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RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour Tuesday, 12th February, 2019 12:12 AM

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Anyone Comics RPGs hosts lots of role-playing games! We work hard to make our community feel welcoming to all players regardless of experience level or background.

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Monthly games of D&D 5e that are open to all. Games are run in an episodic season format, where characters and setting are continuous, but adventures conclude within one session. Players are encouraged to drop in at any point, and we will delight in teaching first-time players how the game is played.

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Tuesday, 1st May, 2018

  • 02:41 PM - Ancalagon mentioned redrick in post What happens to the "suboptimal?"
    As far as suboptimal, I have stated that using defined arrays or point buy ENCOURAGES min/max, making the problem worse. Rolling for stats will give you more varietyI urge you to use the redrick roller: http://aramis.hostman.us/dnd/RedrickRoller.html

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018

  • 07:28 AM - DM Magic mentioned redrick in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    I made it to this thread by reading the excellent article quoted in the OP, and then by following the link in DM Dave's post in the comments section of that site. And wow. Wow wow wow. It took me three days, but I finally made it through this thread -- and it was a feat of strength to resist the urge to toss my phone into the toilet. I have to say, to Ovinomancer, iserith, Charlaquin, redrick, and Maxperson: you all have the patience of saints. To add to this thread: I'm also a DM who requests an action with a goal and approach.

Monday, 12th February, 2018

  • 05:07 AM - Nevvur mentioned redrick in post How long til you modified 5e?
    ...and others approach the question and select an answer is fine by me. Clarifications in written responses are appreciated. @Jer: I hope my explanation to Satyrn explains the difference between the thread title and poll question - that is, there's no difference as far as I'm concerned. I did state that rulings on nebulous systems ("situations... that aren't explicit in the rules" in your words) should be excluded. If you feel otherwise, that's fine. I'm not going to try to police the thread, so again, people can answer the question/poll as they see fit. Also again, clarifications like yours are appreciated. @ad_hoc: You wrote that it's impossible not to house rule. Adventurer's League players, in theory, should all be operating under the exact same set of rules. A person who has only ever DMd AL would have a "Never" response if they're abiding by AL guidelines. That's not always the case, of course. However, as defined in the OP, rulings are not house rules (see response to Jer). @redrick: You identified an interesting grey area - codification of a ruling. I feel there's a difference between codification of a ruling and mere consistency with a ruling. DM wiggle room, I guess? Not sure where I would place codification if house ruling is a binary yes/no situation. I'll give it some thought, and perhaps other participants in this discussion can weigh in on the point in the meantime. --- As to my own experiences... Started playing D&D back in the 90's. Didn't get much gaming in '99-'14, then returned to D&D as a DM in Jan '14 with 4e. I gave it about two weeks before I started house ruling and it got out of control fast. When 5e came out that September, I immediately switched systems and did my best to curb the instinct to take a hacksaw to the game. After familiarizing myself with the system through some 1 on 1 play with a buddy, I stepped up as an AL DM for my FLGS. For the next 8 months, I ran games stringently by the RAW, and frequently sought guidance on the WotC f...

