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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...
    198 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...
    35 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...
    198 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...
    198 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...
    198 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...
    198 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.
    198 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...
    198 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.
    198 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.
    198 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.
    198 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...
    198 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...
    198 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...
    20 replies | 1065 view(s)
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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...
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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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  • 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...
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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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  • 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...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:50 PM
    AKA, High Gygaxian
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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.
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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?
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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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Thursday, 17th November, 2016

  • 09:03 PM - Tony Vargas mentioned Saelorn in post Classes with resources feel like usage is too restrained
    There are better systems out there for gritty realism. Again, I suggest ditching DnD and picking up Rolemaster if this is more your thing (deadly battles where anything can kill you, gory detailed wounds and realistic crunch). Saelorn is looking for a capability in 5e that existed in past editions. It's not an unreasonable thing to want from D&D, again/still in 'big tent' 5e, even if other games have gone on to do it better than D&D. Heck, if we get technical about it, everything D&D has ever done has probably been done much better by some other game, sometime - even if the game languished in obscurity and the small publisher went broke. ;)

Friday, 11th November, 2016

  • 08:34 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Characters are not their statistics and abilities
    I think your analysis is correct and well-stated, but I have a (perhaps minor) semantic quibble. Saelorn used the word 'competent' and you have adopted his usage. I think it would be far more accurate to call what he seems to mean 'rational' or even 'hyperrational'. I am certain that we all know people (perhaps even ourselves) who we see as and would describe as 'competent' who nevertheless make conscious suboptimal decisions even in the field of their supposed competence. Perhaps another way to look at it is that their decisions are optimal, but their optimization function includes factors outside the field being focused on.No disagreement with any of this - but as I think you agree in calling your quibble "semantic", the gist of Saelorn's position doesn't really turn on whether we use "competent", "substantially rational", etc. For my part, even though I disagree with Saelorn's "rules = physics" view, I find the posts very interesting because I think they help illustrate consequences that flow from taking that view.
  • 03:13 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Characters are not their statistics and abilities
    I was trying to make the point that "not perfect" characters are ok and used this sword choice as an example, and then contrasted it with an incredibly vulnerable character design (which *is* a problem IMO). ... and yet the sword choice is the thing that is unacceptable?I'm a bit baffled by your bafflement. As I said upthread, and reiterated in the post just before this one, I don't share Saelorn's view about the relationship between the mechanics and the "physics" of the gameworld, but for my own reasons I'm moved to a similar view to his. The fighter who is built around STR rather than DEX, but who chooses to use a scimitar rather than a longsword, is deliberately choosing to be weaker in respect of an area of mechanical effectiveness that s/he is choosing as his/her focus (namely, fighting in melee using STR). On the other hand, the bard who dumps defence for other areas of capability just seems to be judging that the payoff from a little bit of investment in defence won't be worth it, and so s/he may as well not invest at all. Without a greater degree of specificity as to the details, that doesn't seem outrageous to me. There's a certain logic in putting all your eggs into baskets where you might at least get some noticeable return. To put it more bluntly, the bard build is not self-sabotaging from the mechanical point of view, whereas the fighter one is. If the...

Tuesday, 8th November, 2016

  • 08:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Characters are not their statistics and abilities
    ...e... sentimental value? She basically sounds like the guy who uses a katana because he thinks it's cool, which is always a good way of identifying someone who has no idea what they're doing. It sounds to me like you're looking at it from the character's point of view. Right? That these are the decisions of the character? <snip> for a character, why would a scimitar be suboptimal compared to another weapon? A character would be unaware of their damage output as a numerical statistic. Characters can't see the numbers, but they can observe the in-game realities which those numbers reflect. It's objectively true that, for a given fighting style (that relies on strength rather than finesse), the longsword is more effective - it creates larger wounds, or more blunt trauma, or whatever it is which is the in-game reality corresponding to HP loss - and this truth would be borne out through millennia of empirical evidence.I'm not much of a rules-as-physics person - certainly not like Saelorn! - but on this issue I'm pretty sympathetic to Saelorn's perspective. If the PC has the same bonus to hit with a longsword as a scimitar, why choose the weaker weapon? There are games where the answer is: because I'm better trained with a scimitar! But 5e doesn't have that level of granularity for fighter training. If the choice is made on the basis of sentimentality or "coolness", that's OK in a fashion - but in real life sentiment is actually a factor in decision-making, whereas in D&D we have to "pretend" that it is. (Because there are by default no mechanics that express it, or make it matter. Unless my character's flaw is "I use a scimitar", thereby earning inspiration - but that seems a bit overpowered!)

