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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:18 PM
    I have been leveraging the characters Ideals/Bond/Flaws in D&D, essentially I as DM bribe them with an Inspiration Point if they do or not-do a course of action which is supported by their Ideal/Bond/Flaw. To be clear my bribe is an incentive to complicate matters in game. And as you say it is the players' right to choose. But I'm wondering if I could then also offer a player their character...
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    Yesterday, 12:53 PM
    @LuisCarlos17f in D&D you can play drow and play them following Lolth or you can play them having abandoned those darker teachings. In 2e there was an adventure (I forget its name) but you played the humanoids defending your home against the evil adventurers/ heroes who were invading your home, slaying your kin and taking your treasures. In the BECMI series there was the Gazetteer Orcs of Thar...
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    Yesterday, 10:13 AM
    Edit: I was ninja'd by @Raunalyn very early on in this thread. So I watched this movie again and I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. Also, and I cannot believe I never thought of this myself - it was pointed out to me by one of my friends, this world is SOOOOOOOO suited for Vampire the Masquerade. You can easily identify clans to the various factions John Wick and his...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:01 AM
    I'm not going to comment on everything else but just want to focus on this. As with humans, with differing and sometimes opposing ideologies, why is it so strange to have that same struggle of ideas within Vampires society?
    46 replies | 2171 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 09:44 AM
    Are you suggesting I'm racist or homophobic? That was my intention. Maybe try change your brush.
    46 replies | 2171 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:35 AM
    I'm eagerly awaiting Campbell's next post which promised some colourful social mechanics so I'd rather not have this thread end abruptly.
    634 replies | 15533 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:09 AM
    For those in the know, is vinyl better than having it printed on canvas? Thinking of getting a massive print for out campaigns and was considering canvas until I saw this thread.
    58 replies | 9310 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:51 AM
    Aye, @Flamestrike is back! :)
    104 replies | 2801 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    I think he would have received greater support if he had rather aimed his hate towards Disney shills. agreed, immensely stupid human covers a lot of ground.
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:02 PM
    Here we see Umbran, in his natural habitat, calmly raging against serial monogamy.
    78 replies | 2397 view(s)
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:21 PM
    Well that's because 27 years ago you were using 2e.
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:29 AM
    Since last year September I have been running a part-time Storm King's Thunder campaign meeting up as the playgroup becomes available. We haven't played for a while but we decided to start playing bi-weekly online. The party is deep into Chapter 3 The Savage Frontier and we had our first session in months this Tuesday evening. I very much enjoyed the session and am having fun planning the...
    2 replies | 138 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 01:36 PM
    Similar to lowkey13 - watched 1st season with subtitles, don't like dubbed. Realistically will only start the 2nd season this weekend.
    4 replies | 250 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 01:13 PM
    I seriously cannot be the only one who sees a Laurence Fishburne likeness in this photo?
    1012 replies | 71190 view(s)
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    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 01:09 PM
    Lol. It was a GoT reference, when the Hound basically informs a Lannister soldier that his conversational skills where increasing the Hound's appetite for chicken. Of course it was said with less grace. If you haven't seen it then yeah it would make absolutely no sense. I was playfully suggesting such tactic could work on rules lawyers. :p
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    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Well played sir! ;)
    1012 replies | 71190 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:14 PM
    What I find works best is if you turn to the rules lawyer and say "I understand that if any more words come pouring out your..." particularly if we're having chicken for lunch.
    95 replies | 3755 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:17 PM
    100% The Draakhorn only gets sounded in RoT, so I never saw the reason for HotDQ getting criticism for this. Two dragons as @jayoungr correctly points out with the possibility of more (dragon eggs in chapter 3, perhaps observe one flying overhead in chapter 4, and the two sibling black dragons that live in the marsh) - is more than enough as a starter.
