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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Today, 06:51 AM
    The hyper-majority of people don't prefer Gnomes but kick them off the PHB and you have a freakin' riot in the comments.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:03 AM
    It's a bit hard to express a view on this without more context, but I don't think it is such a thing. I'm not seeing that there is a situation suggesting to the PC (and his/her player) that, in fact, those who fight beside me are not worth dying for. But maybe I've missed something or otherwise misunderstood what you are describing.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:56 AM
    How is something at stake if you don't know what it is yet?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:54 AM
    I don't see any challenge to characterisation. You tell us your character is someone who cares about little but being provided with a meal. And so in exchange for a promise of food you submitted yourself to a process that - as you describe it - you seemed to have no control over. As a result you have no soul - I don't know what that means in mechanical terms in 5e, but it doesn't seem to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:31 AM
    Your PC's actions have put your family at risk. When you decide to do have your PC do X rather than Y, how do you - as a player - know whether your are jeopardiding your relationship with your family? Who decides whether they stick with you or abandon you? And how? Is this is all just GM decides? This seems to rest on a premise that there is a finite amount of "challenge" which, if the PCs...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:23 AM
    Let's suppose your claim about human physiology was true, which I don't think it is. In 4e hp are not a model of that physiology. They are part of an action resolution framework. The primary mechanical marker of the power of a 4e creature, including the degree of physical trauma it can endure, is its level. By setting the level of a being, the GM is using a mechanical device to signal its...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:57 AM
    To allude back to an earlier post, those are possible transcripts of play, accounts of events that oocur in the fiction. But from the transcript we can't tell what the play experience was. We can't tell who estabished the fiction, or how, or what the actual play experience was of doing that. I don't know what you mean by roleplaying activity or roleplaying experience. Do you mean transcript of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:49 AM
    As I've already posted, I don't think this thread is the place for a serious discussion of philosophy of action. Rather, I'm taking Davidson as a starting point. But if you are correct, then it follows that - in the example - four different actions have been performed. And if there were two prowlers, each alerted, then five different things would have been done. That is obviously absurd. ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 AM
    I don't know what you mean by a given instance of RP. I'll set out a practical example to try and illustrate my point: imagine a situation in which the PCs are fighting some NPCs, and are losing - multiple PCs down, hors de combat etc while the NPCs are clearly about to carry the day. In these circumstances in Classic Traveller the players have to make a morale check for their PCs...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 04:06 PM
    These two accounts of 5e seem pretty congruent with one another. They remind me of a certain, fairly common, sort of approach to 2nd ed AD&D. I've also edited a post about half-a-dozen upthread having read these posts. EDIT: and I also just read this, which seems equally congruent with the other two posts:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 03:56 PM
    I don't understand. Are you saying that sometimes the GM has to ignore successful checks and treat them as failures because otherwise the players will win the game unfairly or too easily? That's a strange assertion, if it's the one you're making. I also don't understand what "combats that are unavoidable" has to do with anything. That's just more checks. If the player's dice are "hot" (as you...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    An action declaration is a proposal that the fiction should include a certain content. For instance, I climb the wall is a proposal as to the content of the shared fiction, namely, that it includes the PC climbing the wall. I don't know what playing their character means here other than some improv acting. If the GM is deciding everything that happens, what else are the players contributing...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 02:04 PM
    I see this as somewhat similar to what I posted upthread - that in AD&D there's no systematic way to put your connection to family on the line.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 12:38 PM
    I've highlighted you use of the word things. I think you're using it to refer to certain sorts of events in the fiction. The sorts of things that might be presented on a messageboard in the form of a transcript. In my post I was talking about experiences had by the players, at the table. The transcript - the in-fiction events - is one component of these. But does not exhaust them. To give...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 12:23 PM
    I guess I'm assuming that - or wondering whether - there is more that can be said than just It's my preference. That is, that it's possible to articulate why it's good. Upthread, Lanefan asserted that 4e's hp mechanic is flawed because it doesn't conform to his expectations for a hp mechanic. That's a pretty strong claim - that his way of thinking is better. Presumably there's something that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:40 AM
    Action resolution in Burning Wheel (which can be ported to other systems eg Classic Traveller): * Intent and task action declaration; * Say 'yes' or roll the dice; * Success is success on both intent and task; failure is narrated by the GM by reference to intent and/or task as will keep things moving and maintain or increase the pressure; * Let it ride (ie results stand - no rerolls).
    49 replies | 1789 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 03:41 AM
    Here is some rules text from Apocalypse World (which is one of the games Campbell was referring to), pp 12 and 194. The rule for moves is to do it, do it. In order for it to be a move and for the player to roll dice, the character has to do something that counts as that move; and whenever the character does something that counts as a move, it痴 the move and the player rolls dice. Usually...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 12:43 PM
    But on your own account this isn't true. Because the GM can always narrate something else. As you're presenting it, all the players get to do is make suggestions that the GM may or may not follow up on. How is that possiby a success, given the declared action? It's obviously a failure - the PC has not got what s/he wanted (namely, incriminating financial documents). So when do the players...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:56 PM
    In one of my recent posts I referred to violations of genre, fictional positioning and system logic. In the Burning Wheel rulebooks Luke Crane makes the point by saying (something like) "no roll for beam weaponry in the duke's toilet". But that is all about vetoing or refusing to entertain certain action declarations. Lanefan was positing a successful outcome. As Ovinomancer has posted,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:24 PM
    Why? In a relatively traditional RPG a GM gets to establish a lot of fiction: much of the setting; many of the NPCs; the framing of many situations; the narration of failures; maybe other stuff too that I'm not thinking of at present. What is the function of successful checks if the GM also gets to establish what happens there too? I was just responding to what you posted:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:16 AM
    I have neither said nor implied this. All I said was that Lanefan's example, in which the PC doesn't achieve what the player hoped for, is not a success and hence might be a feasible failure narration.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:13 AM
    I agree with this. I use the phrase inhabitation of the character to try and convey this idea. I think, though, that some systems can be more demanding on the players than others, and challenging in that sense. To give examples: Prince Valiant and MHRP tend to be relatively light-hearted in the situations they throw up; whereas Burning Wheel (and I suspect Apocalypse World) can be much...
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:40 PM
    It was realistic. It was also sad. Dustin bestowing the Basic Set upon Erica was a good save, but seeing Will put it in the donation box* and hearing Mike's half-hearted objection broke my heart. (*"You fool!" I cried. "Twenty years from now you are going to be so mad at yourself!" :) )
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:12 PM
    DMZ2112 replied to OSR Gripes
    I started a BECMI game for my D&D5 group at the beginning of 2018, with the intention of running the Basic canon as a palate cleanser. I started with the Great Escape scenario from Castle Caldwell and Beyond as a funnel, with everyone running three unequipped 1st-level characters generated in the traditional way (3d6 in order). I ran as by-the-book as I could, although the stilted wargame...
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:40 PM
    I don't see the advantage. I mean, you can argue that no one really understands what the mental ability scores mean, and that is definitely a problem I have with D&D: Is Intelligence a measure of education, or "IQ;" is Wisdom willpower, sanity, or common sense; is Charisma physical beauty, leadership ability, or personality? But as to whether mental ability scores should be removed...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:24 AM
    Hussar, Lanefan - if narrowing of possible resolutions = the GM being bound by the results of checks, than sure, any system other than "GM decides" will have that consequence. But unless the dice are rigged then fails are possible, in which case fail scenarios are possible resolutions, and there is no narrowing of the range of possible resolution.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    Your example doesn't show any narrowing of possible results. The scenario you describe is a possible failure narration; and it could be a success narration if that is what the player decides his/her PC searches for.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:20 PM
    I believe many more people have watched The Avengers than have watched The Seventh Seal. But that doesn't mean that every time I want to talk about the latter I talk about the former instead or as well. If people who only want to talk about D&D, or who have no interest in talking or reading about how other systems do things, don't want to participate in this thread, that's a risk I'm prepared...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:15 PM
    Reposted:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:55 PM
    In your case, you seem to know both BW and D&D, which are the two systems I referenced in the post of mine that you quoted. Do you have any thoughts about this mind flayer and false memories example that might draw on either of the systems? Or if you want to engage it by reference to another system, that would be interesting too!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:48 PM
    Do you have much experience with 4e D&D? It's a bit of an open question exactly what tools 4e provides, because the skill challenge is - as presented - such an open-ended or un-nailed-down framework that (experience suggests) needs users to bring ideas and/or experience from outside to really get the best out of it. I think a skill challenge might be able to handle the scenario you're...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:22 AM
