View Profile: Saelorn - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:19 AM
    Nothing is certain. Everything is just a probability. I concede that there are some difficult fights where in-combat healing can be the difference between success and failure. For any given fight, there's a certain percent chance that you'll succeed without in-combat healing, and a greater percent chance that you'll succeed with in-combat healing. What I'm not convinced of, is that the...
    47 replies | 1057 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:35 AM
    Theoretically, sure, but how often is the party in a position of losing a battle if they don't go all-out with their high-throughput but low-efficiency tactics? That's a pretty small window, where the party will probably lose if they're playing too conservatively, but probably win if they're more aggressive. That would be difficult to contrive, even if you were really trying.
    47 replies | 1057 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 10:10 PM
    Roughly the same thing as when McCree shoots Winston, in Overwatch.
    217 replies | 5173 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:34 PM
    I don't have a favorite thing about my favorite edition, at least when it comes to mechanics. Strangely enough, every good thing about 2E has been done better by another edition. The thing I like most about 2E is that it doesn't have some of the deal-breaker bad mechanics from other editions. Instead, I'll give you my favorite thing about my least favorite edition: I really like the...
    36 replies | 1245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 08:12 AM
    That's an interesting critique. Would you mind expanding on that?
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:21 PM
    I'm not going to jump through any hoops to try and explain why a "hit" isn't really a hit, or why "cure wounds" isn't actually curing wounds. Nobody has time for that. If the game isn't doing what it says it's doing, according to its own terminology, then I'm going to fix the game so that it does.
    217 replies | 5173 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Yes, I am also a fan of Xena. * And Asterix.
    217 replies | 5173 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:26 PM
    I do, and it's the primary reason why I can't play 5E unless something has been done to address the healing rules. When a goblin stabs you for 5 damage out of your 80hp, that's perfectly fine with me, because you're a mighty hero and you're wearing armor. Most armor is pretty good about dulling the impact of a sword. I can buy that it takes 16 hits before you've been battered into submission....
    217 replies | 5173 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 06:20 AM
    The main reason is because spellcasters have so few spells known. I wanted to make sure that any spell was useful enough to cast seven times per day, and most utility spells in D&D are the sort of thing you only cast once every few levels. Water Breathing, for example; even if you learn it as a ritual, and it comes up once or twice in the campaign, it mostly just takes up space on your character...
    21 replies | 1026 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:25 AM
    I can't really think of what my favorite system is, so I'll take this opportunity to shill for Gishes & Goblins. These are the three things where I really think I hit it out of the park: 1) Efficiency of class differentiation. The primary difference between a druid and a warlock is that a druid has some nature spells on their spell list, while a warlock has dark/evil spells instead. (All...
    21 replies | 1026 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:44 AM
    I really liked AD&D 2E, in how the world seemed like a more-grounded and consistent place. Arcane magic worked in one specific way, and bards could learn to use that, but there wasn't also sorcery and song magic and warlock-ery and whatnot. I like that druids were part of the priest class, because it meant the world wasn't over-loaded with redundant methods to worship nature, only one of which...
    64 replies | 1935 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:24 PM
    That's good to hear, then. Perhaps I was misinformed. I should look further into it. Edit: It may have been an example of spending a Raise in order to create an Opportunity.
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:01 PM
    I read through one example, which (IIRC) was about a player spending some sort of resource to make it so an enemy in the next room did not have a weapon on them, and I knew that it wasn't for me. Which is unfortunate, because the setting and core dice mechanics from 1E seemed pretty interesting, so I was looking forward to a straight update of that.
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:17 PM
    In my opinion, the point of having the GM describe something is that it lets the players know what the reality of the situation is. I find long-winded descriptions to be distasteful, primarily because it's an attempt to manipulate the emotions of the player, but also because it makes the world feel more like a novel and less like a real place. In the real world, if you walk up to some scenic...
    24 replies | 778 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:37 PM
    I don't know anyone who actually played it, but System Mastery did a review of it, which you might find entertaining: https://systemmastery.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/system-mastery-104-living-steel.mp3
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:50 PM
    Retro clones are generally inoffensive. Pathfinder is surprisingly playable, as long as you keep it to the first book. The AGE system isn't too bad on either count. White Wolf can get pretty narrative-y in places, but I think you can play Street Fighter without too many problems. I'm sure that there are plenty more, but they're increasingly difficult to find amongst all of the others.
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:42 AM
    This describes every book I've read in the past few years: Arcanis, Blood Dawn, Robotech (Shadow Chronicles), Traveller (Mongoose), Kromore, Shadowrun 5E, FATE, Savage Worlds, Starfinder... probably a few others that I don't remember. It seems that every game either goes heavy into unsustainable complexity, or it turns to meta-game narrative control mechanics, or both. Playable games are few...
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:49 AM
    You also have to consider the resource expenditure to bring yourself back up to full, after the fight. Totem barbarians need fewer potions and cure spells, when things get rough. Berserkers are the cleric's worst friend. Unless you have few enough fights in a day that you can keep everyone topped off without resources, of course, but that's another matter entirely.
    53 replies | 1865 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:08 PM
    The only hard part, from a design perspective, is how to balance the number of spells that a wizard can know in order to maintain their role as knowing a lot of spells - but without overwhelming the player, or slowing down gameplay, by giving them access to all of those spells at once. Presumably, they would end up knowing a few more spells than the base rules would allow them to prepare. ...
    26 replies | 1084 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 08:50 PM
    What's the point of even having a weight class, if it's trivial to punch above that whenever you need to? I don't see any real benefit to a level 9 party being able to take out a level 19 enemy, just by spending their daily resources.
    25 replies | 916 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:41 PM
    A swordfight between two high-skill swordfighters actually is a lot like that fight in Princess Bride, in that you'll have dozens of exchanges without anyone landing a blow. You can have fun with the narration, but even then, it's not terribly satisfying from a gameplay perspective.
    54 replies | 2034 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 12:12 AM
    I still don't see any examples in old D&D of luck or fatigue being represented through the HP mechanics, rather than through other sorts of mechanics. Magical luck is consistently represented as a bonus to attacks or saving throws (or re-rolls, in an extreme case), in spite of any assurance that luck is a component of your HP. And of the things that can deal HP damage, they're consistently in...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 08:19 PM
    While I agree with the sentiment, 110 points is more than enough to break the game with superhuman abilities, if you try. It really helps to add explicit limits, like capping all skills at 18.
    54 replies | 2034 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:50 PM
    As a nominal fan of GURPS, in theory if not in practice, I find this contradiction to be one of the major limitations of the system. That is to say, everything is so grounded in reality, that it tends to fall apart as you shift to non-realistic genres. It does street-level superheroes far better than it does cosmic stuff, for example; and a fight between two swordsfolk with above-average skill...
    54 replies | 2034 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:50 AM
    A quick check of the AD&D Monster Manual shows the shadow and spectre (as well as wraith) having a chilling touch, described as supernatural cold. I never said that an incorporeal creature couldn't supernaturally affect a corporeal one; I just said that all HP damage is described in a manner that's consistent with physical injury. Chilling touch makes sense as dealing cold damage, at least as...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 11:12 PM
    If you honestly believe that I haven't read and re-read the text in order to find some possible interpretation that would reconcile the matter, then it casts serious doubts on your own cognitive abilities. I won't speak for anyone else in this thread, as they at least seem to understand the topic at hand, even if they choose an alternate interpretation which I find distasteful. Either you're...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Don't conflate the explanation of the rules for the actual rules themselves, even if that explanation is in the book. The actual rules for every edition prior to 4E are that you can only suffer HP damage from things that are physically capable of damaging your body; we know this, by looking at the different things that cause HP damage, and comparing them to the things that work through other...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 05:07 AM
