View Profile: Elfcrusher - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Today, 12:26 AM
    From what I have heard...perhaps apocryphally...MM got the idea for that from The One Ring. (Although it's worth pointing out that the mechanic doesn't actually have a name in TOR, it's just spelled out wherever it's used. E.g., "Roll the Feat die twice and take the better result.") But, yeah, I really like that mechanic, too. Although it's not just the mechanic itself that I like, it's the...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:52 AM
    The problem isn't that that rapiers are too good from a balance perspective; it's that only people who hate Dungeons & Dragons and everything the game stands for choose to use them.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:00 PM
    For the record, I'm ok with a GM editing my backstory. Or telling me my memories of it were implanted. Or whatever. The GM is allowed to tell me what happened to...what was imposed externally on...my character. Just don't try to tell me how my character feels about it.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:09 AM
    Really? Anti-vaxxers are one of your top three examples of terrible people?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:49 PM
    Like Boromir? He was obviously a :):):):):):) roleplayer. Some knight.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Oh, I see. You're trying to look at the choice itself as a challenge. I was looking at the choice as a small component of a larger challenge. Or, really, a piece of two larger challenges, with the dilemma being that choice A gets you closer to succeeding at the first challenge, but further from succeeding at the second, and vice versa. So the two challenges are: a) maintain your purity, and...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:56 PM
    Yeah. Once again I find myself in the unfamiliar position of agreeing with you. :-) "You feel your heart melt, despite your vow. What do you do?" is one kind of challenge. Having the maiden wink at you, and knowing that you both have to seduce her if you want to achieve the McGuffin, and knowing that it's going to jeopardize something if you do so, is another kind of challenge. Or,...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Without actually adding any words I still think he says (intentionally or not) what I first assumed. But you apparently read something entirely different. It's funny how that works. Sometimes I think we should all communicate in nothing higher level than assembly language.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:34 PM
    Wild guess, but I bet he had some rationalization for this other than that you might undermine the shaky ground on which his convictions stood.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:57 PM
    Overlapping posts there. If it's because you want to be able to design future encounters to interact in interesting ways with the player's ideas for their character, then that I understand. But even then I, personally, would base it off of the actual actions, rather than asking explicitly.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:55 PM
    Ok, then why do you want to know? Maybe try to imagine this as a movie. A character you thought was a "good guy" does something surprising. Do you want text on the screen explaining the character's thoughts and motivations? Or do you think, "Oh! I wasn't expecting that! I wonder where this is going....?"
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:52 PM
    It's because they think that wrapping it in the pseudo-intellectual justifications they heard on YouTube makes them sound like deep philosophers rather than biggoted troglodytes.
    46 replies | 2338 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:47 PM
    Ok, but why are you asking them? (Unless we're talking about brand new players, and you're trying to get them to think like roleplayers...?)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:45 PM
    Yeah, that's a fair point. For me, the distinction is that one is based on the belief that the player is "wrong", while the other is more like designing encounters with monsters or traps or whatever, in that you (the GM) are establishing the realities in your game world, and then inviting the player to engage with it, to their profit or peril. Sure, you may have expectations or even desires...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:15 PM
    Yes, although I haven't personally played them. (And is why I made a reference to Ace of Aces.) In a perfect world I would spend some time investigating and then post, but I do feel compelled to observe that RNG-less combat hasn't exactly caught on. I suspect there's a reason for that. Yeah, I don't disagree with any of that. It's possible we each misunderstand the other's point, and...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:11 PM
    What I'm struggling with here is to understand the point you are making about risk. I do get that risk and uncertainty make (or can make) games more exciting. But the consequence of a risk gone awry does matter. Traditionally (at least in my experience) in an RPG some of the things exposed to risk are: - Health/Life - Treasure/Possessions - Allies - Reputation - XP/Levels (in older...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:44 PM
    This is hilarious. It's ironic how people will latch onto pathetic, shallow arguments they find on the Internet to justify hatred, and then think their gullibility is a sign of their innate superiority. When those same people then do something colossally stupid, it's just funny.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:38 PM
    Ok, fair enough. But even if you don't force players to roleplay a certain way, your language suggests you still make value judgments about the choices they do make. I would propose thinking deeply about what purpose that serves. It's kind of like the metagaming discussion, where some people think it's "wrong" or "cheating" to metagame. Others (myself included) say that for GMs who care...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:30 PM
    "Interesting" is a pretty vague adjective. Mea culpa. I agree that some/many players find tactical combat interesting. Far more interesting than non-tactical combat, right? In other words, it's not the uncertainty of the dice rolls they like, it's the complexity of options, and the uncertainty of what the opponent will do. The dice are only needed because a non-random system that...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:51 AM
    I might be wrong, too. Let me break down how I read it: The phrase in bold was a red flag for me. It suggests that "perfect character" is something that can be discerned or defined. Same thing. What's a "standard of accuracy"? What is an "appropriate" response? Sounds to me like external judgments.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:29 AM
    Sounds like roleplaying thought police to me. Ever seen/read a fictional noble character who succumbed to temptation or other base instincts? Like...all of Greek literature? Shakespeare? Conversely, imagine the opposite: the noble and pure character who *never* does. Like...in moralizing cartoons for small children? Now, maybe said player is just greedy, and isnít trying to roleplay a...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:58 PM
    I have to admit I fully agree with FrogReaver on this one. Maybe chastity vs Excalibur is too binary, too simplistic, but I think itís a far more interesting sort of personality challenge than some of the other examples thrown around. Folks keep using the dice rolling of combat as some kind of standard against which other activities are measured, but isnít combat (besides being fun) really...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Well, that's exactly how I handle PvP. (Thanks, iserith!) I'm actually tempted to ask you to define "risky", but I'll assume the LCD meaning and say "less risky". Point?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:12 AM
    If you are talking about a game in which "Seductive Wink" is a known mechanic, and has been defined in the way that sword attacks and the like are, then sure. But otherwise it sounds like you're conflating "DM Fiat" with actual rules. EDIT: Alternatively, here's how to make the comparison apples-to-apples: The orc makes an attack and does 12 damage according to the rules of the game,...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:08 AM
