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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    I don't understand what you're trying to achieve. If you're not interested in the topic as it's been framed or discussed, or think the thread is unhelpful, you're very welcome not to post in it. If you think my threads involve code-of-conduct violation, you have the option of reporting them. Are you trying to pick a fight and have this thread shut down? Are you trying to clutter the thread...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:40 AM
    Riley37, you didn't answer my question as to what you think it adds to the thread to insist that Hriston said something that he didn't, on the basis of attributing a meaning to his words that they were not intended to bear, and which no reasonable reader of them in the context of their production would impute to them. As to your question about light, light isn't an endeavour of any sort. It's...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:19 AM
    It's not a Chrome thing as such. I use Chrome, and when I cut-and-past text into the website editor I don't pick up COLOR tags.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:38 AM
    I've mostly played RQ III, although I don't think we've ever used the Sorcery rules. Characters have a lot of colour. Resolution is generally straightforward enough. The system is set up to make combat an important aspect of play, but it also tends to produce fairly brutal results. That's probably the biggest weakness of the system.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:26 AM
    If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a literary matter simply because it's non-mechanical, and also an apparent implication that the role and significance of dungeon dressing is a matter of evocative...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:55 AM
    This post makes many assumptions about how a game might work. Many games don't require "adding to the game" (eg by way of new subsystems, or new modifiers, or whatever) because they have resolution systems that are relatively straightforward to extrapolate to novel situations. I appreciate that D&D, historically, has not been such a system - it emphasises particular subsystems rather than...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:56 AM
    I use the traditional colour scheme (white post text, orange button text, on black background). In the post I mentioned in the "literary endeavour" thread there are two quote blocks. The first I can read. The second is, for me, an empty quote block. When I highlight it the text appears. I assume that the text has COLOR tags around it that are making it black. In the past when posters have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:15 AM
    Having just re-read lowkey13's post, I think I may have misread - by "my last post" perhaps he mean "my previous post" (the next bit of the post itself is not legible for me because of some text formatting issue, but maybe it's a quote of a previous post?). I feel that reinforces my view that meta-comments (ie on the quality and formal properties of poster's posts, as opposed to what they're...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    The post you quoted is nearly 400 words, has two footnotes and an edit, and references Hemingway and Henry Miller. I'm not sure there's much profit in critiquing posting styles or trying to diagnose irony. lowkey13 has (by my count) 7 posts since posting "My last post". Is that irony? An atypical use of the word last? (Maybe we should debate the meaning of the word last, or even post - my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:16 AM
    I think that for at least some maths teachers, who have graduated in the first instance with a qualification that emphasises skills other than verbal communication, training to teach and then working as a teacher improves their ability to speak clearly, to convey ideas well, to choose the right word for the task at hand, etc. I don't think this suffices, in and of itself, to show that teaching...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:43 AM
    Further: a message board is a written medium. It's not a conversation except in some rather metaphorical sense. Doubly so in my case given that most of the other posters are in a different country and different time zone from me. And further further: I would have thought it's pretty clear my now that the OP is talking about the aims/virtues or RPGing. What it's about as an aesthetic activity....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:53 AM
    Man, Myth & Magic Immortals D&D PF 5e D&D DragonQuest
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:44 AM
    I don't quite follow this, and so am not sure what view is being attributed to me. For my answers to Manbearcat's questions, see the post immediately upthread.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:40 AM
    Yes. Someone can be good at plotting but poor at scripting. Someone can have good imagination for drama, conflict, story and yet be a bad writer. I would say so, yes.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:28 AM
    That's probably a point that generalises to all narration!
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 09:42 PM
    A great intro adventure would be, "Ninjas have kidnapped the President. Are you a bad enough dude to resue the President?"
