View Profile: AbdulAlhazred - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:35 PM
    If you've never been a grappler, it will be a little bit difficult to attempt to convey things conceptually, but Chess (which I suspect you've played or at least had exposure to) should suffice. Look at grappling (Brazillian Jiu-jitsu in particular) as a series of decision-trees where your opponent is imposing ever-progressing catch-22s upon you as they control you (takedown > deployment of a...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:00 PM
    Sure but dont you figure it actually didn't require as much skill or art because EL delivered..
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:00 PM
    My posts on this subject over the years (and in this thread) involve pretty intensive analysis on why resolution procedure/GMing technique/reward cycle/play ethos/PC build setup (a) objectively provides a different experience than(b) in many different areas (from table handling time to distribution of authority to intraparty balance to party: obstacle balance to cognitive workload and on and on)....
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:36 PM
    I have heard DMs say in 4th they can go full out.... also a level +4 encounter is an acceptable encounter in 4e. Th DM has so much control over how dangerous things are by RAW the comparisons fail
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:15 PM
    U We’re complicated animals who live complicated lives. And these games, all of them, are complicated, relatively speaking. Nothing is ever one thing. But I think the line of evidence that I love running something like Dogs, something like 4e, while having many times more experience (and just as much enjoyment) with Moldvay Basic and AD&D1e is a pretty strong one.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:03 PM
    I’m not Campbell, but I’ll throw some words at this from GMing perspective. Its definitely true that most people almost surely enjoy the experience of games they like, and through their affinity they develop or have a natural aptitude for better play. Humans have pretty extreme neurological diversity, so I would say that it’s trivially true that cognitive predispositions and mental...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:23 AM
    I agree. The GM's primary role in TTRPGing (outside of a few instances) is (a) to know what adversity is relevant to this particular play and (b) bring that adversity to bear against the PCs in the imagined space in the most interesting/compelling/challenging/provocative (and these will be contingent upon the game) way possible. Above I mentioned a Dogs play excerpt. The adversity I...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Jim McGarva has a perfect catch-phrase for this sprinkled throughout the Strike (!) rulebook, which is basically a riposte to all of the stuff we heard about with genre-incoherent drift in 4e: "DON'T DEMAND NONSENSE!" One such quip is on fictional positioning and permissible action declarations: If I'm running Dogs and the player thinks someone is under the thrall of demonic...
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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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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 05:27 AM
    Can you explain more what you mean about not being sure about incentives? Not sure about incentives interfacing with the decision-tree in a moment of thematic choice? Incentives that push back against the impetus to establish a win condition for a scene/arc or create extra obstacles to that win condition in exchange for advancement? Something else? Paragraph 1 Response: That makes...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Rubs off was also used in the same sentence if you are going there
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:16 PM
    Noteworthy difference ... you opt in to the extra hd based healing
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:46 PM
    I love Mikes work even the times I disagreed with details the fresh eyes on the game and how it can invoke heroic archetypal characters is right up my alley
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:12 PM
    Sounds like some very similar rule idea.
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:01 AM
    Healing Surges the 5e variant rule should be called Second Wind. Ok not a big deal right? nothing to get teary or sniffles over however once you notice that it implements something rarely ever actually used it kind of becomes annoying (SW was kind of a back up thing not the meat of HS use). Second Winds were rarely ever used in my experience unless your party lacked the leader class or were...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:45 AM
    Offhand Commands is going to be a build choice feature or actually just a class feature that has no impact unless you are a beastmaster if you have 1 hand free you may more adeptly command your beast companion, your attacks gain a tier scaling bonus to damage of +2 +3, +4. Inherently Endowed as you level your awesome rubs off on your beast and they gain effective inherent bonuses (equal to...
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 12:57 AM
    How about recommended I mean trust your players to be thematic and give them an extra if you want
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:41 PM
    My pedantic complaints are really old and while I can express them I am over the majority of them...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:15 PM
    I might have to build that group as a D&D party
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:45 PM
    Has anyone investigated this.... the idea of "courtly intrigues" has me wondering about whether it might be a flavor of Martial Practices.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:42 PM
    There are very few elements in 4e that have flavor so far knocked down that you cannot shake them up. Dispel Magic and Martial Practices vs Rituals are ones so far I have seen brought up. MP and R are generally fixed by giving MP sufficient support or allowing extremely liberal reflavoring of rituals. So do we create zones with a different flavor we call them areas of influence and allow...
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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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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:30 AM
    So I've skimmed the recent bits of the thread. In a follow-up post, I'm going to relay a recent PC:PC social conflict in Strike (!) and invite folks to chime in on how they perceive this anecdote (a) contrasts with gameplay where social conflict isn't formalized and (b) there are neither mechanical feedbacks nor PC build components involved. But first, I want to post some text from Strike (!)...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:55 PM
    Yay give me some swordmage please
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  • Gilladian's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:40 PM
    I took a break for a year or so when I was in college, prepping for grad school. After grad school was underway I needed stress relief, so I dove in again. Never stopped playing again. It’s been over 25 years since I had more than a few weeks between games.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:14 PM
    It isny exactly a house rule but my daughter liked the option of turning potential enemies into allies
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:08 PM
    The power if it is working on top of the Battlemaster needs to be different. Come and get it for 5e.Battlemaster
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:10 PM
    Completely a better thread
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:06 PM
    Oh I quite agree about using the secondary as build / design dependent - remember the Fighter is the ultimate tough guy, in 4e they most definitely had builds that made CON their secondary (featured a lot of temporary hit points and bold fearless attacks in 4e it was almost a different rout to striker roll too)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 12:53 PM
    Or a few years back 6 texas rangers hiyo hiyo rode in the sun (The lone ranger) or Walker Texas Ranger. But no I think the Fantasy Ranger Aragorn is likely to be much more broadly associated even with those around the earlier times, the movies were astoundingly popular AND received 17 Academy Awards,
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 07:13 AM
    Did I mention I think this has a lot of cool stuff in it... regardless of whether it is "the ranger to me"
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:37 AM
    Come and Get it Is not a Lazylord maneuver unless he can make an ally into the bait and trap so it remains a secondary for the style of character likely to use it, and might be a tertiary for the tough guy who really wants as many as possible next to him ;) The problem of compound rolling needs addressed in your design it is a classic one in D&D basically you end up hiding cool effects behind...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:26 AM
    "Promise" === Oath and he didnt break the promise (ie for an all knowing entity he would personally have been seen to have done no wrong and not at all been disobedient, nevertheless it precipitated his fall and he didnt lose his power over a his own act it was not a lie nor an act he performed, but rather the arbitrary ritual condition being broken - however it was brought about by conflict with...
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 02:35 AM
    I do not see them the same at all. The Oath Bound hero had Oaths to Royalty as often as the divine and were often weird and arbitrary ok its not overly consistent with D&Ds paladin but the idea of a fighter who gains power via oath goes back to Cu Culaine and Samson and even the concept of Conflicting Oaths such as culaines totemic vs his hospitality ... like Lancelot's Oaths to King and Queen ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 02:21 AM
