View Profile: Manbearcat - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:59 PM
    LOL, well this is somewhat true. Honestly I have been kind of in another world the last several months, not doing a lot of work on it. I must say, the whole question of simplified hit points and 'combat modes' in the 'What Sticks' thread could lead to deep reworking of the basic combat engine, assuming I really want to go that far. Already HoML has the issue that, at high levels, you get to...
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  • LostSoul's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:49 PM
    What matters are the choices that the players make. So what do the rules 1. force choices for the players to make? 2. ask choices that the player may or may not make 3. suggest 4. ask the DM to force/ask/suggest choices It's complicated; something like 5e would have different answers if the standard encounter XP budget was doubled. Or if the monsters in the MM were more or less...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:54 AM
    It's a lot harder to care about the Healer feat in a game that has the Healing Spirit spell in it.
    65 replies | 1773 view(s)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:48 AM
    Okay, trying an alternate approach. This rework of Dual Wielder enables a lot of builds that didn't previously work, by tying together Dual Wielder with GWM and SS. It also enables round by round switching between shield and weapons as needed, so it also synergizes with Shield Master if desired. Dual Wielder You are a savant of weaponry. You are able to use any combination of weapons in...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:19 AM
    I disagree. Observable behaviour is the only determinant of alignment. Intention means nothing in an objective alignment system. People are evil because the DO evil things. I can think nasty thoughts all day long but if I’m outwardly kind to everybody then dnd says I’m good.
    81 replies | 1765 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:48 AM
    I don't understand what you're trying to achieve. If you're not interested in the topic as it's been framed or discussed, or think the thread is unhelpful, you're very welcome not to post in it. If you think my threads involve code-of-conduct violation, you have the option of reporting them. Are you trying to pick a fight and have this thread shut down? Are you trying to clutter the thread...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:40 AM
    Riley37, you didn't answer my question as to what you think it adds to the thread to insist that Hriston said something that he didn't, on the basis of attributing a meaning to his words that they were not intended to bear, and which no reasonable reader of them in the context of their production would impute to them. As to your question about light, light isn't an endeavour of any sort. It's...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:19 AM
    It's not a Chrome thing as such. I use Chrome, and when I cut-and-past text into the website editor I don't pick up COLOR tags.
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:37 PM
    Well, yea. It's one of those cases where their multiple criteria that are valid considerations, but might be mutually exclusive. I'm mostly just trying to lay out all the relevant criteria and see how many of them can be addressed by any one set of fixes. I agree that GWM is the superior feat, both in terms of efficacy and in design (the proc-based BA is quite fun.) I think my issue is...
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  • innerdude's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:51 PM
    (emphasis added to quote) The one thing about D&D that has essentially become a deal-breaker for me is the class/level paradigm instead of point buy. The idea of rigid "adventurer roles," the fact that you're essentially forced to flat-out suck at some things with no viable recourse through character building, the baseless idea that "niche protection" somehow leads to better gameplay and...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:45 PM
    Let's fight anyway! Dork. :) If you allow non-light weapons baseline, that brings dual-wield and great weapon into a virtual tie. (6.85 to 6.89 at 65% hit rate.) Great weapon does better as AC drops, DW better as AC increases. At really low ACs, it actually becomes worthwhile to drop one longsword and switch the other to 2H, which is kind of awesome. (Just as a personal thing, I'd love...
    185 replies | 4488 view(s)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    I'm a little torn on these. I value the idea of making just a single change to one feat to validate the concept. The cascading effect is certainly real. I don't think the balance of the current game is sacred (if a rule change makes rogues and monks a little better, or paladins a little worse, I'm not going to cry about it), but I don't want to invalidate already present rules content in my...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    Ok, so I understand your position. So I guess I just have a few questions/thoughts: 1) Why can’t Aptitude Bias run the other direction (as so many do); overestimating the importance of a honed Skill-set or natural affinity? 2) In the last several years on these boards, we’ve seen a LOT of instances of people who are articulate, well-read, tenured GMs struggle significantly in one or both...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:29 AM
    See, I've never understood this. Like I said, sure, in the early levels, say 1-3, I get it. You want to be pretty careful about not biting off more than you can chew. But, after that? Why would you avoid a fight? You were almost always guaranteed to win. The odds of losing a fight were pretty darn slight. And, even then, by 9th level, you have access to raise dead, so, big deal, you...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:42 AM
    Lanefan, I'm not sure I agree with your premise. AD&D, while lethal at low levels, was not particularly dangerous at higher levels. Granted, save or die effects might have made it more dangerous, but, most save or die effects are not a result of combat - poisons, traps, that sort of thing. By the time the PC's were about 6th or 7th level, they were among the most powerful combatants in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:38 AM
    I've mostly played RQ III, although I don't think we've ever used the Sorcery rules. Characters have a lot of colour. Resolution is generally straightforward enough. The system is set up to make combat an important aspect of play, but it also tends to produce fairly brutal results. That's probably the biggest weakness of the system.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:26 AM
    If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a literary matter simply because it's non-mechanical, and also an apparent implication that the role and significance of dungeon dressing is a matter of evocative...
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:55 AM
    This post makes many assumptions about how a game might work. Many games don't require "adding to the game" (eg by way of new subsystems, or new modifiers, or whatever) because they have resolution systems that are relatively straightforward to extrapolate to novel situations. I appreciate that D&D, historically, has not been such a system - it emphasises particular subsystems rather than...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:56 AM
    I use the traditional colour scheme (white post text, orange button text, on black background). In the post I mentioned in the "literary endeavour" thread there are two quote blocks. The first I can read. The second is, for me, an empty quote block. When I highlight it the text appears. I assume that the text has COLOR tags around it that are making it black. In the past when posters have...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 PM
    Citing the above, I want to make sure I've captured your position before I attempt to move the conversation forward. To do so, I'm going to also cite the below from me: Is your position that I (and others) have a blind spot for the gravity of the amplification effect I cite above (or further still, that it is indeed a causal effect) because of natural ability/decades of honing the crafts...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:19 PM
    Yea, this is more of a list of possible criteria to hit, not really a proposal yet. I'm still debating. I'm starting to go back to the beginning of this discussion, and I'm thinking that there should be some baked in scaling in the base rule, no style or feat required. Turn the fighting style into a small damage bonus (like Dueling), and use the DW feat to enable the BA attack (to parallel...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:42 PM
    Heck, when I played a binder, I looked forward to making bad pacts, to the point where I'd just stop rolling and declare that I made bad pacts. It was more fun.
    77 replies | 2658 view(s)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:28 PM
    What about this? 1) The base rule stays as-is. Two light weapons, you gain a possible BA of a no stat-mod light weapon attack. 2) The fighting style lets Extra Attack classes use two weapons to do about equal damage to heavy weapon users, no BA required. if your class/subclass gives you a better BA, great. If not, you can use the dual-wield bonus action. This keeps things equivalent...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:17 PM
    Double post.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:28 PM
    The former. my color scheme is default text on black background of that helps (I’m computer incompetent so that is the best I got).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    YOU ARE CORRECT SIR Invisible text in other thread and linked thread.
    24 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:09 PM
    The text in the bottom quote is visible to me.
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:59 PM
    I'd say agnostic, using those terms as defined. I tend to draw my own settings use a pretty broad brush, to leave room for the player's ideas. But I generally have a small-c catholic "Church" that does the classic fantasy genre temple things, that's a fixture in most areas under human control. It tends to exist in some tension with nature worshippers (elves and other fae adjacent...
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  • innerdude's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    -Anything White Wolf --- At least ten or twelve times over the last 15 years, I've wandered into a game store and picked up a White Wolf title (oWoD, Vampire, Mage, Werewolf), and started thumbing through it. At no point in any of those perusals have I felt a desire to play a game based on the presented material, let alone pay money for the privilege of doing so. -*Special Shout Out to White...
    64 replies | 2047 view(s)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    One of my players is playing one now, and he does a great job playing up the different aspects and signs. It's kind of at the point where I hope he makes a poor pact because he does such a good job making the character super creepy when he's semi-possessed.
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:03 PM
    That's not bad. It puts the "+mod on BA attacks" back into feat territory, to go along with PAM and XBE. Moving the -X/+Y into a separate feat would make it so you need 2 feats for every combination of -X/+Y and a reliable BA attack, which is appealing. (PAM/GWM, SS/XBE, DW/New feat) Maybe for the scaling bonus, do something that gives a die bonus, rather than a flat increase? A die...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:45 PM
