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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:00 PM
    Not that there's any way for us to know for certain, but I would wager that a PF2 that was just an updated PF1 would sell a lot more than the PF2 that they ended up with. I mean, it's not like those players originally went to PF1 because they were sick of 3.5 or anything; they went to PF1 because they liked 3.5, but PF1 was better. Ergo, that audience would happily switch to a better version of...
    199 replies | 13064 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:03 AM
    I don't like it, for a number of reasons. I mean, I'm never going to be on board with letting one stat substitute for another, but if that's what you're going to do, then you should commit. I think this fighting style would be far more interesting and balanced if it let you use (Intelligence modifier plus one) in place of your Dexterity modifier for the purposes of attack and damage with...
    36 replies | 660 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 10:33 PM
    Saelorn replied to Double Dash
    The interesting thing, at least from my perspective, is that rogues have a long history of out-running fighters. If you use the 3E numbers, it even comes out to the same 50% boost. The only difference is that now it's coming from a class feature, where it previously came from inherent armor speed limitations. It's kind of like how a fighter with a greatsword does so much more damage than a...
    117 replies | 3102 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:13 PM
    It's not usually too hard for a low-level creature to inflict some damage on a high-level PC. The big problem is that PCs regenerate so quickly that mere HP damage isn't actually a drain on resources. If you take a little incidental damage along the course of the day, then you can spend some Hit Dice to heal that during your next short rest, which you were going to take anyway in order for...
    28 replies | 637 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 07:42 PM
    As you say, crunchier PCs are incompatible with easy NPCs, if they both use the same rules. You have to choose your priorities. Where Pathfinder 1 succeeded was that they chose the exact same priorities as 3.5 (complex characters, NPC symmetry, lots of work for the GM), which meant nobody had any reason to stick with 3.5 instead of moving to Pathfinder. With Pathfinder 2, they're going with...
    199 replies | 13064 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    199 replies | 13064 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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....
    38 replies | 1442 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    20 replies | 511 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    38 replies | 1442 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    117 replies | 3102 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    199 replies | 13064 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    44 replies | 1560 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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.
    8 replies | 300 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...
    38 replies | 1442 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...
    199 replies | 13064 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.
    199 replies | 13064 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...
    38 replies | 1442 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 | 460 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...
    199 replies | 13064 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...
    117 replies | 3102 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.
    199 replies | 13064 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.
    199 replies | 13064 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...
    44 replies | 1560 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?)...
    107 replies | 3903 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.
    87 replies | 2847 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 | 1908 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 | 3588 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.
    199 replies | 13064 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...
    75 replies | 2844 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 | 12557 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...
    199 replies | 13064 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...
    199 replies | 13064 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 | 5898 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 | 5898 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 | 5898 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 | 5898 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 | 5898 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 | 5898 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 | 2003 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 | 2003 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 | 611 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 | 2049 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 | 15690 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 | 15690 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 | 10033 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 | 15690 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 | 15690 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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...
    178 replies | 5733 view(s)
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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 | 1793 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 | 5733 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 | 12557 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 | 1793 view(s)
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    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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 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 | 5733 view(s)
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    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 | 1879 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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    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 | 1065 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.
    181 replies | 5828 view(s)
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    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...
    181 replies | 5828 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    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...
    181 replies | 5828 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    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 | 15690 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,...
    181 replies | 5828 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    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 | 5828 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:50 PM
    AKA, High Gygaxian
    181 replies | 5828 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    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 | 5828 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 | 1569 view(s)
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  • 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 | 15690 view(s)
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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019


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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...

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 06:32 PM - Laurefindel mentioned Saelorn in post Ranger Beast Master: errata will add new features to your animal companion!
    I must say that I agree with @Saelorn too, I believe in the gaming principle that dice are to be rolled only if the outcome of a challenge is uncertain, and that if a player is allowed/enforced to roll, there should always be a chance, however small that is, to succeed on the task at hand. I was very happy that D&D 5e (at last!) embraced that principle but somewhat disappointed that there wasn't a blanket "1 is always a failure and 20 is always a success" underlying rule. Let one peasant out of twenty resist the full scale of the magical effect, and let the hero have its 5% chance of escaping the bad guy's "gotcha!" button. It's not going to break the game and IMO, it's one instance when simplicity and consistency win over complexity and diversity. I don't see how the game is much better with the possibility to auto-fail on a save, or auto-succeed on a skill check.