    Them are hunters and that is obviously Legolas not Aragorn. :)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 09:42 PM
    Balance your cool as a smallish component of an attack that is still badass like they did on the maneuvers now. But treat them as forgo an attack and do a roll maybe even an easy one to put your eggs (the benefit of 1 of those attacks in a basket with the other subsequent one this latter to be truly balanced may take extra to hit on the combined basket - then tweak to fit) Scanning for...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 09:03 PM
    I think for most people outside of our circle ranger means movie Aragorn ;)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:20 PM
    Garthanos replied to OSR Gripes
    I am DM C which is a little like A in that I am fond of making my own stuff however I like have a game system that creates solid reliable foundations so when I change its bits and pieces, I can predict the results and make fewer errors up front.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    Unless one is doing a Hiawatha (or Steppe Nomad Archer) stunt of the snapshot archer barrage in which case totally its dex.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:34 PM
    Dex the uberstat... if strength can share its stuff let Wis,Int,Cha and occasionally Con steal some of Dex stuff (forethought fast decisive or even instinctive thinking and spirited eagerness sound like a foundation of initiative if you weren't surprised more than reflexes)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Garthanos replied to OSR Gripes
    Changing the rules was definitely a part of the experience I think renovating the spell casting system seemed to be par for the course unless you were at a convention or just starting out with a newbie DM of course that is an anecdote not data.
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:32 PM
    Yeh its a hilarious me too I also like Paladins with old school flavor which I think are prominently on lowkeys negative list
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:24 PM
    I do think might have beens are in there... its potentials lost and never experienced not just putting rosey eyed glasses on some experience you did have. Beyond nostalgia elements however my experience has been that games have been improved in some fundamental ways but things were also lost in the trade. I like the feel of simultaneity of action in 1e yes it was all dm adjudicated with all...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:26 PM
    I think he even said it was a bad idea... :p I know people normally mean the opposite when they say that, but in this case I am thinking it is actually face value LOL
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:20 PM
    I thought I would say I like this much better than the other one which was just dissing although there were informative bits brought out by people on it too.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:18 PM
    I think the groups should be different entirely myself End Balanced weapons like axes and hammers are used very similar 1handed are pretty similar 1handed endbalanced has 2 similarities. Not certain exactly what ones to have but you could have thrusting vs slashing (a lot of weapons have a primary and secondary though many could and would use all three so it was even more how you used a weapon...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:55 AM
    That is very nice... I was still thinking a minor action un-related but this is better its like the after effect in that ti can be customized to the specific muli-round action. I like it. And of course given my purview for for martial equity now I am trying to think of something interesting for martial during the initial stages of a multi-part combo.
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:52 AM
    I have a character built on battle rager vigor his temporary hit points are a blessing of Baccus he is a priest of Baccus. He imbibes a swig after a successful hit his magic looks like he is very drunk. He is also a ritual caster and the form his comrades succor and other rituals ... look like heavy duty parties.
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:10 AM
    Both good now I want to dig through my library
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:02 AM
    Now that is brass tacks you got there
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 01:21 AM
    Quite honestly this is the first time I have heard 5e feats balanced things instead of imbalancing.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 01:02 AM
    The thing is that when characters have excessive divergence of frequently used abilities my experience is that it makes the DMs job much much more problematic you end up pampering somebody and playing enemies in bad tactics ways ... it is a lot more work instead of fun. This happens even with beginning characters in old Stormbringer in spite of its interesting elements... The random character...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:37 AM
    I was fine up until book 10 I think it was after that my interest faded.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:35 AM
    And that is basically saying no balance at all in 99 out of a hundred tables ... all the way to first edition.
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:42 PM
    I wasn't thinking this would be a part of Martial Power III, but it really works and letting a fighter have fencing support and a grim dark intelligence focused high survival one inspired from history is awesome sauce.
    115 replies | 4889 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:35 PM
    It is a 4e encounter just a pretty cool one sorry you were asking for dailies and my brain skipped. Note since Charisma is at best a secondary attribute for the fighter or even worse if you want it to be at all effective it is likely Charisma + 2 or 3 even that and/or a proficiency bonus (not sure) especially since you made it a roll for every every taunting - they smashed it together in...
    163 replies | 5569 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:02 PM
    I made a Peerless tracker martial practice where you can track the enemy and safely follow their path even taking short cuts that work for you instead of them it isn't instant teleport... but the main advantage of teleport isnt necessarily forestalling time passage, its often safe passage. Could add features to offset the Wizardly time thing like a big boost to surprise likelihood for the one...
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:01 PM
    That lasting the encounter thought caught my eye. I was thinking a while back 4e had a number of abilities which maybe used against the heroic would be temporary but a lot of them like hamstring would make more sense at least for the rest of the encounter.
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:08 PM
    yeh long rests being an hour is kind of weird feeling but the ability to vary rests with few impacts was something in 4e and challenging without over challenging That was commonly suggested on the forums for 4e. you might be able to ritualize some of the rest of the magic.
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:22 PM
    This encourages mental secondaries like Wisdom was encouraged in 4e and gives battlemaster even more reason to use charisma as a solid second. Scan for openings might even be a better name it really puts more eggs in the basket if you succeed on the roll and makes it more interesting its not a power enhancement you could probably just make it an additional class feature or if a Feat allow them...
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:06 PM
    using ones action surge on an ally would be a daily form of attack granting The idea I had for at-will maneuvers was to spend one of the fighters attacks and a skill or mental stat roll to make the follow up attack have a superiority die. (Then you have at-will of any maneuver you really want not so coincidentally at level 5) also add the mental stat bonus to the results. You are basically...
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:02 PM
    I think Mearles actually said it was possible to make it work.. remember when a 4e Warlord does it that is his action fully spent if he had 3 attacks before ... all of those would go into it. The problem is he would need to have a really good reason to want to do that. Because the Battlemaster Chassis is striker so unless it was well outside his reach or the rogue was in a very sweet spot he is...
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 01:36 PM
    Could have been either of us not something i would dispute much It's limited in how much Warlord it can be expected to present by being such a heavy striker. (Wasnt it you I recall who designed on a real class that might work?). The ranger in 4e could leverage feats to allow sacrificing its striker class feature to shore up partially other role support. The BO9S classes had one School which did...
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:32 AM
    Battlemaster just feels like an "almost" to me it seems like it had more potential than was actually explored / I remember noticing when i first seen it that they had left out some of the stuff in the playtest that would have given it more pop.
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:22 AM
    If might be seen to derive from the Book of Nine Swords classes (Swordsage etc) the maneuver sharing was more complete in that ... the most magical ones maneuvers were directly swappable with other maneuvers.
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:08 AM
    My solution to the thread is don't play zeros... start at a slightly higher level then there is less inclination to front load the class; In general I think the first 4 levels were designed to draw out multi-classing as a multi-level resource expenditure and from a character design point of view making level 1 more feature heavy increases class dipping If nothing else its a potential...
    106 replies | 2311 view(s)
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About AbdulAlhazred

