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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    20 replies | 277 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    113 replies | 2768 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 525 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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 | 1351 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 | 440 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 | 1351 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...
    113 replies | 2768 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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...
    39 replies | 1354 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 | 239 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 | 1351 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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.
    181 replies | 12307 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 | 1351 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 | 450 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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...
    113 replies | 2768 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.
    181 replies | 12307 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.
    181 replies | 12307 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...
    39 replies | 1354 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 | 3823 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 | 2788 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 | 1882 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 | 3562 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.
    181 replies | 12307 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Tangential to a couple of points, but I really like how definitive the older games were. Things work the way that they work, and you don't have to pore over minutiae to figure out how to make them work differently, because those options don't exist. I like that melee attacks are based on your Strength. There's no feat that changes it. You can't just limit yourself to a specific sub-class of...
    74 replies | 2825 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 | 12473 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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...
    181 replies | 12307 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 | 5862 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 | 5862 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 | 5862 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 | 5862 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 | 5862 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 | 5862 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 | 1969 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 | 1969 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 | 607 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 | 2035 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 | 15573 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 | 15573 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 | 9991 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 | 15573 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 | 15573 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 | 5682 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...
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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 | 5682 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...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:34 AM
    I have nothing against him, that I recall. I'm not saying that he's a jerk for doing it the way that he does. I am saying that he would be jerk if he did that without warning, while I was playing in his game. (Which I trust to not be the case, for several reasons.) As mentioned above, there is some ambiguity as to how that step works within the loop. As I see it, the only consistent...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:16 PM
    MAR Barker wrote Empire of the Petal Throne, one of the first real alternatives to D&D, in 1974.
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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 | 5682 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 | 12473 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.
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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.
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    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 | 5682 view(s)
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    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...
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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 | 5682 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...
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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 | 5682 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 | 1869 view(s)
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    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 | 1058 view(s)
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    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 02:38 AM
    I will fault that GM. That's a terrible GM, by my standards. Such behavior is a clear violation of the impartiality which a GM is expected to uphold. I don't want to start this debate, again, right before the weekend. It's been done to death.
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    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...
    448 replies | 15573 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 | 5801 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 | 5801 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:50 PM
    AKA, High Gygaxian
    181 replies | 5801 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 | 5801 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:30 PM
    As long as they understand what I'm getting at, that's the important thing. Whatever words are required to help them understand, as long as they get it, the exact words aren't important. I mean, I'm not some author writing a novel. I choose my words to best reflect the reality of the game world, but regardless of which words I choose, it's the reality which is the important thing. I don't want...
    181 replies | 5801 view(s)
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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...
    20 replies | 1058 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:42 PM
    What does it mean to increase the result of a skill check by +10? You're more likely to drown, but if you do succeed, you swim amazingly?
    50 replies | 1549 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    How do your players feel about their epic god-slaying hero being murdered in their sleep by some punk with a knife, with their only possible defense being a Perception roll (at Disadvantage) to wake up in time?
    448 replies | 15573 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:19 AM
    Nothing is certain. Everything is just a probability. I concede that there are some difficult fights where in-combat healing can be the difference between success and failure. For any given fight, there's a certain percent chance that you'll succeed without in-combat healing, and a greater percent chance that you'll succeed with in-combat healing. What I'm not convinced of, is that the...
    60 replies | 2571 view(s)
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Sunday, 7th January, 2018

  • 07:04 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Saelorn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    Few comments on the "contrived" component of conversation that @pemerton and @Saelorn: 1) D&D and all TTRPGs have a premise (sometimes multiple), themes, and tropes. 2) D&D and all TTRPGs have machinery/procedures by which (a) the game is expected to be facilitated and (b) the fiction is meant to be generated and interfaced with by physical players who are not able to actually interact with/inhabit the imaginary space which the participants are to share. Given 1 and 2 above, I'm left wondering how is that D&D specifically, and TTRPGs generally, are going to be anything but overburdened by contrivance? 1 contracts the creative space such that it focuses it on very specific things to the exclusion of other things. 2 makes a game of imagination capable of being played at all (while still being called a game) and enables the distillation of and interaction with 1. The only way I see to remove or significantly mitigate the "contrivance-based" nature of TTRPGing is to broaden, vanillia-ize, or dilute a game's premise (which you buy into to play at all!), themes, and...

Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018

  • 04:19 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned Saelorn in post Blowing it All Up and Starting Over
    ...Mystara had explicitly said that the entire 1E Multiverse was in a separate Reality not reachable by ship or planewalking - only reachable by Alternate World Gate or *reality shift* spell. Yes, such a Transitive-Mixed Reality could be figured out. And that's actually sorta what TSR/WotC did, but unconsciously, with much unspoken, convoluted handwaving. And yet...once the 2E Mystara walks on screen (without comment or event), does the Classic D&D Mystara which is featured in hundreds of products just not exist anymore? What about when the 2E Mystara then refers to events in its past which are depicted with 2E rules? Did the Classic Mystara Reality never exist? The Realities concept - which is already an official or semi-official (though overlooked) part of the D&D Multiverse - respects that the different depictions of each world still exist (past, present, and future) - it's just that they're no longer supported by the current product line. I think I'm going to side with Saelorn here. Since all of the previous editions already have all of their rules and stat blocks inside their own books and it's the rare DM that wants a single reference for "all realities" simply because they're running a game with one set of rules at a time, it's probably better to just keep the alternate realities stuff in mind and story and let individual DMs restat things they need as necessary. However, where I will disagree is static worlds vs a transitional Toril. The problems that face Toril in terms of transition would affect any DMs world that started in an earlier edition and migrated to a new rules set. I may be in the minority, but I've played with large groups in every edition since 1st ed D&D and I've had to "upgrade" my world twice so far (I never bothered upgrading my world to 4th ed due to what I perceived at the time as a larger than polite amount of work - I ran folks through the shadowfell module line instead and went world-lite). Now that fifth is here I'm pr...

Monday, 1st January, 2018

  • 06:19 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Saelorn in post Ok I have to ask..... what's with the Paladin hate on here?
    Quoted for truth. Good overall synopsis. There are likely outliers, but overall this covers it IMHO. (I still like the paladin) Saelorn forgot the fourth, and most important reason. Some of us refuse to be deceived by BigPaladin(tm). We've put on our glasses, and we've seen the truth. You see the cute gnome Paladin they want you to see, and we see ... 92535

Wednesday, 20th December, 2017

  • 08:37 PM - redrick mentioned Saelorn in post Reliable Talent. What the what?
    ...Actually, I do. To keep any semblance of fairness when DMing for multiple PC adventuring groups in the same world, that world must react the same way no matter which groups enters in a given adventure site, whether they are at 2nd or 19th level. Does the DM adjust encounters on the fly to maintain an optimal challenge? I say no. Moreover, it's a non-issue. Because I run multiple rival groups in the same world, the primary challenge is not against the monsters, but to stay ahead of the other groups in terms of level, power, and repute (or infamy). Is the key always in the third place the players look? No. Or does the DM allow the PCs to struggle, get frustrated and run into unfair encounters? Yes And if they aren't [having fun]? They can join a different game. Mine isn't meant to satisfy everyone's taste. I've just been lucky to find 19 like-minded players who enjoy the same things I do. All reasonable answers! To be clear, this conversation is partially in response to Saelorn's assertion that meta-gaming is antithetical to role-playing and that we should remove all meta-gaming from our RPGs. Some, including me, suggested that the DM, at the very least, would be metagaming to keep things interesting for a table full of players who are "just playing my character, man." The game you are describing doesn't sound like an example of a game without meta-gaming. It sounds like an example of an in-elastic gameworld. Which is fine! I lean in the direction of an in-elastic gameworld as well. I'm more likely to allow the players to wipe on an unfair encounter because that's the encounter I was planning to run than I am to soften an encounter on the fly, because "things aren't looking too good for our heroes." More to the point, I hate it when I get the sense that the DM is tweaking the difficulty of an encounter on the fly, in either direction. This reminds me of games in elementary school gym class where the teacher would make sure that the score was always neck an...