Friday, 4th November, 2016

  • 02:35 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Characters are not their statistics and abilities
    I do not think that "barbarian" is enough of a description to decide if that 6 STR is worthy. As others have said, it could be an old Barb, with high INT and WIS, fully capable of leading the party with his years of experience.I agree with you (contra Saelorn) that the 6 STR could be due to age. But I think I share Saelorn's doubts about this wily INT/WIS barbarian leader. In 5e, there aren't really any mechanics to give voice to that leadership; and the player doesn't get any bonuses as a leader by having those stats on his/her PC sheet.
  • 04:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Characters are not their statistics and abilities
    A low Str fighter can be perfectly viable in D&D. Especially in 5E where there are alternate paths for characters built into the game. Rufus will simply have to try to succeed by relying on something other than his strength...whether it be his dexterity, husband tactical skill, or his teammates.It's not really a rebuttal of someone suggesting that low STR makes a weak fighter to point out that the fighter can use DEX instead: the first comment was obviously a statement of generality, not intended as universally true - and pointing out that an alternative path to mechanical effectiveness exists is not disputing the real contention, which is that D&D is a game in which mechanical effectiveness of characters matters. Because overcoming challenges matters. (Not far upthread from your post Saelorn talks about it being rational for a wizard to boost INT. Likewise it doesn't really rebut that point to note that some wizards can be built who don't use attacks or force saves, and hence who don't need INT and therefore might be better of boosting (say) CON to make Concentration checks, or better off taking some specialist feat. It's an obvious strength of 5e's design that it packs a very wide range of mechanically viable builds into the "traditional" D&D chassis of race + class + feat. But that doesn't meant that any build is mechanically viable, nor that mechanical viability is irrelevant to the typical play of the game.) Tactical skill and relying on teammates might be different matters. If the character has tactical skill, and this manifests itself via (say) warlord-style maneouvres, then again we're just talking about different pathways to mechanical effectiveness. (Analogous to a buffing caster, say.) Lazy-lord type builds rely on their teammates similarly - in the fiction t...

Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016


Saturday, 22nd October, 2016

  • 02:10 AM - pukunui mentioned Saelorn in post How to deal with player death?
    Saelorn: I am beginning to get the sense that you are stubbornly sticking to your guns here just so you can maintain your dislike of the 4e/5e tendency to use different rules for monsters and PCs. Can we maybe just agree to disagree here so as to stop derailing the thread?

Thursday, 13th October, 2016

  • 10:29 PM - Sadras mentioned Saelorn in post Tweak Instant Cure spells to fix whack-a-mole
    Thanks @Saelorn. Join us from here @CapnZapp :) Is -10 the highest negative you record? Is it like the old 2e system where every round they gain an additional -1? -10 hit points does not equal death? The 5e Death Saves are removed?

Tuesday, 4th October, 2016

  • 09:10 AM - CapnZapp mentioned Saelorn in post 4E vs 5E: Monsters and bounded accuracy
    The discussion between Saelorn and Ilbranteloth back a few pages (around posts 55-60) comes across as surreal to me. As if oneshotting was ever a thing in D&D? Everybody has already moved on to accept that with high level comes so many hit points you become functionally immune to being oneshotted. Being susceptible to being oneshotted is a bad thing. Its the reason why everybody wants to escape tier I asap. The game at low levels is too unstable to be sustainable.

Thursday, 29th September, 2016


Sunday, 25th September, 2016

  • 02:55 PM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post SURVIVOR RETURNS: Lich Wars - Vecna Wins!
    Saelorn ;) - Acererak - 14 -- Because killing people is bad. Acererak - 14 - Because killing people is bad. Azalin - 15 - Because killing people is bad. Dragotha - 10 - Because killing people is bad. Dregoth - 4 - Because killing people is bad. Erandis Vol - 7 - Because killing people is bad. Szass Tam - 11 - Because killing people is bad. Vecna - 15 - Because killing people is bad. Velsharoon - 7- Because killing people is bad. Vlaakith CLVII - 13 - Because killing people is bad. Xykon - 13 - Because killing people is bad, but he does it in great ways.