    I'm not sure about incentives. When I read the Strike(!) I think of "intent and task" and failure narration in BW. Or the example from AW that I posted upthread. If the check fails, the GM is entitled to narrate the failure by imposing a new and unwanted description of the PC's action. But I don't think in any of the systems this could go as far as you've fallen in love with the maiden unless...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:16 AM
    This is an interesting question - in general, and about D&D play: To what extent is the GM permitted to rewrite player-authored PC backstory by drawing upon a combination of (i) situation and stakes and (ii) failed checks. In BW (for instance) I think this is fair game. The only version of D&D I can think of able to handle this is 4e. I don't really see how it would be done in AD&D. And from...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:02 AM
    If the player is avoiding expedience by sticking to conceptualisation, how is that conceptualisation going to be challenged? Or changed? If the player is at liberty to change conceptuatlisation in response to choices, what governs those choices? Self-evidently it can't be conceptualisation. You don't want it to be expedience. Is it whim? Do you have actual play examples to post that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:08 PM
    (1) This thread is in general RPG. Not D&D. There's a reason for that. (2) I'm not saying that players should or shouldn't do anything in every system. The OP invites discussion about various ways in which true descriptions of PC actions might be established. The current discussion has moved on a bit from that, to also talk about how true descriptions of PC choices, PC emotional states, etc...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:01 PM
    You posted this not too far upthread: Before you posted that, Campbell already posted on outline of mechanics from Exalted which contradict what you said: the player in Exalted (i) does not sit out of the loop, and (ii) does have input on how his/her PC would react. Further upthread I posted the Apocalypse World mechanics for PvP seduction/maipulation. In that system the player gets to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:52 PM
    This is missing the point. One may as well ask, What story can't D&D produce? Well, if the players and the GM all get together and agree on it then you can play out Casablanca in D&D, can't you? (That was Campbell's point about consensus.) But the current topic of discussion is how that might be done, and what sort of play experience might be involved. The example of Exalted, for instance,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:34 PM
    I guess you can assert things in ignorance, yet avoid error, if you get lucky. On this occasion though, your luck has failed you. The claims you make aren't plausible even within the compass of D&D, which includes the 4e skill challenge mechanic. They are completely wrong when it comes to other systems such as the ones that chaochou has mentioned.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    This completely misunderstands chaochou's point. As I posted upthread, "cheating" or acting on out-of-game motivations has nothing to do with what anyone is talking about in this thread. The basic point is that, in the scenarios you keep putting forward, nothing happens to the PC's inner being or self-conception that the player did not choose. So the player choose that which s/he prefers....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:35 PM
    Duel of Wits from Burning Wheel has been mentioned. It's an interesting example, because it permits PCs to be persuaded (by other PCs, or by NPCs) but doesn't change their underlying motivations/orientations. In the context of (say) a maiden trying to persuade a PC to help her, it can certainly permit that. And if the maiden is charming or flirty that can factor into her checks (eg FoRK...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:05 PM
    I'll leave the fidelity claim to one side. But the second claim is an empirical one. I'd be curious to see if it's true. Personally I doubt it - I don't have experience with Exalted, but in my experience with other systems that provide various sorts of systematic support for engagement with PC motivations and emotions the range of characters played - when considered in proportion to the overall...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:15 AM
    I think this is very important when approaching social/emotional conflict in RPGs. Otherwise there is a significant risk of all the characters turning out to be the same ie merely expedient. That's fine for Dying Earth but not desirable in general, in my view. Can you explain this further in relation to the system you've described? Is this the depletion of Willpower, or something else as well?...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:46 PM
    If your perspective is that playing DitV is the same as playing DL, then I have to ask - have you played DitV, or any system like it? So now it's corrosive for people to talk about their play experiences, and what they found different in different systems? This is why I described you upthread as hostile to analysis. As for the idea that GNS is corrosive - the only anger and hostility I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:34 PM
    I can see why you say this. But for me, this brings us back to Campbell's remarks: The absence of choice in the example I provided occurred at the point of the killing. At that point, thie player learns - without having any say over it - that his PC is a killer. At that point, playing the character with integrity generates the crisis. There were subsequent events, too, that played on the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:15 AM
    Yes, I mean faithfulness to what the unfolding fiction reveals about the character. Not accuracy. I was trying to build on what Campbell had said. There's the example that's been given by Umbran. Here's another example, which is based on an actual play experience I had many years ago now. The basic structure of the example is not too different from Umbran's. One of the PCs was a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:27 AM
    I agree with Ovinomancer and Umbran that making a choice - even a hard choice - isn't a challenge to character and character concept of the sort that has been raised in this thread. Whether you need mechanics (social mechanics, emotional mechanics, whatever they might be) to generate that sort of challenge is a further question. My view is that you don't, although obviously they might help....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:42 AM
    It means that the RPG can have story arcs comparable to other dramatic mediums. In film, think eg Casblanca. In literature, think eg The Human Factor. In genre fiction, think eg Han Solo (who, in Star Wars, turns out not to be the mercenary he thought he was) or Nameless, Jet Li's character in Hero (who in the end choose not to take the vengeance that he had pursued). Of course many other...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:48 AM
    In D&D there is no limit - neither a hard one, nor even a soft one based on principles - as to how many special abilities a GM can use and how many saves s/he might force. This is not a universal truth of RPG design: I quoted the principle from Prince Valiant upthread; Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic uses the Doom Pool to modulate the challenges the GM introduces; other systems have other...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:40 AM
    And by that we can reasonably extrapolate that for game purposes a cave troll has lots of hit points and-or a high Con score. <snip> Just as you can't say a creature described as being particularly tough (relative to other creatures) in the fiction doesn't have lots of hit points, you can't say a creature with lots of hit points (relative to other creatures) isn't tough. Put another way,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:33 AM
    I don't see how this could be a general truth about RPGing. Maybe it's a truth about a certain sort of approach to D&D, Classic Traveller and maybe RQ. In Marvel Heroic RP, combat - ie fisticuffs between superheroes and supervillains - isn't a result of failing to overcome challenges in some other fashion. It's how heroes defeat villains! In Prince Valiant, a joust can be anything from...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:31 AM
    This could really be a topic all its own.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:41 AM
    A long post as I catch up on this thread. The second bit here suggest to me that you're not familiar with the play of any of the non-D&D games that Aldarc, Umbran, Ovinomancer and I have referenced - Fate, Pendrgaon, Prince Valiant, MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Bunring Wheel, etc. And the first bit is odd, because the way you find out whether a D&D character is tough enough to beat Orcus in a fight...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:30 AM
    Lanefan, FrogReaver - you've both made some recent posts which dispute the analysis of action put foward in the OP. Eg you both deny that I melt the maiden's heart with my wink is a true description of a PC's action, and a description of the same action as I wink at the maiden (although obviously a different description). I'm not that interested in turning this thread into an argument in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:29 AM
    This is why I say you don't undertand the 4e combat resolution mechanics. This claim isn't true of 4e; hit points aren't a description of anything. The toughness of a creature is described in the fiction - just as (say) JRRT conveys that the cave troll is tough. The hit points are then a device - together with AC, attack rolls, damage dice etc - that are used to determine the outcomes of fights....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:22 AM
    Well let's turn it around. Why is it so important to you that you have played narrativsit? Are you making a judgement? I don't play many boardgames other than backgammon (which I love). But modern boardgames, with their need for clever and calculated play, are things I'm not very good at. My personal discount curve is too steep (probably in all areas of my life, and certainly in these games)....
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:49 PM
    Honestly, I think that is how I would prefer it to work, but it is not the assumption the rules make. The rules assume that if the rogue is not engaged (or actively being targeted by a ranged or spell attack), the rogue can slip out of sight. I know I just got done saying that game designers are full of s**t, but the key is whether or not a bad rule makes the game less fun. In my opinion,...
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:12 PM
    Oh my gods, six pages. Thank you all for taking the time to respond. You are not wrong, but this is not in line with your original proposal. You said that high-level rogues should have the chance to sneak when no one else could. I agree with that idea, but that is not what this is. This is a high-level rogue having a chance to be detected when anyone else would be detected as a matter...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:02 AM
    My point is that Pathfinder 1E had a lot of annoying things in it that hampered the play experience. In 2E, they made changes in order to remove those annoying things. While I'm all for changing things to create a smoother play experience, a lot people feel the exact opposite. What's a crumby rule to one person is a vital component to another. EDIT: this reminds me of an XKCD comic!
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:28 AM
    That's a sentence you can use to describe 4th Edition!
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:08 AM
    In PathFinder 1E, you can play a Gunslinger/Monk. Does 2E allow that? In PathFinder 1E, there were NPC classes like Peasent and Adept. Does 2E have NPC classes? What else do I need to say?
