View Profile: practicalm - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • practicalm's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:42 AM
    I'll do GURPS. 1. Character Vision from the start. Almost any character can be modeled and it allows people to create their vision from he start and make tweaks and improvements as you play. I like the balance between skills, talents, powers, and stats. You can have a powerful old wizard and the young talented fighter without both having to be be level 1. 2. Your actions matter. The...
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    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:07 AM
    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.
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    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:56 AM
    The Lion's Den Fight Club app has a few places that people have made xml files for all the current content. I've made a few myself for custom content.
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 04:53 PM
    I think your Minimum Viable Product for fun is much lower than others. The goal of ensuring your players have fun is much more complex than hosting a marathon. Each player has a different idea of fun and you game has to work across multiple player types as well as work with the characters they have. You might want to look at Raph Koster's Theory of Fun. https://www.theoryoffun.com
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 12:42 AM
    I'm not going to argue the simplicity of this. But the 3 and 4 rules is broken into two groups, you can always roll defense rolls, but other rolls won't succeed. This isn't really that far off of people who think that rolling a 1 or 20 on a skill check or saving throw are auto fails or auto succeeds. (They are not, but too many people think they are.)
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    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Rules knowledge isn't as important during the session. Rules issues can be brought up in between sessions and settled. Sometimes things that look like rules issues to the players is the result of something the GM is allowing for that NPC. Consider the point that some times the players nor the characters have all the information. In general I like to have a strong system mastery but as...
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  • practicalm's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 05:40 PM
    I choose the system I want to play because it brings things to the table that other systems do not. It's a false choice to say complex versus simple, because once character creation is out of the way GURPS is no more complex for the player than any other system. The choice of system is what is the Gamemaster trying to accomplish with their game. GURPS handles a lot of different styles but it...
    54 replies | 1976 view(s)
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About practicalm

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About practicalm
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I've been running RPGs since 1979. I've enjoyed a great many systems with my favorite being GURPS. I enjoy playing any system though.
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Long Beach, CA
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Running 5th edition D&D game with large group of players that drop in from time to time. Mix of youth and adult players.

Also running a 5th edition D&D game at work with people who have never played before. It's crazy.

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Town:
Long Beach
State:
California
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Running 5th edition D&D game with large group of players that drop in from time to time. Mix of youth and adult players.

Also running a 5th edition D&D game at work with people who have never played before. It's crazy.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


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Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 07:41 PM - Saelorn quoted practicalm in post How do you get to GURPS?
    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.A swordfight between two high-skill swordfighters actually is a lot like that fight in Princess Bride, in that you'll have dozens of exchanges without anyone landing a blow. You can have fun with the narration, but even then, it's not terribly satisfying from a gameplay perspective.

Saturday, 1st June, 2019

  • 09:46 PM - Dire Bare quoted practicalm in post Uneasy Partnerships
    People say that and then do something different. They do, huh? Certainly different folks value different things in a retail store. But I'm not alone in finding a free, clean, well-lit, well-ventilated, friendly play space to be a huge draw. There are folks who use those spaces and then go shopping online . . . those people suck, but it's part of the business environment gaming stores have to navigate. In my area, all of the local stores have free gaming areas, but only one fits my description above. It's the most successful store in the area, although they don't rely solely on their awesome play area . . . they also have a significant online retail presence as well, they are well-stocked in a variety of games, and their employees aren't gamer troglodytes. It's tough to run a successful gaming store today, much tougher than it was back when I was a kid. But some stores manage to thrive nonetheless. Every game store has to deal with a different business model for their location (rent and tra...

Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 02:54 PM - ART! quoted practicalm in post How do you get to GURPS?
    Judging from the way the players whose designs involved some kind of shtick that involved multiple attacks- the speedster’s superfast punches or striking multiple foes; the guy with the super-gun that could go full auto, etc.- they didn’t care if the math for the actual damage worked out the same, they really hated the way M&M modeled that style of attack. The journey was just as important as the destination. (I agreed, FWIW.) I've been running Masks for a group that's used to more "traditional" RPGs, on the heels of running and playing weekly D&D 5E for 2 years with them, and they are really frustrated with certain aspects of it - particularly the narrative approach to combat. Sometimes, you just want to flex your super-muscles and punch somebody through a building, but you want to earn it by having character who the mechanics say in black-and-white that you can, indeed, punch a guy through a building. Not knocking Masks at all - it's a beautiful thing. So, yeah - there's a real sa...
  • 12:01 AM - DMMike quoted practicalm in post How do you get to GURPS?
    If the "fire" in this metaphor is "complex game mechanics," then I would say that my job as GM is akin to being the engineer who manages the ship's boilers. The rest of the crew have different jobs and should enjoy the voyage without getting burned. This is, stated in the rules or otherwise, a GM's job. But I think there's a turning point, when managing the rules FOR the players becomes counter-productive. There are also the players (like me) who will want to know and use the rules without GM assistance, because there's the possibility that the GM says he knows the rules, but doesn't. Still, that's another way to get to GURPS: hold the players' hands until they can make it on their own. I choose the system I want to play because it brings things to the table that other systems do not. It's a false choice to say complex versus simple, because once character creation is out of the way GURPS is no more complex for the player than any other system. The choice of system is what is the Gamema...

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 08:19 PM - Aiden_Keller_ quoted practicalm in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - Which Season is the Best Story Arc? [Spoilers]
    The whole chase scene is ridiculous as there are many ways a group of 3rd level characters can mess with the moving of the Stone and I did something completely different and much more like a It's a Mad Mad World movie where every group was grabbing and moving the McGuffin around with illusions, fake stones, misdirection, invisible imp familiars, and more. I also liked the catch-22 of the main Summer villain (Cassalanters) because I was able to play him as someone who was trying to buy his way out of the deal he made without letting the players learn of the full price of the deal. It made him sympathetic for a few sessions until they dug around the for the truth. It really is ridiculous...VERY hard to pull off well... Love the movie reference....that is also how I see the campaign...not so much a Heist (Ocean 11)....but more like a mad scramble! The Cassalanters could EASILY become a villain the characters show sympathy towards!

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 10:43 PM - uzirath quoted practicalm in post New monsters book for Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game
    GURPS is definitely complex on the character generation and world building One of the things I love about DFRPG is that it simplifies both of these things. Not only are the templates quite easy to use, but they printed a booklet of sample characters. I've used many of these in my pickup games so that we can sit down, grab a pregen, and start playing within five minutes. Even with totally new players, I find that it's easier to teach them the game by playing, so rather than explain how the character sheet works, I'll throw them into a series of basic encounters, each one featuring a particular mechanic: skill rolls, quick contests, melee combat, ranged combat, spells, etc. This not only teaches them the rules, but they also embark on their first adventure. Many players (including the author of the game) share additional sample characters on the DFRPG forum at Steve Jackson Games; most of them are indexed in this thread. As for world building, that's always a daunting task. GURPS can be ov...

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019


Sunday, 17th February, 2019

  • 02:37 PM - pemerton quoted practicalm in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    I call a game "rules light" if I can run it for players new to the game and they have all the information they need on their character sheets and single page cheat sheet. No need to browse books during character creation or during play, no need for me to handle the mechanics because it takes too long to understand it. Traveller started out pretty rules light and then supplements came.I'm a big fan of Classic Traveller and have recently been playing it a fair bit (a report of today's session is here). But I don't think it reasonably counts as rules light. Character creation can be reasonably quick and quite colourful, and the skill names generally give you a sense of what your PC can do. But the game has a lot of subsystems (for intersteller travel; for using vacc-suits; for vehicular travel; for landing small craft in inclement weather; for combat, both melee and ranged; for ship combat; for making repairs to a ship during combat; etc, etc). In our play I'm finding that, as referee, I'm carr...

Saturday, 16th February, 2019

  • 06:27 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted practicalm in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    Two early rules light games, Tunnels and Trolls and The Fantasy Trip (SJ Games is bring it back). These are both combat focused which make it easier to keep light. Adding other pillars adds more complexity. Traveller started out pretty rules light and then supplements came. Loved The Fantasy Trip back in the day, and was glad to hear of SJG’s plans to bring it back. FWIW, though, Dark City Games is basically using the same core mechanics as TFT for their RPGs. http://www.darkcitygames.com

Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 10:07 PM - Shasarak quoted practicalm in post Where Have All the Gamers Gone?
    The real issue that all these articles dance around is how everyone is expecting households to have two incomes. This is the cause of the disruption of the social fabric. Without someone at home to manage the house, connect to the community (PTA, churches, social groups, and local government), and help keep the family connected to the rest of the community, all of us are poorer. It's just harder to keep these connections and commitments with both adults working. If the next generation is rebelling against this then more power to them. Live on single incomes as much as possible. It's a hard thing. I was listening to someone talk about this, it is just a natural supply and demand reaction to women entering the work force: twice as many workers means each worker is worth half as much.