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 05:35 AM - OB1 mentioned Saelorn in post Ranger Beast Master: errata will add new features to your animal companion!
    Not on saving throws, which is one of the main reasons why I believe they didn't anticipate the situation. I don't know that there's ever been an edition where saving throws were literally unmake-able, let alone on as-consistent a basis as they are in 5E. Saelorn, let me start by saying that I understand that this is a pet peeve of yours, but it really got me thinking about the reality of the situation and I just wanted to bring some hard data to it. I get the fact that you don't like that a PC can encounter threats that they may not be able to overcome on their own, but for me, it's an incredible feature of 5e, not a bug. But beyond that, the actual issue of impossible saves isn't as large as you seem to imply. First of all, every character, by level 20, can achieve a minimum of +2 in all of their saves via their ASI choices, which means that that any PC can ensure they have a chance to make a saving throw up to DC22. Additionally, any PC may choose to be a fighter, and thereby achieve a minimum of +3 to all of their saves, but for the purposes of this argument, let's use the DC22 baseline, since it doesn't restrict you to a specific class (and since any PC choosing a Paladin can achieve a min of +8 in every save). The rules state tha...

Monday, 5th November, 2018

  • 09:47 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned Saelorn in post What variant rules should I add to my new campaign?
    Yup. It's a big sack of unintended consequences... what's the cheapest lightest weapon a wizard or anyone can carry to blow off crits? Might help TWF as you burn your dagger off-hand to stop the dragon crit then just draw another on your turn. I can imagine how many of their crits being eaten by enemy dagger breaks before my players balked... no wait... they would never approve it in the first place. You know it's a good rule when basic question prompt the "nobody forcing you" evasion. I mean, as a DM I wouldn't make PC crits meaningless by having wizards carry non-focus staves just for the purposes of not taking damage. I like to make my games cinematic and fun for the players. I'd hope that a DM using this rule would do the same. In all likelyhood, I could see an NPC use sacrifice something to avoid certain death but would give the PCs some kind of advantage. Saelorn I think in a more gritty setting, it would be more meaningful.

Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 10:49 PM - pukunui mentioned Saelorn in post Dragon+: Q&A with Jeremy Crawford, 10/30/18
    Saelorn: That one's OK. It's the one about adding a class feature that makes beast's attacks magical for the purposes of bypassing resistance. I don't care how JC tries to justify it to himself or spin it to us, that's a rules change. Not errata.

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 01:39 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Saelorn in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Saelorn and Maxperson: I'm distinguishing between asking the question "What would this character do?", which I think is totally fine, and stating, "Action X is what the character would do," as if it's the one action among all the possibilities which is the most likely. It's the latter that I think is nonsense. People do unexpected, improbable, irrational things all the time.

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

  • 03:53 PM - Sadras mentioned Saelorn in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    What i found odd tho (unclear apparently) was the immediate juxtaposition of disallowing an expressly optional element and disallowing a core element to try and use that juxtaposition to paint the former with the latter. Odd was the ommission of consideration of optional per the rules vs core per the rules. True, but if the DM allows MC but disallows a pallock, then the juxtaposition made by @Arial Black stands. I could be mistaken, but that is what it seemed like in Saelorn's post - he/she was referring to a particular MC being disallowed.

Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 04:23 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And as it took 15-odd years to get things to this sad point, it'll probably take another 15 to get 'em back. 5e is merely a worthy start in that direction. It's funny how "will appeal to fans of all editions" got interpreted to mean "will meet the strict requirements of the most extreme zealots." Actually, because I'm curious, can you (or @Saelorn or anybody else) provide me with a specific quote from WotC that you think is evidence of a broken promise? (With full acknowledgement that the above quote is not evidence that you are in the camp; all it actually implies is that you are disappointed with 5e, not that you think they broke promises to get there. So apologies if I made incorrect assumptions.)