    Can't do that for this case, because the damage expression is different. Without the fighting style, the off hand damage is 11.5 avg per attack. Assuming base accuracy 65%, not counting crits, it's 52.7 > 50.0 > 45.0 for PAM/GWM > DW > GWM only. I think I need to adjust the fighting style. I didn't really want to, but it scales too well and is too good compared to Dueling/GWF. Maybe...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:15 AM
    Having just re-read lowkey13's post, I think I may have misread - by "my last post" perhaps he mean "my previous post" (the next bit of the post itself is not legible for me because of some text formatting issue, but maybe it's a quote of a previous post?). I feel that reinforces my view that meta-comments (ie on the quality and formal properties of poster's posts, as opposed to what they're...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    The post you quoted is nearly 400 words, has two footnotes and an edit, and references Hemingway and Henry Miller. I'm not sure there's much profit in critiquing posting styles or trying to diagnose irony. lowkey13 has (by my count) 7 posts since posting "My last post". Is that irony? An atypical use of the word last? (Maybe we should debate the meaning of the word last, or even post - my...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:49 AM
    Shhhh, shhhhh, shhhh, I got pilloried for several pages for suggesting that north is the top of a map. Quiet, quiet. The map police will come and drag you into the most bizarre, meaningless conversations ever. :p
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:05 AM
    I'm still running some numbers, and the numbers go up and down a little based on the target's AC, but generally the DW Champ 15 has about a 45% chance to crit per attack, and over a 90% chance to get at least one crit. A DW Champion/Rogue might do some really good damage! Edit: Ehh, Champion DW with Elven Accuracy still does less damage that a standard GWM Champion. It is close, though. It...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:23 AM
    If you think of one, let me know. I would guess Hexblade something something, or maybe a crit-fisher. I tried a Vengeance Paladin with Hunter's Mark up, but it's not any better than PAM in that case. Most of my calculations showed that GWM and SS scale much better as accuracy bonuses stack up (once your hit w/ advantage gets into the 95% range). So doing something like permanent...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:16 AM
    I think that for at least some maths teachers, who have graduated in the first instance with a qualification that emphasises skills other than verbal communication, training to teach and then working as a teacher improves their ability to speak clearly, to convey ideas well, to choose the right word for the task at hand, etc. I don't think this suffices, in and of itself, to show that teaching...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:43 AM
    Further: a message board is a written medium. It's not a conversation except in some rather metaphorical sense. Doubly so in my case given that most of the other posters are in a different country and different time zone from me. And further further: I would have thought it's pretty clear my now that the OP is talking about the aims/virtues or RPGing. What it's about as an aesthetic activity....
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:59 PM
    lowkey13, to a much greater extent than you might imagine, I largely agree with much of your recent postings here, but because of your sarcastic and antagonistic style, I have lost any desire to engage your substance right now.
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:48 PM
    I'm not sure what your "rend" suggestion is doing, or what your intention is as to how it coexists with my suggestion. Are you stating it as "Once per round, if you have hit with at least two different weapons, the second attack does an additional +5 damage."? Or is it intended to be any two attacks while dual-wielding? That's the closest I can get to figuring it out. Assuming low...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:08 PM
    I don't use them, but I imagine they're popular because they provide an upfront way to define the setting that the players can immediately recognize. You can write "dwarves dislike and distrust magic" 50 times in your campaign gazetteer, but a rule that says "dwarves can't be wizards or sorcerers because they dislike magic" really communicates the concept to the players in a way they'll...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:31 PM
    No worries! Just to draw on the well-covered cleric/warlock example, that sort of contradiction doesn’t happen in my game because clerics and warlocks don’t exist. Gods exist, and magical entities that grant powers exist, but how a character relates to them is entirely driven by their concept. They might use sorcerer as a base for their “priest of god of fire” concept, or Druid for their “I...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Histrionic much? Look, if you find this so "very tiring," what, then, is the purpose of your reentry into the discussion every few hundred posts? Clearly you must derive something from this discussion beyond the occasional impulse to meet head and keyboard? As I stated pretty early in this thread, I believe any attempt to define some immutable, univeral definition for "literary/literature"...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:04 PM
    I'm flattered! But yea, the only real point of distinction I would draw is that it's not matter of "not roleplaying", it's that the roleplaying I do isn't bound by the flavor and the restrictions in the book. I have no problem running a cleric as a follower of a god, or they might just be a trained healer. As an example, in Eberron, I use cleric mechanics for House Jorasco all the time, and...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:46 PM
    Aye, but for the context of this discussion, pemerton pretty clearly describes from the beginning (I would argue, though others, like hawkeyefan, have framed this as almost from the beginning, i.e., with some early supporting posts) the intent behind his use of the term "literary." Rather than people jumping in and obfuscating the discussion with arguments over alternative definitions, why...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:41 PM
    Nah. I've run the numbers pretty thoroughly. Factoring in Reactions is meaningless, as this doesn't impact them. A first level PC might get 3 attack "rolls", but since one of them can only occur on a miss, the amount of nova damage that could be applied via on-hit effects remains the same. A 5th level fighter with the Dual Wielder, Crossbow Expert, or Polearm Master all have the same...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:24 PM
    Well, of course, and I agree this is why we will never agree on the argument: because of the definitions. Context matters, especially when it comes to such nebulous concepts as "literary/literature." I'm pretty sure pemerton, Manbearcat, (not sure about Bedrockgames), etc. don't consider these posts literary, though it's clear you do.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:36 PM
    I think the fault line here is going to be if you answer “yes” to the below two questions, and pretty much all iterations possible of good/bad/mediocre on either side of the balance. I would have to answer “yes” to all of them because I neither conceive nor have I experienced anything approximating a tight (or even shabby) coupling between the two. I’m like most people; good at some...
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:23 PM
    This is my current approach. In the interest of parsimony, I'm going to restrict changes to the dual-wielder feat, and not try to drop the bonus action. Instead, I've put scaling into the dual-wielder feat. Dual Wielder changes -Remove the +1 AC bonus. -Add "Whenever you take the Attack action while wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand, whenever you miss an attack with a weapon in...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:05 AM
    I did rather like the cleric spell spheres. It made it pretty easy to make very thematic cleric classes. I MISS the binder. I would love to play that again but, that's more of a mechanics thing. Lorewise? I miss the days when D&D had virtually no lore at all and things were wide open and I didn't have to listen to canon cops bitch and whine about how this or that was changed by this or...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:08 AM
    You can create a 'mention', like D'karr which most users will get a notice about. ;)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:28 AM
    Nah. There's plenty of other fantasy heartbreakers that do that. D&D should be a toolkit. Sturdy skeletons, with loose fitting skin that's easy to reskin. If there's arguments that clerics and warlocks can't multiclass, you've already bound the story to the class too tightly.
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:32 AM
    To make sure I'm getting this right, are you saying that a Monk's extra Martial Arts Attack and Flurry of Blows should also be removed from the bonus action?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:53 AM
    Man, Myth & Magic Immortals D&D PF 5e D&D DragonQuest
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:44 AM
    I don't quite follow this, and so am not sure what view is being attributed to me. For my answers to Manbearcat's questions, see the post immediately upthread.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:40 AM
    Yes. Someone can be good at plotting but poor at scripting. Someone can have good imagination for drama, conflict, story and yet be a bad writer. I would say so, yes.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:28 AM
    That's probably a point that generalises to all narration!
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:02 AM
    But of course you’re not victim blaming at all by implying that the folks here were being dishonest in their reactions. :erm: Good grief. You have a very strange definition of cruel if it’s okay in your mind to drive people away from a table because of the content (the best reaction would be to walk away) but apparently not letting someone drive people away in the first place is a bridge...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 11:08 PM
    The truly frustrating thing about these conversations is we have to spend so much time on hypothetical situations that the actual issue never gets dealt with. I mean when some guy can get staggeringly drunk, stalk a woman, assault security staff and we STILL have to debate whether it’s okay to socially sanction him, it just staggers belief. Tell you what. Go into your workplace and begin...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:41 PM
    I feel like there is a teeny tiny excluded middle between MAXIMUM TERSENESS (SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY) and exposition economy (while still managing the key components of dramatic device) :)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:31 PM
    This is so much more entangled than I ontrmdrf. EDIT - (Lol how about INTENDED. My phone autocorrected to ontrmdrf. Makes sense). Ok, let me pose a simple question. Is it possible to be very good at conflict framing (a) and resolution (b) yet be mediocre in words usage on the journey from a to b? Is the inverse possible (poor at framing and resolution but beautiful prose/oratory)?
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:07 PM