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 06:25 AM - Caliban mentioned redrick in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...rldbuilding is simply that - building the world that the PC's adventure in. The gods, the cultures, the races, geopolitical relations, secret organizations vying for power, forgotten tombs and mad liches, etc, etc. A world plus problems for PC's to solve and monsters to fight. Or it can just be a small village the PC's start in and a few threats for them to deal with, with the rest of the world being created as the PC's level up and explore. Or the world building can be rather limited as the DM uses a pre-written campaign (taking advantage of someone else's world building efforts) and inserts their own adventure scenarios into it. Any of these approaches work for worldbuilding - it's mainly up to the DM and their personal preference. Some of us really like creating worlds and societies (usually with an interesting premise or twist) and working out how everything fits together. Some of us just want to create a dungeon and have some interesting combats. I can't speak for @redrick, but in my experience most of the "collaborative worldbuilding with players" comes from their backstories when they create their characters, before the campaign starts. I give them the basics of the campaign world, they give me their character background (if they feel like making one), and I fit that into the world (or rarely - if they make something that really doesn't fit - I tell them to go back to the drawing board). My current campaign - a new player decided he wanted to have a character with a Native American themed background, with his tribe living in a forest. I picked an area of the continent that I didn't have any specific plans for, and that is now "Verdania, Land of the Forest People" with a history that goes back a thousand years. Or will when I finish writing it. Another player gave me a background where his character befriended a goddess (despite being told the gods had been distant and remote for centuries) and became her favored follower, gained a unique mith...
  • 06:14 AM - pemerton mentioned redrick in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...ng at here.Understood, I think. This means that the GM is playing a very big role - s/he is the artist, and the players the (crtically engaged) audience. I mean yes some tables fundamentally change the world the campaign takes place in...but really that was part of the art to being with, the ability to change what exists within it. There are some worlds where this is not a fundamental aspect of the art and play is more akin to a choose-your-own-adventure story, there are pre-written "holes" that the players are expected to fill. In other campaigns the players are a "new variable" capable of changing up the existing dynamic written into the campaign. The "art" of the built world is either designed with the players ability to change the world, or it isn't. The latter can range anywhere from something more akin to an art viewing to a choose-your-own-adventure.This is very clear, thank you. I'm interested to see what others think of it (eg Sadras, innerdude, Nagol, Manbearcat, redrick).

Thursday, 18th January, 2018

  • 03:19 AM - pemerton mentioned redrick in post Druid form expolit
    I basically agree with redrick but, to be honest, Stealth doesn't seem that important anyway. If a goblin who lives in a dungeon notices a spider crawling along the wall or ceiling, so what? Even if the goblin is an arachnaphobe, it's not like s/he has a can of bug spray ready to hand! I think most dungeon denizens would be used to spiders as cohabitants. The real issue here is that shapechange is often very strong - broken, even - relative to other comparable effects in the game (like invisibility spells, flight spells, infravision spells, etc). Yet it's also a highly compelling fantasy trope. And so these problems keep recurring. I would suggest having some out-of-game discussion to find a "gentleman's agreement"-based solution, rather than establishing an ingame arms race where the player of the druid is afraid to use shapechange because s/he doesn't want to risk being killed by a rat, and your dungeon is full of contrived goblin spider-traps.

Thursday, 14th December, 2017

  • 10:13 PM - Lanefan mentioned redrick in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    ... case you describe a table, the player declares an action then you stop before resolution to tell them it clearly looks like it weighs a ton and then the player uses that info to change their mind. i reference it as a case of not having given the player enough info to make a reasonable choice.Disagree. The room was described just fine - nothing in it except a worn stone table in the middle. The player states an action "I pick up the table" without any further ado, the result of which is that the character determines the table is too heavy to lift. Had the stated action been "I check out the table" then that would have been a reasonable place to give info about its probable weight, along with how dusty it is and any other pertinent info. But the player-in-character jumped straight to "I pick up the table" leaving the DM no option but to respond to that declaration. then now you come back with how not giving an exact weight may not have been a mistake.Yeah, I'm not sure why redrick would say that was a mistake. I sure don't think it was. Lanefan
  • 08:02 PM - Celebrim mentioned redrick in post What does "murderhobo" mean to you?
    redrick: A very good post and there is a lot to dig into in that, but I'm going to jump at the most complex element you brought up and get my word in before too many opinions jump on it. The idea of labeling whole societies of creatures as Evil and worthy of indiscriminate killing reminds me of the dehumanization of other peoples and societies in our history. I about half agree with that statement. While it may remind you of that, if that was the purpose then there would be a much easier direction to go in - simply label one or more of the human societies as evil and worthy of indiscriminate killing. That you have explicitly non-human things in the game means that well, they don't necessarily have any humanity to dehumanize them out of. What I object to is not absolutes. I'm absolutely ok with a sentient creature being absolutely evil and worthy of destruction. What I object to with regards to 'murderhoboism' is whether or not the creature is worthy of destruction tends to not e...