Monday, 27th November, 2017

  • 01:34 PM - ClaytonCross mentioned Saelorn in post Running D&D 5e for Levels 10+
    ClaytonCross you seem to have me confused with someone else. I am not arguing that dragons vs high levels are weak or strong. That was the other guy. I responded to your post which threw a lot of math and presumptions at the pther post - ignoring the fire resistance as you challenged his points. I also find fault with your ideas that its either both surprised or both prepared, given the general depictions of dragons in much of the source materials. The GM balances encounters in a game, not CR, especially at higher levels - imo. I have never once met a CR type system that accurately predicted party strength after the first say half level range. Too many variables. Are dragons atrong? No. Are dragons weak? No Are dragons balanced? No. But they are parts that can be used to make encounters and challenges that can be any of those and more. Sent from my VS995 using EN World mobile app Your right I was debating with Saelorn but everybody that had a complaint had a user name that started with an S and I got confused. That said I was replying to your quotes so while I may have been a bit confused.... -As far as fire resistance goes I still think its a specialty of the build. Comparing a Dragon vs an ability unique to a SUB-CLASS of a specific class is not a "good way" to judge a dragon week, under powered, over overrated against an average group of players as Saelorn did. He is basically taking 1 specific character from his group who is good at something and saying that means the dragon is week against the rest of them too. -As far as preparation goes (fire resistance potions for all) if your judging preparations its an endless games of what if and a surprise encounter allows for the simplest debate and most telling encounter because of that. If you want to say you usually experience them with sufficient warning to prepare that fine but that means your not judging the creature based on its strength v...

Sunday, 26th November, 2017

  • 08:01 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned Saelorn in post How do you rule multiple damage types versus reductions
    If you'd like the Official Rules, here it is from Xanathar's Guide (under "Ten Rules to Remember"): Here's the order that you apply modifiers to damage: (1) any relevant damage immunity, (2) any additions or subtractions to damage, (3) one relevant damage resistance, and (4) one relevant damage vulnerability. Even if multiple sources give you resistance to a type of damage you're taking, you can apply resistance to it only once. The same is true of vulnerability. So point (3) would seem to indicate that you DM is correct, RAW. To clarify the specific point (@Harzel and Saelorn as well), I am not talking about resistance at all. Merely the shield. It's come up a few times and I kept meaning to look up various rulings. Finally did tonight and realized I couldn't find anything that applied. I don't think it is unfair per se, but the situation I keep running into is I reduce damage a player takes by 2d8, I roll and 11 and the damage was 3 slashing and 4 fire, I can only stop the slashing or the fire. So, no matter what I do my ally is taking either 3 or 4 damage and I'm wasting around 7 points of protection that has no hope of stopping them from taking that extra damage. And no, concentration checks are dealt with as a single chunk of damage. It is only the player's ability to reduce damage taken via these abilities that seems to have this "multi-source" ruling. And so, I end up wasting a significant chunk of my 6th level ability when enemies do multiple types of damage, and I'm not sure if that is intended or not and it is kind of irritating to...

Monday, 20th November, 2017

  • 08:48 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Saelorn in post Considering a new concentration mechanic
    Saelorn But then explain how being a bigger or more hardy individual helps you at multitasking or maintain concentration during a loud, windy storm or a sudden, booming bang. Because the way Concentration works mechanically, these situations may also prompt a Concentration check, and you would still add your Constitution modifier. Concentration is something that really only comes up for spellcasters. Most other instances where someone may need to concentrate on a task I've seen DM's and have myself ruled for Wisdom saves. This suggests that Concentration as written as a mechanic is representative of a special type of training that spellcasters need to be versed in and represents a mental fortitude to manage outside distractions. Having such an ability be modified by Constitution doesn't really make sense to me.

Sunday, 19th November, 2017

  • 07:48 PM - Hriston mentioned Saelorn in post Come out and put yourself on the Gygax scale!
    ...rmulated by Ron Edwards in the early years of the last decade at indie-rpgs.com for the different priorities, or creative agendas, that different players bring to the table. They are Gamism, Narrativism, and Simulationism. "Story" on your scale seems to correspond to Narrativism, but Narrativism doesn't necessarily involve a lack of interest in mechanics. I really see no reason to put the two factors you've identified on a scale together, actually. I think it would be better expressed as two questions: "How much do you care about Story?" and "How much do you care about the mechanics?" Only you can define where you are on the scale! Start with what you like best, story or mechanics. If those are equal, you land at G3, if not, the more important one leans you to one side and then it's a matter of how important the other is to you for your enjoyment of the game. I think what you're missing here, which is an impression I have from previous interactions with and reading the posts of @Saelorn, is that this particular poster has unabashed, hardcore Simulationist priorities. (@Saelorn, please correct me if I'm wrong here.) By asking only about Story, which is anathema to Simulationist goals, and mechanics, which are good if they support those goals and bad if they don't, you aren't really asking anything relevant to that creative agenda.