    lowkey13 I think you’re more or less saying what I said in my initial post in this thread: Framing and understanding of dramatic device (arc composition and pacing, tropes) are fundamentally tethered. Insofar as they are (and they are), if one wants to fold “understanding and deftness in deployment of dramatic device” into “literary”, then we’re going to have a (self-imposed imo)...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 06:53 PM
    Couple things: 1) In the spirit of this thread, I was trying to demonstrate that the framing of the creature is hierarchically more important than the words used to depict it (though again, they matter...they’re just lower in the hierarchy). 2) If you aren’t thematically framing a “bogeyman” as a bogeyman, then it seems pretty apt to point out that the situation the PCs are confronted with...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:15 PM
    Just want to say a bit of a my bad. I misread part of the blog post about someone trying to gain publicity. My misread. Thanks for correcting me. I’m actually a little disappointed that the person in question would not have been identified by the con. I would think that it’s in public interest to disseminate the fact that someone was banned for bad behaviour so that others can decide if...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:00 PM
    I used most of Dungeon Delve IMC. By 'dungeon crawl' I meant exploration of an expansive dungeon environment, not a short set piece encounter series.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:50 PM
    Nothing in prior 'classic' versions of D&D really stopped you from doing this either. There weren't explicit rules for it, generally, but it was some pretty basic trivial homebrew. I mean, plastering a few thief levels onto a goblin isn't exactly rocket science... For that matter, in 1e and 2e, most humanoids had leader types, shaman/witch doctors (1e had them as an option in the DMG) which...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    Heh, irony is a wonderful thing. Bedrockgames is complaining that folks are rushing to judgement and we're negatively impacting this guy's life without learning the facts all the while not bothering to actually spend any time learning the facts that are IN THIS THREAD. That's a whole lot of irony right there. So, folks, the moral of the story is, actually do a bit of due diligence before...
    419 replies | 16421 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    When I posted I wasn't thinking of DW, but since starting the thread I was reading the AW rules seriously and I think I posted somewhere upthread the passage from AW where Vincent Baker talks about the game as conversation. It's on pp 11-12: oleplaying is a conversation. You and the other players go back and forth, talking about these fictional characters in their fictional circumstances...
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:55 PM
    I was thinking more about motivations and gameplay than power level - 4e is good for save-the-world, it isn't good at dungeon crawling for loot & XP.
    201 replies | 7803 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:22 PM
    Bedrockgames - did you read the blog posting that was linked? Or did you skip a bunch of pages. Because, I think that you might be missing a LOT of information here.
    419 replies | 16421 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:21 PM
    Not sure if this can be used or not, but, the 1 million square foot island might be useful: https://www.deviantart.com/zatnikotel/gallery/69418922/Island-One-Million
    7 replies | 439 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:17 PM
    Oh, please. 1. What kind of impact is this having on the life of the GM? He can't run games at conventions? Oh, noes, the horrors and despair. Again, if I was at a job and I screwed up on this kind of level, I'd get fired from my job and I wouldn't be allowed to work at that company any more. Is that "mob mentality"? And, if it's just "Oh, well, he can't run at this con this year, but,...
    419 replies | 16421 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:07 PM
    Figured I'd start a thread here to try to collect as many GoS resources as I could in one place. Here's a little something I whipped up for your players - it's the region around Saltmarsh (I'm using the default Greyhawk setting). Note, it IS oriented North to the top, which might be disturbing for some viewers. :D
    7 replies | 439 view(s)
    5 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 11:38 AM
    To be charitable, I think quite a lot of people were playing 3e in a mode somewhat similar to what the 4e designers designed for, in terms of big heroic save the world questing. If you cut the extraneous fights out of Paizo APs I think most of them would make a reasonable 4e campaign.
    201 replies | 7803 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:55 AM
    No, what you are seeing is folks looking for the "mob mentality" and not seeing any in this case. And other folks defending the GM in question from the hypothetical mob this out to get him.
    419 replies | 16421 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Yes. The OP was the result of two threads that were current at the time it was posted - one about boxed text, one about narration of action declarations. In the former thread, some advocated for boxed text argued that it is important for establishing tone/mood. In the latter thread, some critics of the idea that players should narrate their action declarations based their criticisms on an...
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:18 AM
    I found 4e works well as a game of heroic questing with big set-piece battles and a lot of emphasis on characters. A good way to think of it would be as an Avengers movie with a Lord of the Rings reskin. :) For structural reasons it does not do well at sandboxing, mercenary adventurers, or traditional dungeon crawls - ie it does not do traditional "D&D" well; whereas if you think of it as a...
    201 replies | 7803 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:02 AM
    Re PCs, I would take him through making his own character. Making a level 1 5e PC really shouldn't take long. The main problem would be if you use point buy, so I recommend rolled stats in order, replace any one stat with a 15. Reroll the whole PC if necessary - this should be a lot quicker for him and he'll get to see the character emerge as he rolls it up. Also younger players especially find...
    19 replies | 581 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:20 AM
    Your threads suck! And you're terrible! And we hate you! More stuff!
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Fantastic idea. ((heads off to unsubscribe from the thread))
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:05 AM
    Let's be fair here. How much effort are you actually going to expend on a news story where a guy gets booted out of a gaming convention? Sure, they may not have the details exactly right, but, by and large, they've got the gist - guy goes way beyond the pale when running a game, players complain on Twitter, guy gets expelled from Con. That's pretty much the long and the short of the story. ...
    419 replies | 16421 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:44 AM
    Maybe posters who think the thread is not worthwhile, or is overly cluttered, could cease posting in it?
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:41 AM
    And if the OP was The Old Man and the Sea then I might have won a Nobel Prize. If you wnnt to start a thread about spotlight-hoggin narration, go for it! It's not something that I've got much experience of, but I'm sure it's a thing. But the OP is about something else - namely, the stuff that I said in the OP and have been discussing with other psters since!
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    This isn't something I have strong views on. When I'm trying to adjudicate an action as GM, and I'm GMing a game in which the fiction has a big affect on resolution and consequences (say Buring Wheel or Traveller) then I like to have a fairly clear sense of what the character is doing, and overly complicated narration from the player can sometime hurt that. But if the players want to banter...
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:18 AM
    In conversation I choose words depending on what I want to say - for instance, if I want to describe a building, I might choose what other building or structure to compare it to. If I want to describe how a person behaved or seemed to feel, I might say they seemed upset and then clarify that to mean (say) angry, not sad. I didn't say I choose words to convey mood or theme. I did say that my...
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    3 XP
  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 07:35 PM
    You could, but you certainly don't have to, depending on how the new mechanic is implemented.
    185 replies | 4488 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 07:16 PM
    No worries. If your saying that conversation with some pals while you're at dinner is different than TTRPG conversation, then sure. TTRPG conversation is structured such that it produces an evolving gamestate and the participant experience that goes with that. The former does have structure, but its more etiquette and cue-driven (so different in some ways, similar in others) and its purpose...
    1462 replies | 37645 view(s)
    3 XP
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Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 07:45 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Manbearcat in post Formatting- Quotes Not Coming Out Correctly
    Color formatting is the problem in some way. I can see the quote exists, but the formatting makes it invisible. Not to add to the mystery, but- 1. I use a white background. So I wouldn't see a problem. It appears that Manbearcat (and you, maybe?) use black ones. 2. However ..... what happened when you quoted my post? Shouldn't your quote of my entire post have caused the text to pop back out, at least on my screen? When I saw you quoting me, the quote was gone. Do you know what I'm saying?
  • 02:26 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Manbearcat in post Formatting- Quotes Not Coming Out Correctly
    Hi Everybody! (HI DR. NICK!) Now tell Dr. Nick where is the trouble. ...so, @Dannyalcatraz first pointed out a problem in my posts, specifically, this one- https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659985-Why-are-we-okay-with-violence-in-RPGs&p=7618903&viewfull=1#post7618903 Since then, two other commenters have noted the same problem. @pemerton @Manbearcat Q. What is the problem? A. I don't know- I can't see it! Everything looks good to me. But it looks like, from what is in Danny's post- https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659985-Why-are-we-okay-with-violence-in-RPGs&p=7619116&viewfull=1#post7619116 That my "quotes" are disappearing. It seems that pemerton reports it as a text formatting issue. So, I think this is recent? Maybe an "https:" change? And it's not universal ... it looks fine to me. Quotes that I use from someone else seem fine ... I think it might just be a combination of: Using the "quote" feature around text that I paste into the text box, and paste as "plain text formatting" (in order to avoid html issues). But I'd like the Powers That Be to look at this, and either tell me it's a bug (with a fix on the server side?) or that I need to do things differently so everyone can see what I'm doing; I'm guessing that this bug has led to some recent miscommunications. :) EDIT- Here's a test: Necessary Discla...