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 06:27 PM - Retreater quoted practicalm in post Would you invite this player?
    I don't see how there is enough information for us to judge how to solve your issue. 1. It's going to depend on your session 0. 2. Does everyone show up all the time or will the numbers equalize as other people have obligations on some game nights? 3. What type of game are you going to run. Cinematic, High Fantasy, Gritty, Humorous? Do you have a paragraph about your game that your players have read and agreed to? This was a something that a long time regular on the Pyramid Usenet group did so players choose the campaigns they were interested in from the games he was interested in running. 4. Will you be able to get the players to have bonds to each other before the game starts? There were some Backstory cards [http://brooklynindiegames.com/games/backstory-cards/] that I found and it was amazing when I used them with a new group. They found their own ways to connect that bonded them as a group better than I had thought. 5. Do you really want to? Your fun is important and if you ar...

Monday, 21st January, 2019

  • 11:29 PM - evilbob quoted practicalm in post question to all: games for 8-10 players?
    Both do this by distributing the interaction - players interact with other players, rather than a singular board or GM, and without requiring a strict turn-order.Good thoughts, thank you! Tortuga 1667; Deadwood 1876; Mafia de Cuba; Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation; Secret Hitler; Formula DeAll vs. games. They sound like neat games, but they're not for us. The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen sounds interesting since you don't really need a winner; Dialect is actually co-op and sounds pretty similar so I appreciate that suggestion!

Saturday, 19th January, 2019

  • 03:07 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted practicalm in post Worlds of Design: How "Precise" Should RPG Rules Be?
    RPG rules also have to mesh with their settings. First edition Paranoia was overly complex and didn't mesh with the expected style of play. Toon has very good rules for the setting because it's designed to be comfortable with imprecise rules. Good point, and props for mentioning Toon... 'cause Toon. I only played it once, and I'm not generally a fan of comedy RPGs, but Bub Hare, Bugs' cousin who munched on parsnips and was from a tougher part of Brooklyn got to fall down more than once. One area of rule precision for me is around character classes. I hate character classes in anything other than fantasy games (and really would prefer not to have them there either). I like HERO or GURPS for character building. I probably should support Dungeon Fantasy for my next campaign. More precise rules around building characters lets people build their characters from the start having different kinds of options. There's something breaking immersion in having a old wizard character be level 1...

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 12:02 AM - pukunui quoted practicalm in post SKT - Need Ideas for Introducing Harshnag
    In general, having the players steal the giant relics from the barbarian mounds is close to the worse part of this adventure.I can see how people might feel that way - I briefly felt that way myself. However, I’m not really interested in rehashing old arguments on this topic. Suffice it to say, I am going to have my players visit at least some of the mounds to recover giant relics. Harshnag should really only be used to introduce the players to the villain and then let them escape as he dies. Otherwise, he's just an overpowered NPC running with the players and takes away from the players doing cool stuff.Normally I’d agree with you. This is one of the issues I have with Dragon Heist. However, in this case, the designers have kindly included some helpful advice on how to keep Harshnag from stealing the spotlight from the PCs. That kind of guidance is much appreciated. Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

  • 09:08 PM - 5ekyu quoted practicalm in post Critical Hit Decks/Charts - I don't like 'em
    They were and are a lot of fun in Rollmaster though. So much fun.We differ.
  • 09:49 AM - Jhaelen quoted practicalm in post Critical Hit Decks/Charts - I don't like 'em
    Really it was ChartMaster. Prove me wrong!Indeed! Imho, it's unplayable as a table-top RPG but it might have worked as the core of a computer RPG.
  • 09:25 AM - Topramesk quoted practicalm in post Critical Hit Decks/Charts - I don't like 'em
    They were and are a lot of fun in Rollmaster though. So much fun. You know what, as much as I love them in Rolemaster and similar games, I must admit that I prefer my d&d games without them. Probably a matter of design and expectations, RM is built around the critical tables, and you know that when you are getting into a fight you risk losing a hand or worse. With d&d is diferent. Sure your character could be burned to death by a fireball or a dragon's breath, or killed by a finger of death, but having one of her limbs cut off? That's not really what I expect.
  • 02:27 AM - Yardiff quoted practicalm in post Critical Hit Decks/Charts - I don't like 'em
    They were and are a lot of fun in Rollmaster though. So much fun. I was corrected on this in another thread, its RoleMaster and I agree it was very fun to play.

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 03:26 PM - lluewhyn quoted practicalm in post Give Me Your Dragon Heist Tips
    I also agree there are major issues with the adventure. 2. Too much relies on the players not getting the McGuffin until the end of chapter 4. This leads to the thing I found most appalling in the adventure: If the PCs somehow act smart and are able to get the McGuffin earlier than the end of Chapter 4 through cleverness, the McGuffin itself feels like they haven't "earned" it, and attempts to force the PC to lose it and wipes their minds of the incident until they go through the full Chapter 4 sequence. This is one of the worst ideas I've seen written in a published adventure.


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