Thursday, 9th November, 2017

  • 07:13 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post Loops in RPG Adventure and Game Design
    You are not a player in any game unless you can affect the gamestate. Saelorn specifically defines roleplaying as an activity in which the 'players' are not allowed to affect the gamestate. It follows that in his neutered version of roleplaying only the GM is ever actually playing.So the players are kibitzing on the GM's game? One issue here is what is meant by action declaration - I think the idea that "players can only say what their PCs want" is ambiguous over possible meanings of action declaration. Thinking first from the perspective of the fiction, (A) one meaning of action declaration is "My character wants to do this". So all the changes in the fiction is my character's inner state (desires). Another meaning of action declaration is (B) "My character tries to do this" - so the player's declaration of an action brings about changes in the fiction (eg my PC's body is moving, so other stuff is being affected by it - we need to look to the resolution process to learn exactly what and how) There are also multiple meanings from the mechancial point...

Monday, 6th November, 2017

  • 08:50 PM - dave2008 mentioned Saelorn in post Is 5e Basically Becoming Pathfinder 2e?
    I am more likely to agree with Saelorn's definition and recognize yours Dave. That said if by "context" you actually mean "intention" or "maturity" then I'd add this. Regardless of what definition of min/max you use if the intention/maturity level of the player is such that they start problems then it's bad. If the player is not starting problems then it's good. Since the player is the problem I'd rather not use the term min/maxer to refer to them. We'd avoid this thread that way :) First, this thread is about 5e becoming Pathfinder - not min/maxing. That is probably our issue right there! I do not mean "maturity," but intention plays some part in it. The context I am referring to is: all the decision of character creation and advancement. From my perspective, if the majority of your decisions are made to maximize some aspect of your character, to the detriment of some other aspect - then you are a min/maxer. It seems pretty simple to me. It seems like a hollow/useless term if it is defined as anyone who has...

Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

  • 11:07 AM - Wulffolk mentioned Saelorn in post Solution to ASI Problem
    Saelorn Your right, if you can't agree that a 7 in 20 chance of success is 40% better than a 5 in 20 chance, then there is no point in discussing it further. If you can't agree that having a statistical benefit for most of a character's career has benefit that might be worth considering over a +1 that doesn't come online until 14th level, then it is a waste of time to continue this discussion. And if what I wrote doesn't convince you that others might not share your opinion of The One True Way to build a Fighter, then you and I would obviously be incompatible at the same table. Thank you for making that clear. We need not waste more effort disputing the nature of math, reality or opinions. Good luck, and I hope you have fun repeatedly playing the same Fighter with 20 Strength over and over again.
  • 06:35 AM - Wulffolk mentioned Saelorn in post Solution to ASI Problem
    Saelorn If you are basing your argument on math, then you must know that it is flawed when you claim that Joe would be 0% more effective than Larry 95% of the time. Let us assume that both started with a 15 Strength and a 10 in Wisdom. Both are likely to bump their Strength to 16 at the first opportunity, which costs 3 points. That is achievable at 6th level. Larry chooses to hold that extra point for further Strength increases. To get to 18 would cost him 7 more points, for a total of 10. He could hit 18 Strength at 14th level. Now Joe chooses to improve his willpower by increasing Wisdom. He can spend 2 point to get 12 at 6th level. It will take him 3 more points to get to 14, which could be done by 12th level. That is a +2 to Wisdom saves and Ability checks 2 levels before Larry even gets +1 more modifier to his Strength. Let's say they both needed to make a DC 15 Wisdom say against a spell that would incapacitate them. That +2 bonus that Joe has means that he would be 100% ...

Tuesday, 31st October, 2017


Monday, 30th October, 2017

  • 09:04 AM - Wulffolk mentioned Saelorn in post Solution to ASI Problem
    Saelorn Try not to think of ASI's from a 20th level perspective. Try to think of them from a here and now perspective. A player could take a Feat now, or raise a lower stat now (maybe improving a save), or he/she can hold on to those points and wait 4 more levels before getting an increase to their primary stat. I think that enough people would go for the benefit now, and less would save up to get that 20. If getting that 20 required most or all of their ASI's wouldn't they be better off with some useful and colorful Feats instead? Leave it to the one player that wants to be Hercules to focus on getting that 20 Strength. The rest of the Fighters might have some fun tactics instead.