Thursday, 5th May, 2016

  • 05:27 AM - Hussar mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    ...y is 5th level and not 8th, despite there really being no outward difference. And, again, funnily enough, the assassins that come after the PC's are just high enough level to be a challenge, but, not so high level that they mop the floor with the PC's. And there is no meta gaming going on there at all. Look, it's pretty simple to prove just how wrong you are. What is the second sentence, just below the title, of every single module for D&D ever produced? Doesn't matter edition, time period, or even company. That second line is exactly the same every time - An adventure for X number of characters of Levels Y to Z. Every.. Single... Time. So, the producers of the game create adventures based entirely on meta-game considerations. So, I guess every single module producer, DM and player in the history of the game isn't really role playing? Tens of thousands of RPGA, then Encounters and Pathfinder Society players all fooling themselves that they are roleplaying. Just because Saelorn says so. Yeah, not so much.

Wednesday, 4th May, 2016

  • 11:16 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    As long as it is interesting and not just "oh no, my family has been kidnapped again".Upthread, Saelorn asserted that the GM metagaming, GM scene-framing, the GM deliberately establishing elements of the fiction so as to deliberately push the players (via their PCs expressed concerns and backstory), are all bad. I denied that, and gave some examples. I don't think it's put any pressure on my denial to point out that it is bad GMing to negate player choices or to run a boring or repetitive game.

Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016

  • 10:24 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    Thanks for the platitude. I shall apply it right now by attempting to improve my posting style. Since my attempt at humour seems to have missed its mark (how I wish for Laugh on a Miss), maybe just being blunt will be better. I completely reject Saelorn's view of GMing quality. I am a good DM while doing exactly what he says is bad.
  • 01:30 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    I thought we'd established that you don't override the consequences of your players' choices the way Iluvatar overrides Frodo's/Aragorn's/etc. You said something about how your players shape fate at the metagame level. Presumably at your table, Gollum's involuntary sacrifice would have been player-instigated and not DM-arranged. Ergo, Saelorn isn't aiming at you with his remarks on railroading. Do I misunderstand your style?I don't think you misunderstand my style. I think that Saelorn does, though. Your example with the mirror, or the mother in a goblin cell, is a bit different because you're using offscreen actions to CREATE problems instead of solving them. Tolkien was solving problems through Providence instead of creating them. One of these things is much more railroady/agency-killing than the other, to the point of being advised against even in novels much less games.An example from my game: In the default 4e cosmology, Ygorl - the Slaad Lord of Entropy - came into being at the end of the universe, and is travelling back through time towards its beginning. When the PCs encountered Ygorl, they couldn't work out a way to defeat him, because he had the following ability that recharged when reduced to zero hp: Already witnessed (no action, when damaged by an attack or subjected to an effect): cancel the...

Sunday, 1st May, 2016

  • 11:00 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    From examining your play report, I see now that don't seem to be talking about anything even vaguely similar to the actions of Providence in Lord of the Rings. Your play report seems pretty straightforward. I agree that you can have a fun game that works the way your play report seems to; but I was talking about something else involving an omnipotent, omniscient offscreen player in the game who causes your actions have different effects than you initially expect them to. E.g. Frodo "should" have died, by game logic, and Sauron should have won, because Sauron was playing the game better than Frodo... but not better than Iluvatar.Discussing what would or wouldn't count as providential can get a little bit close to board rules. But the sort of thing I have in mind is the sort of thing Saelorn is saying contradicts RPGing. Eg both the mechanical capabiliities of the paladin character reflecting not just the mechanical causal processes he participates in, but the actions and oversight of his mistress; and then the capacity (by non-pre-scripted narration) to build up a larger fate/destiny based story on top of that. What the ultimate destiny is is somewhat obscure (because it's not a AP/railroad), but other events too, like the way that PCs encountered Ygorl, and then trapped him in the Crystal of the Ebon Flame - which both explains Ygorl's origin at the end of the universe and his travelling back in time (by giving him a "start date" emerging from the Crystal), and thereby releases Miska the Wolf Spider to enable him to be killed to enable the reconstruction of the Rod of 7 Parts which is the necessary (and perhaps sufficient condition) for the Dusk War - generates a sense of fate/destiny/actions having a larger significance than their perpetrators anticipated at the time...

