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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:05 PM
    I follow what you're saying, but I respectfully disagree. From my perspective, those problems came directly from problems with PC complexity, and the perfectly-functional NPC rules were simply caught as collateral. It's not more wrong for an NPC to need six stat-boosting items, than it is for a PC to need them. Those problems are equally bad. If you fix it for PCs, then it would also be fixed...
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:44 PM
    In that case, you have (a2) easy fights that resolve quickly and the players get to show off how awesome they are, and you have (b2) impossible fights that the players avoid in order to show off how wise they are. The choice between your given options, (a) (b) or (c), was disingenuous. In reality, the choice between (a2) and (b2), or (c), is a lot less one-sided. I'm not talking about that....
    34 replies | 1193 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    It's not too hard to have a world operate by fantastic natural laws. Even D&D lets a "mundane" human wrestle a giant, and regularly survive the sort of fall that would kill real people. Exalted is probably a better example of that, even. But you need "gamist" magic systems, too, or else it isn't really of the fantasy genre. You need the guy with the robe and staff, doing the sort of things...
    16 replies | 279 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:26 PM
    Your first problem is that easy fights, which pose no threat, take a long time to resolve. Your second problem is that the PCs are apparently locked into inescapable death matches, against their will. If you fix those two problems, then contriving the third situation won't seem like the only option. There's no such thing as a great game, if it's actually contrived behind an illusion. Deception...
    34 replies | 1193 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:59 PM
    Saelorn replied to Double Dash
    It's not that time, itself, is treated differently. It's that different assumptions apply in each situation. A rogue certainly can run 90 feet in six seconds outside of combat. It's just that we're not really tracking fatigue in combat, since it's over so quickly, while we can't ignore fatigue over long distances. The rogue who double-dashes every round of combat is probably going to stand...
    84 replies | 2159 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:36 PM
    I chose #1, and as soon as it became apparent that PF2 wouldn't support that, I wrote up my own game to fill the obvious niche in the market. It's on drivethruRPG.com. It's great. Of course, complexity and crunch are all relative. The real benefit of writing your own RPG is that you can make things exactly as complex as you want, so my PCs (and NPCs) are roughly as complex as 3.0 characters...
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:50 AM
    If we're talking about dice mechanics, I remember hearing about one game that used a (1d6 x stat) method of resolving actions. Your stats would go between 1 and 6, and you multiply the value of the relevant stat by the outcome of 1d6, and try to score higher than your opponent who's doing the same. This method has a lot of interesting properties: The outcome is always uncertain. No matter how...
    36 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:50 AM
    If I was the DM of the game, I'd be happy that my level 17 wizard player was sticking with the spirit of the rules, instead of trying to pull the sort of shenanigans that the edition is really known for. At that level, anything really scary is going to be immune to falling damage, and I can't imagine how 20d6 damage as a standard action could possibly break anything.
    2 replies | 150 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Doesn't that go back to the old "war vs sport" analogy? The question isn't how to have balanced encounters when you have variable recharge rates. The question is whether balanced encounters are even a desirable goal to begin with. Pathfinder 2 design shows an unhealthy obsession with controlling numbers, which leads me to believe that they've adopted the "combat as sport" approach, which is...
    34 replies | 1193 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:13 PM
    Not when the topic of discussion is Pathfinder 2E, and whether or not it will do to Paizo what 4E did to WotC. Using wildly different rules for PCs and monsters is a strong shift away from Simulationism and toward Gamism, and one of the major reasons why 4E died so horribly was that much of their target audience was not on-board with that shift. D&D players, at least in the 3E-era, wanted...
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:28 AM
    Right, but the inherent problem with that edition was specifically the combination of complex PCs with NPC symmetry. NPC symmetry, by itself, is not an inherent problem of any edition.
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:35 AM
    The biggest similarity, at least from my perspective, is their approach to the basic math. It certainly appears as though they're trying to keep more control of which specific numbers will be necessary to hit, in order to guarantee that you have an interesting fight against monsters of your own level. Fourth Edition is unique, in that it assumed you would only be fighting things within a very...
    34 replies | 1193 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:02 AM
    A free object interaction is supposed to be something that doesn't require much effort, like drawing a weapon or opening a door. Picking up a medium-sized creature would be more like a grapple attempt. In practice, I wouldn't expect this to be abused much, since it would require you to have two empty hands and spend your free object interaction for the round - you can't attack after that,...
    13 replies | 436 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    It's only the same if the PC math is complicated, as was the case in 3.x/PF1. It was never a problem to use PC math for NPCs when playing AD&D, though. As for CR balance, well... it certainly would have helped if PCs had been balanced against each other, rather than the optimization mess that ended up as. If PCs had been simple and balanced, then there would have been no issues with NPCs being...
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:53 PM
    Saelorn replied to Double Dash
    I actually don't allow it, but that's more-or-less a side-effect of an overhaul elsewhere within the rules, which prevents anyone from taking the same action twice in the same turn. I don't see anything inherently wrong with a rogue moving faster than a fighter, all else being equal, but a blanket rule against repeated actions is easier to implement than individual rules against (e.g.) a dragon...
    84 replies | 2159 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:03 PM
    That covers your players at your table, sure, but those aren't the only players or table under discussion. Sacrificing 1 for the benefit of 3 is an equally valid solution.
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:08 PM
    The issue was never that they used the same math. The issue is that they were too complicated to create.
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:40 PM
    I really like Hit Points as a simple, abstract measurement of health. I like how it avoids the death spiral of accumulating penalties, giving the underdog a real chance to fight back in a losing situation; while simultaneously providing an extremely visible and understandable metric for how badly you're hurt. The efficiency of that game mechanic - the amount of work it does, relative to the...