Sunday, 10th December, 2017

  • 03:31 AM - iserith mentioned redrick in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    Bolded points for emphasis. Which is exactly what @GMforPowergamers​ is doing. Except he's doing it before the player says what he or she wants to do. redrick pointed this out nicely. Fine, of course, if he and his players dig it. Not fine for others. All the rule you quoted implies is that the character is in charge of their character's actions. I'm not here to beg the DM to allow me to play. I'm perfectly comfortable stating exactly what I'm doing and have no intentions of ever asking the DM if I may do something. It's how you make the game move forward and that's how I enjoy playing. The only thing I've been arguing this entire thread is that statement of action does not necessarily need to be formulated has a statement and that the onus is on the DM to do a bit of translating sometimes. It seems like quite a leap to say that describing what you want to do is somehow "begging the DM to allow you to play." I've also haven't said that it necessarily must be formulated as a statement. But at my table, the preference is to do so. My quoting of the rules is to show where I get such crazy ideas. Saying "I want to do X..."...

Friday, 8th December, 2017

  • 09:47 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned redrick in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    ...c etc by some of those who advocate the GM calls for all checks position and go ask them whether they want to know why it doesn't at my table or some of those others? I described what I felt wasn't working with allowing player assigned rolls at my table, and have gone from there. No one here has told you you're doing it wrong, or having a bad play experience. I've gone out of my way to do the opposite: I'm sincerely glad your method works for you. I'm not interested in telling you why it shouldn't work for you; I can only tell you why it didn't work for me. Past that I am, yes, advocating for my method. The reasons for this are two-fold: 1) I learned a good deal from reading how others play, so I'm sharing for that and 2) I like sharing things that work for me. Making light of your playstyle, which I understand fully and also understand that the things that bothered me about it don't see to bother you (and I'm really okay with that!), is not what I or @iserth or Satyrn or redrick are trying to do. You seem to keep having questions about how we do things, but also seem to be approaching the discussion from a point where you're trying to find problems with it rather than understand it. Could be an error in communications, going both ways. I'd be glad to continue to help understand why we play -- and, in that, we don't all do the same things and there's still some large variance* -- but I'm less interested if you're looking to win something from an argument. *For instance, despite my love of silly examples on these boards, my games contain little intentional silliness on my part as DM. The players bring some, for certain, but I rarely add silliness to the level that, say, @iserth enjoys (although his naming conventions are definitely worth a chuckle). I also don't run the kind of campaigns he runs. We share a number of similarities, one of which is a converging method for how to effect player actions, but we still have a number differences. And that's ...
  • 09:35 PM - iserith mentioned redrick in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    your example is EXACTLY what i am pointing out... thank you for listing it so i can point out... In your example, the altar trap as presented is keyed on "does the player say they touch it". you see it as, and they often portray it as a binary option - either the Gm assumes and the player gets got or the GM waits to see if the player makes a key statement and then the player gets got. Compare that to a previous example of how i said i would use the SKILL OF THE CHARACTER as opposed to the WORDS OF THE PLAYER to adjudicate this same event. You seem to be forgetting all of the foreshadowing about how bad that altar is as suggested by Ovinomancer, even if redrick didn't include it in his actual play example. Remember what I said about reading people's posts with charity?
  • 08:34 PM - iserith mentioned redrick in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    ...n rhetorical questions, as I may want to try something like this. So, while some of the questions seem somewhat nonsensical, take that as an indication of the type of play I expect from my group. It's a case-by-case thing and hard to judge without the full context of the knowledge of the characters who are adventuring and the established obscurity of the knowledge itself. As long as the player is making a declaration in good faith, I tend to err on the side of the player and at least ask for a check. If the player's declaration is particularly relevant, then I'll just grant automatic success. It's fairly rare that I'll just say no, but I will when it makes sense. And players in general self-select on this sort of thing in my experience, judging for themselves whether their character might know about such things or not. I wouldn't see five players all trying to justify knowing that symbol in practice, for example. In the example of Quiet Riot's tattoo that I mentioned upthread to redrick, two of the five players chimed in to try to identify it. Carl Lagerbelly, the paladin, drew upon his religious training. I didn't think that was appropriate, so I said that it was beyond the scope of what the church taught him - fail, no roll. Robert Bob Roberts' declaration seemed more reasonable, if a bit of a stretch given the context, so I called for a DC 20 roll which he exceeded. There's also the issue of the meaningful consequence of failure. In a simple binary transaction, you recall it or you don't, so it would have to be a situation where not recalling it has some kind of consequence associated with it. If it doesn't, then the DM can just say they do or do not recall the relevant info. In the case of Quiet Riot's tattoo, that cost might have been being fairly blindsided (potentially) when it is revealed she's a bit shadier than they might otherwise expect. Fair enough for a roll, I think, in this situation.