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Thursday, 18th July, 2019


Thursday, 11th July, 2019


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Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 05:30 PM - Garthanos mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post Diplomatic Inspiration / Leadership
    ...rds and Clerics and Bards also give a boost on this D6 at minimum and enable the other secondary benefits of a second wind. Inspiring Word is only aminor action. Its range is 5/10/15 Neither the Heal Check nor Inspiring word takes an action from the target ally. However this idea makes more sense if the subject of the Diplomatic Inspiration does have a cost for the subject ie they have respond to the Diplomatic action. One possibility is emulating the Dwarf race ability which allows them to use second wind on a minor action. Communicating clearly and with subtly in the din of battle may be difficult those with Words of Inspiration are expert at it. This ability should have some range but more limited than the Healing Word abilities perhaps only 3. This might be a leadership feat but if so then its basically multi-class Warlord at that point Anyway stepping on toes probably only valuable if your party doesnt have a Poet Priest or Politician but does have a trained Diplomat. AbdulAlhazred is doing a Leadership skill for his Heroes of Myth and legend perhaps that context might call for this as it is separated off from the other benefits of diplomacy.

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019


Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 10:44 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...rson, as far as I know there are no rules in 5e for clothes becoming dirty or sweaty. Does that mean you think a GM who narrates a failed physical manoeuvre in a swamp as "You fall into the mud, making your clothes filthy" is breaking the rules? Or a GM who narrates a failed CHA check to influence a NPC, in circumstances where the PC has been in the wilds for a long time without bathing, as the NPC walking away making a comment about These reeking travellers? There are many ways that humans can degrade their clothes, their weapons, their pets, their companions (where are D&D's rules for putting a frog in someone's bed?) that D&D's rules don't model. That doesn't mean those things aren't part of the gameworld. It doesn't stop both players and GM's invoking them when the mood strikes, either as mere colour (like hawkeyefan's player who has a cold and so plays his/her PC as having a cold) or as part of the narration of failure (as per my examples above, or as per the suggestion that AbdulAlhazred and I made way upthread that a missed attack might be narrated as the weapon having become dulled) or even as mattering to resolution (maybe after falling in the mud, the GM imposes disadvantage on CHA checks to befriend strangers until the PC gets clean clothes). The 5e Basic PDF has whetstones on its equipment list. It also has price lists for different qualities of clothing, food, drink and accommodation, even though there are no mechanics governing social class and status. There is an abacus on the list, although no rule that forbids a player using a calculator or pen-and-paper to do maths for his/her PC. All these things are clearly there to help establish these various elements of the fiction. The fact that there is no mechanic that necessarily invokes them is entirely beside the point. EDIT: A lot of this was ninja-ed by Hriston earlier today (my time), using the example of grass growing.

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 11:53 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Would you agree though, for the sake of the argument, if we look at D&D solely and said the next edition of D&D will either have an AC mechanic (as it does now) or every attack will be considered successful, no die roll required. If you have to compare those two scenarios - is one more realistic/authentic than the other or do you feel that still comes down to preferences: those that wish to role dice and those that don't.To be clear - are you positing a system in which neither armour nor level/HD makes any difference in combat, and combat is essentially the attrition of damage dice? As AbdulAlhazred already posted, the bit about armour not mattering takes us close to 4e, where armour is mostly a cosmetic thing except for a handful of classes (by default wizards and sorcerers have a bit less than anyone else, while paladins have a bit more). The bit about level/HD not mattering would be a big change for D&D but not inherently unrealistic. This would be a big change in resolution compared to standard D&D, but I'm missing the bit where it's unrealistic. Of course if you write in some fiction heavier armour makes people more robust in combat and then the mechanics contradict that you'll get some weirdness - but (eg) 4e avoids such weirdness by writing into the fiction that there are multiple ways to be robust in combat: armour, quick reflexes, quick thinking, etc.
  • 11:43 AM - Sadras mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...rsonally I feel at this point it cannot be just preferences and that there is a case for insert preferred buzzword, either wearing armour protects your character in some way, however abstract, or it is just cosmetic. SYNOPSIS My conversation starter was AC vs No AC which is more real. @Aldarc suggested its preferences as you cannot measure what is more real between AC vs Absorption mechanic. Mostly dealt with above. @Ovinomancer said he would measure more realism at the fiction level not via processes and described a 'GM decides' game which inputs realistic results via GM narration. Have to give this more thought. @hawkeyefan is ok with the terminology more realism except when measuring system vs system, a little similar to Aldarc as he follows the line of preferences which I understand, but probably no surprise to him, I disagree with the BitD example he used - it is TOTALLY gamist and we probably won't agree. In this specific instance I would probably side with Max. @AbdulAlhazred returns to the semantic debate and prefers the term more authentic giving his reasons for the use of either term as he views it. I may not agree entirely, but my interest does not lie in the semantic debate. I'm ok with the term more authentic as I've said many times, I was using the more realism term as a shorthand for a great many things. @pemerton reiterates everyone else's point in his first two replies (which is where I am). Where I feel I need to point out, the mechanics giving rise to more realism were always acknowledged as very abstract in design and overly simplistic. i.e. If we fall from a distance in RL we take damage, similarly in the gaming fiction. Are they same or even close in design or outcome, of course not. @Maxperson has made this point numerous times, but posters still feel the need to mention how poorly mechanics imitate RL.