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    When I posted I wasn't thinking of DW, but since starting the thread I was reading the AW rules seriously and I think I posted somewhere upthread the passage from AW where Vincent Baker talks about the game as conversation. It's on pp 11-12: oleplaying is a conversation. You and the other players go back and forth, talking about these fictional characters in their fictional circumstances...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Yes. The OP was the result of two threads that were current at the time it was posted - one about boxed text, one about narration of action declarations. In the former thread, some advocated for boxed text argued that it is important for establishing tone/mood. In the latter thread, some critics of the idea that players should narrate their action declarations based their criticisms on an...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:44 AM
    Maybe posters who think the thread is not worthwhile, or is overly cluttered, could cease posting in it?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:41 AM
    And if the OP was The Old Man and the Sea then I might have won a Nobel Prize. If you wnnt to start a thread about spotlight-hoggin narration, go for it! It's not something that I've got much experience of, but I'm sure it's a thing. But the OP is about something else - namely, the stuff that I said in the OP and have been discussing with other psters since!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    This isn't something I have strong views on. When I'm trying to adjudicate an action as GM, and I'm GMing a game in which the fiction has a big affect on resolution and consequences (say Buring Wheel or Traveller) then I like to have a fairly clear sense of what the character is doing, and overly complicated narration from the player can sometime hurt that. But if the players want to banter...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:18 AM
    In conversation I choose words depending on what I want to say - for instance, if I want to describe a building, I might choose what other building or structure to compare it to. If I want to describe how a person behaved or seemed to feel, I might say they seemed upset and then clarify that to mean (say) angry, not sad. I didn't say I choose words to convey mood or theme. I did say that my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:25 AM
    Why not? This take me, at least, back to some of the points Manbearcat was making fairly early in this thread. If I'm going to use a qallupilluit in my game, I will want to establish a situation which gives it some sort of heft or significance. There are very many ways of doing that (and obviously RPG system will have a significant impact, on top of system-independent techniques). In my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:47 AM
    The thread doesn't ask does, or can, RPGing have a literary aspect? It asks whether it is a literary endeavour. That is: does RPGing aim at possessing the virtues and exhibitng the qualities of literature? (Note that - because in this thread it seems to need to be repeated - something can have an aim that it does not maximally achieve. For instance, when high school students write stories they...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:42 AM
    If the village in the Marvel game is a small, remote, sinister mountain village in (say) Latveria, then probably yes. I use the words I need to describe the situation. These will depend on mood, whim, what has previously been said, what seems to matter in the current situation, etc, as well as (obviously) upon what I want to describe. That is to say, the words I use will depend on all the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:25 PM
    Popper has a (controversial) theory of what makes a claim, or perhaps a collection of claims, scientific. I'm not making a scientific claim. I'm making an aesthetic claim. So Popperian falsifiability has nothing to do with it. My claim is about the point of RPGing, what makes it a distinctive and worthwhile creative endeavour. Not far upthread Aldarc has given a pretty good account of my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:08 PM
    I don't think there are any Americans among me and my colleagues. A couple of Candians. My play group has a mix of educational levels - Year 12 through to PhDs in literary disciplines - but all can read above a 7th grade level. I have no idea whether the typical American would follow our conversations - it's never come up that I can recall - but that doesn't make them not conversation.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:03 PM
    This shows you misunderstand what I'm claiming. And you reiterate your disagreement with me. I've bolded it for you. I don't think the language makes it suck. I think the language as such is neither here nor there; and that working on the language - which is a common practice when aiming for literary quality - may well be an impediment. Here's another example to illustrate my point: I've...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:41 AM
    I don't agree that there's a consensus: I can't really tell what Maxperson thinks, but Imaro and Hussar have made claims about the need for entertaining/evocative narration that I think clearly contradict the position I asserted in the OP. But one complicating fact pertains to vocabularly: eg I wouldn't regard cadaverous as a word to describe a Githyanki as especially remarkable or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:33 AM
    I would tend to think of "rictus grin" as falling on the literary side of things, as does Hussar. As I've posted, it does no harm if it doesn't impede (what I regard as) the real point of play. It has a face like a skull might do just as well. I personally can't remember how I've described githyanki in the past - I suspect I'm more likely to have shown a picture, such as the one on the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Hussar, I feel the shoe is on the other foot. Why won't you engage with the fact that you disagree with me? Go back to your example of the dwarf, or of the Scarred Land Monster. Why do you think that entertaining descriptions are an important part of RPGing? EDIT: And here is more evidence of disagreement: Here you assert exactly what the OP denies. So instead of quibbling over the way...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 09:18 AM
    What do you mean by "everyone just comments"? The character sheet records "colourful clothes". I don't think any PC or NPC has ever commented on this as portrayed at the table. (Maybe they've talked about it off-screen - who knows.) It's not surprising that an entertainer should wear colourful clothes - I rewatched The Seventh Seal the other evening, and the actors/acrobats wore colourful...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 09:02 AM
    That's been done. You're correct. There seems to be an underlying assumption by some posters that any disagreement must be the result of having confused the definition of our terms, and that if only those could be sorted out then everyone would see that what is being said is true or false. Or, to put it differently, there seems to be some sort of reluctance to recognise and talk about...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:54 AM
    As I posted upthread, I don't know what your field is. I don't know how many logic or philosophy seminars you have attended. But the standard word used to describe a fallacious or sophistic argument that superficially appears valid, but in fact is not valid because a key term carries different meanings in different sentences of the argument, is equivocation. And the cognate verb is equivocate....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:38 AM
    I don't need to point to a line to make the point that "just about anything written" is not the criterion used by any reviewer in deciding what to review. And one can't point to a line: for instance, before the invention of reliable, reproducable type I don't think that layout was one of the formal qulaities by which literature was judged. But clearly, over the past century or so, it has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 05:45 AM
    I assume you're not meaning that it's contentious that I think it's not uncontentious. Rather, I take it you're agreeing with me that it's not uncontentious. Boardgames don't call to action at all! There is no protagonism in a board game. To put it at its crudest, boardgames are about mathematics, not passion.