Thursday, 28th April, 2016

  • 11:27 PM - bedir than mentioned redrick in post House Rules and You: A survey
    How does this work? Aramis built redrick this fancy tool. I generate 12 or 20 results and have them role randomly. http://aramis.hostman.us/dnd/RedrickRoller.html

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned redrick in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...ohnLynch ; @Johnny3D3D ; @KarinsDad ; @kerbarian ; @kerleth ; @Kinak; @KingsRule77 ; @Kirfalas ; @Kobold Stew ; @koga305 ; @Lanefan ; @Lanliss ; @Leatherhead; @Libramarian ; @Li Shenron ; @LuisCarlos17f ; @lowkey13 ; @Manbearcat ; @MarkB; @MechaPilot ; @Mecheon ; @mellored ; @Mephista ; @Mercule ; @MG.0 ; @MichaelSomething; @Miladoon ; @Minigiant ; @Mishihari Lord ; @Mistwell ; @MoogleEmpMog ; @Mon @MonkeezOnFire ; @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) ; @MostlyDm ; @Mouseferatu ; @MoutonRustique; @Nemesis Destiny ; @neobolts ; @Neonchameleon ; @Nifft ; @nightspaladin ; @nomotog; @n00bdragon ; @Obryn ; @Ohillion ; @oknazevad ; @Olgar Shiverstone ; @Orlax ; @Otterscrubber ; @Pandamonium87 ; @Paraxis ; @PaulO. ; @Pauln6 ; @Pauper ; @payn; @pemerton ; @peterka99 ;@ Pickles III ; @Pickles JG ; @pkt77242 ; @pming ; @pogre; @PopeYodaI ; @Prickly ; @procproc ; @Psikerlord ; @Psikerlord# ; @(Psi)SeveredHead; @Quickleaf ; @Raith5 ; @raleel ; @Ralif Redhammer ; @Raloc ; @Ranes ; @RangerWickett; @Ratskinner ; @redrick ; @Rejuvenator ; @Remathilis ; @Ristamar ; @RolenArcher; @Roland55 ; @RPG_Tweaker ; @Rune ; @Rygar ; @Sacrosanct ; @Saelorn ; @Saeviomagy; @sailor-Moon ; @SailorNash ; @Saplatt ; @Satyrn ; @Shades of Eternity ; @shadowmane; @sheadunne ; @Shasarak ; @shidaku ; @shintashi ; @Shiroiken ; @SigmaOne ; @sleypy; @sleypy01 ; @SpiderMonkey ; @Staccat0 ; @Staffan ; @steeldragons ; @steenan @STeveC ; @strider13x ; @Strider1973 ; @Sword of Spirit ; @Talmek ; @TerraDave; @TheCosmicKid ; @The_Gneech ; @TheHobgoblin ; @The Human Target ; @the Jester; @The Mirrorball Man ; @The Myopic Sniper ; @ThirdWizard ; @Tia Nadiezja ; @Tinker-TDC; @Tonguez ; @Tony Vargas ; @Tormyr ; @TrippyHippy ; @tsadkiel ; @tuxgeo ; @twigglythe Gnome ; @TwoSix ; @Uchawi ; @Ulorian ; @UnadvisedGoose445 ; @UngeheuerLich; @Us ; @Valmarius ; @Warbringer ; @was ; @wedgeski ; @Wednesday Boy ; @Wik ; @WillDoyle ; @Winterthorn ; @Wuzzard ; @Xeviat ; @Yaarel ; @Yunru ; @Zalabim ; @Zansy; @Zardnaar ; @Zeuel ; @ZickZak ; @ZombieRoboNin...

