View Profile: Chaosmancer - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Chaosmancer's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 04:50 AM
    You want to disprove my point, but you are actually proving it. White Plume Mountain is an old module, published in 1979 by TSR in an era where they expected player skill and knowledge to be highlighted and used. The same with The Tomb of Horrors, it is designed for the players to check everything and the characters are just the board pieces they are using to interact with the Tomb. It has...
    664 replies | 26963 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Chaosmancer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 10:36 PM
    Sort of? But, while dealing with different types of exposition is important in a novel I don't know what that has to do with players rolling knowledge checks in a DnD game. I don't see the connection you are trying to draw here. It feels like talking about athletics checks and you mentioning how Nintendo designed Mario's jump. Yeah, they might be analogous, but it doesn't seem to apply to the...
    664 replies | 26963 view(s)
    0 XP
No More Results
About Chaosmancer

Basic Information

About Chaosmancer
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
25-30
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

State:
Ohio
Country:
USA

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
1,162
Posts Per Day
0.84
Last Post
What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"? Thursday, 30th May, 2019 04:50 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
18
General Information
Last Activity
Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 04:01 PM
Join Date
Wednesday, 16th September, 2015
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0

3 Friends

  1. Greybeard_Ray Greybeard_Ray is offline

    Member

    Greybeard_Ray
  2. JamesTheLion JamesTheLion is offline

    Member

    JamesTheLion
  3. Tiny Lemons Tiny Lemons is offline

    Member

    Tiny Lemons
Showing Friends 1 to 3 of 3
My Game Details
State:
Ohio
Country:
USA

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 05:13 PM - Celebrim mentioned Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I make a character, and decide in their backstory they have a childhood sweetheart. That sweetheart is external to the character, but it would be strange for the DM to tell me I have a childhood sweetheart, wouldn't it? What about a hometown? As a player, I could decide that my character's home town was a bit like Mayberry, and that the various people within that town and their relationships with my character shaped them in a variety of ways. That entire town and all the people in it are external to my character, but they are vital to my character's story. Heck, I have a paladin who is married. Actual character I am playing. His wife is definitely external to the character, but her backstory and their relationship is something I feel is under my control. Because having a loving wife is part of my character's story, it is part of my character, even if the wife is an NPC and external to my character. I'll be honest Chaosmancer, at this point I consider you to be trolling and not even arguing in good faith. So I see no reason to continue any of the arguments we've been having. However, I will say that I find this new element of the conversation highly ironic, since if you do believe this, then it is not me that you have an argument with but rather yourself and those that have been arguing similar view points. Under my theory of play, all you've just said is true. Per the process of play I outlined, I cannot as GM tell you that a backstory relationship regarding a loving wife which was previously established to exist, in fact is false because to do so would be impinging upon the conception of your character. While the NPC wife is external to your character, the nature of the relationship between you and that NPC once established cannot be retconned without your permission because that relationship is part of how your character is defined. But consider that it is your own side of this argument ...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 08:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If the DM does not care that the PC went to buy scrolls presumably good in a fight against earth elementals with no explanation whatsover, then why would someone care if they do so after saying "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder" or words to that effect? Does something meaningful change about the action declaration at that point?Yes. The action declaration is premised on some other elements of the shared ficiton established by the players - something along the lines of that such-and-such a character believes such-and-such a thing, and has shared that belief with other PCs. If the GM is intending to introduce fiction that reveals the PC belief to be false, and it is established or implicit in the fiction that the PC is an expert (eg my archmage, or Chaosmancer's diabolist), then we have the possibility of tension if not outright contradiction. Whose vision has to yield? If the answer is the player's, then Chaosmancer and I think that contradicts the clam that the player has authority over the character.
  • 03:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If you're fine with the them going to buy the scrolls without explanation, why care with an explanation?I can't answer for Chaosmancer, although I get the sense that he (? I think) and I have some similar views here. The things the player characters believe, the things they say to one another, etc are a part of the gameworld as much as anything else. If a character is telling another character something about earth elemental, then that belief and conversation is part of the fiction. Now when it's speculation about esoteric arcane matters, if the belief diverges from the truth that probably doesn't create any issues for the fiction - though in some circumstances (eg the PC is an archmage) it might. But if the conversation is about the character's hometown and childhood friends, then all of those beliefs turning out to be false would be rather odd. Is being an inveterate liar, or someone who is utterly deluded about his/her childhood, part of the player's conception of the character? Chaosmancer and I are assuming that it's not. when reading posters who claim that they allow their players this absolute auth...

