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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 AM
    I'm not convinced with this argument. In 1e Paladins could default on their ideology through their actions and paid the price for it, and yet we do not label such players as difficult or disrespectful. Why do you feel that druids cannot wear armour (full stop) without perhaps allowing them to wear the armour, in trying circumstances, and limiting their druidic class features because of it -...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:03 AM
    Thanks, this inspires me to run something along these lines in our 5e game. I suspect the mechanics/resources costs won't be as difficult to translate for 5e, but I'm not nearly as convinced that the player will seek out such a result out of their own. I could perhaps offer/tempt the PC into performing skill checks (at cost of HD or something) or class features to perform amazing feats...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Thing is, I disliked myself in that moment, where I was 'forced' to turn, in my mind at least, a pretty easy-to-visualise encounter (literally 2 living statues on a 20' wide bridge, B10), into grid based formation because Thunderwave and what not. There was a moment where I felt the players did not even try, and I got a little angrier than I should have. It soured my enjoyment of the session,...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:42 AM
    This was one of my major issues with the game, and sadly this problem persists in one of my 5e groups as I have two new players who simply cannot comprehend ToM, being avid fans of Matt Mercer, they have been trained in the way of grid combat exclusively. I dislike this 'forced' style of play on me so much that I have decided that when this mini-campaign is over (approximately 3 sessions left)...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:31 PM
    5e - Artwork, Slower Release, callback to ToM and DMsGuild
    68 replies | 2209 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:16 PM
    Good point! Never thought about it before from this perspective. Thanks.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:55 PM
    Agree with all you said, but for me it comes down to the above quote.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:29 AM
    100%. 5e adds to all those positive in-game consequences with mechanical positives too, as you likely know, like Inspiration points and in the DMG you have Faith, Faction progression...etc So yes, there is plenty to use as a substitute for XP. Sure, XPs has its 'negatives' too, although not everyone sees all of that as bad. Having read many of @Lanefan's posts about the table he and...
    350 replies | 10610 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 10:38 AM
    I'm not Lanefan, but the obvious limitation is that it removes XPs as Reward. Milestone seems to negate individual creative/smart efforts by characters, moving from individual level progression to a party-progression paradigm. Milestone certainly has its uses. Personally I would use that style of progression in more linear/railroad-y games which have a strong storyline buy-in.
    350 replies | 10610 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:13 PM
    There are no 'lengths' that I'm going through and stop insinuating nonsense. If you bothered to follow through with my discussion with the poster that replied to me you would have realised I admonished my own thinking.
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:53 PM
    Thanks. Had to google DBS check. Keep on forgetting about criminal record ruining future employment opportunities once out of prison. That's what happens when you don't think things through properly.
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:31 PM
    Playing devil's advocate...cause I agree with the ruling of the Con. Man rapes, man get's charged, man serves time, man is released, man is allowed to date again. GM rapes fictional characters at Con, banned from GMing at Con for life. What am I missing?
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:09 AM
    Or prior to the above fall out or instead of it, you pursue one of the below. 1. A truce is discussed over a game of chess. An agreement is drawn up to separate the city's resources between the 2 factions; 2(a). High-stakes Poker Game, winner takes all (4 PCs vs 4 NPCs). Possible Twist: The dealer though has been bought though, so if things are going badly the NPC swaps out a card during...
    13 replies | 488 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 09:29 AM
    I retread back to a post by Ovinomancer adding onto a reply to myself by Aldarc (excellent posts by both of them) where Ovi speaks about intent. I wanted to make a point about this at the time, but life. As a DM when I find that I won't have the lexicon in the moment to provide the pazaz I desire during a social exchange in a game, I switch to 3rd person, and I do my best to describe what was...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Their literary endeavour. Too soon?
    18 replies | 753 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:55 PM
    Will sign any petition for more Mystara material EDIT: Signed
    37 replies | 2650 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 09:24 PM
    Yay, laugh works tested with Danny! Thanks guys. :)
    87 replies | 6988 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 12:20 PM