Wednesday, 14th October, 2015

  • 09:37 PM - The Grassy Gnoll mentioned redrick in post Crazy idea for Death Saves
    redrick - what prompted this really was the idea that that the death save rules would apply to monsters, too, as a way to make encounters that bit more challenging and/or tactical: thus, it's more from the DM side of the screen, but has some applications for the players, too. Rune - not sure about the one item interaction for free - they are at 0 or fewer HP, after all, so I feel there should...be...a...certain...amount of...effort...required. Perhaps you could rule one item interaction or one move/help without breaking the interaction up into chunks if you preferred (I chose to 'chunk' to avoid the blasť "oh I just chug a healing potion" shrug off. I'd certainly rule that no spells could be cast - even verbal only ones, as there should still be a certain amount of focus and channeling that goes into your Healing Word, and I'd say being at 0 or below would be enough pain and disorientation to stop you from being able to do that. Thanks all for feedback so far.

Tuesday, 6th October, 2015

  • 04:56 PM - bedir than mentioned redrick in post What is your current way to roll stats
    I think I'm going to move to using the member here who developed the random point buy system (I'd link, but it's only saved on my laptop not work computer). I'll generate 20 random legit point buys and then roll once. That's it. No power creep, and still uses the randomness to help inspire new character concepts. Here it is - http://aramis.hostman.us/dnd/RedrickRoller.html Aramis made this based on redrick 's idea ... I think.

Monday, 5th October, 2015

  • 08:57 PM - Hriston mentioned redrick in post Reactions and Multi Attacks
    Players can only do it on their turn because the Extra Attack feature says "on your turn". Monsters don't get the same wording. Although I don't see any harm in limiting them similarly if you want. As redrick pointed out upthread, Multiattack has similar wording that limits its use to the monster's turn only. MULTIATTACK A creature that can make multiple attacks on its turn has the Multiattack ability. A creature canít use Multiattack when making an opportunity attack, which must be a single melee attack. This would seem to imply that Multiattack does not give a creature the ability to make multiple attacks when it's not its turn.

Monday, 28th September, 2015

  • 09:28 PM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned redrick in post XP vs Story Line Progression Leveling model in 5th edition
    Li Shenron, redrick, you two have hit on a point that I am right there with you on. Well, two, I guess actually. I too like for players to feel confident about what their character can do, and like they fully understand how to use all the different abilities at the character's disposal, before moving on to the next level. I strive to strike the delicate balance that is everyone being entirely confident and not yet thinking "...when is the next level going to get here?" - because of the other point: I really don't like it when a player seems to be in a hurry. It's one thing if it is excitement, like wanting to see how the next twist in the tale plays out, or just getting near to reaching something not often experienced (I have players that are thrilled by every level gained in 5th edition because each so far has continued to be fun and there is no sign of the things which drove the majority of our 3.5 campaigns to falter and die incomplete, so phrases like "oh man, it seems like just a few more mo...

Friday, 7th August, 2015

  • 10:03 PM - Hriston mentioned redrick in post Assassinate
    Ok, that makes sense. I was trying to puzzle out how the disadvantage carried over after the Bard became visible and thinking I had missed some subtle point in the rules. :p I see redrick beat me to this, but yeah, Greater Invisibility is a 4th level Bard spell. You're quite right that if he were using the 2nd level spell he would become visible when he attacks. I hadn't gotten down to that level of detail when I posted.