    36 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:37 PM
    As a DM, you should only add a race to your setting if it makes sense for them to be there. Personally, it's hard for me to justify more than six races on a single planet. The only settings which should come close to having a dozen races or more should be something like Forgotten Realms (which is basically just a joke setting, haha wouldn't it be funny to have a world with everything in it?)...
    103 replies | 3529 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:29 PM
    A weak character should never hit harder than a strong character, all else being equal. In my opinion, you could just have finesse weapons add Strength to damage instead of Dex, and leave everything else as-is. Maybe we'd actually get a character with decent Strength and Dexterity, once in a while.
    86 replies | 2641 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:58 AM
    They tried really hard to separate the mechanics of a class out from its narrative identity, because they wanted to leave character identity as a matter of background. The reason it doesn't work is because class mechanics exist as a reflection of that identity. A wizard that isn't a scholar is a contradiction in terms; being a scholar is the entire reason why a wizard can cast spells. A ranger...
    65 replies | 1869 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:19 AM
    On the one hand, sure. On the other hand, the game is already pretty complex at the baseline, so I'm not terribly eager to add in a bunch of optional rules.
    71 replies | 3542 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:44 PM
    I don't know that PF2 really has any unique rules. The action economy is very reminiscent of old Shadowrun (and I'm sure many other systems), and the everything-as-feats approach has been done to death in countless heartbreakers throughout the last two decades.
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Tangential to a couple of points, but I really like how definitive the older games were. Things work the way that they work, and you don't have to pore over minutiae to figure out how to make them work differently, because those options don't exist. I like that melee attacks are based on your Strength. There's no feat that changes it. You can't just limit yourself to a specific sub-class of...
    74 replies | 2810 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:26 PM
    Much like the guideline of six encounters per day, this seems like a gap between the design intent and player experience. Those things should come up, and those should be useful abilities, if you're playing the way that the designers expect you to play; in much the same way that the warlock and the wizard are relatively balanced, if you follow the encounter guidelines. Mechanically,...
    352 replies | 12418 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:27 PM
    I'm not saying that you couldn't make the distinction, if you really wanted to. I'm saying that, if you do make the distinction, and you include separate modifiers for each, then they are redundant for the task of distinguishing a character's competence within a given level. A simpler alternative would be to only use the proficiency bonus, say that it represents some combination of natural...
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:55 PM
    It's two different problems. The level bonus addresses the issue of epic heroes being better than novice ones. The proficiency bonus addresses the issue of individual distinction within heroes of the same caliber. What I don't get is why they need both proficiency bonus and ability modifiers, since those both address the issue of distinction within a tier. It would make more sense to use...
    173 replies | 11745 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:38 PM
    Not if it was just one, no. I'm talking about a routine. Walk through this maze, and try to find the exit. If you fail to notice the signs which distinguish the real exit from the false ones, then you are physically beaten. Participation is mandatory. Failure results in pain. Repeat a hundred times. It doesn't matter whether or not you had previously been trained on what to look for; you...
    224 replies | 5839 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:23 PM
    How many of those concerts were life-or-death situations, though? How often were you required to play a guitar, regardless of your lack of training, with failure causing you to be ambushed by orcs?
    224 replies | 5839 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:42 PM
    That's a bad example, because nothing in your work or travels would have given you significant exposure to flute-playing. Contrast that with a wizard who, whether trained or not, is going to spend a lot of time trying to perceive monsters that may or may not be there, and who is going to have repeated first-hand exposure to sword-play. Just as it would be silly for you to spontaneously develop...
    224 replies | 5839 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:33 PM
    True, but only if everything scales, which I don't think anyone was actually proposing. The suggestion is that all of your numbers go up with level (whether you're a PC, NPC, or monster). The rest of the world would stay the same around you. Should the situation arise, a level 15 wizard would still be as badly off swinging their sword against a level 15 monster as they ever were, but they'd be...
    224 replies | 5839 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:16 PM
    That's not optimization. That's specialization. You're allowed to account for efficiency when optimizing a system. I honestly can't tell whether or not you're being serious here. But in any case, no, 5E is not a good system. It has obvious and glaring flaws that are immediately apparent to anyone who looks. Tool proficiency is one. The ambiguity between applicable saving throws is another...
    224 replies | 5839 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:55 AM
    Some people were content with Basic. That's no reason why everyone else should be stuck with that. If you can't criticize, then you can't optimize.
    224 replies | 5839 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 02:10 AM
    Is it that monks can't use weapons or armor? Or that they don't? IIRC, the original fighting monks were trained by soldiers who had converted; and even 5E allows a monk to use weapons as proficiently as they fight unarmed. There's no reason why you couldn't have monk as a sub-class of fighter, as long they had a sub-class ability which gave them a good reason to eschew heavy armor. The main...
    60 replies | 1943 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    I went with the classic four + monk. Everything else would either fit better as a classic class with an appropriate background, or is completely unnecessary. If I was forced to pick six, then I could add ranger, but only if the fighter was limited to being a melee class so that ranger could be the ranged class.
    60 replies | 1943 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 08:57 AM
    That's a lot to process. I must admit that I don't fully see how the base mechanics works, and how the die (or dice) interact with the attribute values. Just a few observations: 1) Your stats are ambiguous. I'm not sure what the difference between Acuity and Intuition is supposed to be. If someone has a 16 in one stat, and a 6 in the other stat, then that seems like it should mean something...