    All of the examples you give here are bad, but if you want to run through your complete list, you might find one which is an error in design consistency rather than an error in your memory. Ghosts in 2E cause aging when they hit, rather than damage. Ghosts in 3E can corrupt living creatures by touching them, but there's nothing to indicate that the corruption is all on your head. It certainly...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 08:55 PM
    In 4E, yes. Not in 3E, or in any edition that came before it. In 4E, damage can come from non-physical sources. Psychic damage exists in 4E. In any earlier edition, the only things capable of dealing damage were those things capable of inflicting physical injury. That was a hard break from tradition, which immediately set 4E apart as different and unique. And what I'm saying is that design...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 12:52 AM
    The best part about bruises is that they're highly visible, in exactly the same way that morale and luck are not.
    94 replies | 4376 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 08:12 PM
    I couldn't have said it better. I'm perfectly fine with house rules, as long as they're declared in advance, so I'm not making any of my decisions under false pretenses. Likewise, if I don't know what the rules are supposed to be, then it won't throw off my planning for the GM to be equally ignorant; but I won't intentionally go into a game without having read the book, and I expect the same...
    50 replies | 1747 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:30 PM
    This gets back to the variability between tables. I think we can all agree that players should avoid making foolish decisions, and that when they do make a foolish decision, the danger should be proportional to how foolish the decision is. Taunting an enemy is usually foolish, but taunting an ogre has lower stakes than taunting a dragon or taunting a god. Is it foolish to try and disintegrate...
    163 replies | 6831 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 01:11 AM
    I succeeded at my goal, in that I don't have to subject anyone else to that. If other people want to subject themselves to it, of their own volition, then that's on them. I also don't mind if they put pineapple on their pizza, as long as it's not at my table.
    163 replies | 6831 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 12:02 AM
    Not really. I actually was motivated to write a book, primarily out of not wanting to subject anyone else to the horrors of 5E. There are a lot of questionable design decisions in 5E.
    163 replies | 6831 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 08:09 PM
    One issue with this comes in the form of healing potions. It's hard enough to ask someone to hand you a healing potion, under the existing model of abstract damage. It would be even harder to ask someone for a morale potion, when everyone involved is perfectly aware that nobody has been injured at all. Likewise, complaining to the cleric that you feel distressed, and having them cast cheer up...
    94 replies | 4376 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 07:55 PM
    That's a good point, and one which I hadn't brought up, but you could easily say that 4E fans have higher standards for realism than I do. I'm sure that some people like the 4E model for HP, specifically because it's easier to narrate weapon strikes as being obviously fatal, where repeated hits for negligible damage might feel unrealistic. (I'm not sure if you could tell, but I was struggling to...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Many players in 2E and 3E treated damage as physical because it was faster and easier, regardless of what the books claimed. That's part of it. Psychic damage is another part of it - the only way to deal damage with psychic powers in 2E was to set someone on fire. The biggest issue is probably Healing Surges, and overnight full healing, which prevent any amount of damage from persisting for more...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 02:44 AM
    Everyone has standards. For everyone on these boards, there exists a game which is so distasteful that they aren't willing to play it, because it doesn't meet their standards. Maybe it's FATAL. Maybe it's Rifts. Maybe it's even GURPS. Everyone has a line somewhere, that a game has to meet before they are willing to play it; or a line that a game can't cross, or else they won't be willing to play...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 01:41 AM
    Ideally, yes. You know, like it was back in the 2E era. It was relatively easy to make a character that could only be hit on a 20, which was a good thing, because one or two hits and you were down for the count. (At least, that's how it was at my specific table. I'm well aware that AD&D was highly variable between tables.) I guess it's a matter of free time and motivation. Personally, it took...
    163 replies | 6831 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 01:08 AM
    You can get healing into a reasonable approximation of AD&D rates, but the biggest obstacle is bounded accuracy and HP inflation. You can't really get your AC to a point where it's reliable, and you can't take down enemies very quickly since they have so many HP, so you're going to take damage in almost every fight. And honestly, it's not that much work to write a new system. If you were going...
    163 replies | 6831 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 12:35 AM
    The one aspect of 2E which 5E just can't seem to capture is the way in which getting hit could ruin your whole week. Back when you only healed 1 or 2hp per day, and the cleric might have a couple of d8 to share with the party, the name of the game was avoiding damage if at all possible. You had to be careful, because taking unnecessary damage vastly increased your chance of succumbing in combat...
    163 replies | 6831 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 09:03 PM
    I like to role-play. I like to forget about the real world for a while, and see things through the eyes of someone different. Ideally, my character is a happy person with the ability to improve the world around them, or else role-playing as them is going to feel unpleasant.
    8 replies | 537 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 07:46 PM
    It's an intermediate step. Starfinder is to PF2, what Book of 9 Swords is to 4E.
    60 replies | 4084 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 07:21 PM
    It's less straight-forward than you think it is. Would you mind expanding on your question?
    26 replies | 1006 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 01:05 AM
    If you're starting from an established system, and you're just introducing a couple of wide-reaching changes to the system, then it shouldn't take you much more than six months. Remember, you don't have to translate all of the content immediately, as long as you establish how you would translate later on. As for finding an audience, I honestly think you'd have a better chance finding players...
    320 replies | 11210 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:00 PM
    Out of curiosity, had you read the rulebook beforehand, or were you taken mostly off-guard by the mechanics?
    60 replies | 4084 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:42 PM
    Gygax hasn't been relevant to the industry in thirty years. His opinions are meaningless. I'm glad that you found some happiness, by buying into his transparent rhetoric, but most players have higher standards than you do. Most players aren't willing to accept that a hit on the die could be a miss within the narrative, and that's why 4E fared as poorly as it did. Appealing to Gygaxian rhetoric...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:05 PM
    Generally speaking, if the game mechanics are so bad that they would make me want to quit after the first session, then it's unlikely that the game will make it to the table in the first place. If it's really that bad, then I'll reject it while reading the book. If it's good enough to warrant a first session, then I'm inclined to give it a few more sessions to figure things out. The one...
    60 replies | 4084 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:26 PM
    Saelorn replied to [4e] OSR Clone
    I'm not sure why you'd want to muck about with the OGL or SRD or anything. To the best of my knowledge, you can just re-write 4E from memory, change all of the proper nouns, and you'd be fine.
    77 replies | 2348 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:41 AM
    If you had one, sure, but warlords don't actually exist. They are pure fantasy, without any basis in reality. Unlike clerics (?)
    320 replies | 11210 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:40 PM
    Well, I'll give you this: That's an entirely new argument. It's not a good argument, by any means, but it's new. An ogre can't choose to become susceptible to instant death, in exchange for increasing its accuracy. Even if it's assuming a reckless fighting style (which is represented through other mechanics, and doesn't change your HP total directly), that wouldn't make them susceptible to...
    255 replies | 24191 view(s)
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Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 11:51 PM - Yaarel mentioned Saelorn in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    ...s fans? Thanks for doubling down on the reasons why I shouldn't even bother discussing this with you, and ironically proving your initial post wrong about how 4e fans react. The fact that you think me pointing out how 4e fans reacted (that you deny despite the evidence) is me gravedancing on 4e tells me all I need to know about your biases and disingenuous argument. Nothing in my post remotely was celebratory about 4e ending. I am a 4e fan. I never slandered 5e. I felt Ďbetrayedí by the loss of 4e, especially because 4e failed to provide an OGL. But I pretty much immediately understood that 4e was over, and spent my energy constructively during the 5e playtests. And even now, spend my time constructively with 5e. I have to agree with Tony. Where 3e fans launched a tidal way of negativity against 4e (and now apparently a tidal wave against Pathfinder 2), the 4e fans are largely innocent of this. 3e has its good guys. For example, I have never perceived spiteful negativity from Saelorn, and others. But 3e sure has its share of reactionaries.