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 12:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Some people might claim that- I would imagine that some, like the OP, honestly believe that a lack of "highfalutin'" language indicates a lack of presence; I would only mention that the OP regularly refers to speaking at, inter alia, conferences and giving presentations; while we might view this type of speaking as somewhat banal compared to Finnegan's Wake, it is certainly true that such public speaking is far outside of the norm today. And I think there is a reason for that ...I don't quite follow this, and so am not sure what view is being attributed to me. For my answers to Manbearcat's questions, see the post immediately upthread.

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 01:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    A qallupilluit is an absolutely terrifying monster from Inuit folklore - a kind of hag that lives under the pack ice. If you drop that into your horror game for the first time, I don't think "a kind of hag that lives under the pack ice" is going to engage your players, do you?Why not? This take me, at least, back to some of the points Manbearcat was making fairly early in this thread. If I'm going to use a qallupilluit in my game, I will want to establish a situation which gives it some sort of heft or significance. There are very many ways of doing that (and obviously RPG system will have a significant impact, on top of system-independent techniques). In my experience, an elaborate or literary description isn't one of them. If the sudden appearance of a terrifying hag from under the pack ice isn't - for whatever of innumerable possible reasons - going to engage the players, why would, or should, piling on the evocative words make a difference?

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 01:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    And the author of the OP?What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread? One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by Aldarc and hawkeyefan, has been interesting. Hriston and darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which led to some fruitful discussions with uzirath whom I've not engaged with very much before as a poster. And Manbearcat has pushed with some challenging posts about pacing that I haven't replied to yet. Ultimately, the reason I post on a discussion board is to have discussions.