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...n general I don't give much credence to the whole "WotC promised me the moon and all I got was this t-shirt" complaint. I know some fans of previous editions (or parts of previous editions) feel like WotC "betrayed" them for various reasons, but it seems to me that people interpret their "promises" with unreasonable expectations, and then feel like promises were broken when those hopeful interpretations turn out to be incorrect. And in cases where they really did say, "We're going to do X" and then failed to do X, I would assume it was more that they realized X was untenable and regretfully changed their minds, as opposed to having intentionally misled people with marketing hyperbole. Product development goes that way sometimes. I mean, just look at the reactions to the Ravnica announcement. You'd think the sky was falling. Personally I'm glad they try to give updates and previews, rather than keep it all secret until launch in order avoid accusations of betrayal. Saelorn - Regarding your betrayal comment due to WoTC focusing on the middle. I'd argue that your lack of acceptance (not the same as understanding - I think you understand very well) of how markets work is probably the cause of your strife and not WoTC. Once you're running a business, you're doing statistics on the market. Once you're doing statistics you're looking at the middle 50 and folks that are one standard deviation away from the middle 50 for whatever you're marketing because that's where you're going to make most of your money. If you're not in that grouping then it's not the company that's the problem. You need to find the product where you're in that middle 50 plus 1 stdev in order to be happy. Of course, from any marketers viewpoint by aiming at what they're aiming at, they're marketing "to everyone". Elfcrusher regarding the Ravnica thing. I just don't get the folks that hate the idea of using M:tG settings as fodder for D&D. While it's not my first choice of ...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 05:18 PM - DMMike mentioned Saelorn in post D&D Action Economy - Alternative
    ...something already that costs an action in exchange for boosted defense: Dodge. Adding to OP. I'd be leaving in passive AC (because who doesn't love finding out that their attack was worthless?), but the Defense action would be a choice between Dodging or Saving. Saelorn: so tanking hits would still be possible - just not tanking spells/saves. You might also want to check if you're sure you want the possibility of casting 2 spells of any kind in a round, or if this needs the same restriction as for bonus action spells. I hope that the stigma over this would be lessened, since the free action would give other characters the chance to act twice as well. Maybe characters with a higher initiative score can react, attempting to disrupt the spell? How about lifting a rule from the glorious Dragon Warriors? Shields: don’t add to your AC but if you’re hit, roll a d6. On a 6, no damage. Maybe give different quality of shields different amounts of hits (number of) or HP (worth of damage). Just a thought. Would it bust the game? Pretty harsh that a shield would work, however poorly, regardless of the attacker's skill. But I have to agree with you (DW?) that shields and armor should use separate rules. It would make sense for the shield bonus to ap...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 12:39 AM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post Sanctuary plus Spirit Guardians?
    Would you end sanctuary then if the caster insults and nonmagically goads an opponent? If you would, would you require a save if a character tried to verbally goad a creature protected by sanctuary? Yes, because an insult is an attack on emotions. And yes, obviously. Man, Saelorn's right. Sanctuary is so weak.

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 12:23 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I'm not sure but at low levels probably not a lot but at higher levels it would keep you more cautious. I'm guessing. Assuming various powers that attack Harm 3 or Harm 4 come into play more at high levels, and the boxes don't change, then of course the threat of death would be high at any level. Perhaps unmanageably high but again I'd have to see an entire system to know for sure. I am happy enough with a moderately unrealistic system like hit points for a high fantasy super heroic game. I might also enjoy a less super heroic game. In such cases maybe WOIN or GURPS or even RQ would work. This is a totally different axis from metagame. I wouldn't want a metagame mechanic in any of those games if I had a choice. I think I could enjoy any of those games otherwise but I'd still favor the high fantasy game of D&D style the most. Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for your response in relation to that. So let me go a bit further and perhaps you can comment on this. A 10th level Fighter is challenging a trio of Stone Giants on the edge of their plateau which sits 70 feet above the ground. Situation 1: a) He has 100 HPs and the only chance the fall has to kill him is if he’s been significantly worn down in combat by interaction with the Stone Giants and their clubs (that are as big and weighty as him) and thrown boulders. b) As he waded in he sees a show of strength by the Stone Giant Cheieftan; the impact of one of these clubs and/or thrown boulders utterly ruins a rock formation of ap...