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 07:29 PM - iserith mentioned Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Maybe so, but that's the players choice how to play it as far as I'm concerned. If the player wants to play this as, "Don't worry Johnny, this will only hurt for a little while...", that's the player's decision, and the fact that everyone is taken aback by this reaction might well be interesting. I prefer not to tell players how their character acts. The player has little enough control over the game as it is with me stepping on the one prerogative that they unambiguously have. I agree. I think it may have been this thread where I mentioned that even if the DM "gives" the player the freedom to react however he or she likes after the DM establishes how the character feels about something, the DM still established a constraint in which the player may feel compelled to take into account when deciding what to do. As Chaosmancer points out, the rest of the table might be taken aback if the character acts in a manner that is incongruous with what the DM established about the character's feelings. This is a subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) form of control, even if the DM doesn't intend it that way. Better to steer clear in my view.

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 07:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...eries of checks to eliminate the triggered hazard). A GM who drops in traps and hazards at (what s/he takes to be) a dramatically appropriate frequency will not purge players who play their PCs like Conan. There'll be the occasional narration of the noticed trap (like the pit) and there'll be the occasional stumbling into a trap/hazard (like the hellplant) which the PCs defeat without debilitating downstream consequences for their prospects of success. And if the struggle against the hellplant looks like it is being more demanding than was intended by the GM, then in the approach I'm describing here the GM might manipulate things "behind the scenes" to compensate - whether reducing the threat posed by some later planned encounter, or fudging one of the checks made to deal with the plant, or whatever other device this sort of GM has up his/her sleeve. I personally don't play in the style I've just described - in a different current thread in General, I've been discussing (with Chaosmancer and others) what I think are ways of getting the REH-like dramatic pacing and consequnces but with less reliance on GM-side determinations. But I think that the sort of approach I've described in this thread is a widely-adopted one. I'm hesitant to project my own account of the approach too readily onto individual posters each of whom has his/her own unique way of playing RPGs, but with appropriate caution and no intention to cause offence, I would conjecture that Chaosmancer, Oofta and Yardiff can all recognise some aspects of how they approach GMing in what I've set out in this post.

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 05:07 AM - iserith mentioned Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    This is more-or-less a repost of what I said: it seems to me quite hard to (i) allow that PCs have friends and family like Frances, and (ii) have those friends and family be part of the ingame situation, and (iii) maintain a strong player/GM divide over narration of the environment, yet (iv) never have the GM tell the players what their PC's think and feel. In the case of equipment, the exact same problem is resolved by relaxing (iii) - the game permits the players to narrate those bits of the environment. My conclusion, in a post a few days ago based on a close reading of the 5e Basic PDF, is that the game assumes that (ii) is false - ie the game assumes that the action happens in places where the PCs are strangers and hence that friends and family won't be part of the active, ingame situation. From what I can tell of Chaosmancer's reply to my post, he or she is asserting that two positions I hold are in conflict (one from this thread and one from another). Unfortunately, it just seems that the positions are misunderstood and in some sense conflated. As for equipment, I would say most groups as a matter of practicality permit the player to establish during play where the equipment on his or her person may be found if the offer is reasonable - as decided upon by the DM. At least that has been very common in my experience. Some groups I've seen do establish equipment locations on the character sheet, though I think that was more common in previous editions of the game. In any case, so far as I can tell, the rules do not call this out as an exception to the player and DM roles. If the player says he or she wants the character to take the rope out of the backpack, the DM mediates between the players and the rules as appropriate (e.g., "Use an Object" in combat or the other rules for object interaction), sets lim...
  • 03:53 AM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... Perception. 3) DM rolls in secret and players are rewarded for having high (normal) Perception. 4) Traps are random consumers of resources by causing damage in unavoidable ways. Now, a lot of those options are pretty common in D&D, historically. Over the years I've played using all those mechanisms. But, since the "board game" insult has been used by others, those all feel a lot more board-gamey to me. You roll your dice, move your piece, and maybe you land on somebody else's Hotel. Or the lich's death-trap, as the case may be. So really this comes back to the "player skill" or "challenging the player" thing: I'd just rather play (and DM) where the human players have to pay attention for hints and then use those hints to make meaningful decisions. And by "meaningful decisions" I mean informed decisions with risk:reward tradeoff that will impact the game state either way.I think there's another possibility. To me, it seems to lie behind some of the posts in this thread (eg Chaosmancer, maybe Oofta) although of course I could be drawing mistaken inferences from what they've said. 5) The presence from time-to-time of "random"/"untelegraphed" traps - some of which are triggered, some of which are narrated in advance by the GM to those players playing PCs with certain Passive Perception skills - reinforces the players' sense of setting and/or story. Used in this way, traps aren't about rewarding players for skilled play or skilled build, nor about consuming resources. Their function is about establishing a certain fiction/feeling, not about "beating the dungeon".