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 01:12 PM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I have made it clear what I mean by a *literary endeavour*. I mean an endeavour that regards the formal quality of words - wordcraft[I], if you like - as its main, or perhaps one of its main, techniques for evoking aesthetic resonses. Without wanting to detract from any of Aldarc's excellent points, I would regard at least some film and theatre as [I]literary endeavours in this sense. So are poetry recitals. But cooking certainly is not; and nor are you Youtube instructional videos I was using earlier this year when I wanted to puree mango without a blender/food processor. Whereas the typical Nigella Lawson show probably does count as a literary endeavour in my sense. The pacing issue was first raised by Manbearcat early in the thread, and I stand by my reply to him as far as my particular contention is concerned.

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 03:23 PM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...cords well with the standard definition found in Google dictionary, for example, "concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form." I think the OP intends to put some emphasis on the "quality of form" part of this sort of formulation of what makes something a literary endeavor. Literary or performance simply means HOW the material is presented in the game, either in written form or in oral during a session. Literary carries additional connotations of utilizing various literary devices. Did you use pathetic fallacy during the session? Did you use foreshadowing? Did you engage various tropes of the genre? Then you are using literary devices.The notion of how is too expansive. Speaking with sufficient volume to be heard, sufficient crispness of enunciation to be understood - these all go to how, but don't show that we're engaged in a literary endeavour. I made some comments on literary devices in post 40, replying to Manbearcat : dramatic pacing (probably) can't be completely divorced from the words - the form - whereby the content is conveyed. In the context of a RPG, though, where the pacing concerns - at least the sort that you refer to - are more at the "scene" level than the line-by-line level, I think the dependence of pacing on words becomes pretty lose. A GM who can't control his/her words at all is going to have troube wrapping up a scene, or cutting to the next situation, in a smooth way; but I think the threshold of skill to be able to do this falls well short of being able to write an evocative opening or closing line. I'll finish this post by saying that, in denying that RPGing is a *literary* endeavour I'm not denying that it has an important aesthetic component. But I think that the aesthetic component is much more connected to a sense of motion and drama in human affairs, than to a sense of beauty in composition or performance. As far as the use of tropes is concerned - that's ty...

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 11:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    This post is a follow-up to some of Manbearcat's posts in this thread, and to the idea - mentioned in the OP and taken up a bit since - that consequences can be implicit rather than express. I'm not sure how coherent it is, but it is trying to convey a thought I have. So, here's something from John Harper about making hard moves in Apocalypse World; I've bolded one sentence for emphasis: [W]hen it's time for a hard move, look back at the setup move(s) you made. What was threatened? What was about to happen, before the PC took action? Follow through on that. Bring the effects on screen. Bring the consequences to fruition. And speaking of consequences, a hard move doesn't automatically equate to severe consequences. The severity of the threat is a separate issue, depending wholly on the fiction as established. The hard move means the consequences, large or small, take full effect now. It's not about being mean, or punishing a missed roll, or inventing new trouble. It's about giving the fiction its full expression. Setup,...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 02:11 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...sed bloodlines, mental abduction, the end of the world, and more. " https://www.dreadcentral.com/reviews/285500/cthulhu-dark-review-insane-non-euclidian-fun/ "Cthulhu Dark has some excellent guides for how to tell a horror story. One of my favorite tools the game has for doing this is what it calls “creeping horrors” ... The rulebook is chock-full of Lovecraftian storytelling tools and tips like the creeping horrors." etc. So, yeah. I don't know, man. Seems like your experience and the ones that the reviewers had was different (but again, I don't know since I'm not familiar with that particular game). I appreciate that you have a long-standing group of players, and that you have a playingstyle that works for you and your group. Again, I wish you would stop universalizing your playing experiences to everyone else; different groups have different experiences, and I think you'd get a lot more traction if you'd approach things in a more, "This is what I do, and how I have fun (see @Manbearcat )" and less, "RPGs are not literary, and presentation doesn't matter." But that's your call.

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 02:15 PM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    Manbearcat, thanks for the reply. I think that, in the OP and some of my elaborations on it, I'm putting less emphasis on clarity and cognitive workspace than you. I think that's what follows from my comments about implicit consequences - that in place of the clarity you describe, and the scope for player evaluation of risk/reward, is substitued shared intuitions/understandings of the fiction. I'm not sure how this fits into constraint. It's true that the Cortex+ Heroic GM is very constrained. The Cthulhu Dark GM certainly has much more liberty. I have to think more about how this might relate to "force".

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 12:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    ...ces to make sure I crack that safe, for nothing. But then, I turn around, and the paper I wanted was right there all the time! The resulting fiction is not about a great thief and safecracker - it is a fiction about a person who spends effort but only gets what they want by dumb luck. I think you need to re-read the quote from Vincent Baker: he's putting forward that example as an example of why he doesn't like task resolution. And I'm saying that I, personally and speaking only for myself, agree with thim. I should add - the example he gives, where the PC fails at the task to gain information but the GM feed in success anyway - is one that I have seen in more than one published adventure module. It's very common for those modules to have "backup" options for if the players fail to take, or to succeed, at the steps needed to get the requisite information. Like Vincent Baker, I find this to be bad RPGing because it undermines the sense of stakes and consequences. And to borrow Manbearcat's terminology, it introduces "false action" - in this case, false failure. There's any number of times when a thing is important because it is a critical resource of the BBEG, that ultimately the PCs want to destroy. Maybe spilling it on the floor, ruining it, is exactly what the PCs want. At this stage, they don't know. Heck, the GM didn't know. How on Earth can you claim to be honestly informing the players of the stakes if you don't know them yourself?Well, for the reasons that I gave in my post, it was clear in the context of play that spilling the fluid was a bad thing. For the GM to turn that around would be tantamount to cheating, or at least very poor play. I'm not a Dungeon World GM and have only a bit of play experience with that system, but I can describe what resulted from the fluid spill using some DW terminology: * I was thinking offscreen, that is, keeping in mind the spill of the fluid for future adverse revelation; * I took something from the characte...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 02:04 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...king that assumption, then I'm still confused about what you're saying but am also confused about why I'm confused! In a post-OP post somewhere upthread I think I mentioned classic dungeoncrawling along the lines of Gygax's PHB (which is what I understand you to mean by OSR-type play). As I said in that post, I don't think that play of that sort is a literary endeavour, because it's not an artistic endeavour at all. In respect of the goals and outlook of play (though not all the methods), it's closer to a wargame. But that wasn't what I had in mind in my OP. In my OP I'm talking about play that (if one can speak relatively broadly) would be the sort of play involved in a PbtA game. Though, as I've said, my actual PbtA play exerpience is modest, I'm pretty familiar with character-driven, largely "no myth" play based aroudn the core dynamic of GM frames scene which invites protagnoism from players via their PCs and in response players engage fiction via their PCs. It's because Manbearcat is familiar with this feature of my biography as a RPGer that he posed the questions he did not far upthread. To summarise, Manbearcat asked how the GMing techniques of that sort of play - building on prior fiction; responding to and building on theme and similar player-flagged points of interest/engagement; managing the pacing issues need to achieve effective transition from scene-to-scene so as to keep the invitations open while allowing the protagonism to play itself out - fit with my contention in the OP. My response is twofold: (i) extrapolating and building on a fiction within parameters of theme/interest/"meaningfulness" is not about quaity of form, insofar as it can be done even by a GM who is not particularly artistic or skillful in his/her actual narration of situations and consequences (I know this because I've experienced it); (ii) the sorts of pacing issues involved in GMing generally operate at a level (relative to the narrative) whereby managing them is more about wh...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 11:08 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    you seem to be going out of your way to ruin other people's fun by demanding that modules be written to your preferences, which are not shared by other people (and which do not matter to you).As best I'm aware Manbearcat and I exercise no influence over the hobby-gaming publishing industry other than as participants in the consumer side of the market. Whose fun do you think we're ruining? Are you saying we're morally obliged to pay for or advocate for boxed text modules so that others can derive their perceived beneift from them? The OP asked for views and preferences. I gave mine, and offered some explanation for them. You would prefer my preferences not be univesalised. Fine. I would prefer that others' preferences not be universalised, for two reasons. (1) I prefer a hobby where fewer GMs are taught that pre-secripted narration and railroading is at the heart of RPGing; (2) If the preference for boxed-text was universalised then I wouldn't be able to purchase excellent products like the Prince Valiant Episode Book. Nor would I have the use of such classic, box-free scenarios as B2. Part of what makes B2 usable by me is that it presents a place (the Keep) and a series of situations (the prox...