    37 replies | 1115 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:35 PM
    Despite the module's difficulty inexperience might also be a factor. With regards to where to restart from... I'd say keep the characters, have them rescued by Delaan Winterhound (Rise of Tiamat - Council Member) with his pet Loska, who was investigating rumours of a dragon hatchery in the area. The cult has long since taken off - so the party are a tenday or so behind the Cult. The...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 02:14 PM
    This! And This! It is less about an innocent rule discussion/clarification and more about the personal advantage that they will gain. At least that is my experience. They also tend to give min/maxers a bad name, since every RL of this type is inevitably a min/maxer.
    95 replies | 3755 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 11:24 AM
    Personally, I view roleplaying restrictions like will not wear x clothing, must not use x weapon, or must be of x alignment, or must do or must not do x/y as part of that class'/order's ethos, code and thus realistically the character can do those things but will likely suffer consequences, whether they be mechanical or in-game storywise. I do think it is silly to say a character cannot do it...
    641 replies | 17645 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 09:01 AM
    Multi-Campaign (from 4e evolved to 5e), going 100+ sessions, running for over a decade (3 different parties). Shorter Campaigns, sometimes criss-crossing the above (5-15 sessions, 40-70 hours). I'm the sole DM for the above. Westeros game - using the RPG for that setting, probably 7-8 sessions in (30+ hours), I'm not the DM. Other non-D&D games, 1-3 sessions, when we find the time - which...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 09:29 PM
    Whichever ability your character most identifies with. So if you're a DEX fighter/barbarian, then I'd allow you to use your DEX. Ideally, the person selects their higher stat and then sticks with it unless there is a good enough argument to have it changed later on in the character's life. It is not supposed to be a gotcha, hence I also decided against using CON, which was the obvious choice...
    32 replies | 1189 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 03:28 PM
    Yes, but a really bad one. :p Kind of like a politician who tells the truth, an Italian who doesn't like pasta, or a Muslim who drinks... you get the drift.
    641 replies | 17645 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 03:18 PM
    I find this is already done at class level - so a Battlemaster who is all short rest abilities can go NOVA many more times than your wizard. I wouldn't want to compound that with an additional high CON requirement (CON already has the hp thing going for it). As an aside: That is one of the primary reasons why my recharge rest variant uses one's primary ability rather than CON.
    32 replies | 1189 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 02:46 PM
    I've included our entire rest mechanic below. It requires 2-3 read through's to fully comprehend it. The main thing to grasp is, PC's will no longer ask for a short rest to recharge their abilities, instead they will ask to recharge their short rest abilities. There is no x time waiting period, it is immediate. To be fair the idea was not mine initially, but another poster's...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 01:59 PM
    I think a holistic approach should be taken when comparing, particularly if you're going to mention that last comment about warlock blasting. Rogues, Sorcerers and Wizards have no innate healing except out of combat HD of which the latter two classes use a d6 and begin with a lower hp base. Druids have access to healing spells as well as the shapechange ability which acts a hp buffer, they...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 01:24 PM
    I use a recharge mechanic, essentially a die roll vs DC to regain abilities without earning a level of exhaustion. DC is dependent on whether you're recharging short/long rest powers, how many times you have recharged already and the no of days since your last long rest (24 hours). The longer you travel without a full day's rest, the harder it becomes to recharge. And a long rest cannot be...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 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 -...
    641 replies | 17645 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 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...
    11 replies | 671 view(s)
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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,...
    109 replies | 6159 view(s)
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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)...
    109 replies | 6159 view(s)
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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 | 2343 view(s)
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Tuesday, 20th November, 2018

