View Profile: Jacob Lewis - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:10 AM
    IDK, I feel like there'd be a lot more rules for walking around, building fires in the snow, and Expositon, Joel, EX-PO-SITION ... We're Tolkien really a lot more than a cosmetic inspiration. Likewise, Lovecraftean influence would have meant more insanity, less combat. Lieber? You'd need some exhaustive rules for the *ahem* interaction /pillar/...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:02 AM
    Yep, martial exploits and arcane spells were quite different, and the wiz retained the edge in versatility, while the fighter kept his in durability - reflections of both source and role that give the lie to all the "fighters cast spells" and "samey" talking points. At level 2 the Wizard can... Not nearly the main culprit, no. LFQW is a matter of hard numbers. A 1st level fighter in...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:41 AM
    IDK, couldn't a GM just stay on the ball and consider a combat-bad-ass concept character's bad-ass-ed-ness when adjudication combat? Taking advantage of the system's lethality by killing enemies when the odds are all on your side? It's classic CaW.
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:58 AM
    You'll run into contention with any unfair mechanic or lack there of. It might take different forms. Bang! Your Dead! Am Not. Are too! for lack of combat mechanics, vs moping and not showing up to the next session when your 18 CHA paladin is humiliated in court for the nth time, because the DM doesn't care for the way you RP him, and it's reflected in his success in social situation, for want...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:54 AM
    You caught me, I left out 'virtually,' that time: vs Next time I'll just quote myself up-front. Yep, LFQW only /virtually/ absent in 4e. The Wizard's spells and the fighter's exploits per encounter & per day were gained at the same rate. So, in a given day, they're at neat parity at all levels. No LFQW, there, at the macro level, over 30 levels. Lightyears ahead, just in basic...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:39 AM
    Hey! I resembled that remark... ... that's fair.
    13 replies | 433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:32 AM
    Ö well, it's not easy to kill PCs and PC-level enemies before they close (though, in some eds, certainly quite possible, just not with mere weapons). But it's quite easy to kill under-level enemies (or, in 4e, minions) before they close.
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:25 AM
    There are more fallacies than just /ad populum/ resorted to, certainly. I gave you one example, LFQW, above. It's a fact. It makes D&D a bad game - imbalanced, problematic to play at low & high levels. 4e fixed it. 4e is reviled for fixing it, because it's one of those flaws that people came to love. Now, we've been on this marry-go-round before, so having demanded facts and having...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:18 AM
    Wait? Edition/s/? plural! Cool. 1e: Weapon v Armor type adjustments! Subdual damage. Attack & Save Matrixes (they were complex, but not complicated, and the save matrixes gave good results that preserved higher level characters, the 'heroes' of the story, in a world of SoDs). The Druid class. The Fighter's 1 attack/level vs less-than-1-HD monsters mechanic. Spells listed by class, then...
    18 replies | 432 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:44 PM
    Because people keep pulling out the same tired /ad populum/ fallacies to claim that there was something terribad about it, and it's necessary to point out that something can be qualitatively, even quantitatively, 'better' and genuinely fail in a market, to counter those fallacious, factually false, assertions.
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:35 PM
    It's not a flaw /in/ the consumer, it's a preference for (familiar) flaws /in the product/. Having a preference isn't a flaw. Heck, I can back up quantitative claims about the various editions (FREX: LFQW is a mathematical fact of D&D class design - it's profound in 1e or 3e, significant in 5e, virtually absent in 4e, resulting in a level-based game that actually remains playable at all...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:22 PM
    So, does that mean you probably /do/ want combat mechanics, especially if you don't want actual combat at the table? ;P
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    ::shrug:: A more accurate claim would be that "4e was not nearly as bad a game as every other edition of D&D." Because, honestly, it still wasn't that good. Scale of 1 to 10? D&D's never risen to 5. I'm not sure any RPG has, TTRPG is a new kind of game, and it's evolved very slowly over a mere 45 years. You can love something for it's virtues, you can love it in spite of it's flaws,...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    3e & 4e /certainly/ consolidated a lot of needless complexity. Just the d20 core mechanic was huge (tiny?) that way. Nothing 'mere' about it. Yet, here you are, weighing in. ;P PUll down $50-100 million in a $20 million market, at the brink of the worst recession since the great depression, using as a prime selling point a bit of software developed by one guy, who, to put it very...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:47 PM
    Again, I'd argue they're not necessarily easier, just more familiar, that way. Is it really that difficult to conclude who wins a fight (a fight in an heroic fantasy story, no less - the hero usually wins, unless his loss advances the plot somehow, no?), and narrate how, vs both the DM and player getting deeply enough into the minds & emotions of a character & NPC to accurately simulate a tense...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:48 PM
    You don't need rules, at all, it's true: the DM can just rule on everything - combat, absolutely, included. If you feel you /do/ need rules for combat - because it's life-or-death, presumably, what about life-or-death exploration challenges or negotiations? D&D grew out of wargames, they were heavily combat-oriented, so D&D rules started out heavily combat-oriented. The game happened to...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:05 PM
    I hear today's actors receive a script and a character sheet for their roles, which tells them their level, abilities, and of course, how many hit points they have at the start of a scene. Also, some directors stopped yelling "action!" or "cut!". Now they call for initiative and saving throws.