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 02:52 PM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ilia, the only mismatches are the few real-world haemophiliacs who get matched to non-haemophiliacs in the gameworld; whereas in the gameworld in which the incidence of haemophilia is unrealistically high, the number of mismatches obviously is greater. Your example is also a situation that no DM above an IQ of 25 is ever going to use.I've seen GMs with IQs much higher than 25 make extremely implausible calls in the name of "realism". One which was particularly frustrating, because it cost my group a convention game, was about the time it takes for the oxygen in a room to be used up. (It was a sci-fi game. The PCs were trapped in a room without external oxygen supplies. The call the GM made was for unrealistically rapid oxygen consumption - even I noticed it, let alone the engineers in our group.) Running out of oxygen is a real thing in the world, but that GM's implementation of that trope made the game less realistic than if he had just ignored it! Which really goes back to AbdulAlhazred's point: matching reality (which is as he said a notion of scale, which you also seem to agree with given your use of the phrase "more closely matching reality") can be hard, because reality can often be quite hard to pin down. You don't increaes your match with reality just be scattering in phenomena that happen also to occur in reality. That's not matching anything.
  • 12:14 PM - Lanefan mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    A gameworld in which every day sees a tornado or hurrican strike the village isn't more realistic than one in which extreme weather never occurs, just because those sorts of weather events sometimes occur in real life. This exact issue is what did in the original version of my weather table: too many extremes kept coming up. :) Introducing real world elements in acontextual ways, or at a frequency that completely belies reality, doesn't increase realism. Realism means something like "resembles real life", not "contains arbitrary distributions of elements that might occur in real life".True, though I find I'm beginning to prefer the term 'authenticity' (thanks, AbdulAlhazred ) over 'realism'. Realism, in the strictest sense, does base itself on our own real world/universe. Authenticity, on the other hand, bases itself on the reality present in the game world/universe - whatever that may be - and asks it only to be consistent with itself. How closely the game-world reality matches real-world reality is the next issue. My simple rule of thumb there is that it matches as closely as possible until and unless something says it doesn't; where "something" can be anything from magic and its effects to inaccurate combat simulations to hit points to alternate planes to fantastic creatures to whatever.
  • 10:31 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I don't think that having rules for weapon breaking or maintenance is necessarily about "realism," but, instead, it's about how we choose to frame the fiction. We generally trust that there are things - like the warrior maintaining the quality of their gear - that the fiction does not focus on but nevertheless likely happen. <snip> We don't focus on these things because it's not about realism but, rather, fictional framing. What do we want to spend our (limited) gaming time, attention, and effort experiencing?To me, this goes to AbdulAlhazred's notion of "authenticity" - what will make the experience an authentic one?
  • 05:33 AM - Maxperson mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Do you have statistics to backup that claim? BTW I was making up those numbers to make a point about not any rule been more realistic than no rule, and not to give any approximation to real numbers. It still fails. If weapon breakage happens in reality once in ten millions then a rule of not breaking at all is more accurate and realistic than a rule of 0.01% The numbers can be off. What's more important is that the system moves towards an aspect of real life, in the case of your example, breaking. Breaking(system) is like breaking(real life). Not breaking(no system) is not like breaking(real life). Sure, having a .00001 is more realistic than .01, but that doesn't stop .01 from being more realistic than 0, because 0 removes all chance at breaking, where in "real life" weapons break. Like AbdulAlhazred, you are too focused on the math, and not focused enough on realism. The math is irrelevant, except to add greater realism if you want to go there.
  • 04:27 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...only be judged at the fiction, not the process. However, all of your arguments so far about adding "realism" have been about adding additional processes. I'm pointing out that process is not required for "realism." Sadras, Ovinomancer here is saying to you much the same things as I said to Maxperson upthread. I didn't mention BitD, as I don't play that game - I mentioned Prince Valiant, Cortex+ Heroic and BW as games that permit these various things through a mixture of processes (especially important in BW) and GM narration of consequences - which is my guess as to how it is handled in BitD. (If that guess is wrong then hawkeyefan or Ovinomancer can correct me.) Isn't the shorthand for this realism. Will you be happy with more authentic? more immersive? more RL illusionary? more dramatic? I mean looking for a better description/buzz-word is just playing silly buggers...It's not just playing silly buggers - the fact that you think it is means that maybe you've missed AbdulAlhazred's point. That point was the following: one effect of the AD&D DMG disease system may be that a PC, on some occasion of play, suffers a disease which debilitates him/her for a little while. And that may increase the player's sense of the authenticity of the fiction, the setting, the play experience. But that doesn't mean that the system is a remotely realistic one, nor even that this episode of disease contraction was realistic. Good RPG design, I think, has to be concscious of the fact that it's systems are not world models but rather devices for producing particular experiences among participants in a game. If you want that experience to include contracting a disease then you may need a quite unrealistic model of disease contraction in order to ensure this has a chance of coming into play. I think some early systems, like classic D&D, RQ and Traveller, are a bit confused about this aspect of design. A fairly obvious D&D example is the City/Town encounter matrix in the AD&D...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019


Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 02:17 PM - Maxperson mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Well, it does disprove that any addition of real-world elements into the fiction will increase the realism. But the actual point of my example isn't to disprove your claim: it's to show that your claim is underdeveloped, and indeed so underdeveloped as to not be up for evaluation, or even really understanding, by others. Until you explain what you mean by "adding in" real world elements, only you know what you are thinking of. It's self-evident, though. The real world elements are the diseases and other rules in the 1e DMG. I said so. Those don't exist in the 5e rules, so you have to add them in. I mean, AbdulAlhazred and I already gave the example of a D&D GM narrating a miss as due to a dulled blade, which is perfectly possible under the existing D&D rules. And I gaven the parallel Traveller example of explaining a PC's stats as the result of a heart condition. But by "adding in" you seem to have in mind the introduction of some sort of mechanical subsystem (like the AD&D system for disease); which then invites points of the sort that the two of us have made, such as that such systems don't increase realism if they yield unrealistic results in the fiction. It's possible in D&D if the blade was dull when the players found it, the DM let the players know, and incorporated a mechanical penalty which could cause a miss. But if the blade wasn't dull to begin with, such as being a blade owned by a PC, then it's not a possibility as there are no rules for dulling weapons, requirements to maintain weapons, or mechanical penalties to a dull blade that would cause a miss. Making such a ruling in D&D ab...
  • 01:58 PM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Coming up with a corner case scenario that DMs aren't going to use doesn't disprove what I'm saying.Well, it does disprove that any addition of real-world elements into the fiction will increase the realism. But the actual point of my example isn't to disprove your claim: it's to show that your claim is underdeveloped, and indeed so underdeveloped as to not be up for evaluation, or even really understanding, by others. Until you explain what you mean by "adding in" real world elements, only you know what you are thinking of. I mean, AbdulAlhazred and I already gave the example of a D&D GM narrating a miss as due to a dulled blade, which is perfectly possible under the existing D&D rules. And I gaven the parallel Traveller example of explaining a PC's stats as the result of a heart condition. But by "adding in" you seem to have in mind the introduction of some sort of mechanical subsystem (like the AD&D system for disease); which then invites points of the sort that the two of us have made, such as that such systems don't increase realism if they yield unrealistic results in the fiction. Until you try and explain what you mean by "adding in" real world elements, and why some forms of "adding in" count differently from others, you're not going to get much traction for your assertion. And you're certainly not going to persuade me that my campaigns are "less realistic" than yours or Lanefan's, given that you're both running D&D variants whereas I'm running systems (Burning Wheel, Classic Traveller, heck even Prince Valiant in so...
  • 06:47 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    The 1e disease rules would in fact add more realism to the game as they stand. Would it add MORE realism to the game to make PCs physically weaker if they get beat to the point of unconsciousness? Yes. I don't have to make that change in order for the disease rules to increase the realism of the game, though. Increasing realism is not about mirroring reality, no matter how often you repeat that.One reason you are drawing sceptical responses (at least from me, and I'm pretty sure AbdulAlhazred also has this in mind) is that taken on it's own this claim seems to make no sense. For instance, declaring that every NPC the PCs meet has smallpox would be introducing a real world element into the fiction, but clearly would not make the game more realistic. When we look at the AD&D DMG disease rules, there are a number of questions that come up: is the incidence of serious and fatal diseases realistic in the pseudo-mediaeval context? is it realistic when we include the existence of clerical magic which makes it easy to purify water and not too hard to cure diseases? And then, when we compare how the disease rules work to how the generic injury rules work, we get the further question: is it realistic that any debilitated person suffered the debility from a disease rather than (say) a weapon blow? Your apparent insistence that all these questions are irrelevant, and that any reference in the fiction of a game to some element derived from the real world makes the game more ...

Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 06:33 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I didn't make a general claim that making decisions is more realistic than other methods. I said the DM making a reasonable decision about something weapon breakage, is more realistic than pink bunny dreams resulting in a weapon breaking.Yes, you asserted this. But you gave no reason for it. Or you could use the 1e rules for disease. They're much better and more realistic than the 5e version. Also, you should probably have these illnesses affect all of the classes. If you limit them to only fighters for some reason, you are losing realism in other areas.What is your evidence that the AD&D DMG rules for disease are realistic? EDIT: Before you start going on again about "twisting" etc - as per AbdulAlhazred upthread, I assume you accept that an unrealistic incidence of disease doesn't increase realism any more than an "unrealistic" absence of disease (which needn't be that unrealistic - not everyone in pre-modern times contracted serius diseases).
  • 03:26 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...al world weapon degradation and going with a roll based on those odds?There are so many assumptions built into your rhetorical question that it's hard to unpack them all. But just to focus on one: What are the odds of any given warrrio's sword breaking in any given fight? What are the odds of a GM dreaming of a pink buddy? What is the variation, across time and place and circumstance, in rates of broken swords and in rates of pink bunny dreams? If the GM decides, on the basis of his/her dream, that today is the day when s/he will narrate a NPC's sword breaking at the dramatic moment, what makes the resuting fiction less realistic than any other decision-making process? Because dragons flying has nothing whatsoever to do with falling 100 feet. They are completely different aspects of the game and each aspect has a different spot on the realism spectrum.How can they be compltely different? They both involve the question of how massive bodies do or don't fall to earth. That's why AbdulAlhazred has connected them to one another. The fact that the game treats the differently in mechanical terms is neither here nor there. Realism, to the extent that it's germane at all, is a property of fiction, not game mechanics. This is ultimately another example of you making many many assumptions in your posts about how RPGing works, what an RPG system looks like, how it produces outcomes in the fiction, etc. I can unpack most of these, but the presence of the assumptions is making it very hard for you to engage in a conversation that isn't taking those assumptions for granted. Consider, for instance, AbdulAlhazred's remarks about whether or not it is "realistic" to frame a scene with a 100' drop: whereas D&D leaves that sort of thing entirely in the discretion of the GM, Classic Traveller (as AbdulAlhazred knows) has rules for world generation, which in turn yield details about world atmosphere and hydography and average temperature, which actually create a starting point for ans...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 02:49 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    However the dm just deciding gets much closer to real life than rolling dice. The dm can make informed decisions and include much more into the decision making process than dice ever dreamed of.This is where I disagree. My reasoning is similar to AbdulAlhazred's - that there is more in the heaven and earth of the gameworld than is dreamed of in any GM's philosophy. GM decision-making isn't "informed decision-making", it's just one person's preferences for the fiction trumping another's. Which is exactly what makes it not like real life!