    Can't XP/Laugh - especially Danny's Starship Troopers :) Can't even quote/multiquote... Edit also has issues.
    87 replies | 6988 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:14 PM
    The single dude that got banned from this thread? I believe every other poster agreed with the banning of the individual from running games at future cons. Disagreement only occured on shunning him from the community at large. No one is asking for any return for a particular climate. EDIT: Everyone's pretty much on the same page here.
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:02 PM
    Really? People here have been calling for us to return to a particular unsavoury climate? The level of exaggeration that exists is astounding.
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:26 PM
    I agree it does not help to use the word literary in such a broad manner, despite technicalities, I already addressed same with Max. My only engagement in this thread has been about the the use of wordplay for the immersive experience as well as the backstory I might create for a campaign which I might view the latter as an literary endeavour. @hawkeyefan, he can correct me where I...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:00 PM
    Sure I'm not pushing for additional standards, was just stating a preference to Max. In a game where the players provide much content I imagine evocative language by the DM is not of primary concern, so the OP is correct about his style of roleplaying, hence we find ourselves engaged in another debate about content generation but this time the angle is literary endeavours in RPGs. The...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:46 PM
    This is not a great argument to engage in mostly due to the clash of definitions and clarifications which generally us squabblers fail to agree on, everytime. Literary endeavour, wordcrafting, and now probably primary, if it has not been already battled over. Furthermore I fail to see what can really be gained from such a debate (and I know I have somewhat asked this before), besides XPs...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:05 PM
    Sure, if one digs into it, (and I realise this was not the thrust of your post) but all that Q&A could have been avoided if one front-loaded the necessary evocative language in the setup. The problem with giving bite-size evocative information is the start-stop immersive experience. If one describes the githyanki and their place of origin at the outset, one is immediately immersed in the shared...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:36 PM
    I could perhaps agree with you that there is some exaggeration from the other side, but I also feel you vastly reduce the importance of the language used within RPGs. @Hussar touched on this upthread, but I feel it requires to be reiterated - we have literally volumes of D&D supplements, magazines, books and fan-created material on settings, monsters, characters and the like. All that literal...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:01 PM
    Thanks for your post. Pretty much agree with the above sentiment about not besmirching his name and not ostracising him from society.
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 10:10 AM
    Purely out of interest, why?
    245 replies | 10685 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 12:51 PM
    LOL. Well that is exactly my point! ;) I enjoy the boxed texts, even if they just provide a base or inspiration, and I lean heavier on the side that values wordcrafting. I'm no great wordsmith and as such find myself marveling at DMs who are able to string beautifully crafted sentences together with ease and without prep. I'm not saying everyone is like you and me, polar opposites on this...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 10:10 AM
    WTF, did I just read?! Even jasper's occasional ramblings make more sense.
    33 replies | 1336 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 10:03 AM
    Hussar's post reminded me of another thread many of us engaged in, I'm a little lazy now to go searching for a link but it was the thread about the blocked texts in published modules. It would be interesting to see which of us valued the blocked texts (even as a starting point) with those of us which strongly lean on wordcrafting being of significant importance in RPGing.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 09:12 AM
    This doesn't seem like a great adventure for LARPing
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 01:31 PM
    BACKGROUND: A lecherous satyr undeterred by the continuous rejections of a dryad he fancied, found an opportunity one day when the Dryad was far enough from the safety of her grove to demand her affections. Repulsed by him and afraid, the dryad made the conscious choice to flee, even if it meant risking death by being further away from her home tree. The chase turned deadly when she unexpectedly...
    7 replies | 416 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Perhaps this will help (probably not), but at least it will provide a baseline of where we each stand. I might have missed a few steps - feel free to add (except Grocery Lists :p) a) Literary Endeavour = Conversation b) Literary Endeavour = LARPing c) Literary Endeavour = RPG monster stat d) Literary Endeavour = RPG monster stat + write-up (i.e. not mechanics) e) Literary Endeavour =...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 01:09 PM