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 12:19 PM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ient quality that you don't believe it would be improved by the method pemerton described?Seeing as my standard has been referred to, I thought I would say something more about it. I don't know that the following remarks are apropos of anything in particular, but this thread is well past 1000 posts so I don't think I'm obliged to stay strictly on-topic. One thing is this: another current thread has given me the impression that some people don't want more dramatic roleplaying. They prefer (what they describe as) more "realistic"/"immersive" roleplaying, which (I would say) involves less drama and more haggling over the price of goods, describing how camps are pitched and dismantled, establishing precise details as to the presence and character of architectural features, etc. A second thing is that some RPGers seem to envisage the "story" or the "plot" as something to be presented by the GM to the players - so that the drama is provided by that (often pre-established) story/plot. Chaosmancer's idea of the players not knowing what happens next also seems to be an example of something like this - it is the GM who decides what happens next, and for the players the drama consists in that revelation. That sort of approach isn't necessarily going to want a method of the sort I personally like - you can often see this thought reflected in comments like "It's bad adventure design to allow the <whatever> to be gated behind a die roll". That way of thinking about scenario design and adjudication is pretty much the antithesis of what I advocated as a means to achieve "better and more dramatic roleplaying". A third thing is something that I think of in terms of rationalism vs existentialism (others may not use these particular categories!). The rationalist sees a choice situation as a situation of calculation or optimisation - what ought I to do here to maximise my expected return? Whereas the existentialist sees a choice situation as an imposition of the will upon the world - to p...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 02:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Rolling dice is not the primary resolution mechanic of the game, in my view. The primary resolution mechanic is using a human brain to imagine a fictional scenario and determine the likely outcome of the action within that scenario. If, and only if the outcome can not be determined by this method alone, then rolling dice is a tool to help make that determination.I'm glad you spelled this out, because it was the first thing I thought when I read Chaosmancer's remark about the game's resolution method - ie that you would not agree. we aren't talking about goal and approach. We are talking about whether or not giving players information on the consequences of their actions leads to better and more dramatic roleplaying. That has nothing to do with how the players approach the problem and all about how much we tell them.As a semi-participant in this particualr discusion with Charlaquin, I will say that what you describe here doesn't ring true to me at all, for my game. I'm not talking about tellling players coonsequences which would obtain even if the players weren't told. I'm talking about telling the players those consdequences that obtain, or - alternatively - having those consequences be implict in the framing of the situation and the plyaer's knowledge of why the situation matters. I don't think that keeping potential consequences secret from the players makes for good RPGing. You are standing in on the second floor of a ma...