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  • DMZ2112's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 05:32 PM
    My sister the linguistics doctoral candidate pointed out to me today that this article headlined this morning's Dictionary.com newsletter e-mail. The article itself is hit and miss, but hey, visibility. I've seen worse clickbait.https://www.dictionary.com/e/s/dd-terminology/#1
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:21 PM
    Somewhat contra Lanefan, it often doesn't matter at all if the players think different things about the fiction. Last Sunday I GMed a session of Prince Valiant. One of the PCs is a bard/entertainer who wears "colourful clothes". What colour(s) are they? We've never specified. If I think about it I guess I think red, orange, yellow, maybe blue also. What does the player of that character have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    Clarity is not an element of literary quality. Adequate volume to be audible is not something that goes to the artistic quality of a performance. I don't read as much criticism as I probably should, but when I read a review of a novel or a film or a performance of a play I learn (among other things) what the reviewer thought of the cleverness of the composition, the emotions conveyed, the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:27 PM
    That's why you disagree with me about what is "core" or "primary" or "central" to RPGing as an activity. Because I assert - in the OP, and since - that the call to action is what's central. I didn't, and don't, think that that is uncontentious. That's why I started a discussion about it! No one said you can't. I asserted (i) that they're not essential, and (ii) that working on your prose -...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 07:12 AM
    Is there an awesome GURPS stream you can show them? Streams are what all the cool players do :P
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 12:25 AM
    Here's the way that I'm used to discussion working: Person A makes an assertion, explaining what s/he has in mind as best s/he can, ready to elaborate and defend if necessary. Person B makes a reply - perhaps agreeing, perhaps disagreeing, perhaps distinguishing some point, etc. If person B is unsure about what was said by A, s/he asks for clarification. Etc. I'm not used to the idea...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Whow know? Tell me what it is. If you think telling me what it is necessarily requires literary effort, then what's your conception of teaching children the language? I think it's possible to describe a situation without "painting a picture" in the literary sense. If I can't engage the players unless I "paint a picture" in the literary sense, then I worry that it's probably not a very good...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:46 PM
    I don't think this is true. I don't intend what follows to be triggering for anyone, and apologise if it is - I couldn't come up with a completely safe example. But, that said, and continuing on: If I relate to you the information that a bomb is about to go off in your building, I don't think you would be a passive audience. I think you would engage with what I'm saying in many quite active...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:52 AM
    This is an example of another feature of 4E; Marking! Marking is an action "Defender" classes (or in this case mods) can do to discourage monsters (or in this case edition warring posters) from attacking the rest of your party (or in this case the rest of the posters in this thread/any edition of D&D). Note that Marking does not stop you from taking an action; it punishes you for it. Like...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 01:30 PM
    Well this certainly gets to the heart of it, or to the heart of something at least. I see two related questions. (1) Is worldbuilding done, and context established, for the players? That depends on the system and the table. My experience, going back over 30 years to my early years as a GM, is that players are more invested when the context is something that they have a hand in. This can be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:45 PM
    I would put the contrast slightly differently. I think if the game - its mechanics and resoultion, in the context of its fiction - produces the emotion of fear, or anger, or whaever, in the player, then there is less need to try and produce this by way of evocative narration. For me, this is connected with the idea of inhabitation of the character by the player. I think this depends very...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:33 PM
    One example from Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic: if the Doom Pool has 2d12 in it, then the GM can spend those 2d12 to bring the scene to an end. The game will tolerate the GM "winging it" a bit when it comes to spending Doom Pool dice - for instance, the system has a notion of spending dice to introduce an additional threat into a scene, and the relationship between die size and threat...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 09:47 AM
    I think this is very system-dependent. Some systems wear their genre on their sleeves and deliver genre-consistent outcomes. Examples I can think of that I've GMed recently: Prince Valiant, Cthulhu Dark). And both respond on good GM fiction-oriented responses and mechanically are relatively light (especially the latter). Some don't, though, and outcomes can depend on mechanical features...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 11:28 PM
    The AW rulebook has examples of "mistakes and corrections" in adjudication. The expectation, as modelled by those examples, is that the GM and players will correct errors in calling for particular moves during play. One of the reasons for that is that calling for the wrong move is likely to produce inconsistent fiction. As an example, if a player has his/her PC "go aggro" then a possible...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:20 AM
    You missed out! It was my main system for nearly 20 years.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:17 AM
    This is mostly a system issue. Eg 4e D&D has no system for resolving PC vs PC social conflict, and its combat system isn't very satisfactory for PC vs PC martial conflict. Whereas Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic handles PC vs PC social or martial quite easily. Sometimes I will interpolate a system into a game that doesn't have one by default. Eg in my Classic Traveller game, on a couple...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:11 AM
    I think that last sentence makes more sense for an 80s-style game like D&D, RM, GURPS, HERO etc, than for some more modern games. I'm hoping/planning to run Apocalypse World some time soon. It doesn't use situational modifiers. I'll want to be on top of the rules before I run it, because they're pretty carefully designed to yield a particualr experience.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 01:59 AM
    The function of the gameworld is to support a game. So it exists for the participants - real people in the real world. In most RPGs - including D&D - the majority of the participants play the game by using their characters (the PCs) to engage the gameworld. What form that engagement takes, and how - in the fiction - the PCs fit into their world, will probably differ from table to table.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:55 PM
    I think this is pretty contentious. But if the GM always decides the outcome, and decides it based on stuff the players have no knowledge of, then they also may as well read a novel. If the players don't know about the ship, don't know that burning down the house will destroy clues to the ship, if they just decide to burn down the house for whatever reason, then the only person who is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:59 AM
    OK, so in my earlier reply to you I had located "pacing" as something happening at the scene/scene transition level, but here you are bringing it back to the word choice in the moment level. If your two questions (at the end of the first quote, and in the second quote) are accepted as purely rhetorical, then I think you're putting a lot of pressure on the form/content distinction: because the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:47 AM
    What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread? One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by Aldarc and hawkeyefan, has been interesting. Hriston and darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:39 AM
    What darkbard says is correct, with one caveat that perhaps gets closer to the heart of Sadras's concern: I think that the invitation to action often requires spontaneity or real-time judgement in tthe back-and-forth; whereas wordcraft tends to benefit from reflection and editing. So I think there can be a degree of tension between the two. So there is a second claim, on top of the claim that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:23 AM
    You say this as if its controversial, or something I'm unaware of. But to quote from the OP, with some empahsis added: This is why I XPed Sadras's post about Matt Mercer and Steve Colbert. Not because I agree with what Sadras said - he is putting forward a conception of RPGing that differs from the one I put forward, and that places an importance on the literary quality of the narration that I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:14 AM
    This engages directly with the OP. Thank you. But Aldarc is not me. I've already posted that some of the things Aldarc is distinguishing from literature I would, for my purposes as per the OP, characterise as literary endeavours. The world has room for multiple conversations! (And having just written this reply, I notice that Aldarc says something similar in the next post in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:06 AM
    With respect, this is silly. Describing things isn't *wordcraft* in the relevant sense. Four year old children have the vocabulary to describe the things that matter to them, and use it. But they're not engaged in literary activity. They're just speaking. If you think that there is no difference between describing things per se, and describing things in ways that evince quality of form and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:36 PM
    Maybe. Maybe not. Easiest way to find out is to ask them. I think of railroading as meaning the GM is the one who decides all the outcomes. Whether the GM does that by deciding what s/he thinks is realistic, or in some other fashion, cuts across the issue. It doesn't determine it. Why? (Assuming that it was meaningful in the first place.) I mean, the assassination attempt could easily be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 08:43 AM
    "Especially" is an adverb used to introduce a qualification. Eg "I like people, especially cheerful people." Maxperson, I don't know what your field of endeavour is, nor your education and/or professional training. But what you are saying here, assuming that it is sincere, suggests a lack of familiarity with how English dictionaries work, and also how English essay writing works. An...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:43 AM
    Yeah, I didn't expect this thread to be a debate about the meaning and scope of the term "literary". I thought it might be a discussion about whether or not wordcraft is a principal or essential means of evoking emotional responses in a RPG. The point of my OP is to deny such a claim. On the other hand, I believe that Hussar affirms such a claim, as does Imaro. I'm frankly not sure what...