    I think you are trying to adopt too narrow a definition of "roleplaying". There's nothing inherent in the term that suggests the person doing the playing must also choose the role. A game where you draw cards and act out the emotions and intentions you find on your card could still be roleplaying. Just not the sort I like.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:05 PM
    But even so, rolling a die or having the DM dictate a failure of chastity...or even just a temptation...is kinda boring. In my opinion. When it gets interesting is when there's some actual temptation on the part of the player to succumb. Maybe sometimes, for some, just the story value is enough of a temptation. But for others a mechanical temptation might be needed. And I have to admit...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:32 AM
    Wow...too much to fully catch up on this thread after a weekend away. But I'll start with this one. While in general I agree that Trust is central to the question of how you resolve things outside the rules...that is, if you trust your GM (or players) then you don't need a specific mechanic behind every declaration. But that said, dictation of character thoughts/actions/reactions/feelings...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 05:25 AM
    I'm disappointed. I was hoping there would be some sort of interesting or profound twist.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 02:27 AM
    Wait, that wasn't fair. I at least owe you the courtesy of a response. No, for that moment where the DM is telling me how to roleplay my character (note that the DM isn't actually "taking on the role of my character" unless, well, unless he/she is taking on the role of my character), in that moment I am not roleplaying. Then, when the DM stops talking and its my turn again, I'm roleplaying. ...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 02:21 AM
    You are either playing a pointless semantic game, or my joke about the first person shooter was spot on. But I'll give you credit. This is how many threads where pretty much the whole gaming community gangs up to disagree with you? And yet you don't back off one bit. Points for perseverance. "And still he persists."
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 01:13 AM
    <br><br>Great post.<br><br>What I find particularly noteworthy is that I can both deeply resent the notion that a GM can dictate how I should roleplay my character <em>and</em> acknowledge that the result is still roleplaying.<br> <br>
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 04:31 AM
    I've been tempted to wear a name tag with "We/Us/Ours", but I don't want people to think I'm mocking the right of people to choose their own pronouns. I just think it's funny.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:46 AM
    FrogReaver: is a first person shooter not a first person shooter when you arenít actually firing a weapon?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 07:37 PM
    Well I'm relieved the plural "you" is still all in one piece.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Those two statements taken together evoke a disturbing image.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:39 PM
    Mmmm....complex action economies. Now THAT will keep the hobby firmly in the hands of the system masters. Maybe MM will even rehire some gatekeepers.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:06 PM
    Sounds to me like you're trying to impose your own preferences on the rest of us. If you don't like paladins you don't have to play one. If one is in your group you could just refluff it in your head as a Dwarf Fighter-Cleric dual-wielding very well-balanced battleaxes with pointy spikes on the ends. You absurd ragequitting jerk. EDIT: Sorry, trying to spitefully impose your preferences.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 01:23 PM
    The irony, for me, is that FrogReaver has taken what for me is a strong personal preference about roleplaying...that you and only you control your character, "unless magic"...and has tried to claim it as the definition of roleplaying. Even I don't go that far. And, really, by "unless magic" I mean explicit rules in a given system that define the times a player loses control, preferably with...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 05:00 AM
    Ok. Fun game. Here's my first attempt: A roleplaying game is a game with the following characteristics: - The "tokens" controlled by players represent characters that are defined by a composite of qualitative and quantitative descriptors. - Instead of choosing from a prescribed list of legal moves, players engage in free-form play, describing their interactions with an environment. ...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:47 AM
    The One Ring. Many NPCs, especially powerful (and iconic) NPCs, are not statted out like monsters you fight or heroes you play. Instead they have kind of an outline, to give you a sense of what skills and personality traits to emphasize. I suppose some might interpret this as railroading, as the implication of this system is that you're "not supposed to fight" these NPCs, and if you are so...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 03:26 AM
    But if nobody agrees with your definition....?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    The only reason druids are pasteurized today is because of intense lobbying from corporations that wanted to tend groves of trees on an industrial scale.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 06:35 PM
    Oh, I loved Magic Theft Auto. Poured countless hours into it.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 06:24 PM
    I was taking poetic license to illustrate a point. P.S. And I'm still hoping you'll answer my question(s).
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:20 PM
    100% agree! Refusing to play a game just because the designers do or do not include some feature that has no impact on the feel of the game would be just petulant.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:51 PM
    I had to take a call just as I started responding to this, and I'm glad I did because I was about to lash out angrily. Which is a fairly human response when somebody has just denigrated you (again). Ok....deep breath. Upthread you made a joking aside about laser guns in the game. So please step through the following with me. I was tempted to use, oh, maybe global warming as an analogue,...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:07 PM
    I wish I could find the footage, but back when Jimmy Carter was running for president some journalist interviewed his mother at her house. He asked her, "You've said that your son never told lies. Is that really true?" She said he sometimes told "white lies".* The journalist jumped all over that. "Wait, what's a 'white lie'?" She said, "Well, remember when you arrived, and I said it was...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    How about ďthe words used by others to describe themĒ?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:44 PM
    I have to admit, I'm frequently tempted to reciprocate and start referring to your non-magic fixation as dismissively and derisively as you do my preferences. But since you clearly are blind to the parallels, and are on your way back up into that well-worn high saddle of yours, I'll just drop it. Happy gaming.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 06:55 PM
    Ah, got it. Sorry just couldn't parse it the first time. Yes, I understand and there's nothing there I disagree with. 1. That's why I was clarifying that in this case I was just referring to the zealotry. I understand that was confusing. 2. I would distinguish between "my unwillingness to subvert my values" and "my (supposed) unwillingness to work with others." We are both...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 05:47 PM
    Whoah. I'm not sure I even followed all of that. In this particular case I was just referring to your zeal, not to any parallels between the topics of zealotry.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 04:39 PM
    XP for the username.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:39 PM
