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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 05:59 PM
    There are three effects of the vampire’s bite: (a) the target takes 7 (1d6 +4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage, (b) the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and (c) the vampire regains a number of hit points equal to the amount of the reduction. All three of these effects happen immediately on a hit. I think everyone agrees on...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:43 PM
    But on your own account this isn't true. Because the GM can always narrate something else. As you're presenting it, all the players get to do is make suggestions that the GM may or may not follow up on. How is that possiby a success, given the declared action? It's obviously a failure - the PC has not got what s/he wanted (namely, incriminating financial documents). So when do the players...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:42 PM
    First they came for the skeletons, and I did not join the armies of the dead— Because I was not a skeleton. Then they came for the zombies, and I did not eat the brains of the living— Because I was not a zombie. Then they came for the ghouls, and I did not consume the flesh of the living— Because I was not a ghoul. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to eat me.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:33 PM
    The ghoul makes only one attack, with either its bite or its claws. Since it has hands, it can certainly use its action to grapple instead.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:11 PM
    Great assignment! I'm going to assume this is the first step in a redesign of the features in question because otherwise there'd be some balance issues. Also, I'm assuming we're leaving things like size, speed, and languages as is. I'm only going to consider features from the base races. Anyway, here's my list: Dragonborn: Breath Weapon Dwarf: Tool Proficiency/Stonecunning Elf: Keen Senses...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:25 AM
    Not really. It’s more like, “If your hit point maximum being reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken reduces your hit point maximum to 0, you die.” So 3d6 are rolled, generating a numerical amount of necrotic damage, and that number is subtracted from your current hit point maximum. If the difference is a non-positive number, you die.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:56 PM
    In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. As Ovinomancer has posted,...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:17 PM
    I was trying to draw attention to the fact that this interpretation, that you can “finish” a long rest without gaining its benefits, leads one to the conclusion that a wizard can recover all his/her spent spell slots or the victim of a vampire bite end the reduction to his/her hit point maximum more than once per day or when at 0 hit points. I think it’s right there in the long rest...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:46 PM
    The rule you’re citing limits you to gaining the benefits of a long rest only once per day, just like the other rule that prohibits you from gaining the benefits of a long rest when you have 0 hit points. If despite that rule, you could take and finish a long rest whenever you had eight hours available, then a wizard would regain all his/her spent spell slots upon finishing that rest and could do...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    I think the main distinction for game purposes is between unconscious due to having 0 hit points and unconscious due to being asleep. Technically, sleep is a state of altered consciousness, rather than unconsciousness, but because Trance is called out as a semi-conscious state, I use the Unconscious condition for both asleep and knocked out. The distinction is important because while sleeping or...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:52 PM
    I find it a little odd that you gloss “benefit from” as “take” in the case of the once per 24 hours restriction, but maintain that the 1 hit point requirement doesn’t prevent you from taking a long rest but only prevents you from benefiting from it. Do you find this as inconsistent as I do? I’m not sure how you think Trance is supposed to work in-game. My understanding is that an elf can...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 05:06 PM
    Or in other words, you can start a long rest (which is really just an action-declaration, i.e. “This is what my character is going to do for the next eight hours.”), but you just can’t finish it. The thing is, I don’t think a player of an unconscious PC is in any position to say what their character is going to do. Unconsciousness is not sleep. It has its own rules for hit point recovery.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:28 PM
    In dim light I’d say yes. In darkness, if something’s at stake, I might ask for a Wisdom (Perception) check. edit: At disadvantage no less!
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:57 PM
    Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:09 PM
    That’s pretty much how I’d have run it. I left death saves out of my response because stabilizing a dying PC seems trivial enough, if deemed necessary, once revivify was cast. Of course, care would need to be taken to prevent further damage to the PC, or the PC would die again. I’m not sure what you mean by “recover naturally” though, because even if a 20 was rolled on a death save, the PC’s hit...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:35 PM
    I agree, but the rules for recovering spent spell slots reference finishing a long rest, just like the vampire’s bite.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:24 PM
    Why? In a relatively traditional RPG a GM gets to establish a lot of fiction: much of the setting; many of the NPCs; the framing of many situations; the narration of failures; maybe other stuff too that I'm not thinking of at present. What is the function of successful checks if the GM also gets to establish what happens there too? I was just responding to what you posted:
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:55 PM
    I don’t think anyone has answered jaelis’s question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. I’d be interested to know what your answers would be. If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then I’m sure you’d both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:16 AM
    I have neither said nor implied this. All I said was that Lanefan's example, in which the PC doesn't achieve what the player hoped for, is not a success and hence might be a feasible failure narration.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:13 AM
    I agree with this. I use the phrase inhabitation of the character to try and convey this idea. I think, though, that some systems can be more demanding on the players than others, and challenging in that sense. To give examples: Prince Valiant and MHRP tend to be relatively light-hearted in the situations they throw up; whereas Burning Wheel (and I suspect Apocalypse World) can be much...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:40 AM
    They can pick up and use the weapons, sure, but if they bring them to market, weapon dealers will turn their noses up at “foul orc-make” or whatever. And I use the variant that requires found armor to be tailored to the individual for 10-40% of market value before it can be used.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:21 AM
    I follow the Basic Rules guideline that weapons and armor used by monsters is generally in too poor a condition for resale.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:45 PM
    Well, you’re unconscious, and unconscious people aren’t really sleeping, but laying down is about all you can do. I still wouldn’t call that a long rest because none of the effects of a long rest will proceed from that episode of laying down.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    My contention is that you can’t finish a long rest unless you had at least 1 hit point when you started it.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:48 PM
    I would say that ending the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite is a *benefit* of a long rest. My reading is that finishing a long rest is the same as gaining its benefits, and that you can do neither unless you have at least 1 hit point when you start the rest.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:45 PM
    My 2˘: revivify should have brought the character back to life with 0 hit points. The 1 hit point of healing would have been lost, and the character’s hit point maximum would still be 0. After that, greater restoration would end the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite, allowing the character to heal.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:24 AM
    Hussar, Lanefan - if narrowing of possible resolutions = the GM being bound by the results of checks, than sure, any system other than "GM decides" will have that consequence. But unless the dice are rigged then fails are possible, in which case fail scenarios are possible resolutions, and there is no narrowing of the range of possible resolution.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    Your example doesn't show any narrowing of possible results. The scenario you describe is a possible failure narration; and it could be a success narration if that is what the player decides his/her PC searches for.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:20 PM
    I believe many more people have watched The Avengers than have watched The Seventh Seal. But that doesn't mean that every time I want to talk about the latter I talk about the former instead or as well. If people who only want to talk about D&D, or who have no interest in talking or reading about how other systems do things, don't want to participate in this thread, that's a risk I'm prepared...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:15 PM
    Reposted:
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:03 PM
    Reason(s)?
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:55 PM
    The rapier should be called the arming sword. Also, elves should not have a natural lifespan. I interpret the number of years given as the time after which they are overcome with the sorrows of the world and seek the West (Feywild) by either leaving the world physically or, if they cannot, leaving their bodies behind.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:55 PM
    In your case, you seem to know both BW and D&D, which are the two systems I referenced in the post of mine that you quoted. Do you have any thoughts about this mind flayer and false memories example that might draw on either of the systems? Or if you want to engage it by reference to another system, that would be interesting too!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:48 PM
    Do you have much experience with 4e D&D? It's a bit of an open question exactly what tools 4e provides, because the skill challenge is - as presented - such an open-ended or un-nailed-down framework that (experience suggests) needs users to bring ideas and/or experience from outside to really get the best out of it. I think a skill challenge might be able to handle the scenario you're...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:22 AM
    I'm not sure about incentives. When I read the Strike(!) I think of "intent and task" and failure narration in BW. Or the example from AW that I posted upthread. If the check fails, the GM is entitled to narrate the failure by imposing a new and unwanted description of the PC's action. But I don't think in any of the systems this could go as far as you've fallen in love with the maiden unless...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:16 AM
    This is an interesting question - in general, and about D&D play: To what extent is the GM permitted to rewrite player-authored PC backstory by drawing upon a combination of (i) situation and stakes and (ii) failed checks. In BW (for instance) I think this is fair game. The only version of D&D I can think of able to handle this is 4e. I don't really see how it would be done in AD&D. And from...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:02 AM
    If the player is avoiding expedience by sticking to conceptualisation, how is that conceptualisation going to be challenged? Or changed? If the player is at liberty to change conceptuatlisation in response to choices, what governs those choices? Self-evidently it can't be conceptualisation. You don't want it to be expedience. Is it whim? Do you have actual play examples to post that...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:59 AM
    If I was converting this adventure, I’d want to stick with the original level range, keeping in mind that it was written for a slightly larger party size (4-6 PCs) than is typical in 5E. So I’d gauge difficulties for a party of four 8th-level PCs. Depending on what other encounters the party is expected to overcome in the same day, it might not be a bad idea to let there be a deadly encounter...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:08 PM
    (1) This thread is in general RPG. Not D&D. There's a reason for that. (2) I'm not saying that players should or shouldn't do anything in every system. The OP invites discussion about various ways in which true descriptions of PC actions might be established. The current discussion has moved on a bit from that, to also talk about how true descriptions of PC choices, PC emotional states, etc...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:01 PM
    You posted this not too far upthread: Before you posted that, Campbell already posted on outline of mechanics from Exalted which contradict what you said: the player in Exalted (i) does not sit out of the loop, and (ii) does have input on how his/her PC would react. Further upthread I posted the Apocalypse World mechanics for PvP seduction/maipulation. In that system the player gets to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:52 PM
    This is missing the point. One may as well ask, What story can't D&D produce? Well, if the players and the GM all get together and agree on it then you can play out Casablanca in D&D, can't you? (That was Campbell's point about consensus.) But the current topic of discussion is how that might be done, and what sort of play experience might be involved. The example of Exalted, for instance,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:34 PM
    I guess you can assert things in ignorance, yet avoid error, if you get lucky. On this occasion though, your luck has failed you. The claims you make aren't plausible even within the compass of D&D, which includes the 4e skill challenge mechanic. They are completely wrong when it comes to other systems such as the ones that chaochou has mentioned.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    This completely misunderstands chaochou's point. As I posted upthread, "cheating" or acting on out-of-game motivations has nothing to do with what anyone is talking about in this thread. The basic point is that, in the scenarios you keep putting forward, nothing happens to the PC's inner being or self-conception that the player did not choose. So the player choose that which s/he prefers....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:35 PM
    Duel of Wits from Burning Wheel has been mentioned. It's an interesting example, because it permits PCs to be persuaded (by other PCs, or by NPCs) but doesn't change their underlying motivations/orientations. In the context of (say) a maiden trying to persuade a PC to help her, it can certainly permit that. And if the maiden is charming or flirty that can factor into her checks (eg FoRK...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:05 PM
    I'll leave the fidelity claim to one side. But the second claim is an empirical one. I'd be curious to see if it's true. Personally I doubt it - I don't have experience with Exalted, but in my experience with other systems that provide various sorts of systematic support for engagement with PC motivations and emotions the range of characters played - when considered in proportion to the overall...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:15 AM
    I think this is very important when approaching social/emotional conflict in RPGs. Otherwise there is a significant risk of all the characters turning out to be the same ie merely expedient. That's fine for Dying Earth but not desirable in general, in my view. Can you explain this further in relation to the system you've described? Is this the depletion of Willpower, or something else as well?...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:46 PM
    If your perspective is that playing DitV is the same as playing DL, then I have to ask - have you played DitV, or any system like it? So now it's corrosive for people to talk about their play experiences, and what they found different in different systems? This is why I described you upthread as hostile to analysis. As for the idea that GNS is corrosive - the only anger and hostility I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:34 PM
    I can see why you say this. But for me, this brings us back to Campbell's remarks: The absence of choice in the example I provided occurred at the point of the killing. At that point, thie player learns - without having any say over it - that his PC is a killer. At that point, playing the character with integrity generates the crisis. There were subsequent events, too, that played on the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:15 AM
    Yes, I mean faithfulness to what the unfolding fiction reveals about the character. Not accuracy. I was trying to build on what Campbell had said. There's the example that's been given by Umbran. Here's another example, which is based on an actual play experience I had many years ago now. The basic structure of the example is not too different from Umbran's. One of the PCs was a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:27 AM
    I agree with Ovinomancer and Umbran that making a choice - even a hard choice - isn't a challenge to character and character concept of the sort that has been raised in this thread. Whether you need mechanics (social mechanics, emotional mechanics, whatever they might be) to generate that sort of challenge is a further question. My view is that you don't, although obviously they might help....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:42 AM
    It means that the RPG can have story arcs comparable to other dramatic mediums. In film, think eg Casblanca. In literature, think eg The Human Factor. In genre fiction, think eg Han Solo (who, in Star Wars, turns out not to be the mercenary he thought he was) or Nameless, Jet Li's character in Hero (who in the end choose not to take the vengeance that he had pursued). Of course many other...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:10 PM
    Hriston replied to Languages
    I think that passage is saying Primordial is a single language with four mutually intelligible dialects. Another obvious example would be Goblinoid, of which Goblin, Hobgoblin, and Bugbear would be separate but mutually intelligible dialects. Personally, I like to think of Orcish as a collection of dialects derived from Common, but which are unintelligible to orcs from different tribes as well as...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:48 AM
    In D&D there is no limit - neither a hard one, nor even a soft one based on principles - as to how many special abilities a GM can use and how many saves s/he might force. This is not a universal truth of RPG design: I quoted the principle from Prince Valiant upthread; Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic uses the Doom Pool to modulate the challenges the GM introduces; other systems have other...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:40 AM
    And by that we can reasonably extrapolate that for game purposes a cave troll has lots of hit points and-or a high Con score. <snip> Just as you can't say a creature described as being particularly tough (relative to other creatures) in the fiction doesn't have lots of hit points, you can't say a creature with lots of hit points (relative to other creatures) isn't tough. Put another way,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:33 AM
    I don't see how this could be a general truth about RPGing. Maybe it's a truth about a certain sort of approach to D&D, Classic Traveller and maybe RQ. In Marvel Heroic RP, combat - ie fisticuffs between superheroes and supervillains - isn't a result of failing to overcome challenges in some other fashion. It's how heroes defeat villains! In Prince Valiant, a joust can be anything from...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:31 AM
    This could really be a topic all its own.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:41 AM
    A long post as I catch up on this thread. The second bit here suggest to me that you're not familiar with the play of any of the non-D&D games that Aldarc, Umbran, Ovinomancer and I have referenced - Fate, Pendrgaon, Prince Valiant, MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Bunring Wheel, etc. And the first bit is odd, because the way you find out whether a D&D character is tough enough to beat Orcus in a fight...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:30 AM
    Lanefan, FrogReaver - you've both made some recent posts which dispute the analysis of action put foward in the OP. Eg you both deny that I melt the maiden's heart with my wink is a true description of a PC's action, and a description of the same action as I wink at the maiden (although obviously a different description). I'm not that interested in turning this thread into an argument in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:29 AM
    This is why I say you don't undertand the 4e combat resolution mechanics. This claim isn't true of 4e; hit points aren't a description of anything. The toughness of a creature is described in the fiction - just as (say) JRRT conveys that the cave troll is tough. The hit points are then a device - together with AC, attack rolls, damage dice etc - that are used to determine the outcomes of fights....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:22 AM
    Well let's turn it around. Why is it so important to you that you have played narrativsit? Are you making a judgement? I don't play many boardgames other than backgammon (which I love). But modern boardgames, with their need for clever and calculated play, are things I'm not very good at. My personal discount curve is too steep (probably in all areas of my life, and certainly in these games)....
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:20 PM
    Apparently, I ninja’d your block. :P I gave what I thought were thorough answers to the questions you asked in your OP, and this is the thanks I get for my effort? In all seriousness, I meant no offense, and since you said “please”, I’m happy to let this rest, although I would have rather had a reply about the substance of my post. Block me if you will, but this isn’t your forum to tell...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:06 AM
    Right, but where is the original clarification? Anyway, I’d hoped there’d be a point to this thread, but I guess not?
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:34 AM
    “Reclarify” would indicate you’ve already made an attempt to clarify this. I must have missed the part of the thread where you did that.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:13 AM
    You’re skipping the step where the DM determines whether the result of the PC’s effort is uncertain and has a meaningful consequence for failure. If it is and does, and the DM calls for a check, I see no reason given here that it would be made with disadvantage, but that would be up to the DM to decide. Again, with the above caveat that the DM first determines that the result of the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 12:08 AM
    GNS is an analytic framework. It's not a claim about what anyone has or hasn't done, or should or shouldn't have done. It's a claim about a certain sort of goal of play, not about system; but there is a recognition that some systems suit some goals better than other systems do, and better than they suit other goals. There's not reason to think that any given goal must be present in play...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    It seems to me that "win condition" here is turning into something like happy with the outcome. Whereas in a scenario like ToH or Ghost Tower of Inverness or The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan or White Plume Mountain or Castle Amber (to fasten on some classics of the genre) when we talk about win conditions we're certainy not talking about (say) being happy with how we reconciled two feuding members...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:27 AM
    This seems to miss the whole point of the OP. If person A jums over the Grand Canyon, it follows that A tried to jump over the Grand Canyon. But A didn't perform two different actions - trying to jump the canyon, and then actually jumpiing it. S/he performed a single action which falls under both descriptions. Which descriptions are made true in a RPG, by whom, and how, is what this thread...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:15 AM
    There is an assertion by some, or at least a very strong implication, that the PC can fail the test, or even feel its force, only if the player decides. In what sense? What body part moves? What intention is formed? Of course the maiden is acting: she is winking. But the PC whose heart is melted is not. No no more than it is an action on Frodo's part to have his finger bitten off by Gollum.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:13 AM
    This still makes no sense. Are you talking about the fiction (in which nothing has hp - hit points are not a part of the gameworld) or about resolution mechanics? Likewise. I don't think you understand how 4e's combat rules work.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    Not really. Suppose that the first is stated by the GM, the player makes a Resist Passion roll, and fails, and then the GM state the second. How did this situation suddenly change from "test" to "manipulation"? Or to give a different example. The GM has described the dungeon corridor that the PCs are standing in. The player says I walk down the left-hand path, inspecting the ceiling as I go....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:44 AM
    The issue is framing it, in advance, as a scenario with win conditions. That can very easily butt up against the notion of establishing a story through play as opposed to playing through a pre-established story. I can't ask you to prove a negative, so what would you consider "support?"A serious account of someone who turned up to play Burning Wheel, played through something like DL or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Upthread the notion of roleplaying - what it is, what it isn't - was raised. The closest to a consensus position that was put forward was that it involved playing the role of a character in a fictional world. In a RPG, there is an additional element of advocacy for the character on account of it being a game, where the participants therefore in some sense aspire to do well. A number of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 09:14 PM
    No. We're asking you what action you think is required on your PC's part. At least I am. (And I'm pretty sure the same is true for hawkeyefan.) My heart being melted isn't an action. It's an emotional state. What action do you think is required/dictated by that state?
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 08:20 PM
    Hriston replied to BECMI for 5e?
    Halflings in Moldvay Basic (B/X) progress as fighters. I’m pretty sure Mentzer (BECMI) is the same. The only differences of which I’m aware between the halfling and the human fighter (besides being limited to level 8) are that halflings get a bonus to ranged attacks and a better chance of being stealthy, but I think those are both taken care of in 5th Ed. by the halfling’s DEX bonus and Naturally...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I think you'll find that the answer to these two questions is the same! hawkeyefan and I are wondering what you envisage melting someone's heart as requiring or dictating.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    That second sentence has the potential to be controversial! I'd put it this way: the designers realised that the relationship between a certain sort of mechanical design, and the infiction category magic, is contingent and a matter of aesthetics. So for a brief period D&D design caught up to Greg Stafford c 1989! (I'm referring there to Prince Valiant, of course - the most undeservedly...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Does D&D encompass non-5e versions? In that case, I already posted the example of the Fang Tyrant Drake's furious roar (which paralyses with fear). In 4e there's no need to conceive of the fear caused by dragons as magical, either (which brings them closer to the Smaug-ish form of dragon terror).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:23 PM
    The category of "special ability", like the category of "magic", only makes sense in some games or some contexts. Some systems don't really have "special abilities" at all in the D&D sense. And even where a system does feature special abilities, the fact that some statblock includes such a thing doesn't necessarily mean that the relevant infiction capability is gated behind such a mechanic. In...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:14 PM
    I think dictated action, or fiat, or what Ron Edwards calls drama resolution, is interesting in this context. I agree that it's not typical. In adjudicating a skill challenge I once narrated one of the PCs moving across the room - in the fiction, he was influenced by a Pact Hag; mechanically, this was setting up a complication (the Hag was going to pull a rope to open a pit); I can't recall...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:58 PM
    Can you tell us more about exactly what the response is that is dictated?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:44 PM
    I'm not sure what monster abilities you've got in mind. In Prince Valiant, for instance, Incite Lust is more likely to be found on a maiden than a monster! Because the NPC maiden melting a PC's heart with a wink is Lanefan's example he'll have to tell you exactly what he had in mind. I've been thinking about the example as a placeholder for stuff in the same general neighbourhood in RPG...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 11:18 AM
    What mandatory effect are you referring to? Can you describe a concrete example, with reference to a real or conjectured system, that explains what you've got in mind. All I'm seeing so far is a conjecture of a system that, in some circumstances, permits a GM to tell a player The maiden's wink softens your heart. Until you tell me more about what you have in mind, that's not an example of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:57 AM
    I don't understand what your example has to do with minion rules. Minion rules are a mechanical device in some systems (4e D&D perhaps most famously, but certainly not exclusively) for adjudicating declared actions (in 4e D&D, mostly fight-y actions) by players for their PCs. If your ingame inhabitant sees her doughty working people cut down with little trouble by Conan and friends, where is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:52 AM
    The example of a NPC maiden softening a PC's heart with a wink came from you. So what system did you have in mind? I don't think the onus is on me to flesh out your example! If you think your example is underspecified then flesh it out yourself! In the OP I put forward, as a description a PC's action, I soften the heart of the maiden with a wink. Systems I can think of where that is a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:18 AM
    With respect, this makes no sense. From the POV of a character in the ficiton you can't tell the resolution mechanics (including minion mechanics) that resultedin a certain outcome. You just experience the fictional events - eg that Aragorn swung his sword and chopped off the orc's head. Mechanical system - like minion rules, or rules that privilege PCs over NPCs (Apocalypse World has this...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Why are you assuming that there is no game system? I've posted many such examples in this thread: Prince Valian special effects; Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic emotional stress and complications; the example from AW; etc. And in some systems, maybe the GM can narrate it by fiat if it follows naturally from what has gone before, just as in (say) Moldvay Basic the GM can narrate that the PC...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:51 AM
    What's in doubt? That's not an a priori category. It's a function of genre conceits, table expectations, system design, probably other stuff too. A RPG could be designed where every time I get to decide whether or not the NPC influences me. Or not. It could be designed where every time I get to decide whether or not I dodge the bullets. Or not. Just as D&D has an armour class, and RQ has a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:44 AM
    I don't even know what this means. I'm talking about events in the fiction. In the fiction, there is no such thing as "overriding the PC". There is just one human affectig another. This is a real thing that happens in the real world all the time, so I have no trouble imagining a fantasy wold in which it happens. Galadriel melts Gimli's heart. Aragorn melts Eomer's heart. Frodo almost melts...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:36 AM
    In narrativist play the notion of setting win conditions is complicated at best. The notion of "scenario", as opposed to "situation", can also be problematic. I don't think Ron Edwards et al intended to be "deceptive". Who are they trying to deceive? Every one of the major essays has a glossary appended; the major essays set out in detail what is meant to be conveyed by various terms; the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 05:11 PM
    But having someone wink at you is also an infiction act. I don't understand what distiinction you think you're pointing to here. These are just bare assertions of preference. As Ovinomancer already noted. It's not "out of fiction". The wink occurs in the fiction. The melting of your PC's heart happens in the fiction. No difference from a spell. And the rule that explains how winking...
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Friday, 19th July, 2019