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

  • 09:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    Manbearcat, such a good example! Am I the only one who thinks this is really mindless hair splitting? Box text is nice because it can provide theme as well as substance. "The room is poorly lit by dim moonlight entering through a half-covered window on the far side. A light breeze flows through the open window causing the shadows of the covered furniture to move ever so slightly. The only thing uncovered in the room is a large standing mirror which doesn't appear to reflect the room." Broken down into bullet points you can convey the same relevant information, but completely miss the feeling. -The room is poorly lit and there is a light breeze coming from an open window. -There is a variety of covered furniture in the room. -Only a large standing mirror is uncovered. If this were any old room, the bullet points are fine. If this was Curse of Strahd, the bullet points would absolutely destroy the feeling. Reliance on the DM to be creative is not why I play boxed adventures. ...

Saturday, 30th March, 2019

  • 11:16 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ... player priority, hence pawn stance and we're done. The odd bit of actor stance (eg the elf playing pranks on the dwarf when nothing else is at stake) is simply not that significant to the overall analysis. And once we get to "story"-focusd D&D play of the post-DL, 2nd ed era variety, then I think the assumption is that the GM will establish the key player motivations (by setting backstory, policing alignment, all the standard techniques) and players are expected to adopt actor stance within that context. I think this is borne out by the AD&D 2nd ed text that I quoted a little bit upthread. For the troll example to fit neatly into this conception, either the GM tells the players that their PCs know about trolls, or tells them that the PCs are ignorant. Then the player plays his/her PC as appropriate (perhaps with a significant degree of awkwardness or frustration if s/he knows the answer but has to pretend not to). There is no expectation that this sort of play will produce what Manbearcat called "discovery" - as opposed to fidelity to the motivational scheme established by the GM.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 09:38 AM - Sadras mentioned Manbearcat in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This brings up, again, the things I did in hacking 4e. Not only is all conflict using challenge mechanics (or combat) but players have a built-in set of mechanics they can use to have their characters buy successes in those challenges. You can see how this would open up a lot of possibilities (and yes, you could argue that the players will simply buy success all the time, but many of these costs are permanent and fairly steep, so they'd certainly be making significant choices about how the fiction would proceed from there). I agree. I prefer though, in D&D, to be flexible than have a built-in set of mechanics (aka Skill Challenge, Soft/Hard Moves on Failure...etc) as an option to use than be tied down to a particular mechanic. So sometimes I'd prefer to run it free-form, other times it might be scripted and other times I'd use a mechanic. For me every idea presented by fellow posters in this thread is just one more creative way to adjudicate things at the table or, to use @Manbearcat's description, to add to the 'primordial ooze'. :) And this style of adjudication might very well be specific to D&D, maybe because the RPG lends itself to home-brewing.
  • 02:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Manbearcat - one moral of your posts is that there's no uniform thing good GMing (and hence no uniform thing jerk GMing). This can be set out in terms of both risks and skills. An obvous risk in GMing AD&D in a non-class dungeoncrawling context (and 2nd ed AD&D really brings this risk to the fore) is railroading/"Mother may I" - because the system simply lacks a mechanical framework beyond GM decides for making important decision about the fiction outside of combat. We can see this in the orc cannibilism chase situation: AD&D barely has the mechanics to determine whether or not the PCs forgoing rest lets them catch the orcs (at best there are movement rates, but nothing for determining whether eg the orcs get slowed by a flooded creek or twisted ankles), let alone for determining how frequently and how many children the orcs eat. That particular risk simply doesn't arise in (say) Burning Wheel, which has robust mechanics for resolving an indefinitely wide range of conflicts. A risk that...

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 07:27 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Manbearcat in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...actively involve their background into play, or they want a game that allows this to happen. They want the story to be their character's story to a large extent, and not something that could happen to any character. Look at Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.....both have background elements that come into play heavily in the Star Wars stories. Luke's is more central to the overall story, but Han's is also very important, too....it provides him with motivation, characterization, context in the fictional world, and complications when his past comes back to bite him. Ideally, we don't go into Star Wars knowing all these details. They emerge as we watch the fiction. Han Solo's background isn't given to us ahead of time in the "Episode IV" scroll. We learn it as we watch the movie....he's a smuggler....he owes a dangerous person a debt....and so on. Those details can also emerge through play in an RPG, rather than being pre-determined. This is the kind of "Discovery" that I think is what Manbearcat is talking about. So, if a player in a hypothetical game decides to play a smuggler, and a hypothetical GM decides to treat that as just fluff....don't you think that a huge opportunity for a game with potentially strong player investment is being missed?
  • 12:37 PM - pemerton mentioned Manbearcat in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...e player from the character. Instead of inhabiting my character and playing him/her to the hilt, I'm playing a game of "persuade the GM". In the fiction it's a question of how much grief are the PCs going to face before they figure it out.But, to repeat, I could experience that story having the GM just narrate it to me. But RPGing is meant to be more than that. At the least, it's meant to be involve the players figuring things out. trying to put yourself-as-player into a mindspace from a time when you didn't know what "optimal" was. It's hard. It's also essential, IMO. <snip> Point taken, but IMO this is by far the lesser of two evils.Essential to what? And what "evils"? The basic "pitch" for roleplaying is you can be a hero trying to change, maybe save, the world. How does it get so changed to become pretend to be a hero who doesn't know yet how to change, or save, the world? But there is no genuine discovery here.Not for the player, but there is for the PC.When Manbearcat talks about "discovery", he is not talking about imaging one's PC learning something that one already knows. He's talking about a real thing that actually happens at the table: the participants in the game learning new things about the shared fiction.