Thursday, 26th October, 2017

  • 11:33 AM - Fanaelialae mentioned Saelorn in post DM advice: Necromancers, Undead, and Attunement
    I might allow it. Unless you're running some kind of crazy Montey Haul game, how many attunement items will the party honestly have that they want to waste on skeletons? On the other hand, if the party has a lot of useful attunement items and the necromancer is basically trying to circumvent the 3 item limit, then I'd be inclined not to allow it. If attunement has a particular explanation in your setting ( Saelorn 's idea that only creatures with souls can attune) then obviously go with that. I don't think there is one right answer for every campaign. My answer would likely be different for a fun one-shot than for a high magic, epic campaign.

Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

  • 11:35 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    So, is it just me or is this thread now "Everybody vs. Saelorn telling people they are playing the game wrong"? Because that's what the last few pages have read like to me. You as a DM have a job to provide excitement, believability within a fantasy world, and consistency. “Honesty” isn’t required. You are not an umpire, you are a playwright directing a script you wrote.Well I'll break the monotony a bit by disagreeing with someone else. As GM I don't see myself as playwright, scriptwriter or director. (If other's see themselves that way, good luck to them - but I don't regard such a suggestion as having any more normative force than Saelorn's suggestions about the proper way to run a game.) As a GM, I frame the PCs (and thereby the PCs) into (hopefully) interesting situations. What they do is up to them; hence, what new situations will arise can't be known in advance, as it depends on (i) the players' action declarations for their PCs, and (ii) the result of the resolution of those declared actions. Did anyone read or play City of Sk...

Wednesday, 18th October, 2017

  • 10:52 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    Personally, I think they did poorly for practical purposes. You can easily bash in a skull with a fist-sized rock, but by the rules you need something about the size of a car to get anyone's attention.I don't know the rules other than from Saelorn's account of them in this thread, but at least as they've been presented I absolutely agree with this.
  • 07:24 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    Combat as war tends to be about using what's on hand to the PCs' advantage. Low lying caverns + nearby river = ents divert the river to flood the caverns. Huns invading under a snowy mountain + rockets = Mulan buries the Huns under an avalanche. Horde of Tuigan horsemen invade on plains + dwarves with shovels = tons of small pits dug to break up horde charge. Balrog coming your way + narrow rock bridge + wizard = broken bridge. Icicle covered cavern roof + warhammer = killing Icingdeath by throwing the hammer to dislodge icicles. Rocky cliff wall + cave + wizard's apprentice = Galen uses magic amulet to cause rockfall to imprison Vermithrax.None of what you describe captures any interesting contrast between 4e and AD&D or 3E. But Saelorn was pointing to such a contrast, and it was Saelorn's post that I was responding to. As I've already mentioned, the edition of D&D most likely to replicate Gandalf standing on a bridge and breaking it to make the Balrog fall is 4e. Diverting rivers is likewise very easily resolved; or the use of icicles on a roof; etc. They're not trying to emulate real human health, they trying to emulate genre fiction. And hit points do an OK job in emulating things like John Carter of Mars and the descriptions of some of the combat.In what way does the 3E rule for dropping rocks on people emulate genre fiction? Let alone do a better job of that then the 4e rules for the same? And arguing real world physics isn't pointless at all. There are tons of other aspects of a game setting that depend not only on the game's basic understanding of how the world operates but also our own as players. If they didn't, we'd all be playing Toon where the physics depends more on your lack of Brain and your...

Tuesday, 17th October, 2017

  • 10:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    I'd like to stress that when playing a 'grittier' RPG system, you have less freedom, in a way: Since combat is lethal, it's something that must be avoided at all cost. Players _must_ come up with ways to overcome their opposition by means other than open combat, otherwise your campaign is going to be short-lived.For me, this illustrates the point I've been making upthread, to Saelorn, Shasarak and billd91. In a genuinely grim & gritty RPG, ambushing someone with a sword, or a crossbow, should be (more-or-less) as dangerous as dropping a rock on them. It's purely an artefact of D&D's mechanics, which rates a sword at d8 or d10 but leaves the rating of a boulder to the GM, that results in a fighter being unable to kill someone in a weapon ambush but able- at least at the tables of those GMs mentioned - to kill someone with a boulder ambush. Which once again relates back to Aenghus's point, that the effectiveness of the boulder vs the sword turns primarily on end-running around the damage rules. It's entirely an artefact of mechanics, not of "narrative first". In a "narrative first" game involving people of "flesh and bone" (to quote Saelorn), an ambush with a sword or bow should be capable of lethality. (And in games like RuneQuest, Rolemaster, Burning Wheel, etc - ie with broadly simulationist action resolution mechanics - it is.) But D&D chooses to subordi...