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Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 02:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Riley37, you didn't answer my question as to what you think it adds to the thread to insist that Hriston said something that he didn't, on the basis of attributing a meaning to his words that they were not intended to bear, and which no reasonable reader of them in the context of their production would impute to them. As to your question about light, light isn't an endeavour of any sort. It's a natural phenomenon. Unlike RPGing, which is an endeavour; and which is framed in the OP as an aesthetic endeavour (subsequent posts have noted classic dungeoncrawling as an exception; as best I recall no poster has disputed that framing or the exception), and which therefre has goals and features that contribute to quality, success, etc. Unlike the case of light, it's therefore not a category error to ask whether RPGing is literary endeavour, any more than it would be a category error to ask whether theatre or film-making is a literary endeavour, and whether the qualities that make for good theatre or cinema are essentially literary qualities. On speaking loud enough to be heard: of course...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 11:54 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hey, if you have questions about anyone's assertions about who is or isn't a jerk, then please take them up with Ovinomancer, not with me. That's his topic, not mine. If you want to defend the rigorous factual accuracy of Ovinomancer's assertion "Literally no one in this thread has said otherwise", then good luck with that. I doubt that you'll earn his gratitude; but I've been wrong before. In your unseemly haste to get your digital boot in, you seem to have forgotten the context of my remark. Here it is: Sooo... Are you agreeing that how content is presented can determine whether people wish to engage with it? Your saying Hriston's actually said that how content is presented cannot affect if people wish to engage with that content. It's the only way that you can keep this e-peen wagging contest going. Well, okay, then. Yours is the biggest. Really. None larger.
  • 05:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. That sentence, as written, says that content matters, and wording doesn't matter. I'm not asking you to stand by or renounce that sentence as the sum of your thoughts on form and content; I was challenging Ovinomancer's assertion that no one had said anything along those lines.If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't understand the relevant semantic features of natural language. Hriston literally did not assert that the particular words used by a speaker never matter to the effectiveness of communication. Which is the assertion that you and Imaro appear to be imputing to him. (And if that's not what you're imputing, then why is he turning up at the end of your "gotcha" stick?) when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. Again, this is just false. Hriston wrote some words which, if misinterpreted, are capable of bearing the meaning that you and Imaro attribute to them. But that doesn't mean that Hriston said the thing that you are misinterpreting him as having said. That's what makes your interpretation a misinterpretation. Ovinomancer even pointed this out, after Hriston pointed it out, and yet you persist in attributing your misinterpretation. Why? What's the point? What do you think it's adding to the thread?
  • 05:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I did not miss that. Hriston said what he said, in the words he used. You can stand by your assertion that no one has said any such thing; you can walk it back; or you can deflect, dodge, distract and dissemble.Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: If the literary is unimportant, then why do DMG’d include dungeon dressing sections, most of which has little to no mechanical impact? Because color (dungeon dressing) is content that provides atmosphere when imagined by the participants at the table. The quality of form with which it’s expressed isn’t what’s important but rather whether the odors, noises, furnishings, and items found in an area suggest a torture chamber, a harem, or a wizard’s laboratory. In other words, it’s the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said.Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a ...
  • 02:38 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You need the step by step? Can do! You asserted the following, in reference to Imaro's assertion about communication of content: Imaro then quoted Hriston asserting that only content matters, without regard to what words communicate that content. So if you still stand by your "no one in this thread has said otherwise" assertion, does your assertion now stipulate that when you said "no one", you meant Hriston? A simple "yes" or "no" response should suffice. Thanks in advance for your clarity and brevity! Sorry, did you miss where Hriston said he was taken out of context and wasn't saying what LMaro was claiming? It's been a busy thread, and people have trued to address things in multiple shifting frameworks as conversation has progressed. If you are trying to claim that people have actually advanced that being a jerk doesn't matter, then I don't see how a conversation can continue.