Thursday, 28th April, 2016

  • 02:40 PM - TwoSix mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    Ehh, never mind.
  • 06:40 AM - Hussar mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    ...efore it's not possible for your claim that there is no reason to be correct. It does. "Any magic items can go into the Astral Plane, but most will become non-magical thereon, or on any planes removed from the Prime Material Plane. Those which contain spells which you determine will function on any given plane will function on that plane. Armor and weapons which are +3 or better might also function on other planes..." 1e DMG "Certain magic weapons will remain magical in either of these planes, but some will not, so be prepared for the worst." 1e PHB Really? What reason is that? You've told me what happens, but, not why. All I know is that we lose two plusses. What in game reason is there for that? Why did my sword become non-magical, but, my ring of Fire Resistance works perfectly well? Oh, right. Magic. Heh. Note the "You" in your DMG quote. Who is the "you" in that statement? The player or the DM? Since this cannot be done by a "omnipotent outsider" according to Saelorn's argument, who is the "you"? Remember, this is a sidebar to the actual argument that in a role playing game, everything in the game must follow logically from the game itself. The game provides the rules of the universe. So, if the "You" in your quote is the DM, then, by Saelorn's argument, AD&D isn't actually a roleplaying game. Well, I suppose that's at least consistent, he did say that earlier. :D

Wednesday, 27th April, 2016

  • 10:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Do NPCs in your game have PHB classes?
    That was quite funny. Presumably Moldvay Basic does not qualify as an RPG "by the more rigorous standards of the late '80s". But I have no desire to privilege your very odd notion of hyper-simulationist-yet-unrealistic RPGs as the only real RPGs.The bizarre thing to me is why not play an actual simulationist RPG. Given Saelorn's preferences as articulated over numerous threads I would recommend HARP (High Adventure Role Playing, by ICE). It does have a fate point mechanic, but that can easily be excised. Or perhaps given an ingame interpretation as a type of divine favour.