Friday, 12th April, 2019

  • 10:55 AM - Numidius mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Numidius: in your proto-system, what resource does the GM spend to use Force?Before AbdulAlhazred quoted my post I was not thinking in a 'story arc mode', so it is evolving as we speak. But I did the same question to myself. Basically the Gm uses Setting's local resources, so in the first negotiation, once the Trolls are used, cannot be put forward again in the same confrontation. (Later on, during 'normal play', Trolls would be roaming the lands as per fiction established in the Negot. Phase) But... resources in setting are virtually infinite... so... anyway, the more stuff the Gm brings in, the more fiction and situation is established before 'normal play'. The Gm could also have finite Slots to be filed once spent... But anyway when a Player is done with the Neg. Phase, can ask the Gm to stop where they are and Roll dice. In the following description of outcomes both Player and Gm use whatever fiction has been established to that point: places, factions, npcs etc

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 07:40 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...e dark elves' gold while the other PCs were still trapped in the bottom levels. The next Act began with those trapped PCs having made their way to the surface and trudged back to civilisation, while the other PC was once again traipsing north having spent down his bag of gold. The second Act evolved into an attempt to rescue villagers from reavers and giants, and when that had been achieved I decided that that Act was finished. The third Act began with the PCs heading up into the high places of the north to try and stop the Ragnarok. It's still ongoing, but will be the final Act of the campaign. The idea that a GM would, or would noeed to, stipoulate that a particular goal is unattainable seems on its face a bit railroad-y. In the orcs-eating-children example, if the PCs are defeatd by the orcs but subsequently end up finding a Ring of Wishes, what (in the standard fiction of a typical D&D game) precludes them wishing that the children had never been captured and eaten? Or there is AbdulAlhazred's example of a bargain with Death itself. This is why I tend to think of the idea of an outcome or goal that is/isn't possible having no meaning outside the context of actual play.

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 02:44 PM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Maxperson, I don't really know what your point is. I quoted the 13th Age rules to provide an example (as I understand them) of what AbdulAlhazred had in mind (as I understood him) in referring to a "terrible price". AbdulAlahzred agreed that I was providing such an example. The fact that you interpret those passages differently from everyone else posting in this thread, including AbdulAlhazred who was a 13th Age playtester, is of no significance to my reason for posting them to explain to Sadras what AbdulAlhazred had in mind. You might consider, as a reason speaking against your interpretation, that (1) it makes the rule silly rather than sensible, and (2) produces a contradiction with the suggestion that "[t]he campaign-loss rule is key to making combat meaningful." And you might consider, as the basis for revising your interpretation, the following description of a "campaign loss": something that the party was trying to do fails in a way that going back and finishing off those enemies later won’t fix. This doesn't imply that the loss can, as such, be fixed in some other way; it's making the point that the loss has an el...


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Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 01:45 AM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Diplomatic Inspiration / Leadership
    This is where I bill the 'non-wonky math' feature of HoML. Since a skill check and an attack roll are going to work exactly the same.. That makes this sort of design a lot cleaner. Why /were/ weapons +2 or +3, Skills +5 and implements +0...? ...different for the sake of difference?

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 10:44 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Diplomatic Inspiration / Leadership
    'Diplomancy' to me just always seemed like it should be a CLASS! I mean, there are skills, but they more represent 'knacks' or general knowledge than anything else. If you have some focused ability to do something, the that sounds like (in 4e parlance anyway) a POWER. Now, there are skill powers, so that can work as a way to get a little bit of something on the side, and you could of course work things in with theme/PP/ED as well, but if you want 'guy that has a shtick of being so persuasive that people will do almost anything he asks' then that seems like it really deserves to be at least a BUILD of its own with specific powers and a CHA primary. Unfortunately 4e's class-specific power lists make this a bit daunting. Second-best is a CHA primary build in some class (or 2, or even 3 if you are ambitious and know your build fu) that can evoke this. There really are a lot of options, a star/fey 'lock, some paladin builds, obviously several warlord builds, clerics, combos of those. You can reflavor so...

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 12:57 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Throwing ideas, seeing what sticks (and what stinks)
    So, what I'm thinking, based on these ideas would be something like this (roughly, I haven't done any math): Create a 'damage table' which looks something like this -5 -2 0 +2 +5 defensive 4 3 2 1 1 normal 6 4 3 2 2 reckless 8 6 4 3 3 So, level difference reads 'this much or more' and is calculated as target - attacker. Now, in this system you COULD just do away with defensive (and offensive) level bonus entirely if you want. Or you could have the bonus/penalty types @Tony Vargas has outlined based on your 'tactics'. As with @MoutonRustique's idea you would have a fixed 'boxed' hit point total based on your role (or for PCs it might be based on class/race/con, whatever). The significantly static hitpoints and potentially bursty damage reminds me of RuneQuest but with the bursts somewhat more under player choice rather fixes the problems it had with not feeling heroic.
  • 06:01 AM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Streamlined 4e combat
    Yeah, there was a suggestion by @Tony Vargas (in the other thread IIRC) about the minion/elite 'mode' thing. It could also be called 'aggressive' and 'defensive' or whatever, and there are a few options for implementing it, but that would get you some of it. You could 'go aggro' for a big move, and toss out your daily. HoML has 'vitality points' instead of AP/HS, you can burn them to play your big powers, so you could actually do something crazy like burn a VP to use a 'vitality' power, burn another one to buy an extra action, and burn a 3rd one to fire off a vitality power again, there's your real alpha strike! hehe. You could add generic stances to enable the fighting desparately... etc.
  • 05:59 AM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Streamlined 4e combat
    If it is a FAST iteration of turns, then it is fine. That seems better to me then turning the turn sequence into pea soup, which is what 4e ended up doing. IT was in some ways better but it was lost completely when 3e came out and it has been gone ever since. We are now moving chess pieces in turn and hoping interlacing out of turn actions will remind us of simultaneous action. Basically I have considered how to actually bring that simultaneous resolution back while allowing interesting choices -- a form of 5 pointed star roshambo might be a nice foundation. Often in a movie you have the camera pointing towards a character in focus and you don't necessarily notice what others are doing unless you have some interaction ... the others are still doing stuff its just not important at this moment. Zero out of turn actions in that context feels like zero sense of interaction. In a game where the fun is partly team work it sucks.