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 01:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    And the author of the OP?What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread? One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by Aldarc and hawkeyefan, has been interesting. Hriston and darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which led to some fruitful discussions with uzirath whom I've not engaged with very much before as a poster. And Manbearcat has pushed with some challenging posts about pacing that I haven't replied to yet. Ultimately, the reason I post on a discussion board is to have discussions.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 09:06 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...iscussed aspects of GM and player narration in RPGing. Which hase prompted me to start this thread. My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. ... This is how I see RPGs, with their emphasis on participation in the creation of a fiction that is structured through distinct player an d GM roles, working. And it's how I see them differening from more directly narrative mediums such as books and films. That's the OP. This isn't about the DM regaling a captive playerbase with funny voices. This is about devaluing the efforts of players and DMs, whether it's in creating terrain, making illustrations of their characters, or engaging each other in a creative enterprise with quality. That you don't see it that way, well, whatever. But let me make this 100% clear, again (and @Hriston as well)- This isn't about some type of "Y'all have to play like Critical Role" agenda. No, this is about a very specific claim, being advanced in the OP, stating that his style of play is what matters in RPGs, and that what the rest of us do doesn't matter. That's not cool. Now, carry on- but more than enough words have been spent explaining this, and, TBH, I am a little tired of this thread and this debate, which is simply solved by stating, "Hey, play like you want. Just stop peeing on my leg and telling me it's raining." Or, more simply- the things I enjoy are core to my RPG experience. Good? Good.
  • 11:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...ours in the sense the OP has in mind: the quality of the narration/description isn't relevant to those activities. How can you think that referring to Amber diceless, in which player use language to define events, possibly rebuts a claim that begins with the premise that RPGing involves narration and description? If what you are claiming above is true then if given the same quality content that is communicated clearly there should never be deviation in how players respond to it (either being interested or not interested)... which begs the question if it's purely a question of quality of content and clarity then why can numerous DM's try to hook their players to interact with the same content and get totally different responses from their players insofar as interest is concerned? Are you saying any and every DM who can't get his players interested in quality content must not be clearly communicating with their players? If not what are you saying is the cause?Obviously I'm not Hriston, but I assume that Hriston's answer would be the same as mine: what counts as quality material, in the context of RPGing, is not context-independent.

