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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:28 PM
    From newer products I love the Corruption mechanic from Urban Shadows. Sort of like the darkness points mentioned above, characters take on corruption points for advantage in the moment but with the eventual result of turning into a monster when they accrue to many.
    34 replies | 1142 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:21 PM
    As a general rule of thumb I'd say that 6-7 foot long chunks of polished oak don't fit into my mental image of finesse weaponry, despite the sheer bulk of Robin Hood Movies I've seen. Lighter weapons, mainly piercing and some slashing - that's where I see that (if it needs to be a thing at all, which I am not convinced of).
    85 replies | 2545 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:43 PM
    I'd be ok working with redirecting every miss if the math is right. I don't actually think 50-50 is low for an ability that redirects every miss in HtH against a very hard to hit class either. The linking up with UD is cool, but redirecting half damage from one attack doesn't really seem like a 17th level capstone. Maybe we want to add a couple more options to the Dance rather than one single...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:51 PM
    The reaction redirect only lets you do it once because it's limited by the number of reactions. I'm not opposed to that. Or we can give a chance of redirecting every miss, not just one, but that would require a roll IMO. If we go with a reaction based thing, I prefer to not just carbon copy the Ranger ability. We've already established a "really hard to hit" vibe, why not just add to that and...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:11 PM
    The 15th level ranger ability Stand Against the Tide uses the reaction to force a miss to hit an opponent with no roll needed or save possible. That's probably a good baseline> If we want to play with every miss in a round we'll need some kind of check that has a reasonable chance of failure, regardless of which build is rolling. After some thought, I think agree that a skill check maybe isn't...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:14 AM
    Yeah, yeah, GIF it it laughing boy.:D You can either design around sacred cows or, gasp, change them. What you really shouldn't do is leave them and then design other rules that make them even sillier. The Rapier and finesse are example three on that list.
    85 replies | 2545 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:04 AM
    One roll against a bunch of passive defenses is way faster that a set DC against a bunch of rolled saves. It makes good sense,
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:32 PM
    Sacred cows are what things should be designed around, they shouldn't be upstaged by the new kid on the block. The rapier at d8 makes a whole range of sacred cows completely useless. STR based combat in general other than 2H being prime amongst the casualties. Taking away DEX damage reduces things by more than a small amount IMO, but that's the reason you'd get less DEX-based melee characters...
    85 replies | 2545 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:37 PM
    I think the trick is not add too much to the rules for actual interaction. At most I'd add rules for multiple successes necessary to, say, convince an important NPC of something. That isn't adding rules, just a way of keeping score. It would still be up to the PCs to figure out what that NPCs motivations and objections might be. That does a couple of things. One, it provides a concrete handhold...
    88 replies | 3432 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:32 AM
    Most combats last 3-5 rounds, and nmost of them last no where near long enough to reduce a full casters entire spell selection. Nor with multiple casters are they all likely to cast every turn, some will be in melee, or whatever. It sounds weird but unless those NPCs are escaping and showing later that same day, you can probably just have them cast some shizz every turn off a group list and...
    21 replies | 735 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:26 AM
    In a featless game grappling is probably more of a problem, not less, and while I realize that's not your specific point, it plays into the issue at hand. Grappling is possibly the goofiest thing in 5E, and I don't think DEX based characters should feel obligated to take Acrobatics just to prevent shenanigans. Your point about DEX saves in general is on point though. Mostly they prevent...
    85 replies | 2545 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:17 AM
    I love you guys. The stats are important to me and I love them, but I have neither the time, nor inclination, nor, to be honest, skills, to run complex probability. I have great skills with massed d6 rolling and that's about it (quick, guess my other hobby...). So, from all of us following along at home, thanks for being mathematically inclined. Now back to our regular programming...
    232 replies | 9943 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:13 AM
    You forgot the oily discharge. No one ever mentions that part. Keep in mind these are pedantic complaints, not actual problems. That said, I mentioned Rapiers earlier, and I'm really starting to think that's not a pedantic complaint for me.
    146 replies | 5323 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:23 PM
    Oooorrr ... just make the rapier a d6. The mods are cool, but the book keeping can be intense. No harm in a little theory crafting though...
    85 replies | 2545 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:31 PM
    What do the studs do?! You are a simple soul aren't you? The studs look COOL. And adding shiny metal accents to your black leather is what any righteous EMO elf ranger needs, right up there with eye shadow and a tortured back story. What do the studs do, honestly...:erm: I think my personal fav came form a non-WotC release. Someone wrote some rules for a sword cane (which is cool, who doesn't...
    146 replies | 5323 view(s)
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    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:13 AM
    What actually bothers me about them is how they all have the phrase of course you can use acrobatics to climb stuff engraved up the side.
    146 replies | 5323 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:16 AM
    Rapiers. That is all.
    146 replies | 5323 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:10 AM
    Is that +1 AC designed to be use with a particular loadout or is the idea for it to potentially stack with some of the other styles? If you wanted AC and damage it could also be elemental damage keyed of successful opponents hits, like an aura. That's a lot less sword mage-y though. +1 AC/+1 TH and changeable damage types doesn't seem over-powered. Is that going to be the full list of damage...
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:30 PM
    Should it be both better AC than a shield and shareable? That sounds a little strong to me. Cool idea though.
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:37 PM
    I went as high ac DC 25 for that idea precisely to include Expertise and reliable talent. The top end there is +17, which PCs would be close to as it's a capstone, so it goes off on an 8+. The problem is that it's probably too hard for non expertised I characters to ever get much use out of. One reason I like keying this whole thing at least partially off of CHA and performance - it forces...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:22 PM
    Hmm. What about allowing the EK to use 'melee spell attack' as melee weapon attack that can then be stacked and synergized with other fighter abilities? It could be restricted to certain levels of spell, which could scale, or not. Even the ability to synergize just melee cantrips is pretty awesome. I haven't really looked at the implications yet, it just occurred to me while I was reading...
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:55 PM
    I think calling the range 1-15 sounds about right, which make the levels to look at first 3/5/11 as mentioned above. The archetype plus those two big power jumps are where I'd start. Even if you just used 5 and 11 as the key benchmarks for balance in that range you'd probably be fine.
    16 replies | 560 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:37 PM
    Good, good. My faith in our collective intelligence is restored. My faith in my own reading comprehension on the other hand...
    14 replies | 442 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:14 PM
    How has no one mentioned mending yet? That needs to be on the list for sure.
    14 replies | 442 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:08 PM
    OK, let's sum up and see where we are here: Lvl 3 two minor abilities; +5 mv in shadows and proficiency in Performance; and Shadow Dance Shadow dance has the following rules: 1. may be invoked 2/SR and has a duration of 1 minute, the following rules also apply when in areas of dim light, shadow and darkness 2. The SD may use dodge as a bonus action 3. The SD gets advantage on Athletics and...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:31 PM
    I'm picturing a 5-10ft mjolnir type effect where the weapon, while not exactly animated, can do a couple of things and return to the owners hand. It's still just add 5ft of reach, but it sounds cool. Maybe cannot be disarmed as well but add an attunement thing like the Warlock. I like using the BA to activate the additional damage, it feels balanced.
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:57 PM
    I was initially thinking while Dancing. The same ability costs the monk a ki point per use, so I felt that it should be limited somehow. If the dance is 2/SR and a minute duration that covers all six encounters in a standard day. What's missing there is out of combat utility, although that could be where the other three abilties play in. Something to ponder. I have some more ideas, but no time....
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:52 PM
    Yikes, not a fully kitted out PC version, no, that's a mental. Way too much work. That's just where I'd start looking for inspiration. Well, that and Captain Hook from the original Peter Pan.
    14 replies | 391 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Yes. Exactly what I said. :blush:
    224 replies | 5819 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Mmmm. Fargoal on the Vic-20. That should be a criteria for our new club.:cool:
    8 replies | 289 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:39 PM
    I'm not sure I can answer this question seriously at this point... Parrot Uppercut! See? Seriously though, the Swashbuckler is probably where I'd start.
    14 replies | 391 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Alter Self for the water breathing feature for sure. Also possibly Create Bellbottoms for the more sartorially inclined. Maybe Summon Chief, Biker and Construction Worker as well..
    14 replies | 442 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:32 PM
    It's not a bad fix, but it's not quite what I was looking for. I was thinking more thief taker, which is more in line with the overall ranger ethos IMO. I'm currently using Gloomstalker with the Urban Bounty Hunter background, and it's ok, but I still have to massage the outdoorsy stuff form the core class. I was curious to see what, if anything, people had done to port the Ranger mechanics over...
    352 replies | 12355 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:46 PM
    I think i'd just call it a manifest nature spirit and treat it like a familiar, summon it, dismiss it, etc. I don't have a lot of stakes in the Ranger game though, so I'm fine with the easy answer. I'd also be fine with it being a fighter subclass with no magic too (heresy, I know). Generally, I'd be against the animal companion being mandatory as I personally don't like the idea and I wouldn't...
    352 replies | 12355 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:36 PM
    It's probably King's Quest III and Space Quest for me. I was all about Sierra games. That said, my fondest nostagia for this sort of thing is definitely reserved for Sword of Fargoal. I need to heal, I'm going to park my dude right here and come back in an hour... :heh: Good times.
    8 replies | 289 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:20 PM
    I'm currently rereading Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series, which I often do when there's one book in a series that's new and it's been a while since I've read the series. Great urban fantasy. Other than that my reading has actually been a steady diet of non-D&D RPGs. I'm in design mode, so I'm on the hunt for nifty mechanics to liberate and adapt. Call it a summer project. So far in the...
    12 replies | 467 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:52 PM
    As a GM, I don't see any problem with using D&D as a gateway drug to help churn player base and curate a good group. I legitimately enjoy both running and playing D&D, but even then, with a new group you often have to roll through some poor fits before you get a solid group together.
    19 replies | 674 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:32 PM
    The shadow scrying fits the bill as the non-combat ability. A version of that could slide in at 13th, with the teleport/flicker movement thing at 9th, and then a capstone at 19. Another way we could fold defense into the 3rd level package is to allow dodge as a bonus action (which I cribbed form the monk, obviously). We've been talking about defense and that's pretty strong. If we keep that in...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:53 AM
    Are you questioning my solipsism? The unmitigated gall.;)
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:51 AM
    My thought was to take that model and build it up a little to counter the whole, you know, you aren't also a full caster thing. I just thought the model made great sense and had some cool flavor and still had room for pretty much everything we wanted. We want to dance, they made a dance, it all made sense at the time.;) It's not your standard archetype anyway.
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:47 AM
    Just to be clear, in one post I advocated for a d4 elemental damage 1/turn. In an entirely separate post I advocated for +INT as a replacement for the perhaps over-powered +LVL option as a bonus for fighter cantrips. At no point did I advocate for 1d4+INT 1/turn. Which I don't hate, but I agree is a little strong compared to dueling. What I actually liked more was a floating 1d4 to either hit...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:35 AM
    Life is probably more effective, but Grave is probably more fun. In your shoes I might opt for fun. I really don't love playing straight healers though, so I might be biased.
    16 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:16 AM
    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.
    46 replies | 2418 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:02 AM
    I would also prefer to decouple race from stat bonuses and thus from class considerations. I'd be happier with a slightly more 13th age approach and given every race a floating +2 and abilities, and each class a fixed +2. Or whatever your feels are for the actual +. If each race had a balanced set of neat abilities but not stat bonuses you could branch out a lot more concept-wise without...
    51 replies | 1249 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:43 AM
    We're making the same sciencey noise about everything in Star Wars and Star Trek, so there's that The answer to all the questions in the OP is twofold, the first answer is Arthur C Clarke, and second is do what tho wilt is the extent of the law. That said, unless you want to change the fundamental drive of humans (humanoids?) to figure stuff out, there would be the equivalent of science in...
    69 replies | 2141 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:30 AM
    That's a great post. Normally i wouldn't quote and post just to say that, but in this case I think it's warranted.
    683 replies | 18583 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:11 AM
    Thanks! I made that up on the fly just now and was particularly pleased with it.
    224 replies | 5819 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:58 AM
    You get how groundbreaking Convenant was when it came out right? Grimdark is a very new thing in the context of fantasy as a widely written and read subgenre. And it's still mostly not as dark as actual myth and folklore. So sure, before the 90's you have Convenant, and Moorcock in spots, and Gene Wolf's Black company, and a handful of others, but for many years they were voices in the...
    224 replies | 5819 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:48 AM
    I'm 100% ok with +INT and there are lots of precedents.
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:46 AM
    That sounds fine to me, I just didn't find nearly as much guidance as I thought I would when I went back to the PHB to verify. Honestly, as reasonable as that sounds I think it's more in the way of a house rule (not that that's bad somehow). In non-combat movement stealth limits you to slow, not normal, and base speed is 'normal' as far as I'm willing to extend that interpretation. I can't find...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Heroes from actual myth and folklore are a very different species than heroes from fantasy fiction. OG grimdark and then some.
    224 replies | 5819 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:27 AM
    Food for thought. The Bladesong model has a raft of smaller bonuses packed into it at 2nd, and then 3 big abilities at 6/10/14 and it works on a 2/rest model with a 1m duration. I think that is a strong way to model what we're doing, we just need to figure out how to package it. What that doesn't get the archetype is always on mods, so it's give and take. 2/rest is almost every encounter though,...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:15 AM
    With Shadow Double I was thinking more Mirror Image, not a clone. Although now that you say that...:heh: Dasuul - Flicker of Shadow seems strong for 3rd level, although I like it a lot. It seems more like the equivalent of the shadow teleport type thing, which is more usually a 6th level ability. I also might be more tempted to have the SD exude an aura of shadow over stealing light, but...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:41 AM
    The underlying assumption is that a fighter class that ends up being a 1/3 caster should have the best cantrip in the game. You see the problem there right? It's not about the comparison to longsword, it's about the comparison to cantrips cast by full casting classes. Like I said, it seems like a bit much.
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:31 AM
    So it's +20 damage at 20th level? Every time? Sounds a might strong, even at per day (which I'm assuming applies to the cantrips as well). If the cantrips are at will and you want to add level to damage IDK know what to say.
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:19 AM
    I agree about the heroic and gritty thing. That said, one of the current trends in fantasy is, for lack of less goofy name, grimdark and focuses on grey. Grey characters, grey choices, grey settings, etc - it's all very morally ambiguous. It's also generally set next to, and differentiated from, more traditional 'heroic' high fantasy. So I have some sympathy for those two descriptors as separate,...
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:31 AM
    To start, might we call the whole package Shadow Dance, and then think about names for the various abilities based on steps or moves in that dance? Not important mechanically of course, but it might sound cool. The standard is here's the proficiency, full stop. That's probably enough. When you're talking about Jump, are you envisioning some sort of limited teleport, or just a straight jump...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:14 AM
    Not exactly. You can be stealthy when moving at slow speed, but that's outside of combat. That's where the Ranger ability to stealth at normal pace comes in. There's no rules for stealth when the game changes to combat intervals, oddly. Hiding yes, stealth no. So what we're talking about is the same as the Ranger ability with shadow as the favored terrain (essentially). There aren't any...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    If you cap the d4 a 1/turn you probably don't need to gate it.
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:57 AM
    I like stealth at full speed when in dim light or shadow a lot.
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:53 AM
    Most parties end up using horses, mules, or pack or draft animals of some kind all the time and most characters don't take the skill. Medicine is in the same boat IMO, although it gets taken more often that AH.
    224 replies | 5819 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:37 AM
    The first thing I'd add to an "adventure core" skills list is animal handling.
    224 replies | 5819 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:26 AM
    I think the answer is a lot less than with the use of invocations, at least as far as adding some choice goes. If what we want is the standard power at 3rd, power at 9th approach, etc then it's easier to envision because it's only four abilities. If you gate abilities behind x/day or x/rest and provide some choice inside that ability you still get options and flavor without leaning on a...
    39 replies | 908 view(s)
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:34 PM
    I'd be tempted to pick a couple of core ideas and then spin the abities around that. For example, lets call one shadow meld. You could give some of those athletic bonuses in dim light, you could reskin or add some defensive stuff wrapped around the idea of momentary insubstiality, and also tie in some shadow manifestation that could look like shadow blade or whatever. It's cool and its themed. ...
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:31 PM
    I'd recommend lock picks over the full thieve's tools if that's your thing and weight is an issue. Rope is good, but you'll need silk over hemp and only when you think you'll need it. Other than that it depends on your skills and background. If you have some forgery skill to go along with the above skill set then some props for that would be excellent. In a more general way I can find a hundred...
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:45 PM
    Because it isn't a house rule, it's that actual literal RAW.
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:35 PM
    I feel like the underlying issue that's causing a lot of static here is that some people want to see their character's skills and whatnot improve, just not at the cost of their ability to optimize their core class stats and feat tree. As mentioned there are a number of ways already in the rules to improve skill levels and generally broaden a characters base. Are those additional skills going to...
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Not all of the archetypes have a fighting style per se though, even if we exclude Champion and Battlemaster (which I see on a reread that you did exclude, mea culpa). The right background, skills, and style choices the fighter has right now can do a good job setting up a mounted warrior, or samurai, without the need for additional mechanics. That said, adding options to the pot is always fun, so...
    106 replies | 2345 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:28 PM
    D&D does some stuff that I like really well, and that (plus a healthy dose of nostalgia) is why I play D&D - swords and sorcery and high heroism are my jam. There are lots of other things that I also really like, and like to RP about/in that D&D doesn't do - existential horror, cinematic action of various sorts, etc etc etc. So for those things I play those games. I also play those games to...
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:02 PM
    I'd be happier about picking saves if the saves were all created equal, but the really aren't. Maybe give each class one of the strong three and let them pick from the weaker three. Or even chose one from each list. Garthanos - if you gave each of those tiers +1 (for a range from +1 to +3) I don't think you'd be breaking anything. I don't think it's as interesting as adding specific skills, but...
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Bears? Yup, sure, but the first guy who wild shapes into an ochre jelly and then asks me about grappling will get the rough side of my tongue.:eek:
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:36 PM
    If you pair a feat with every ASI I don't think you'll run into balance issues between characters and they certainly will feel more heroic. You will have to adjust challenge rating for monsters, but that's probably a price you're more than willing to pay. In you shoes I might also look at taking some of the miscellaneous class abilities and re-branding them as feats to add to the mix. Stuff like...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:32 PM
    Lots of the people who earn blackbelts in Karate also can't really even do Karate, so there's that.:heh: I think there's some solid opinion here showing that people would like the option to add new skills as characters level, rather than having to spend portions of ASI advancement to up the connected stat. Really it's just a matter of deciding how one wants to accomplish that in a given...
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:59 PM
    FrogReaver - I can't think of a good reason why an adventurer should get a general bonus to every skill based on level. If you want general competency you can spread your ASIs out over the stats and you're good. Broad competence or specialization, your choice, plus a range of medium options in the middle, and it's already baked into the rules. Don't take this the wrong way, but is what you're...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:37 PM
    So you're advocating for an ASI and a feat at each current ASI step? That's a huge power boost for characters, way way more than just giving out some additional skills. That doesn't make it a bad idea, but it's really high impact, especially when you're talking about the core feats that govern combat and spell casting (GWM, SS, EA, WC, etc) If you want general competency there are easier ways...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:30 PM
    Maybe first you get the +2, second you are proficient, and third you are proficient and get the +2. Three buys to take a character from not proficient to 'expert' (or whatever we want to call it) seems fine and it wouldn't happen before 12th level. I'd be ok just giving out proficiency at ASI steps, but this approach works well too and changes less about the current system. I'd also be ok...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:02 PM
    But you can take nothing but feats instead of ASIs. It's not like you're forced to take the stat increases, and you get some stat increase from a lot of feats anyway. I don't really see your problem, nor am sure how this dovetails into the conversations about adding additional skills alongside the ASI/feat. Maybe you could give an example of what you mean...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 01:51 PM
    My initial thought would be no, you don't. I don't see any earthly reason it would be unbalancing to give the classes additional skills as they progress, and in some ways it actually makes great sense because stuff that's not tied to a good stat only really feels like a 'proficient' skill when your level based bonus is higher. I'm also not upset with the idea of allowing a character some mini...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 01:41 PM
    Not all of the archetypes feel like they are tied to a fighting style though, nor do I think they need to be. I don't think that Champion or Battlemaster needs to be tied to a style choice at 1st level. Battlemaster especially I like with a range of weapon options available. I think it would be more interesting to do the deconstruct you're avoiding and try rebuilding the class based more on...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 01:25 PM
    It does bother me that adding skills is no longer a part of character advancement outside of taking a feat. One of the things I enjoyed about 3.5 was adding skills to my character. I'm also not a big fan of mechanical reasons for chosing backgrounds, for example to make sure you get stealth or perception. Why not just add a new skill alongside the standard four ASIs? Every class gets those so...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:21 PM
    Ok, cool. Lets call it some but not all of my problems then. That leaves us broadly on the same page and no one is upset. I can live with that.:cool:
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:16 PM
    Tony Vargas - yeah, that's about the size of the problem. I think the basic building blocks are there to do something richer and more interesting, but keeping it relatively light and non-invasive has proven really challenging so far.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:35 PM
    iserith - if you think the social interaction rules in the DMG are fine and sufficient we'll just have to agree to disagree. You're going to put it down to issues of spotlight management and DM control, which, I'll admit, I find just a wee bit insulting given that you have no idea who I am or how I run my table, but again, fine, that's something else I will put down to differences in style and...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:57 PM
    I am currently reading through a very long list of other systems looking for inspiration, but I'll add that to the list, as pathfinder wasn't something I was going to look at. A lot of my current inspiration comes from BitD and PbtA, with some other bits and bobs from all over. I am aiming for 'not overly engineered' and I have found that the trick isn't coming up with rules, but in making those...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:39 PM
    No, no they don't.:p The problem is that 'ok for D&D standards' is still pretty abysmal generally. What we have is a group of unevenly turn out ideas that are kinda sorta loosely connected because they are about the same thing (social interaction). What we don't have is any kind of actual system with rules that are designed to work together, and that's what I'd like, so I'm going to bang it out...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 06:07 AM
    No, we don't exactly agree, although I do agree with most of your post. My issue, at least with your characterization of my post: An intrigue campaign doesn't have to cut away two pillars and that wasn't my plan, and the third pillar is wobbly already. The under developed nature of social interaction is really the bigger picture problem here, and the rules in the DMG to flesh it out ... aren't...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:39 AM
    I wasn't pointing fingers. To answer your question, I generally have players declare their action, not their skill use, and then I decide roll/not then DC/ability/skill, generally as per the rules. I'm going to try and limit this conversation to one thread or the other. As I explained in some detail in the other thread, my issues surface in 3rd pillar heavy intrigue campaigns where skills,...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:30 AM
    Your missing my particular context. In an intrigue campaign, you're putting additional emphasis on skills, and you are going to tend to have parties with more homogeneous skills sets as a whole (deception, investigation, stealth etc). That one character isn't niche anymore, and his massive skill check takes away any real interest other party members are going to have in using that skill. It also...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:13 AM
    I don't disagree in principle. However, the more common that skill is in the context of a particular game, the more difficult it is to accomplish that celebration without having the character in question doing too much stuff solo. This isn't an issue for a stealthy rogue in a standard campaign, it works fine. But with other skills in other kinds of campaigns it can be a problem.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:00 AM
    Because you can't challenge the party, only that particular character? The whole 3rd pillar is bare enough of nuance that this is, or often can be, a pretty significant barrier to party balance. Deception in the hands of a creative player can be especially troublesome when the mod is high enough.
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Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - Blue mentioned Fenris-77 in post Old Timey CRPGs ... FOR THE WIN!
    I remember all of those. Wizardry where the copy protection was you needed to be able to type in the nonsense words of the spell. Not something that would stop people with the internet. Bards Tale I-III have been rereleased on Steam as backer rewards with the Bard's Tale IV kickstarter that fulfilled a year or two ago. I loved the Bard's Tale series on my C=64, was really ready for some old school action. But BT4 disappointed. Same when I did the Shroud of the Avatar, new Lord British kickstarter a few years back. Just did not do it for me at all. Fenris-77 mentioned Sword of Fargoal, I used to play that on my Vic-20. So much. Anyone remember Alternate Reality, another from that era? I remember being astounded by the music on the C-64 version, the SID chip was great. A friend had it on Atari as well.

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 04:44 PM - 5ekyu mentioned Fenris-77 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Fenris-77 "Combat is different precisely because everyone does get a turn and the system supports the participation of the whole party. Even if you didn't land the mortal blow, you got your licks in. Social interaction doesn't currently work like that, but I think it should. Part of what I'm working on is ways to do that, both in smaller scale encounters and especially is larger scale social encounters (the Dukes ball etc), and also to spread some of the love outside the bounds of skills controlled by CHA." While the social systems dont force round by round operation character by character, they * do* work to involve everyone or at least most. But, first, the social challenge/pillar needs the GM to provide a more than big simple challenge. Not unlike a simple wolf-at-door combat might not require any significant contribution except for the slugger, a social encounter thst only needs a good Charisma check is just as likely to have some "sit this out." But if you look at the social challenge a...

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 07:24 PM - Esker mentioned Fenris-77 in post How many classes in multiclass is to much?
    I don't think we're that far apart, Fenris-77. My point was simply that final build and progression need to be considered together, since the best progression toward the best final build may be worse than the best progression toward a second best final build. So since you don't necessarily want to settle on the end result first and then optimize a progression within that end result, I wouldn't say that the question about high level abilities is necessarily the first question.

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Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 05:09 AM - iserith quoted Fenris-77 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Because you can't challenge the party, only that particular character? The whole 3rd pillar is bare enough of nuance that this is, or often can be, a pretty significant barrier to party balance. Deception in the hands of a creative player can be especially troublesome when the mod is high enough. "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that this character can do a thing well and others can't? Wouldn't it be the case that this expert won't be able to do other things as well in this or the other two pillars? Also, how is "deception in the hands of a creative player" troublesome? Setting aside that the DM decides whether there is a roll or not in the first place, what's the actual trouble here? That the NPCs get messed with? Because, if so, that's kind of what the characters do, right?
  • 05:05 AM - iserith quoted Fenris-77 in post Expertise is RUINING THE GAME!
    I think I see where you're going. More automatic success for the character with expertise (and reliable talent) is the opposite of what I'm looking for however. The exact problem is how often that's going to be the case for that character with that skill in an environment weighted to the party skill level and not that particular character's skill level. I'm definitely not advocating for forcing an inappropriate roll when there's no real consequence (as per the rules). I'm not really "going" anywhere, only checking to see if there's a rough correlation between people who have some kind of issue with the ability check system and playing the game in the very common way I described upthread wherein the players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks. Without taking anything away from your perception of the problem you outline above, could you explain how that is a problem for you exactly? It sounds like you're wanting to set DCs in the abstract, which is fine for specific approaches ...
  • 04:53 AM - iserith quoted Fenris-77 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    The difficulty is that when there is an uncertain outcome , thus a roll, one PC is auto succeeding, essentially, while the rest of the party would be appropriately challenged. It's hard to plan for both. I'm going to call this the Glitterboy conundrum. Why do you think that is a problem?
  • 04:48 AM - iserith quoted Fenris-77 in post Expertise is RUINING THE GAME!
    As opposed to the GM telling them what ability to roll? As opposed to the DM deciding whether there is a roll at all, then what ability check to make and any skill proficiency that applies (per the rules). And in this case I'm not referring to a paradigm where the DM can decide a player-proposed roll is not necessary (e.g. Player: "Can I make an Investigation check to..." DM: "Nah, you just figure it out...").
  • 04:34 AM - Xeviat quoted Fenris-77 in post Celestial Warlocks?
    The role playing potential of the Celestial Warlock intrigues me a whole lot more than the actual mechanics. I feel this way about a lot of 5E actually. I LOVE so many of the subclasses. They often speak to me and give me ideas for adventures. Like the "Zealot Barbarian". I instantly imagined sending the party on a journey to a mountain tomb of the undying army, a tomb full of 77 Zealots. Since they can be raised from the dead without spending components, with time, a high level cleric could bring them all to life. They would then join the PCs in their war. The Celestial Warlock speaks to my view of the Warlock as an alternative to the Divine Cleric. Warlocks deal with beings that aren't gods, that are outside the realms of civilized religion. It's neat.
  • 04:33 AM - ad_hoc quoted Fenris-77 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I don't think expertise ruins the game precisely, but I do think it's throws a mighty big wrench into third pillar play. Expertise in Deception, for example, can be really difficult to deal with as a DM in an intrigue game. Not always, but often enough that I feel like it's an issue. I would also prefer a "yes and.." approach to additional success to just stacking mods to the sky. The social skills aren't mind control and players only make ability checks when the DM deems it necessary due to an uncertain outcome. The main antagonists of an intrigue campaign probably know a lot of what is going on so they're not going to be deceived. The best liar in the world can't convince me that the Earth is flat for example.
  • 04:01 AM - Xeviat quoted Fenris-77 in post Telegraphing Attacks
    I've been toying with an initiative system where the the lowest numbers actually act first with some rules for interrupts for higher initiatives, plus the ability to split a PCs actions, bonus actions, and reactions over several steps. You could fold the kind of telegraphed attack into that kind of approach pretty easily - declares first, starts winding up, and goes last (or the next round, whichever). I'd like to try and represent how characters with high initiative have an intuitive grasp of the battlefield and it's always bugged me a little that high initiative in 5E (and many systems) has to declare and act in the dark. When the high INIT PC can let the round develop and act when they need to, at the opportune moment, that feels more like what I want out of representing high initiative. I miss 3E's "ready action" mechanic.