    Excuse me, but I'm not the one behaving outrageously here. Re-read the thread. In a fairly long response to the OP I had one sentence saying "I still hate the Warlord", and then went on to talk about other stuff. I got some pushback on that, and on 3rd or 4th post reiterated my reasons. I may not be very generous toward the Warlord, but I'm not attacking any poster. I'm criticizing a...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 06:46 AM
    Except the OP is trying to make it sound like the distinction between the wink and the softening is blurrier than it is. I mean, itís still useful and interesting to talk about who gets to resolve the action, and the division line moves depending on the game. But itís a more straightforward question than the OP seems to be suggesting.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:26 AM
    Mmmm...nope. Read it again, and still disagree.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 10:51 PM
    Ok, I'm bored. I'll respond. If "inspired" is not a feeling or emotion, it's...what? A virus? My response applied equally to all of them. Except maybe Bard. I don't love that Bard ability. Or Inspiring Leader. Which I've mentioned many times.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 09:44 PM
    There's further evidence you don't understand. Go read the fluff for "Master of Tactics" and show me where it implies anything at all about how the target PC feels about the rogue. The only fluff relates to the Rogue him/herself, not his/her relationship with the other PC. Which means it can easily be narrated as interfering with the monster. Or just about any other way, depending on how...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 09:37 PM
    Ok, I'm not quite done yet... So, you DO seem to get it, after all. If I'm parsing the above correctly, you understand about 95% of the argument I'm making, and your conclusion is "But you can decline the benefit, so there's no loss of player agency." Yes, that's true. And I probably shouldn't have gone down the road of countering that argument with "...but I don't want to be a jerk."...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 08:00 PM
    No, because the magic makes me invisible. It does not specify feelings I must hold regarding the Wizard, or the emotional reaction I have to his casting. It's really not a hard concept to understand. I believe you just called me a dick. I think I'll leave this conversation now. It's increasingly clear to me, based on your responses, that you (plural) don't understand what I'm...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 02:37 PM
    You really don't see the difference? It's not that the Warlord prevents me from playing my character as I want, it's that it makes assumptions about how my character views the Warlord. And, sure, I can be a jerk at the table and refuse to play along with that. But, as I said previously, it's not really about what might happen to me personally at the table. It's that I think the concept is...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 02:32 PM
    All of the above is true....AND that's what some people refer to as "loss of player agency". Just because the Warlord abilities are benign (get HP, make a bonus attack, etc.) philosophically they are equivalent to, say, rolling Persuasion to force a fellow PC to go along with your plan. Now, some people are totally fine with that. Some of us are not.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 05:38 AM
    I'm not arguing it's meat. That's not the point. In one of these debates a few years ago, somebody brought up the trope of the guy (or gal) dying in the ICU, until a loved one comes in, and just their presence brings the person out of coma. Realistic or not, it's pretty common. My response was that this is exactly my point. It's not a stranger who walks into the ICU, it's a loved one. ...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 05:30 AM
    Yes to both.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 03:51 AM
    Overheard in the board room: "I know, let's call it Leader! What could possibly go wrong?" Hahahahahahaha.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 03:49 AM
    That's the funny thing about that range/orc example: you seem to assume that because the Ranger HATES orcs, he must cause intraparty conflict. Sounds to me like more dictation of how somebody must portray their character. You outed me. I'm actually Mike Mearls. Yes, I'm going to refuse to publish the Warlord because I don't want to have to be a jerk in my own game. WTF? There's...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 02:10 AM
    Actually, temp HP make more sense to me than HP, but from everything I read that's a deal killer.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 12:54 AM
    Yeah, I've certainly made that caricature. It was an impression I got from the kind of person who...well, the kind of person who wrote that "On your feet, solider!" fluff. But it's really a derivative concern, not the primary objection. Ok, fair enough. Although (correct me if I'm wrong) it's a bit edge case. Like, whether you can heal in an anti-magic zone, or if Counterspell prevents...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 12:38 AM
    Huh. I still don't see the connection. My decision to play a ranger that hates orcs in now way inhibits your ability to play an orc. However you want to play it. Now, it may cause party tension. There may be a practical implications. But it in no way affects your character concept, or your ability to use your character features. Imagine, instead, you showed up and said, "Ok, I have...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 09:07 PM
    There's a second misconception you seem to have: I'm not worried about players actually being bossy around the table because their character is the Leader. I mean, it might happen, but any player who would do that is likely to be obnoxious anyway, regardless of the class they are playing, right? For me it's 100% the connotation for what's happening in the fiction, not the mechanics of what's...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    So I finally got around this. I did a Google search, restricted to enworld.org, for "What is a Warlord?" Top result was this old thread: https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?472575-What-s-a-Warlord-Never-heard-of-this-class-before The first few posts were mostly just enumerations of mechanics without much of anything about the underlying concept, but post #5 led with this: ...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Only if it was the University of Maine at Orono. (Ok, bonus points if it was UM Presque Isle.) Otherwise you were just another stinkin' tourist. Favorite bumper sticker: "It's called TOURIST SEASON so why can't I shoot them?"
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:03 PM
    This seems to be heading toward one of two things: A) An enumeration of every option that ever existed, from which you pick and choose exactly which ones you want. B) A totally blank book (maybe some art) so that you can just do whatever.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 03:52 PM
    This is one of the things they got right. Some people want everything...perfectly optimized multiclass dipping AND feats...but I think requiring the trade off is the right way to do it.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 02:11 PM
    I'd go the other way. I want a compelling mechanical difference between arcane and divine casting. Whether or not you have access to the whole spelllist isn't a very interesting distinction.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 10:56 PM
    I don't think the version presented in this thread is that egregious, but I fully agree with the sentiment.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 10:14 PM
    How do you get from "there's this one character concept that I don't want to interact with" to "no reference to other players"?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 08:59 PM
    No, I don't conflate those two things at all. I merely include them as various forms of unacceptable "leadership". It's like that dumb "Inspiring Leader" feat (which always makes me grimace as a I duly write down my temporary HP), but it's a whole class of bogus mechanics. But I won't hold that against you; it's an easy mistake to make. EL OH F*$&ING EL.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 08:22 PM
    I Googled "5e Warlord" and took a look at the top 5 results: #2 didn't really have any descriptive info, but I loved: #3 all I have is the description of the file (I'd have to buy it....like THAT's gonna happen)
    286 replies | 10632 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 08:10 PM
    Why is it that in your responses you never address the evidence I repeatedly cite? Namely all the content out there (forum posts, homebrews, etc.) that describe the Warlord pretty much exactly like I'm claiming? You keep falling back on this "The Leader was not literally a Leader" thing. Is that really your only response to my observations about how it's portrayed in the community? Again,...
    286 replies | 10632 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:22 PM
    That's what I'm talking about! THAT'S New England. (Except that it's not an outlet, it's the mother ship. Which you would know if you dared to cross the border.) There's an old SNL skit about driving directions in New England. Hilarious. "What's the quickest route from Providence, RI, to Dorchester, MA?" "BZZZZZZ!" "Yes?" "Dorchestah? Why would you want to go theyah?"
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:05 PM
    Would it help if I started saying "officer" instead of "leader"? Because the falsehood you keep repeating, despite being told many times that it's not true, is that the basis for my view is the "Leader" designation in 4e. No, my basis is the very consistent portrayal of the class by its proponents. I'm not begrudging you the opportunity at all! Pick your favorite homebrew and have...
    286 replies | 10632 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 06:58 PM
    Wait, who is this "us" and "we"? Sorry, but MA, CT, and RI are not really part of New England any more. The only bits of MA that are still New England have small plaques in front of them and are surrounded by parking lots. The other day I was explaining to my 5 year old that "Roman" means "somebody from Rome" just like "Coloradan" means "somebody from Colorado." He pondered that and asked,...
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 06:49 PM
    See, I love that. I would be vastly more open to a tactical/supporty class that was fluffed this way. And would be interested in playing it myself. Let the Companion's devotion to his/her companions fuel his abilities, not their devotion to him. I once posted a tongue-in-cheek "Caddy" class. Or a "Jeeves", maybe. "Don't worry, sir, you'll get him next time." "May I suggest the two-handed...
    286 replies | 10632 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 06:46 PM
    What's the misinformation? You're making it sound like the my only basis for the "leader" thing is the name of the role. I wasn't even referring to that. I was referring to the way the class is repeatedly described/fluffed. Now, maybe you don't do that, and maybe it doesn't *have* to be that way, but over and over (and over and over and over) again, proponents of the Warlord describe it...
    286 replies | 10632 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 06:17 PM
    Are you envisioning that heroes spend time training at how to break down doors? If so, maybe that's an edge case that allows for a new background, which grants proficiency or even advantage on those checks. Or maybe another skill applies: "I want to pick up the cow. Since I'm a folk hero who grew up on a farm and know how to handle animals I think I should have a better chance of doing that...
    32 replies | 1033 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 05:32 PM
    I don't lift in a way that the kind of people who say "Do you even lift?" would acknowledge, but there's definitely technique. Both for safety and for increasing the amounts you can move. I can speak more about this. There are efficiency techniques to endurance, ranging from how you perform the motions to how effectively you isolate the muscles you don't actually need to use. But...
    32 replies | 1033 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Is anybody arguing that grammar does not matter? (Maybe they are; if so I missed it.) But there's a difference between being sloppy/ignorant of grammar, and intentionally trying to nudge its evolution. It's like broken meter or rhyme in poetry: if accidental it's probably bad writing; if intentional it's artistry. (Or at least it's an attempt at artistry. Results are not guaranteed....) ...
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 04:31 PM
    And the crazy thing is that it's got the word "all" right smack dab in the middle of it. And yet it can, and frequently does mean the singular version of "you".
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    If so, my bad.
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 03:20 PM
    If I conveyed that I thought pronoun use itself is oppressive then I miscommunicated. The link between the two is that language encourages/reinforces thoughts, and in the same way that derogatory terms and jokes reinforce the idea that certain people are inferior, rigidly binary pronoun use reinforces the idea that certain people don't fit into "legitimate" categories. That in turn can...
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 04:55 PM - Aebir-Toril mentioned Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Elfcrusher, for me it's not about the justification of their actions, it's more about my curiosity as to their motivations.
  • 02:44 PM - Aebir-Toril mentioned Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Huh? Are you taking Frogreaver's meds, too? The ask is to explore the reasoning behind the sudden change, not to refute it if doesn't meet guidelines. Heck, @Aebir-Toril even says they wouldn't know what to do with "lol, magic sword duh" which strongly suggests that this would just be a confusing answer, not one that's censored. Perhaps I'm wrong, and AT really is running roughshod over his players, but I haven't gotten that at all, and it requires adding words to what they've posted to get there. I don't know what Elfcrusher thought, but I am in no way crushing my players. I allow my players do do whatever the Nine Hells they want 99.9% of the time, but if, for instance, the Lawful Good Paladin says, "I torture her with acid to get information", even though her character's bond is to protect others, even those who have strayed from the path of good, I might ask her if that's what she really wants to do. Furthermore, I always allow the players to do what they want to do with their character, but it would frustrate me if their only explanation for their actions was "lol, magic sword duh".
  • 02:43 PM - Aebir-Toril mentioned Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...nds like roleplaying thought police to me. Ever seen/read a fictional noble character who succumbed to temptation or other base instincts? Like...all of Greek literature? Shakespeare? Conversely, imagine the opposite: the noble and pure character who *never* does. Like...in moralizing cartoons for small children? Now, maybe said player is just greedy, and isnít trying to roleplay a dramatic fall from Grace, but in trying to distinguish between the two youíre falling into the same trap as the anti-metagaming crowd and trying to police their thoughts. Donít play with people you donít want to play with, but expecting (or trying to force) people to roleplay a character the way you think it should be role played just ainít gonna end well. Somebody above referred to immersion. Put the player in the situation where he is genuinely agonizing over a moral choice, and he will feel like his character feels. Thatís a win before he even makes the decision. This isn't at all what I meant Elfcrusher. I will ask players why they might want to do something, as in, actually question their motivations, but I always allow them to do what they want to do. If the player decides that their Chaotic Good Rogue has no qualms about torturing innocents in order to find out where the Drow Demon-summoners hide, I won't prevent them from doing it, but I'll ask them why their character has decided this is a thing they want to do. In fact, I have had players tell me, whilst slaughtering dozens of cultists in their sleep, that they think that their character has fallen into the depths of madness and evil, and is now Chaotic Evil. In this case, I allow them to change their alignment to Chaotic Evil, and play proceeds. My point about role-playing is not that players should be forced to make their characters feel regret or remorse, but that I like to ask them how their characters feel about what they are doing or what they have done. If the player decides that, "lol, I'm gaming, duh" is their ans...

Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

  • 12:21 AM - HJFudge mentioned Elfcrusher in post The perfect D&D edition (according to ENWORLD)
    Maybe the Perfect Edition for D&D according to ENWorld really IS 4E. Since thats all people seem to wanna discuss in these threads haha. It definitely generates discussion :angel: To the points at hand: I have no issue with Elfcrusher opinions or how he has expressed them. I mean, I do not AGREE with him, but I don't agree with a lot of people...that doesn't make them bad people nor are they 'dummies'. So if I have come across as strong, I hope it is clear that I have strong opinions on the topic. Not a strong distaste for the person...personally, I do not know him well enough to have an opinion! As to the point of who is the worst censorer/edition warrior...I mean, I don't think either side of the 4E spectrum can claim a monopoly on crazy. But I don't think, in this thread, there's been a Pile On. Yet.

Sunday, 30th June, 2019

  • 03:50 PM - Aldarc mentioned Elfcrusher in post The perfect D&D edition (according to ENWORLD)
    ...ack, etc.) philosophically they are equivalent to, say, rolling Persuasion to force a fellow PC to go along with your plan. Now, some people are totally fine with that. Some of us are not.How exactly are you losing player agency with the Warlord abilities? :erm: Let's say that a wizard casts a spell on you that gives you Improved Invisibility. Have you lost agency because you are "forced" to play (temporarily) as a character who is invisible and takes advantage of that? If a cleric cast Bless on you, have you lost agency because you now have a bonus to attack rolls? If a bard gave you Inspiration, have you lost agency because you now feel compelled to utilize it? If a monk knocks an adjacent enemy prone and the enemy stands up, have you lost agency because that triggered an opportunity attack for you? Have you somehow lost agency if someone provides advantage with the Help action? Or maybe you have lost agency when you take advantage of the ranger's group travel? Honestly, Elfcrusher, the grounds for your opposition to the Warlord and loss of agency is kinda absurd and unfounded by any actual sense or meaningful understanding "player agency." You even seem to recognize this when your sole point of "yes, but..." is that it would make you look like a dick for refusing, though that ship will have probably long since sailed for the rest of your group by then. You really don't see the difference? It's not that the Warlord prevents me from playing my character as I want, it's that it makes assumptions about how my character views the Warlord.How? :erm: None of the 4e Warlord abilities dictate how other players view the Warlord. If they do exist, you will be cherry-picking an exceedingly negligible amount of their abilities in the context of the class as a whole. So really, that represents a hang-up of your own design that is only in your head and removed from the actual class as written. Also could we have a list of class and subclass options that would cause y...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 04:55 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What would be some good metics to evaluate RPG rules/systems?
    ...o rulings or interpretations are called for, everyone who reads the rules can play the game without confusion or argument over what the rules mean. But, when a player decides his character will hit someone with a folding chair, or try to buy a gun, the GM will either deny him, or add to the game.This post makes many assumptions about how a game might work. Many games don't require "adding to the game" (eg by way of new subsystems, or new modifiers, or whatever) because they have resolution systems that are relatively straightforward to extrapolate to novel situations. I appreciate that D&D, historically, has not been such a system - it emphasises particular subsystems rather than general resolution - and many other games are similar in this respect. But that's not the only design path. (Thinking of some early post-D&D games, Classic Traveller is sub-system based, but Tunnels & Trolls mostly isn't.) And I think it's quite misleading - as in, for instance, won't give someone like Elfcrusher the information being looked for about a new game - just to say that a universal or extrapolation-based resolution system is just like a sub-system based game but "more detailed".

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 03:36 AM - Greg K mentioned Elfcrusher in post Should I play 4e?
    I liked several things about D&D 4e. However, when I look at it, the following always crosses my mind: 1. I don't like Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies so I know that I will never run or play those levels. 2. Things that I want are spread out across too many books and Dragon Magazine 3. Too many specific names on feats and powers (e.g. the deity named feats). Trying to rename feats and powers or changing power descriptions to fit my campaign setting is going to be a reference nightmare for my players. 4. When I look at the power system, I think to myself, "Hero System does powers better so why not just use Fantasy Hero 4e or 5e?" (which is why I laughed when Azzy told Elfcrusher that he would not like Hero System). However, to the OP, if it looks interesting to you, give it a try.

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 07:28 PM - Oofta mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Elfcrusher, I'm with 5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks. I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 05:23 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...ers are defined by much more than their race and class. Theyíre individuals with their own stories, interests, connections, and capabilities beyond those that class and race define." There are sidebar examples throughout the PDF of two characters (Tika and Artemis) who are distinguiished - as those sidebars emphasise - on the basis of non-mechanical details of the fiction. That seems an invitation to players to make up similar stuff for their PCs. Deciding on Ideals and Bonds seems also to invite the player to make up people and places that their PCs care about and are connected to. In the context of this thread, I think that Hussar has made it fairly clear that one reason he doesn't like the "goal and approach" method of action resolution is that it privileges the GM's conception of key aspects of the ficiton over possibly differing conceptions held by the players. Others obviously disagree, taking the view that exercising such authority is the prerogative of the GM. But upthread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a widespread view that it would be usurpation for a GM to decide that a PC didn't do what the player has said s/he does, because the GM thinks it is inconsistent with the PC's stats. These boundaries aren't crystal clear to me, and I'm a pretty experienced RPGer. I don't find them clearly articulated in the 5e Basic PDF. I'm sure I could get by in iserith's game playi...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 03:42 AM - Eubani mentioned Elfcrusher in post A Few Balance Changes I'm Considering
    I was hoping this thread would be about archery. Just for you Elfcrusher I change abilities that ignore cover bonuses to reduce AC by 2. This gives them some benefit whilst making cover still desirable. I have been thinking about but yet to make the leap of bringing Archery fighting style in line with duelling and other styles by making it +2 damage instead of to hit. Useful but not overriding the usefulness of everything else.
  • 03:22 AM - Hussar mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Y'know, I have to apologize for the "talkie talkie" thing. I thought it was funny and cute, totally not meant as a shot or anything like that. I see that it has very much taken on a life of its own, and that's totally my bad. Sorry about that. When I say, talky talky or talky bits, I'm simply meaning those parts of the game that revolve around the social pillar. As opposed to the hacky bits or looky bits. :p Yeah, humour is always tough. But, honestly Elfcrusher, I've never seen this as you folks needing to defend anything. iserith is 100% right in saying that this is what the 5e books expect. It is right there in black and white. I can't really argue with that. My point has always been that anyone, like me or Oofta, saying that we have a way that works better for us is immediately dogpiled on as coming from dysfunctional tables or not understanding other approaches or whatever.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 04:38 PM - Oofta mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Elfcrusher, can you define your "alternative method" for a low charisma character achieving a social goal. Because when we ask for examples it's "use the key to open the locked door". Well, duh. Of course you can bypass a locked door by using a key. You can smash it down if you don't mind the noise and the fact that you're breaking the door. But it's the same as bypassing a trap. Want to open a trapped chest? You either have to use a skill or find the instructions on how to bypass the trap in my campaign. If you're trying to get past a trapped door and can just bypass it by going around, why wouldn't you? So for social encounters what are your options. Bribery? Blackmail? The former may not work or you may have insufficient items of value, the latter is assuming you have a "key" (aka "dirt") and are willing to use it*. It also assumes that you do either of those without insulting the NPC. In other words in my campaign you could try those but best it would do would be to give you a...
  • 05:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I'm not sure what you're commenting on or asking, if you're asking anything at all.Fair enough. I'm commenting on the apparent need, in the action resolution scenarios being discussed in this thread, for very clear boundaries in respect of who has authority over what bits of the fiction. And adding that notions of "trusting the GM" - which were invoked by another poster - seem to be irrelevant to the context in which they were invoked. For what it's worth, the "literature" (for lack of a better term) on RPG design has discussed this issue of boundaries at some length, but not normally in the context of presenting D&D rules. To the extent that D&D rules and discussion of them articulate the issue at all, it tends to use very informal notions that mix at-the-table and in-the-fiction notions, like the player has authority over the character and the GM has authority over everything else in the gameworld. In Elfcrusher's examples, it's clear that the player is allowed not only to state that Gord the Barbarian believes, but that Gord the Barbarian knows, that the tribal elders told such-and-such tales. Whereas it's equally clear that Gord the Barbarian may believe that a certain approach to disarming a trap could not go wrong, but that only the GM is allowed to decide whether or not this belief is true. Maybe you disagree that clear boundaries of the sort I describe are needed. Or maybe you agree, but think that they are quite clear and hence this need won't cause any issues in play. My own view is that a lot of the disagreement in this thread seems to be turning on differences of opinion and experience over whether those boundaries are (i) clear, and (ii) drawn in the right place to deliver a fun play experience. Methinks your requirement of "clear boundaries" indicates a lack of trust in other players/DMs.No. It indicates that if I'm going to fit in properly at youe table, it would be hellpfu...

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 06:13 AM - 5ekyu mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Elfcrusher said "Maybe that also happens, but some have argued pretty explicitly that they think the adjudication of anything important should fall to the dice using ability/skill mechanics, and that no cleverness on the part of the player should alter the probabilities. That, for example, "I disarm the trap" with no description should have exactly the same odds of disarming the trap as proposing a clever and logical way of doing so." It would be nice to have cites for this claim. However, so far I dont think I have seen this on the challenge the character side. I am pretty sure many or most have at one point of another explicitly said that either advantage or disadvantage can come from the choices made by the player. Do you have examples from this thread? Or is this one of those pretending extremes?
  • 05:44 AM - Celebrim mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Elfcrusher: After 30+ years of GMing, I've discovered that if you are worried about the players metagaming, it's almost certainly the case that the fault is with you, and that then instructing the players to not metagame is simply digging your own hole deeper. The only time metagaming is poor play is when it is a symptom of some other sort of poor play (such as cheating by buying a copy of the module you are playing). Otherwise, you should really not even try to identify metagaming, much less assert GM force to prevent it.

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 01:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...e Raven Queen story - their character does. The second is it seems an example of my #4 - both are required (if I read it tight) because specific language skills in character *and* a riddle answered in player are required. Riddles do not have to be player only, no argument there. They just fo seem to be that way quite often.I think at my table they're probably closer to your 1 (? I'm not sure I'm remembering your categories correctly), in the sense that there is not going to be any check made. At the table, the discussion is all between the players, playing their characters - so eg in the second you see the player of the paladin declining to take part because he's not interested in debating "good" ideals; and in the first, he is the one who is most excited about being in the Mausoleum of the Raven Queen, and so it's not a coincidence (although also not guaranteed) that he is the one who works it out first. I don't know 100% how this fits into your conception, or Hussar's, or Elfcrusher's - I would say it is challenging the player's ability to inhabit and play as his/her character. And of course it takes for granted that the player is immersed in the fiction of the campaign (riddle 3) or its moral logic (riddle 2). I think the first riddle - the one I can't remember - was probably weakest in this repsect because it didn't draw enough on that immersion.

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

  • 12:42 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Because it's frequently not apparent. Consider this: a pit appears bottomless, but is actually an illusion - it's really on 3 feet deep. What do you do, tell them the truth: "if you fail this roll nothing bad will happen", blatantly lie to them "you will fall to your death", or tell them nothing, thus letting them know there is something fishy about the pit, because you normally tell them what will happen? @Elfcrusher already answered this before your post: Now, you don't have to give away every nuance of the consequence. "Sure, you can try to chop the door down, but it's going to make a lot of noise. Are you sure...?" But they don't have to know exactly what sort of creature is going to be alerted. "If you fail, you fall into the pit". No more detail necessary. The players can be terrified until they make it across safely and then perhaps laugh at the clumsy wizard who screamed as he fell three feet, reveling the illusion.

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:46 PM - Oofta mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Great and interesting post. I'm keying on this at the end for a reason. I think that everyone who has posted in this thread, so far, has articulated the same distinction (for the most part) with regards to PC/Player challenges. I guess what I'm not sure I understand is how, in the excerpted fashion, this is any different that what Elfcrusher is saying when he articulates that a PC challenge is actually a build challenge? By investing resources into, for example, being a trap-finder? Am I missing something? Or are you agreeing? We're kind of agreeing? Sort of? For me challenging the PC applies to the part of overcoming an obstacle or achieving a goal using the numbers on the character sheet along with a die roll*. Sometimes this is good for the player because they have high numbers, sometimes it's not. So again, encounters are often a mix. Can you come up with a way of achieving your goal that uses the best aspects of your PC or do you have to fall back on some of the weakest because you have no choice? I don't go out of my way to target weaknesses, but if the scene calls for lifting a heavy rock I had assumed you would need to make an strength (athletics) check. But maybe the player thinks of using some type of lever in which case I'd still call for a check but this time using intelligence to see if they can...
  • 03:46 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    In a broader sense, I like to create adventures that mix PC challenges and Player challenges. If someone has invested a significant amount of PC resources into being the best trap-finder ever, I want to reward that. If the players come up with a clever plan to bypass the trap altogether, I want to reward that as well. Great and interesting post. I'm keying on this at the end for a reason. I think that everyone who has posted in this thread, so far, has articulated the same distinction (for the most part) with regards to PC/Player challenges. I guess what I'm not sure I understand is how, in the excerpted fashion, this is any different that what Elfcrusher is saying when he articulates that a PC challenge is actually a build challenge? By investing resources into, for example, being a trap-finder? Am I missing something? Or are you agreeing?
  • 02:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... story for there to be a somewhat difficult to climb run-of-the-mill wall I may include it. Unless it's important I get past it with as little muss and fuss as possible.To me, this would seem a good reason not to call for a check at all, because nothing is at stake.. Just narrate the climbing of the unremarable wall and keep moving until something more significant comes up. So, just to be clear, yíall would allow a player to roll (and potentially fail) to perform a task that you didnít initially plan to require a roll to succeed on, simply because they announced that they were making a check? Thatís actually how you would all rule in that situation?For my part, it would depend. If the DC is zero/automatic (as per Hussar's comments upthread), no. But if what's going on is a mismatch between GM and player expectations as to whether something is at stake, it might be time for a re-calibration in our understanding of the situation. Either way, I couldn't imagine it playing out like Elfcrusher's example.


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Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 01:13 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Elfcrusher in post What are your favourite single game mechanics?
    From what I have heard...perhaps apocryphally...MM got the idea for that from The One Ring. (Although it's worth pointing out that the mechanic doesn't actually have a name in TOR, it's just spelled out wherever it's used. E.g., "Roll the Feat die twice and take the better result.")Sounds plausible (that he'd like a mechanic like that), 4e had a lotta* re-rolls, from the notorious Elven Accuracy on, and it seemed like there were just more of 'em after he took over. In particular, the Avenger had a special ability that was "make two attack rolls and use either result. Ö If another effect lets you roll twice and use the higher result when making an attack roll, this power has no effect on that attack." Quite likely lifted from the same source of inspiration as Advantage, since it has both the roll-twice & the non-stacking features. But, yeah, I really like that mechanic, too. Although it's not just the mechanic itself that I like, it's the way it explicitly replaces summing up various posi...

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 05:29 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Elfcrusher in post Finesse rebalance
    The problem isn't that that rapiers are too good from a balance perspective; it's that only people who hate Dungeons & Dragons and everything the game stands for choose to use them. What do rapiers have to do with caster supremacy, Monty Haul, treasure hunting, pixel-bitching, 5MWD, magic-item Xmass trees, Vancian spell-grenades, d20s, Fruedian psionics, 10' poles, white-room DPR calculations, cursed magic itens, 30mm lead pewter figures labeled 25mm, rules lawyers, Killer DMs, home-invasion-robbery, LFQW, name recognition, 20-level builds, spiked everything, plant/reptile boobs, perverting the intent of Wish, mapping, teen suicide, Devil worship, and sexism? ... Oh, I get it: nothing.
  • 05:27 AM - Charlaquin quoted Elfcrusher in post Finesse rebalance
    The problem isn't that that rapiers are too good from a balance perspective; it's that only people who hate Dungeons & Dragons and everything the game stands for choose to use them. XD Its both tho

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 03:42 AM - pemerton quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I do get that risk and uncertainty make (or can make) games more exciting. But the consequence of a risk gone awry does matter. Traditionally (at least in my experience) in an RPG some of the things exposed to risk are: - Health/Life - Treasure/Possessions - Allies - Reputation - XP/Levels (in older versions of D&D, for example) - Maybe some other stuff I'm not thinking off at the moment. Sure, "Character Concept" could be added to this list. But I'm not sure what that achieves, except to annoy people who think they should be in control of the concept.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 examples could also be given.