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 11:19 PM - Oofta mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Chaosmancer, I think for a lot of people traps are a big part of the "exploration" leg of D&D. It certainly was in old-school dungeon crawls. For the most part it's not for me unless it makes sense for the enemy. Traps are more common with the "weaker" races such as goblins or especially kobolds. In my games, I just don't generally see the logic or justification for big complex traps very often. I enjoyed the first Indiana Jones movies, but the traps never made a lot of sense to me. As far as the shopkeeper scenario it's just one minor turn of the story. As far as why they would they suspect the shopkeeper in the scenario, why would they not? The place is well protected, there's no sign of forced entry, the first thing I would think is that it's an inside job. In my game an insight check (whatever the result, however you get there) isn't going to be the end of the investigation, just the start. Just like every police procedural, you start with questioning likely suspects and witnesses an...
  • 02:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...indicate a trap) but dramatic/thematic-type cues (like the PCs have defeated the sentries and broken into the enemy outpost, and are now moving through it, so one would expect an ambush around any corner!) Sure. You’re more than welcome to run 5e the way you ran 3e. I’ve heard plenty of people who do, who attest that it works just fine and I believe them. I also agree with Iserith that it works better if you run it the way it says to run it. You may disagree, and that’s perfectly fine, have fun with the game the way you like to run it. But when people complain of problems running the game that I do not experience when I run the game, I don’t think it’s unfair to say, “I run the game this way, as per the advice in this part of the book, and this issue does not occur for me when I do so.”I don't run 5e, and have no intention to do so. And I've already posted in this thread about how I would run it, which would be roughly the same as 4e, which is neither like you and iserith not like Chaosmancer, but rather is closer to Burning Wheel, Dungeon World, Dying Earth and other systems that use dice rolls to determine outcomes when the fiction arrives at a moment of decision. Nor have I run more than a handful of sessions of 3E which, at the time, I ran roughly in the same manner as Rolemaster. But the problem raised in this thread is equally one that could be asked about 3E (only it would be Sense Motive rather than Insight); and if your answer is a good answer for 5e, I don't see any fundamental difference between 3E and 5e in this particular respect that would make your answer not a good one for 3E. The structure of both games, in this respect, is largely the same: the GM has almost total authority over framing and adjudication; but the player has a high degree of authority over action declaration within the context of the GM's framing; and when dice rolls are involved, the method of resolution (single d20 roll modified by a bonus derived primarily from the PC sheet but also...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 10:02 PM - pemerton mentioned Chaosmancer in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm sure you're trying to help, but bringing up approaches that are appropriate to other games and might not be a good fit for the one under discussion is in my view needlessly confusing.There's a fair bit going on in this thread. I've had some interesting exchanges with various posters which they also seem to have found interesting/rewarding (no one forced them to give XP). And I replied to a thread that quoted me. I'm confident that Chaosmancer can work out that I'm speaking from one particular perspective. Perhaps I’m wrong and the curse was triggered by them touching it in an attempt to decipher… but then success or failure of the roll would have led to the mummies, because touching it activated the curse.I could be wrong - but my reading of Ovinomancer's example was that the fiction of the curse is established as a narration of the consequence of a failed check. A similar example is found in this actual play report (that's me posting as thurgon on rpg.net) - failure on an Aura Reading check led me to narrate a curse on the angel feather the PC was examining. And this can work, but sometimes there is an answer in the fiction, because I have put it there. <snip> there is a truth, and I need to know that truth before even calling for a check, and a success or failure does not change that truth, only how things react and occur.In these sorts of cases, I think it is harder to establish meaningful stakes and conse...

Sunday, 2nd September, 2018

  • 01:22 PM - Eric V mentioned Chaosmancer in post Revised Ranger update
    Nobody else was insisting on also being an archer (though I suspect Eric V will try to claim his was) - it was just you. What the hell is this? "Will try to claim?" I'm just coming off a break because I accurately described another poster (in harsh language), so I won't speak a similar truth about you here...but this kind of statement? Yeah, you have nothing positive to offer, that's what it's showing. Chaosmancer, there's nothing wrong with your logic, nor are you shifting goalposts. I suspect if you keep this topic going, the PHB beastmaster will end up overpowered; people are just trying to "win" this discussion. It's tough to be an archer with an animal companion. The PHB animal companion, if you're an archer, really isn't better than a familiar. The subclass really isn't balanced well between the two styles. My own ranger had a wolf (wanted to try Jon Snow), and I was largely melee, though had a ranged option, obviously. As a melee ranger who wanted to keep Hunter's Mark up, I went sword and shield. It was reasonably good. I was playing a Revised Ranger, however. Even then, my character and wolf would get into trouble (no heavy armor for better AC, STR-based, so lower DEX, and no other front-line fighter to help). It was fun having the wolf actually attack; made missing Extra Attack a non-issue. No way this works with the PHB Ranger; squishier companion, lack of extra damag...

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 11:01 PM - OB1 mentioned Chaosmancer in post Revised Ranger update
    Chaosmancer just because WotC doesn’t want to take the disruptive step of putting out a revision to a class doesn’t mean they can’t look at other ways to increase satisfaction levels for different play styles. Feats, fighting styles, and spells all offer ways to give players more choice without the confusion of multiple versions of the class. It will be tough having to give up a spell or a feat or a fighting style, but you can choose to do it or not. Either it’s worth the opportunity cost to you or not. Why is that a bad approach?
  • 08:52 AM - Paul Farquhar mentioned Chaosmancer in post Unearthed Arcana August: Races of Ravnica
    Water breathing as a racial ability is next to useless. If the adventure features underwater content, it will inevitably also feature some means for the party to breathe underwater (such as a scroll of Water Breathing, level 3 spell, works on the whole party, lasts all day), since there is no way to know that all, or any, party members will have access to the ability otherwise. The climbing ability is a bit vague. Does it let you walk on ceilings like spider climb? Does it leave your hands free so you can use weapons, or do you need to use your hands to climb like Tabaxi do? It really, like the glide ability, needs more work. My interpretation of the climbing ability is it lets you climb normally climbable surfaces at double the usual speed. @Chaosmancer seems to think it is a permanent Spider Climb spell. Which I agree would be pretty awesome, but, since it is considerably better than any of the abilities restricted to level 5, unlikely to be the intent of the author.