  • 12:22 AM - FrogReaver quoted Fenris-77 in post Hidden
  • 12:21 AM - Aldarc quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Well, yeah, that would be a great example of when that does happen. However, citing Pendragon and Monsterhearts isn't exactly the same as saying the thing is common.I believe that other prior examples had already been offered where these things are not strictly the purview of the player, including some past discussion of Fate, for example. Most RPGs don't have that inclination to representing affairs of the heart though, which is why the wink example seems so nonstandard or jarring to some people. If the example had been a noble's sneer inciting hatred, a laughing baby inciting happiness, or even a well turned calf inciting lust, I don't think it would have occasioned nearly so much commentary in this thread. Romance and love have a weird place in TTRPGs.I'm not sure if it's a case of "most don't" or if it's just that the "elephant in the room doesn't." I also think that the problem with an argument of "most don't" is that it tries to downplay the frequency of those games that do. Does the ...
  • 12:02 AM - FrogReaver quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Well, yeah, that would be a great example of when that does happen. However, citing Pendragon and Monsterhearts isn't exactly the same as saying the thing is common. Moreover, the fact that those games do have mechanics about that is very much a part of the contract a player is agreeing to when they agree to play those games. Most RPGs don't have that inclination to representing affairs of the heart though, which is why the wink example seems so nonstandard or jarring to some people. If the example had been a noble's sneer inciting hatred, a laughing baby inciting happiness, or even a well turned calf inciting lust, I don't think it would have occasioned nearly so much commentary in this thread. It would have for me. It's not about what emotion is being incited. It's that absent mechanics (of which a DM conversation at session 0 suffices) that I have already conceptualized my PC and that conceptualizations reaction in that situation may 100% be different than the result the DM is citing. Wit...

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 11:07 PM - Aldarc quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ambiguous: doubtful or uncertain especially from obscurity or indistinctness. NO it is NOT ambiguous at all. That is how it is mostly done in RPGs. The player decides describes what his character is doing or trying to do. THEN the GM takes over and describes the results.Apart from numerous RPGs that are exceptions to this, which have been mentioned previously in this thread. So we return to "ambiguous." Catching up on this thread after a weekend vacation: As to the wink, I agree, there probably is a scenario where it makes sense, but it's going to be off the beaten track as far as systems go.I don't necessarily think it's that unusual. Pemerton has mentioned this in the context of Prince Valiant/Pendragon and Cortex+. I am familiar with a similar idea in Monster Hearts (a PbtA game). Monster Hearts was really the game that opened my eye to this sort of thinking. You are playing teenage monsters and the like (think Twilight, Teen Wolf, etc.), but teenage sexuality also plays an imp...
  • 05:48 AM - FrogReaver quoted Fenris-77 in post Optimize a single class warlock
    Maybe we need to broaden our definition of what an infiltrator does. He definitely does what you're describing, and I'd agree that the Sorcerer is also good at that role. But there are a ton of other scenarios where those same skills can be used to trick, mislead, and misdirect. I like the at-will stuff the Warlock has because that I can try whatever I like whenever I like without expending resources. So, for a creative player, which I am, I vastly prefer to play generally with at-will invocations plus cantrips. Sure, but I'm talking about mechanical optimization and while such things are very fun I can't say that they really allow the warlock to perform many tasks that the sorcerer cannot. It's going to be rare when you need more disguise self spells than a tier 2 sorcerer can cast. Whereas I can easily envision infiltration scenarios where more than disguise self and 2 other spells are required to safely get the job done. (Again, an aside about MC options, subtle spell is fantastic for...
  • 03:07 AM - 5ekyu quoted Fenris-77 in post Consensus about two-weapon fighting?
    I couldn't agree more. There's no reason the fighter shouldn't have a little more breadth to his role. I like to see them with a Shop Talk rule that would allow them to hobnob with others "in the business" - guards, city watch, stuff like that without it being CHA dependent. The fighter seems like the class most likely to do this, and there are a ton of examples in fiction. Fighters could also be good at things like scrounging. Just throwing out some ideas, I'll reign in my off topicalness now.That is marrying more than a little bit of "background" into the class. Fighter doesnt have to mean soldier and vice versa. For me, in the past, honestly some of my most hobnob with guards and soldiers were rangers and rogues (former scouts) and clerics (obviously healers and war god types but really, most any.) "In the business" for guard, city watch and "stuff like that" ought not to be any class festure, imo in a fantasy gameceorld where these other classes are as common as a fighter.

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 07:48 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    People understand the mechanics and there were probably saves or something involved. But when there isn't that comfortable buffer of mechanics to fall back on people treat the whole thing very differently, which I also find very interesting, since the difference in actual effect is minimal to nonexistent ... You might also find there's resistance to adding mechanics to cover something of the sort, or even to applying existing mechanics. For instance, if there's a mechanic to tell or detect lies, a player who invokes such a mechanic to confirm his suspicion an NPC is lying, and fails, may continue on the assumption of falsehood, because he failed. Say you did all the rolling behind a screen, all the saves and whatever, and then just narrated the effect. I suspect you'd get a ton of push back about it that Depends on the expectations and conventions of the group. Back in the day, rolling a lot of stuff behind the screen, or calling for rolls without explaining what they were until th...
  • 07:06 PM - Umbran quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I think you'll find that you'll get very little opposition to a PC being Held and then Levitated (and then dropped into a pit I guess). People understand the mechanics and there were probably saves or something involved. But when there isn't that comfortable buffer of mechanics to fall back on people treat the whole thing very differently, ... (emphasis mine) This is the meat of it, really. We are talking, in the end, about TRUST. When there are mechanics that the table all agreed to use underlying narrated events, we generally extend trust to the result. We typically see it as "fair", even if we are somewhat surprised by the result. When we don't have the mechanics, the question of trust comes into play. It also comes into play when there are actually mechanics, but we are not familiar with them - pemerton's story above sits as an example - in the game he was playing, narration of the character moving across the room to introduce a complication was *within mechaical bounds*. Fol...
  • 06:14 PM - pemerton quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    [MENTION=42582]I was more railing against impact by fiat rather than mechanic. <snip> I would propose however that there is a pretty vast gulf between the results you list, such as complication dice, or any other complicating modifier, and straight dictated action. I'm fine with the former but not the latter. My apologies if that wasn't as clear as it could have been.I think dictated action, or fiat, or what Ron Edwards calls drama resolution, is interesting in this context. I agree that it's not typical. In adjudicating a skill challenge I once narrated one of the PCs moving across the room - in the fiction, he was influenced by a Pact Hag; mechanically, this was setting up a complication (the Hag was going to pull a rope to open a pit); I can't recall now whether or not it immediately followed a failed check or not. I do know that when I posted about it on these boards it aroused some controversy; but if a GM holds back from all narration like that in a skill challenge then it's h...
  • 05:49 PM - FrogReaver quoted Fenris-77 in post Optimize a single class warlock
    I guess it was bound to come up. I'm with you on damage dealing though - if that's what I want to do, Warlock isn't how I'm doing it. When I think back on all the Warlock related threads I've participated in over the last months, I think the issue of short rests is probably the biggest optimizer. Are you going to get two shorts per adventure day? Yes? Great. No? Pick another class. Past that we are really talking about two major items, well three - pact, spell slots and invocations. Let's tackle pacts further down. The spell slots thing isn't really that complicated - they are high level slots, so make the best use of their value, and make sure you use them. The invocation thing is a little more nuanced. My preference there is to work with the at-will invocations to see what kind of synergy and effect I can work up, mostly combined with skills, feats, and cantrips. I think the per rest invocations are mostly less useful, or at the very least less useful to plan synergies for. The four at-wil...
  • 04:58 PM - FrogReaver quoted Fenris-77 in post Optimize a single class warlock
    Well, sorry for the slight bump in the road lads, I wasn't aiming for a derail there.:D I don't actually care for the combo much myself as it's generally, as you mention, pretty selfish as far as who benefits. That does not stop it from being a perennial contender in the optimized Warlock voting, which is why I mentioned it. I would much rather talk about optimizing for control. For urban and intrigue based campaigns the infiltrator/control build is almost too nice to pass on, but that might be my personal tastes peeping through. Given the amount of interest in the thread - I say derail away. Maybe the derailment will draw a few additional people here to share their thoughts on the original topic as well
  • 03:44 PM - pemerton quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    The wink doesn't pose a problem for me as a PC action, although generally there would also be a mechanic involved there but there doesn't have to be. As an NPC action with a dictated result it's ... wacky. Even if you could find a system that supported it I'd still be against it. Obviously the extent of the forced action plays a big role too. If the forced action just consists of telling the player they get swollen love nodes, which is more an invitation to action than forced action anyway, I'm fine with it. But as soon as the DM says something like "she beckons you with a finger and follow her out the door" then I'm firmly against, and will reiterate my earlier contention that this doesn't happen in RPGs generally so is probably a silly example. I don't really feel the need to explain how monster abilities with mechanics are a different class of example.I'm not sure what monster abilities you've got in mind. In Prince Valiant, for instance, Incite Lust is more likely to be found on a maiden tha...
  • 10:52 AM - pemerton quoted Fenris-77 in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Why are you assuming that there is no game system?Because none was referenced in the example given. There's a problem with the example "I wink at the maiden and soften her heart" that I think has thus far been overlooked here, which is this: Flip it around. If the GM says to you "The maiden winks at you and softens your heart" without invoking any game mechanics there'd be (justifiable) cries of bloody blue murder: the GM is dictating the PC's reaction to the wink. So why isn't the GM given the same agency over how her NPCs react to the PCs' actions?The example of a NPC maiden softening a PC's heart with a wink came from you. So what system did you have in mind? I don't think the onus is on me to flesh out your example! If you think your example is underspecified then flesh it out yourself! I'll be honest, the maiden's wink example rubs my rhubarb the wrong way. There aren't many game systems I can think of that would force a character to do X because they have the hots for the wink...


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