this is because I play such RPGs. (The only RPG I'm personally familiar with that has the feature you and Mercurius object to is OGL Conan, and I've never played it.) How do I know I'm looking for a map?You declare as your action, for your PC, "I search the study for the map", or something similar. The GM sets an approriate difficulty, the dice are rolled, they tell us whether or not hopes are realised or dashed. In my experience it's quite immersive, and it doesn't require the player to generate any content beyond his/her PC's desires, and the actions that those desires move him/her to undertake. EDIT: the basic concept is no different from...
  • 11:12 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I consider TTRPGs primarily a mechanism for shared storytelling, because that's the one aspect of a TTRPG that cannot be replicated in a book or videogame. Someone has to develop the shared world in which that storytelling takes place, and it usually falls to the GM to do so.I'm not sure about the has to - can't the setting be generated in the course of the telling of the story? I will admit, for the sake of argument, that any GM who declares ownership over the campaign is overstepping. Well, that's what the poster to whom I was replying did. Mercurius also asserted that the GM is omnipotent in respect of the campaign: "One approach assumes that the GM is omnipotent, and the player's relationship to the world is akin to our own relationship to our world." I think it's perfectly reasonable for a GM to declare ownership over the campaign setting. Many of us put a LOT of effort into developing our campaign settings to include NPCs, geography, situations, maps, motivations, etc. Most players put proportionally less work into the game; they roll up their characters, perhaps include a backstory, and show up with some dice. GMing a simulated living, breathing world in which the players can explore and adventure involves a ton of work.OK - I didn't think any of this stuff about effort was in dispute. Writing is hard and takes time. But I'm not sure how that relates to the actual process of play. And the metaphors "exploration" is still in need of cashing out. The way that I "explore" Middle Earth is to read JRRT's books. How does a pl...


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Monday, 22nd July, 2019

  • 03:07 PM - Raunalyn quoted Mercurius in post Bad Movies You Liked
    My problem with the Destroyer is that The Barbarian was actually a really good movie, one of the best fantasy flicks ever made - a true classic. It was as if with the sequel they remembered the era and they made just another silly 80s fantasy movie, in the vein of Krull, Beastmaster, and Sword & Sorcerer. ​But yeah, it is kind of fun. My problem was the uber-cheesy make-up/special effects. And the fact that it did not have the incredible Basil Poledouris for the soundtrack (it had a cheesy knock off that did a poor job of trying to sound like Basil Poledouris). It wasn't great, but it was fun.

Sunday, 21st July, 2019

  • 09:58 PM - Derren quoted Mercurius in post Star Trek Picard extended Comic-Con trailer
    This looks so good; I agree, more expansive and interesting than I originally imagined. Who do people think the young woman is? Obviously she's tied to the Borg somehow...maybe the first "Borg child" somehow? I guess she is a engineered borg queen who would be able to control other drones.
  • 01:33 PM - Mustrum_Ridcully quoted Mercurius in post Star Trek Picard extended Comic-Con trailer
    This looks so good; I agree, more expansive and interesting than I originally imagined. Who do people think the young woman is? Obviously she's tied to the Borg somehow...maybe the first "Borg child" somehow? We actually see Borg children in the first episode we encounter the Borg. They were in some kind of maturation chamber, IIRC, and already had implants. A theory I've seen about her is that she's actually Lal, though I don't know why or how people get that idea. Maybe she's actually a young Borg Queen? Maybe she is the Borg Queen, and it's time travel with predestination paradox and all. (I hope not.) I figure the facility with all the prisoners contains liberated Borg, e.g. people like Hugh that were disconnected from the Collective. The note of "x work days since the last assimilation" might imply that they are contained and isolated to avoid that they form a new collective or reconnect to the regular Borg. The background novel/comics to the first Kelvin Timeline Movie (aka JJ.Trek) s...
  • 05:37 AM - ccs quoted Mercurius in post Bad Movies You Liked
    My problem with the Destroyer is that The Barbarian was actually a really good movie, one of the best fantasy flicks ever made - a true classic. It was as if with the sequel they remembered the era and they made just another silly 80s fantasy movie, in the vein of Krull, Beastmaster, and Sword & Sorcerer. ​But yeah, it is kind of fun. It's like they took D&D and made a movie out of it....