Monday, 30th July, 2018

  • 03:34 PM - Coroc mentioned Chaosmancer in post Ravnica: Is This The New D&D Setting? [UPDATED & CONFIRMED!]
    Chaosmancer "Depending on how powerful you wanted it to be, couldn't you just use the rules already established by the Arrow of Slaying and the Dragonslayer swords? I don't think Dragonlances were 1hit kills, but the only thing I remember about them was "really good at killing dragons" and you don't need a lot of fancy rules for that. Just a lot of dice. " Ye and no. Depends. Dragonlances had some odd functions, against dragons and draconians they dealt number of the wielders hitpoints in damage which at times where a dragon wcould have only 42 hp instakill. They were +5 weapons. They could be used while mounted on a dragon, and in this case I thinkthey did even more damage + in this case they could be used to direct and commad the dragons breathweapon. A 5e arrow of slaying or a dragonslayer sword is nothing compared to that.

Saturday, 28th April, 2018

  • 01:19 AM - Wulffolk mentioned Chaosmancer in post How many gods is too many gods?
    Chaosmancer Government is real, of course. Faith in your government to do the right thing is a choice that is rarely based on actual evidence. You can have faith in your fellow man to be good, but evidence does not necessarily support that. A soldier may trust the other men in his platoon on faith, but he has no evidence that they would endanger themself for his benefit until the situation actually happens. Faith in various forms of public servants is better defined as hope for their ability to render timely aid, without knowing for certain. In each of those examples the faith is placed in something that you can't know for certain already. Once you know something for certain then believing it is no longer an act of faith, but rather a result of observation.

Monday, 27th November, 2017

  • 02:51 AM - Ilbranteloth mentioned Chaosmancer in post How do you rule multiple damage types versus reductions
    ...e reason is that based on this description, the expectation is that the damage from a single attack is treated as a single pool of damage. For example, an attack that causes 8 points fire and 8 points slashing, and you're resistant to fire and slashing, is addressed by: Totaling the damage (16) applying immunity and modifiers (none), and one source of resistance (halve the damage), which leaves you with 8 points of damage. The other method, treat each separately, ends up with the same result: 8 fire halved (4) + 8 slashing halved (4) = 8. Or the OP numbers: half of 6 (3) + half of 4 (2) and you end up with the same amount as 10 halved. It's just easier to total the numbers and divide by half. Note that the actual math can vary if you're only resistant to one thing (as normal). So, 9 fire 1 slashing, resistant to fire = 5 points of damage. However, 1 fire 9 slashing is also only 5 poits of damage, even though the resistance was "really" against 1 point of fire damage. Chaosmancer - The real problem is that your shield blocks x amount of damage. That type of DR is a 3e thing, not 5e, which uses resistance to halve the damage caused by a specific type of damage. So you're stuck on the idea that there's "wasted" DR. In 5e terms, the shield could provide resistance to everything. In that case, you'd simply take half damage from every attack. This, as far as I know, was intentional in the design of 5e. They seem to be of the opinion that if an attack hits, it should generally do some damage, and not be negated because of DR. There are some exceptions, of course, but in most cases they stuck with the resistance approach rather than DR. However, now that I look at it, the official answer comes to your rescue because of that very fact. Point #2 says you apply ANY additions and subtractions to damage. That means that you apply the 10 point reduction to damage. The attack would still be figured with all damage types added together first. I suspect that your DM won...

Thursday, 16th November, 2017

  • 04:51 AM - pukunui mentioned Chaosmancer in post XGTE Errata
    Chaosmancer: I'm pretty sure someone asked Jeremy about that on Twitter and he said it was intentional. Can't confirm at the moment, though.