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 10:58 PM - ParanoydStyle mentioned Saelorn in post Shadowrun Sixth Edition Announced!
    ...e. Kinda sucks because I haven't even had a chance to put together a Shadowrun: Anarchy game yet. How and why would this stop you? Shadowrun and Shadowrun: Anarchy are designed to scratch two very different itches. The former is a very crunchy simulationist tactical RPG. The latter is a Story First storygame. I don't see how one precludes the other. I played a lot of 1st and 2nd edition SR. Tried 5e and it was just to crunchy for me. Not sure I will buy this, but I like the idea they are simplifying it. I'd recommend trying 4E if you can find it free, cheap, or on sale. I can't compare it to 6E obviously because I haven't seen 6E but of the five editions of Shadowrun that ARE out on the market, I'm firmly of the opinion that 4E is the best. 4E is less crunchy and better than 5E so if you like 4E you might like 6E because it looks like it's aiming to be less crunchy and better than 5E. Typing numbers followed by the letter E is losing all meaning. I'd offer the same advice to @Saelorn. Our former Shadowrun GM was re-writing the setting for use with Genesys. I guess these are good indications a simplified system is needed. I don't know what Genesys is, but nonetheless ding!ding!ding! we got a winner! You're absolutely right. I was a huge, huge, huge 1e to 3e fan. 4e lost me and 5e turned me off as it was a bloated 4e (so it seemed to me). While this seems like a step in the right direction, I'm not sure... Emphasis mine. Speaking as an author of Shadowrun Fifth Edition? 5E WAS a bloated 4E. How did 4E lose you, if you don't mind my asking? It's my favorite edition, with third being a close second. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Ha! Fraggin' Ha! The Laughing Man strikes again? Oh man! All y'all saying that 5th was "too" crunchy?!?!?!?!?! LOLOLOLOLOL 4th and 5th were both farther steps away from crunch and towards rules "lighter" editions... If you thought 5th was too complex then you are showing you never played 2nd. I played 2nd. I WROTE 5th (not all of...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 11:50 PM - TwoSix mentioned Saelorn in post Houserule: A change to the Paladin's Aura
    Yea, I agree with Saelorn. (That was weird to say. :) ) The paladin aura is great, but a +3-4 bonus makes it just worthwhile to accept the tradeoffs of having to stay within 10' of the paladin. Even a +5 is very far from an automatic save, and the best way to save against an area effect is not to be in the target area, which clustering around the paladin tends to inhibit. I also rarely see paladins raising Charisma past an initial 16, since they still need to have a good melee attack stat. So I don't see many paladins giving a +4-5 bonus.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 08:15 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post [5e] Rakshasas cannot be counterspelled (mostly)? Is that how you would play it
    The wording of counterspell seems to target the caster not the spell "You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell..." Jeremy Crawford has confirmed this. As such, Rakshasas would be immune to counterspelling (unless the counterspell was cast at 7th level+) This seems to make the monster (which has some decent spell casting ability) a bit more nasty. Is this widely accepted? counterpoints? Just a thought. PS. As I can't seem to apply any kind of tags in the mobile app - this is referring to 5e. I wouldn't rule that way based on the wording. As Saelorn says, it feels like a technicality and I just refuse to read 5e that way. However, I'd totally rule that way now because it sounds like a fun exception for this creature.