Friday, 6th July, 2018

  • 10:40 PM - TwoSix mentioned Saelorn in post Multi-classing: as good as it seems?
    ...That and +1 DC is a common ASI at 4th - both affecting more and doing more damage when you do. The other choice being a feat. If you'd like to say that a feat and no feat are about the same in power, I will have to disagree. Initial benefit of a subclass varies, but some are quite overwhelming. Do you feel like these are of no import? Bear Totem barbarian's expansion of Resistance to all damage but psychic? Moon druid's Combat Form? Battlemaster's Superiority dice? Paladin's oath with oath spells and channel divinity Warlock pact? Wizard's arcane traditions, like Arcane Ward from Abjuration or Portent for Divination? And that leaves off all the other features I listed that were not addressed: # of rages, spell points, action surge, ki, divine smite, sneak attack damage, and invocations. I can respect that you stand by your original statement. I'll leave my numeration of the benefits of levels 2-4 here so that others can make up their own minds. I feel Saelorn is somewhat understanding the importance of the 2-4 features, and you're somewhat overstating it. Level 2-4 features are quite useful, but so are plenty of level 1 features! Better armor, Con save proficiency for a caster, fighting style, more cantrips and low level spells known are all good things to have. And really, even in the worst case the delta between an optimized character and an unoptimized character at level 4 just isn't that large. The real pain point for a multiclass character is usually 5th-8th, when you're down a feat/ASI and missing the Extra Attack/3rd level spell boost. And even that can be mitigated if you're doing a part rogue build or cantrip build.

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 01:37 PM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post Would you allow this?
    Heh, if you google the definition of role-playing, both meanings are right there: Saelorn was using definition 1 and saying that's what he prefers. But that doesn't mean definition 2 is invalid, and I don't think anyone ever meant to imply differently. Saelorn already acknowledged that someone adding details is using the first definition as I argued, but that he didn't care for the additions and it wasn't this thing. I've never argued that the second definition is what I am using, as I wasn't using it.
  • 12:28 PM - TwoSix mentioned Saelorn in post What is the essence of 4E?
    And frankly give me Smash over Street Fighter any day - and I can't wait for Smash Ultimate to come out. I'm also a strong 4e fan. I wonder if the two are linked :) Or Young Linked, or Toon Linked. :) I bought a Switch the day after I saw the Smash Ultimate trailer. And I'm also a 4e fan, so I think Saelorn's original comparison is dead on.

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

  • 02:18 PM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post Would you allow this?
    I can see both sides of this. On the one hand, it is pretty reasonable to define role playing specifically as "playing a role" in the normal sense. Saelorn's definition is probably what a non-gamer would expect the term to mean. On the other hand, the term has broadened in meaning to encompass all sorts of things you do when you play a role-playing game. There are many different but perfectly legitimate styles of play that fit into that category. But given the community we're all in, it's probably safer to assume people here will interpret the term broadly, so be careful how you use it. The meaning has broadened for sure, but even with his limited definition, the person narrating additional details is still roleplaying. Saelorn finally acknowledged that himself and stated that he prefers his way over the other, which is fine. We all have our preferences and I also prefer games without player narration of details as in the scarf example up thread.

Saturday, 23rd June, 2018

  • 02:40 AM - mrpopstar mentioned Saelorn in post Super Simple Armor
    jaelis this gives back to the rogue (because I don't truly harbor Dex any ill will), captures everything a boil down needs to capture for me, takes most everything offered for consideration in the thread into account, and gets buy-in from Saelorn, so, I'm feeling pretty good about it. :) I'll update the first post to reflect my thinking. Most burning question: Should things be listed as "light masterwork armor" or "masterwork light armor" ? Armor Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Light Armor 11 + Dex modifier -- Disadvantage Light Masterwork Armor 12 + Dex modifier -- -- Medium Armor 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) -- Disadvantage Medium Masterwork Armor 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) -- -- Heavy Armor 16 Str 13 Disadvantage Heavy Masterwork Armor 18 Str 15 Disadvantage Shield +2 -- --


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 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 ...