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 03:23 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...l that is at stake, ie if nothing turns on the description of how the character moves, if it's mere colour, then maybe we're getting a bit of establishment of character. That can be done whether the character is said to stride down the hall, walk purposefully down it, or walk down it at a steady pace with an imposing look. for me, what you claim you don't need from the GM is one of the few things that differentiates roleplaying games from other interactive media, his ability through prose and delivery to engage me at a level a videogame can't.Whereas what I see as central to RPGing is the capacity of the referee to respond to the players, and frame situations in response, that engage with a focus, specificity and degree of particularity that non-human interactions can't deliver. If the group isn't interested in engaging with the situations presented because your presentation/performance doesn't make it interesting to them... well there's no game.My take on this is the same as Hriston's - it sounds to me like the situation is not interesting enough! As I've already posted in this thread, my advice to that GM would be to work on situation, not to work on voice modulation. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant.I'm probably qualified to say what I meant by literary in the OP: RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. Literary quality of the narration means - as Hriston posted at post 19 - quality of form: There seems to be a fair bit of wrangling going on in this thread over the definition of the word literary. I think it's pretty clear, however, from the context of the OP, that what is meant accords well with the standard definition found in Google dictionary, for example, "concerning the writing, study, or content...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 07:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    All it takes for the level of realism I seek is for me to have a system that generally works towards representing something in real life. I don't really know what you mean by this. Hriston has a system - whetstones on equipment lists - for "representing" (in some tenable sense of that word) something that occurs in real life, namely, warriors sharpening their blades. But you say that that is not an element of realism. Declaring that a PC comes down with a disease every time the clock strikes during the course of play would be a system for introducing disease - an element of real life - into gameplay. But upthread you seemed to assert that a system of that sort does not increase realism - I think (though am not sure) on the basis that the decision-making process doesn't model the ingame infection process. But when some of us express doubt that the AD&D DMG disease rules work towards representing something like real life, because the "model"/"simulation" (if one wants to call it that) seems to have little basis in reality, and furthermore is apt to produce inconsistencies in game play that don't mirror corresponding facets of real life, you say that we're missing ...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 10:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...and so plays his/her PC as having a cold) or as part of the narration of failure (as per my examples above, or as per the suggestion that AbdulAlhazred and I made way upthread that a missed attack might be narrated as the weapon having become dulled) or even as mattering to resolution (maybe after falling in the mud, the GM imposes disadvantage on CHA checks to befriend strangers until the PC gets clean clothes). The 5e Basic PDF has whetstones on its equipment list. It also has price lists for different qualities of clothing, food, drink and accommodation, even though there are no mechanics governing social class and status. There is an abacus on the list, although no rule that forbids a player using a calculator or pen-and-paper to do maths for his/her PC. All these things are clearly there to help establish these various elements of the fiction. The fact that there is no mechanic that necessarily invokes them is entirely beside the point. EDIT: A lot of this was ninja-ed by Hriston earlier today (my time), using the example of grass growing.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 03:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    So a whetstone is neither a rule, nor proof that weapons degrade in D&D.Upthread, when I suggested that pork is not a part of the D&D rules unless a GM adds it in, you cited the presence of boar in the MM animal listing as a counter-point. But when Hriston points to the presence of whetstones on the equipment list, and in some WotC-published character inventories, as a counterexample to your claim about weapoin degradation, you scoff. Why the difference in the two cases?