    8 replies | 603 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:16 PM
    The very first time I played, back in high school, the DM sat me down in front of some computer program and told me to hit the "roll" button until I was happy with the numbers and their placements.
    67 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 10:43 PM
    If I could move D&D into another setting, I would choose the Algol system. Sometimes I just want to hack at evil robots with my laser sword, while traversing a dungeon, in search of cake.
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 02:19 AM
    There are a lot of setting assumptions involved, before it becomes remotely feasible to mandate that every adult in the nation be capable of casting Magic Missile. I'm not saying that you couldn't do it, if you really wanted to, but it would require an awfully broad-magic setting. That's like the idea behind Eberron, taken to an extreme. As a rough guideline, I usually say that it takes seven...
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 01:59 AM
    Not a consensus, no. We just have a wide variety of house rules. Personally, I'm a fan of adding the damage from both weapons together, and treating that as a single attack (which scales with extra attack, no bonus action required).
    232 replies | 9960 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 01:24 AM
    I was under the impression that 5E used The Forgotten Realms as its default placeholder, simply because it's well-known. That's a ludicrously high-magic setting, though. I certainly wouldn't consider it to be typical. I remember at least one book which described a level 6 wizard as "unthinkably high level." Obviously, if fire-throwing wizards are available in any town, then that's a far...
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 12:48 AM
    There's no consensus on what a "standard" D&D campaign world is. If you start with the observation that armed sailing vessels exist within your campaign world, then you can use that to help derive expectations about how common high-level wizards must be. I mean, they have to be rare enough to not preclude armed sailing vessels, right?
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 09:30 PM
    I mainly use my understanding of the situation to double check its interaction with outside factors. The inherent ability of the character performing the action is a factor outside of the the approach to action. Many DMs forget that. (I'm not saying that you have that problem. Just in general.) It guarantees that the only ones who automatically fail are the ones with a modifier of -5 or worse,...
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:39 PM
    I also don't care about whether the roll I ask for has a guaranteed outcome or not. It's not super important, whether I know what everyone's modifier is. (The worst case scenario is just that they roll, and the guaranteed thing happens anyway; it's not a big deal.) The important part is in setting the DC. Declaring the DC before ascertaining certainty is an important consistency check. It...
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:58 PM
    How do you decide whether an action is certain or uncertain, if you don't first figure out the DC, or which modifier applies? It's trivial to figure out whether an action is certain or uncertain after you figure out the DC and the relevant modifier. The reverse should be impossible, since those two values are the only variables in the formula for certainty.
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:10 PM
    But how do you determine whether the outcome seems uncertain, if you don't even know which underlying mechanics apply? Do you just blindly guess? Do you use out-of-game knowledge? If possessing 30hp is not criteria which proves a character is immune to being dropped from an attack for (1d8+5) damage, then what is the criteria? More importantly, how are the players supposed to know what...
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:34 AM
    I have nothing against him, that I recall. I'm not saying that he's a jerk for doing it the way that he does. I am saying that he would be jerk if he did that without warning, while I was playing in his game. (Which I trust to not be the case, for several reasons.) As mentioned above, there is some ambiguity as to how that step works within the loop. As I see it, the only consistent...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:16 PM
    MAR Barker wrote Empire of the Petal Throne, one of the first real alternatives to D&D, in 1974.
    30 replies | 1779 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:14 PM
    The problem is that nobody can agree on who the jerk is. It's either the DM who doesn't let something work, because of the rules; or it's the DM who doesn't apply the rules, because of reasons. By my count, the worst jerk of a DM is the one who doesn't apply the rules consistently, where you know that the only reason you're still alive is because they're intentionally playing the opposition...
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 10:39 PM
    To me, the Ranger is the first and best example of a redundant class. It's a Fighter, with wilderness scout flavoring. There's literally zero reason why you couldn't just play a Fighter, give them the appropriate skill choices, and call that a Ranger. (Except in 4E, of course, where Fighter was redefined as melee-Fighter. In that edition, Ranger existed to be a ranged-Fighter.)
    352 replies | 12418 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 09:58 PM
    Creating a game, setting and all, is little more work than creating a game and setting individually. In some ways, it's even easier, since you can use details from the setting to shape the ruleset. Assuming you're properly motivated, and devote a couple of hours to it every day, you could probably go from conception to production in less than six months.
    30 replies | 1779 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 09:23 PM
    To be perfectly fair, I'm sure that it works fine at your table, and that's the most that anyone can ask out of any house rule (or ruling). I would even expect that your ruling might change, depending on the players at the table and how they react to your rules, but that variable is beyond the scope of this sort of thread.
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 08:20 PM
    How do you decide whether innate toughness provides a reasonably effective defense? I wouldn't expect a knife-to-the-throat to be an effective doom scenario for a troll or dragon, and my level 14 paladin has far more in common with a frost giant than he has with a human peasant, by any quantifiable measure.
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 07:05 PM
    Not really, no. I can't think of a single edition where there were actually different rules governing what happens in combat and what happen outside of combat. In 5E, specifically, the only differences are that we assume it's not important to track the exact passage of time outside of combat; and we assume that combatants are always alert, instead of facing in one direction such that you can...
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I wasn't just talking about snipers. I was also talking about critical hits, called shots, "vitality points", and many other house rules that give ways to bypass Hit Points. Such rules are universally bad, within the context of an HP-based system like D&D.