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 06:27 PM - OB1 mentioned Saelorn in post Help! Whatís the best place in the multiverse to hide from the Inevitables?
    First off there have been a ton of fantastic ideas already, and I just want to thank everyone for the inspiration! I can always count on the EnWorld community! Why do they have to be hiding out? Maybe the only way they can stay out of the reach of the inevitables is to keep running. If they're jumping randomly from plane to plane, the inevitables might be tracking them but haven't caught them yet. That means you could have the PCs meet them pretty much anywhere. I like this idea a lot. The PCs in this campaign are Mission: Impossible type agents, and I can see them tracking the Inevitables tracking the NPCs and trying to find a way to get one step ahead of them. Combined with the NPCs using Mordekaninís Private Sanctum (thanks Saelorn ) to rest and hide out between portal jumps, I think Iíve got a winner!! Once they catch up with the NPCs, itís just a matter of getting them to Nirvana in Mechanus, where they can be released from their contracts.

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019

  • 01:17 AM - Zhaleskra mentioned Saelorn in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    Part of me is tempted to reply to Saelorn sarcastically. Instead, I'll be serious. Monsters from mythology lose a lot of their bite if they lose their defining trait. Did Perseus win because Zeus fudged the dice? No, he won because he used his brain and worked against what he knew Medusa would use against him. Would Perseus turning to stone have been random? No, because he knew what he was going against. And you know, a garden of statues in creepy poses would be a dead giveaway. That said, the idea of the "dungeon theme park" ride adventure has crossed my mind.