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:35 AM
    I thought the point of OSR play was to use lateral thinking to bypass the rules??? https://archives.erfworld.com/Book%201/147
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:28 AM
    So instead of an expertise bonus, why not just invent cool skill powers to give to the PCs instead? Like spend a hit dice to reroll a failed check? Spend a full round action so that a fellow party can make a check using your skill level? etc.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 12:08 AM
    GNS is an analytic framework. It's not a claim about what anyone has or hasn't done, or should or shouldn't have done. It's a claim about a certain sort of goal of play, not about system; but there is a recognition that some systems suit some goals better than other systems do, and better than they suit other goals. There's not reason to think that any given goal must be present in play...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    It seems to me that "win condition" here is turning into something like happy with the outcome. Whereas in a scenario like ToH or Ghost Tower of Inverness or The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan or White Plume Mountain or Castle Amber (to fasten on some classics of the genre) when we talk about win conditions we're certainy not talking about (say) being happy with how we reconciled two feuding members...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:27 AM
    This seems to miss the whole point of the OP. If person A jums over the Grand Canyon, it follows that A tried to jump over the Grand Canyon. But A didn't perform two different actions - trying to jump the canyon, and then actually jumpiing it. S/he performed a single action which falls under both descriptions. Which descriptions are made true in a RPG, by whom, and how, is what this thread...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:15 AM
    There is an assertion by some, or at least a very strong implication, that the PC can fail the test, or even feel its force, only if the player decides. In what sense? What body part moves? What intention is formed? Of course the maiden is acting: she is winking. But the PC whose heart is melted is not. No no more than it is an action on Frodo's part to have his finger bitten off by Gollum.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:13 AM
    This still makes no sense. Are you talking about the fiction (in which nothing has hp - hit points are not a part of the gameworld) or about resolution mechanics? Likewise. I don't think you understand how 4e's combat rules work.
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    Not really. Suppose that the first is stated by the GM, the player makes a Resist Passion roll, and fails, and then the GM state the second. How did this situation suddenly change from "test" to "manipulation"? Or to give a different example. The GM has described the dungeon corridor that the PCs are standing in. The player says I walk down the left-hand path, inspecting the ceiling as I go....
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Maybe I'm not understanding you, but the situation seems /worse/ with contested rolls. Most monsters can't beat a 20, and the rogue will roll a 23 more than half the time and higher the other half. While I do on occasion design encounters in which hiding is unhelpful or impossible, generally speaking I come down the other way, on this: it /should/ be assumed. Denying the opportunity to...
    104 replies | 2953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    I'm curious to hear from other D&D5 dungeon masters how you challenge high-level rogues in terms of going about undetected. Shorthand: With Reliable Talent and Expertise, an 11th level rogue can easily have a Stealth check result range of 23-33, which is far beyond the capacity of any passive Perception in the Monster Manual and really beyond the capacity of most Perception checks -- if the...
    104 replies | 2953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:29 PM
    1. Set appropriate expectations. 100% focus is unattainable for the vast majority of groups. Aim for playing three out of every four minutes of a session. If you can do better than that, you're in good shape. If you're falling way under that mark, then worry about making changes. Pro session streaming has really inflated dungeon master expectations of what is possible at your average table,...
    32 replies | 1497 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:44 AM
    The issue is framing it, in advance, as a scenario with win conditions. That can very easily butt up against the notion of establishing a story through play as opposed to playing through a pre-established story. I can't ask you to prove a negative, so what would you consider "support?"A serious account of someone who turned up to play Burning Wheel, played through something like DL or...
    216 replies | 14055 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Upthread the notion of roleplaying - what it is, what it isn't - was raised. The closest to a consensus position that was put forward was that it involved playing the role of a character in a fictional world. In a RPG, there is an additional element of advocacy for the character on account of it being a game, where the participants therefore in some sense aspire to do well. A number of...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 09:14 PM
    No. We're asking you what action you think is required on your PC's part. At least I am. (And I'm pretty sure the same is true for hawkeyefan.) My heart being melted isn't an action. It's an emotional state. What action do you think is required/dictated by that state?
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I think you'll find that the answer to these two questions is the same! hawkeyefan and I are wondering what you envisage melting someone's heart as requiring or dictating.
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    That second sentence has the potential to be controversial! I'd put it this way: the designers realised that the relationship between a certain sort of mechanical design, and the infiction category magic, is contingent and a matter of aesthetics. So for a brief period D&D design caught up to Greg Stafford c 1989! (I'm referring there to Prince Valiant, of course - the most undeservedly...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Does D&D encompass non-5e versions? In that case, I already posted the example of the Fang Tyrant Drake's furious roar (which paralyses with fear). In 4e there's no need to conceive of the fear caused by dragons as magical, either (which brings them closer to the Smaug-ish form of dragon terror).
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:23 PM
    The category of "special ability", like the category of "magic", only makes sense in some games or some contexts. Some systems don't really have "special abilities" at all in the D&D sense. And even where a system does feature special abilities, the fact that some statblock includes such a thing doesn't necessarily mean that the relevant infiction capability is gated behind such a mechanic. In...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:14 PM
    I think dictated action, or fiat, or what Ron Edwards calls drama resolution, is interesting in this context. I agree that it's not typical. In adjudicating a skill challenge I once narrated one of the PCs moving across the room - in the fiction, he was influenced by a Pact Hag; mechanically, this was setting up a complication (the Hag was going to pull a rope to open a pit); I can't recall...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 05:30 PM
    If there aren't skill feats for legendary level shop keeps, I'll be sorely disappointed...
    216 replies | 14055 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:58 PM
    Can you tell us more about exactly what the response is that is dictated?
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:44 PM
    I'm not sure what monster abilities you've got in mind. In Prince Valiant, for instance, Incite Lust is more likely to be found on a maiden than a monster! Because the NPC maiden melting a PC's heart with a wink is Lanefan's example he'll have to tell you exactly what he had in mind. I've been thinking about the example as a placeholder for stuff in the same general neighbourhood in RPG...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 11:18 AM
    What mandatory effect are you referring to? Can you describe a concrete example, with reference to a real or conjectured system, that explains what you've got in mind. All I'm seeing so far is a conjecture of a system that, in some circumstances, permits a GM to tell a player The maiden's wink softens your heart. Until you tell me more about what you have in mind, that's not an example of...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:57 AM
    I don't understand what your example has to do with minion rules. Minion rules are a mechanical device in some systems (4e D&D perhaps most famously, but certainly not exclusively) for adjudicating declared actions (in 4e D&D, mostly fight-y actions) by players for their PCs. If your ingame inhabitant sees her doughty working people cut down with little trouble by Conan and friends, where is...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:52 AM
    The example of a NPC maiden softening a PC's heart with a wink came from you. So what system did you have in mind? I don't think the onus is on me to flesh out your example! If you think your example is underspecified then flesh it out yourself! In the OP I put forward, as a description a PC's action, I soften the heart of the maiden with a wink. Systems I can think of where that is a...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:18 AM
    With respect, this makes no sense. From the POV of a character in the ficiton you can't tell the resolution mechanics (including minion mechanics) that resultedin a certain outcome. You just experience the fictional events - eg that Aragorn swung his sword and chopped off the orc's head. Mechanical system - like minion rules, or rules that privilege PCs over NPCs (Apocalypse World has this...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Why are you assuming that there is no game system? I've posted many such examples in this thread: Prince Valian special effects; Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic emotional stress and complications; the example from AW; etc. And in some systems, maybe the GM can narrate it by fiat if it follows naturally from what has gone before, just as in (say) Moldvay Basic the GM can narrate that the PC...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:51 AM
    What's in doubt? That's not an a priori category. It's a function of genre conceits, table expectations, system design, probably other stuff too. A RPG could be designed where every time I get to decide whether or not the NPC influences me. Or not. It could be designed where every time I get to decide whether or not I dodge the bullets. Or not. Just as D&D has an armour class, and RQ has a...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:44 AM
    I don't even know what this means. I'm talking about events in the fiction. In the fiction, there is no such thing as "overriding the PC". There is just one human affectig another. This is a real thing that happens in the real world all the time, so I have no trouble imagining a fantasy wold in which it happens. Galadriel melts Gimli's heart. Aragorn melts Eomer's heart. Frodo almost melts...
    765 replies | 21610 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 03:36 AM
    In narrativist play the notion of setting win conditions is complicated at best. The notion of "scenario", as opposed to "situation", can also be problematic. I don't think Ron Edwards et al intended to be "deceptive". Who are they trying to deceive? Every one of the major essays has a glossary appended; the major essays set out in detail what is meant to be conveyed by various terms; the...
    216 replies | 14055 view(s)
    2 XP
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About DMZ2112

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 21
About DMZ2112
Introduction:
28-yr DM ISO chat, pbp, or pbem playing opportunities and players for weekly short game
About Me:
My name is J, and I知 a male human in my late 30s. I知 True Neutral (dedicated, not unaligned). I知 a career dungeon master -- this will be my 27th year of running campaigns through every edition of D&D since Basic D&D, and Pathfinder -- but I致e been challenged to play the game more, to broaden my perspective, so I知 trying to get my name out there. As a long-time dungeon master, though, asking someone else to run for me feels self-important. I apologize for my audacity.

I知 looking for a traditional, "old-school" campaign, something that would be called a 壮andbox today, but I think we just thought of them as 船&D campaigns back in the 80s. A game where there痴 a cohesive, persistent setting with wilderness and plot lines throughout (and plenty of dungeons and dragons), but where the players decide which unknowns to explore, which plots to tackle, and in what order.

I知 looking for a game where it痴 understood that the rules provide important structure to the story, and things like encumbrance, overland travel speed, and the supply of iron rations are taken seriously as realistic controls on character action. I want to play with players who think of the rules as strengthening the game, not as something to be beaten.

A long-running game with some history seems most likely to meet these requirements, but I would also like the opportunity to begin at 1st level. I知 not picky about how the campaign handles character death; I would like it to involve some kind of level penalty but I also think it should embrace continuity through prot馮駸 or other NPC relationships.

Fundamentally, I want to earn everything my character has. I want to start with nothing, build a fortress at name level, and fulfill an epic destiny. I want my character to have a life outside the dungeon, and develop relationships with both PCs and NPCs.

If this game were to surface, I would play it in any system or setting. I have a preference for the polish and depth of 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder, but I would learn or relearn most anything for this opportunity.

I'm fine with text or voice chat, and I'd even consider video for the right group. I prefer a shorter game that meets more often (I find two hours every week to be ideal), but the only thing I really can稚 do is play for more than four hours out of every two weeks. Evening or late night Eastern time is ideal but I have some flexibility. Play-by-post or play-by-email are also options.

If you池e not running a game like this, but it sounds appealing, let me know. I壇 be willing to share (read: <50%) dungeon mastery responsibilities for the right group.
Location:
SE PA, USA
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Age Group:
31-40
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If you can be contacted on social networks, feel free to mention it here.

Google+:
zoshakjm
Twitter:
dmz2112
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Uwchlan
State:
Pennsylvania
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

The Lodge has an informal interview process, but all genders, ages, and experience levels are welcome -- our only restriction is that you must be friendly and looking to have a good time around the gaming table.

We meet every week on Monday from 8:00-10:00 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in a homebrew setting.

Games we have played in the past include D6 Space, WH40KRP, Pathfinder, nWoD, Shadowrun, and 2nd Edition AD&D.

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/\/\/\/\/\
The dungeon master is not a god. Gods are NPCs.
----------->
"I think it all began when some sages started talking of the World Tree,
and were allowed to go on doing so. Madness, sheer madness.
Give me the Great Wheel, and I know where I stand."
~Lord Snelgarth, Ed Greenwood's The Herald
\/\/\/\/\/

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Town:
Uwchlan
State:
Pennsylvania
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

The Lodge has an informal interview process, but all genders, ages, and experience levels are welcome -- our only restriction is that you must be friendly and looking to have a good time around the gaming table.

We meet every week on Monday from 8:00-10:00 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in a homebrew setting.

Games we have played in the past include D6 Space, WH40KRP, Pathfinder, nWoD, Shadowrun, and 2nd Edition AD&D.
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Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 11:44 PM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    DMZ2112 I'm posting that I don't have disappointing sessions. You either seem to not believe me, or . . . be angry about it? (I'm not sure.) I'm sure my players have some sessions that they enjoy more than others. I have sessions that I enjoy more than others. For instance, I enjoyed my second-to-last Classic Traveller session more than my last one. But neither was disappointing. I play with my friends - depending exactly how you measure same group it's been the same group for either ten or twenty years. Most of us in the group started playing with Moldvay Basic in the early 80s. One started playing with Rolemaster, in our group, in the late 90s. There are some things you have posted about GMing that don't describe my approach to RPGing. Whether or not they have any bearing on my failure to have disappointing sessions I don't know: I've never for a moment bought the line that the gamemaster is ever not a storyteller. We wear a lot of hats, and some are more ostentatious than ...

Sunday, 9th October, 2016

  • 10:57 PM - ghabrel mentioned DMZ2112 in post 4e to 5e Balhannoth Conversion
    DMZ2112 Thank you again for keeping up the dialog. I do really appreciate it. So here's an updated stat block. I'll respond afterwards. Balhannoth Large Beast Aberration CR 23 (50,000 XP) AC 19 HP 802 (24d20 + 280) Spd. 20’ -----Attributes----- Str 29 (+9) Dex 27 (+8) Con 24 (+7) Int 8 (-1) Wis 20 (+5) Cha 3 (-4) -----Abilities----- Skills Insight +12, Stealth +15 Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 15 Languages Deepspeech Armor Natural Proficiency +7 -----Special Abilities----- Flailing Tentacles The balhannoth has six tentacles. If attacked directly, they have an AC of 17 and 61 (8d8 + 24) HP. If reduced to 0 HP, the tentacle is severed or otherwise neutralized (damage done to individual tentacles never applies to the balhannoth at any point). A neutralized tentacle takes a full day to regenerate, and cannot be used until then. Tentacles are never affected by area of effect attacks or spells. The...
  • 09:16 PM - ghabrel mentioned DMZ2112 in post 4e to 5e Balhannoth Conversion
    DMZ2112 Thank you very kindly for responding; I was getting antsy. Now let me go in order... I did add some stuns. I can understand how those could be excruciatingly frustrating... Opportunist was actually a direct grab from 4e. I don't remember 4e clearly enough to remember what combat advantage was back then, but I almost didn't include it because I didn't think it would be getting it often. That was before I transferred Reality Shift, and I wasn't even thinking about the advantage from stun until you mentioned it. In all honesty, I completely made up the slam and throw attacks. I may have gotten a little carried away. It made sense to me that getting chucked into a wall by a giant, aberrant slug might knock you out. I'll reconsider that. I never know what to give monsters as reactions. I even made some doppelganger variants with the Reactive feature (may make a reaction every turn), but didn't give them any special reactions. Any pointers you could give me there would be much appreciate...

Tuesday, 20th January, 2015

  • 12:13 AM - Hussar mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Reflected in D&D5
    DMZ2112 - the only issue I might have with your KoS progression is that by making the switch at 4th level each time, the character never gains that second attack until 13th (total) character level. That's a pretty bit thing to delay for so long. I'm playing in Raunalyn's Dragonlance campaign using his Knight of Solamnia rules. I was thinking of switching into paladin with my fighter, but, then I realised that if I did that, I lose out on that second attack. It might be better to keep KoS as a single fighter class. Just my 2 cp

Tuesday, 9th December, 2014


Wednesday, 29th October, 2014

  • 08:55 PM - Mercurius mentioned DMZ2112 in post How do you think "Epic" play will work (if at all)?
    DMZ2112, I see you saying two things: 1. You don't like the use of the word "Epic" for high level play (with large numbers), even to the point of calling said usage "disingenuous." 2. You'd prefer that WotC focus on epic-as-adjective rather than Epic as high level, ramped up numbers. Again, I don't disagree with you that Epic shouldn't simply be larger numbers. As I said in my last post, I'd like to see more of a toolbox approach so that DM's can pick and choose what high level elements they want to use. I think you could also include a section on how to make a story more epic, that is, giving it a grand and heroic vibe to it. But whether or not the equation of Epic = high level/big numbers is right or wrong, it is what people associate it with, and how WotC has used the term - both in 3E and 4E. We'll see what they do with 5E, but you might have to accept that for the last 15 years, Epic = high level.

Tuesday, 16th September, 2014

  • 11:43 AM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post The Multiverse is back....
    ...ecially because you cut some of my text, so what you quote is not a sentence.) Are you asking what I meant when I referred to "the way that the 4e mechanics are put into service to make the setting work"? If you are, then here are some answers: the use of the "leader" mechanics, inspirational/non-magical healing, and power sources to smoothly eliminate PCs who draw power from the gods; the use of inherent bonuses to handle the relative absence of bonuses from magical items; the introduction of themes - in effect, expanding the paragon path and epic destiny mechanic into the heroic tier - to handle background, including psionic wild talents, as something separate from class. Are you asking why I am not sure that I actually want to use Dark Sun for roleplaying? If you are, the answer is the one I gave in the post you quoted: I don't see how Dark Sun easily incorporates the sort of player protagonism that I enjoy in RPGing and that I think 4e's mechanics are oriented towards. As DMZ2112 said, it's about "doom by status quo".

Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

  • 05:46 AM - Tovec mentioned DMZ2112 in post Archsuccubi
    Its not about the Manual of the Planes, its about the MM, which will be out this year, and there will be at least a page, maybe more devoted to the Succubus especially now that she is not just a single creature type, but a whole Catagory. Plus its just a personal guess, but I'm betting Malchanthet will be in the Succubus section as an example of an Archsuccubus. Maybe others as well, or other types of Succubus. Plus fluff on the Succubus' new ecology, and backstory. They are not going to wait to begin exploring the planes for the manual of the planes. I agree with DMZ2112. I think they should definitely keep that kind of thing out of the core books. Succubi are excellent creatures to put in a Monster Manual, they really are. WotC can also probably get away with making them "Any Evil" by whatever system they're using to define this. But it is a storm they don't want to walk into blindly as soon as the put Malcanthet and the word Devil or the word Demon anywhere near each other. And worse if they put neither title to her, I think. No one really cares about the minor other archfiends, they're not the big names that people are going to recognize and adhere to. If you saw.. Levistus as a Demon for some reason that would cause a lot of problems and more than a little bit of pain, but no where near as much as seeing Asmodeus to be the king of all Demon-kind. But this can be avoided to some extent. I've been advocating for such separation for months (years?) now. Have the default succubi, label it as a fiend. Don't specify how it fits in or what type of fiend ...

Thursday, 8th May, 2014

  • 05:51 PM - Scrivener of Doom mentioned DMZ2112 in post Anything new on release dates? (As of May 8)
    DMZ2112: It is strange that we only have conjecture at this point considering we are but three months away from GenCon. But I am sure WotC knows what they are doing.... fjw70: Thanks for solving that mystery: I think it did come out of a vague or even faulty recollection of the Pax East panel. :)

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

  • 03:47 PM - Plaguescarred mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Lives
    DMZ2112 - I have the 3.5 Dragonlance Campaign Setting, my players just didn't play much 3rd. And it didn't see print for 4E. So it will be fun to see support again for DL.

Saturday, 29th March, 2014

  • 11:42 AM - Omegaxicor mentioned DMZ2112 in post Help Improving "fetch" quests
    @nomotog wow, I hadn't thought of that, I don't know that hiding the ingredient in the gears of a trap will end up as a success, I imagine my players wandering around looking for it...FOREVER :P @ MichealSomething the second link seems a bit redundant, since it appears in the video, but that is great, I might borrow that quest for the future. @DMZ2112 I like those ideas, particularly being attacked by other people who want the item, I think I need to decide on the ingredients to decide what else I can add around them Thanks everyone, I'll have a think and hopefully come up with a good idea EDIT: I have tried everything to get "MichealSomething" to link but it doesn't

Tuesday, 11th March, 2014


Wednesday, 8th January, 2014

  • 09:58 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dungeon crawls = narrow hallway combat & door jam combats, ugh!
    I agree with DMZ2112. Combat is noisy. Have either monsters in the room the PCs are fighting at circle around and attack from behind or have monsters from unexplored rooms come join the fun! Nothing will scare the pants off your wizard than a big nasty undead walking up behind him and draining his life force away. If you can, throw an incorporeal undead into the mix. Have it float through the fighters and go right after the casters. Or if there are intelligent undead, like wights, have them attack and retreat, leading the PCs into an ambush. You can even give them ranged weapons. Lastly, have a door completely barricaded shut from the side your PCs are on. Chances are they'll want to see what's behind it. After they pry of the barricade and open the door, they can find a tentacled eldritch abomination from beyond space and time. It reaches out, grabs someone and drags them off to a time and place unknowable to mere mortals. Your group may or may not appreciate that. :P

Friday, 13th December, 2013


Friday, 22nd November, 2013


Thursday, 17th October, 2013

  • 04:57 PM - I'm A Banana mentioned DMZ2112 in post Wandering Monsters: The Little Guys
    Basically what you're saying here is that YOUR IDEA of a goblin should trump everyone else's. I want a D&D game where everyone's own idea of what a goblin should be trumps everyone else's at their own table. So Pathfinder fans can have fun with funny little sadists. And DMZ2112 can use his own goblins. In fact, if they follow 4e monster design principles in that there is a math gospel (something I'm pretty in favor of), it should be pretty easy to do that: altering statblocks should be no problem.

Monday, 30th September, 2013

  • 05:04 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned DMZ2112 in post 7 Advantages to Retelling your Adventures
    @DMZ2112 : I couldn't agree with you more. I never read that particular interview with Gary Gygax (sounds really interesting) but it's something he would say. Also, it makes a lot of sense. I'm also, first and foremost, a storytelling GM. I really enjoy writing, creating adventures, and the retelling of tales of adventure. I think the embellishment of the game after the fact is just as important as the role-playing going on during the game. In fact, I'm sure many times the game was just played as the players themselves would act naturally, but many things developed afterwards in the retelling. It's interesting you should mention it because I recall one game I ran at a convention where a few people were really 'forcing' themselves to act as their characters and the whole effect was a little bit odd. You almost get better game-play when people don't quite worry so much about properly portraying their characters and let the characters develop naturally as part fictions and part reflections of th...

Tuesday, 24th September, 2013

  • 09:23 PM - Cadence mentioned DMZ2112 in post Kender are a core race?
    ...potential DM had a reasonably strong picture in their head of the basics of the campaign world the story will be set-in? In that case, if the player suggests a race and rationale for them being in the world, and the DM still can't see it, is saying no arrogant on the part of the DM or just part of job they volunteered for? (e.g. a Kitsune ninja in an Egyptian themed game, a Dwarf Cleric in a human only world with a specified pantheon, ... ) These are all D&D creatures, and belong in D&D. There is no such thing as setting-exclusive. If it's a good idea for your games, you crib it. If it's not, it's not hurting you by being there. And since no one is making you play a kender, or use them at your table, it's not hurting you to let someone else play them. In a way, aren't all D&D creatures "setting-exclusive"? If your campaign world doesn't have some race (humans? elves? dwarves?), I wonder if having them integrated throughout the core rule-book would be kind of annoying. As @DMZ2112 notes in post #33, the rule book sets up default expectations in the player's heads. With extra races you are in the position of having to tell them what limitations your world is operating under instead of presenting it from the positive side of all the wonderful opportunities they have. For me, having Tieflings and Dragonborn and whatnot in the 4E PHB's is part of what gave me a bad first impression of that edition... out of the gate it announced "we're not going to line up with traditional-D&D, get over it". I'd like the traditional classic core races presented as being the standard ones that usually pop-up (but check out your DM's campaign notes!). Having one other race from each of several settings presented in the core book as "hey, look at these cool ideas to expand the basic world (and go buy some campaign books!)" would be fine by me too. And having all the extra ones from 4E listed as "other popular races that may be in many campaigns" seems reasonable to me for inter-ed...

Monday, 23rd September, 2013

  • 03:58 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned DMZ2112 in post How to Teach a GM to be a Player?
    ...y kind of embarrassing seeing as I'd begged everyone to play, but I just couldn't keep my focus on the game. Throughout the 5 hour session, I was a 0-level farmer the entire game forced to be a servant to a crazy old wizard. Apart from failing miserably at the basest of tasks, I wasn't really allowed to do much. I guess you could say I was spoiled by playing 1st level heroes all the time, and that it was a great role-playing opportunity. However, there wasn't even a single battle in the entire time I was playing (and I'm still 0-level in that game as far as I know). The other players enjoyed themselves immensely so it must have been just me. Mishihari Lord: Kudos on trying not to be 'that guy'. I think most good GMs try to do the same, but it sounds like you've succeeded. I'm not sure I actually agree with the advice in the column, as most of it has basically been used to try to keep me in line as a player. However, thanks for saying some of it was helpful (if not the premise). @DMZ2112 : Well, I guess I agree and disagree. To some extent I agree that a GM needs to have a tough skin to do his job. Some of my players say they'll never GM me as a player, but that can make it hard for them to GM games. I know I might not be the best player, but if we work together (and not against each other) I think the only way to pull it off is to keep trying. If you just quit, you can never succeed. The part where I disagree is with the points in the article being perfectly valid. I know I'm the one who wrote it, but they were mostly tactics used on me by other GMs. I guess I may have come up with a few of them myself, and it's good to know they can be helpful. Also, it's interesting you should say they can be used against other kinds of player entitlement. I'd never thought of that, but it's quite true. *** Thanks for the great comments, everyone! I'll definitely be passing on this info to some players-turned-GMs. I really like the idea of giving the former GM administrative ...

Saturday, 13th July, 2013

  • 03:24 AM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post L&L 1/7/2013 The Many Worlds of D&D
    On the issue of "creation" vs "destruction", and "expansion" vs "invalidation". This depends heavily on whether one cares for the tone/theme/resonance of a story element, or what one might call its "procedural" details. For me, fusing the Shadow Plane (as characterised in quotes in my previous post), the Glooms of Hades and the Negative Material Plane does not invalidate anything, but rather validates the theme and tone of these elements, because (to borrow DMZ2112's phrase) I no longer have to come up with ad hoc and unsatisfying reasons why two thematically near-identical things are really two. It's only if I'm focused on procedural matters like which spells work in which plane, or the fact that shadows (from the Plane of Shadow) suck STR whereas wraiths (from the Negative Material Plane) suck levels, that the diference between these elements has any significance. For someone coming from my perspective 4e is validating of the D&D cosmological tradition. That's why I thought when I got it, and still think today, that Worlds & Monsters is one of the best D&D books I own.


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 05:32 PM - Tony Vargas quoted DMZ2112 in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    This thread made me laugh out loud because I saw an identical proposal in 1993, and the problems remain the same. That's 26 years ago for those keeping score at home.There are no new ideas. First off, I don't agree with the basic premise that D&D models PCs with high INT, WIS or CHA badly.It certainly /did/ it badly (if at all) in '93. Since 3.0, it hasn't been so bad, mechanically (OK, diplomancers were pretty horrid), in theory, if DM's'd use the mechanics, and players'd respect them when they didn't break their way... /IF/. If not, well, machete, gasoline. Problem solved. Specifically I don't agree that CHA has the same problem as INT and WIS. CHA is modeled as well in D&D as STR, DEX or CON. People lump it in here out of misguided, ill-considered symmetry.Well, and out of the insistence that "we should just RP it" and "you can't tell me how my character feelz!" The only time it seems to create a genuine problem is when a player dumpstats INT down to 8 or 6 or whate...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 04:00 PM - 5ekyu quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Oh my gods, six pages. Thank you all for taking the time to respond. You are not wrong, but this is not in line with your original proposal. You said that high-level rogues should have the chance to sneak when no one else could. I agree with that idea, but that is not what this is. This is a high-level rogue having a chance to be detected when anyone else would be detected as a matter of course. To actually get to the point where such a rogue feels challenged, the monster would require a truly ridiculous bonus to their roll, well in excess of +10. I hope I didn't shut you down, Ovinomancer; I have a tendency to speak in absolutes that is easily interpreted as a lack of interest in discussion. I'm not certain, I just project confidence. Good. Yes. That is actually more helpful than it seems. Forest for the trees, and all that. Is that not this thread? :) I will cop to the fact that my issue is far more combat-focused than I thought when I wrote the post. I am much less...
  • 07:28 AM - S'mon quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I'm curious to hear from other D&D5 dungeon masters how you challenge high-level rogues in terms of going about undetected. Shorthand: With Reliable Talent and Expertise, an 11th level rogue can easily have a Stealth check result range of 23-33, which is far beyond the capacity of any passive Perception in the Monster Manual On Saturday my PC group had a 19th level Rogue tried to shoot then hide vs an ancient blue dragon - Passive Perception 27 ...nope. :) +17 stealth = RT 27 vs PP 27; if you are trying to hide then on a tie situation remains unchanged. Also, you can normally only hide if you have cover.

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 06:19 PM - Flamestrike quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Honestly, I think that is how I would prefer it to work, but it is not the assumption the rules make. The Hiding rules (page 60 PHB, sidebar) states: ''The DM decides when circumstances are appropriate for Hiding''. Arent you the DM? The RAW also goes on to state: ''The question isnt whether a creature can see you when you're hiding. The question is whether it can see you clearly.'' The rules assume that if the rogue is not engaged (or actively being targeted by a ranged or spell attack), the rogue can slip out of sight. The rules assume nothing of the sort. The assumption is yours. The rules state it's down to the DM to determine when circumstances are appropriate for hiding (using common sense). If you and I are playing Hide and Seek, (and you happen to be a 20th level Rogue) and I watch you (clear as day) crawl inside a cardboard box and close the lid, you are not hidden from me. I know where you are (and am objectively correct in that knowledge). This is why we have DM's; to adj...
  • 05:40 PM - iserith quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I will cop to the fact that my issue is far more combat-focused than I thought when I wrote the post. I am much less concerned with someone being Solid Snake /in general/ than I am with someone being Solid Snake /during their initiative phase/. And it's not that the rogue often succeeds at hiding in adverse conditions -- that would not be a problem -- it's that they /always/ succeed, which I see as being just as little fun as never succeeding. That might be an exaggeration, but I do believe that it is uncertainty that drives entertainment in tabletop roleplaying, to a large degree. What I have taken to doing is assigning each encounter a 'clutter value,' which I report to rogue players at the beginning of the encounter. The clutter value is an abstraction of how much junk is lying around in the encounter area that the rogue can use for cover. It directly translates to the number of times the rogue can hide before the enemy starts getting advantage on their Perception checks because the r...
  • 05:39 PM - Flamestrike quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    DC 23 is still out of range for 90% of the Monster Manual. The circumstances need to be appropriate for hiding in the first place (as adjudicated by the DM). You're entirely within your rights as DM to say ''Nope, the monster is watching you duck behind the pillar/ around behind the tree; you cant Hide there''. Hiding in 5e isnt button mashing (unless you want it to be as DM of course). In my games, if the Monster sees you going into your hiding spot (and that's objectively where you are) you cant hide relative to that monster; your Stealth check to Hide fails. A Rogue that pops down into a box (in full view of the enemy) and closes the lid, cant Hide. His Stealth check fails; the enemy monster knows exactly where he is. It's a different case if the Box concealed a secret passage in the floor and the Rogue used that to slink off and Hide. It's a matter of context.
  • 04:37 AM - Flamestrike quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I'm curious to hear from other D&D5 dungeon masters how you challenge high-level rogues in terms of going about undetected. Shorthand: With Reliable Talent and Expertise, an 11th level rogue can easily have a Stealth check result range of 23-33, which is far beyond the capacity of any passive Perception in the Monster Manual and really beyond the capacity of most Perception checks -- if the dungeon master permits a roll -- representing a 'nearly impossible' DC /on average/. To be clear, /negating/ this advantage would be easy. Denying the rogue a place to hide is not a solution. I'm specifically interested in hearing about scenarios where palatable, credible circumstances were engineered to challenge a rogue with a Stealth check result in the high 20s. I havent had an issue with it. Even presuming a Dex 20/ Expertise/ +4 Prof Rogue, you're looking at DC 23. They still need something to Hide behind (at this Level, most creatures have darkvision, tremorsense, truesight etc) AND the DM has...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 11:27 AM - Quartz quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I'm curious to hear from other D&D5 dungeon masters how you challenge high-level rogues in terms of going about undetected. Remember that the PC only gets to roll if the result is in doubt. Yes, you might be Batman with +20 to your Stealth (+6 base Proficiency, +1 to Proficiency from Ioun stone, 22 Dex boosted by Tome) and Reliable Talent, for a minimum result of 30 but if there's nowhere to hide then you don't get to hide. And nerf Expertise to +2. Which still gives Batman a minimum result of 25.
  • 02:29 AM - 77IM quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Denying the rogue a place to hide is not a solution. Would it be OK to make it difficult to get into, or stay in, the places to hide? I think we've all seen a movie where the hero detects enemies approaching. The hero looks around and there's no hiding place! The enemies come around the corner, and the hallway is strangely empty, and they just walk on by. Then the camera pans up, and the hero is on the ceiling, holding themselves aloft by pressing hands and feet against opposite walls. (Presumably some kind of Athletics or Acrobatics check -- not that I want to restart that tired old debate.) OR the classic: the hero is in a maze of shipping containers down by the docks. Enemies with submachine guns are searching for him or her. But the hero picks them off one by one! (The challenge here is for the rogue to detect the enemies using Perception; if they fail to do so, the enemy comes around a corner and just spots them.) OR how about: The hero needs to cross open ground, with scant c...
  • 01:43 AM - Ovinomancer quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Maybe I'm not understanding you, but the situation seems /worse/ with contested rolls. Most monsters can't beat a 20, and the rogue will roll a 23 more than half the time and higher the other half. While I do on occasion design encounters in which hiding is unhelpful or impossible, generally speaking I come down the other way, on this: it /should/ be assumed. Denying the opportunity to hide has to be pretty carefully gauged, at least in combat. The rogue is clearly designed with the expectation that they will at least have the chance to get sneak attack every round. Usually this is a matter of keeping enemies engaged, but not always. Negating the rogue's combat potency is a kick in the fork to the player's fun. Not having to roll is also not fun, in my experience, which is where I'm coming from on this. I'd just like the rogue to be /capable/ of failure under normal circumstances, even if that failure is a rare occurrance. I would have asked a different question if I had...