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 01:21 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...ing a game (particularly a game like My Life With Master where you're running through a pre-conceived, but not pre-rendered, thematic arc with a diversity of ultimate outcomes). How do you think the 3 above intersect (or not) with your premise?I think (1) and (2) are - at their core - about extrapolating from established to new fiction by reference to theme/interest. That fits well with my description, in my post not far upthread of your post, of the GM's narration inviting the players to engage as a protagonist. What stirs the player, what rouses emotion, is not the fluency of the GM's narration but the power of that invitation. I think a GM can do this although s/he has no great skill as a writer (in the sense of writing beautiful prose). My belief here is grounded firmly in my experience! I think your (3) puts more pressure on my contention - I would describe the source of this being that it puts pressure on the contrast between form and content - this is the contrast that Hriston has helpfully articulated upthread, and that I also tried to capture (via some examples, and comments around them) in my post not too far upthread from yours. This is because dramatic pacing (probably) can't be completely divorced from the words - the form - whereby the content is conveyed. In the context of a RPG, though, where the pacing concerns - at least the sort that you refer to - are more at the "scene" level than the line-by-line level, I think the dependence of pacing on words becomes pretty lose. A GM who can't control his/her words at all is going to have troube wrapping up a scene, or cutting to the next situation, in a smooth way; but I think the threshold of skill to be able to do this falls well short of being able to write an evocative opening or closing line. I'll finish this post by saying that, in denying that RPGing is a *literary* endeavour I'm not denying that it has an important aesthetic component. But I think that the aesthetic component is much more ...