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:11 AM
    When you put it that way, it's amazing we spent so many hrs playing it! ;) And, typically only one character... I can see how some table take a fair play message from encounter guidelines - and, hey, its not a dysfunctional style of play for the DM to essentially assemble foes for the party like building an army in a wargame, then playing that side intelligently, to win. That's the...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:53 AM
    So, yeah, doable, with MCing, by level 6-9, as fully realized as possible by 15th.
    21 replies | 524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 AM
    That doesn't actually look that strange, not if the characters are running around, dodging, seeking cover, breaking Los and trying to get the drop on eachother (and lots of minor characters gunned down in the process)... as sometimes happens in genre - if all that hp-ablation is narrated on accord with genre (near-misses, even actual misses that still inflict damage and/or some other effect),...
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Especially the magic items, sure. But, if you killed the monster to get it's treasure, you also got the XP for that - and, everyone got to play, the "More engaging aspect" as well as greater incentive. Trying to trick or steal treasure was probably going to involve just the theif, just the talkiest player, or just the caster using just the right spells. What's a task it didn't cover? ...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Some badass retro cover art. Totally metal!
    7 replies | 226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:29 PM
    Believe it or not - and I'm gonna assume not - 5e actually jettisoned what narrative mechanisms D&D had accumulated in the hopes of achieving 'fast combat.' Yeah, and here you are complaining that it's not narrative enough /and/ too slow? Seriously, 'reverse'-engineer novels based on a game inspired by novels? Again, for the sake of that fast combat you find too slow... As long as...
    54 replies | 1244 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    That sounds a reasonable observation. Can't disagree... That hardly seems to follow from the above. Early eds gave exp for combat & treasure, not for non-combat, and had detailed, elaborate rules for combat (many of which were summarily ignored) and far fewer, less consistent, and less engaging rules for other tasks - they also 'niche protected' a lot of exploration abilities in the Thief...
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Its not a holdover, in the sense that it had been gone quite while, so more of a callback - which is true of a lot if 5e, really - and, really, so is your observation. Back in the early 80s there was a very earnest, carefully thought out Dragon magazine article that put forth arguments that elves and other above-ground races should have Ultravision instead of Infravision. (Yep, D&D was that...
    205 replies | 7524 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    In D&D we call them hit points.
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:33 AM
    No version of D&D has ever worked well as laws of physics - at best you end up with a setting Terry Pratchette might've come up with, at worst, you run a crap campaign, both is not out of the question. But, 3e did come pretty close in a few areas, particularly character generation, which worked about the same for PCs, NPCs, & monsters. But, it wasn't trying to, rather it was leveling the...
    255 replies | 23580 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:46 AM
    Damage shouldn't be a sticking point in modeling firearms - they kill people, so do knives, clubs, knitting needles, slipping in the shower, and swans - they need to do damage, but it needn't be crazy. With older firearms, RoF could actually render them pointless in the context of 6-second rounds, while the RoF of a revolver or semi-automatic weapon could be problematic in the other...
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:41 AM
    Dark Sun. Yeah, that's it.
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:56 AM
    I've seen that work well enough, but it doesn't capture the tropes you see in fiction around guns. There's not nearly so much dodging and seeking cover and just, well, missing - unless you really whole-heartedly embrace the 1e/4e psuedo-hit - not to mention the tense stand-off of characters held at gunpoint.
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:02 AM
    Every edition that has succeeded has succeeded on that basis, 5e just more so than any other since the 80s fad, mainly thanks to timing... ...But also because it threaded the needle between enraging vocal fragments of its fan base, and being accessible to new players. 4e erred on the side of being accessible, and touched off a spontaneous grassroots movement determined to burn the line to the...
    99 replies | 4094 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    The best game of SR I was ever in was run using M:tA (oWoD Storyteller), so, IDK, a very different dynamic from the native system may not be such a bad thing...
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:09 PM
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread?
    206 replies | 5551 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Something about TWF becoming the best option for a raging barbarian seems off. Not as off as S&B - it's at least given to full offense - but off... ....though, ultimately, worrying about how combat options balance vs eachother and what's optimal doesn't seem that important in the context of 5e.
    206 replies | 5551 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:44 PM
    I can't think of a RPG that wouldn't call for either, at times. One game can be clearer and more functional than another, even by a large margin, without actually being perfect. By comparison to most games other than early eds of D&D, I suppose, but the important takeaway isn't relative, it intent: 5e set out to be that way, on purpose, and for a purpose - several, really - for one, it...
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:55 PM