Sunday, 29th October, 2017



Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
No results to display...
Page 1 of 49 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Thursday, 30th May, 2019

  • 01:11 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Assertion 1: Ultimately, the decision on how (or if) to divide player knowledge from character knowledge must be made between the players and the DM. Assertion 2: the sidebar in the 3.5 PHB that said that is was up to the DM whether or not players should use out of character knowledge. I would submit that the second assertion does not follow from the first. The idea is negotiation not dictation. This is something that is unique to every game and would ideally be decided in session zero (and it exactly the kind of thing that mitigates for having a session zero in the first place). The whole issue is far more complicated than "should" anyway, a fact that is highlighted in your rule book quote just slightly up from my little snippet quoted here. Without leveling a value judgement of any kind, I think your reading of the rules passage you quoted is narrow and overly binary. Whether that was on purpose and for rhetorical effect I have no idea.
  • 09:18 AM - Riley37 quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    You want to disprove my point, but you are actually proving it. No, I don't want to disprove your point. I don't know what your point is. Perhaps you're confusing me with some other participant, or perhaps you're looking for a foe to vanquish? Are you perhaps arguing that the difference between "play your PC as a pawn" and "play your PC as a character" is edition-specific? Are you arguing that it isn't? I can't tell! Are you taking a position on pawn stance versus actor stance in games other than D&D, such as Fantasy Hero, Runequest, Pathfinder, Blades in the Dark, Fall of Magic, Warhammer, Car Wars, and Global Thermonuclear War?
  • 05:07 AM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I've actually never played 3.5 beyond a single starter set adventure. Had the rulebooks and read them for a while, but no one ever wanted to play after that first game. We talked about playing, just never did. Played 4e once and ran it once, and I've been playing 5e for years. So, I guess I was just corrupted by the one game of 4e I played and it taught me all those 3.5 -isms that have rooted my games. Yeah, or the culture of the group in which you play. I'd hope you would understand that after reading pages and pages to catch up and then writing three to four pages worth of response on word to copy and paste back into ENworld that I might take the occasional shortcut in formulating a response. I mean, it is rather annoying to have to state things like "an intelligence check using Arcana Proficiency" instead of just saying "an Arcana check" and then having to remember to preface that with "a player will declare an action such as thinking back to their education as a wizard to recal...

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 11:50 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    But you seem to think that "different game" is something like DnD 3.5 or ADnD, or ODnD... none of which had specific rules language about this either. But, the same rules and assumptions were used in later editions, while your style was expected in something like ODnD where player skill was paramount. Before things like arcana and religion were added to the game. These design principles stayed with the game though. As I think I mentioned, I'd characterize some of your positions and preferences as being rooted in D&D 3.Xe and/or D&D 4e. I think you've mentioned playing those games before, so this makes perfect sense. My "style" is based on the game system. You would notice my "style" changes when I run and play D&D 4e. Just like it changes when I run and play Dungeon World. That's my point here: I don't have one "style" that applies to multiple games. I don't think that's a good idea. My "style" is derived from the rules of the specific game I'm playing. Seriously? That required ALL CAPS. Y...
  • 11:30 PM - Riley37 quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ODnD where player skill was paramount. Before things like arcana and religion were added to the game. Cherry-picking example: in “White Plume Mountain”, there is a puzzle involving a series of numbers, and which of those are prime numbers. I pondered the numbers for maybe a second, then stated the correct answer. My PC, a Folk Hero paladin, was unaware of prime numbers (and possibly fuzzy on multiplication tables). White Plume Mountain was written with the assumption of Pawn Stance, so I played accordingly. (See also, this exchange between Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars. Hamill notices a continuity issue, and wants to fix it; Ford responds gruffly with “Hey, kid, it ain’t that kinda movie.”) In that case it is generally considered bad form to use knowledge your character would not have or use, since it would break the "role" When did that idea or value emerge? The idea that using my knowledge of prime numbers would be “bad form”? It wasn’t the guiding princ...
  • 11:19 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Sort of? But, while dealing with different types of exposition is important in a novel I don't know what that has to do with players rolling knowledge checks in a DnD game. I don't see the connection you are trying to draw here. It feels like talking about athletics checks and you mentioning how Nintendo designed Mario's jump. Yeah, they might be analogous, but it doesn't seem to apply to the discussion. My thoughts do go in strange directions, sometimes. The point of exposition is to present the audience with information the characters have that they can't be expected to have. Players, like an audience, do not know everything their characters might or should know, especially when the DM is mak'n stuff up as he goes along (which is not exactly a bad way to run some RPGs). Sometimes the DM should obviously just present the players with that information directly, sometimes he can do it through an NPC, an inscription, or whatever. It's just like regular authorial exposition in those cases. B...

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 02:16 AM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I was off for a few days because holidays lead to crazy schedules, and looking back over this... I'm just not sure if there is a point in continuing this conversation. I mean, looking at this part here "I'm just not sure if there's a point in continuing this conversation... allow me to continue it." The smart play is to recall lore... on the lore they already decided? Again, sure, you might have changed earth elementals, but the player stating "Earth Elementals are vulnerable to Thunder Damage" has read the monster manual. They know this is true for standard earth elementals, and they also know that if the ones they face are not standard, then you will telegraph that, so they will just ask to roll arcana then. Wait, no, you don't allow that. They will say they try and deduce the nature of these strange earth elementals calling upon their knowledge of the arcane arts, so they can make an Arcana check. And even then, these elementals are still likely weak to thunder or ambivalent to thunder, ...
  • 01:43 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I'm not sure what exposition has to do with it. Exposition is what happens in a narrative that is analogous to what happens in an RPG when there's a knowledge check.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 08:48 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Sorry if I mostly riff off your post for humor purposes.... If they just tell you they know something, then that is what they know. The only check upon that is that they might be wrong out of the game because you as the DM changed something. In which case, why do we even bother to have an Intelligence stat and the skills for recalling various types of lore. It seems meaningless under this style. Any stat or skill could conceivably be rendered moot by the DM's style or choice of setting & challenges, I suppose. Except what counts as a "meaningful consequence"? Not knowing something obviously isn't meaningful enough I don't see why not knowing anything isn't a meaningful consequence. I mean, recalling something useful certainly is. Is the idea that you start off not knowing anything, so you might as well try? Ultimately, isn't the whole knowledge check/INT roll/trying-to-recall-lore-using-INT-with-a-trained-skill-possibly-applying-because-5e-is-rules-lite thing just gating exposition...
  • 07:46 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    You know, I know why we keep going in this circle. Because you could care less about players using out-of-character knowledge, seemingly in any form. The rules of the game don't seem to indicate I should care about this as DM. The only exception is to encourage players not to waste game time or their characters' lives on bad assumptions and I do that. But this is also why a lot of people see Intelligence as a dump stat, because two of the biggest uses for Intelligence are Investigation and knowledge checks. Oh sorry, Intelligence checks using proficiency with the intent to recall lore. But, if players get to determine that they already know the lore, then there is no need for those checks. If they just tell you they know something, then that is what they know. The only check upon that is that they might be wrong out of the game because you as the DM changed something. In which case, why do we even bother to have an Intelligence stat and the skills for recalling various types of lore. It seems...
  • 03:55 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    That debate seems to be the core of this, no? So, since you know my position is not the same as yours and you asked "why is there a check" did you not expect that this would be how things would go? You wanted to know which action caused the check, "thinking" was the action. It's frankly hard to say what's at the core of this discussion anymore. What I do know is that if you want to call "thinking" an action, then because of the rule that players determine what the characters think, then there can be no ability check here since there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The character thinks what the player says he or she thinks. But yeah, this stipulation causes more complications as we discussed in the last thread. As you know. And again, you knew my opinion, so what did you expect me to say here. I don't see any complications with that rule. You don't ask for checks if there's no meaningful consequence for failure. Easy peasy. Okay, wait. DMs decide when the dice get rolled correc...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 05:01 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Okay, let us take this a bit at a time. Let us cover the check first. Thinking is an action, to think is an action verb, so it counts. We do not know if the character has the knowledge, therefore we have uncertainty. How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. Now, meaningful consequences are hard to really nail down, and I don't like that stipulation. No doubt. I can however point to the PHB, pages 177 and 178 where they lay out that Intelligence checks (including Arcana, History, Religion and Nature) all can involve checks to "recall lore" and Arcana specifically is used for recalling lore about the denizens of different planes of existence. Like Elementals. The players in the example did not attempt to recall lore. One said he or she wanted to go buy some scrolls. The other said, only after the incredulous DM raised an eyebrow or the like, that h...

Sunday, 19th May, 2019


Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 04:28 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I'll assume that was a serious question. For seeing if the wizard's character does actually know that knowledge. Arcana is the skill linked with knowledge about elementals and their strengths and weaknesses after all. And as a DM, I can call for checks, correct? Yes, if the player declares an action that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. In this example, including what you added, we have two action declarations: (1) The barbarian wants to go to Ye Ole Magick Shoppe to buy some thunderwave scrolls for the wizard and (2) The wizard's player wants to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to take the aforementioned action to satisfy what appears to be an incredulous DM's questions about the validity of the action declaration. So what is the Arcana check for? What uncertain outcome does it resolve? What is the meaningful consequence for failure? Or, if you decide you don't like that rule, what actually happens if the wizard's player botches the Arcana check? Does...
  • 06:33 AM - Pvt. Winslow quoted Chaosmancer in post Hidden