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 02:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think RPGing is not a literary endeavor when examined in this light, because the focus is not on the quality of form of the content of the fiction being generated through play, but rather on the content itself and its potential to engender participation.I think that enough people play with various elements that they might focus upon that the best you should say is, "RPG play is *usually* not a literary endeavor, because the quality of form is not a common focus." Going beyond that is making claims on the community that nobody really has the power to do, hey what?I've bolded a part of Hriston's post that you (Umbran) perhaps did not notice. The "light" by which Hriston is examining RPGing is the same light as I deployed in the OP. The OP is making a claim about the aesthetics of RPGing: that the strength of RPGing is engaged participation, not artistic performance and narration. I appreciate that this will not be a universal view: that's why the thread title takes the form of a question, and why the OP offers my answer. I don't even know if Hriston agrees with me - I took his post to be an attempt to restate my position, which he did very well, but not necessarily an endorsement of it.

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 04:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hriston - I'm glad at least one poster found my OP clear enough! To elaborate - and I see what I'm saying in this post as consistent with the OP, and hopefully you will also - I don't see RPGing as primarily performance (in the artistic sense). Not for the GM - of course a melifluous GM can provide entertainment, but I don't see that as core. And likewise on the player side - thespianism is (in my view) secondary, whereas engaging the fiction from the position/perspective of the character is absolutely central. And here's one way I would make this more concrete in terms of advice: if a new(-ish) GM asked me what is the one thing to do to make his/her game better, I would recommend working on managing framing and consequences to maintain player engagement, rather than (say) working on the portrayal/characterisation of NPCs.

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 12:53 AM - epithet mentioned Hriston in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    That's not what the Sage Advice Compendium says, though. The weapon attack isn't granting you advantage on the attack roll of the cantrip, which is why this answer says that nothing would be broken if the DM let the attack come first. However, it's still confirming that the "if you X, you can Y" wording means X has to come before Y in strict RAW, just like the Shield Master answer says. Oh, I know. This is another example of how Jeremy chose semantics over gameplay and reversed an earlier answer regarding the 5e rules. As Hriston pointed out upthread, Crawford's initial take on the matter was quite different. The intent is that the bonus attack can come before or after the cantrip. You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action specifies when it must take place (PH, 189). The question wasn't about how Jeremy wants to interpret the rules in 2019, but rather how the rule would have been written when the Player's Handbook was published if the intent were to allow a bonus action to come before or after the triggering event, enabling the default timing of bonus actions. Since we have here a statement of that exact intent for a bonus action written into the Player's Handbook, it appears we have our answer, no?