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 07:19 AM
    Two things: 1) From a consistency standpoint, there are too many problems with treating HP as anything other than pure toughness. The things which deal HP damage are primarily physical in nature, and none of that damage is adjusted for skill on the part of the defender; or rather, it is, but it uses the existing HP mechanics. Throwing a conscious person off of a cliff does not deal more damage...
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 02:28 AM
    As long as you allow an enemy sniper to one-shot a high-level PC, then it's perfectly fair, and balanced as a house rule. Otherwise, it's a standard attack, and the inability to be slain by a single arrow is an inherent trait of orcs (or ogres, trolls, etc).
    178 replies | 5663 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 01:48 AM
    Some of the ideas were neat, but at the time it came out, the game was already bloated with many different types of magic, and adding another one felt unnecessary. The idea would work better if sword magic was the only type of magic in the setting. Failing that, the warblade and crusader could have replaced the fighter and paladin, but having all of those classes in the same setting was...
    35 replies | 1868 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 06:49 AM
    Not quite. Fifth Edition (with all healing at default) lets you play a particular style of game, where you handle a particular amount of quantifiable opposition within a defined period of time. If you have more healing (twice as many healing surges, for example), then you can handle more than that. If you have less healing (no healing surges, for example), then you can handle less. Regardless of...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 09:58 PM
    I played AD&D for years, and we never had a healer. You just don't end up getting in as many fights. The only time you might need healing surges is if you both 1) have no healer, and 2) are following a pre-written script with unavoidable encounters. Otherwise, you can make do with a combination of rest and healing potions.
    20 replies | 1057 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 02:38 AM
    I will fault that GM. That's a terrible GM, by my standards. Such behavior is a clear violation of the impartiality which a GM is expected to uphold. I don't want to start this debate, again, right before the weekend. It's been done to death.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 01:57 AM
    If you're okay with manipulating players by giving them meta-game information that you expect them to act upon, by means of how you describe a scene, then... at least you're being consistent. I can't fault how your logic follows from your premise, regardless of how vehemently I disagree with that premise. Personally, I'm not going to meta-game, and I'm not going to allow meta-gamers at my...
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    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Exactly. The content of the message is infinitely more important than how you phrase it. You use whichever words are necessary to make your audience understand the reality of the situation, because the important thing is that they understand you. Everyone suffers from cognitive bias, to some degree. Being aware of that bias is the first step toward compensating for it. The rules of an RPG...
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    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:29 AM
    I see the confusion. The title of this thread refers to the middle ages as though it was a genre; which is problematic, because the middle ages is just a setting, and the genre of D&D is high fantasy. In light of that, the conversation has forked between people carrying genre conventions into different settings (What if D&D, but in the Old West instead of Pseudo-Medieval Europe?), and actually...
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Don't react to my choice of words. React to what those words mean. The spike demon is equally threatening, regardless of which words I use to convey that threat. It isn't suddenly less-dangerous, just because I use cheap words and pop-culture references to convey that threat. It isn't more-dangerous, if I use scary words and graphic imagery. It is what it is, nothing more and nothing less,...
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    You say that, but really, it shouldn't. If I'm giving a factual description, and the player is reading into it based on the specific words I'm using, then that player is meta-gaming and they need to stop. Acting based on the level of detail in the GM's description, rather than anything observable to the character, is a text-book example of meta-gaming. If your players are cheating, then...
    181 replies | 5771 view(s)
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:50 PM
    AKA, High Gygaxian
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:48 PM
    I don't follow. The GM's job is to describe the environment. If I stick to the facts in describing the environment, then the players won't be un-duly influenced. Besides, players aren't allowed to consider my word choice anyway, since that would be meta-gaming. My words aren't something that exist within the game world. The spike demon is.
    181 replies | 5771 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:30 PM
    As long as they understand what I'm getting at, that's the important thing. Whatever words are required to help them understand, as long as they get it, the exact words aren't important. I mean, I'm not some author writing a novel. I choose my words to best reflect the reality of the game world, but regardless of which words I choose, it's the reality which is the important thing. I don't want...
    181 replies | 5771 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 09:16 PM
    Healing surges can be removed entirely, to streamline that whole economy. They just aren't necessary. Likewise with Inspiration (if you used that). One very specific rule that I implemented in a previous campaign is that you can stow a weapon and draw its replacement as a single free interaction, so you wouldn't feel obligated to litter the map with discarded weapons. I also subscribe to a...
    20 replies | 1057 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:42 PM
    What does it mean to increase the result of a skill check by +10? You're more likely to drown, but if you do succeed, you swim amazingly?
    50 replies | 1541 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    How do your players feel about their epic god-slaying hero being murdered in their sleep by some punk with a knife, with their only possible defense being a Perception roll (at Disadvantage) to wake up in time?
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 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...
    60 replies | 2564 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 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.
    60 replies | 2564 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 10:10 PM
    Roughly the same thing as when McCree shoots Winston, in Overwatch.
    448 replies | 15501 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    52 replies | 2780 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 08:12 AM
    That's an interesting critique. Would you mind expanding on that?
    111 replies | 8334 view(s)
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Friday, 19th July, 2019