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 08:42 AM - DMMike quoted Saelorn in post How do you get to GURPS?
    Yeah, if the GM gives a player a stack of GURPS books with a zillion options, creating a character from scratch is daunting. The template system, however, makes this much easier. . . Templates won't convert someone into a GURPS fan if the system is otherwise anathema to their preferred game design, but I've found that they largely eliminate any barriers to entry during the character creation process. So GURPS, or the GM's intended complex game, just needs some training wheels to get new players into it? 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. This is my concern. Is a gateway RPG the solution here, or might that just muddy the waters? A certain other thread is making a good case for D&D as a gateway RPG...But on the other hand, once players are accustomed to armor class and attack bonuses and 5 foot squares, it's hard to teach them something new. And dare we say it...b...
  • 02:50 AM - MoonSong quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    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 talent and learned skill, and only use that one bonus (in addition to the level bonus). It would prevent issues where (for example) the cleric is more perceptive than the ranger, when their Wisdom gap is greater than their proficiency gap. It would also solve the annoying old problem where the only way to truly specialize was to have both the maximum ability modifier and the maximum skill bonus. Ideally I would have ability modifiers not affecting skill bonus by themselves, I would rather high ability bonuses helped you have higher proficiency levels faster. Edit: An on topic, this isn't necessarily a ju...
  • 02:37 AM - Rory Fansler quoted Saelorn in post How do you get to GURPS?
    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. Thats fair. Though in this case the rule is Deceptive Attack (p. B369): For every -2 penalty you choose to your attack roll the foe gets -1 to his defense roll. You may nor reduce your final effective skill below 10 for this. Feint (p. 365) is a bit more complicated since its written up as a Maneuver (or action) but basically is a quick contest of weapon skills. If you win (roll better than they do) your next attack lowers their defense by 1 for every point you won by. Again its a little more complicated since it describes what happens if you succeed and they fail, you both succeed, etc. I find Deceptive Attack to be more popular. Its more of a penalty but you dont give up an attack to do it.
  • 01:50 AM - Rory Fansler quoted Saelorn in post How do you get to GURPS?
    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. Thats when you add in Deceptive Attack and Feints or even use the optional rules in GURPS Martial Arts I think titled "Duels Between Masters". I've found the players who like high skill over brute force tend to enjoy those fights.Its generally more fun then just killing by attrition (wearing down a large HP total). As for Supers I find them the most difficult and frustrating for players. The problem is so many options and they have to really understand the setting and baselines. My current group has a Venom type, speedster, Namor/Aquaman type, and one guy still trying to work it out but basically a leader/tactician type. The easiest for the player and build I'm most happy with is the Aquaman type. The player told...

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 07:51 PM - Flamestrike quoted Saelorn in post What is the Ranger to you?
    If some hypothetical multi-class monstrosity is a better Ranger than the Ranger in the book, then that points to the optional rules being unbalanced, rather than there being something wrong with the core class. Its a Dex based Fighter/ Scout/ Ranger. Not sure how that's a 'multi-class monstrosity'. It's entirely thematic. It's basically a special forces soldier. And I disagree that it points to Multi-classing being unbalanced. The Ranger (as a whole) sucks after 5th level even if you're forced to stay with the class in a game where there is no Multi-classing. Its class features after 5th level are medicore at best (including the capstone). It literally gets to coat itself in Mud at 10th level (WTF?), gains a watered down version of Cunning action at 14th level (which Rogues get at 2nd) that only lets it Hide as a bonus action (no dash or disengage) - things that Goblins can do better just be virtue of being Goblins, and improvements to it's 'exploration pillar' stuff that no-one uses anyway...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 08:09 PM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    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 either one or the other. Nature vs nurture. Trained vs natural