    It was a long time coming. I gave variant fighters a % DEX instead of STR back in the day - complete with maximums by race & sex. The 3e Finesse feat essentially taxed DEX fighters, and left them inferior. Not if it was random roll in order - just gets no benefit from it, as a fighter. Really, INT is a triffle lacklustre in 5e - though I feel knowledge skills can still be important.
    27 replies | 887 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Agreed. Passive scores as targets work well. AC is essentially an example. You could start grapples with an attack (though vs a Touch AC would make more sense), and use a STR save to break out. DEX save to avoid and STR to escape might make more sense. Note, though, that 2 saves to work, and two different saves at that, leaves it a pretty low-percentage option.
    13 replies | 424 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Alternatives to class/level appeared almost immediately. Traveller ditched level - and indeed, advancement beyond accumulating wealth - RQ was skill-based. Champions! was out in '81, with a fully point-buy, effects-based system. Yet, even games that eschew class/level have some sort of advancement, and some sort of archetypes. If you played Champions! Back in the day, you talk of Bricks,...
    99 replies | 4094 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    Well, you can, if you want to, it just doesn't have much impact. But, it's funny you should mention Gauntlet: it's a fair analogy to how certain classes played in most editions of D&D: grind damage in melee, heal with found potions (food) or Clerical assistance, when briefly not in melee, grind out damage at range. That's a fighter in TSR D&D, or a barbarian in 3e, or an Essentials Slayer...
    255 replies | 23580 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    It is a lot of system, sure - at least as complex as any other ed for the amount of crunch it hss out - but it's a lot of system that relies on the DM to make it work. Try the thought experiment yourself, or just consider carefully the next time you run: how far do you get before you're making an interpretation or ruling that another DM might've done differently?
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    You could also watch the encounter end without getting to act - not just combat encounters, either, many other challenges would also likely be resolved by a single PC, as well. The issue wasn't so much fast v slow or boring v exciting, but spectator v participant. Nod, 5e is that kind of deadly only at the lowest levels, but it establishes, especially in the eyes of a new player "this game...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:06 PM
    The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations. Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    DMs are people, not robots, so, yeah, it has to be a very extreme hypothetical. Even the least experienced, least talented DM is going to exercise judgement when the system punts to him. Sure, but those come in after DM has judged success/failure/uncertainty. Theres the d20 core mechanic, really. The players get 6 stats and various proficiencies, and a (very) few other bonuses. ...
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:19 AM
    The brilliance of 5e is that the system is not the game: the DM is. Thought experiment: try putting 5e on autopilot, resolve to run a quick session with no rulings, just rules. Here's how it goes: The players build some characters, the DM describes the situation, a player declares an action - and the game stops, because there is no resolution without a DM ruling. And that's just effing...
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:07 AM
    It just occurred to me: No one has nominated Calcryx as their favorite white dragon. What an oversight! Meepo must be rolling in his grave...
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:59 AM
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly. But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    When to rest has always been about spells, more than hp. Sure, in the early game, you'd run out if healing, out of hp and have to rest - 15 min workday. But, then we got WoCLW, and did it give us an 8hr workday? Nope, the 5MWD, because casters wanted their top-level spells back for the next round of rocket tag, the next scry/buff/teleport assault, or the next buff/targetted-dispel contest....
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think, ultimately, errata comes down to attitude. Is your product something that's supposed to work, and when it doesn't, that's a bad thing? Then you fix it, promptly, and free of charge if at all possible. Is your product not really supposed to work until the customer has kitbashed it into what he was actually looking for when he bought it? Then why worry, trying to change it is just...
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:01 PM
    How many 5e feats would you identify as chaff? If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    ...over substance?
    206 replies | 5551 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Step one was clearing out the chaff. I suspect that was part of the impetus to have 'big' feats: it means characters get fewer feats, so make fewer feat choices, which means you can publish only a handful of them.
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    Over in the sense that 4e was already out of print.
    52 replies | 1524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:48 PM
    I thought that was clear. Yeah, I'm not saying either complaint is valid, IMX, just that they're made. I have no problems with 5e being too easy, I just adjust encounter difficulty on the fly rather than coloring inside the guidelines (and don't run high level games), and none with 4e being too slow (even when I ran weekly in a 2-hr slot with a hard stop) because I could keep players engaged...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:09 PM
    Don't forget about Pathfinder. You should look into the first two books of the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path. The plots and premise could be easily adapted and fits the theme of the overall campaign. Also worth considering, I think the Golarion version of ancient Egyt (Osirion) is far more interesting and detailed than the Forgotten Realms version. The series was not originally intended for any...
    23 replies | 685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:24 AM