Sunday, 10th March, 2019



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Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 02:17 AM - Riley37 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Ok, so I understand your position. So I guess I just have a few questions/thoughts: I sense the presence of some useful angles on the questions at hand. I also can't sort out the meaning of some of your sentences. I'm amused that I'm having this problem, in a conversation which has gone round and round on form versus content. I want to understand your points. In #2: In how many of those cases, did the GM have a strong track record of success with systems they knew well, then struggle while running another, new-to-them system? (If that's the issue, then I have further questions about GMs applying fundamentals in familiar systems versus in newly-learned systems.) In #3: What is GM-workshopping? Does it involve GM A watching GM B prepare a scenario and then watch while GM B runs a table? Is it one-on-one, or a group activity? In #4: are you using > to mean "greater than", or to mean "and then as subsequent steps in a process", or something else? Thanks!

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 03:22 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Ok, so I understand your position. So I guess I just have a few questions/thoughts: 1) Why can’t Aptitude Bias run the other direction (as so many do); overestimating the importance of a honed Skill-set or natural affinity? Good question! And the answer is .... because then it wouldn't be aptitude bias as you are calling it. :) I don't mean that to be snarky; but to give you the appropriate analogy (with a bit of a joke that is so appropriate here), think of the framing bias (framing effect). The framing bias exists when people are presented options, and those options are given with positive or negative semantics. However, it wouldn't be correct to say that the framing bias "runs in the other direction" and that people OVERESTIMATE the importance of presenting options with positive or negative semantics. One is a cognitive bias that refers to how a person can't see how they are biased; the other refers to the belief that a cognitive bias is stronger than it might be. We'll call it proje...
  • 04:24 AM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Citing the above, I want to make sure I've captured your position before I attempt to move the conversation forward. To do so, I'm going to also cite the below from me: "the ability to communicate with economy but provocatively almost certainly has an amplification effect...one way or the other...but not a causal effect...hence why it’s lower on the hierarchy)." Is your position that I (and others) have a blind spot for the gravity of the amplification effect I cite above (or further still, that it is indeed a causal effect) because of natural ability/decades of honing the crafts of exposition and oratory? Some kind of cognitive bias due to being well-practiced; call it "Aptitude Bias?" So, let me first answer that with a video- https://youtu.be/-g-Pzf7-Bso Did you watch? Good! "I can't frame that. There's loads and loads of things you just did that might as well be magic!" You see where I'm going with this, yes? So when you ascribe positions on the hierarchy, it's necessarily from the...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 07:41 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Formatting- Quotes Not Coming Out Correctly
    Color formatting is the problem in some way. I can see the quote exists, but the formatting makes it invisible. The former. my color scheme is default text on black background of that helps (I’m computer incompetent so that is the best I got). Weird. Well, when I go to edit it, it doesn't show as being formatted to a particular color?????
  • 07:24 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Formatting- Quotes Not Coming Out Correctly
    YOU ARE CORRECT SIR Invisible text in other thread and linked thread. Is it invisible to you, as in "If I select the text, or change my color scheme, it appears!" ... or is it invisible, as in ... not there?
  • 07:12 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Formatting- Quotes Not Coming Out Correctly
    The text in the bottom quote is visible to me. Arghhh! Okay, but the quotes in the other thread didn't look right? What about the thread that I link to in this OP- https://www.enworld.org/forum/showth...=1#post7618903 Can you see that quote in that?

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 07:23 PM - Lanefan quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Couple things: 1) In the spirit of this thread, I was trying to demonstrate that the framing of the creature is hierarchically more important than the words used to depict it (though again, they matter...they’re just lower in the hierarchy). I'd say that's a matter of opinion. Without words, there is no framing; and without the right words the framing very likely isn't going to come off in the manner intended. 2) If you aren’t thematically framing a “bogeyman” as a bogeyman, then it seems pretty apt to point out that the situation the PCs are confronted with would be “bogeymanless”! Perhaps, but it's still a slimy creature with big teeth and an attitude that the PCs have to deal with in whatever manner they see fit. 3) In your last sentence, what do “threat”, “interesting”, and “does it right” mean here in terms of confronting the PCs with a bogeyman trope? Are you just saying that you can present bogeymen in “bogeyman-neutral” ways that are still interesting threats? If so, that’s a ...
  • 04:57 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...understanding dramatic device, but don’t correlate them profoundly to certain facets of exposition skill (I do correlate it to some aspects; the ability to communicate with economy but provocatively almost certainly has an amplification effect...one way or the other...but not a causal effect...hence why it’s lower on the hierarchy). ...dude. You are literally using hierarchy in its adverb form.This single sentence starts with "Hence" (that is one of TWO hences), contains multiple ellipses, a parenthetical, and multiple subclauses. I am just going to quote this small passage of nine words within the sentence- "correlate them profoundly to certain facets of exposition skill[.]" The overall passage has a Flesch Reading Ease level of 38.58 (lower is harder); for comparison, Moby Dick averages 57.9, and this compares favorably in difficulty to an article in the Harvard Law Review. What is my point? Wait, allow me to quote myself- Look, let's use the examples of, say, you, Pemerton, Manbearcat, and Bedrockgames. Just because you've all posted recently and you're all advocates of the "But it's just conversation and framing" mode (more or less, I am simplifying). Look at the comments you have made in defense of this theory. Long, lengthy, well-written, good grammar, decent vocabulary, engaged with the argument, and so on. ...what I'm getting at is that you are overlooking your own backgrounds. I keep joking that there is this return to a concept of "highfalutin'" because that's what is happening. It's easy to overlook what you have. But if it's not apparent, this is why (inter alia) D&D is so useful for kids with autism; because they don't have these natural abilties, and because it can help teach .... narrative and emotion which goes into proper framing. But to re-state the obvious; yes, of course you don't see yourself engaged in anything but "mere conversation" or "mere framing" because you're already experienced, and your natural ability, honed through those years of...
  • 12:40 AM - pemerton quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Is it possible to be very good at conflict framing (a) and resolution (b) yet be mediocre in words usage on the journey from a to b?Yes. Someone can be good at plotting but poor at scripting. Someone can have good imagination for drama, conflict, story and yet be a bad writer. Is the inverse possible (poor at framing and resolution but beautiful prose/oratory)?I would say so, yes.