Wednesday, 27th May, 2015

  • 01:26 AM - pemerton mentioned redrick in post Array v 4d6: Punishment? Or overlooked data
    ...cal or mental attributes.Personally, I don't think that stat spread plays a terribly big role in differentiating PCs. I think the choice of strong vs weak stats, plus other abilities that are emphasised or downplayed in PC build, makes a bigger difference. That said, in my 4e game the PCs had different starting stat spreads, despite using points buy: 18,14,11,10,10,8 (Deva invoker, starting 20 WIS and 16 INT) 16,16,12,12,10,8 - with race mod to both 16s (Drow sorcerer, starting 18 CHA and DEX) 16,14,14,13,10,8 - with no race mod to the 16 (Dwarf fighter, starting 16 STR) 16,14,14,13,10,8 (Elf ranger-cleric, starting 18 DEX and 16 WIS) 16,14,13,12,11,10 (Tiefling paladin, starting 18 CHA, 14 WIS, 15 CON) By 29th level, the variation is more marked (PCs listed in the same order): 28,24,13,12,12,10 28,26,14,14,12,10 26,20,19,18,12,10 28,26,16,15,12,10 28,20,18,14,14,12 If you want greater stat variation, there are other ways of doing this besides 4d6 drop lowest. redrick gave an interesting one not very far upthread. Setting up a table with 10 or 20 points-buy/array spreads and having each player roll on the table is another. If I was playing a variant human with stat buying, I would take a 17 in my main stat and a feat to make it 18, every time.If there is a single optimal strategy, that looks like a problem with the game design. This is not the case in 4e, as per the stat spreads posted above. I'd be surprised if it was really the case in 5e either. But if it is a problem in 5e, then the solution seems to be to fix the game rather than make players have a random chance of being forced into a suboptimal strategy! If I can craft the entirety of my character, why not craft hit points too? Why not craft when they die?The difference between PC build and actual play of the game has been addressed above. As for "crafting" hit points, this has been a part of some games (eg Rolemaster, HARP) for a long time now. The world didn't end.


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Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 05:43 PM - Umbran quoted redrick in post Hidden
  • 05:34 PM - quoted redrick in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    Hi Jeff, I'm really not judging your character. I don't know you and I have only one instance of your speech to go on. Well, now 3. I'm not trying to be self-righteous; I'm looking to temper the desire to be righteous in these situations instead of being compassionate. I'm speaking only to that one instance of what you said. Zak is polyamorous. He was (is?) a porn actor. He espouses a sexually liberal viewpoint. The 3 women who came forward are also polyamorous. Some of them may also have been porn actors. By my understanding they also espoused a sexually liberal viewpoint. So when you say, "sexual freedom and emotional safety aren't compatible," you are, intentionally or not, suggesting that the women put themselves in this position. That this would not have happened to them if they had a more traditional sexuality. Maybe that was not your intention. I don't know what's in your heart. But that's what I heard when I read your words. I feel we should focus not on the incidentals of Zak's,...
  • 05:06 PM - kenmarable quoted redrick in post Hidden
  • 05:04 PM - quoted redrick in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    This is victim blaming. The problem here wasn't that the women who came forward were polyamorous or sexually liberal. The problem was an abusive person who took advantage of them and a society that protected him. This same sort of abuse happens within the most traditional of marriages. You completely put words in my mouth. What if it isnít the victims fault AT ALL. AND glamorizing casual sex and acting as though itís typically harmless ALSO hurts people. WOW, not everything is unidimensional . You are a pathetic key-board, virtue warrior. Look at your own moral character before you judge mine.
  • 04:59 PM - kenmarable quoted redrick in post Hidden
  • 04:55 PM - quoted redrick in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    This is victim blaming. The problem here wasn't that the women who came forward were polyamorous or sexually liberal. The problem was an abusive person who took advantage of them and a society that protected him. This same sort of abuse happens within the most traditional of marriages. No it isnít, you self-righteous jerk. This is a warning to young people, both male and female. Donít tell me what Iím doing in my comment, jerk. Take your self-satisfied, smug, moral posturing somewhere else. I said that Zach was making a cult of personality around him. I donít know him, but it looks like extremely psychopathic behavior. I donít blame the victims one bit. So shove your black and white thinking up your you know where.
  • 04:50 PM - timbannock quoted redrick in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    I believe Mandy. I believe Jennifer. I believe Hannah. I believe the many, many others who have come forward before this to tell us about Zak S's patterns of severely abusive behaviors. This. His online conduct suggests all of these allegations are totally in-character.

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

  • 09:52 AM - aramis erak quoted redrick in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    My experience is that millennials feel very comfortable role playing characters whose gender does not match their own, and seem to navigate the "challenge" or lack thereof quite well. Gender roles are not nearly as well defined any more. Which also makes it easier to cross over.