    Given our inability, throughout a multitude of threads, to agree on any definitions, causing many a pericombobulation, I hope no one objects if I offer Dr. Samuel Johnson my enthusiastic contrafibularities for his book, A Dictionary of the English Language. You may now return to your scheduled posting interfrastically.
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:27 PM
    And the author of the OP?
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:23 PM
    XP for this. However on the issue of wordcraft, I do not think it is useful in this debate to include such a liberal interpretation of the word.
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:13 PM
    Bold emphasis mine. I agree with you, but here is the rub, pemerton does not as per his OP. He does not even make that concession that someone could engage in a literary endeavour for their RPGing. This is the issue lowkey13 has been highlighting for a while.
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    Max, you have a tendency to be rather liberal in your definitions and technically you are not wrong but by broadening the use of wordcraft to such a degree you make its value in this debate somewhat meaningless. You applied the same thought to literary endeavour and came up with your grocery list example. In this very post I had to technically wordcraft, that does not mean I consider my post...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:02 PM
    Ok you are making a distinction between story/narrative and literary. As a layman, I have to ask, is the crafting of a good story not part of crafting great literature? What are the differences? I can also understand @Hussar's frustration. See below. @Aldarc, the bolded section (emphasis mine) could be utilised in any of the crafts you mentioned above. @pemerton here IS equating...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 08:54 AM
    I'm not necessarily convinced of that claim. However, unlike @pemerton I do think literary endeavour exists within RPGs. Certainly when one looks at CR, the word usage by Mercer is important in order to immerse the players (and viewers) into the fictional world and the unravelling story. Many of us attempt to do same in our own games. All you have to do is look at Stephen Colbert's eyes...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 04:54 PM
    Bold emphasis mine. I agree with your assessment in that the content is more important than the execution, that is not to say that the execution does not have its value - it just does not need to be The Brothers Karamazov. I think we are in agreement.
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 11:34 AM
    I'm running a heavily modified B10, with tie-ins to past characters of our table's failed/abandoned adventuring parties. It took me a significant period of time to lace together a backstory for this linear mini-campaign that logically incorporates parts of the module as well as the various characters (PCs and ex-PCs) and their motivations. Now I am no wordsmith, but at the simplest level I do...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    2 XP
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Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 01:23 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ... RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes - that they feel the pull to action, and the threats of inaction. That is, that the situation engage and motivate the players as players, not as an audience to a performance. And player narration should, in my view, engage with and build on this fiction in ways that display the player's view of the fiction, perhaps challenge other players (and even the GM), that make the other pariticpants go "I didn't see that coming!" This is how I see RPGs, with their emphasis on participation in the creation of a fiction that is structured through distinct player an d GM roles, working. And it's how I see them differening from more directly narrative mediums such as books and films.This is why I XPed Sadras's post about Matt Mercer and Steve Colbert. Not because I agree with what Sadras said - he is putting forward a conception of RPGing that differs from the one I put forward, and that places an importance on the literary quality of the narration that I am denying. But Sadras's post engages fully and unequivocally with my OP. It puts forward a conception of RPGing that includes entertainment and audience, and hence a role for literary endeavour. And it does so without any needless detour through word meanings and attempts to prove that someone or other is engaged in self-contradiction.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 10:46 AM - Hussar mentioned Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    It seems like they are narrative endeavors or storytelling endeavors. I don't necessarily think that the word "literary" applies when we are talking more about story-craft or fiction-craft than the crafting of literature, even if we apply the technical sense of pertaining to written words. See, this? This right here? This is the goalposts on roller skates I'm talking about. It's not "literary", it's "narrative". It's not "wordcraft" it's "story-craft or fiction-craft". Good grief, you folks complain about shifting definitions? pemerton is pretty clear that literary refers to "wordcraft". Which is also pretty clear what Sadras means. I'm getting the feeling that the meaning of "literary" = stuff I don't like or care about. If it is stuff I care about, then it obviously can't be literary because I don't care about literary. :uhoh:

Friday, 24th May, 2019


Friday, 26th April, 2019


Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Blades in the Dark, fir example, has no AC mechanic at all, much less any specific mechanics for combat that are in any way different from sneaking past a guard. Yet, you can have broken or damaged weapons, sucking chest wounds, minor scratches, and many other interesting and "realistic" outcomes of a fight with deadly weapons. 5e, for example, has detailed, combat specific rules, yet generates none of these things. Which is the more "realistic"? You seem to be focused on game processes being the way to introduce "realism". I disagree this is appropriate. There's a dufference between process and resultant fictions. "Realism," to me, can only be judged at the fiction, not the process. However, all of your arguments so far about adding "realism" have been about adding additional processes. I'm pointing out that process is not required for "realism." Sadras, Ovinomancer here is saying to you much the same things as I said to Maxperson upthread. I didn't mention BitD, as I don't play that game - I mentioned Prince Valiant, Cortex+ Heroic and BW as games that permit these various things through a mixture of processes (especially important in BW) and GM narration of consequences - which is my guess as to how it is handled in BitD. (If that guess is wrong then hawkeyefan or Ovinomancer can correct me.) Isn't the shorthand for this realism. Will you be happy with more authentic? more immersive? more RL illusionary? more dramatic? I mean looking for a better description/buzz-word is just playing silly buggers...It's not just playing silly buggers - the fact that you think it is means that maybe you've missed AbdulAlhazred's point. That point was the following: one effect of the AD&D DMG disease system may be that a PC, on some occasion of play, suffers a disease which debilitates him/her for a little while. And that may increa...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 04:30 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...hich is moving, and in the solar system, which is moving, and in the Galaxy, which is moving, and there is no such thing as ever being still AND I WILL NOT ABSOLVE YOU OF USING AN INAPPROPRIATE WORD. Yeah, don't ever be that guy. On this realism thing, it's not like this is a new debate, it's just the same old tired discussion with new language; no one is re-inventing the wheel, here. I mean, c'mon- the 1e DMG, in the very opening, discusses "realism-simulation school" v. "game school" (and D&D falls in the latter camp). To quote EGG: "For fun, excitement, and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed. As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe, or even as a reflection of medieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure." DM's Guide, p. 9. That said, the amount of effort and energy spent fighting over generally-recognized terms is beyond bizarre; there are few, if any, people who can misunderstand what @Maxperson and @Sadras are discussing, unless they only wish to argue about arguing and are fighting definitions that are commonly understood (YOU CAN NEVER STAND STILL!). Sure, we can go all Gusdorf or Wittgenstein on this, but why? I mean, I think I know why; because somehow, the idea of "realism" is one that people naturally fight against; it is not enough to simply say, as was written forty (40!) years ago- yeah, I know what realism is, and I'm just not doing it. Now people have to turn themselves into pretzels by arguing against commonly-understood words. "Yes, I know you said that the fire engine is 'red,' but communication is imperfect. My mental image of red and your can never be exactly the same, and red itself is a concept that covers all sorts of colors, from mahogany to crimson, and since language is imprecise, you cannot possibly call the fire engine red." But yes, most people understand the following when someone says, within the context of a typical TTRPG, that something is "more realistic"...

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 07:00 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Sadras I think that when it comes to the phrase "more realistic" I generally don't mind people using it to try and convey an idea. And I think that generally speaking, I'm likely to know what they mean when they use it. The EN5ider article, in that sense, is clear to me what it is trying to convey. So the rules for weapon degradation being an attempt to add "more realism" to the game.....I get what is meant, even if I don't really think it's technically accurate. But sometimes for the sake of conversation and for conveying ideas, that kind of phrase can work fine. I do think a lot of the conversation has been wasted by devoting time to this angle. To me, someone saying "I added weapon degradation to my D&D game to make it more realistic" is perfectly fine. What I don't think is fine is something more like "My D&D game has weapon degradation mechanics, and therefore is more realistic than a game that lacks such mechanics" because I don't think that's true at all and for a myriad of ...

Friday, 19th April, 2019


Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 02:44 PM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Maxperson, I don't really know what your point is. I quoted the 13th Age rules to provide an example (as I understand them) of what AbdulAlhazred had in mind (as I understood him) in referring to a "terrible price". AbdulAlahzred agreed that I was providing such an example. The fact that you interpret those passages differently from everyone else posting in this thread, including AbdulAlhazred who was a 13th Age playtester, is of no significance to my reason for posting them to explain to Sadras what AbdulAlhazred had in mind. You might consider, as a reason speaking against your interpretation, that (1) it makes the rule silly rather than sensible, and (2) produces a contradiction with the suggestion that "[t]he campaign-loss rule is key to making combat meaningful." And you might consider, as the basis for revising your interpretation, the following description of a "campaign loss": something that the party was trying to do fails in a way that going back and finishing off those enemies later wonít fix. This doesn't imply that the loss can, as such, be fixed in some other way; it's making the point that the loss has an element in addition to not beating the enemies, and hence that going back and subsequently beating the enemies who forced the initial retreat won't, per se, fix the loss. As I've said, whether the loss can be fixed some other way is something for play to discover. 13th Age is not designed around an approach to play where the GM has already decided what ca...

Thursday, 4th April, 2019


Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 12:43 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Sadras in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    ...at they wanted to climb the tower and stop short of the top, but didn't explain their goal, then the DM has to prompt them again: "ok, you are almost near the top, now what?" - when that would have been obvious if they had just stated the goal in the first place. That last point is a subtle difference, but one that, IMO, makes the action flow more naturally with a much DM prompting. Example 2 - knocking a creature out without a stated goal Now in combat, declaring a goal is certainly not always necessary but there is at least one very important exception. Player 1: "I swing my axe at the orc - I know a 17 hits - 8 damage!" DM: "You cleave the orcs skull and it falls to the ground" Player 1: "But my PC just wanted to knock it out!" Because the goal was not stated, we now pause the game to have an awkward phase of rolling back the action when, with a simple stated goal, we can have the narrative just flow naturally. Gotta run or else would add some more... but do those make sense @Sadras?

Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 11:16 PM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Not to be a dink, but as a critical theorist, Ron Edwards was a heckuva biologist. Or, more generally, when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. There is certainly nothing wrong with academic critiques of RPGs (and the accompanying jargon), but it's a bit much to use obscurantist* terms that are certainly not generally accepted, and to continue to refer to those definitions and to an essay that is hardly universally accepted in order to make your points.I'm not the one who introduced Forge terminology into this thread. Sadras introduced discussion of "stance", and Maxperson embraced it. I think S'mon may have been the first poster to use GNS/GDS terminology, but my memory on that is hazier. But if other posters want to use that termnology, I'm happy to engage with it.

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 01:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...oldvay Basic or Gygax's PHB. The referee reads the players the opening text about them arriving at the Keep, etc. How does a player decide what his/her PC does?Ability checks. Class based knowledge(rangers and nature, fighters and strategy, etc). Basic knowledge(trees, what food is, etc.). Exploration. And so on. <snip> As for Actor, all that's required is a way to get the information, which has been possible in every edition of D&D.Some of this doesn't quite make sense, For example, both ability checks and exploration require action declarations, which correpsond to choices/decisions made by the character. Players who declare such actions at the start of B2 are declaring those action in pawn stance - that is, they have real world priorities (namely, to learn what the GM's adventure set-up is) and because of thsee priorities they declare actions for their PCs (like "We hang out at the tavern to collect rumours") which will help them with those priorities. Perhaps because of Sadras's misunderstanding about the relevance of Edwards's account of stance to your concerns about "metagaming", you think that there is some important connection between stance and metagaming,. But there is not. Stance is about the basis on which, and method whereby, players make action declarations for their characters. And D&D adventures depend upon the players making those decisions on the basis of certain well-known real world priorities.

Monday, 25th March, 2019

  • 06:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...e, and fails to identify the actual point at issue, which is who gets to decide what a PC knows? The RQ book actually says that "your first duty is to play within the limits of the characters you generate. Even though you are a chemistry major, for instance, your shepherd character cannot (without learning or training) stroll to a game world village and open an alchemy shop." This does not tell us how PC knowledge is established, although it makes it clear that PC background is relevant (eg shepherds typically don't know alchemy). Who gets to interpret and extrapolate from that background - player or GM - is left unstated, although the subsequent discussion of cooperation strongly implies that it is a mutual endeavour. Your view that the GM has sole and overwhelming authority in this respect, which - as best I can tell - extends to vast swathes of setting information also, (i) as a matter of practice will tend to produce pawn stance play (as I suggested not far upthread in reply to Sadras), and (ii) is a very strong form of GM-gating. I am currently GMing a game (Classic Traveller) in which players are expected to conform their action declarations, in part, to their PCs Intelligence and Education ratings. We have one PC with an INT of 2 (on a 1 to 15 scale, with 7 being typical). That is certainly an important factor in action declaration for that PC, but my table would regard as laughable the idea that it's a matter solely, or even primarily, for GM adjudication.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 03:19 PM - Doug McCrae mentioned Sadras in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Sadras I'm mostly just trying to answer the questions posed by the OP - Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda? So I see people online claiming that orcs (or drow or any other savage humanoid race) often unconsciously represent cruel stereotypes of people of color and promote a colonialist narrative.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 12:17 AM - Hussar mentioned Sadras in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Y'know Sadras, I had the same experience. DS9 really does improve on rewatch (although I still think the show went very, very downhill after Terry Farrell left the show. The whole last season was a grind for me, both the first and second times through. But, yeah, Disco does seem to hold together much better when you watch it like a regular streaming show - two or three episodes back to back.