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019

  • 10:35 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post In Defense of Milestone Leveling
    I think @Saelorn was essentially just suggesting a way to explain how "XP for fighting" can be viewed to make it palatable if you think it works weird. He could probably just as readily offer a way to explain milestone XP if someone thought that was the system that worked weird. I have no preference for an XP system. It's all just game mechanics to me, and I've never found that different XP systems improve or detract from my fun, so I just don't care. I'm not saying I don't care about gaining XP, if it's there to be gained, though. I would totally be chasing that carrot as part of playing the game, doing all the things that netted me that sweet level-up like @iserith suggests would happen.
  • 08:03 PM - CleverNickName mentioned Saelorn in post In Defense of Milestone Leveling
    ...for an unarmed civilian character as Ingrid Knudsen (Brigitte Nielsen) but Marion "Cobra" Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) could kill all the cult of "the new world". With the right weapon you can kill a dinosaur and only a shot is enough. With remote-control drones you can kill enemies from other town, or country. You could drive a truck to run over horde of zombies. Buffy the vampire slayer only needed a RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) to kill the judge (season 2 episode 14) and the Mayor was tricked to go to a zone with lots of explosives. How should be the XP reward and the challenge rating when the monster is too hard, or easy? To which I replied: I don't mind experience points, but the way they are assigned has always seemed silly to me., and slanted toward violence. Why do we get experience for combat, but not for anything else? It's a little bit off-topic, but to answer your question: I plan to do milestone leveling in this campaign instead of handing out XP. And Saelorn joined the discussion. Experience Points are slanted toward violence, because levels primarily reflect your capacity for violence. Fighting is how you get better at taking a punch, which is the only stat that goes up with every level. If you're not going around and fighting everything, then it doesn't really matter what level you are. So I kicked it over here with this response: That's certainly true for some games. However, exploration scales with level just as combat does. With a higher level comes greater skill proficiency in things like Perception and Investigation, and better access to magic items (sorry, I mean "technology" and "computers"), vehicles, and other gear. You unlock class features and spells that let you move more easily, travel farther, carry more, and find things more quickly. Same for the social interaction pillar, as well. The higher your level is, the more proficient you have become in things like Deception and Persuasion, you've acquired items ...

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - dave2008 mentioned Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    Fluffy is not referred to as "a cerberus" or "the cerberus". He is referred to very specifically as a "three-headed dog." The name "Cerberus" is not used in either the book or the movie. That is what I thought, but @Saelorn seems to disagree with you. Now I have to go and try to find the book.

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

  • 10:49 PM - Oofta mentioned Saelorn in post Ranged Options for All Classes
    He is correct in the example that is being discussed: of the character with multiple attacks. The character is not throwing a second javelin as a bonus action, they are throwing it as part of their Attack action. No two-weapon fighting required. Ah, I misread. Apologies. But as Saelorn pointed out it assumes you know you're going into a particular type of combat and doesn't make a difference after the second round.

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 01:00 AM - Oofta mentioned Saelorn in post Ranged Options for All Classes
    True dat. (EDIT: exception for Dual Wielder, I suppose... 3 each round for two rounds, then 2 for 3rd round and beyond... but anyway jeez that's a lot of thrown weapons to carry...) Saelorn beat me to it. I had a character that did that - two weapon fighting, etc. My DM also (house?) ruled that I could attack with my primary multiple times once I got a dwarven thrower. But that was the exception to the rule.

Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 09:03 PM - Oofta mentioned Saelorn in post Ranged Options for All Classes
    Except for rage damage, and reckless attack, and the bigger weapons... The +2 to damage is nice (for the levels most people actually play), but hardly earth-shattering. I had forgotten about reckless attack since I don't have the PHB memorized yet. Assuming that at least some of your stats are average or below not getting reckless would hardly be the end of the world. As far as bigger weapons, going dual weapon with rapiers does just about as much if not more damage than other options for the levels most people play. In addition none of that addresses anyone that wants to run any number of archetypes that wear heavy armor and that should be perfectly fine with an average dexterity. As Saelorn said: if nobody can dump dexterity, it's a problem.

Saturday, 2nd February, 2019

  • 11:10 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post JC Tweets: How Close to official rulings do you consider them to be?
    I see. So then would you agree that in absence of a wotc rule clarification in sage advice on something that what JC tweets about it is the next best clarification we have? No, I don't agree with that. I place no value in what WotC says. I have gotten a far better understanding of how to play 5e "by the rules" from iserith. I have learned how to present encounters better thanks to Saelorn ( I ignore anything he says about metagaming, though!). I have learned the glory that is the gnome paladin from Oofta. I could go on, but my point is that my game is better without listening to WotC.

Friday, 1st February, 2019


Friday, 25th January, 2019

  • 06:50 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned Saelorn in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    In the example, you've answered your own question - no one should make manacles that can be broken easily or quickly. Think about trying that in RL with handcuffs. Without a manufacturing defect, that shouldn't work the first time or the 20th. So it's the DC that's wrong, not that it's harder in later ones. ..... Maybe manacles need to have a DC so they can't be popped open by 10 STR people regardless if it's their first try. Doesn't the average person have -1 str? So, they shouldn't be able to get free even with a 20. But I don't think it's the DC that's wrong here....see below. Saelorn: I think 1 round (6 seconds)is too short a time span for most out of combat activities. I'd allow an attempt every 10 minutes or, maybe longer. It takes time to wriggle out of stuff. Doing a Strength check over and over will make noise. Given long enough increments, people come back and check on prisoners to make sure their bonds are secure. It shouldn't be that easy to get out of manacles. In short: Out of combat 'turns' are not 6 seconds. 'Turns' take as long as what's reasonable for the activity. I don't know what 5e rules say on this subject but I just go with whatever feels realistic. CleverNickName: Having the players give you a different way of tackling the problem is a great justification for another roll. I like that a lot. But some things just take time and patience. A puzzle, for example, just requires you to work at it until you figure it out.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

  • 05:30 PM - dave2008 mentioned Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    I never found RP in 4e difficult. I think they key is to ignore the printed adventures or liberally hack them, and to just play how you want. The game is extremely robust. The only problem youíll run into is slow combat, and we found that we could just halve all monster HP values and it works fine. I agree with you in general, but that is not what Saelorn is talking about. He/she has an issue with what he/she feels the mechanics are telling him/her about the game world. When he/she sees a minion at 1HP it makes no sense to him/her - he/she doesn't know what that means and thus cannot role play it. And there several more mechanics that create the same problem for him/her. These are not issue I or my group had, but they ones for him/her.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

