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Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 09:22 AM - pemerton mentioned sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...haracter is the player's "piece" in the game, and the player gets to decide what his/her PC does, and when it comes to declaring attacks is expected to consider how a declared act will lead to victory in combat. it's on the GM to force the check if she feels player knowledge is being used in place of character knowledge to avoid making a check.The GM doesn't get to "force a check" in these circumstances. Knowledge checks are used "to remember a useful bit of information in [a skill's] field of knowledge or to recognize a clue related to it . . . [or] to identify certain kinds of monsters" (4e PHB p 179). That is (as I've already said), knowledge checks are a mechanical device that a player can use to oblige the GM to provide more information; they are not a gate on the player's use of information s/he already has.There's simply no such rule in 4e. It's not a game in which the GM is allowed to gate player action declarations in the way you are advocating for, and in the way that sd_jasper appears to suggest here: in a hypothetical situation where a player tried to do something that I felt was based on player knowledge, I'd stop the action, ask them to explain how they character can justify that action, hash things out, then resume.

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Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 09:11 PM - Saelorn quoted sd_jasper in post Why the hate for complexity?
    Many universal systems present rule options that are mutually exclusive and not meant to all be "toggled on" together. Others present games of scale, that CAN BE complex... if you want every bit of detail, but are usually built on top of simpler systems that work fine without the more complex detail. The problem is that some folks think that if a rule exists, you have to use it.That's a good point. I would argue that something like GURPS is really more of a "game creation kit" than it is an actual game. Playing your elf at the table is not nearly as complex as what the GM has to do in deciding how to build an elf template out of the advantages and disadvantages available to them.

Saturday, 16th March, 2019

  • 05:50 AM - pemerton quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    if I were running such an encounter (and I'd like to stress that I personally don't like this hypothetical b/c I've never run a game where Trolls were outside of "common knowledge"), it would likely go something like this: As the GM I would not tell the players that they were fighting a troll. They would only know what the characters can see, ie "a large greenish humanoid with long arms and sparse stringy hair" or something similar. Even if the players assume it is a troll, it might not be, it could be some sort of mutant ogre or hobgoblin. The key points are that (A) the characters don't recognize what the creature is and (B) the players don't know for certain what it is. If the players go ahead and assume that it is a troll, and use that metagame knowledge to immediately attack with fire, I'd stop the game ask why their character would do that, and only allow it if the player could convince me that this is what the character would naturally do, and not based on the player's knowledge. ...

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 11:01 PM - BoxCrayonTales quoted sd_jasper in post Mind if I pedantically complain that monster manuals butcher myth/folklore/fairytale?
    D&D is a game about killing monsters, so if the monsters don't already to conform to that role, then they either need to be changed to fit or omitted from the game. Other games are not about killing monsters, so if you really want to give the creatures a fair shake, then you'd be better off dealing with them there. If you really want an accurate take on the wendigo (for example), then you shouldn't look for it in a game that assumes every problem can be fixed with a sword.I’ve always been frustrated by the inordinate focus on violence in RPGs. Plenty of fantasy stories resolved encounters with non-violent solutions. I’m not suggesting adding mental/social hit points or using a genuinely universal task resolution mechanic a la Risus, but I wish the rules had offered XP for any method of conflict resolution. Well, if we're going to be pedants here, no, it is not creatively bankrupt to re-imagine monsters as something different from their lore. However, taking my pedant hat off and looki...
  • 04:38 PM - hawkeyefan quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Sure there are going to be things that a fictional person in a fictional world may have "common knowledge" of that the player might not. That's where you ask the GM, "Would my character know about X?" The GM may say "yes", or "Let's see, make an IQ roll at -2", or "Do you have the Lore: X skill?". But I don't even mean common knowledge that everyone knows. I mean specific knowledge that may vary from person to person, and may come from a variety of sources. Even someone living in a desert may have read a book, or may have spoken to merchants who crossed the desert, or may have traveled to other areas. Are all these things off the table? Another way to look at it is: why do we trust the GM to make a rational judgment call, but not the player? Everyone seems to assume the GM will make a principled call and abdicate accordingly, but that the player is just somehow trying to scheme a "win" out of things. Can't a player be reasonable? I've found that a lot of times, when given the freedom to de...
  • 03:04 PM - DouglasCole quoted sd_jasper in post New monsters book for Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game
    I didn't back HoJ the first time around, so I've backed Citadel at the level to get both books. Between them and the Monsters 2 book, I'm getting excited for Dungeon Fantasy all over again. I've even started dusting off a few old maps I had been working on. THIS! The excitement with a reprint and seeing the products on shelves, the ability to just get material and play it . . . that's where we want to be!
  • 09:38 AM - pemerton quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    If you already know the puzzle, how do you work this out? Actors who portray characters solving puzzles to which the actors already know the answer are following a script, and contrive their response. But how is a player in a RPG supposed to do this?You stop and think, "What would my character do in this situation given what they know?" If you honestly can't do that... well maybe take a class on improv?OK, let me try it another way: what do you anticipate as a likely outcome to this inquiry? We're talking about a very specific context of inquiry here: the PC is in a combat, declaring combat-type actions (including attacks in most cases); the PC almost certainly knows that fire is a viable attack form; the player knows that fire is a required attack form. When, and under what conditions, is the player entitled to decide that his/her PC uses fire? if the PC is from the middle of the desert and has spent his whole life there, a thousand miles from the nearest troll, it's pretty certain th...
  • 01:29 AM - hawkeyefan quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Yup, which is why I stated: You stop and think, "What would my character do in this situation given what they know?" If you honestly can't do that... well maybe take a class on improv? But what player can say that they know the entirety of their character’s knowledge? That’s the issue.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 11:10 PM - pemerton quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I personally think that there is a difference of categories between a player operating their PC with knowledge about what's behind Door #1 vs. Door #2 and a player who believes that it's reasonable that their player character knows that trolls are vulnerable to fire.There are at least two differences here: (1) It is generally considered that sneaking a peek at a module is cheating. Modules tend to say things like "If you're a player, don't read past this point." Whereas learning that trolls are vulnerable to fire is not cheating. It's part of learning to play the game well. And related to this, re-playing a module you've already played isn't a core activity for D&D, and arguably it's not something the game is designed around. Whereas there is a clear intention that the Monster Manual is to be re-used from campaign to campaign. (2) If it turns out that a player is re-playing a module, most of the time it is easy for that player to avoid deploying his/her knowledge of the module. Nothing ...
  • 07:13 PM - Numidius quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    No, but I do think they are related skills. Acting, improve, and even writing are similar to what I consider good roleplaying. They all require you to get "into the mind" of someone else. To make actions and statements seem natural even when they are not natural to you. I, the player, am always aware that an RPG is just a game and that nothing that happens in that game really matters. But if I were to have my character act with knowledge that they were not real and the whole world was fiction, well I don't think that it would end up much fun for anyone.Sure. On acting / writing skill: it would need a system in which it is important; mechanically, procedurally, useful for the resolution Dogs in the vineyard comes to mind. Moreover, the seminal game (that also inspired DitV) Trollbabe, by Ron Edwards (circa y 2000), relies on player's description of 'failed' outcomes in the very moment of mechanical resolution (also incorporating bits, or lots, from Npc and the scene framed in advance for tha...
  • 02:39 PM - Numidius quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    What are you trying to say here? What contradictory beliefs? Or are you implying that acting is an imposable skill, because the actor playing Sherlock couldn't act like he didn't already know who committed the crime?Immersion/metagame are two contradictory thinking at once. Reminded me of Orwell's doublethink. Infer what you will from the quote, you talking about acting. Rpg btw is not like acting on a script
  • 09:22 AM - pemerton quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...haracter is the player's "piece" in the game, and the player gets to decide what his/her PC does, and when it comes to declaring attacks is expected to consider how a declared act will lead to victory in combat. it's on the GM to force the check if she feels player knowledge is being used in place of character knowledge to avoid making a check.The GM doesn't get to "force a check" in these circumstances. Knowledge checks are used "to remember a useful bit of information in [a skill's] field of knowledge or to recognize a clue related to it . . . [or] to identify certain kinds of monsters" (4e PHB p 179). That is (as I've already said), knowledge checks are a mechanical device that a player can use to oblige the GM to provide more information; they are not a gate on the player's use of information s/he already has.There's simply no such rule in 4e. It's not a game in which the GM is allowed to gate player action declarations in the way you are advocating for, and in the way that sd_jasper appears to suggest here: in a hypothetical situation where a player tried to do something that I felt was based on player knowledge, I'd stop the action, ask them to explain how they character can justify that action, hash things out, then resume.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 11:37 PM - pemerton quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Well, assuming I am running a game where (1) there are trolls, (2) trolls and their weaknesses are not common knowledge to whatever civilization that the PCs are part of, and (3) the party hasn't previously run into trolls and learned all about them, then... First, any PCs with the appropriate skill can roll to see if the recognize the troll. If they roll well, then I tell them they know what they are dealing with, what the weaknesses are, etc. If they fail the skill roll, then I let them know they see "Large green humanoids" that they cannot identify. It is up to the PCs what happens next. I rarely ambush my players, so there is a good chance that if they are running into a new monster, they will have options to avoid or retreat. Maybe they decide to go back to town and research it. But, assuming they have somehow got themselves into a combat situation, then after a few rounds it will be clear that the creature they are battling has incredible regenerative capabilities. What happens then,...
  • 06:47 PM - Riley37 quoted sd_jasper in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Thank you, you make good points. And I apologize if this was stated earlier and I missed it, I jumped into this conversation a bit late. I'm not sure I agree that you "could not play" a character that differs in appearance than you, but your point still stands. The origin story of orcs might have been mentioned before, but you gave me an opportunity to consider its ethical implications more deeply, and you prompted me to look up details on LotR elves; I wasn't aware of the bit about black hair until yesterday. Also, the comparison between Firefly and D&D encouraged emotional willingness to consider "this work which I love has a message which I question", for me, anyways (I love both LotR and Firefly, some people don't, tastes vary). D&D orcs diverged from LotR orcs, in terms of their different origin stories, when D&D invented Gruumsh, creator god of orcs. (Maybe in the AD&D Deities & Demigods book, back before Second Edition). The pig-faced appearance goes back to the AD&D Monster Manual....
  • 06:29 AM - Riley37 quoted sd_jasper in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    And, shifting back to the orcs, they were created from tortured/corrupted elves. But both still fill the literary trope of "savage" or "barbarian". So I think this is a pretty good example to compare to. Here's a significant difference, in the course of that comparison: In JRRT's setting, when Morgoth tortures and corrupts elves, their physical appearance changes. On the input side: elves are "the fairest creatures in Arda". The Quenya word "Vanyar", translated as "fair", refers to their light-coloured hair. When their eye color is mentioned, it's gray. Some Elves have brown hair, but JRRT wrote, in these words, "no Elf had absolute black hair". On the output side: we've already quoted physical descriptions and established which human populations match those descriptions. Meanwhile, in the 'Verse, the process which tortures and corrupts ordinary humans into Reavers changes their minds, and NOT their physical appearance. In the episode "Bushwacked", we see a person on both ends of ...
  • 04:31 AM - Riley37 quoted sd_jasper in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that anyone here was making accusations, or put words in your or anyone's mouths. I was just trying to draw what I feel is a similar example of a stereotype or trope used to create something new, in a different context and more recent history. And if this was viewed as more or less problematic. Thanks. My opinion and I hope Hussar agrees: Any examination of tropes - in D&D, in Firefly, and elsewhere - will be a LOT easier and a LOT safer, if you consciously and carefully refrain from raising the question of which authors we do or don't designate as racist. If you wanna call out Lovecraft (or the author of the RaHoWa TRPG) as racist, then that's low-hanging fruit, but otherwise, that question generally leads to derails, and to "How dare you accuse that author of being a BAD PERSON", and so forth, which doesn't actually help us make TRPG less toxic for those who are harmed by real-world racism. It also makes people scared that even participants in the conv...
  • 04:19 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted sd_jasper in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that anyone here was making accusations, or put words in your or anyone's mouths. I was just trying to draw what I feel is a similar example of a stereotype or trope used to create something new, in a different context and more recent history. And if this was viewed as more or less problematic. Well, considering the only actual accusation of racism was of HPL- whose racism is pretty much not in question- the way you phrased your question was...awkward.
  • 04:19 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted sd_jasper in post Deleted Posts
  • 12:08 AM - Hussar quoted sd_jasper in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    /snip Is Joss Wheaton a racist? /snip See, this right here? This is why we have such a hard time having any sort of constructive discussion. Who here has accused ANY ARTIST of being racist? Can you find a single quote in this almost 500 post long thread that has made a single accusation that having possibly racist imagery in a work makes the artist racist? So, why the race to defend the artist? No one is accusing any artist of anything. At worst, they are being accused of being a product of their time. Ohhh noes!! The horror. :erm: No, what is being said, and I cannot make this clearly enough, is that in the history of ORCS IN FANTASY (again, we're not delving into other depictions, nor are we making any broader statements), the depictions of orcs shares a lot of language with racist concepts of the late 19th and early 20th century. Again, there have been several examples posted. A pretty long list that no one seems interested in questioning, so, I'm going to assu...

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 11:59 PM - pemerton quoted sd_jasper in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    As an aside: Monster knowledge does matter in my games, and if PCs start charging a troll with fire w/o making a monster identification check, they may just end up running into Trolls that are healed by fire.You say this like it's a threat of punishment. But if you want to play a puzzle game, then you need to set puzzles to which the players don't already know the answers. I can't see how that's not obvious. Let's say I'm playing a game with a "scholar" class or character type. My character's strength is the things that he knows. If any player can just declare that they know everything about monster X, then my characters role in the groups is greatly diminished or even made totally unnecessary. Even if I were not a scholar, but my character had invested in knowledge skills (over other abilities), then again I could be "playing the game wrong" if the GM was willing to just give out the info my character should have unique access too, to any PC. Or if I were a GM and expected the players...
  • 07:17 PM - lowkey13 quoted sd_jasper in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    So (shifting gears a bit here), what do folks here think about the Reavers from Firefly / Serenity? The whole setting of this show and movie has many parallels of the American West (and post-Civil War reconstruction... which makes our "heroes" confederates... but that's another story). Not really. I mean, ignoring everything else, the whole "Lost Cause" part of Firefly is easily the worst part of Firefly that aired. Because the Inara/Reaver scene was never filmed. But, yeah, there are some people that do not enjoy Firefly for this reason. Probably not the great example you are thinking of?


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