    Yep, and trap choices reward system mastery, which is inclusive of 3e fans. And, Feats are optional, so if you don't want that, don't opt in. What's more, 5e is designed to be a starting point. There's less sense moving the starting line after the gun than moving the goal posts. DMs will have already done what they wanted with feats (and anything else). And, yes, for organized play,...
    72 replies | 2379 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:00 AM
    The original said "Medieval " right on the cover, 45 years ago.... ....and, y'know, 45 is middle aged. ;P
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:54 AM
    Check the join date: he came in after it was over.
    52 replies | 1524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:26 AM
    so, red sports cars? ;P D&D has always been wonky, a genre hybrid among high-fantasy/S&S, Lovecraft (and a bit of Poe), and science fiction from EE Doc Smith through Vance. It's pretty nuts, but, really, that's what the 70s were like, very iconoclastic, irreverent, derivative, and, well, there's an in-joke over here: "The Decade Taste Forgot." ;P I took a stab it throwing AD&D in 3...
    140 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:37 PM
    Closest to this, I suppose. I really lift from the fiction of Tanith Lee & Michael Moorcock, when it comes to the relationship of the mortal to the divine. Gods gain power, perhaps even derive existence, from their worshippers. It's a chicken and egg question whether the gods created mortals or vice-versa. So when a mortal gains power from the divine, it can be a matter of developing his...
    27 replies | 831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:23 PM
    Awesome, for the era in which I played it, with little besides D&D to compare it to. RQII was the version I played. I did get a good look at a later ed, 3 or 4, that included more elaborate rules for magic - Sorcery, I think it was - didn't grab me. The mythology of the setting, though, is some pretty amazing stuff, too, regardless of system.
    11 replies | 481 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:50 PM
    1e for the classic adventure modules that would define our expectations of what this game was really about: exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, and gaining treasure! 2e for expanding on the basic ideas and pushing the limits of imagination with different settings, rules, and worlds that give us more than just the standard garden-variety experience with D&D. 3e for opening the rules up to...
    52 replies | 1524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:47 PM
    Could be knowledge checks, too. And a 'right tool for the job' ethos, with specialized variations on weapons specific to a foe he expects to face...
    34 replies | 1145 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:42 PM
    I didn't catch that. But, I did also like the ways dragons worked in 1e - fear, subdual, hps/die based on age instead of a random roll, breath weapons that did their max hp in damage, etc - they were more clearly distinct from other monsters.
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:30 PM
    So it was the art. Give me the B&W line art in the 1e MM, thankyouverymuch.
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 PM
    The art: 1e art had a charm and enthusiasm that the technically more professional art of later eds, or even later 1e, for that matter, would never re-capture. Steal from the best: When I was introduced to D&D, I found animated sword-fighting skeletons, out of Harryhausen, zombies out of Night of the Living Dead, viscous (not just vicious) monsters out of The Blob, and just the general...
    52 replies | 1524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:05 PM
    Is this art or stats? Either way, voting AD&D for 1e, not 2e. 2e took the 'self defense for dragons' thing too far, and I feel the 1e MM line art had a charm to it that no subsequent edition could. But if I had to vote on just the art you posted, it'd have to be 3e. The AD&D one if just goofy, and the 4e & 5e look like they have beaks.
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 06:52 PM
    I guess if you mention anime, your thread gets spammed.
    35 replies | 3308 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Fast & Exciting sorta go together, sure. 3e definitely delivered short, high-stakes combats, both 3.0 scry/buff/teleport and 3.5 Rocket Tag. While 5e can be deadly at very low level, you have to reach beyond the encounter guidelines to get the same sorts of things going in it, and SoDs aren't what they were, either - the complaint from 3.x fans is often along the lines of 'too easy' rather than...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:58 PM
    Star Wars Roleplaying Game by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) (No surprises, and no apologies.) I have always felt that the idea of Star Wars was often better than what is sometimes actually produced. Between all the movies, TV shows, novels, comic books, and assortment of toys and games, there is much more to the Saga than most of us can truly comprehend. That is, if we base our assumptions...
    17 replies | 723 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:03 PM
    Sure, if a fighter can do it, clearly everyone should be able to do it. Check me out, I'm an INT-based Commoner, I work for Realmsoft. Ogg very proud he invent magic, but get very tired of carrying huge stone tablets everywhere. "I Theologize him to death!" A temple dancer.
    34 replies | 1145 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Not initiative - DEX still had it over INT on that one - but otherwise, stats were paired for defense, and any stat could be a primary (attack) or secondary (riders, features) for a class or build, somewhere. That meant a concept that called for a particular high stat wasn't just dead in the water. Stats still represented different things, acted as prerequisites, and added to different...
    61 replies | 1472 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:45 PM
    There were competing carrot or stick philosophies of encouraging RP. 1e Paladins, Druids, Assassins, alignments, race restrictions &c were examples of the 'stick' - toe the line in how you play your character or the DM will punish you. 5e Inspiration is an example of a 'carrot.' Maybe, because I'm an old timer, while the former look like a bad idea, in retrospect, they at least feel like...