Saturday, 23rd February, 2019


Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 07:36 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Hriston in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    Hriston I can abjucate that a level 1 fighter makes 4 attacks when using his attack action. However doing so is objectively not following the attack action and extra attack rules. The same thing with shield master (although there are much better reasons to abjucate it the way you do than a DM abjucate first a level 1 fighter gets 4 attacks). It’s still an abjucate on that is objectively not following the shield master and other bonus action rules. If you want to argue it is then for the love of god stop bringing abjucation into it. Whether or not you abjucate however you do has no relevance on whether you are objectively following the rules as they are written.

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 10:39 PM - epithet mentioned Hriston in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    ...terpreting houserule < RAW. "Houserule" is not an insult and anyone trying to use it that way overtly or subtly may have need for a little introspection. At the end of the day, the DM's job is interpreting the RAW anyway. As RL humans, we're all going to bring our own biases to the table, so to speak, in how we interpret and apply the rules. The end goal for our table is to have fun, not debate the rules and hold up the flow of the game. ... You are completely right, but I think it is worthwhile to note an important distinction. You can interpret the published rule in a way different than Crawford does, and it is still the published rule. Only when you change it (like you have by removing the Attack Action requirement like I did, too) have you made a "house rule." When you interpret the rule as it is written, that is a ruling, and every DM's ruling is exactly as valid and applicable in his game as Jeremy Crawford's is on his tabletop. A number of people in this thread, like Hriston a page or two back, have provided very reasonable interpretations and rulings of the rule (as it is written) that do not change it at all, but are not the same as the new and revised Crawford advice.

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 12:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Keep on the Borderlands shenanigans
    Hriston, thanks for replying to my old thread! Your last paragraph caught me a bit by surprise - I hadn't guessed from the earlier passages that the betrayal played out so contentiously at the table. I've always felt that NPC treachery is treacherous terrain for a GM, and it seems that your experience confirmed that. The parleying you decribe I also found interesting - though I was a bit disappointed that the heroes failed to follow through on their ransom promise to the hobgoblins! But that to one side, I think ransom, imprisonment, etc is really very underused in FRPGing (I think maybe the D&D hp system of find-until-dead-at-zero helps contribute to this). I also think a change might have taken place in the early-to-mid 80s, from relying on the reaction dice to determine the outcomes of encounters, to a greater degree of evil NPCs attack on sight or an expectation that good PCs will never negotiate with evil NPCs. I was also intrigued by the role that weather seemed to play in the b...


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Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 08:41 PM - Blue quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Or in other words, you can start a long rest (which is really just an action-declaration, i.e. “This is what my character is going to do for the next eight hours.”), but you just can’t finish it. No, your summary is off the mark. What I had said was that the PHB points out what you need to do and not do, but that even if you do those ("finish it") you still won't get any benefit from it under certain circumstances such as doing more than one in a 24 hour period or starting it without at least 1 HP. The thing is, I don’t think a player of an unconscious PC is in any position to say what their character is going to do. Unconsciousness is not sleep. It has its own rules for hit point recovery. This is a new and interesting route to explore. I am unaware of specific rules on what sleep is mechanically in 5e (outside of the unconscious condition), and why they would be incompatible with unconscious. Can you give me a pointer to where you are seeing this?
  • 03:10 PM - WaterRabbit quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    I don’t think anyone has answered jaelis’s question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. I’d be interested to know what your answers would be. If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then I’m sure you’d both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell slots back. Well the rule does limit you to one long rest per 24-hour period. Even if it didn't, you wouldn't be much use as a wizard if you took three 8 hour naps as you will have slept all day. So at most you could take two and still cast spells. But since you are a wizard, arcane recovery seems to be just as good. Next you will be suggesting that your coffee lock should be able to take 24 short rests per day. ;)
  • 03:08 PM - jaelis quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious. So correct me if I'm wrong, but I would have said that you are unconscious while you sleep? Not that you are necessarily sleeping while unconscious, but you seem to be making the distinction here differently than I would.
  • 03:07 PM - WaterRabbit quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious. A person can always take a long rest (1 / 24 hours). However, to gain the benefits enumerated, one must have 1 hp. There is nothing preventing taking a long rest at 0 hp. Also, you don't seem to understand how trance (i.e., elves) works in game and how unconsciousness works IRL. People don't just stop healing because they are unconscious.
  • 02:19 PM - Blue quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    My contention is that you can’t finish a long rest unless you had at least 1 hit point when you started it. Here's the exact wording. Taken from the SRD, though it matches the PHB: A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or performs light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity—at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity—the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it. At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them (minimum of one die). For example, if a character has eight Hit Dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest. A character can’t benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour pe...
  • 02:14 PM - dnd4vr quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    That’s pretty much how I’d have run it. I left death saves out of my response because stabilizing a dying PC seems trivial enough, if deemed necessary, once revivify was cast. Of course, care would need to be taken to prevent further damage to the PC, or the PC would die again. I’m not sure what you mean by “recover naturally” though, because even if a 20 was rolled on a death save, the PC’s hit points would remain at 0 until greater restoration was cast. Bringing the PC back with revivify just avoids having to use a higher level spell later, and I think it should have worked for that purpose. He was thinking that while she would be in a coma, she would be getting a long rest maybe? I don't know I'd have to ask him.
  • 01:13 PM - dnd4vr quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    My 2˘: revivify should have brought the character back to life with 0 hit points. The 1 hit point of healing would have been lost, and the character’s hit point maximum would still be 0. After that, greater restoration would end the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite, allowing the character to heal. We would have been in the same situation really then since we can't cast Greater Restoration, either. If he had ruled it this way, he told me he would have had the character remain in a coma until we got a Greater Restoration and maybe required a death save daily, allowing her to recover naturally or die again. (Which is kind of pointless since we can just cast Revivify again...) I have a new RAW interpretation I believe holds up. Unfortunately it does not agree with your DM's ruling so far. 1. Just having 0 HPs means the character starts making death saves. There are a few circumstances where it could also mean death - disintegrate, took massive damage, etc. But those are exceptions - ...
  • 01:12 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    I don’t think anyone has answered @jaelis’s question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. I’d be interested to know what your answers would be. If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then I’m sure you’d both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell slots back. Everything you regain after a long rest is a benefit of that long rest. The reason you don't see things like spells, vampire bite recovery, etc. listed in the long rest section is that they are specific benefits, not general ones, and get added to the general rule if they apply to you. Spellcasting is mentioned in the general resting section above long and short rest, though. "Heroic though they might be, adventurers can’t spend every hour of the day in the thick o f exploration, social interaction, and combat. They need rest—time to sleep and eat, tend their wounds, refresh their minds and...
  • 01:09 AM - Oofta quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Well, you’re unconscious, and unconscious people aren’t really sleeping, but laying down is about all you can do. I still wouldn’t call that a long rest because none of the effects of a long rest will proceed from that episode of laying down. If you couldn't take a long rest if you were at 0 HP it would say "If you have 0 HP you can't take a long rest". It doesn't say that. You just don't get the benefits enumerated above. You don't regain HP and hit dice. Anyway that's how I'd rule. Dying because your max HP is reduced to 0 (and not getting any HP back from a long rest) is penalty enough.
  • 12:22 AM - the Jester quoted Hriston in post Looting Monsters?
    I follow the Basic Rules guideline that weapons and armor used by monsters is generally in too poor a condition for resale. This. With rare exceptions, the only time pcs loot gear off of monsters is if they want to use it themselves.