  • 02:55 AM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    I think this gets metagaming completely backwards. Metagaming is using OOC knowledge for IC decisions. IC the characters due not know the rules of the game they inhabit. The rules of the game are an intentionally hyper-simplified abstraction of their reality. The characters are presumed to live in a 'real' fantasy world that is vastly more complex and 'noisy' than the simulation, and basically like our world, except magic. Saying "I have a +5 and you only have a +3, so I should make the check" is exactly what metagaming is. Saying "I am a renowned warrior, I will deal with this leader, he will not respect a scrawny dealer in dark secrets like yourself", is the opposite of metagaming, i.e. acting like your character, irrespective of what the 'best' result is in the outer game model. Correct. What Saelorn is doing is metagaming.

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 08:19 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post The Fighter: tweaking Indomitable to work in all the Pillars.
    Is there anything which would break or work unusually if we simply added some battle master superiority dice options for out of combat functions? Seems like you could add a die to an ability check pretty easily. In fact, adding advantage to someone else's check AND adding the die seems balanced given the other manuevers available. I had the thought that we could tie that into the maneuvers the battle master selects. Like, add a note to Menacing Attack let's the fighter spend a Superiority Die to add it to an Intimation check. Pick appropriate skills for each maneuver. And to address Saelorn's point that limited resources maybe shouldn't compete for combat and noncombat uses, we can give the fighter a few Skill Dice to use for that purpose. This also let's us reduce the skill bonus to 1d6, and not have the Skill Dice get bigger at higher levels if we think that would be too much.

Thursday, 20th December, 2018

  • 08:17 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Saelorn in post 5e Play, 1e Play, and the Immersive Experience
    ...in creating a false history to give us the illusion of making a decision! Our brains our truly amazing. :) But we are also *piss poor* when it comes to statistics. When it comes to abstract probabilities. Even the most basic understandings, and even in our modern age. You can look anywhere at the studies - it is embarrassing; to use the common example, if you flip a coin ten times and it comes up heads 10 times in a row, the majority of people believe it will come up tails on the next flip. Seriously- look at this evidence on this board, alone. If the claim had been, "The people in this made up world are really in tune with the seasons, and are likely to know when to plant their crops" I would have no issue with that. That's the type of lore and knowledge that gets passed down. Same with edible herbs (and efficacious ones- although that was trial and error and death, not statistics, and many of them were just wrong). But it is interesting, as I had assumed that the premises behind Saelorn were idiosyncratic to him (her?). Apparently, I was mistaken! So I have learned something. :)

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 03:15 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Saelorn in post On the Differences Between 1e and 2e (Not all AD&D Is the Same)
    Manbearcat Garthanos Zardnaar Lanefan Saelorn So I was trying to get at a slightly different point that had been bugging me for a while (much more subtle than the continued banes of my existence; e.g, Paladins, Gnomes, and Rapiers). We (and I include myself in this) often treat 1e and 2e interchangeably (I often use the 1e/2e descriptor). In many ways, that is fair- there is a great amount of overlap between them! Certainly more, IMO, than between any two other "numbered" editions. But here's the thing- while most of us normally easily differentiate between the other old compatible editions (OD&D, B/X, BECMI), we don't often think about or see the differences between 1e and 2e. And I think that's a topic worth thinking and talking about. 1e was around from 1977 (PHB) until 1989 (2e).* 2e was around from 1989 until 2000. I mean .... it's kind of insane when you think about it. And both editions had controversial publications that (arguably) created their own separate demi-mondes (1985, UA, leading the way to 2e ... 1995 a...


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Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 03:32 AM - FrogReaver quoted Saelorn in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    Nothing is certain. Everything is just a probability. Healing is pretty certain. I mean there's some dice variability but it always works etc. I concede that there are some difficult fights where in-combat healing can be the difference between success and failure. It's not just "hard" fights though. Any given fight the PC's can get unlucky and the enemies lucky. Having in combat healing makes long enough lucky/unlucky streaks to down/kill PC's be much more rare. For any given fight, there's a certain percent chance that you'll succeed without in-combat healing, and a greater percent chance that you'll succeed with in-combat healing. Yes. But I'm also talking about saving your higher level spells for healing. So for example at level 5 that means you'll tend to not cast spirit guardians. Or at least cast it less often. What I'm not convinced of, is that the increased chance of success that you gain from in-combat healing is sufficient to make up for the increased risk of running ...
  • 01:01 AM - FrogReaver quoted Saelorn in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    Theoretically, sure, but how often is the party in a position of losing a battle if they don't go all-out with their high-throughput but low-efficiency tactics? That's a pretty small window, where the party will probably lose if they're playing too conservatively, but probably win if they're more aggressive. That would be difficult to contrive, even if you were really trying. Comparably it is significantly more often than without using my healing tactic. (By the way it's not about probably losing. Any chance that you could lose is taken away with the healing route, whereas those small 5% chances over 30-40 encounters do tend to add up).

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 02:09 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Saelorn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    That's an interesting critique. Would you mind expanding on that? Of course not. To me, at least, Shadowrun seems like a slightly weaker version of D&D with a better setting, it always has. If someone could convince me that Shadowrun had a better rule or ruleset in a certain area, I might play it, but that has not happened so far.
  • 09:14 AM - ParanoydStyle quoted Saelorn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    (I absolutely loathe PbtA. I think my loathing for it is (perhaps excessively) well documented over the history of the internet. Nothing personal against D. Vincent Baker, Ron Edwards lassoed him to help playtest my game one time, which was surreal in a kind of wonderful way, I just think that the PbtA system is terrible and has done terrible things to the hobby. I think its legacy of "success with a complication" or "fail forward" is a poison pill for the progress of game design in the long term. I think its popularity ruined or wasted practically a whole generation of game designers, who (understandably) used it because it was popular and trending, they templated off of it rather than making their own unique games.) Anyway all of these conclusions were reached just by reading the text and observing the market. I have never actually played *World, nor would I unless it was the absolute only form of gaming available and the people playing it were people whose company I enjoyed.) That's not my...

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 10:28 PM - Laurefindel quoted Saelorn in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    I'm not going to jump through any hoops to try and explain why a "hit" isn't really a hit, or why "cure wounds" isn't actually curing wounds. Nobody has time for that. If the game isn't doing what it says it's doing, according to its own terminology, then I'm going to fix the game so that it does. Fair enough! I agree about the terminology some people do have time to do otherwise however :)
  • 10:08 PM - Laurefindel quoted Saelorn in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    I do, and it's the primary reason why I can't play 5E unless something has been done to address the healing rules. When a goblin stabs you for 5 damage out of your 80hp, that's perfectly fine with me, because you're a mighty hero and you're wearing armor. Most armor is pretty good about dulling the impact of a sword. I can buy that it takes 16 hits before you've been battered into submission. The issue is when you wake up in the morning, and the wounds which would have killed a lesser mortal have vanished entirely. That is making a mockery of the weapon. Alternatively, instead of altering the resting/healing rules, alter the conception of damage. If a goblin stabbing for 5 points of damage would have killed a normal human(oid) being, or at least leave a wound that would take weeks to heal, but yet can be shrugged by a good night sleep, then it comes to reason that, logically, the character didnít take [i]that[/] wound. The character took damage which, IMO, must be seen as something else t...
  • 08:34 PM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    I do, and it's the primary reason why I can't play 5E unless something has been done to address the healing rules. When a goblin stabs you for 5 damage out of your 80hp, that's perfectly fine with me, because you're a mighty hero and you're wearing armor. Most armor is pretty good about dulling the impact of a sword. I can buy that it takes 16 hits before you've been battered into submission. The issue is when you wake up in the morning, and the wounds which would have killed a lesser mortal have vanished entirely. That is making a mockery of the weapon. Which is one of the reasons I use the alternate rest rules. Well, that and magic band-aids and salves because otherwise a lot of wounds would be permanent, which just doesn't fit with the number of encounters that adventurers normally face. A lot of wounds historically were fatal days or weeks after combat was over, which I just handle as my campaign world having the equivalent of magical penicillin.
  • 08:33 PM - Satyrn quoted Saelorn in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Yes, I am also a fan of Xena. Dude!

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 07:51 PM - DMMike quoted Saelorn in post 3 Favorite Things About Your Favorite System
    1) Very flat power curve. There are no levels, but veteran characters arenít significantly (by RPG standards) more powerful than newly created characters. And yet there are lots of incremental rewards along the way. 2. Consistency of Rules. Once you know the rules there's very little need to open the rule book. This makes play a lot faster. 3) Ease of Homebrew.If you want to add new classes/races/monsters/whatever, there are guidelines to keep it balanced. There's an index full of generic monster stats, listed by role and level I'll take any and all games conforming to these ideas. And for good measure, from Modos RPG: 4. Goals and Flaws. A character concept/background contains at least one goal and flaw of the character. The goal helps to motivate the PC when things get murky, and the flaw is a reminder that a PC isn't just a bag of bonuses. Players aren't required to act on their goals and flaws, but can earn story and/or rules benefits for doing so.

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 08:01 PM - Arilyn quoted Saelorn in post 3 Favorite Things About Your Favorite System
    [QUOTE=Saelorn;7620697]I can't really think of what my favorite system is, so I'll take this opportunity to shill for Gishes & Goblins. I purchased your game a few months back. Haven't played it yet, but there are some things I really like. Two weapon fighting: it makes sense. I've always disliked two weapon fighting in D&D, especially 5e. I really like your version. Armour Points: I think this is overdue. Classes: They have an old school simplicity, with enough abilities to add interest and distinctiveness. Question: The spellcasters lack utility spells. What is your reasoning behind this? Is it a balance issue? 13th Age lumps utility spells together, treating them as a feature wizards can choose. Your thoughts?
  • 09:28 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post "My Pathfinder Spoiler" Glimpses At Pathfinder 2
    Granted, the balance of 5E is much better than the balance of PF1; and 5E feels more like D&D than 4E or PF2 (playtest) does; and it would be a mis-step if PF2 was much worse than 5E in either of those categories. That's exactly my point! :) But saying that PF2 needs to match or beat 5E in those categories is setting the bar absurdly low. I take it you don't love 5th Edition...? ;) But seriously, I'm a bit impressed - I haven't been accused from that particular angle before! :) So you're saying PF2 should strive to feel much much more like D&D than 5E, and that it should scrub out LFQW much much more thoroughly than 5E does? Whelp, that certainly makes my position look very plain and vanilla. Reasonable, or dare I say unremarkable, even! Thank you! :)