Saturday, 17th February, 2018

  • 04:36 AM - JacktheRabbit quoted redrick in post Is acting on player banter a dick move?
    In general, I would say, yes, using player banter against PCs is a dick move. For this not to be a dick move, you would have to justify it. (Specific beats general, after all.) Certainly, I would not use knowing how many spell slots a character has left or exactly how many hp against them across multiple encounters. Knowing that a character is badly wounded? Sure. Should be clearly visible. Knowing that they've just used some spells because you heard the fireball go off? Sure. But planning a course of action based on the fact that the Fighter still has an Action Surge left but the Barbarian has used all their Rages? That's a low blow. Now, as pming says, discussing detailed battle plans on the other side of a door from your opponents? That's foolish. But I would explain this the first time by saying, "Ok, so you guys are discussing your strategy for a few minutes in the corridor of the dungeon. Did anybody notice that the voices on the other side of the door have stopped?" My main poi...

Friday, 16th February, 2018

  • 11:34 PM - iserith quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    This would be where we diverge. In many of the groups I play in, probing the hooks is a big part of the "it." Obviously, I try and avoid this for one-shots at the store (generally by putting the hook in the past tense ó here you are, tell me why you agreed), but for an ongoing campaign, hook shopping is part of the game, and is where a lot of our characters get fleshed out. The way we react to a particular quest-giver in session 1 could impact things many sessions down the road, and I believe one of the areas analog RPGs excel is that you don't have to just accept the main story mission if you don't want to. And, yes, as a result, we don't necessarily have a super high adventure-pages-per-day in our group. As a player, I see a hook as a pointer to the DM's prepared content and I consider it a sign of respect for the DM's time not to ignore it. As a DM, I don't care though. I have fun preparing content.
  • 11:19 PM - iserith quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    I've seen it happen meaningfully with regards to taking a hook, or a character needing to connect a particular action to their own ideals and bonds. Potentially, this could be resolved between player characters. Some push and pull between player characters can be a good way to bring those characters to life, and I'm in favor of any role-play that doesn't have to be mediated by the DM. As I said, some is okay. But I've seen games where this is most of the interaction that goes on and it's not for me. As for hooks, I don't debate taking them as a player. I accept, always, so we can get on with it.
  • 11:06 PM - Lanefan quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    Iserith can correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems more a way of resolving player discussion than character discussion. Because, as fun as it is to have a 45 minute impasse in character, I think a group could, collectively, agree upon a best course of action while, at the same time, acknowledging that their character is not going to take that action. That would be fine. But in iserith world it seems you can't do this: your character has to go along with the plan and take that action even if in-character it otherwise wouldn't. I've seen all of those characters at the table. I think you're conflating player and character. This method is about how the players interact with each other. When it comes to in-character discussions e.g. planning how to storm the castle, player and character should be exactly the same. In other words if you say it at the table, your character says it in the game. And yes, stubborn people sometimes play stubborn characters. Non-stubborn people also sometimes ...
  • 10:00 PM - iserith quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    One can have a fun interaction scene where characters role-play their differences Right, though I personally don't find those particularly fun. A sprinkling here and there maybe. I think there's plenty of conflict to be had outside the party. It always boggles my mind when certain players want to look within the party for that.
  • 06:24 PM - iserith quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    iserith, I like this. It seems to me mostly a way of re-framing discussion. How much time do you spend explaining the approach to a new group of players? Do you find that you need to reinforce it a lot in the beginning, or once people try it, does it become second-nature? So with my current group of regulars (which is about 10 people, about half of which play in a given session), they picked it up straight away. I recall one session a few sessions into the campaign that they were spinning their wheels in debating something. I don't remember the specifics, but the stakes were high and they had fair enough reasons to be hesitant and doubtful. I didn't say anything during the game, though I could tell that they picked up on this discussion being an anomaly compared to how fluid the game ran up to that point. After the session, I put up a post on the campaign forum highlighting that moment as when "Yes, and..." broke down and that was the last time I had to say anything. As Valmarius noted u...
  • 07:07 AM - Reapernazara quoted redrick in post Need some help gm'ing
    As others have said, don't sweat it. DM'ing is a constant learning experience. Iserith's recommendation about trying to bite off small chunks of description and then roll out details in conversation with the players is a good one. It's not that you left the people out, you just haven't gotten around to describing them yet, but thanks for asking, let me tell you about them! When preparing to run published adventures, I find it very helpful to keep a highlighter and highlight details in the adventure as I read it. This helps me find the key details quickly at the table. That being said, I've never run an adventure out of one of the hardbacks before, so if you don't have an easy way to photo-copy or print out the adventure, you might not want to fill your hardback book with scribblings. (On the other hand, you bought the damn thing to run it, so depends on how squeamish you are about writing in books.) Sometimes I will actually reconstitute the adventure text into my own concise adventure n...

Thursday, 15th February, 2018

  • 07:41 PM - iserith quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    Ha, fair. Well, moving away from the, "My character does something impulsive," scenario, what happens in a situation where a player suggests a course of action for the group, that is clearly the first idea, but not the best idea, and suggestions from other players illuminate this? Do you find that players have a way of moving on to a better, second idea? How does that go down? And how does this work with players who struggle with social cues? Asking out curiosity, not to challenge the suggestion. Generally speaking, an idea can evolve into something else, but that tends to be because the person with the first idea bought into a change from the original idea for some reason. This doesn't happen all that often though. There's really no "best idea" in a given situation, especially when there are plenty of variables and unknowns. Therefore the best process as we see it is to minimize discussion on the matter in favor of moving forward by not letting the Perfect be the enemy of the Good Enough. ...
  • 07:14 PM - iserith quoted redrick in post Dm misadventures. Tales of woe. How long did your worse table arguement last?
    Do you often find that the player who initially suggested an idea will choose to abandon their suggestion as some of the "refinements" supersede it? PLAYER 1: Let's rush up and kick down the door! PLAYER 2: Yeah! Let's sneak up quietly, listen at the door, and then rush up and kick down the door! PLAYER 3: Yeah! Let's sneak up quietly, listen at the door, check it for traps, and then rush up and kick down the door! PLAYER 1: Yeah! Maybe we should just see what happens with those first 2 steps. I'm good with holding the "rush up and kick down the door option" as a backup. Haha, no. These "additions" are actually negations. That'd be a no-no and, when you're used to the game flowing in the way I described, these things are super obvious and grating in play like nails on a chalkboard. Acceptable responses would be along the lines of "Yeah, and I stand back a good distance to avoid any traps..." and "Yes, and I nock an arrow for whatever beasts may be on the other side..." or "Go for it -...

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018

  • 08:35 PM - Saelorn quoted redrick in post So, how hard is it to kill PCs anyway?
    Healing magic is also definitely a known thing, even if it's not something every farmer would possess. It's a 1st level spell available to divine and nature casters, and healing potions are available for purchase in most towns.Our real world also has stories of magical healing and potions. To a standard peasant, whether you live in a world where those stories are true (the game world) or false (our world), this observation would look identical. Unless that magic is sufficiently common, they have no way of knowing that the stories are true; so while most people in Faerun can be reasonably certain about it, it's still not necessarily the case in any other setting. so unless they leave no survivors and allow no monsters or witnesses to flee,That sounds like standard operating procedure to me.
  • 07:45 PM - Morrus quoted redrick in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    The D&D brand is synonymous with role-playing for newcomers. It's not, "I want to try a table-top RPG," it's, "I want to try D&D." That's exactly it. It's about branding. There's nothing unique about D&D; but it does its job well and is more well known as a term than "tabletop roleplaying game" is. Hell, I know people who say they're playing D&D when they're playing something else entirely.
  • 07:19 AM - Saelorn quoted redrick in post So, how hard is it to kill PCs anyway?
    To be clear, I would never actually bother to run a campaign where NPCs all had death saves. In 95% of instances, the difference between tracking death saves and not tracking death saves is negligible, because the enemy side doesn't have healing. It's just a matter of whether you have to go over there and finish them off after they stabilize into unconsciousness. The point of the experiment would simply be to (hopefully) demonstrate my hypothesis that monsters under GM control choosing not to attack downed PCs while there are other PCs still conscious is almost always a matter of a polite table convention and not actually intelligent or believable behavior on the part of those monsters.Depending on the prevalence of healing magic in the setting, there's no reason to believe that the enemies would think to finish off a downed target, unless they have personally witnessed you bringing someone back up. After all, if healing magic is rare, then 95% of everyone who drops in combat is out of the f...


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