  • 05:44 PM - Parmandur mentioned Sadras in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...hing that contradicts your already decided premise. On top of that those who do not agree and actually make the effort to present evidence that doesn't align with your foregone conclusions are labelled haters and are accused of partaking in edition warring (as opposed to just disagreeing with the group think present with a handful of the 4e community) ... then you claim those who disagree are in fact the ones in an echo chamber, really? Honestly it seems you don't really want a multi-faceted discussion you want acquiescence with what you've already decided is the correct conclusion... or perhaps a passive audience to read over your theories on roleplaying while nodding in total agreement... Don;t get me wrong I find your ideas and thoughts interesting but I'm not going to passively agree with everything you post without questioning and looking at alternate evidence and angles, if you want that well... that's what blogs are for, I'm not even sure what ManBearCat is reacting to...? Sadras providing an example of how he took SC from 4E and enriched his 5E game is...edition warring...?

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 10:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...t kinda falls apart.Nonsense. This goes back to fiction first as a feature of 4e compared to other D&D editions. I don't need game mechanics to tell me that an ogre is a huge bruiser that can kill most ordinary people with a single swing of its club. That's the fiction. I only need game mechanics if something happens at the table - eg a player declares that his/her PC tries to beat the ogre in a fight. And then I can adapt whatever mechanics will give voice to this fiction. If the PC is low heroid, I will probably stat the ogre as a solo or an elite - which, mechanically, gives voice to the fiction that a low heroic tier PC probably can't best an ogre on his/her own. If the PC is upper heroic, then I can use a standard ogre straight out of the MM. If the PC is on the way through paragon tier, then I will probabl use one of the ogre minions from the MM - Lancelot cuts down anything less than a full-fledged giant with a single blow from his sword! As I was discussing upthread with Sadras, this is all about fiction first, mechanics second and in direct response to that prior fiction. My question is whether doing so was worth the sacrifices made in terms of class differentiation.I've never played or GMed a campaign where the most interesting thing that distinguished PCs was how quickly they got their juice back. I'm surprised that it's such a recurring refrain in this thread.

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018

  • 04:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    in all editions casters have - or can have, depending on spells known - the advantage; and I've never claimed otherwise. Other posters (eg Imaro, Parmandur, Sadras) seemed to be disagreeing with me when I said that in this respect 4e differs from 5e (because what you say is not generally the case in 4e, at least as I have experienced it). If in fact they do agree with you that in 5e casters have the advantage in these non-combat, no-time-pressure situations, then most of the discussion is over. Because that's the whole difference I've been talking about with the discussion of DC-by-level, skill challenges and the like. I can't see how this would be any different in 4e than in 5e or 1e or 3e.Then reread some of my posts in this thread, some actual play reports, etc. Manbearcat has already rehearsed the bulk of it in a post not far upthread. It's not rocket science - this is RPG design tech that was pioneered over 20 years ago.

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 01:49 PM - akr71 mentioned Sadras in post Survivor Magic Rings- Feather Falling FLOATS TO VICTORY!
    Sadras fonts? I logon, I post - I've never mucked with fonts on this forum. If its at my end, it because of my work PC.
  • 12:12 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Are they optional? Do they provide a power boost that is necessary for the higher levels? From what I remember the books presented them as a non-optional part of character advancement.Hang on - so you don't want superheroics but you do want a power boost? You said this: Epic Destinies are part of the game... you are required to select one... correct? That's not strongly supporting that's requiring it. Sure anything can be changed with enough houserules and reskins but the point is that that isn't easy But in fact it's trivial to just not use an epic destiny. Or, as MwaO pointed out, you might mandate use of the same epic destiny for everyone (eg Destined Scion was mentioned). I think anyone who found that hard wouldn't be up to the task of modifying 5e in the sorts of ways that you and Sadras are saying can be done for those who want play experience X or Y.

Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 04:27 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Sadras in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Sadras That is certainly an option. I personally think a well-designed module would be interesting that: A) Pushed Fail Forward for all action resolution. B) Increased Martial Charactersí non-combatant fiat abilities (extrapolating from Background Traits and some other features). C) Had all spells cast require action resolution (I covered how this could be done well upthread). That would make for an interesting experiment.

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 10:38 AM - Hussar mentioned Sadras in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...rovide to my players" and "the authority i am given by them" in that without the former I likely not to keep the latter. But, the choice to characterize a group agreeing to give the GM more control as being despotic GMed is telling. Huh. 5ekyu, you booted a player out of your gaming group because he didn't want to play a game that you wanted to play. You've never disputed that. Now, since no other player at the table could possibly do that, how exactly do you not have authority over someone? Funny how the idea that you would pick a different day, create a new group and run what you wanted to run was never even mentioned as an option. No, instead you booted the player and more than a few people in this thread saw nothing wrong with that. But, apparently, that doesn't mean authority over someone somehow... :erm: Frankly, call it throat warbler mangrove for all I care. The point is that "traditional" DM'ing places virtually all the power in the hands of the DM. Sadras - the problem I have with calling it "Dungeon Master" is that I consider myself a DM. I regularly run D&D games. But, I certainly don't feel that I have the authority to eject a player for not wanting to play in my new campaign. I have a lot more loyalty to my players than that. If someone at my idea objected to my next campaign idea, I'd simply pitch another one. The notion that players are essentially disposable runs very, very against how I view the table.

Friday, 19th October, 2018


Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 03:34 PM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I am responding to the thread as I read it. To me it seemed very clear in a range of posts that the technical device of "backgrounding" that Hussar mentioned was just an instance of, or useful expostiroy proxy for, a broader range of considerations about how fiction is established, handled etc. I feel that my discussion with Sadras is operating under that understanding and while obviously we have different views about what makes for good GMing I don't think there are any conceptual or terminological confusions affecting our discussion. (Maybe Sadras will correct me on that!) The argument about whether "backgrounding" prevents consequences was premised not on the fact that it is "not a focus of play" (as per Imaro's post just upthread) but on the fact that "the DM is hands off about it" (from the same post). I have posted an example in which the GM was hands off about the demands of allegiance - ie the players decided this - but in which consequences most definitely ensued. That is sufficient to refeute the claims made. If soemone now wants to say that all the action really is not in regard to the GM being hands off but rather their being no focus, well go to town but that's a different discussion. As far as "one man theatre" is concerned: about 70 posts upthread Imaro said " in a cooperative game where we s...
  • 07:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...g of a MacGuffin quest which had no narrative logic to it except that we were fetching a MacGuffin for a patron because that was the situation the GM had presented us with. It reveals the PCs as suckers and patsies. And in the context of a RPG, it also reveals the players as the GM's patsies - the GM has lured us into the game with the promise of a mildly interesting fetch quest for a NPC, and it turns out we were sucked in and were really telling quite a different story. Lanefan upthread asks - but was the fetch quest fun to play out? Answer: not terribly, it was pretty mid-grade RPging, but tolerable because the group (including the GM) was a group of friends who had RPGed together for quite some time. But mid-grade RPGing with friends can be fine when you have (as we all then did) the time on your hands. What made it less than fine was the GM move of unilaterally changing the meaning of something that was outside player control and that no player action had ever put at stake. Sadras describes this as "story now" sensibility. My memory for when this happened is a bit hazy, but I want to say some time around 1993 to 1995. So something like 10 years, certainly more than 5 years, before Ron Edwards wrote his "Story Now" essay. In a group who at that time played Rolemaster almost exclusively (the game in question was a RM one). I point that out so as to make the point that objecting to this sort of GMing is not some super-radical new-fangled thing.

Thursday, 20th September, 2018

  • 07:59 PM - OB1 mentioned Sadras in post Tell Me About Your Experiences With High Level 5E
    ...P and increase it 10% for the next encounter. Repeat until satisfied with the results. Same with max CR. Start at character level and increase by 10% until happy. Iíve found that my group, given their skill, character build choices and magic items can handle monster CR about 150% of their level. The way you claim to speak for everybody utterly trivializing death is not only not appreciated, it also speaks volumes itself. What does it speak volumes about? The rules of the game make resurrection easy and common at Tier IV; surely you donít dispute that. Thatís why character survival isnít what I focus on to provide challenge, but rather accomplishing goals. Players can be resurrected, but they can still fail. If you donít like death in your game, follow the DMG encounter guidelines and your players should have no problem avoiding it. If you want challenge, that means death will sometimes occur. Without actual failure you donít have real challenge, just the appearance of it. Sadras I am not a game designer, I work in movie marketing with a background in film and television production. I run a game every other week for 5 hours for a group that I would consider casual gamers and, when Iím lucky, play another 1-2 sessions a month. On average I prep 2-4 hours for a session, which has decreased over the 4 years Iíve run the campaign as Iíve gotten better as a DM even as the campaign level has increased. Iíve had 2 permanent PC deaths in 4 years, both during an epic BBEG battle at the end of Tier III, and two death/resurrections in Tier IV after 15 sessions. In every case those deaths meant the PCs accomplishing their goal at the time.

Friday, 7th September, 2018


Friday, 3rd August, 2018

  • 12:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Sadras - i think you're trying to pile significance onto "chess variant" vs "adhered to all the chess rules exactly" that those terms won't bear, especially in this context. Playing in ignorance or (for an adult playing with the child) deliberate disregard of certain rules is not the same thing as not seeing that your opponent is setting you up. There's a difference between (i) not noticing you're under threat or not noticing the significance of a piece being under threat (ie being set up by an opponent), and (ii) not treating a certain position as consituting a threat even though the full rules of the game make it one (ie not playing with en passant) and (ii) not knowing all the legal moves for the pieces (ie not playing with castling). In the case of (ii) (ie a game in which the players don't use the enpassant rule) moving your pawn two squares adjacent to an opponent's pawn isn't moving your pawn into danger. That's not the same as moving it into danger but not noticing. It's a signi...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 05:28 PM - Aldarc mentioned Sadras in post Everybody Cheats?
    Aldarc I have no issue with you or how you play the game at your table. You have had more than enough opportunities to correct my perspective of your opinion on cheating, instead you chose to thought police me using an intimidation tactic. Strange route to go when you're concerned about people's perspectives of you. Keep in mind the only reason I responded was because of a new discussion with Umbran otherwise I considered our debate about cheaters closed. But that is the nature of forums. If you clearly remember I asked where does one draw the line for cheating....and no line was given. I apologise if you feel slighted (which you should not) but I stand by my assessment. Do what you feel is right.You may not have issue with me or how I play at my table, but I have an issue with you Sadras making continued assumptions. Yes, you asked me to draw the line. If you remember correctly I said that the line was contextual. That does not give you license to insert false words or positions into my mouth. Nor does that equate to "anything goes within the realm of cheating." When I call you out on making this assumption, you kept pressing and repeating it. You think that I had opportunities to correct your perspective? I did call out these assumptions. I thought that was clear. But, no. That's not how this works from any place of etiquette. You had opportunities to back off from your assumptions when they were repeatedly called out as assumptions. But you didn't and instead continued with "To me that gives off the impression that anything goes at your tablejust because there are worse things a player can do and because the game still continues swimmingly by your account." To which I responded: As the saying goes, "When you assume..." I didn't finish this statement, as I thought ...

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Lanefan, billd91 - Tony Vargas's reply makes the point that needs to be made aboout "realism" in a hit point paradigm. As far as narration of hp loss and zero hp is concerned - if you're narrating hp loss, and dropping to zero hp, in surgical detail, and then having your suspension of disbelief disrupted by the recovery that the game rules provide for, well, I would suggest changing your narration! As I posted upthread, as a former RM player/GM, and someone who was pretty familiar with the drfit from AD&D to RM, RQ etc in the 80s/early 90s, it remains very strange to see posters arguing for AC-&-hp combat on "realism" grounds, and to be distinguishing AD&D or 3E from 4e on that basis. Also, someone upthread (maybe Sadras) mentioned tinkering - the most trivial tinkering possible to a RPG is to change the short and extended rest durations in 4e or 5e. (I don't know how common it is with 5e; based on dicsussions on teese boards it was extremely common with 4e.)

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 08:48 PM - Lanefan mentioned Sadras in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    If I may, I'd say this could have been a great opportunity for a check, but not to make the party do anything. ... 1. The party gets their way, but at a possible cost. ... 2. The party will have to re-evaluate their plans. ... Either way, the import of the check should be clear -- the result is what will happen and it will not be open to continued rehashing. The first and last line I've quoted above are at odds; because if the outcome is (2) then the party ARE being made to do something they clearly don't want to do. Further - and worse - is the "not open to continued rehashing" bit; which flat-out says you're using the check as a means of cutting off further roleplay. As the primary agency players own in the game is that of being able to roleplay their characters, this seems an obvious instance of using game mechanics to limit player agency. Sadras handled this exactly right, IMO, by letting the argument take as long as required to play out and leaving mechanics right out of it. And that last bit is an important thing I've embraced about checks. If the dice are rolled, the situation changes. I work to do this for every check, to make every check meaningful. Being open about this and setting stakes can be a method, but I find I don't always have to set explicit stakes especially since my players have adjusted to this method. Picking a lock, even, can be more fun if a failure leads to a change in circumstance. An example, for my last game: the rogue attempted to pick a rusty lock on an old treasure chest and failed. I narrated that a pick had become wedged into the lock and was stuck in the mechanism. The player now had the choice to try to pick the lock but break the tool at the same DC, or attempt to save the tool but break the lock at the same DC. The failure put a resource (the lockpick) in jeopardy and made that f...

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018

  • 06:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    On causation - prompted by Sadras, and (I think) consistent with what AbdulAlhazred has been posting. In AD&D, a dragon gets combat bonuses when defending its young. Does that mean that, in the world of D&D, only dragons are driving to great effort to protect their children? No, it means that the designers, who lavished a lot of attention on dragons, thought this was an interesting idea to call out in respect of them, and so wrote in the bonus. Again in AD&D, a fireball can't be cast underwater, while a lightning bolt turns into a sphere rather than a bolt. But can a fireball still be cast with full effect in a raging cyclone? Why does an electric eel's "lightning" attack work normally underwater? Again, this isn't about causation in any meaningful sense - it's about using mechanics to try and convey some idea that seems interesting and fun. The designers cared about underwater, but not so much about tropical storms. And were not all that interested in trying to model the actual physical behaviour of bolts of ...

Monday, 19th February, 2018

  • 01:31 PM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    EDIT (and call out to Sadras) - this post is best read together with the one just subsequent to it, which tries to catch up on some more of the thread action over the course of the (Australian) day. Sadras, AbdulAlhazred - re actual and hypothetical play examples. chaochou gave two hypothetical examples: (1) GM establishes dramatic need, GM provides solution. (2) Player establishes dramatic need, player provides (ultimate) solution. I've already posted multiple times in this thread that I am more conservative than chaochou on the boundary between GM and player content introduction. So it's proabably not surprising that my actual play example falls somewhere between (1) and (2)! The player builds and plays a PC who (i) seeks world domination, (ii) is a wizard who is part of an ancient group of wizards with connections to the now-long-lost Suel Empire, and (iii) isn't afraid to traffic in dark arts. I offer up a pathway to the possibility of world domination in the form of Vecna, a wizard...

Friday, 16th February, 2018

  • 04:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The problem we're up against, however, is that for some of these guys game worlds and other imaginary constructs don't have facts. This is not correct. (I mean, as a technical matter it's probably clearer to describe a fiction as having content rather than facts, but that's orthogonal to the main point.) No one is disputing that the game world has content. What is being discussed is who gets to author it. To say that if the GM says there are no footprints there, that's a fact you have to deal with is simply to say the GM gets to author that without regard to play input (eg input delivered in the form of action declarations). No one is disputing that a RPG can be adjudicated in that fashion. The OP simply asks "why"? And it doesn't answer that question to say "Well, because that's how we do it." I mean, I know that's how you do it, but why do it that way? (And to make it clear, some posters have given interesting answers to the question - most recently, Sadras.)

Thursday, 15th February, 2018

  • 09:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...r way: introudcing, as a new fictional element, a death - of the previously-mentioned orc - is no different, as a process of authorship, from introducing, as a new fictional element, a discovery of a map in the previously-mentioned study. To put it yet another way: the metaphysics of authorship does not track the metaphysics of the imaginary events that are being authored. So causal differences that are fundamental in real life events are not fundamental to imagining those real life events. It is possible to introduce an additional constraint on authorship if one wishes: this person, the RPG player, can only participate in processes of authorship where the subject-matter of that authorship is an imagined event (like killing an orc) that does not involve introducing new material into the fiction that was not causally produced, in the fiction, by that player's character. But a constraint of that sort has no metaphysical backing behind it - its justification has to be aesthetic. Sadras has provided that sort of justification in a post not far upthread of yours: I guess, for me, the hidden backstory provides the 'mystery and adventure' I would desire as a player. <snip> The challenge and enjoyment for me is to uncover the mystery AND survive the adventure. <snip> Because the one is about the survival of combat (the tactical part of the game) and the other is part of the intrigue, the location to explore, the mystery to unravel the puzzle to solve. Because we have hit points for combat, but donít have social points and exploration points for the other pillars. That is not to say I'm not fond of SC mechanic. Because that is how the game was originally envisioned. And despite the OP which is an attempt to differentiate between old and contemporary style of D&D Ė it is still roleplayed very much the same rather than different.Thanks for the reply! I would want to differentiate social and exploration. In the context of the current discussion soc...


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Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 09:51 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    And the author of the OP? You would have to ask him, but I would expect it's the same reason.....to hear ideas other than one's own.
  • 03:40 PM - darkbard quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    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. You are correct that lowkey13 keeps asserting this. But you are both wrong in your characterization of pemerton's position. Many times now he has articulated that all things being equal, literary presentation can improve the quality of a game, but that caveat requires that the core activity of TRPGing be not in the presentation itself but in the invitation to meaningful engagement of the situation on the part of the PCs, that at its heart the issue is not performance but framing situations that invite protagonism. I'm sure pemerton will correct me if I have inadvertendly mischaracterized his position.
  • 01:09 PM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    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?Crafting a good story can be part of crafting great literature, but crafting a good story is also part of crafting good cinematic film or crafting a good televised serial or crafting a good video game. These latter things are necessarily regarded as "literary" with any conventional usage. I would also add that just because you have a good story does not mean that you have good literature, and just because you have good wordcraft does not mean that you have good literature or a good story. "Good literature" is generally about the sum of its parts rather than its particular elements though what constitutes good literature is culturally and historically subjective. And typically every generation challenges what prior generations regarded as good literature. Film, for example, leans heavily on audio-vi...
  • 12:48 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    All you have to do is look at Stephen Colbert's eyes as Mercer was wordsmithing away. It is important, whether you're writing a book for the enjoyment of millions or whether you're forming a tale together at the table for the enjoyment of a handful. They're both literary endeavours. But this is a public performance of D&D involving a late night host. I hope understand most of that banter you see on late night TV is planned and rehearsed. There is a performative aspect to a game involving Colbert and Mercer that isn't going to be present at most tables. Colbert's expression may have been sincere, but he also might have been putting on a show. And either way, these are both people with improv and acting backgrounds, so naturally this is going to be a style of play they both find engaging. Again, the point is, this isn't what everyone is looking for in play. If it works for you, I say go for it. But it isn't what I want (either as a GM or player).
  • 12:45 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    For me wordcraft is important when attempting to convey certain images and framing particular scenarios to players to evoke certain emotions as reflected on my post using CR/Mercer as an example. The result being wordcrafting is important in RPGs, therefore literary endeavours are important to RPGs. And I think this is fine. If you find the game to be a literary endeavor in this way, and if you are a GM in the style of Matt Mercer, then that is what you should do. I am not saying it can't be these things. All I am saying is it does not have to be these things. Matt Mercer's style of GMing isn't the only way, or the best way: it is just one way to it. I personally don't like running games the way he does and I don't like utilizing the kinds of descriptions he uses. I just don't value woodcraft because I am speaking everyday plain English to my players and not trying to affect a style. I am talking in my natural voice. These are two very different approaches to play.
  • 10:20 AM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    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 as Mercer was wordsmithing away. It is important, whether you're writing a book for the enjoyment of millions or whether you're forming a tale together at the table for the enjoyment of a handful. They're both literary endeavours.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.

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 06:09 PM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    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. I think they are equal in value. Writing like The Brothers Karamazov would be if you valued execution more highly than content.
  • 05:19 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    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. We are! I think thatís the crux of the initial discussion. To put it slightly differently, because itís a different type of media, is it more important that RPGing aspire to literary quality of the kind we typically attribute to novels or plays, or that it function as a game in which players interact with the fiction?
  • 03:30 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    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 consider my efforts in structuring this inter-connected backstory that engages and surprises the players a literary endeavour. I would say that as an attempt to craft a story....or at least to craft the beginning of a story that the players will pick up and run with...this would be a literary endeavor. Now, having crafted that story from all those threads, what would you say would most engage your players? The literary merit of your efforts? Or the content of the fiction? I think that this is part of the issue with this discussion. Some folks are simply trying to answer the question posed i...

Friday, 24th May, 2019


Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 03:26 AM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    Ok I will say Bran is younger than Cersei, but is he really more beautiful than her? The prophecy was just that a younger, more beautiful queen will take all that she holds dear. Daenerys qualifies as doing that. It was all taken away from her when she died. Bran getting the throne after that doesn't mess up that prophecy. After the plebithide, the dragon had just acquired enough XP to increase in level and immediately placed all of his ASI's in Intelligence thus understanding the importance of the Iron Throne. He, like Greyworm, worked through his emotional rage and spared Jon. They don't attack Targaryens. The throne was just handy to vent his rage on. I had no problem with this part. Also last 3-Eyed Raven lived for thousands of years (according to the show)...so that is a really long time for the next election. Dictator4Life! The last Three Eyed Raven was sustained by the roots of a weirwood tree. Bran isn't.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019


Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 11:56 AM - Joker quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    All I'm saying is things would have played out a lot differently if StoneMountain64 was the officer in charge of the Golden Company I'll see your StoneMountain64 and raise you the Neebs Gaming crew.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 03:54 PM - Ryujin quoted Sadras in post Broadcast TV- Renewals, Cancellations
    Bored out of my skull from the mass-production of trash coming out of Hollywood, I've started watching some foreign series on Netflix. German: Parfum (Perfume book and movie), Dark (reminds me of Stranger Things) Turkish: Diriliş: Ertuğrul (Last Kingdom-ish) - only just started this, so won't vouch for it yet. Israeli: Fauda (think Homeland-like) "The Protectot" (Turkish series on Netflix) is also pretty good, though I haven't watched season 2 yet.

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 03:50 PM - Mallus quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    That is on me, I should have maybe included an emoji in my tongue-and-cheek post. Nah, man, I share the blame. My sarcasm detector must be on the fritz...
  • 10:26 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Sadras in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Colour is known to influence much in the world, hence its use in advertising, fashion, architecture...etc To discount or play down the effects of colour in roleplaying seems a little short-sighted and reflects IMO a lack of creativity. Not saying color can't be important. We are saying it isn't the only thing. And when you emphasize color to the extent that Hussar is, I think it becomes style over substance personally. His demand for full color evocative art, is frankly evidence of that in my opinion (and evidence of a lack of imagination if you want me to be totally honest).

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 06:56 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    Even this (bolded section) can be subjective - one can but refer to the plethora of online arguments regarding the Dragon Queen and her descent into Madness. Oh it's all certainly subjective. Each of us will have our own way of viewing it. I think for me, something ringing false would be more about the content. It would have to seem more contradictory than someone hitting a dragon with ballistae one day, and then missing the next, when different conditions apply in each case. As I said, I think the first scene could have been constructed a bit more clearly. But to me, the issue is in the presentation more than the content. This might help explain why I still watch it. Particularly the quote from Jester David. Okay. I don't think I tend to view things that way. I mean, I like all kinds of things, and consider myself a fan of them. But I don't know if I identify with them so strongly that it messes with my perception of who I am if I don't like something. That seems bizarre to me. As ...
  • 05:12 PM - Kramodlog quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    To be clear, I'm not condoning mass murder, but neither am I supporting your stance that all killing is bad or immoral. I'm sure you do not find murder and killing to be immoral. This is how we get wars, terrorism, torture, police abuse, etc. People find human death and suffering acceptable when its not them who are affected by it.
  • 03:17 PM - lowkey13 quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    To be clear, I'm not condoning mass murder, but neither am I supporting your stance that all killing is bad or immoral. I mean, say what you want about tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos. (Is this really a necessary disclaimer? ;) )
  • 12:56 PM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    That is on me, I should have maybe included an emoji in my tongue-and-cheek post. Nah. It was pretty clear that it was a joke.


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