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 10:46 PM - Slit518 quoted Saelorn in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    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 musical ability for no reason, it would be equally silly for this wizard to learn nothing after they have been given so many opportunities. But flutes are a tool and tools are something you can be proficient in. And why can't a carpenter/mason also possibly play flute on the side? And how do we know the carpenter/mason didn't face hardship in his journey? He hacked his way through the rainforests of the amazon, just to fight off cannibalistic tribes on his way to his destination to learn the ultimate masonry skills. He climbed the mountains of Tibet to learn from the best carpenters in their area, ...
  • 10:27 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Saelorn in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    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? Doesn't matter. In a life or death situation I wouldn't suddenly learn how to play. Don't be silly. (also, that's shifting the goalposts from what the OP is describing. They didn't limit a prof bonus only in life and death situations, but all situations based solely on level)
  • 10:17 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Saelorn in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    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 musical ability for no reason, it would be equally silly for this wizard to learn nothing after they have been given so many opportunities. It's not really a bad example. In my world travels over the decades, I've been to a lot of concerts. From middle of nowhere Weird Al at a fairground concert, to 20,000 filled stadiums, to Rockfest, to 4 day long concerts in Amsterdam. A LOT of concerts. And you know what? I still don't have any clue how to play a guitar.
  • 09:47 PM - jgsugden quoted Saelorn in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    That's not optimization. That's specialization. You're allowed to account for efficiency when optimizing a system.No, optimization is relevant to a specific goal. You optimize to meet that goal as best as can be achieved. If your goal is to get the highest score in a game, the optimal strategy is whatever solution is required to get that score, regardless of how long it takes, etc... If you want to set additional conditionals as part of your optimization goal you can do that, but whatever goal you set, any alternative goals that do not have identical path to an optimal solution will be inefficiently served by the optimal process to reach the initial optimization goal. As thim impacts D&D, which lacks precise consistet goals, efforts to optimize tends towards inefficiency. Specialization, on the other hand, is merely devoting the majority of one's talents towards a singular goal. It is non exclusionary. It is not the search for perfect goal achievement... It is the search to be pretty...
  • 02:22 PM - jgsugden quoted Saelorn in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    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.Optimization is inefficient. Optimization is the act of making the absolute best out of a particular thing. You're trying to perfect it. However, there is going to be a point where putting effort into improving that particular thing will have a greater incremental cost than incremental benefit. Losing that last pound that your body could lose without dying, for example, is rarely going to be worth the effort when trying to 'lose as much weight as I can'. 5E is a very good system. While not perfect, it is at a point where most (if not all) of the effort I see to 'improve', 'fix', 'adjust', etc... it are inefficient uses of time. If that time were instead spent playing the game, planning sessions, or doing something unrelated to D&D, it would likely be time that generated more benefit than arguing over whether a wizard should inherently b...

Thursday, 4th July, 2019

  • 03:04 AM - Kuld quoted Saelorn in post New Game Mechanics for Custom RPG (is it Lame?)
    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 significant about the character; but no matter how extreme that difference is, its meaning is dwarfed by the GM's decision over which stat to call for. 2) The idea of mental and spiritual HP is kind of weird. I'm not sure what it's supposed to look like when someone has full mental HP but zero mental PP, or vice versa. Likewise for spiritual. Unless you're planning to have a lot of things that deal mental or spiritual damage, it would probably make more sense to just roll those all into a single pool. I know that symmetry is appealing, but it's easy for that to get out of hand, and the result is rarel...
  • 02:35 AM - Sacrosanct quoted Saelorn in post [poll] Which classes should be core
    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 gimmick of both concepts is that you're strong, and you're tough, and you hit dudes in melee combat. For all that is holy, please don’t start the can’t vs don’t argument. There is a whole Druid thread about that, and I’m still suffering the SAN loss ;)

Friday, 28th June, 2019

  • 11:40 PM - Beleriphon quoted Saelorn in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    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. I'm a big fan of sword and planet stuff, D&D is basically already Masters of the Universe without the ray guns and weird technology. The average lich is probably modeled after Skeletor these days, right up to the fact they get beat up by the heroes week after week and their minions are useless.


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