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 05:46 PM - Celebrim quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I wonder why I keep getting accused of not arguing in good faith. I can't speak for any one else, but for my part its because I repeat the same things over and over and they just bounce off. I have a hard time believing that you aren't at this point able to answer your own questions. I mean just considering what you've now posted, the answers to your own questions are present if you are willing to see them. I admit I have weird pet peeves and my social-emotional framework doesn't well align with the rest of the human race, but honestly if you made attacks and cast open aspirations or said "You make me so angry", it would be less frustrating to me and more understandable than what you are doing. I'm going to respond somewhat out of order. I'm not deliberately trying to misconstrue you in anyway by doing so. I just want to point out how disconnected from itself your argument becomes as it develops. My entire goal in this thread is to figure out the consistency, if there is "Absolute...
  • 05:08 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Thinking through that scenario happening, I'd end up asking at least two questions. 1) Why is the barbarian buying scrolls that they cannot use? There are many answers, from buying them so other party members can use them to them not knowing that their barbarian can't use scrolls. Then, 2) I'd ask them why they think their character would believe the Earth Elementals to be weak to thunder damage? Now, maybe the party wizard is going to jump in and say they told the barbarian, so the barbarian could buy the scrolls, and they have studied the arcane including elementals so they should know. And I would respond, okay, maybe, let's roll Arcana since you're backstory was a conman who stole a spellbook. And so on and so forth. The idea is a consistent fiction, as consistent as we can make it. Which includes every character suddenly being a walking encyclopedia in spite of their backgrounds. What is the Arcana check for? I don't see an action declaration from the wizard in your breakdown. You...

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 05:13 PM - Celebrim quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I make a character, and decide in their backstory they have a childhood sweetheart. That sweetheart is external to the character, but it would be strange for the DM to tell me I have a childhood sweetheart, wouldn't it? What about a hometown? As a player, I could decide that my character's home town was a bit like Mayberry, and that the various people within that town and their relationships with my character shaped them in a variety of ways. That entire town and all the people in it are external to my character, but they are vital to my character's story. Heck, I have a paladin who is married. Actual character I am playing. His wife is definitely external to the character, but her backstory and their relationship is something I feel is under my control. Because having a loving wife is part of my character's story, it is part of my character, even if the wife is an NPC and external to my character. I'll be honest Chaosmancer, at this point I consider you to be trolling and not even arguing in good faith. So I see no reason to continue any of the arguments we've been having. However, I will say that I find this new element of the conversation highly ironic, since if you do believe this, then it is not me that you have an argument with but rather yourself and those that have been arguing similar view points. Under my theory of play, all you've just said is true. Per the process of play I outlined, I cannot as GM tell you that a backstory relationship regarding a loving wife which was previously established to exist, in fact is false because to do so would be impinging upon the conception of your character. While the NPC wife is external to your character, the nature of the relationship between you and that NPC once established cannot be retconned without your permission because that relationship is part of how your character is defined. But consider that it is your own side of this argument ...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 06:47 PM - iserith quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Because intent matters? The narrative weight of actions can change depending on the intent behind them, and require different adjudications? Really, the entire point of the example has been to show that players can take actions with player knowledge beyond just simply attacking something in combat. Maybe they buy items specifically to defeat an enemy they have never researched, maybe they break into the shop to steal a wish scroll they only know about because they read the module, maybe they use knowledge from the books to confront a powerful being in disguise as an old man and use a clue they were supposed to get later down the line to trick it into fighting against their enemies. There are many ways in which players can use the carte blanche to know anything with no restriction to disrupt the game. And the GMs job is more than just adjudicating actions, it is making sure things run smoothly. And, while this is amusingly ironic, you seem to be fine with it on this end of the spectru...
  • 03:40 AM - pemerton quoted Chaosmancer in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If you're fine with the them going to buy the scrolls without explanation, why care with an explanation?I can't answer for Chaosmancer, although I get the sense that he (? I think) and I have some similar views here. The things the player characters believe, the things they say to one another, etc are a part of the gameworld as much as anything else. If a character is telling another character something about earth elemental, then that belief and conversation is part of the fiction. Now when it's speculation about esoteric arcane matters, if the belief diverges from the truth that probably doesn't create any issues for the fiction - though in some circumstances (eg the PC is an archmage) it might. But if the conversation is about the character's hometown and childhood friends, then all of those beliefs turning out to be false would be rather odd. Is being an inveterate liar, or someone who is utterly deluded about his/her childhood, part of the player's conception of the character? Chaosmancer and I are assuming that it's not. when reading posters who claim that they allow their players this absolute auth...


Page 1 of 49 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Chaosmancer's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites