View Profile: AbdulAlhazred - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:01 PM
    Yes that is less of an issue in 4e, potentially at least for saves and armor class using quick predictive thinking (Int) is enabled for those in a solid way. Some I have seen advocate bringing back Fort/Ref/Wil for 5e instead of having mostly unused saves. Perhaps they could allow initiative based on intelligence. While in 4e the foundation of value "in combat" is covered, they could have...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 11:18 AM
    Much better possibility than I thought actually (but it binds a lot of flavor things things like spell casting and a pet into the class too); The savant is closer but has a bad bad thing it takes all the way to level 6 before getting Brains over Brawn. (making it fundamentally Mad for basic functions ie attacking up until that point err oops)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:43 AM
    And a custom encounter power for the The Intelligent Fighter I considered making it against Reflexes.
    35 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:33 AM
    Everybody must get spammed...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 03:30 AM
    The idea was rather popular during the play testing if I recall. Another cost that we see in 5e is forgoing an attack ie conglomerating an attack it could take 2 of your attacks. You proabably do not do anything but this on your turn... without an action surge or something (maybe ok at really high level to do another attack) I would estimate you shouldn't be able to do it till 5e level 8...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:40 PM
    Their design philosophy seems to be a game of mother may I See I can fail too.
    72 replies | 2031 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:11 PM
    Ah good call I noticed it first in the Players Handbook never saw any of the supplements but it was very evocative even the bits in the PHB. When the PHB mentions Belisarius it makes my face light up.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:49 PM
    YES the number of fighters is not even interesting to me
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    60 replies | 2084 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:15 PM
    failed that one. 4e was a bit conservative perhaps. Even some a cool move like "Come and get it" was such a short range that its pretty realistic. OK how about that for a challenge... do Come and Get it in 5e.
    72 replies | 2031 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:08 PM
    The fighter finally having the ability to actually defend could probably be mentioned (I know its in roles but this and warlord are two archetypes which were never mechanically fulfilled til 4e). However for me its pretty much mechanically everything with the above being just the iceberg tip and its almost easier to mention things I didn't like
    36 replies | 1184 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:57 PM
    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.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:01 AM
    You could add generic stances to enable the fighting desparately... etc.
    41 replies | 3997 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:59 AM
    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...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:39 AM
    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...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:33 AM
    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.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:36 AM
    Arguably Battle==War Master==Lord It just doesn't quite do the job The maneuvers just cannot be used often enough and most lack tactician feel le intelligence driven / affecting whole party for ex and the fighter lacks an appropriate warlordy fighting style. I think it is silly to worry about it becoming a vehicle for the warlord its rather meant to be.
    72 replies | 2031 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:13 AM
    A subjective feel : Battle Ready makes creating a fighter feel slightly different like a tax on something a fighter should just have has been lifted. It also acknowledges that initiative can involve deciding/thinking and agressing faster which may be more reliable than reacting faster.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    Arguably in 4e a Dex Fighter til Slayer came out was basically a Ranger/Rogue Roleplaying baggage ensued. (although very flexible baggage) with honorable mention to certain builds which have it secondary. I said "justified" dump stat. EVEN if you forego control, abilities that work in one arena are enhancing the other as well. Statistically your attributes are more broadly valuable by...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 04:49 AM
    B/X - The tight, holistic focus of design around its play paradigm. - The Exploration Turn/Rest > Wandering Monster Clock > Resource Attrition/Risk Reward Cycle Loop. - Monster Reactions/Morale. - Gold for xp. 4e - (Again) The tight, holistic focus of design around its play paradigm.
    36 replies | 1184 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 04:48 AM
    The following shows the XML for loading the Battle Ready class feature in to the offline Character Builder. And yup it works ;) it also takes a modification of the base class. <RulesElement name ="Battle Ready" type="Class Feature" internal-id="ID_LAD_CLASS_FEATURE_BR1234" source="Martial Power III" revision-date="6/16/2019" > <Flavor>Most people react to the onset of a fight for you it...