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 04:27 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Streamlined 4e combat
    In a nutshell you'd have a relatively limited number of hit points, say maybe 30 give or take, with elites and solos getting 2 or 4-5 times that, and minions 1 or a small number (less than 5) but with the 'die or take no damage' rule in effect. Then you'd just rely on defenses and attack bonuses to provide all the 'power curve', with PCs getting the option to 'act like an elite' or 'act like a minion' (IE as an 'elite' your attack bonus would go down but you'd get more attacks and a better defense, and 'act like a minion' would do the opposite). Allow insight checks or similar to figure out what the capability of the adversaries are maybe add that effect into certain utility powers.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 12:12 AM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Well, I still think that Gygax was perfectly justified in, and he certainly hit common usage squarely, when he described hit points as a combination of things and implied that 'hit' and 'miss' are simply conventions, not literal rigid narrative. It isn't all that easy to come up with ANY really consistent single interpretation of D&D rules, and I don't think it is worth doing, really.I still don't see any examples in old D&D of luck or fatigue being represented through the HP mechanics, rather than through other sorts of mechanics. Magical luck is consistently represented as a bonus to attacks or saving throws (or re-rolls, in an extreme case), in spite of any assurance that luck is a component of your HP. And of the things that can deal HP damage, they're consistently in the category of things that can cause physical damage to the body. They may have not intended it, but they were quite thorough about it when it came to execution. If that was a coincidence, then it was a highly unlikely one. ...

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 04:16 AM - thanson02 quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    I think the main thing to keep in mind with 4e is it is REALLY geared towards being a kind of action/adventure game with the PCs playing fairly straightforward, though potentially quite varied and even unique, protagonists. It rewards things like high action dynamic scenarios which mix fighting with story goals and such things. So for instance: Once I ran a scenario, as part of a larger story arc, where the PCs discovered that the big bad guy had captured some of their NPC friends and was down at the lumber mill. So the PC rode the log flume down into the mill, leapt inside and confronted the BBEG, complete with damsel about to be sliced in half by the saw, etc. This was a terrific and awesome scenario, with all sorts of thrills, a lot of skill checks, things moving around all over the place, ropes, piles of lumber, etc. etc. etc. This particular one didn't include an SC, per se, but it isn't hard to integrate that too if it is needed. The key was that the scenario was much more than just 'kill t...
  • 02:50 AM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Both the Shadow and the Spectre are non-corporial undead which do hit point damage. So is the Groaning Spirit. In fact the ghost itself is the only one which doesn't do any damage in hit points, but there are many variations of ghosts which do. Several exist in different modules, etc. Oh, Wraith is another example. A quick check of the AD&D Monster Manual shows the shadow and spectre (as well as wraith) having a chilling touch, described as supernatural cold. I never said that an incorporeal creature couldn't supernaturally affect a corporeal one; I just said that all HP damage is described in a manner that's consistent with physical injury. Chilling touch makes sense as dealing cold damage, at least as much as Cone of Cold does. What else would you call that besides psychic damage??? Also Shadow Magic is mostly illusory too, so again this must be psychic damage, except for the 1 point you take if you save.I have to imagine it's similar logic to a sneak attack; failing the save means you're allow...

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 05:07 AM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    I could list 100 basic situations in which non-physical damage is accrued as hit points to a PC in various editions.All of the examples you give here are bad, but if you want to run through your complete list, you might find one which is an error in design consistency rather than an error in your memory. Ghosts do HP damage, and they are non-corporeal, what else is that but 'psychic' damage? Ghosts in 2E cause aging when they hit, rather than damage. Ghosts in 3E can corrupt living creatures by touching them, but there's nothing to indicate that the corruption is all on your head. It certainly sounds like necrotic damage to me, and that's consistent with how the ability works in both 4E and 5E! The only psychic damage that a ghost has ever done is with its horrifying visage, in 4E. That ability doesn't deal HP damage in any other edition. Fourth Edition is the weird one. The spell 'Phantasmal Force' can cause damage, and certainly spells such as 'shadow magic' (which produces illusionary sp...

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 08:42 PM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    The fiction sure appears to be the same to me. I disagree about your "narratives are not equivalent at all", Gygax has already long since explained this. 'hit' and 'miss' in D&D are simply not what the words would seem to imply, and again, you cannot paper over that (except again at really low levels, sort of). 4e leverages that fact a LITTLE more than, say, 2e, but not really that much. Gygax hasn't been relevant to the industry in thirty years. His opinions are meaningless. I'm glad that you found some happiness, by buying into his transparent rhetoric, but most players have higher standards than you do. Most players aren't willing to accept that a hit on the die could be a miss within the narrative, and that's why 4E fared as poorly as it did. Appealing to Gygaxian rhetoric is not a winning strategy with players who know better. I've said it before, but 4E is the edition which actually delivers on Gygax's promise; and very few people actually wanted that sort of thing, in practice.

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 11:09 PM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Actually, this is nonsense. In my old 2e campaign I had a setup where the party would almost immediately run into a Hill Giant. How many hit points did this Hill Giant have? 9! Perfectly legal Hill Giant right out of the MM. It was pretty amusing, because here's this monstrous and terrifying creature, but on average a fighter with a bastard sword (2-16 damage vs large IIRC) will kill it in 1-2 blows, tops. Now, the giant was still DANGEROUS, but exactly where is the consistency of fiction?The consistency is that the Hill Giant has 9hp, whether it's facing a level 1 party or a level 20 party, or a band of hobgoblins. Those 9ph represent an objective fact about that creature, which is that it can survive an impact of a given quantifiable force, and falls to anything greater than that. Of course, 9hp is significantly on the low side for a hill giant, but the rules tell us that these do exist. This one is just significantly less tough than its brethren. It probably doesn't get in a lot of fights. Lik...