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 03:29 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Elfcrusher in post RPG Attack Site Closes As Author Outs Himself
    It's ironic how people will latch onto pathetic, shallow arguments they find on the Internet to justify hatred, and then think their gullibility is a sign of their innate superiority. Jack Chick and BADD didn't even need the internet. (Since politics are off topic, some D&D-history examples.) Thanks to the internet, we then got The Great Roll vs Role Debate, GNS, The Edition War, Zak S, and now, this guy.
  • 12:42 PM - MGibster quoted Elfcrusher in post RPG Attack Site Closes As Author Outs Himself
    Really? Anti-vaxxers are one of your top three examples of terrible people? I wasn't trying to come up with an exhaustive list of terrible people nor was I trying to rank them. That would be a fool's errand. The anti-vaxxers are an example of a group with bad ideas who spread misinformation and reinforce each other's false beliefs in a way that is harmful to the rest of us.
  • 06:08 AM - Al'Kelhar quoted Elfcrusher in post RPG Attack Site Closes As Author Outs Himself
    Really? Anti-vaxxers are one of your top three examples of terrible people? What's the only thing that has killed more humans than humans? Oh, wait, it's transmissible diseases. Which are on the increase all over the developed world after having been given a pretty good smack down in the last half century on the back of mass immunisation programs. So, yeah, it's probably not all hyperbole.
  • 05:16 AM - Fenris-77 quoted Elfcrusher in post RPG Attack Site Closes As Author Outs Himself
    Really? Anti-vaxxers are one of your top three examples of terrible people? Shall we quibble about rankings or just admit that they do make the list, even if it's not in the three spot? If you read anti-vaxxer as "highly dangerous and(because?) immensely stupid human" it really does cover a lot of ground.
  • 12:42 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Oh, I see. You're trying to look at the choice itself as a challenge. I was looking at the choice as a small component of a larger challenge. Or, really, a piece of two larger challenges, with the dilemma being that choice A gets you closer to succeeding at the first challenge, but further from succeeding at the second, and vice versa. So the two challenges are: a) maintain your purity, and b) get the girl. (For whatever larger purpose both serve.) The choice is what's been presented as the challenge. This is the first instance of the example choice being part of a larger, interconnected story. Even there, I'm not clear on what you think the challenge is, or how the choice leads to success or failure at the challenge rather than just another part of a larger choice tree. I can see choice as part of an actual challenge only if you're making the choice blind or partly blind as to whether or not it will lead to ultimate success at the overarching goal. What I don't see is your duality of...
  • 12:12 AM - FrogReaver quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Oh, I see. You're trying to look at the choice itself as a challenge. I was looking at the choice as a small component of a larger challenge. Or, really, a piece of two larger challenges, with the dilemma being that choice A gets you closer to succeeding at the first challenge, but further from succeeding at the second, and vice versa. So the two challenges are: a) maintain your purity, and b) get the girl. (For whatever larger purpose both serve.) I think I characterized his view of challenge as too narrow. Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 09:32 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    That's simply untrue. I have been in a position where I can make the decision and I have been plenty challenged. I am frequently significantly challenged by situations that come up in game. Which way do I go with my character? It's not certain until the decision is made, which occurs after the challenge. The result of that challenge may be in my total control, but the challenge is there. Yeah. Once again I find myself in the unfamiliar position of agreeing with you. :-) "You feel your heart melt, despite your vow. What do you do?" is one kind of challenge. Having the maiden wink at you, and knowing that you both have to seduce her if you want to achieve the McGuffin, and knowing that it's going to jeopardize something if you do so, is another kind of challenge. Or, heck, even just being tempted by the awesome story developments of letting your character break his vow, presents an interesting roleplaying challenge. Then what does a success on this challenge look like and ho...
  • 08:55 PM - Lanefan quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    What I'm struggling with here is to understand the point you are making about risk. I do get that risk and uncertainty make (or can make) games more exciting. But the consequence of a risk gone awry does matter. Traditionally (at least in my experience) in an RPG some of the things exposed to risk are: - Health/Life - Treasure/Possessions - Allies - Reputation - XP/Levels (in older versions of D&D, for example) - Maybe some other stuff I'm not thinking off at the moment. Sure, "Character Concept" could be added to this list. But I'm not sure what that achieves, except to annoy people who think they should be in control of the concept. How about forcibly changing the character's name? Their physical description? Their class? AFAIC all of those are fair play - I've had effects crop up in my games over the years that have done all these things. One easy example of a forced change to character concept is a forced alignment change e.g. from a Helm of Opposite Alignment. But...
  • 08:28 PM - Umbran quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Yes, although I haven't personally played them. (And is why I made a reference to Ace of Aces.) In a perfect world I would spend some time investigating and then post, but I do feel compelled to observe that RNG-less combat hasn't exactly caught on. I suspect there's a reason for that. In a very practical sense, nothing that isn't D&D has really caught on. What was the statistic Morrus gave - 40 million people play D&D? By comparison to that, everything else is just an corner experiment, isn't it? Market realities have so much say in the success of a line that I don't think we can say market success speaks to the whether the mechanical design is flawed in concept all that much. Which is to say, yeah, if your mechanic sucks decaying donkey through a straw, your game won't succeed. But, having really awesome mechanics really doesn't mean you'll succeed either.
  • 05:34 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Maybe try to imagine this as a movie. A character you thought was a "good guy" does something surprising. Do you want text on the screen explaining the character's thoughts and motivations? Or do you think, "Oh! I wasn't expecting that! I wonder where this is going....?"Are you the viewer, actor, writer, choreographer, set designer, SFX artist, or director? Because, in an RPG, what you're doing, whether as DM or Player, encompasses several of those. Part of the point is to experience the story: viewer. Part of roleplaying is to create that story: writer. Part of roleplaying is portraying the character, maybe even with the 'method' of experiencing it's emotions: actor. Part of roleplaying is setting the scene: writer, designer Part of roleplaying is describing the action: choreographer, SFX Everyone at the table, if the game is well-crafted enough, /should/ get the sense of seeing it play out as if it were a narrative, like a film or book or the like - but they also play a par...
  • 05:00 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Overlapping posts there. If it's because you want to be able to design future encounters to interact in interesting ways with the player's ideas for their character, then that I understand. But even then I, personally, would base it off of the actual actions, rather than asking explicitly. Good point, I've used a varied system of both in the past.
  • 04:50 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Ok, but why are you asking them? (Unless we're talking about brand new players, and you're trying to get them to think like roleplayers...?) Sometimes, I do DM for new players. Otherwise, I ask why a player chooses for a character to do something. Not because I think players shouldn't have control over their characters, but because I want, as a DM, to know why the noble knight would commit adultery, even if it's not his flaw. I don't prevent players from doing things, I ask them why they're doing them.
  • 04:38 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Ok, fair enough. But even if you don't force players to roleplay a certain way, your language suggests you still make value judgments about the choices they do make. I would propose thinking deeply about what purpose that serves. It's kind of like the metagaming discussion, where some people think it's "wrong" or "cheating" to metagame. Others (myself included) say that for GMs who care about it, it's their own fault for putting the players into that situation. (E.g., don't use official monsters if you don't want them to know the monster's special abilities.) If you don't approve of a noble knight torturing captives, have consequences. The player just proved they find it hard to resist certain benefits (such as acquiring information). Great! That's a totally valid flaw for a knight, and (I think) more narratively interesting than the incorruptible goody two-shoes. Keep tempting them with similar bait, with steadily increasing consequences in the game. But also reward them if they refus...
  • 04:23 PM - lowkey13 quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Ok, fair enough. But even if you don't force players to roleplay a certain way, your language suggests you still make value judgments about the choices they do make. I would propose thinking deeply about what purpose that serves. It's kind of like the metagaming discussion, where some people think it's "wrong" or "cheating" to metagame. Others (myself included) say that for GMs who care about it, it's their own fault for putting the players into that situation. (E.g., don't use official monsters if you don't want them to know the monster's special abilities.) If you don't approve of a noble knight torturing captives, have consequences. The player just proved they find it hard to resist certain benefits (such as acquiring information). Great! That's a totally valid flaw for a knight, and (I think) more narratively interesting than the incorruptible goody two-shoes. Keep tempting them with similar bait, with steadily increasing consequences in the game. But also reward them if they refus...
  • 04:04 PM - Umbran quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I agree that some/many players find tactical combat interesting. Far more interesting than non-tactical combat, right? I was using that term in contrast to things like strategic combat, or narrative/cinematic combat. In other words, it's not the uncertainty of the dice rolls they like, it's the complexity of options, and the uncertainty of what the opponent will do. The dice are only needed because a non-random system that encompassed all the possibilities in RPG combat would be...unwieldy. Um... you know that there are/have been dice-less RPGs, right? RPGs that have no random elements exist. There is uncertainty not in what the random generator will produce, but instead uncertainty in what they other person will choose as their priorities. Likewise, where there is uncertainty in the resolution of non-combat challenges...e.g. the knight/maiden/heart scenario...I'd rather solve it without RNG. This is why I referenced the discussions about challenging the player vs. ch...
  • 02:51 PM - Umbran quoted Elfcrusher in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Folks keep using the dice rolling of combat as some kind of standard against which other activities are measured, but isnít combat (besides being fun) really the result of failing to overcome challenges in more interesting, and in many ways less risky, ways? "interesting" is subjective, so no, this is not generally true. Especially when you call out that combat is "fun" - fun things aren't interesting? I know players who find tactical combat or cinematic combat scenes very interesting. Don't you? I think most of us use dice-rolling combat not as a "standard" for measure, but as an example/analogy that is ready to hand. If this analogy does not fit, that strongly suggests that "challenge" has multiple meanings in this discussion.


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