    1470 replies | 40333 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:35 AM
    The gameworld doesn't have a life of its own. It's authored. As a general rule it's the GM who authors it, and who decides what is or isn't realistic in respect of it. So the gameworld responding "realistically" (ie as the GM thinks it should/wants it to) absolutely can be railroading. The stumbling over the clue sounds like it might be second-tier adventure design and action resolution,...
    68 replies | 3457 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:28 AM
    This isn't true. T&T doesn't have a cleric/MU contrast; it is a spell point casting system; it uses group-vs-group combat resolution with no to-hit rolls and armour as a wounds buffer; etc. Saying that T&T differs from D&D only in terms of presentation is like saying that Rolemsater or RQ differs from D&D only in terms of presentation. I'm not 100% sure what a "story-telling game" is -...
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 01:12 PM
    I have made it clear what I mean by a *literary endeavour*. I mean an endeavour that regards the formal quality of words - wordcraft, if you like - as its main, or perhaps one of its main, techniques for evoking aesthetic resonses. Without wanting to detract from any of Aldarc's excellent points, I would regard at least some film and theatre as literary endeavours in this sense. So are poetry...
    1470 replies | 40333 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    Well that's not a very liberal interpretation, is it?
    77 replies | 2338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    I learned to play with B/X, played a large amount of AD&D, very little 3E, and 4e is my favourite version of D&D. I've often said that it actually delivers what the foreword to Moldvay Basic promised (the hero liberating the land from the dragon tyrant with the sword bestowed by a mysterious cleric). I'm not saying that everyone who liked classic D&D should like 4e. But clearly I do. And I...
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 10:40 AM
    I have to confess that I didn't read your treadmill word-for-word, I'm sorry - more of a quick skim to get the gist. I guess I don't think layering meaningful fiction over the maths of a RPG is an illusion. I tend to just call that playing the game!
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 03:24 PM
    That second sentence also reminds me of the Edwards essay I posted a link to a little bit upothread. And what I'm really commenting on in this thread is my own relative unfamiliarity with GMing that sort of situation/"scenario". The closest I can think of is a certain sort of "tramp trader" Traveller, and that's not very close! See, this is what I look at and think would push me as a GM in...
    25 replies | 886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:18 AM
    I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count...
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:14 AM
    Adopting a liberal interpretation of "PH" and "two words", I came up with the following: Fighting Man. Magic-User. Wu Jen. Thief-Acrobat.
    77 replies | 2338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:59 AM
    Multi-classing doesn't mean particularly serious level limits eg 7/11 for an elf F/MU, or 8/8 for a half-elf F/MU, assuming decent stats. You can also build by researching spells, by pooling items, by choosing which items to keep and which to sell, etc. As you say, the rules aren't that clear. And you can always use wands, which tend to have good casting times.
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:37 AM
    I'll agree on the easier arithmetic. I'm not sure about what you mean by "swingy" - if it's really an attack/defence treadmill then the "swinginess" is preserved just the same. This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, involving giant hordes of weaker enemies than I ever did in AD&D or Rolemaster.
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:28 AM
    If you build for it, sure. Which you can do in AD&D as a F/MU, or using powerful Bracers of Defence, or . . . But the wizard/invoker in my 4e game didn't strike me as particularly atypical - and has always had Thunderwave ready to hand - but gets absolutely pasted in melee. That the precise consistency of the paste might differ from its AD&D analogue seems a secondary point.
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:21 AM
    Hence battle captain!
    77 replies | 2338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 10:37 AM
    The concept of "protagonism" in RPGing is (I believe) relatively well known. If it's unclear what I have in mind, here's the relevant remarks from the OP: If (to further self-quote) "the game rolls off the GM's 'plot wagon' much as it would if you were performing an elf instead" of a dwarf, then the things I've described aren't happening - the player's narration clearly is not engaging...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:57 AM
    For warlord I would suggest the Tolkienesque battle captain. But anyway I agree it's not a problem if you're not using WotC's IP (ie neither their text nor their trade dress).
    77 replies | 2338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:52 AM
    Well, some people think that OSRIC is on the margins (or crossing the margins) of copyright infringement. S'mon and I have discussed this before - I'm a bit more doubtful of its legality than S'mon but he's the better IP lawyer of the two of us - so probably it's OK! (If only just.)
    77 replies | 2338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:21 AM
    Yes, in that context. I'll explain the qualification by way of an example from a specific system. Each PC in Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic has two Milestones. Here are two example milestones - one is from Captain America in the core rulebook, the other is one that I made up in collaboration with the player for the berserker in my Cortex+ Fantasy Hack Vikings game: MENTOR THE HERO 1 XP...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 06:40 AM
    I've not just heard rumours of, but have played through, counter-examples to this. Mostly in an AD&D 2nd ed context, but also CoC and Rolemaster. That's not my experience. You could perform your dwarf - reciting old bits of lore from the dwarvish halls, complaining about the quality of the local ale, remarking on the state of your beard, swearing oaths "by the Mountains of Moradin", etc -...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 03:50 AM
    I've got no idea where this comes from. As far as I know I'm the only Prince Valiant player who posts on these boards; am the only Cthulhu Dark player who posts on these boards; have played more Burning Wheel than most posters on these boards; am one of the relatively few posters whose primary point of reference for RPGing is not some version of D&D. I don't think anyone could say that I don't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 03:38 AM
    At the risk of further controversy, I'll take up where you left off. One central feature of the D&D-as-wargame experience is that the player plays a single figure. This obviously creates some sort of invitation to performance ("playing out my guy"), protagonism etc. I wasn't playing in the mid-70s, but between reading around a bit and looking at some of the products that get published in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Yes. I'm not sure a hit-points/damage "treadmill" is inherently more virtuous than a to-hit/defence "treadmill". And it seems to have some side-effects ("sack of hp" monsters, for instance) that 4e largely avoided. I will concede the following: many D&D players seem to regard a +2 to hit that is (roughly) matched by a comparable +2 to AC on the GM side as an "illusion" of advancement;...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 03:00 AM
    Yes, I've done that. I get the setting in the sense of genre/colour/tone. Interesting. Maybe my use of "setting" is misleading, or just flat-out wrong? I'll try to explain what I was getting at, and why - for me - it's distinctive compared to what I'm more familiar with. Painting in broad brush strokes, and doing some classification on the run, I would say that I'm familiar with 3 main...
    25 replies | 886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:23 PM
    I've been reading Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World rulebook over the past week or so, and noticed this. I didn't have it in mind when I started this thread, and as far as I remember I hadn't yet read it when I started this thread. But I've owned Apocalypse World for a while now and have skimmed the rulebook in the past, so maybe I have seen this and it was lurking somewhere in the back of my...
    1470 replies | 40333 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    My point was more narrow, I think, than what you've taken it to be. I was simply saying that the growing numbers on the PC sheet in 4e serve a purpose - namely, in conjunction with the published Monster Manuals they support a very clear "pacing", not at the encounter level or even session level but at the level of the campaign arc. Eliminating the level-bonuses on the PC and NPC/creature...
    290 replies | 10012 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm not thinking so much of establishing setting in play - I've done that quite a bit in my RPGing. What struck me about the AW instructions is that the setting is itself the situation, in virtue of having no status quo.
    25 replies | 886 view(s)
    1 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 Iím a male human in my late 30s. Iím True Neutral (dedicated, not unaligned). Iím 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 Iíve been challenged to play the game more, to broaden my perspective, so Iím 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.

Iím looking for a traditional, "old-school" campaign, something that would be called a Ďsandboxí today, but I think we just thought of them as ĎD&D campaignsí back in the í80s. A game where thereís 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.

Iím looking for a game where itís 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. Iím 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 protťgťs 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 canít 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 youíre not running a game like this, but it sounds appealing, let me know. Iíd be willing to share (read: <50%) dungeon mastery responsibilities for the right group.
Location:
SE PA, USA
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Google+:
zoshakjm
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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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My Game Details
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.

Saturday, 8th June, 2019


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Friday, 24th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


Tuesday, 21st May, 2019


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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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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.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 06:34 PM - Dire Bare quoted DMZ2112 in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    And yet, until yesterday morning, it was going to be either Planescape or Greyhawk. I even heard some Spelljammer expectations, because of the "clear link" from Saltmarsh's nautical content. I guess I could have been clearer with my criticism, but I thought the tinfoil hat reference was plain enough. What I was trying to say is that despite what a large portion of the community seems to believe, WotC doesn't drop hints. They tell us what they are going to do, and then they do it, while certain employees muddy the water to keep the hype level high. I think you and I live on different planets. WotC most certainly has been dropping all sorts of hints and teases regarding Planescape, Greyhawk, Spelljammer, and Eberron. Some fans have taken those teases and ran into some strange territory with them. It was never "clear" that the 2019 setting book was going to be any setting until the final announcement dropped at the end of the stream Sunday. There were lots of folks making assumption...
  • 05:33 AM - Dire Bare quoted DMZ2112 in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    . . . and is willing to wholesale mislead their fans at worst. Lesson learned, right everyone? Huh? Where do you get that WotC misleads fans? News to me.
  • 04:52 AM - kenmarable quoted DMZ2112 in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    WotC doesn't broadcast their intentions at best and is willing to wholesale mislead their fans at worst. Um, what? Releasing a mini version of the setting last year that they even said was the precursor of a hardcover, having Adventure League games based in the setting, and in just the past few months multiple playtest versions of a class deeply tied to the setting isnít really blatantly broadcasting their intentions? Iím not sure any way to be more obvious until they actually announced the product!

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 09:45 PM - (un)reason quoted DMZ2112 in post The Great Wheel: Positioning Gehenna and Tarterus/Carceri
    I feel like, by Planescape's own rules, if the Greek gods did this and were successful, Carceri and Gehenna would flip, or at least Carceri would move to the opposite side of the Grey Wastes. We see this phenomenon initated by mortals -- in Mechanus' Arcadian domains, transplanted accidentally by the Harmonium, and in the succession of Plague-Morts (Plagues-Mort?) on the first level of the Abyss. Surely a concerted effort like this on the part of the Olympians could shift a whole plane in the wheel? This is the sort of neat stuff that I'm nervous about Planescape 5 possibly handwaving away as irrelevant. Get rid of magic weapon plus-loss across planar boundaries, sure. Same with clerics losing levels. You could even make a compelling argument for spell keys requiring too much bookkeeping for the amount of fun they bring to the table. But a Planescape that isn't rooted in 'belief as geography' just doesn't feel like Planescape. It all depends on ratios of prisoners to jailers. As l...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 09:53 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted DMZ2112 in post What is missing in 5E that you had in other editions?
    What I miss the most is personalization. D&D5 has good customization, but it doesn't have the breadth of options necessary for real personalization. AD&D2 and D&D3 both excelled at that (and were often waking nightmares as a result). One manís waking nightmare is anotherís paradise.
  • 08:54 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted DMZ2112 in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    I want nothing more than to just shut up and applaud. It is nice to see this sidebar any time it turns up. It is nice to see Greyhawk as the "default" rather than one of the "options." But my question is this: what does the rest of the book say on the topic? Does it actually matter? Does the lore of the sourcebook reflect this choice, or is it all just sandpapered down to generic fantasy? Greyhawk isn't just a fancy logo. This sidebar is nice, but no matter which setting is listed at the top, it's just fanservice. Where's the beef? We know from previews that all deities mentioned are Greyhawk ones. There's a location that was a temple of Procan that is now overrun by worshipers of Erythnul, for example.
  • 08:27 AM - briggart quoted DMZ2112 in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    "D&D Essentials," huh? Really, guys? Too soon. In fact, it will never not be too soon. Just remove that word from the branding lexicon now. Maybe set it on fire, maybe pee on the ashes. Better safe than sorry. well, urine+ash is a pretty good fertilizer, so ... :D

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 05:07 AM - MNblockhead quoted DMZ2112 in post Greyhawk Elevator Pitch?
    Greyhawk: Gygax's history, your future. It's tough to sum up what makes Greyhawk great in a sound bite. It is prototypical and it is not for everyone. It's flat out a different animal to most other fantasy settings, which generally follow the Forgotten Realms model, because people and events are inherently more interesting than political borders and weather patterns. So the obvious but unhelpful answer to the question, "What makes Greyhawk exciting?" is, "nothing," at least, not in that context, and I think a lot of folks stop looking, at that point. Maybe they should. But for me, what makes Greyhawk exciting is the freedom to make it my own while still having a lot of the critical information players need to engage the setting available immediately. <SNIP> Greyhawk is regarded as "low magic," but that's really not what sets it apart. What sets it apart is that it is "low story." This. Greyhawk is not a "good read." I don't know that I've ever sat down and read the old box se...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019


Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 03:01 PM - Blue quoted DMZ2112 in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    You haven't had a disappointing session as gamemaster in 16 years? :: patronizing smile:: Okay. This isn't what he said. He was referring to your comment "That sometimes the players deal the gamemaster an unwelcome surprise. " What the players do isn't unwelcome - it's the very lifeblood of an RPG. regardless if it's the path the DM envisioned. I can have a disappointing session for a lot of reasons. Because I was expecting options A or B and the players came up with option C isn't one of them.
  • 02:39 PM - Blue quoted DMZ2112 in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    As gamemasters, we are rightly frustrated when a player trivially circumvents an aspect of our game that we put a lot of effort into... No, why would you? Heck I put effort into more plots than I know the PCs can deal with and see which ones they do. I routinely let effort not see the table. Forcing players to focus on what I spend effort on instead of what they want to do leads to railroading, and as a player I really dislike it so I try not to do it as a DM. Like an author, a DM must not be afraid to kill their darlings. So yes, I kill PCs. But /I/ decide when it's a good idea, not my dice. Just like all the other important stuff in my campaign. Random dungeon generators are fun but they make for terrible campaign guides. I would never want to get into an adversarial mode with my players, where they are granted plot armor so they can't die except when I intend to take it away. I plan deadly encounters regularly, but then at the table I'm not just my player's biggest cheerleader,...
  • 04:33 AM - Joseph Nardo quoted DMZ2112 in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    They go nuts over video game lockboxes, too, and governments the world over are investigating those marketing practices. Forgive me; I'm developing these thoughts as I write them, so I may not be crystal clear. It's a difficult problem for me to put my finger on. I am deeply, deeply gratified that what Wizards is doing is working to recruit new blood, and it is good to see the game marching toward being mainstream. It's better than some video game, and always has been. It deserves extra attention in today's play-focused culture. But yes, the way WotC has pivoted to sell the sizzle and not the steak, and the way that the community is complicit in that, does make me uncomfortable. There was a time when these books were hotly anticipated (admittedly, by a much smaller audience) based on their content, and not the celebrity endorsements, Twitch streams, and $300 Los Angeles weekend galas. I see what this pivot has done to AAA video games, and no, I don't agree that meaningless hype is har...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 11:00 PM - vecna00 quoted DMZ2112 in post Announcement after The Descent
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?5773-WotC-s-Nathan-Stewart-Teases-New-D-D-Setting-Book-in-2019 Good pull! I forgot about that one!
  • 07:32 PM - Gradine quoted DMZ2112 in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    They go nuts over video game lockboxes, too, and governments the world over are investigating those marketing practices. Don't get me wrong; I'm no fan of exploiting people's enjoyment of surprises/reveals to essentially hook them into gambling. That :):):):) is shady as hell. That said, that enjoyment itself is actually quite legitimate, and a J.J. Abrams-esque "mystery box"-style marketing campaign that plays into that is significantly more harmless than turning kids into gambling addicts. I am deeply, deeply gratified that what Wizards is doing is working to recruit new blood, and it is good to see the game marching toward being mainstream. It's better than some video game, and always has been. It deserves extra attention in today's play-focused culture. But yes, the way WotC has pivoted to sell the sizzle and not the steak, and the way that the community is complicit in that, does make me uncomfortable. You might be speaking for yourself here when you say that WotC is not del...
  • 07:24 PM - Parmandur quoted DMZ2112 in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    They go nuts over video game lockboxes, too, and governments the world over are investigating those marketing practices. Forgive me; I'm developing these thoughts as I write them, so I may not be crystal clear. It's a difficult problem for me to put my finger on. I am deeply, deeply gratified that what Wizards is doing is working to recruit new blood, and it is good to see the game marching toward being mainstream. It's better than some video game, and always has been. It deserves extra attention in today's play-focused culture. But yes, the way WotC has pivoted to sell the sizzle and not the steak, and the way that the community is complicit in that, does make me uncomfortable. There was a time when these books were hotly anticipated (admittedly, by a much smaller audience) based on their content, and not the celebrity endorsements, Twitch streams, and $300 Los Angeles weekend galas. I see what this pivot has done to AAA video games, and no, I don't agree that meaningless hype ...
  • 06:11 PM - Parmandur quoted DMZ2112 in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    There are only seven arms in the smaller image, which seems like an odd change to make if the picture was numerologically significant. Note that the smaller image is not just a crop, it's a digital recomp. And Tito didn't get 'dodgy' in response to Garrett's tweet, he got rude. I'm as big a fan of speculation as the next geek when it is warranted, but this recent tendency to just create evidence wholesale where there is none makes me uncomfortable. We might be getting a planar setting book. There are certainly fiends and a celestial in this picture. Nathan Stewart says we're getting a setting book in 2019. But he also said WotC had no plans for new settings last year, less than a month before Ravnica was announced. For my part, I'm not holding my breath for a Planescape logo. I was flabbergasted when we "got" Eberron after MToF, and WotC greenlighting Holly Conrad's Trapped in the Birdcage; and Ravnica after the number of times they said there'd be no new settings until the old ...

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 11:44 PM - pemerton quoted 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 ...


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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. ...
14942 0 1 Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM

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