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Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

  • 06:11 PM - Yaarel mentioned Saelorn in post Consensus about two-weapon fighting?
    Until theres a consensus, I like the suggestion by @Saelorn to combine the dice of the two weapons as a single attack. A bonus action can split the attacks, so as to hit separate targets.

Friday, 28th June, 2019

  • 03:12 AM - Yaarel mentioned Saelorn in post Consensus about two-weapon fighting?
    Those are good suggestions. @Saelorn: add the dice together as a single attack, scaling with Extra Attack, no bonus necessary. @Xeviat: but require a bonus to split between two targets. I would add: require a bonus if splitting into two separate attacks for any reason (such as to increase the chances for a special attack to hit).

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 02:52 PM - Michael Silverbane mentioned Saelorn in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    So... To me, when the DM is describing things, setting the scene, relaying the results of actions, he is doing narration. Doing it in a conversational style doesn't make it not narration. In addition, the choice of using a conversational style still seems pretty deliberate. So, like in Bedrockgames 's case, he uses this style for a more authentic, easily accessible feel, and because he and his players prefer it. Similarly Saelorn uses a neutral, "just the facts" style of narration in an effort not to unduly influence his players. So... Word choice and phrasing are important, even if they are sometimes important for different things. Personally, I tend to move back and forth pretty fluidly between more fancy-pants talk and colloquialism depending on a number of factors, including things like, 'I thought of a cool thing ans want to try to express that to my players.' or, 'Steve is looking hangry, perhaps I can annoy him by using a lot of food words.' or, 'this combat is getting pretty intense, I'd better keep my descriptions punchy and on point.'

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019


Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 11:51 PM - Yaarel mentioned Saelorn in post Favourite D&D edition that’s 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 ‘betrayed’ 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! What’s 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 Mordekanin’s Private Sanctum (thanks Saelorn ) to rest and hide out between portal jumps, I think I’ve got a winner!! Once they catch up with the NPCs, it’s 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 you’ll 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.


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Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 12:31 PM - Doc_Klueless quoted Saelorn in post What are your favourite single game mechanics?
    What are yours?Some of mine are already mentioned so I'll get those out of the way (heh): D&D's advantage/disadvantage is a really elegant way to replace all those fiddly bonuses. It's one of my favourite things about 5E.Love, love, love how this got rid of all those piddly modifiers. I know other games have done similar things, but this was my first massive exposure to the mechanic. Stunt Points (Dragon Age, Fantasy Age): roll 3d6, doubles on rolls generate Stunt points equal to the value of the off-colored stunt die that a player can spend on various cool thingsI really like this one as it give each round something new and interesting. One of the chief complaints I hear about the AGE system is that "hitting" the target becomes ridiculously easy as the characters advance in level. My own players, when I was learning the system a while back, really complained about it. But the 3d6 roll really isn't so much a "To Hit" Roll as it is a "Generate Stunt Points" Roll. Once we overcame th...
  • 08:48 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I follow what you're saying, but I respectfully disagree. From my perspective, those problems came directly from problems with PC complexity, and the perfectly-functional NPC rules were simply caught as collateral. It's not more wrong for an NPC to need six stat-boosting items, than it is for a PC to need them. Those problems are equally bad. If you fix it for PCs, then it would also be fixed for NPCs, and then everyone wins. Likewise with obscure feat chains. The problem wasn't that some monsters used obscure feat chains that interacted in complex ways that required an extra paragraph to explain. The problem was in how feats were designed, such that most of them were entirely worthless outside of obscure builds, such that using them required you to figure out complex interactions. That feat chain wouldn't be better if it was on a PC; it's simply bad design. Now you seem to argue in favor of 5E and simpler systems, Saelorn. All this time I've thought you were in these discussions to defend older systems (like 3.x). If you're content with simple PC options, then of course the issue of "1 hour build; 1 minute kill" goes away. The remaining question for you then is: What about the calls for crunchier player character generation and build options? If you loved 3.5 or Pathfinder as a player, you find 5E meager pickings. So you want a game with richer deeper and more complex options. But as a DM, I definitely don't want that. As in I can't stand it. As in, the game won't be happening at all (with me as DM - I could probably use the game as a player, since that means the nightmarish admin is somebody else's problem ;) ) Ergo the solution to split PC and NPC generation rules!

Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 09:28 PM - Remathilis quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Right, but the inherent problem with that edition was specifically the combination of complex PCs with NPC symmetry. NPC symmetry, by itself, is not an inherent problem of any edition. Which was my point. 3.x PCs had a lot of moving parts to them (race, class(es), feats, skills, spells, magic items, etc) all of which NPCs and monsters emulated nearly 1:1. It lead to some real PITA moments. For example; creatures would have "hidden" abilities lost in the feat section. One example I recall vividly came from Libris Mortis. There was a creature there called a Slaughter Wright. It was a CR 8 monster that had some normal special abilities (energy drain, create spawn, etc) but in its feats section, it listed the following: Daunting Presence†, Death Master†, Eviscerator†, Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness†, Power Attack Most of those feats were listed in Chapter 2 of the same book. I dare you to tell me what they did without flipping to the feat chapter in combat to look at...
  • 08:59 PM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Similarities 4E PF2?
    Your first problem is that easy fights, which pose no threat, take a long time to resolve. Your second problem is that the PCs are apparently locked into inescapable death matches, against their will. Now I don't know what game you're talking about, or how that relates to NPC build rules... The only game I know where "easy fights still take too long" is 4E, and I'm not defending that edition. There's no such thing as a great game, if it's actually contrived behind an illusion. Deception is the worst quality that a GM can have. If you can't trust that your GM is playing honestly, then there's no point in even playing. If you truly believe that, or it's inverse a) that you "lie" just because your monsters don't follow PC build rules... b) that following PC build rules somehow prevents a DM from "cheating" if they really want to... I really have nothing to say to you...
  • 04:15 PM - TwoSix quoted Saelorn in post Similarities 4E PF2?
    Personally, I don't see the appeal in overcoming a challenge which has been carefully contrived in such a way that I should probably be able to beat it as long as I don't make obvious mistakes, but which is also engineered to make it seem like I'll be on the verge of failing at any moment. So not a fan of Dark Souls, I take it? :)
  • 10:22 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Similarities 4E PF2?
    Doesn't that go back to the old "war vs sport" analogy? The question isn't how to have balanced encounters when you have variable recharge rates. The question is whether balanced encounters are even a desirable goal to begin with. Pathfinder 2 design shows an unhealthy obsession with controlling numbers, which leads me to believe that they've adopted the "combat as sport" approach, which is never going to appeal to the audience of Pathfinder 1 players who hated 4E for exactly that reason. Personally, I don't see the appeal in overcoming a challenge which has been carefully contrived in such a way that I should probably be able to beat it as long as I don't make obvious mistakes, but which is also engineered to make it seem like I'll be on the verge of failing at any moment.Sure, when you put it that way. But let me ask you: which is more fun a) a combat encounter that might take a long time to resolve but never feels dangerous and never could pose a threat b) a combat encounter which inadve...
  • 09:40 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    ...racters and monsters, but no, 4E didn't fail because monsters used separate rules from characters. We now have 5E which is wildly successful despite having that. Your conclusion seems unlikely. Sure there was *something* about stat gen people didn't like, but probably not the mere separation between PCs and NPCs. A far more likely explanation is how the gamism of 4E is in your face, love it or leave it. As I said, the only two acceptable solutions are 1) make monster creation easy and since they "must" be the same for PCs, have easy (non-complex, non-cruncy, shallow) rules too and what you just rejected 2) monsters easy; characters complex: they're not the same, or "gamist" or whatever The solution that leaves most players without a DM (at higher levels) is: 3) chargen is delightfully crunchy; monsters use the same horribly complicated rules The fact 3.x chose option 3 is what drove me away from the game. I suspect I am definitely not alone. So take your pick. If you are the DM, Saelorn, and you still pick #3, I can respect that. But any *player* who wants his or her DM to slave and toil under nightmarishly cruddy NPC rules just to uphold "simulationism", even when it takes them *seconds* to kill off foes that took *hours* to craft, can f* right off... [emoji847]

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 09:24 PM - Kurviak quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Not when the topic of discussion is Pathfinder 2E, and whether or not it will do to Paizo what 4E did to WotC. Using wildly different rules for PCs and monsters is a strong shift away from Simulationism and toward Gamism, and one of the major reasons why 4E died so horribly was that much of their target audience was not on-board with that shift. D&D players, at least in the 3E-era, wanted rules that told us how the world was supposed to work. While you could make an argument that this is no longer true of current D&D players, it should still be true of Pathfinder 1E fans, which means they will remain highly resistant to that sort of change. Ergo, Pathfinder 2E is making exactly the same mistake that D&D 4E made, by mis-judging their audience. That’s your opinion, I like PF1 a lot, I’ve been a GM for it for a wile and as much as I love the game I dislike a lot of it, and one of the things I dislike most is the futility of the time investment for fighting encounter building, mostly in regards...
  • 11:07 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    NPC symmetry, by itself, is not an inherent problem of any edition. True, but also a huge nitpick and wildly irrelevant to the discussion.
  • 03:14 AM - Remathilis quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    It's only the same if the PC math is complicated, as was the case in 3.x/PF1. It was never a problem to use PC math for NPCs when playing AD&D, though. I believe I was referring explicitly to 3.x/PF1. "I see some of 4e in PF2, but that's because they were both attempts to fix the same inherent problems with 3.5. For nigh unto 20 years, the problems with the 3.x/d20 mechanics have shown themselves again and again." So my problems with monster/NPC math came from the idea that they were built using all the same parts as a PC, right down to feats and skill points and magic items arrays, rather than a simpler or more organic method that didn't drown them in fiddly abilities and useless magical gear.
  • 03:02 AM - Jer quoted Saelorn in post Similarities 4E PF2?
    Strong control over the math implies (to me) that they are again looking to balance the game at the encounter level, rather than across an entire day (or an entire adventure). Mathematical game balance can only be achieved at the encounter level. Because in order to be able to come up with metrics you can "balance" you need to be able to know the resources available to the players when they come into an encounter. The more variable the possible resources they have as they enter the encounter, the harder it is going to be to reliably determine encounter balance. In 3e they thought they could balance encounters across the entire day and came up with the whole CR measure to do it. They were wrong - CR never worked the way it was supposed to for a whole lot of reasons. In 4e they moved to have player resources be somewhat predictable per encounter rather than per day and that worked - you could actually balance encounters in 4e mathematically (and once you fixed the damage and hp math fo...
  • 02:06 AM - ZenBear quoted Saelorn in post All Aboard the Figher Express
    it would require you to have two empty hands and spend your free object interaction for the round - you can't attack after that, because you don't have a weapon. He used one hand and still made his attack with a greatsword. I think you're right that it ought to be a grapple, which for Fighters is fine since they get Extra Attack so it isn't completely burning their action.
  • 12:54 AM - Remathilis quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    The issue was never that they used the same math. The issue is that they were too complicated to create. Same difference. For X amount of HD, they had Y feats, Z skill points, and if they had any class levels, Q amount of magical items to equip. All of those elements made monster and NPC creation a huge headache. On the other hand, monster math also involved the issue of monsters being too strong/weak for their CR, creating imbalance depending on the level of optimization your group entailed. Some creatures could grapple for such bonuses that no creature could escape, while others could not hit a level appropriate PC except on a 20 or posssibly pass a saving throw from a PC. So, really, it was both. Monster math being based on the same system PCs used makes them hard to create, hard to run, and wildly imbalanced. It was an issue 4e, 5e, and PF2 have all tried to fix in some way or another.

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 11:02 PM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Sacrificing 1 for the benefit of 3 is an equally valid solution. Theoretically, yes indeed. However, we've already got 5E where 1 was sacrificed (but not for the benefit of 3). So it feels like more of a market to offer 1 & 2 :)
  • 09:12 PM - Kurviak quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    That covers your players at your table, sure, but those aren't the only players or table under discussion. Sacrificing 1 for the benefit of 3 is an equally valid solution. But that’s not the route Paizo choose for PF2. They went with different methods for players vs non players characters
  • 08:52 PM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    The issue was never that they used the same math. The issue is that they were too complicated to create.People want incompatible things: 1) deep crunchy charbuild options on the player side 2) simple fast monster creation on the DM side 3) PCs and NPCs being governed by the same rules Sorry, no can do. The only possible way to have 1+3 is what 3.x tried, and it completely killed high-level DMing for me. Ultimately 2 is paramount, so the real choice is between 1 and 3. And my players clearly want 1. Since I the DM want (nay need) 2, the only sacrifice possible is to give up 3. Ergo unified rules for PCs and NPCs is a pipe dream that can never happen. What's practical and simple for the DM is shallow and unsatisfying for players. What's deliciously crunchy for players is a nightmare for the DM (me).
  • 04:33 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Saelorn in post What are your favourite single game mechanics?
    I totally agree. As much as it’s super-abstract, I still prefer it to systems that have you take increasing penalties as you get injured. It’s completely elegant in its simplicity. I’ll add Shadowrun Anarchy’s Glitch Die mechanic. You don’t have to use it, but it’s a gamble if you do – your action could be wildly successful, or go totally off-rails, depending on this single die. I much prefer this to the traditional glitch mechanic. Tunnels & Trolls’ DARO/TARO rule (doubles/triples always roll over). The simple exploding dice mechanic means there’s always a chance. In general, I think the simplicity of T&T’s mechanics, and how early they came about, deserves more recognition. I really like Hit Points as a simple, abstract measurement of health. I like how it avoids the death spiral of accumulating penalties...deserves mention above all.
  • 02:57 AM - Arilyn quoted Saelorn in post Finesse rebalance
    A weak character should never hit harder than a strong character, all else being equal. In my opinion, you could just have finesse weapons add Strength to damage instead of Dex, and leave everything else as-is. Maybe we'd actually get a character with decent Strength and Dexterity, once in a while. Yes, yes. I'm tired of 18 str. and 8 dex. or 18 dex. and 8 str. warriors. It makes no sense. A true fighter is going to be strong and nimble. Would you really want to enter into battle all buffed up but super clumsy, or very nimble with strength of tissue paper? I know, it's D&D, and D&D often makes little sense, but this one always bothered me.

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 08:47 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Saelorn in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    As a DM, you should only add a race to your setting if it makes sense for them to be there. Personally, it's hard for me to justify more than six races on a single planet. The only settings which should come close to having a dozen races or more should be something like Forgotten Realms (which is basically just a joke setting, haha wouldn't it be funny to have a world with everything in it?) and Planescape. See also Spelljammer.

Sunday, 14th July, 2019

  • 11:45 AM - Fanaelialae quoted Saelorn in post Required Class Skills
    They tried really hard to separate the mechanics of a class out from its narrative identity, because they wanted to leave character identity as a matter of background. The reason it doesn't work is because class mechanics exist as a reflection of that identity. A wizard that isn't a scholar is a contradiction in terms; being a scholar is the entire reason why a wizard can cast spells. A ranger that isn't an outlander is not really a ranger, narratively speaking. As with most things in this edition, there are too many ideas competing for space, and the net result is a patch-work of mediocre ideas that fails to hold up under scrutiny. They need backgrounds as an independent variable, because fighters don't otherwise have an identity; but rangers do already have an identity, and giving them a background on top of that should either be redundant or contradictory. They ended up going with mechanical consistency (everyone gets a background), because they weren't willing to consolidate the ranger ...


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