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 05:18 PM - CleverNickName mentioned Sadras in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ... Dausuul: $50,000,000 gyor: $30,000,000 Hussar: $25,000,000 aco175: $23,500,000 CubicsRube: $21,000,000 CleverNickName: $20,612,408.57 ---------Highest-Funded Kickstarter in History (Pebble Time smartwatch) $20,338,986----------- Parmandr: $20,000,000 EnochSeven: $16,213,102 TallIan: $15,876,374 MNblockhead: $15,555,555 77IM: $14,980,000.00 jgsugden: $14,520,000 OB1: $14,000,042 The Big BZ: $14,000,000 dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 -----------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 Mort: $11,620,000 Zardnaar: $11,354,883 <--- The Winner! Sadras: $11,120,000 SkidAce: $11,000,000 Tazawa: $10,700,000 togashi_joe: $10,250,000 DM Dave1: $10,101,010 MichaelSomething: $10,000,000 Lazybones: $9,750,000 PabloM: $9,500,000 akr71: $9,250,000 rczarnec: $9,250,000 Azzy: $9,000,000 Henry: $8,900,000 mortwatcher: $8,666,000 Lidgar: $8,423,976.73 vincegetorix: $8,360,000 SmokeyCriminal: $8,008,135 AriochQ: $7,777,777 robus: $7,750,000 MarkB: $7,500,000 phantomK9: $6,969,696 TarionzCousin: $6,160,000 ClaytonCross: $6,000,000 ---------Highest-Funded Film Project on Kickstarter (MST3K Kickstarter) $5,764,229----------- MaximusArael020: $5,685,000 Prakriti: $1

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 04:16 PM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ... the toss then the fiction changes how you wanted it to, but if you lose the toss then the fiction will change in some way which speaks to what you wanted but in an adverse sort of way is an obvious one, but not the only one. It can be done through mutually respectful back-and-forth about the fiction - this is how stuff can happen in a Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic Transition Scene, for instance - but the back-and-forth approach is (in my experience) only modestly robust under pressure, when the stakes get high and the player wants to push the fiction one way and the GM is interested in pushing it back the other way. That's why MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic uses a different approach, which is a version of "say 'yes' or roll the dice" with some bells and whistles added on, during Action (= high stakes) Scenes. To further lengthen this post, I aso want to say something about free kriegsspiel, which S'mon in particular has talked about in this thread; and it connects also to a discussion with Sadras upthread. In a RPG where the GM has already pre-established important, salient parts of the fiction - a dungeon map and its key is the paradigm of this; a wildereness map is another example - then some "action declarations" don't really constitute attempts to change the fiction in way X. They're really more like attempts to learn the content and parameters of the fiction as already decided by the GM. For this reason, the concept of GM decides is (in my view) not really even applicable to them. But - and this is to reiterate something I've already said in this thread, and have said more about in some other threads over the years - the boundary/contrast between "action declaration" to learn content/parameters of the fiction and action declaration to change the fiction in way X can fairly easily become rather non-robust, and is also highly vulnerable to a unilateral decision that what the player intended as the latter is really the former. A concrete example: a player declares I ...

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 08:44 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Sadras in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Sadras Awesome! Enjoy. If youíre going to most likely just port things to your 5e game, focus on Failure handling (Fail Forward with either a Twist or a Condition + you get what you want), Exploration Turns + Condition/Light Clock, gear handling, CampPhase/Rest handling, and the mapbuilding procedures (similar to Travellers Lifepaths but for adventure sites). Thatís easily enough ported (but youíre going to have to hack magic Light effects in 5e). Numidius Iíll link here when I post it.


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Friday, 21st June, 2019


Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 10:05 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Sadras in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    However, all is not lost, the one newbie player is likely to become a DM in his own right, having purchased easily 7+ books of 5e and having watched/listened to over 200 hours of CR. Always great to see that happen! :)
  • 07:11 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Sadras in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    EDIT: With regards to the OP, I think the MAYA design principle makes a lot of sense. Agreed. 5e definitely found the right compromise between advanced and acceptable. This was one of my major issues with the game, and sadly this problem persists in one of my 5e groups as I have two new players who simply cannot comprehend ToM TotM may be a relatively new label, but the necessity of playing without a play surface has been around as long as D&D has been played in tiny dorm rooms and the like. ;) It really is kind of an "advanced technique" though, if the system doesn't have fairly solid support for it (Like 13th Age, for example). It's just not that easy for new/casual players - and just plain always hard for some people (people with as much right to enjoy an RPG as anyone else) because our brains aren't all identically wired, and the wiring that makes you good at one thing might not work so well for another - or DMs to visualize a detailed environment, 4-6 PCs, and however many enemi...

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 09:10 PM - Lanefan quoted Sadras in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Sure, XPs has its 'negatives' too, although not everyone sees all of that as bad. Having read many of @Lanefan's posts about the table he and his group run, I'd say they're ok with much of it. They easily run disproportionate leveled characters at their table with no worries, and have a lot of fun doing so. The higher-leveled characters shielding the newbies, with character death being a certainty.:DIn fairness, I think Lylandra was referring to newbie players rather than characters. But yes, and back to the theme of system flexibility, 0-1-2e are far more flexible as regards in-party level variance than either 3e or 4e are; 5e has trended back towards this flexibility which is excellent. (EDIT: billd91 got to this ahead of me, upthread) And that brings up another issue I have with milestone levelling - lower level characters can never "catch up". Also, how does one ever introduce items or events that give an individual character a level - or take one away? What happens if a characte...
  • 01:13 PM - billd91 quoted Sadras in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    I'm not Lanefan, but the obvious limitation is that it removes XPs as Reward. Milestone seems to negate individual creative/smart efforts by characters, moving from individual level progression to a party-progression paradigm. Milestone certainly has its uses. Personally I would use that style of progression in more linear/railroad-y games which have a strong storyline buy-in. Individual level advancement started to be seriously problematic with 3e. In AD&D, advancement was less regular in general for things like the to-hit tables and saves, plus monster vs party balancing was less granular. The game tolerated having PCs at varying levels in the same party better. 3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in this factor). Characters who lagged more than about a level were put, relatively speaking, at more of a disadvantage. Ultimately, the tighter the design, the more it makes sense to advance them all as a group than as indi...
  • 10:47 AM - Lylandra quoted Sadras in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    I'm not @Lanefan, but the obvious limitation is that it removes XPs as Reward. Milestone seems to negate individual creative/smart efforts by characters, moving from individual level progression to a party-progression paradigm. Milestone certainly has its uses. Personally I would use that style of progression in more linear/railroad-y games which have a strong storyline buy-in. mh, but should or could the reward for creative and smart solutions not be positive in-game consequences? Could be loot, could be a new ally, could be a favor, good political standing or some unforseen twist. Individual XP seem to be shunned upon in most groups I've played in as it discourages newbies or tends to be unfair or biased. In addition to setting unhealthy risk-reward incentives for players to "go solo".

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 01:43 PM - 5ekyu quoted Sadras in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Playing devil's advocate...cause I agree with the ruling of the Con. Man rapes, man get's charged, man serves time, man is released, man is allowed to date again. GM rapes fictional characters at Con, banned from GMing at Con for life. What am I missing?This seems less like devils advocate and more like lampooning or charicature. Whats missing is the host of other negatives involved with serving time. Whats missing is that the gm is not being told he cannot gm again, just cons deciding they dont want him gming at their events. This is more akin to a retailer they dont want to hire a known thief to do their money deliveries at any of their stores. Man, the lengths folks will go for this is amazing.
  • 12:44 PM - ajevans quoted Sadras in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Playing devil's advocate...cause I agree with the ruling of the Con. Man rapes, man get's charged, man serves time, man is released, man is allowed to date again. GM rapes fictional characters at Con, banned from GMing at Con for life. What am I missing? Man is placed on sex offenders register and will be excluded from all sorts of stuff as a result if they demand a DBS check. It's a pretty lousy analogy.

Saturday, 8th June, 2019


Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 04:44 PM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    My only engagement in this thread has been about the the use of wordplay for the immersive experience as well as the backstory I might create for a campaign which I might view the latter as an literary endeavour.I am not inclined to view the latter as a literary endeavor. I'm not entirely convinced of this but I'm not opposed to this either, mostly because, I have not yet clearly defined what a literary endeavour is in my mind. The high art definition is easy, but is it anything more AND IF YES, where does it stop? Conan? The Three Investigators? Gamebooks? Comics? Because at some point I'd inject my backstory into that mix. There are characters with motives. Internal Consistency exists. There is a setting, a theme. There is no dialogue though and that is probably where I could agree then, it fails as a literary endeavour if literary endeavour requires at the very minimum, dialogue.This again delves into a conversation piece that I have repeatedly brought up in this thread between NA...
  • 01:24 PM - macd21 quoted Sadras in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    The single dude that got banned from this thread? I believe every other poster agreed with the banning of the individual from running games at future cons. Disagreement only occured on shunning him from the community at large. No one is asking for any return for a particular climate. EDIT: Everyone's pretty much on the same page here.No, Bagpuss, who decried the current climate (in which people who run rape scenarios at cons get called on their :):):):)).
  • 01:08 PM - macd21 quoted Sadras in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Really? People here have been calling for us to return to a particular unsavoury climate? The level of exaggeration that exists is astounding.Yes? Thatís not exaggerating at all. Itís a perfectly rational reading of some posters comments.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 05:14 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I agree it does not help to use the word literary in such a broad manner, despite technicalities, I already addressed same with Max. My only engagement in this thread has been about the the use of wordplay for the immersive experience as well as the backstory I might create for a campaign which I might view the latter as an literary endeavour. @hawkeyefan, he can correct me where I misrepresent him, does not see such exercise as a literary endeavour. I'm not entirely convinced of this but I'm not opposed to this either, mostly because, I have not yet clearly defined what a literary endeavour is in my mind. The high art definition is easy, but is it anything more AND IF YES, where does it stop? Conan? The Three Investigators? Gamebooks? Comics? Because at some point I'd inject my backstory into that mix. There are characters with motives. Internal Consistency exists. There is a setting, a theme. There is no dialogue though and that is probably where I could agree then, it fails as a litera...
  • 02:52 PM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    This is not a great argument to engage in mostly due to the clash of definitions and clarifications which generally us squabblers fail to agree on, everytime. Literary endeavour, wordcrafting, and now probably primary, if it has not been already battled over. Furthermore I fail to see what can really be gained from such a debate (and I know I have somewhat asked this before), besides XPs from one's usual supporters.I attempted to summarize and steer the conversation back to pemerton's premise in his OP. But it seems like people are arguing not about what he said, but misconstruing what he said so they can argue imaginary point. And, yes, equivocating on the meaning of "literary" has been a part of the frustration that people like Bedrockgames and I have had with people criticizing pemerton's argument. Even now, you can see this in Hussar's argumentation, much as Maxperson's before him, an attempt to essentially argue that everything is literary (or define it in an overly broad way) and u...
  • 02:35 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Sadras in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    Thanks for your post. Pretty much agree with the above sentiment about not besmirching his name and not ostracising him from society. Yeah. I find the story...or at least the version of the story which seems most corroborated and probable...pretty disgusting and kind of unbelievable that anybody could still be that ignorant/clueless. But the correct response is not to destroy his life. It will be better for him if he has a chance to learn/atone/improve, and better for everybody else if he doesn't become a martyr for the mouth-breathers in the "men's rights" movement.
  • 02:25 PM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Sure, if one digs into it, (and I realise this was not the thrust of your post) but all that Q&A could have been avoided if one front-loaded the necessary evocative language in the setup. The problem with giving bite-size evocative information is the start-stop immersive experience. If one describes the githyanki and their place of origin at the outset, one is immediately immersed in the shared imagination.I will address your earlier post, but I will shortly say here that this entire conversation has never been predicated on the presumption that constant immersion was required for TTRPGs or should be required. So it feels like you are moving the goalposts by requiring extra standards to be met.
  • 02:15 PM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Sure, if one digs into it, (and I realise this was not the thrust of your post) but all that Q&A could have been avoided if one front-loaded the necessary evocative language in the setup. It actually was the point. That's why I called it a long cut. ;) I find having to get all the information via a Q&A session like having to pull teeth. It tells me that the DM is stingy with information, and that's just not fun for me. Further, it also yanks me out of any sort of immersion I could possibly have in his game. I'll have to Q&A constantly, which is done out of character, in order to just find out what could have been told to me in a few seconds. The problem with giving bite-size evocative information is the start-stop immersive experience. If one describes the githyanki and their place of origin at the outset, one is immediately immersed in the shared imagination. Yep.
  • 01:45 PM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I also agree with Imaro in that if the DM is using conversational language to the point you seem to indicate in these posts (which I'm pretty sure you do not), I would quickly excuse myself from that table. The thing is, even with a Q&A session, evocative language is still being used. DM: A githyanki is a race that lives in the astral sea. The bolded evokes imagery of a humanoid and an ocean. Player: "Hang on. "Astral Sea"? What's that?" DM: "It's a part of the universe that is about like combining outer space with heaven." The bolded evokes imagery of space and the afterlife. Player: "Cool. What does it look like?" DM: "Well, it's a silvery liquid with stars at the bottom of it." The bolded evokes imagery of space at the bottom of a sea of silver. Showing a picture is using a short cut to evocative language in the form of a picture being a thousand words, and conversational Q&A uses evocative language in a long cut. Both methods use evocative language, though.

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 11:52 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hussar's post reminded me of another thread many of us engaged in, I'm a little lazy now to go searching for a link but it was the thread about the blocked texts in published modules. It would be interesting to see which of us valued the blocked texts (even as a starting point) with those of us which strongly lean on wordcrafting being of significant importance in RPGing. I don't find boxed text especially important. I don't mind if it is included in a module, but I don't like reading it aloud, and don't like having it read aloud to me. At the same time, not terribly interested in word crafting when I am GMing or playing.


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