    35 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:23 PM
    I was considering some of this kind of flexibility Modify Eldritch Knight Arcane Weaponmastery at level 3 when you chose this subclass you have begun to integrate you spellcraft with your weapon use for purposes of attack and magic. Choose one mental attribute this attribute as your spell casting attribute. This attribute becomes the basis of your attack roll and a penalty to saving throws...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:15 PM
    Establishing expectations has a value I suppose even if you have to use the R word.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:36 PM
    LOL Martial Maneuvers
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:33 PM
    Very much this
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:00 PM
    Another ingredient to the mix which I didnt mention because it wasnt important at level 1 the Swordmage class had plenty of teleportation/blink magics Alex had a short range teleport attack once a day at level one but if he makes it to level 20 will have Omnipresent Assault where he blinks around the battlefield as a Ghostblade and launches an attack against every enemy in sight (no range limit...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:47 AM
    Okay So far Is this what we have From Eldritch Knight 3 Levels definitely has components which were basically just flavor in 4e - Weapon Bond to be specific. Savant: Smart Defense. 1 Level While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC. In addition, while wearing light armor if you have one hand free, you gain a bonus to AC equal to your Intelligence modifier (up to a maximum no...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    That definitely has the magical defender angle in there.
    21 replies | 571 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:53 AM
    Examined this closer and wow.... that is definitely the right direction
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:19 AM
    Ah thanks yes flavor is definitely more important in that regards.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:17 AM
    I find it kind of weird that mage armor is Dex bound.... The battlemaster certainly has some cool bits to it. Their abilities aren't actually at will either. The white lotus riposte works somewhat better when you do not have so completely awesome armor but I really liked the idea of fire and force and lightning from my previous attacks bursting back at those who managed to hit Alek.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:03 AM
    It is kind of a work around but for functionality sake and not exactly the right flavor, but Dex it would need to be I like that you gave level recommendations that deserves a thumbs up in itself.. it seems weird to go level 4 without getting that level 5 extra attack though.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:53 AM
    Or perhaps its is a single arrow that returns to your bow knock or quiver after doing its deed. How common to make these things seem flavor oriented ie game world flavor. It might be very rare to the game world of course but all archer oriented heros have one variant or another ;)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:47 AM
    I do not see Iron Defender working for this character so much... but its Battle ReadyWhen you reach 3rd level, your combat training and your experiments with magic and have paid off in two ways: You gain proficiency with martial weapons. When you attack with a magic weapon, you can use your Intelligence modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:10 AM
    Since I really like the flavor of Inspiring Leader how does it stack up in peoples opinions I have heard its borderline broken
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:40 AM
    The opposite of Green Flame Blade in 4e interestingly and yes it was one of his abilities. Green Flame blade could affect any number of enemies adjacent to the one you hit though I called it splash damage. Swordburst is another one of his favorites for clearing out adjacent minions and the like. I kind of like flavoring that one as more martial like a whirling dervish attack. That part...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:20 AM
    This speaks to the value of not forcing the choice
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:17 AM
    Someone called 5e feats more like Themes in 4e it made me blink a bit not mechanically similar at all but in context of what you just said I think is more about their story value, themes had a lot of story value (and somewhat like Paragon paths and Epic Destinies)
    72 replies | 2538 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:11 AM
    Not something I have read but that does count as homebrew to be honest. Though using level dipping style multi-classing is actually almost like the cost in some ways of 4e feats.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:05 AM
    Bladesinger has some ingredients the bladesong helps gets defense based on intelligence. (but might not be defender class without a fighting style to help maybe) Indeed I think the Paladin Smite ability is something i have heard suggested. I was suspecting a custom feat might be required basically a translation of Intelligent Blademaster - in 4e it was kind of a low impact feat and feats...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 10:48 PM
    His name is Alek Cor'Daren (Shielding Aegis - an effective Defender - with some good multi-enemy effectiveness) He had a feat which allowed even his basic attacks (opportunity attacks and granted ones and the like to be based on Intelligence). This feat was part of his origin story and part of what made the character feel special so if necessary I can see how it might take a bit of home brew...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    A lot of feel and flavor is influenced by rules sometimes however it seems the opposite is true. The explicit sources and roles in 4e were really almost entirely flavor in most ways ... however roles guided class and power design (ie they were a design paradigm not actually rules and they weren't hard fast determinants) and sources once in a blue moon actually acted as prerequisites.(but this...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 07:23 PM
    I see something you need to integrate with powers. You need a method to allow a big cool method to defeat the big bad without it being a fluke of chance -- we have a method already it's the nature of powers. Conversely a power might be useable against an enemy or set of enemies you out class without expending a power slot. @AbdulAlhazred
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Runequest (Stormbringer) was how I figured out no D&D ever was trying for simulating anything but heroic fantasy RQ had vivid combat that made you involved in attacks and defenses the advancement system was very oriented, where any attack might kill or disable in a stroke but your character never felt heroic. Gygax made an argument against critical hits which explains it. He said that Conan...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    Allow insight checks or similar to figure out what the capability of the adversaries are maybe add that effect into certain utility powers.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:09 AM
    It generally doesnt in 4e but they didnt lock down out of turn actions
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:47 AM
    The warlord whose primary context is often for team work is very off turn as well to me the highly limited off turn action basically undermines that. I do like 5e movement system its pretty sweet.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 02:49 AM
    I feel it makes the artificiality of turn based combat more obvious to me... in 1e action was planned but simultaneous. (relying on the DM to merge them)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    LOL, well this is somewhat true. Honestly I have been kind of in another world the last several months, not doing a lot of work on it. I must say, the whole question of simplified hit points and 'combat modes' in the 'What Sticks' thread could lead to deep reworking of the basic combat engine, assuming I really want to go that far. Already HoML has the issue that, at high levels, you get to...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:00 PM
    They had in my opinion the best flavor text / class descriptions of any edition it's not my favorite edition but I can appreciate things from multiple ones. I think I can say terminology is separate from mechanics but what the hell In 3.5e I remember reading the Book of 9 Swords and finding the terminology was evocative Stances / Strikes and Martial Disciplines / Maneuvers (4e lost a lot...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:14 AM
    you forgot the quotes "meaningful" .... because who rolled highest initiative is to me not very meaningful
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:34 AM
    Fast and Anti-climactic do just as much. Fast can also be just boring with mostly bags of hit points Fast is also anti-interesting choices for players.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:10 AM
    When you have 3,724 feats Still using Trumpish math is not impressive.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Not convinced that it worked.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:31 PM
    A recent thread about Healer being too strong and Durable being too weak has me wanting to bump this thread for more breadth.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Giving more is almost always better than Nerfing ... The flavors of those are obviously the same.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    Ok, so I understand your position. So I guess I just have a few questions/thoughts: 1) Why canít Aptitude Bias run the other direction (as so many do); overestimating the importance of a honed Skill-set or natural affinity? 2) In the last several years on these boards, weíve seen a LOT of instances of people who are articulate, well-read, tenured GMs struggle significantly in one or both...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:18 AM
    Bad is different than trap though... trap is where something seems like it might be alright or has very compelling flavor AND is poor. Overly powerful is a form of Bad feat just as not so useful ones... arguably the overly powerful ones were often call feat taxes in 4e. and were often considered somewhat obvious 5e feat resources are arguably more expensive I am thinking what do they ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:09 AM
    Really I have seen Umbrum warning people in the last several days.... and it must be "impossible" someone has had more than one account ?
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:19 AM
    Many of a themes effects were just power swaps.... not power upgrades but they might be represented in 5e as a type of 5e feat. Paragon paths might be a 5e feat as would Epic Destiny. Not sure if the 5e feat will convey them well. But they might be built that way.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:52 AM
    The character class descriptions were for me quite evocative
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:47 AM
    I love that Elfcrusher still gets to have fun with his e-war...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:45 AM
    I had an idea of using checks to enable maneuvers you forfeit an attack from your attack action to effectively have another superiority die for your next attack..... basically with the die as a damage boost on the next action its putting all your eggs in one basket with interesting effect being one of them. The skill check might not even be a hard one (or if it was add the WIS or INT or CHA also...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:37 AM
    I found the game didnt do justice to Vances flavor but reading Vance helped D&D feel a little better it was still the part of the system most often hacked back then. Not ironically my favorite edition people often think removed Vancian is actually functionally closer in terms of use frequency to Vance and makes flavor completely adjustable. Also pretty sure I remember Vance also described in...
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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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  • Gilladian's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:34 AM
    My favorite system is 3.5e, but the only non-rules reason is because I have a large personal campaign setting written for it.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 PM
    Citing the above, I want to make sure I've captured your position before I attempt to move the conversation forward. To do so, I'm going to also cite the below from me: Is your position that I (and others) have a blind spot for the gravity of the amplification effect I cite above (or further still, that it is indeed a causal effect) because of natural ability/decades of honing the crafts...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:28 PM
    The former. my color scheme is default text on black background of that helps (Iím computer incompetent so that is the best I got).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    YOU ARE CORRECT SIR Invisible text in other thread and linked thread.
    26 replies | 516 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:09 PM
    The text in the bottom quote is visible to me.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    If we were literally doing the holmes scene let him combine maneuvers better in some fashion the success of one feeding into the next
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:03 PM

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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:32 PM
    The cosmology, very clearly and cleanly adaptable but also closer out of the box to classic fantasy, the fae wild in particular is gorgeously presented. So many things though interact with the rules without being direct I could say getting to finally play characters able to do the job your archetype was described as doing all the way back in 1e or fulfilling the archetype profile described in...
    62 replies | 1825 view(s)
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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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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:36 AM
    I couldn't decide if this was Wisdom or Intelligence secondary... decided intelligence as its so much about predicting and analysing but could be either.
    34 replies | 1199 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:33 AM
    Wis as being steady perceptive it reacts more but does so by being aware and it might take longer on its attack for some benefit? I think of Int as being quick predictive thinking instead of reacting to an already occurring situation but it is highly analytical and preplanning too hmmmmm . So yeah there may be difficulty differentiating them in anything but a flavor fashion.. I was...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:19 AM
    Fun idea all around!!!
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:17 AM
    And he uses it in combat for? I mean in 4e the answer would be quick thinking predictive defenses that avoid attacks including a significant 1/3 of saving throws (core combat elements) And this thread has been largely pointing out ways to give even more.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:52 AM
    I do agree the higher levels are much more sane than in other versions of the game and with better balance. The paragon paths and epic destinies also allow player influence and investment in the story.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:06 AM
    I never understood this one - We have done that in many versions of D&D why did it magically become impossible ... because combat was actually interesting instead of beating on bags of boring hit points? A good skill challenge chase scene could be in your sequence there ;)
    245 replies | 10111 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:45 AM
    I definitely like that 5e made a dex based fighter a standard thing although in 4e I would use a Rogue (lots of dangerous ripostes etc) or Ranger class for that. Still bet your fighter has Int as a justified dump stat.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:41 AM
    Not sure how that relates to an Int encouraged fighter? Unless you think it could be readily reflavored in some fashion? I am actually thinking justifying a decent secondary Intelligence is the target . And having it feel like the highly defended analytical kind of scary Thibault fencer. Where analysis of battlefield pattern and steadfast discipline is seen as key perhaps more than nimble...
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About AbdulAlhazred

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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 wonít 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...
  • 11:29 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...on, the party fails to achieve one of their goals, and they fail in some way that simply defeating the bad guys the next time around with your healed-up party wonít fix. <snip> the situation in the campaign gets noticeably worse for the party. Ideally, the campaign loss can be traced to the decision to take the heal-upA campaign loss is something that can't be fixed by going back and beating the enemies who were retreated from. That can't be fixed simply by defeating the bad guys next time. It is the situation getting noticeably worse for the party. Children being eaten by orcs would be a clear example of such a thing. Whether the children being eaten can be fixed some other way - via a Rod of Resurrection, or a Wish spell, or doing a deal with the gods of death, or any other of the indefinitely many ways that players might decide to have their PCs pursue, should they be so inclined - is something that only play would reveal. Perhaps it can, perhaps it can't. 13th Age, like AbdulAlhazred's HoML, is oriented towards "fail forward" and "play to find out", so does not need any sort of rule for prior determination of whether or not some loss is or isn't reversible.


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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.

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 07:49 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    I guess you could spin ANY non-lethal blow as 'luck and skill', but that seems a bit wrong when you start considering things like falling and poison damage. Falling? You luckily fell through a flock of seagulls and they slowed you down a bit, you skillfully sky-dived into a haystack. Poison? You finely-tuned senses detected the poison just before you would have sipped the wine. The envenomed blade slashed through your armor and gambeson but your rolled away in the split-second before it would have broken your skin. In any case, the situation when striking a PC with 48 hit points is clearly a lot different, as a sword blow in that case is not even close to lethal, and logically represents largely a sort of 'plot armor' being worn down. I have no idea why 4e would be singled out as different here. Given the D&D paradigm, 4e is really quite structured in its approach, though you certainly will explain damage in many different narrative ways. This is not a new 'problem'. Because, like 1e AD&D, i...
  • 07:30 PM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Which game are you talking about? I mean, there ARE games where this is arguably the case, BRP-based games like CoC and games like Traveler (which has only 'attribute damage') would be possible contenders. Even Dungeon World could be looked at in that light, though I would think it clashes with other aspects of its 'narrative over mechanics' design. Certainly D&D, any edition, does NOT fall into this category at all! A sword blow against a level 1 PC is clearly most likely to represent a solid blow causing serious physical damage, if not outright death. I guess you could spin ANY non-lethal blow as 'luck and skill', but that seems a bit wrong when you start considering things like falling and poison damage. In any case, the situation when striking a PC with 48 hit points is clearly a lot different, as a sword blow in that case is not even close to lethal, and logically represents largely a sort of 'plot armor' being worn down. I have no idea why 4e would be singled out as different here. G...


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