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 10:32 PM - jaelis quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    My contention is that you can’t finish a long rest unless you had at least 1 hit point when you started it. I think they worded it as they did, in terms of benefiting, because they don't want to imply that you can't lie down and sleep for 8 hours if you are at 0 hp.
  • 10:05 PM - Blue quoted Hriston in post Death and 0 Max HP
    I would say that ending the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite is a *benefit* of a long rest. My reading is that finishing a long rest is the same as gaining its benefits, and that you can do neither unless you have at least 1 hit point when you start the rest. You are conflating the specifically laid out benefits of a long rest, with a benefit that happens because a long rest has passed. They are not the same. The benefits of a long rest are clearly laid out in the PHB on page 186. The vampire's bite is not part of that. Rather the description of the max HP reduction for the vampire has a condition for when it returns. "The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest." Absolutely clear language. Did you finish a long rest? Then the reduction is no longer continuing.

Monday, 15th July, 2019


Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 04:39 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hriston in post Lighting Effects
    Apparently, I ninja’d your block. :P I gave what I thought were thorough answers to the questions you asked in your OP, and this is the thanks I get for my effort? In all seriousness, I meant no offense, and since you said “please”, I’m happy to let this rest, although I would have rather had a reply about the substance of my post. Block me if you will, but this isn’t your forum to tell people to what posts and threads they can reply. I'll take you at your word that you meant no offense. I apologize for taking offense when you meant none. You are now officially unblocked (not that it really changes much seeing as you were immune to it in the first place).

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 06:23 PM - iserith quoted Hriston in post Languages
    I think that passage is saying Primordial is a single language with four mutually intelligible dialects. Another obvious example would be Goblinoid, of which Goblin, Hobgoblin, and Bugbear would be separate but mutually intelligible dialects. Personally, I like to think of Orcish as a collection of dialects derived from Common, but which are unintelligible to orcs from different tribes as well as to other speakers of Common, so technically a bunch of separate languages. Ultimately, I think it’s a concept that makes language more customizable for use in one’s game-world and opens up opportunities for higher degrees of characterization. Wood elves could have a different dialect of Elvish from high elves, for example. There could be a different dialect of Common spoken in an exotic part of the world in which the party is adventuring, etc. The DMG also has a section on languages in the campaign world planning section that basically tells the DM to figure this out on his or her own according to th...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 05:30 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hriston in post Lighting Effects
    Right, but where is the original clarification? Anyway, I’d hoped there’d be a point to this thread, but I guess not? Apparently you are immune to magical effects and the blocked condition as well. Apparently that's a common condition immunity these days. Anyways, you are blocked by me. Please don't reply to me and please don't post in my threads. Thanks.
  • 04:50 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hriston in post Lighting Effects
    “Reclarify” would indicate you’ve already made an attempt to clarify this. I must have missed the part of the thread where you did that. Read the post you just quoted. You'll find the reclarification right after the …. and right before I went off on you for even being rude enough to make that comment in the first place.
  • 04:16 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hriston in post Lighting Effects
    You’re skipping the step where the DM determines whether the result of the PC’s effort is uncertain and has a meaningful consequence for failure. If it is and does, and the DM calls for a check, I see no reason given here that it would be made with disadvantage, but that would be up to the DM to decide. Okay then.... Suppose the PC wants to notice something about the NPC that the DM has determined is uncertain. I shouldn't have to go back and reclarify something this freakin basic. I mean SERIOUSLY?

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019


Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 02:01 PM - dave2008 quoted Hriston in post BECMI for 5e?
    This thread gives me an idea for a Basic Rules game. Use only hill dwarves, high elves, lightfoot halflings, and standard humans. Humans can be any of life cleric, champion fighter, thief rogue, or evocation wizard. Dwarves and halflings can only be champion fighters. And elves can only be eldritch knight fighters. I think that would go a long way towards emulating a B/X style game. Shouldn't halflings be rogues in this scenario? EDIT: I don't remember how they were treated in BECMI, but that just seems to be the genre influence.


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Hriston's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Timelord
This PC class is derived but differs substantially from Lewis Pulsipher’s Timelord NPC class published in Dragon #65 in September, 1982. I undertook the conversion for personal use, but am sharing it because I’ve seen some interest on EN World for a ...
385 0 1 Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 11:58 PM Monday, 9th July, 2018, 11:30 PM
Weapon Attack Adjustments Table (Converted from AD&D, First Edition)
This is the revision of the table I posted some time ago. I rethought my approach and rebuilt the table from the ground up. The values are now very close to Gygax's values, modified only in proportion to the AC benefit of particular armor types. The ...
707 0 3 Sunday, 13th December, 2015, 07:11 AM Sunday, 13th December, 2015, 07:11 AM
Chainmail/AD&D First Edition Rate of Fire Rules for D&D Fifth Edition
Here's my homebrew conversion of the rates of fire given for different ranged attacks in Chainmail and AD&D First Edition. I'm posting it here not so much because I expect anyone to want to use it in their games, but because I'd like any feedback any...
196 0 1 Monday, 7th September, 2015, 07:37 AM Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 06:07 AM

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