    77 replies | 2694 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Well the 4e fighter, specifically was originally designed around S&B vs two-hander. TWF was added later (with a defender spin, vs the Ranger's TWF, and the Ranger also covered archery, while the rogue covered the lighter DEX-based styles... and got a Duelist build in Dragon, IIRC). So feature would seem to be the place to insert a one-handed-weapon emphasis, an alternative to S&B,...
    27 replies | 887 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    We could call it "Deep Thought."
    44 replies | 1214 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:35 PM
    You didn't say it, may not believe it, but the rating systems you're thinking about - and your reactions to what's been proposed as possible ratings - make me think that's what you're looking for... ... or, at least, what you'll end up finding, by looking in the manner that you seem to be leaning towards. You'd end up evaluating it negatively (in the sense of judging it to be bad, or in the...
    44 replies | 1214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:33 PM
    But you would hold up nunchuck-wielding uber-Gnolls as the D&D lore standard? However vague the description and different the spelling I'll take Lord Dunsany over Bruce Lee, thanks. ...yeah, I'm sorry, it's the whole flindbar thing, just can't take it seriously...
    77 replies | 2694 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:32 PM
    It's a tangent, but, sure: it'd be fairly simple to give a bonus (in 5e, say advantage) to a character who has not been attacked since the end of his last turn and was not threatened at the start of his turn. It'd be a mild counter-incentive against somewhat unrealistic focus fire, and make 'suppressive fire' a thing in D&D's Fantasy Vietnam - heck, we already have recon by fire(ball). ;P
    135 replies | 3942 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Original D&D, of course! Might as well go full-retro. :) And, I mean, just: green rubbery supernaturally-regenerating humanoid + ceramic lawn decoration come to life = hyena-morph (which puns with 'knoll')? Genius! Flinds? Really? Stocky hyena-Łbermenschen with nunchucks? Someone took those seriously? Don't fret, it's not really a toolbox. Well, that'd make sense,...
    77 replies | 2694 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:18 PM
    If we were all Americans, here, I could just say "because we're a violent society." Instead, for my flip, sarcastic, cynical answere I'm going to have to go all ST:tNG, and say " because we are an egregiously violent species." (And, you don't get to complain about flip, joking answered to serious questions.)
    221 replies | 5827 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:12 PM
    That's still rules for using weapons, just less detailed ones. And it's hard to say a game is X level of detailed. For instance, 1e AD&D had a more detailed list of weapons, with more detailed stats than 3e, but 3e had more detailed rules for using them. How do you rate those differences? What if a game were to (gasp) do something differently than other games? In the 80s, 'Core...
    44 replies | 1214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:50 PM
    Fourth Edition D&D balanced ability scores (among other things) better than any other edition. If you go back to attributing a single characteristic to a specific defense, then you are giving those ability scores additional value over those that do not. The way 4e did it, pairing up the two closest-compatible abilities to each defense, players were less constrained in their character builds....
    61 replies | 1472 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:16 PM
    That's not a matter of clarity, but of scope or completeness, and not an interpretation or a ruling, but simply adding - formally or informally - to the game. For instance, if a game includes no prices, stats, or rules for weapons, then armed combat might be outside its scope - maybe it's all about boxing, IDK. The rules it does present might be clear enough that no rulings or...
    44 replies | 1214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:03 AM
    While the fact 4e isn't OGL means it can't be cloned the way PF cloned 3.5, game mechanics like defenses other than AC aren't an impediment: 13A uses them, for one instance.
    320 replies | 10773 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:45 AM
    Google it It's not like "I know it when I see it," it's a thing. And, yes, Clarity is a major plus for any rule system that's not trying to evoke the DM-centric feel of classic D&D. It cuts down on the need for rulings, makes the game easier to understand, run, and play, and cuts down on the kinds of endless arguments that ruin sessions, but keep internet discussion forums thriving... ...
    44 replies | 1214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:28 AM
    You've got a lot of 1e books and a sense of humor, how bout compiling those stats?
    44 replies | 1214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    It was needed, at that point, because players would finally be having fun playing capable characters they were invested in, but the improving plot-armor mechanics, especially saves, were never quite dependable enough.
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:24 AM
    Certainly. Once you know that a blackpudding is attracted to movement or a mindless undead to life force, an exploit like C&Gi should be an at-will vs them. They'll never see through it. Two very different ways to go, the modern-intuitive robot-like behaviors, or the mythic, anthropomorphized behaviors.
    255 replies | 23580 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:11 AM
    So, not enough Rocket Tag (short, but hard combat) means a game fails at its core? True, I suppose, if, at its core, it's trying to be a degenerate case of high-level 3.5 play. Apart from the fact that RP happens in combat, that's just a matter of scheduling. Even if RL dictates short sessions, you can devote one to a setup scene, say in exploration trying to locate and engage the enenemy...
    223 replies | 8804 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:22 PM
    I'm sorry, we can't accept that answer... But, yes, the idea of the non-casting martial PC as noble or heroic - the 9th level Lord, fighters being barronettes, the 3e fighter as natural party leader, the 4e Warlord, and EDs like legendary sovereign, ect - and taking the campaign from dungeons and treasure hunting to castles and campaigning. D&D has always floated it, but rarely delivered much...
    77 replies | 2694 view(s)
    1 XP
More Activity
About Jacob Lewis