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Add in powers that don't refer to spells and you've got a lot of what 4e monsters have, except 5e monsters are still lacking really good design in my book. Partly a problem with 5e's combat system... Anyway, you can do a few different minion variants. Giving them a higher than 1 point kill threshold is not bad, say 1 point plus 3/5 levels rounded down, roughly. It tends to make it possible for higher level ones to survive the very most casual types of auto damage, but doesn't really make them tough enough to take a direct hit. The key thing 4e minions had that 5e very-low-level monsters lack is the ability to survive /making/ a save. ;) But for that 5e BA delivers: a much-lower-level monster can still hit occasional, the damage it does may be trivial, and your minimum damage may well kill it when you do hit - so easy to deal with, but its inclusion isn't meaningless. In 4e, minions had a specific rule: a missed attack never damages a minion, since all AEs were still attacks (saves were a du...
  • 12:27 PM - Zardnaar quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Actually, this is nonsense. In my old 2e campaign I had a setup where the party would almost immediately run into a Hill Giant. How many hit points did this Hill Giant have? 9! Perfectly legal Hill Giant right out of the MM. It was pretty amusing, because here's this monstrous and terrifying creature, but on average a fighter with a bastard sword (2-16 damage vs large IIRC) will kill it in 1-2 blows, tops. Now, the giant was still DANGEROUS, but exactly where is the consistency of fiction? There are Hobgoblins with 9 hit points, also perfectly legal. Now, they do a BIT less damage than even this gimpy Hill Giant, but they're still fairly dangerous (admittedly, being an 8HD creature gives the giant a bit of an edge). Now, in 4e, a 16th level minion STILL has level 16 defenses. The goblin is level 1. Truth is, the 16th level minion ogre would still probably defeat several level 1 goblins. I'd note that an AD&D Ogre might well have as few as 5 hit points, basically not much different from the 16th l...
  • 03:39 AM - Maxperson quoted AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    While this is technically true in a very narrow sense, it isn't really a very honest reading of the rules of an RPG. All RPGs are open-ended affairs. They need not spell out how air or gravity or even money work by default. Likewise D&D need not spell out how weapon degradation works. In 4e and 5e monster equipment is deemed basically worthless, which can be fictionalized to 'it is degraded'. I've already talked about how it kinds sorta exists for NPCs/monsters. In 4e at least, PC equipment never fetches better than 40% of its purchase value, and the GM is free to go from there. I can take a mint baseball card into a store and have the same thing happen to me. Getting more than 40-50% of the value when you sell to a store is business. So if the GM in a 4e/5e game says to you "you've never even sharpened your sword, it is now worthless" responding that this "isn't a rule" would, in most places, get you booted from the table unless you're joking. If said sword is worthless, then it w...

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 08:06 PM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    The ogre minion is weaker than a non-minion ogre. As for the level 1 non-minion goblin, it would be turned to dust by the same attack. First of all its defenses are worthless, and it only has at most about 18 hit points. No level 11 attack is likely to leave it standing. Beyond that THE GOBLIN WOULD ALSO BE REPRESENTED AS A MINION. Why wouldn't it? You'd be playing nonsense with 4e's process to do otherwise. So, as long as you follow that process, you will never have to deal with anything so absurd, and it wouldn't even BE absurd anyway, in all likelihood.Put an ogre and a goblin in the same room. How much force does it take to KO the ogre? Is it more or less than the amount of force carried by a single arrow? How much force to KO the goblin? It should take less force to KO the goblin than it does to KO the ogre, right? That's what I mean by consistency. In every earlier edition, we knew how hard you would have to hit the ogre in order to make it stop moving, and we knew the same in regards to th...

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 09:29 PM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    OK, so how does this not fit with 4e? I don't get it. Not saying I buy this as a viable way to reason about this kind of thing, but if we're going to work with it, then how does 4e not do this the same?If we take as a given that HP objectively measure the ability of a creature to withstand a violent impact without falling, the way HP were actually used at many tables throughout every earlier edition, then it means any minion has absolutely zero tolerance for injury. It means a level 11 ogre minion has a much lower tolerance for injury than a level 1 non-minion goblin. If you objectively test their ability to survive a minor nuisance - have a level 1 fighter throw a dagger at each - then the ogre will die from the first hit, every time, while the goblin survives multiple hits. That's setting aside the nonsense about using different stat blocks to represent the same creature, based on party level, which so many 4E-defenders endorse. At least the designers don't come right out and suggest that techn...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 07:45 PM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Is it? And if so, doesn't that mean that there's a point at which you cannot say, in 1e in this case, that a fixed amount of damage still represents a specific fiction. Its unavoidable, and what you're saying is just admitting it! Now, I used my 11th level PC with a lot of hit points as an example, but your average 5th level fighter with a 15 CON has an average of 32 hit points. He can already withstand a total of 9 average arrow strikes, or 5 that do max damage. Now, perhaps this isn't utterly beyond the realm of possibility, but it is stretching it a LOT. It certainly is a lot more than the 'three or for arrows sticking out of his back'. Clearly D&D can't simply whitewash this, the fiction changes as you level! I said that you can explain HP and damage consistently by saying that a given amount of damage represents an objectively quantifiable amount of force, which is true. An arrow that imparts 8 units of force, will impart that same amount of force whether it hits someone with 6hp or 600hp. The ...
  • 03:28 AM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    So, my 96 hit point 11th level 1e Ranger can stand around and let 20 longbow arrows pierce his body and what? He simply doesn't die from having all those arrow shafts impaling him? What sort of realistic is that? This is clearly balderdash. Any serious idea can be presented comically, but that's just a matter of presentation, and says nothing about the idea itself. In this case, nobody said anything about longbow arrows piercing a body. And even if they did, there's no reason why that has to be inherently silly. I've seen stories where a sufficiently powerful fighter continues to fight, even with three or four arrows sticking out of his back, and those characters were never presented as the almighty warrior-god that a level 11 ranger might be. (Seriously, you're talking about a level 11 character, in a game where level 6 is already incredibly impressive.) More reasonably, everyone worth talking about is either wearing armor or is magic. (And if they aren't, for whatever reason, then the DM is the...

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 02:43 PM - lowkey13 quoted AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ROFLMAO! I do remember that I liked the Yamato (Japanese WWII super-battleship) because the 48,000 yard range of its main battery was pretty much off the edge of most tables, even at the scale we used for Sea Power. Yep! By the way- people who play that REALLY REALLY hate it when you walk by saying, "You sunk my battleship." Um.... not that I would know that.


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