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I feel like there is a teeny tiny excluded middle between MAXIMUM TERSENESS (SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY) and exposition economy (while still managing the key components of dramatic device) :) Hehehehehehehe. So, the second one is quick and easy. IMO, of course someone can be great at, say, writing (beautiful prose) but unable to provide a good spoken narration. It's closer when it comes to someone who is really good at oratory; it is IME unusual and unlikely, but POSSIBLE for someone to be able to be very good at certain forms of oratory, yet not good at framing/resolution. The first one isn't easy, but here goes- Proper framing/resolution requires choice of words that are appropriate for the occasion. Different people will have different styles that are appropriate and, therefore, work. But IME, I have not seen a GM who is both EXCELLENT at framing/resolution, and terrible at oratory/word usage. It doesn't happen. Some people might claim that- I would imagine that some, like the OP, honestly beli...
  • 09:07 PM - Satyrn quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I feel like there is a teeny tiny excluded middle between MAXIMUM TERSENESS (SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY) and exposition economy (while still managing the key components of dramatic device) :) Hey hey hey! Maximum terseness would just be a single, lowercase sunday. :heh:
  • 08:37 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    This is so much more entangled than I ontrmdrf. Ok, let me pose a simple question. A simple question? I PREDICT TWO QUESTIONS! Muahaahahahahahahah! Is it possible to be very good at conflict framing (a) and resolution (b) yet be mediocre in words usage on the journey from a to b? No. Is the inverse possible (poor at framing and resolution but beautiful prose/oratory)? Yes. ....wait, did you want an explanation? :)
  • 08:20 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    @lowkey13 I think you’re more or less saying what I said in my initial post in this thread: Framing and understanding of dramatic device (arc composition and pacing, tropes) are fundamentally tethered. Insofar as they are (and they are), if one wants to fold “understanding and deftness in deployment of dramatic device” into “literary”, then we’re going to have a (self-imposed imo) communication impasse. My take on the lead post is the distinction being drawn is with respect to specific skill in word usage (exposition and elocution or oratory skills broadly...or scripting and then speaking). Again, that is on the hierarchy, but, IMO, much lower down than conflict/situation framing is (which, again, includes what I wrote above). Right, but again, what you wrote above necessarily is engaging. There is no easy way to put this, but there seems to some sort of dichotomy that some people have in mind, wherein they are trying to draw a circle around certain playing styles ("Oh, that language is hig...
  • 07:50 PM - lowkey13 quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Are you just saying that you can present bogeymen in “bogeyman-neutral” ways that are still interesting threats? If so, that’s a pretty straight-forward claim. Of course you can. But the framing will have an extremely consequential impact on both the gamestate and on players’ emotional entanglement. I am so going to regret this. *sigh* At a certain point, isn't this just an issue of what we are going to say constitutes "framing" and what constitutes "narration/performance?" I mean, it's pretty difficult to do any framing without narration (in most TTRPGs under discussion- LARPing and certain non-standard RPGs would be different). If you want to say that your framing is evoking emotion because, well, to quote you- For bogeyman mythology to be thematically potent, it has to have some way to hook into the PC's childhood or folklore, otherwise, its just another creepy monster. So this is actually the perfect example where a GM's deftness of framing is hierarchically the apex currency in t...
  • 10:05 AM - Lanefan quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    So the Qallupilluit is quintessential bogeyman mythology. For bogeyman mythology to be thematically potent, it has to have some way to hook into the PC's childhood or folklore, otherwise, its just another creepy monster. Though sometimes, "just another creepy monster" - something new that the PCs (and players!) haven't seen or heard of before - is exactly what's required at the time. As in: DM rolls give a random encounter, DM quickly thinks to self: "Hmmm. Do I throw yet another monster at 'em that they've seen and beaten a hundred times before, or do I dream up something brand new right now that suits the surroundings? Yeah, let's go for something new..." "Your little sister was lost so many years ago but your mother's words echo in your mind nonetheless; 'look after her while we're gone or the Qallupilluit will take her.' The frozen forest gives way to clearing. The babe's soft cries give way to gentle parting water. A mask of sharp teeth and oily hair disappear with it."And it...

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 04:08 PM - Imaro quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I haven't been following this thread. I'm assuming the above contrast or dichotomy you're trying to draw is something essential to this thread? But if you're looking for an answer (insofar as I'm even remotely capable of inferring what you're looking for from this scant bit)...how about... Sorry about that I assumed... Not necessarily a dichotomy but A contrast comparison between running games in a conversational-esque narrative ( How you would speak to someone if you were having a everyday conversation with them) vs a more constructed or structured narrative (Planned descriptions, word usage, structure or whatever else to evoke emotions, mood, atmosphere, etc.) And all play is fundamentally conversation; an endless loop of declarative/question > response (which will take the form of another declarative/question). You literally cannot have TTRPGing without conversation? I agree with all of this the question is around the structure of said conversation.
  • 03:33 PM - Imaro quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    So the Qallupilluit is quintessential bogeyman mythology. For bogeyman mythology to be thematically potent, it has to have some way to hook into the PC's childhood or folklore, otherwise, its just another creepy monster. So this is actually the perfect example where a GM's deftness of framing is hierarchically the apex currency in the purchase of a great gaming moment. "Your little sister was lost so many years ago but your mother's words echo in your mind nonetheless; 'look after her while we're gone or the Qallupilluit will take her.' The frozen forest gives way to clearing. The babe's soft cries give way to gentle parting water. A mask of sharp teeth and oily hair disappear with it." But do you consider this conversational or a constructed narrative?

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 01:59 AM - pemerton quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think most people can agree that economy of language is a large component of pacing. If a scene is in the midst of the precipice of its Rising Action to where its transitioning to Climax (because the mechanical state of affairs says it should be there), I think we can agree that its poor GMing for a GM deploying 100 words where 10 will more impactfully convey the information. Quantity, economy of language, matters. So after quantity, we have type/kind. When you're evolving a scene from one (lets call it) "arc-state" to the next, can one descriptor (of the same quantity) more aptly convey the urgency, gravity, or tempo of a situation vs another? Is there a collection of, say, 15 words that can impel the gravity (say, better depict the steep angle of descent down the Falling Action roller coaster) better than any other collection of 15 words, where both collections of words conveys the situation appropriately (appropriately here meaning, inform players sufficiently that they can make in...

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 03:40 PM - darkbard quoted Manbearcat 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.
  • 02:25 PM - darkbard quoted Manbearcat in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Is there a collection of, say, 15 words that can impel the gravity (say, better depict the steep angle of descent down the Falling Action roller coaster) better than any other collection of 15 words, where both collections of words conveys the situation appropriately (appropriately here meaning, inform players sufficiently that they can make intuitive action declarations for their PCs). For my part, the answer to this question is yes, the collection of words that best invites the players to action, directly and explicitly, is the collection of words best suited to convey the situation. In such a way, wordcraft of the "literary" sort articulated by pemerton can impede direct and explicit communication, for it puts artfulness (including, perhaps, subtlety, implication, and other techniques thay may mask clarity for effect) to the fore. In this way, I see my position aligning pretty closely with that of pemerton and Bedrockgames. One last post. We're all familiar with the axiom: "Its...


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