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 10:57 PM - Blue quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I'm curious to hear from other D&D5 dungeon masters how you challenge high-level rogues in terms of going about undetected. Shorthand: With Reliable Talent and Expertise, an 11th level rogue can easily have a Stealth check result range of 23-33, which is far beyond the capacity of any passive Perception in the Monster Manual and really beyond the capacity of most Perception checks -- if the dungeon master permits a roll -- representing a 'nearly impossible' DC /on average/. To be clear, /negating/ this advantage would be easy. Denying the rogue a place to hide is not a solution. I'm specifically interested in hearing about scenarios where palatable, credible circumstances were engineered to challenge a rogue with a Stealth check result in the high 20s. Hmm, let's see. A hero of our story has spent class features and a feat on becoming the absolute best at stealth that they can be. They now can do legendary feats of stealth that mundane creatures just won't notice and only the best...
  • 10:08 PM - jaelis quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Those are some loud leaves, but I take your point. However, even with a massive +10 to the roll your average CR 11 monster has a check result range of 11 to 31 and is still /guaranteed/ to fail more than half the time -- regardless of the rogue's result. I'm terrible at probability math but I think the monster's actual odds are worse than 3:1 against. 75% success against a garden-variety monster, under adverse conditions, seems pretty reasonable to me. If you want to have a particularly alert guard, you can give it proficiency, or even expertise, in perception.
  • 08:18 PM - Ovinomancer quoted DMZ2112 in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I'm curious to hear from other D&D5 dungeon masters how you challenge high-level rogues in terms of going about undetected. Shorthand: With Reliable Talent and Expertise, an 11th level rogue can easily have a Stealth check result range of 23-33, which is far beyond the capacity of any passive Perception in the Monster Manual and really beyond the capacity of most Perception checks -- if the dungeon master permits a roll -- representing a 'nearly impossible' DC /on average/. To be clear, /negating/ this advantage would be easy. Denying the rogue a place to hide is not a solution. I'm specifically interested in hearing about scenarios where palatable, credible circumstances were engineered to challenge a rogue with a Stealth check result in the high 20s. 1) don't confuse DCs with contested rolls -- rolling a 33 is not a Nearly Impossible challenge, even if it's pretty much a de facto one. 2) You don't challenge a rogue with stealth challenges at this point, except on rare occasion ...

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 08:50 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted DMZ2112 in post Upgraded to https! Please report bugs!
    If there is an image imbedded anywhere in a thread that I or one of my friends posts in, the My Activity tab on my profile repeats the image in every post it collates from that thread. I致e seen that problem in my own profile from before the switchover. Edit: amusingly, the Starship Troopers picture I posted- #25 in this thread- is now showing in my activity tab.

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 06:21 PM - MacConnell quoted DMZ2112 in post Upgraded to https! Please report bugs!
    If there is an image imbedded anywhere in a thread that I or one of my friends posts in, the My Activity tab on my profile repeats the image in every post it collates from that thread. Edit the post. Go into code mode, the a/A button in the upper left. Delete the =Configure part of the code from your image.

Friday, 21st June, 2019


Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 06:05 PM - BMaC quoted DMZ2112 in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    Of all the reasons to dislike this book, "It's too much fun for D&D" is unequivocally the worst. Pants-on-head zanny fun in a D&D game is not to everyone's taste. I am not buying the book but I am happy it was released.

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 01:39 PM - Ramaster quoted DMZ2112 in post Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit
    A computer could do both of these things. Yes. Provided it was programed with the ability to do so by a GOOD DM in the first place. Dungeon mastery isn't just about balanced encounter design or clever narration; It's not just about that but... those are like 2 reaaally important DMing skills that not everyone bothers to pick up. It's about knowing how your players want the campaign to develop moment to moment and letting them earn it, not enforcing an objective idea of what's "more interesting" just because a few plastic shapes landed on the table in an undesirable way. Several things here. If you fudge, your players won't earn a thing. You are the one that's choosing when they succeed and when they fail. Their characters don't have input in the resolution of your encounters. You're just playing with yourself. Let the guy who's a "super climber" (or the wizard who prepared Spider Climb or whatever) defeat the wall encounter in an objective manner if they are able. That would be an act...

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 01:54 PM - Ramaster quoted DMZ2112 in post Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit
    Fudging die rolls doesn't protect you from having to own your mistakes or design well. If anything, it makes you more accountable for your decisions. Players don't have to trust a dungeon master who doesn't fudge. Maintaining player trust while fudging is dungeon mastery hard mode. If you decide that the players have to climb a very smooth wall with a high climb DC and then they all fail their checks and you fudge it so that they succeed and the adventure can continue, then that's just a badly designed encounter. You are not doing anything "on hard mode", you are just compensating on the spot for a previous mistake. DMing "on hard mode" would be to put the PCs on a situation where they thinking that climbing said wall is hard when it's actually easy or, EVEN BETTER (and what I'm trying for currently), putting them on a situation where failing to climb the wall has negative consequences but the adventure not only continues, it just gets more interesting.
  • 05:43 AM - MNblockhead quoted DMZ2112 in post Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit
    This makes sense to me. I have been watching the Hasbro game shelves at my local Target for years waiting for first the D&D4 and then the D&D5 starter sets to show up, and they never have. Not super happy about the circumstances, but more exposure is good. Folks who shop at FLGSes are likely to wait anyway. Fudging die rolls doesn't protect you from having to own your mistakes or design well. If anything, it makes you more accountable for your decisions. Players don't have to trust a dungeon master who doesn't fudge. Maintaining player trust while fudging is dungeon mastery hard mode. The D&D Starter set (the original Phandelver one) was sold in my local targets. This is important because it is priced right, and packaged attractively enough, that it will be bought by parents and relatives and also as birthday presents for your kids school friends. Target is probably the best venue in the United States today for broadening the D&D consumer base.


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DMZ2112's Downloads

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The Halfling Horde (Levels 7-9; Old Tower]
The Halfling Horde is a Dungeons & Dragons Next adventure for four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. The adventure involves a nomadic horde of halflings coming into conflict with a town, Round River, newly founded in their sacred grounds. ...
15033 0 1 Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM

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