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Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 08:44 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    The basic premise behind Bounded Accuracy is that anyone can attempt any task, and a bonus can only help you. (As contrasted with 3E, where you had a minimum bonus required before you could even participate.) The fundamental flaw behind Bounded Accuracy is that a world where anyone can do anything would be silly. Well, the fundamental flaw is to think Bounded Accuracy is about simulating the real world. Bounded Accuracy and 5E is about the actions heroes take. Not about simulating probabilities that craftsmen can do their jobs. It's not a world where anyone can do anything. It's a world where heroes can do anything. In the case of the manacles, you are right in that if you can retry every round the rule is indeed silly, since that means that any character of at least average strength will escape after two minutes on average. If, however, the DM only gives you one attempt per "dramatic instance" and only if you are a hero, the rule works for all intents and purposes. Tl;d...
  • 08:25 AM - Stalker0 quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    The basic premise behind Bounded Accuracy is that anyone can attempt any task, and a bonus can only help you. (As contrasted with 3E, where you had a minimum bonus required before you could even participate.) The fundamental flaw behind Bounded Accuracy is that a world where anyone can do anything would be silly. As an example, consider the manacles in the equipment section, which require a DC 20 check to slip or break. What good would manacles be if anyone with at-least-average Strength or Dexterity could escape them? The average person should have significantly less than 5% chance of escaping manacles, or else nobody would bother with them. Really, you should need significantly above-average ability in order to defeat them, if anyone is to consider them reliable enough to use. My chance of slipping manacles, or climbing a wall, or crafting a sword, really should be zero; I would need significant training before I could even begin to try. The other major issue with Bounded Accuracy is ...
  • 04:34 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Changing Expertise, Adding Double Proficiency
    yes, a bit. But with +6 it is not too bad. I have hoped that some skill point option would be available in a splat by now or better in the DMG. I don´t know if I´d use it, but that is ok. In the other Thread I proposed proficiency increase at 3,6,9,12,15,18 to go up to 8 and I still believe this would be a good option. I could imagine that if you like expertise capping at +12, you could have it be x1.5 instead of x2. When I spoke about skill points in my post above, you would not get any when yu level up, instead you are just able to have different kinf of proficiencies. I would love to have a default method to gain new proficiencies when you level up, and fortunately there is already one: In the DMG under alternate treasure you can allow characters to train with someone who is exceptional at a skill to gain a new proficiency in a skill, which transfers to spend downtime in special circumstances. Difficult, but possible. Our first increased proficiency bonus progression went to +8 and...
  • 04:04 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    The basic premise behind Bounded Accuracy is that anyone can attempt any task, and a bonus can only help you. (As contrasted with 3E, where you had a minimum bonus required before you could even participate.) The fundamental flaw behind Bounded Accuracy is that a world where anyone can do anything would be silly. As an example, consider the manacles in the equipment section, which require a DC 20 check to slip or break. What good would manacles be if anyone with at-least-average Strength or Dexterity could escape them? The average person should have significantly less than 5% chance of escaping manacles, or else nobody would bother with them. Really, you should need significantly above-average ability in order to defeat them, if anyone is to consider them reliable enough to use. My chance of slipping manacles, or climbing a wall, or crafting a sword, really should be zero; I would need significant training before I could even begin to try. The other major issue with Bounded Accuracy is ...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 09:49 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    Any person who declares success or failure without first determining the DC does not understand the 5E ruleset in my opinion. How could anyone possibly know that you would eventually succeed at something, unless they first figured out the DC of the check? Just saying "eventually you succeed" is identical to assigning a DC that is within the functional range of the d20, as long as there is no meaningful consequence for failure. Literally, that's the entire reason why that rule exists. If you can possibly roll high enough to succeed, and there's nothing stopping you from trying forever, then you can cut to the chase. Invoking that rule is no different from not invoking that rule, except it's faster. Does this mean we agree then? (Some of your language indicates disagreement, but I'm not sure as to what)

Sunday, 5th May, 2019

  • 07:16 PM - Blue quoted Saelorn in post Recovering Unused Held Spells
    Sure, why not? From a narrative standpoint, it makes sense that you didn't actually cast a spell yet, so there's nothing for you to be concentrating on. I'd also be down for expanding the concentration system to cover any activity that requires your focused attention, so you couldn't concentrate on a spell while picking a lock (for example), and I'd also be fine with expanding that definition out to include readying actions in general. The game isn't so finely balanced that this change would ruin anything, regardless of how you rule it. I'm good with this - as long as it's consistant. Actually, I'm more than good with extending out Concentration. I used Concentration for non-casting some back in 3.0 and 3.5, but with the granularity of skill ranks really the only ones who bothered to be good at it were casters so things like keeping up a counter-chant the PCs had been taught to an evil ritual while fighting had mechanical issues.
  • 05:40 PM - Blue quoted Saelorn in post Recovering Unused Held Spells
    It seems unnecessarily complicated. It would be much easier to just say that the spell energy is not expended in the first place, if you don't actually cast the spell. The action economy should be enough to make sure that nobody abuses it. Are you are also doing away with the fact that it takes Concentration, since that's part of the holding spells? If you are going to make a major change like that, don't hide it. If you aren't going to make a change like that, then the spell obviously was cast and the rational for the proposal doesn't hold up.
  • 04:57 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Recovering Unused Held Spells
    It seems unnecessarily complicated. It would be much easier to just say that the spell energy is not expended in the first place, if you don't actually cast the spell. The action economy should be enough to make sure that nobody abuses it. I think this is a good balance. I wouldn't bother with the check, after all you didn't have to make a check to cast the spell. Simply giving it a cost in the action economy (bonus action, or even a reaction) works well enough IMO.

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 04:52 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    For the sake of brevity, I'm just quoting this part of your post, because it allows me to address the entire topic more succinctly. {snip} ..., which is compounded by the horrible flaws in the Bounded Accuracy system, but that's getting off topic.) I am curious what horrible flaws you find in the Bounded Accuracy system? I have issues with it myself, so I am genuinely curious.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 11:29 PM - bedir than quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    Don't conflate the DM with the world-builder. The world-builder is the one who sets up the world and populates it with interesting NPCs, such that the players have goals and challenges will arise in their pursuit of those goals. The DM is the one who actually role-plays those NPCs, and figures out the DC required for any task. The DM is obligated to play fairly. The world-builder isn't even playing the game. Since the majority of games played are homebrew would you like to explain how the majority of DMs don't build the world?
  • 05:16 AM - bedir than quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    I'm all for making the game your own, but as a baseline default until someone says otherwise, everyone at the table will have the most fun if the DM remains impartial. That's what you're signing up for, when you agree to play D&D rather than some other game. If that's not why you're playing, then you need to discuss that with your DM.An impartial DM isn't helping tell a story. An impartial DM isn't setting up challenges. An impartial DM will never set goals. An impartial DM doesn't build a world. An impartial DM is a failure. DM's must be partial to certain fundamentals in their world. That might mean Strahd is beyond the party's capabilities, at first. It might be building a low magic world. A DM may want to tell a story of the bond between animals and thinking peoples, a story about who gets to control knowledge. The party may add layers onto this, but never, not once was the DM impartial. Their we're problems and the party needed to figure out how to solve them.
  • 04:30 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    For the sake of brevity, I'm just quoting this part of your post, because it allows me to address the entire topic more succinctly. It applies in equal measure to placing NPCs within the world. One of the goals of the DM is to remain impartial in their adjudication. You're not supposed to care, whether or not they pick the lock. If you wanted them to pick the lock, then you have the power to make them succeed, by setting the DC to 1. If you wanted them to fail, then you have the power to make them fail, by setting the DC to 40. The DM literally has unlimited power within the game world, which is why it's important that they don't want anything; and if they can't help themselves from wanting something, then they'd better have the integrity to not abuse their power by simply making it happen. After all, this is a game about the players and their decisions, and those decisions would be meaningless if the DM just went around fulfilling their own preferences. When the DM determines the DC of ...
  • 12:11 AM - Bradley Hindman quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    I'm all for making the game your own, but as a baseline default until someone says otherwise, everyone at the table will have the most fun if the DM remains impartial. That's what you're signing up for, when you agree to play D&D rather than some other game. If that's not why you're playing, then you need to discuss that with your DM. Perhaps my opinion is heavily slanted by the fact that I have played with the same people for a long long time. Further, perhaps we have a different understanding of what is meant by "impartial" in this instance. I honestly don't quite understand what you mean . Do you mean impartial at the table? Sure. A partial DM who tries to force a particular outcome or favors one player over another is gonna piss players off. However, I don't see how you can be impartial when designing adventures or designing a campaign. Any time you make a decision, there must inherently be a bias. You choose to include an encounter, an NPC, a location, or a theme because you beli...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 10:04 PM - Bradley Hindman quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    The DM literally has unlimited power within the game world, which is why it's important that they don't want anything; and if they can't help themselves from wanting something, then they'd better have the integrity to not abuse their power by simply making it happen. After all, this is a game about the players and their decisions, and those decisions would be meaningless if the DM just went around fulfilling their own preferences. While I understand the point you are trying to make, I disagree at a fundamental level. The DM should have at least one want. The DM should want the players to have a good time. For some groups that means setting up a scenario and then standing back to see what happens. For some groups that means giving the players a good challenge. For some groups that means inserting elements during the middle of play to help tell an interesting, collaborative story. For some groups, I will even admit, it means setting up the players win. For some groups it can be a combina...
  • 05:07 AM - LordEntrails quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    If the DM just decides that the NPC does a thing, then that's injecting bias into the resolution - the NPC succeeds, because the DM wants them to. ABSO-Fing-LUTELY! The NPC is even present in the first place because the DM wants them to be there. The McGuffin must be found because the DM wants it to be needed. The goblin army invades... The dungeon exists... The Zhentarim are bad because... Looking at your DM jobs; 1) The environment is what it is because the DM wants it to be. 2) The NPCs are what they are because the DM wants them to be. Crafting is not something that needs to be resolved in most cases. Does the NPCs successful or failure impact the PCs? In a meaningful way? Then make up a stat and roll. Does it matter if the DM gives the NPC some arbitrary skill bonus so they can craft a legendary item no one else can? What about if the DM just decides they can? Both are arbitrary. So is using PC rules for NPCs when you don't need to. Arbitrary. 3) ... Yes it is within the purvie...
  • 04:20 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    If the DM just decides that the NPC does a thing, then that's injecting bias into the resolution - the NPC succeeds, because the DM wants them to. Likewise, if the DM decides that they have a 5/6 chance, then they are injecting bias by arbitrarily assigning that probability - the DM wants the NPC to probably succeed, with 5/6 probability. The DM isn't supposed to be biased, or else there would be no point in playing the game; you'd just ask the DM what they want to happen, and that happens. At the table, the DM has three jobs: 1) Describe the environment to the players, 2) Role-play the NPCs, and 3) Adjudicate uncertainty in action resolution (i.e. figure out the DC of a check, and which bonus applies). Before the game, if they're running their own material, then they also have to create the world and populate it with NPCs. So, while saying that there is an expert blacksmith in a given town is within their purview, saying that an expert blacksmith has a 5/6 chance of accomplishing a given t...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 01:40 AM - MarkB quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    Are you asking how I do crafting rules, in general? At the end of an appropriate time period, the character spends the reagents and makes a check. To make a basic sword requires DC 20. To make something that looks nice, and is suitable for enchanting, you need a 30. Failure on the check ruins half of the reagents. Seriously, DC 30? So, to make just the physical aspect of a basic +1 sword that a character might pick up at around 4th level, you need a combined ability and proficiency bonus that no PC can achieve before 16th level, and that's only for a 5% success rate. I'm guessing magic items are particularly rare and expensive in your game. That's what I came up with, based on what's in the book. It's what makes sense to me, given all of the contradictory and missing rules. The NPC's check bonus (and whether or not they have Reliable Talent) is important to the players, because it determines whether or not a given NPC can perform a particular task, and their relative chance of success....

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 10:57 PM - MarkB quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    When I'm acting as world-builder, one of the jobs is to populate the world with NPCs. One town might have a smith of moderate skill, but nothing special. The big city probably has one or more experts. If it's the capital city of the dwarven empire, then they probably have some of the best smiths in the world. If the PCs go to one of these places, then they will find the people who are there. The problem is that, from reading the books, I have no idea what an expert smith looks like in terms of game mechanics. I can extrapolate, based on the rules that do exist, to say that they might have a proficiency bonus as high as +6 and an ability modifier of +5. If that's the case, then I can compare them to a starting PC, with a proficiency bonus of +2 and an ability modifier of +3. If it's not the case, though, then I don't know what their bonus should be. (And looking at the NPCs in the Monster Manual, it's highly unlikely that an NPC has a proficiency bonus of +6, unless they can also take a Balo...
  • 06:19 AM - bedir than quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    My job as the DM is to remain impartial and unbiased. I don't want anything. I have no preference for whether the NPC has +7 or +17. I only interpret the rules provided by the game. The rules are supposed say whether an expert smith has a +7, or some other number.As a DM you never introduce your party to a master craftsman, or just a schmuckle, or anyone with any level of skill?
  • 03:24 AM - dnd4vr quoted Saelorn in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    My job as the DM is to remain impartial and unbiased. I don't want anything. I have no preference for whether the NPC has +7 or +17. I only interpret the rules provided by the game. The rules are supposed say whether an expert smith has a +7, or some other number. While you might want to remain impartial, apparently in 5E the "rules" that are "supposed to say whether an expert smith has a +7, or some other number" don't exist. This was intentionally done to allow the DM to decide what that number should be. As a general guideline, I like to think of the modifiers as representing a standard deviation or the "next level of ability" for each +1. For example, in academics I might rate: Intelligence: 10-11 = IQ 100 12-13 (+1) = IQ 115 14-15 (+2) = IQ 130 16-17 (+3) = IQ 145 ("Genius" level) 18-19 (+4) = IQ 160 20 (+5) = IQ 175+ Proficiency: +0 = Middle school or less (what you know or can do is based solely on your ability score) +2 = High school +3 = Associate's degree (2-...


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