Basic Information

Date of Birth
October 17, 1970 (48)
About Jacob Lewis
Location:
Corellia (Space-Texas)
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
Social Networking

If you can be contacted on social networks, feel free to mention it here.

Google+:
Jacob Lewis
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
San Antonio
State:
Texas
Country:
USA

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
560
Posts Per Day
0.18
Last Post
Geekdom Takes a Bow Today 03:35 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
4
General Information
Last Activity
Today 03:41 AM
Join Date
Wednesday, 12th January, 2011
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0

1 Friend

  1. Tony Vargas Tony Vargas is online now

    Member

    Tony Vargas
Showing Friends 1 to 1 of 1
My Game Details
Town:
San Antonio
State:
Texas
Country:
USA
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


Monday, 17th June, 2019


Sunday, 16th June, 2019


Friday, 14th June, 2019


Thursday, 13th June, 2019


Tuesday, 11th June, 2019


Monday, 10th June, 2019



Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Monday, 22nd April, 2019


Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 07:31 AM - Coroc mentioned Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    Jacob Lewis That would be another idea, but i still like my solution more, unless you would rule that inferior Magic weapons would not have to make two dice rolls. It has to be analysed statistically though. With a 2xd20 someone has found out a number which would reflect disad quite well it was -2 or so if i remember, so i guess 2 die rolls for weapon damage would result in about a -1 which would be desirable. Has to be analysed though.

Monday, 11th December, 2017


No results to display...
Page 1 of 15 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 03:03 PM - gyor quoted Jacob Lewis in post Best D&D adventures/modules in a desert?
    Don't forget about Pathfinder. You should look into the first two books of the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path. The plots and premise could be easily adapted and fits the theme of the overall campaign. Also worth considering, I think the Golarion version of ancient Egyt (Osirion) is far more interesting and detailed than the Forgotten Realms version. The series was not originally intended for any specific world, so it wouldn't be difficult adapting the key elements of each module into whatever setting used. WotC doesn't own the rights to Osirion, Mummy's Mask AP, or Golarion, so they can't use them. And Orision and FRs Mulhorand (and Bakar) are radically different settings, I mean both have Egyptian themes, but the history and story of the settings are hugely different. Orision is a story of a nation that is rebuilding it's sense of self after regaining indepence from a being a colony of an Imperialist Power. Mulhorand IS the Imperial power, but one that arose by overthrowi...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 11:13 AM - Bagpuss quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    One thing to keep in mind is that the Imperial player is not a GM. He/she is, in fact, another player who is actively opposing the others who are playing together as a team. I highly recommend using the APP that takes over the role of the Imperial player for a more co-op experience, so that you don't feel like a GM being unfair when you shaft the Rebel players, the APP can do that for you and then you can all grown and complain together.