Monday, 16th October, 2017

  • 11:27 PM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    ...ridge (which would create boulders) to drop it so they can all get away. Gandalf doesn't through boulders at the Balrog. Nor do Aragorn or Boromir. In AD&D, a boulder thrown by a giant does 2d8 (hill giant), 2d10 (fire or frost giant) or 2d12 (cloud giant). (Stone giants are a special case, as they are masters of stone; and "unlike other sorts of giants, storm giants do not hurl rocks".) That is average damage of 9, 11 or 13. A fighter with a two-handed sword and 18/91 strength does an average of 10.5 damage vs a size S or M enemy, and 15.5 vs a size L enemy. Unless that fighter can do more damage with a boulder than a giant can, the boulder doesn't seem significantly better to me. In the real world, I don't think boulders have ever been the weapon of choice for attacking other soldiers (as opposed to, say, walls and encampments). Using terrain to defeat enemies is within genre, and 4e supports it more strongly than any other edition of D&D. But that has nothing to do with Saelorn's comment that boulders should do more damage than an encounter power, for whatever reason.


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Saturday, 15th June, 2019

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

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

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

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

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

Friday, 7th June, 2019

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

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

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

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

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

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 08:44 PM - thanson02 quoted Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Don't conflate the explanation of the rules for the actual rules themselves, even if that explanation is in the book. The actual rules for every edition prior to 4E are that you can only suffer HP damage from things that are physically capable of damaging your body; we know this, by looking at the different things that cause HP damage, and comparing them to the things that work through other mechanics. The explanation for those rules may suggest that it's possible to take HP damage without some corresponding physical injury, but that interpretation is flatly contradicted by the actual rules in the book. If it was possible to cause HP damage without causing physical injury, then there would be something in the game which actually worked that way, but there conspicuously is not. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence. The explanation may suggest that being scared by a ghost can cause HP damage, but the actual rule is that being scared by a ghost can just kill you outright (if you fail ...
  • 07:11 AM - thanson02 quoted Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Why would I play with a group that interprets gameplay in a nonsensical fashion? That sounds like a recipe for disappointment all around. In any case, they never showed up at any table I played at; or if they did, they had the good sense to keep their ridiculous ideas to themself. I decided to go through the old Player Handbooks for 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition because I wanted to make sure I responded appropriately to what you're presenting here. After looking at how Hit Points were dealt with in 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition, and 5th Edition, what I'm seeing is an evolution of concept design, not a deviation. I understand that you have your way of playing your game and earlier editions allowed you to do that for you. I also understand that you disagreed with the evolution direction that they went with 4th and 5th editions, but you're conflating your House-rules with RAW and the examples you brought up above, you even straight up and said that the gameplay seem to go that direction. ...
  • 03:34 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    In 4E, yes. Not in 3E, or in any edition that came before it. In 4E, damage can come from non-physical sources. Psychic damage exists in 4E. In any earlier edition, the only things capable of dealing damage were those things capable of inflicting physical injury. That was a hard break from tradition, which immediately set 4E apart as different and unique. It is hard to politely say 'you are spouting nonsense' but that is the only way to put it! I've played D&D basically since it was invented, certainly since it was available as a game to the public in any form. I could list 100 basic situations in which non-physical damage is accrued as hit points to a PC in various editions. Ghosts do HP damage, and they are non-corporeal, what else is that but 'psychic' damage? The spell 'Phantasmal Force' can cause damage, and certainly spells such as 'shadow magic' (which produces illusionary spell effects) also does damage, but these are not physical effects! Examples abound, and in a more informal ...

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 11:13 AM - thanson02 quoted Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Many players in 2E and 3E treated damage as physical because it was faster and easier, regardless of what the books claimed. That's part of it. Psychic damage is another part of it - the only way to deal damage with psychic powers in 2E was to set someone on fire. The biggest issue is probably Healing Surges, and overnight full healing, which prevent any amount of damage from persisting for more than a day. It's hard to be a hair's breadth from unconsciousness, and then have all of that damage removed overnight, if damage is primarily physical. That is the thing though, damage comes from a variety of sources and can cause a variety of damage types. Some of them are physical, but others are psychic/mental. HP is a weird mechanic that people keep trying to quantify. I have been gaming since 2nd Ed. and no lie, it is better then THACO, but ultimately it is a measure of how long you can stay in a fight before you are out. In some cases, that means you are dying on the battle field, other...

Saturday, 1st June, 2019

  • 01:12 AM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Removing Hit Points from the Game
    The best part about bruises is that they're highly visible, in exactly the same way that morale and luck are not. Yes, fatigue is fairly visible as well. I am not sure what you are suggesting. Both fatigue and bruises can have little to no impact on actual performance (I know from years of experience here ;) HP, IMO, works very well as an abstraction of three things: fatigue, minor injuries (scratches, bruises, etc.), and luck. Now, I like an actual hit to have more consequences then just death saves, so we added meat points (BHP) instead, which kick-in when you take a serious blow (you have 0 HP or on critical hits). By escalating HP (as characters increase in level) we mimic the increased ability of the characters, and by keeping BHP constant we mimic how, no matter who you are, when you really get hit - its serious. This works well for us, but I admit it doesn't do a good job of simulating the last stand of Boromir and similar events. But in general it works for us.
  • 12:28 AM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Removing Hit Points from the Game
    One issue with this comes in the form of healing potions. It's hard enough to ask someone to hand you a healing potion, under the existing model of abstract damage. It would be even harder to ask someone for a morale potion, when everyone involved is perfectly aware that nobody has been injured at all. Likewise, complaining to the cleric that you feel distressed, and having them cast cheer up on you, does not seem very heroic. Think of it as fatigue,minor injuries, and luck, that is what we do and it works just fine (for us & coupled with actual meat points). It doesn't seem odd to ask the cleric to cast heal on you because your exhausted and can't take much more before I suffer a lethal injury. And everyone is aware you are fatigued, scratched, bruised and can't take much more.

Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 08:27 PM - Umbran quoted Saelorn in post GM's Knowing the Rules
    ...but I won't intentionally go into a game without having read the book, and I expect the same courtesy from the GM. Each year, I go to a house-con, which is organized into 4-hour blocks, so people get to play something like 5 games during the weekend. The con has leaned specifically toward running games folks aren't familiar with. I cannot remember a single year in which I knew and owned the rules for every game I played. I remember years when I didn't own *ANY* of the rules to the games I played. Getting and reading the rules for them all before the con simply isn't practical. I usually run at least one game during the weekend - I don't expect any player to have read the rules, as I'm usually running something obscure, new, or in playtest. The other GMs are similar. The con assumes that all required rules will be taught. And it all goes pretty darned well, for that.
  • 07:51 PM - Reynard quoted Saelorn in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    As a player, I would certainly hope that the world doesn't work in such a way that the chicken stick becomes a reasonable course of action. That's certainly a thing one would know after hundreds of hours of play, though. I mean, it's possible the GM suddenly started using "gotcha traps" out of nowhere but it seems highly unlikely. What's arbitrary or out of place varies and people are going to get used to whatever is normal for their regular group. Now, that said I admit a bias, or rather blind spot: I don't engage in organized play. It is possible in that world to have a character one has invested huge amounts of time and creative energy into and not necessarily know what to expect from a given GM at a given table. I can see being angry at getting killed arbitrarily by a random death trap dungeon under those circumstances. As to the skeleton situation in specific: gotcha monsters can be a problem, especially the first time it happens. At a point though it becomes clear such things are an ...
  • 12:56 AM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    Not really. I actually was motivated to write a book, primarily out of not wanting to subject anyone else to the horrors of 5E. PS, you kinda failed at that - it is insanely popular. ;) I think it is time to admit that what you like is not currently the mainstream (I know many of my tastes don't align with the mainstream). I like my games much more deadly and gritty than mainstream, but I feel I can easily do that in 5e so I am good to go. I also like epic level play, not so easy in 5e, but I'm working on that!
  • 12:50 AM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    Not really. I actually was motivated to write a book, primarily out of not wanting to subject anyone else to the horrors of 5E. But that is hyperbole. There are no "horrors" in 5e or any other edition of D&D or probably TTRPGs in general. There are real horror out there, D&D is not one of them. At least that is my opinion. There are a lot of questionable design decisions in 5E. Depends on your point of view. Every edition of D&D has things I don't like and that I change. However, I feel with 5e that, though I may not always like the decisions, I can usually understand why they did them. They are not questionable so to speak, I simply don't like them.


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