Saturday, 20th July, 2019

  • 02:02 PM - gyor quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    This article is about a month old, so pardon me if it has already been discussed. It brings up a point that I haven't really considered all that much, that "the future of D&D is international." Chris Perkins said they're looking at South America and Asia, with Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese languages a focus. Considering that there are almost 900 million native Mandarin speakers (and over a billion speakers overall), 350 million native Spanish speakers (about the same as native English), and 200 million native Portuguese speakers, that's a lot of room for growth. Another thing I found interesting in the article: "Turns out there's millions of people who really like books, adds Stewart. "They like the tactile feel and the art and craft of it. We don't do PDFs because it's a bad experience. That's why we're not there." I mean, I suspected this was a factor in D&D's popularity, that people crave something less digital, something more tacticle and--I would add--imaginative, versus the simula...

Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 05:16 PM - Haffrung quoted Mercurius in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I mean, what exactly is Paizo hoping for? 1) Paizo needs to address the relentless attrition of their existing player-base that all popular RPGs are subject to. The status-quo means decline. A new edition raises the profile of the game and will bring in new blood. 2) Help maintain the existing PF1 player-base by addressing some of the widely acknowledged problems with PF1. 3) Get in on the incredible growth of the D&D market in the last few years. If even only 20 per cent of 5E players decide to try PF2, that's a huge influx of new players. 4) Sell a bunch of new books to keep the revenue flowing.

Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - Parmandur quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    OK, fair enough. I shouldn't have said it wasn't at all interesting or implied that either of you are guilty of BadWrongInterest, but I was irked in that it is the only quasi-controversial thing in the article, and of course it happens to be the center of discussion. I was concerned that it would be yet another opportunity for people to be offended, feel entitled and/or mis-treated by WotC for not catering to their special needs...thankfully that hasn't really happened in this thread. Anyhow, I too find it somewhat interesting, but more for the underlying implications - that is, why is their approach so successful? Why is an "old-fashioned" game of books, dice, and imagination so popular in a world of immersive video games and virtual realities? What are people craving for and enjoying that the cyber milieu isn't offering? What WotC is doing is wildly successful. Would also selling PDFs make D&D even more successful? I don't know, but presumably WotC has made the researched guess that in ...
  • 06:29 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    The PDF thing is one tiny aspect of the article and not really a very interesting one, but oh well - let's fixate on that and ignore the rest. The ENWorld tradition.
  • 05:00 PM - Parmandur quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    This article is about a month old, so pardon me if it has already been discussed. It brings up a point that I haven't really considered all that much, that "the future of D&D is international." Chris Perkins said they're looking at South America and Asia, with Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese languages a focus. Considering that there are almost 900 million native Mandarin speakers (and over a billion speakers overall), 350 million native Spanish speakers (about the same as native English), and 200 million native Portuguese speakers, that's a lot of room for growth. Another thing I found interesting in the article: "Turns out there's millions of people who really like books, adds Stewart. "They like the tactile feel and the art and craft of it. We don't do PDFs because it's a bad experience. That's why we're not there." I mean, I suspected this was a factor in D&D's popularity, that people crave something less digital, something more tacticle and--I would add--imaginative, versus the simula...
  • 04:33 PM - Mistwell quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    The PDF thing is one tiny aspect of the article and not really a very interesting one, but oh well - let's fixate on that and ignore the rest. I find it very interesting. I'm fine you don't. But, I am not ignoring the rest as opposed to just focusing on the thing I found interesting.
  • 12:55 PM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    The PDF thing is one tiny aspect of the article and not really a very interesting one, but oh well - let's fixate on that and ignore the rest. I think we can decide for ourselves what we find interesting.
  • 03:36 AM - Mistwell quoted Mercurius in post "The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)
    "Turns out there's millions of people who really like books, adds Stewart. "They like the tactile feel and the art and craft of it. We don't do PDFs because it's a bad experience. That's why we're not there." That is a very interesting comment. I agree with it, but it's a very controversial thing to say. At least around here :)

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 06:59 AM - Henry quoted Mercurius in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    Hmm. I understand your underlying point and agree with it, but think this statement misses the reality of the fact that a large number of players are very casual D&D fans and don't think about D&D between sessions. They show up to hang out and have fun, then go about their lives. They probably don't own any materials beyond a set of dice and maybe a Player's Handbook, and many not even that. It is hard for me to justify a "should" statement about these folks DMing. For those that are more serious, I think your point applies - but that it is largely a moot point, because I would guess that the majority of serious fans are also DMs, or have DMed. Same applies for any hobby. Should someone study Kasparov and Fischer and read about strategy if they want to be better Chess players? Sure - but they can play Chess just fine for their entire lives and enjoy it without doing so. As far as serious fans of D&D already being DMs, we have around 8 players in one of my groups who own rather large co...

Saturday, 29th June, 2019

  • 09:33 PM - CapnZapp quoted Mercurius in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I'm not really sure if this belongs in the Pathfinder or D&D forums, so put it here in General as it touches upon a variety of topics and is more meta than system-specific. I don't know a lot of details about Pathfinder 2 and haven't been following whatever discussions might have happened over the year, but upon doing a cursory browse, I'm reminded of what happened with 4E. Like 4E, P2 seems to be annoying traditionalists; like 4E, the big danger is that rather than having the intended effect of unifying and adding to the fan-base, it will only fraction it (e.g. of 10 P1 players, 4 stay with P1, 4 go with P2, and 2 go to 5E or elsewhere out of frustration). I mean, what exactly is Paizo hoping for? Are they hoping that 2nd edition is a huge success, that the majority of 1st edition players migrate over and they begin a fresh edition cycle? I'm honestly trying to understand. I have no horse in the race - I don't play Pathfinder, although buy the occasional setting book (and am intrigued by th...

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 04:43 PM - billd91 quoted Mercurius in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I mean, it almost seems like Paizo saw their base diminishing with the surging popularity of 5E and realized that they had to take a risk. Maybe they're accepting a smaller base, but are going all in on something newish rather than just the diminishing returns of "P1.1" and more of the same type of books. Anyone have any insight into the thoughts behind Pathfinder 2? Is it Paizo's 4E? In some ways, yes. PF2 does incorporate some 4e-isms like the increases in attacks/defenses moving in a constant rate as the PCs level AND those being matched by monster/NPC attacks/defenses. The treadmill. And that is one of the things that bothers me about PF2 considering I very much prefer 5e's bounded accuracy model. And it is definitely going to rub some players with deep stacks of materials the wrong way. And it's definitely not being released at the heights of opportunity like 3e, 5e, and PF1 all were and all benefited from. So yeah, kind of like 4e. On the other hand, they had a 10 year run base...
  • 03:18 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mercurius in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I'm not really sure if this belongs in the Pathfinder or D&D forums, so put it here in General as it touches upon a variety of topics and is more meta than system-specific. ... Is it Paizo's 4E? This belongs in the pure, unadultered, AWESOME forums. Ima get my asbestos suit and my popcorn ready, because I can't imagine a better firestarter. ;)
  • 01:31 PM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I mean, what exactly is Paizo hoping for? Are they hoping that 2nd edition is a huge success, that the majority of 1st edition players migrate over and they begin a fresh edition cycle? What else would they be hoping for? That it fails?
  • 11:51 AM - Aldarc quoted Mercurius in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I mean, what exactly is Paizo hoping for? Are they hoping that 2nd edition is a huge success, that the majority of 1st edition players migrate over and they begin a fresh edition cycle?I don't think Paizo is under any delusions about catching lightning in a bottle twice, especially given the success of 5e. I suspect they are hoping that 2nd edition is a sustainable success while also being something fresh and new that they themselves enjoy playing with and designing for. They will probably hope that they get the majority of their playerbase from PF1, maybe some new players who are dissatisfied with 5e, and possibly some new players who are new to TTRPGs. Pathfinder 1 was a stopgap measure to prevent Paizo from going-under that turned into a huge success. Pathfinder 2 is more about Paizo going forward. From what I've seen of P2 (mostly just scanning the playtest book at Barnes & Noble), I like the vibe of it more than P1. It just seems like a head-scratcher to me, that they would diverge sub...

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 08:27 PM - Saelorn quoted Mercurius in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    If we're talking real world analogs, how about "Mythic Ancient World." The basic idea would be using creative license to combine various high points into Antiquity into one phase: Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Indus Valley, China, Norte Chico, all at a high point of civilization. Then you pepper in a mythic variety, so that demi-gods and heroes walk the land...so not as much Golden Age Greece as pre-Homeric "Age of Heroes" Greece.Yes, I am also a fan of Xena. * And Asterix.
  • 02:48 PM - Bobble quoted Mercurius in post Who Killed the Megaverse?
    I always found Gygax's downplaying of the Tolkien influence to be rather disingenuous. Tolkien was obviously a huge influence, from elves-dwarves-halfings-orcs to "You meet in a tavern" to rangers to Smaug to...well, it goes on and on. IIRC, Gygax spoke of Tolkien somewhat like a petulant teen rebelling against a parent that they want to distance themselves from but unconsciously emulate. The "you meet in a tavern" predates Tolkien by DECADES in published works. Elves are not a Tolkien invention though Hobbits are. Rangers as played in Tolkien in name and function originated in North America when the British were pushing into Indian territory. OF course the typical Red coat could not fight the Indians in wild spaces between the forts so a new type of warrior came to be that protected travelers from Indian predation. The type of dragon that Smaug was predates Tolkien by hundreds of years in literature. One must be well read to see what Tolkien borrowed vs. what he created from whole cloth...


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