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 04:59 PM - Garthanos quoted Jacob Lewis in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    I always thought the "smart fighters" were Rogues. :cool: I never did as the useless thief of AD&D was my introduction to that archetype. Rogues are now fully fight worthy and so I can shift based on that... AND It is possible to do a smart rogue in 4e and it generally comes off as ninja like (shadowy rogue) I would say that is stylistic rather different than a fencing master with unusually high survivability ;) and a measure of cold calculating dangerousness so to my thinking doesn't do the trick for this Thibault's Circle smart fighter style.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 02:05 PM - TheWayofPie quoted Jacob Lewis in post [4E] Which classes would you prefer to see in a clone
    Barbarian (Primal/ Striker) Bard (Arcane/ Leader) Cleric (Divine/ Leader) Druid (Primal/ Controller) Fighter (Martial/ Defender) Paladin (Divine/ Defender) Rogue (Martial/ Striker) Wizard (Arcane/ Controller) 2 of each role and power sources. Minimal overlap. Just make sure the Fighter gets Warlord options.

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    I think that was the whole point of this thread: games you left because of a bad experience, not because of the system itself. I've never personally had an experience dictate my appreciation of the system, but I certainly get some people work that way - and was not questioning your decision at all, but wondering if there were mechanical complaints/issues as well. You well-explained that with your Vancian casting comment, so just a curiosity. As far as 4E, despite that first terrible experience, my group gave it a fair shot in a non-public setting, and it was immensely more fun (especially with d&d Insider). I didn't like the Fort/Ref/Will being passive numbers, because it felt like a loss of player control - and I even more hated altering my character sheet every other level with a +1 everywhere (so we started using Excel sheets to solve that problem), but it was still a nice change of pace for a couple of years. Like you, I'm not fond of Vancian - which is why our primary system is a h...
  • 04:14 PM - MrDM69 quoted Jacob Lewis in post Should I play 4e?
    You mean like Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters in 5e? Those are optional archetypes. The 4e magic, features, exploits, or whatever you want to call them are not as optional, and just confuse the game.
  • 03:56 PM - Imaro quoted Jacob Lewis in post Should I play 4e?
    You mean like Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters in 5e? Those are spellcasters in 5e.... :confused:

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 08:42 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    I am hesitant to say 5e D&D because I made several attempts to let it grow on me. But the fact is my first session playing in the Adventurers League sealed it for me. It wasn't the DM, however; he was a friend of mine and handled it well for what he was given. It was most of the players who showed up like it was a chore they had to do in order to get rewarded. They selected characters from a rotating stable of sheets with no names (i.e. "Barbarian 4", "Cleric 2", etc.). And despite early comments from the group being fans of Critical Role, almost everyone was reluctant to participate in any activity or play that didn't involve a roll that would lead to dealing damage to someone. FYI, the adventure was largely centered around a puzzle/riddle dungeon. The first time a creature appeared and offered a riddle, half the party charged and forced a combat. It was then I decided that 5e (and public play in general) was not so appealing to me. What I had with 4e was no longer there, and it didn't seem it w...