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 10:41 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    That's good to hear, then. Perhaps I was misinformed. I should look further into it.Given what I know of your preferences, you probably still won't like it. Damage is very abstract, in the form of dramatic wounds that aren't necessarily wounds and PCs can't die unless they've expressly risked death themselves. Those two alone make me think you'd be disinclined.
  • 10:18 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    I read through one example, which (IIRC) was about a player spending some sort of resource to make it so an enemy in the next room did not have a weapon on them, and I knew that it wasn't for me. Which is unfortunate, because the setting and core dice mechanics from 1E seemed pretty interesting, so I was looking forward to a straight update of that.Absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Maybe one of the sorcery knacks? Those are powered by drama die, which usually are used as floating extra dice for rolls, or for a heroic effort to ignore the nasty death spiral penalties for a round. Unless it's something I haven't heard, drama dice can't be spent for any narrative control outsude of a few sorcery knacks (which are magic). I mean, you can not like it (you soulless monster!), but this shouldn't be a reason.

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 02:25 PM - TarionzCousin quoted Saelorn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    PF2. Easy answer.Ouch. This describes every book I've read in the past few years: Arcanis, Blood Dawn, Robotech (Shadow Chronicles), Traveller (Mongoose), Kromore, Shadowrun 5E, FATE, Savage Worlds, Starfinder... probably a few others that I don't remember. It seems that every game either goes heavy into unsustainable complexity, or it turns to meta-game narrative control mechanics, or both. Playable games are few and far between.What game(s) are playable, in your opinion? Because I am interested in games that aren't too complex or that involve narrative control. Retro Clones?

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 07:51 PM - Xeviat quoted Saelorn in post Short Rest Healing Spells
    What's the point of even having a weight class, if it's trivial to punch above that whenever you need to? I don't see any real benefit to a level 9 party being able to take out a level 19 enemy, just by spending their daily resources. I'd say this very thing is what allows PCs to take out a big setpiece encounter in a single round. I had a 3E group kill a red dragon at their CR in one round and I had to come back with some ridiculous encounter the next week to make the story feel right.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 03:07 AM - practicalm quoted Saelorn in post How do you get to GURPS?
    As a nominal fan of GURPS, in theory if not in practice, I find this contradiction to be one of the major limitations of the system. That is to say, everything is so grounded in reality, that it tends to fall apart as you shift to non-realistic genres. It does street-level superheroes far better than it does cosmic stuff, for example; and a fight between two swordsfolk with above-average skill plays out far more satisfyingly than a fight between superhumanly-skilled combatants. I think that when you have high level skills the goal is to be using feint and other maneuvers to make things more interesting. Cosmic level super powers are harder to run in GURPS but a duel between two skilled fighters should be like Princess Bride where Wesley and Montoya are playing around because they are the best.

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 08:04 PM - innerdude quoted Saelorn in post How do you get to GURPS?
    As a nominal fan of GURPS, in theory if not in practice, I find this contradiction to be one of the major limitations of the system. That is to say, everything is so grounded in reality, that it tends to fall apart as you shift to non-realistic genres. It does street-level superheroes far better than it does cosmic stuff, for example; and a fight between two swordsfolk with above-average skill plays out far more satisfyingly than a fight between superhumanly-skilled combatants. See, this is one of the really funny things about the gaming group I used to play with who loved GURPS ---- they completely played away from its strengths. They were so in love with GURPS as a system, but would always insist on basically starting out with 250+ point characters. "Starting with anything below a 200 point character is basically a waste of time, and should probably be closer to 300." One of the players was absolutely convinced that the only way to put the "epic" into "epic fantasy," was to have every GU...
  • 03:46 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    A quick check of the AD&D Monster Manual shows the shadow and spectre (as well as wraith) having a chilling touch, described as supernatural cold. I never said that an incorporeal creature couldn't supernaturally affect a corporeal one; I just said that all HP damage is described in a manner that's consistent with physical injury. Chilling touch makes sense as dealing cold damage, at least as much as Cone of Cold does. I have to imagine it's similar logic to a sneak attack; failing the save means you're allowing the 10% of non-illusory energy to hit you in the worst possible way. Honestly, though, if you accept psychic damage as being physical damage to the body (albeit caused by the mind), then we may not be so far apart on this than I had originally thought. Most people seem to pitch psychic damage as an entirely non-physical phenomenon, with no signs on the body whatsoever. I won't argue about the design issues inherent with non-damaging spells. I'm a big fan of Pathfinder's decision to m...
  • 01:38 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    All of the examples you give here are bad, but if you want to run through your complete list, you might find one which is an error in design consistency rather than an error in your memory. Ghosts in 2E cause aging when they hit, rather than damage. Ghosts in 3E can corrupt living creatures by touching them, but there's nothing to indicate that the corruption is all on your head. It certainly sounds like necrotic damage to me, and that's consistent with how the ability works in both 4E and 5E! Both the Shadow and the Spectre are non-corporial undead which do hit point damage. So is the Groaning Spirit. In fact the ghost itself is the only one which doesn't do any damage in hit points, but there are many variations of ghosts which do. Several exist in different modules, etc. Oh, Wraith is another example. That ability doesn't deal HP damage in any other edition. Fourth Edition is the weird one. Phantasmal Force does damage only if you believe it's real. Literally, you think you're injur...


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