Saturday, 1st June, 2019


Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 07:16 PM - Staffan quoted Jacob Lewis in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    You're not wrong. I consider 4e to be a step in the game's evolution until it did a backslide into 5e. 5e is closer to what I wanted in 3e, but 4e is what I really enjoyed and wished to see progress and evolve further in 5e. 5e does not innovate with any new ideas for me, so I moved on. PF2 could get my interest, but I am fully invested now in other games that do things different and (dare I say) better in some aspects. 4e had two problems: 1. The math didn't work out. The treadmill regarding monster stats vs PC stats meant that PCs became less likely to hit monsters at higher levels, and monsters generally took a bit too long to kill. This aspect was exacerbated by the game wanting to be focused around interesting "bossy" fights, while players and designers were still doing attrition-based adventures. This made the game tedious, at least when played as people were used to playing. 2. Too many radical changes. Adding tieflings (but now with a homogeneous look to make art direction and ...
  • 04:37 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jacob Lewis in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    I would recommend focus on Heroic tier (levels 1-10) first. Don't concern yourself with the higher powered experiences that will introduce more complexity and potentially game-breaking abilities until you nail down the fundamentals. Keep it simple. Keep it basic. Make it work. The whole point of a clone is that your copying something that already works (in whatever way or to whatever extent it does, anyway). 4e was functional at all levels, so there's certainly no need to focus on Heroic Tier. If anything, focus on Epic would make more sense, since, while functional by-the-numbers, that Tier was not as well supported with DMing advice and the like as Heroic in the DMG1/Essentials and Paragon in the DMG2. + 4e and 5e arenít fundamentally all that different. If by fundamentally you mean they're both d20 games, sure. But, fundamentally, 4e was designed from the ground up as a cooperative game, optimized for balance, playability and ease of both introduction & DMing. The result was AEDU a...
  • 04:18 PM - Umbran quoted Jacob Lewis in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    That actually makes a lot of sense. Thanks Darwin! :) I'll need to consider better terminology for what I'm trying to say... Hello, Thesaurus! ;) I mean, saying 4e was an advance, and 5e a step back works, if that's what you think. Mulling over the evolution analogy... I note that evolution is not an *overall* statement of a creature's fitness. There is no such thing as "overall fitness". A creature is only judged relative to the environment/niche it finds itself in at the time. It either lives, shifts to a different niche that happens to be readily accessible from where it is, or dies. Which is to say, failure in evolution doesn't say you are bad, just not right for where and when you were. From the evolutionary standpoint then, we can say 4e's fall doesn't say it is a bad game in a general sense - just a poor fit to be the flagship RPG product (which is the niche D&D generally sits in) at that time. We could imagine it in a different niche - some other company, positioning it ...
  • 03:08 PM - Umbran quoted Jacob Lewis in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    You're not wrong. I consider 4e to be a step in the game's evolution until it did a backslide into 5e. Not relevant to any particular game or edition: This is not how evolution works. Evolution does not have a preferred forward, and thus no backward. Either "evolution" is not a proper word to describe the game's change over time, or the concepts you are applying here do not apply. I can see an argument that the game is evolving - evolution contains the concept of variations *that fail*, that do not fit the environment in which they find themselves, and they die out. I am not sure the evolution analogy fits perfectly, but if you want to use it, that's probably the way to look at it.

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 09:59 PM - Retreater quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    Well that just seems like a missed opportunity due to misplaced expectations, which is surprising since you suggest having some familiarity with "Descent". The two games play nearly the same, but I felt the Star Wars version had improved on a number of things, and not just thematically. The campaign structure is far more flexible allowing for more variety and greater repeatability. And while every expansion provides a new campaign or mini-campaign, each miniature expansion also offers a new mission that could be used in any of them. Personally, I don't want anyone to dismiss this game based only on your comments about a limited perspective/experience (no offense), so I'm just going to offer another perspective for balance. :) One thing to keep in mind is that the Imperial player is not a GM. He/she is, in fact, another player who is actively opposing the others who are playing together as a team. And since they're not challenging a programmed or static environment, the experience can vary depen...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 02:46 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Jacob Lewis in post What the Hell?
    The only time when a company can get away with telling its customers "Go to Hell". I dunno...Verizon and Facebook both seem to do ok with that, too.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 11:36 AM - Telvin quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk Elevator Pitch?
    I have tossed it down the elevator shaft many times. But it still keeps finding its way out. (I think Vecna might have a Hand in this.) Eye, I am sure he did!

Friday, 10th May, 2019


Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 02:30 PM - Bacon Bits quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    What about Dark Sun?! Why can't I play this in Dark... Oh! Guess that actually won't work without great bodies of water or ships. Hang on... There's the Silt Sea which is partially navigable with silt skimmers, which usually look like massive ship/wagon hybrids that work well in the shallows, or else silt ships that are levitated telekinetically via psionics. You just have to beware of all the giants. If you want a marsh there's the Salt Meres of Bodach. It's Athasian silt rather than water, but it's the same result.
  • 01:46 PM - Ash Mantle quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    106317 You mean sailed past :D Anyway, my liberal use of :D should've clued in you.
  • 01:17 PM - Ash Mantle quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    What about Dark Sun?! Why can't I play this in Dark... Oh! Guess that actually won't work without great bodies of water or ships. Hang on... Sure you can! Just replace any reference to sea or water with desert or sand :D ie, Isle of the Abbey. With hostility toward the Desert Princess running high, Eliander sponsors an expedition to clear Abbey Dune and establish a base there. Its location makes it an ideal lookout point for any desert-based threats. On a more applicable matter though, I recall a someone's re-imagined map of our world where all of the world's oceans and seas suffered from desertification, turning all the countries in the world into a great landlocked mass, it was glorious. Spelljammer! Why can't I play this with Spelljammer?! Sure you can! Just replace any reference to water with space :D Smuggler. Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (space).


Page 1 of 15 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Jacob Lewis's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites