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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 03:40 AM
    Consider the all-important character Advancement table. Here are four tiers: Novice, Hero, Master, and Immortal. In medieval contexts, these are apprentice/page, journeyer/squire, master/knight, plus legendary. In Basic D&D, these tiers might loosely associate with Basic, Expert, Master, and Immortal. 4e lacks Novice for a player character, and the tiers begins at Heroic, Paragon, and...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 12:52 AM
    The Knights Templar are an imperial religious order − and very much about certain ruling families. These aristocratic families were also bankers. There are commoners who have access to the aristocrats: servants, entertainers, and merchants. But the aristocrats are highly conscious of their ‘low birth’ and ‘low status’. They try to prevent the boundaries from getting blurry. Sometimes, a...
    23 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:32 PM
    I create the following. There are four ‘styles’: divine, void, arcane, and worldly. These styles are methods or modes or ways. They correspond roughly to the 4e sources: divine, shadow, arcane, and martial. Each style can engage four ‘realms’:
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:48 PM
    For my urban campaign, nonlethal combat is key. Defeating opponents without murder, reduces a serious crime to misdemeanor, or even simply a nuisance that the guards dont want to bother themselves with. For this reason, the ‘bloodied’ condition becomes highly useful. It is the moment when an altercation becomes a fight. Someone is going to have a black eye. I reserve all the ‘unfair’...
    23 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:48 AM
    Status because of wealth, celebrity, and power ... is modern. In premodern cultures, it is more important to be *related* to a noble and have a title, than to actually have money. Money has value − specifically to pay for armies to conquer and steal wealth from other communities. These ‘spoils of war’ were often spent lavishly to emphasize the victory. The next generation of these...
    23 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:40 AM
    Social Stratification ≈ Background ≈ Status/Clique Social Competitiveness ≈ Persuasion/Intimidation Family and Clan are ultra important Power in the sense of class level and wealth are actually less important than we moderns might expect. Level and treasure probably counts for personal reputation, but not really for social ‘access’.
    23 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:03 AM
    Power Grid − Styles: Divine, Void, Arcane, Worldly − Realms: Matter, Life, Mind, Force MATTER (elemental) LIFE
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:57 AM
    Alright. So a nonmagic at-will is called a ‘maneuver’. A magic at-will is called a ‘cantrip’. So, in the power format, ‘frequency type’ includes Rest, Long Rest, Reaction, ... and Cantrip/Maneuver (= at-will).
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    Power Source Grid Here is the 4e Power Source Grid as a table, to make it easier to tweak if necessary. When it seems stable enough to handle most of the corner cases, we can move it into the Original Post. Power Sources
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:18 AM
    Low light is a pain in the neck to keep track of. Even when I remember there is low light, I just handwaive it. Any amount of bright light is bright within close range, and dim for a virtually unlimited distance beyond the bright light. Maybe low light vision is useful for scanning a distance. But really I dont care. I am glad the only two meaningful options are either darkvision or a...
    205 replies | 7575 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:29 AM
    Here is my first pass at Warlord powers. They are intended to balance with 5e, so compare these powers to 5e spells. When a class gives the player the choice of a power, the player can choose any power, whether it is at-will, per rest (short or long), or per long rest. (I am tempted to refer to the At-Wills as ‘Fighter cantrips’.) In 5e, several classes can share the same powers (including...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 02:22 AM
    Power Format Power Name // Purpose Level Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:24 PM
    The clay golem derives from the Bible, where the first human (whose name is ‘Human’, Adam) is shaped out of wet clay − namely a ‘lump’ of ‘dirt’ made moist by a ‘mist’ from the ground. God brought this reddish clay statue to life, by breathing Divine breath into it. This is understood as the ‘dirt’ of physical molecules being mysteriously entangled with consciousness. There is a tradition that...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:04 PM
    I tweaked the power sources grid. Note, ‘Morale’ with ‘Second Wind’, thus by extension Warlord hit-point restoration in the sense of rallying morale. Morale organizes as nonmagical ‘Martial’ and mental ‘Psionic’. Now that I know how to make a table, I am doing the 4e Power Sources Grid as one to make it easier to tweak. See below.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Seriously, in my eyes, the whole point of a ‘boxed set’ is the MAP. And an adventure or arc of adventures relating to the MAP. For what its worth, I prefer regional settings (that plug-and-play into any world). So a regional map, rather than a world map. For me, a world map is an online offering for those who want it. Compare, Salt Marsh is about right for me, in terms of a specific...
    90 replies | 3252 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:46 AM
    The Power Sources table above lists ‘healing’ as Primal and Divine. However, this refers to actual spontaneous healing following a catastrophic injury when reach zero hit points. Warlord healing is more like ‘morale’ (Martial Psionic), inspiring others to press on, despite being battered an bruised. For my tastes, the Warlord is an effective healer − unless the ally reaches zero hit...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I consider balancing options a high priority. I appreciate those who think about these carefully. ‘Situational’ is ‘less useful’, because it is less frequent, and in that sense ‘weak’. Regarding frequency: An ability that is used every encounter is useful.
    19 replies | 2564 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Wood Elf, and maybe High Elf, deserve Darkvision, carrying a nocturnal vibe. However, Eladrin ‘Sun Elf’ must not have Darkvision, having an aura of light, or a light cantrip, instead. Eladrin ‘Moon Elf’ probably needs Darkvision with a nocturnal vibe. In sum.
    205 replies | 7575 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    My ideal power format looks something like this. The title line has the power name (in this case the Fireball spell), the purpose, and the character level. Next line, sources.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:51 PM
    4e Power Sources How do you guys feel about the 4e Power Sources table below? The table develops from discussions that Wrecan and I had years ago. Essentially, the sources are rows and columns that intersect each other. For example, ‘healing’ spells are both Divine and Primal, locating at the intersection of the two. The columns describe the THEME of the spell: Elemental (Matter),...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    @Azzy, jayoungr I updated the original post as follows. Any suggestions? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:48 PM
    Yeah, I guess. Maybe for the sake of simplicity, ANY grappling maneuver can attack or defend via whichever is higher, Dexterity or Strength. So, Dexterity can ‘Push’ by means of a judo flip or so on, and ‘hold’ by grabbing a sensitive place like a finger. I have in mind that there are only four abilities (or at least only four ‘active’ abilities). So, attack uses Strength or...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:49 PM
    I am a big fan of swaps. They are awesome for customization and balance. If everything is formatted as powers, then it is so easy swap one power for an other. If you look at the ‘Advancement’ table. The way the leveling sequence works out has levels 20 to 24 for Epic tier. This includes two ‘Epic’ feats at levels 20 and 24. It also includes an Epic race feature − great for concepts...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:43 PM
    I want ultra simple grappling. Is the following feasible enough? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing. Always use Dexterity to make a grappling attack but always use Strength to keep hold.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:02 PM
    How do you guys feel about everyone getting a free feat at level 1? I suppose, a human gains two. I love 4e ‘themes’. It seems like Pathfinder2 now has something like this as well. A themes are a substantial set of thematic abilities, in addition to class and race. These are great for rounding out a character, connecting the character to persons or places in the setting, or if teammates...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:30 PM
    Ability Bonuses Your ability bonuses define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength bonus makes you inherently good at various challenges that need you to be physically strong. Physical Ability Bonuses • Strength represents your brute strength, toughness, and size. • Dexterity represents your precise motion, skillful athleticism, and...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:05 AM
    The 4e source is so flavorful. It is one of my favorite aspects of 4e. Identifying a class with a certain source works well. On the other hand, identifying a class with a role never worked well. The class felt too rigid and inflexible against personalization. Towards the end, 4e abandoned roles by having archetypes with different roles. I feel it is very useful to use ‘roles’ as...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:03 PM
    I overhauled the Ability Bonuses section. This post archives the earlier content, before the update. Your abilities define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength makes you inherently good at various skills and efforts that need you to be physically strong. The attacker always rolls a d20. This attack roll adds a relevant ability bonus...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:02 PM
    It is possible that 4e grognards outnumber 4e fixers. This is ironic regarding the history of 4e. Heh, and the rationale is identical: ‘I own too much stuff, and therefore refuse to change in any way at all.’ The bottom line is, this thread belongs to the community. I personally need a system that uses salient and balanced abilities. But this thread isnt just for me.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    The abilities of the 3e gaming system were more systematic and more balanced than the 1e gaming system. I am unfamiliar with 1e clones. But my impression is, these embrace the 3e improvement of the abilities, abandon the 1e stats, and still call the 1e clone a ‘clone’.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    Zardnaar The 4e defaults to ‘attacker always rolls’. Yet it included variant possibilities. For example, ‘players always roll’. In other words, when players attack, they roll against a defense. But when monsters attack, the attack is a fixed number and the players make saves against it. So, it is easy to just leave ‘attack’ and ‘defense’ as raw bonus numbers. If rolling, add d20. But if...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:11 PM
    To reduce to three abilities, would mean using Dexterity checks for library research, or alternatively using Intelligence for jumping and grappling. Besides, the 4e stat ‘Passive Perception’ is defacto a routine defense. 4e really has four defenses. The consolidation of abilities down to four is fully compatible with existing 4e material.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 01:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin It is worth having balanced abilities. Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities. • Strength • Dexterity • Intelligence • Charisma
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    Initiative probably belongs to ‘Sense’, whether Sense is part of Wisdom, part of Intelligence, or its own stand-alone ability. In any case, Sense is the ability to notice something coming, whence the ability to respond early for initiative.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:06 AM
    I am ok with removing damage from finesse weapons. Note, in the eight ability setup: Strength − melee attack bonus, melee damage bonus Athletics − finesse attack bonus, grappling, Monk flurry attack Dexterity − missile attack bonus, Rogue sneak attack All three have different kinds of combat options. None are must-have.
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:42 AM
    Abilities should be useful regardless of class. Lore skills and languages are less satisfactory to make Intelligence worthwhile. Intelligence must include something frequently useful in combat. 4e made a good start at making Intelligence a more meaningful investment. It combines Intelligence with Dexterity for Reflex. But this combination still feels awkward. Intelligence still feels less...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:08 AM
    We will see how people feel about having 8 ability scores. But there are many good reasons to have these 8. They are equally powerful to each other. And salient to describe well various kinds of creatures and abilities. Personally, in the traditional six, I find the fact that Dexterity is a super-stat while Intelligence is a dump-stat, to be frustrating. This fundamental imbalance wont...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:34 AM
    The only difference between a ‘defense’ and a ‘save’ is a d20 versus a base 10. You can literally call it a ‘Will save’ and then define ‘Will save’ as ‘10 + your Wisdom or Charisma bonus’.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Zardnaar I started a new thread as a ‘wiki thread’ that anybody can edit. This allows multiple people to contribute to the clone, so not all of the burden is on one person. Have a look at the thread and add and change it freely. enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659990-Open-4e-Style&p=7619019#post7619019
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Math cannot be copyrighted. If you like defenses better, then there is no problem using them. The terms ‘Fortitude’, ‘Reflex’, ‘Will’, and ‘Perception’ are all legally available, regardless of how we define these terms. Cool about Star Wars. If going with defenses, then it is worth combining Ref and AC as a single defense.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:01 AM
    The ability bonuses consolidated to four: Strength and Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma. Abilities and defenses are probably the most important mechanics in the entire game. They need to work extremely well. Unfortunately, they are the most familiar mechanics, thus the most difficult to improve. In the first post, in ‘Ability Bonuses’, I have added two more ability scores....
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:49 AM
    Reserved
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:46 AM
    This is an open wiki thread. You can edit this post. Contribute to reengineer a ‘4e-style’ gaming system. Use available nomenclature from 5e and 3e, or invent a new nomenclature. Avoid unlicensed 4e terms. Include any notes for fellow game designers in double brackets ]. For example, the term ‘profession’ is noted to be equivalent to the 4e term ] and the 5e term ]. A final product...
    64 replies | 1677 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 05:23 PM
    In 1e, every DM was expected to create their own setting with its own flavor. I wish that stayed.
    77 replies | 2782 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, I basically like these half-feats. The main issues are: Flavor-neutral mechanics Avoid baking setting flavor into the mechanics. Rely more on ‘flavor text boxes’ for flavor. Especially avoid terms like ‘gods’ within the actual mechanics themselves. Defenses In 4e, there are no such things as ‘saves’. Instead, the attacker always rolls. The defender has ‘defenses’....
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:10 PM
    Actually, doing them in chunks of 5, eventually covers all of them. For 4esque, Warlord seems ‘core’. And there are 5 sources: Psionic, Arcane, Divine, Primal, and Martial. Maybe treat Bard as mind-affecting Psionic.
    29 replies | 1169 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:22 AM
    So far. Warlord Fighter Wizard Rogue, Cleric Druid, Warlock
    29 replies | 1169 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    I would go with Rabbi as a background. Rabbis can be very different from each other. Some Rabbis are scientists (Wizard), some are soldiers (Fighter), some are artists (Bard), some are healers (Cleric). The mystics in particular seem a case that is simultaneously Divine and Psionic. The endeavor is to ‘unite’ and ‘adhere’ the mind of a human with the mind of Divinity. Jewish mysticism is...
    20 replies | 853 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 02:36 PM

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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    Ars Magica has a book, Kabbalah: Mythic Judaism. It seems a decent presentation.
    20 replies | 853 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:12 AM
    Pretty much any clergy is more like a background, being a skill set. Knowledge skills (history, religion, arcana as mysticism), social skills (empathy, persuasion, intimidation), magical talents (bless, augury, healing, guidance) Peoples most commonly expressed needs are: belonging, relationship, family wellbeing, finances, physical health, spiritual seeking, meaning, ethical advice,...
    20 replies | 853 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    I love 4e. It is my favorite edition of D&D. ‘Errata’ that I would like to improve include. • Make the abilities (Dexterity, Intelligence, etcetera) more salient and more equal in power. • Consolidate AC and Reflex into a single defense. Make Perception a formal defense. • Make power choice fluid. Where 4e had specific usage types (at-will, encounter, daily) at specific levels, it became...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:41 PM

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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    For 4e, it helps to think in blocks of four levels. • level 1: class archetype specialization power (at-will, short rest, long-rest) • level 2: utility (defend, move, detect), skill (background), cultural power (race, region) • level 3: class power (at-will, short-rest, long-rest, sometimes extra-attack) • level 4: feat/ability-score customization This block repeats for levels 5 to 8,...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 12:40 PM
    For theater of the mind, it helps to ballpark all distances for weapons and spells as: ‘melee’ (within 3 feet) ‘reach’ (within 10 feet) ‘close’ (within 30 feet) ‘far’ (beyond 30 feet) ‘same plane of existence’ Far ranges that sometimes happen beyond a combat encounter:
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:51 AM
    It is necessary to plan ahead carefully. Because mechanics depend on other mechanics, once we build it, it becomes painful or impossible to personalize. If we want ability scores to be equally balanced with each other, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. If we want characters that are easy to customize, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. ...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:09 AM
    Maybe the magic bonus and the tier bonus are the same thing? If using magic bonuses, then treadmill the tier bonus. If without magic bonuses just add the tier bonus directly? Novice: +0 magic or tier Hero: +1 magic or tier Paragon: +2 magic or tier Epic: +3 magic or tier
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:00 AM
    Lets think carefully about bounded accuracy. At level 1, it is possible to have a total of +0 (average score, nonproficient) or worse. At level 1, the highest bonus is +7 (+5 score, +2 proficiency). Im less fond of the Expertise ‘doubling’ proficiency, because I like bounded accuracy for skills too, and I like to use skills in combat, so like combat and skills to have the same math.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 08:09 PM
    In total there are two physical defenses (Fortitude and Reflex), and two mental defenses (Perception and Will).
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I think it is fine to ignore Epic tier for now. Even ignore Paragon. Just work on Novice (1-4) and Heroic (5-12). Plenty to do. We can add more later once the foundation seems robust. I hope to use 5e mechanics as-is, as much as possible. Only in a situation where a 4e-ism improves 5e, would I want to alter 5e. I would just stick with the 5e weapon attack system, its math works fine.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Tony Vargas Maybe Sneak Attack against an unaware target, targets the Perception defense thus bypasses the Reflex-Armor defense.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:39 PM
    Tony Vargas Heh, if anything, the lasso targets the Perception defense! Not the Reflex defense. Anyone paying attention can easily render a lasso useless.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Lassos might have a ‘special’ attack. − But a shield would help prevent a lasso. The rest might be better to handwaive. But, burning oil is effectively negated by armor. Likewise shield and armor effectively deter dragon breath and so on. How many times have I seen a picture of a knight with shield deflecting dragon fire!
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    5e hates to attack attended objects − but rationally, the magic ray damages the shield or the plate armor, not the person. Or the shield or armor actually reflects or deflects while being only cosmetically damaged. Armor, including a shield and a heavy cloth armor (gambeson) definitely help escape burns from burning oil.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Regarding hit points. Suppose each race has base hit points. (Tiny) 4 hit points (Small) 6 hit points (Medium) 8 hit points (Powerful Build) 10 hit points (Large) 12 hit points
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:12 PM
    Legal reasons, it is impossible to copyright a calculation. There is no problem using the Constitution score rather than the accumulating bonuses. The word ‘Constitution’ and ‘score’ are legally available too because of the 5e agreement. The 4e-ism of using the score is ok. The only difficulty I foresee is, if using standard 5e monsters, they will have inflated hit points relative to...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:10 PM
    Reflex plus AC is such a redundancy. Moreover I see no need for a ‘touch’ attack, it is simply Reflex. For example, shield really does help Reflex in the sense of deflecting an attack and getting out of its way. A shield helps against a magical ray. If someone wants to call it the ‘Reflex defense’ or the ‘Armor defense’, I am happy either way, as long as they are the same thing.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Garthanos and Tony Vargas I really want to consolidate AC and Reflex. So, a sword attacks the Reflex defense. A ray attacks the Reflex defense. An armor improves the Reflex defense, if the Strength/Constitution prerequisite is met.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I understand what you are saying, but then adding a tier bonus plus a proficiency bonus strains the already strained bounded accuracy of 5e.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Well, 5e is already ‘weird’. 5e tiers break at levels 1, 5, 10, and 17. In other words 4/6/6/4. The first tier in a 5e→4e system with levels 1 to 4 is natural, because these levels in 5e are simply too weak and too incompetent to represent a 4e ‘Heroic’ tier. Level 13 seems appropriate for a ‘Path’. It could be 4, Heroic 8, Paragon 8, and Epic 8. But Epic is still a formative design...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I think everybody here agrees that 4e-style Constitution is superior? So, add the SCORE at level 1, and never additional BONUS hit points. This removes low level fragility, and avoids high level hitpoint inflation. (Optional Variant, if players like fragile low levels: add the bonus once at each tier, at levels 1, 5, 13, 21?)
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Personally, I like the ‘just explicitly’ part. But, I also like how 5e gives the FULL proficiency, to anything one later becomes proficient in. For example, if one is level 13 and gains proficiency in Stealth, the proficiency is +4. One doesnt start at the beginning with +2.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Since 4e level 1 doesnt really happen until 5e level 5, it seems worthwhile to split up the concept of ‘class’ into separate tiers. In other words, a ‘class’ includes impactful choices, at different tiers. At level 1, the player chooses a Student Course. At level 5, the player chooses a Heroic Profession. At level 13, the player chooses a Paragon Path. At level 21, the player chooses an Epic...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:25 PM
    Regarding multiclassing. A discussion with Zardnaar in an other thread helped me be more open to multiclassing, even including limited-level ‘prestige classes’. A 4e ‘Paragon Path’ is exactly a prestige class that is suitable for levels 13 to 20 (or whatever). As long as a Path focuses on being alternative features, rather than strictly superior to a base class, then it seems useful. Many...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    @Tony Vargas, @Zardnaar 5e long rest grants complete healing PLUS hitdice. What if a long rest only gives hitdice? Thus someone who is fresh (unbloodied) can spend hitdice in the form of second-winds. But someone who is injured or exhausted must spend the hitdice immediately to recover, thus is more vulnerable to further damage from future battles. @Tony Vargas, @Garthanos, and others...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Instead of reducing to four, the ability scores might achieve salience by increasing to eight. Splitting off two incongruencies seems to alleviate some of the main difficulties. Here, Athletics and Senses, are two ability scores that add to the traditional six, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. So there are eight ability scores, plus four defenses (see...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:55 AM
    You might be on to something. Different aspects of the game level at different rates. It might be something like you are saying, where some factors are in play, while other factors arent, depending on the aspect.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:45 AM
    Actually, something about 5e I would like to fix. Skill math. I like bounded accuracy in 5e. It bothers me that skill math drops this astute design principle, for things like skill expertise. For the 4esque, I would like a version of expertise that doesnt double the proficiency bonus. I have seen good suggestions in the ENWorld forum for what to do instead.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 06:09 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Norse ‘Psionics’ The manipulation of the forces of the ‘mind’ is the basis of ALL Norse magic. ‘Mind’, Norwegian hug, Old Norse hugr. " The folk lived close to nature and believed they were a part of it.
    91 replies | 7965 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 05:35 PM
    Personally, I rarely get into ‘pets’, but for certain Artificer archetypes it seems to work. The artificial mind feels like an appropriate concept but its implementation needs lots of work. The robot beast with a healing ray, I cant help but like for the tinkerer. However. The ‘turret’ is all kinds of wrong for a wand-maker archetype. The humunculus feels more like a cute familiar, and in the...
    127 replies | 4550 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Wizards with more brains than sense, have moderate Intelligence and high knowledge skills. They more specifically might have low Charisma and poor social skills. I havent seen the Avenger in play. But its creators viewed it as the ‘Batman class’. In this sense, the class benefits from Intelligence, including Perception. The Avenger also has Charisma, perhaps more so relating to Will and...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 04:54 PM
    I view the skill systems of the later editions, 3e and 4e, as working better to differentiate the aspects of each ability score.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 04:51 PM
    When the two mental ability scores are Intelligence and Charisma, The Cleric is obviously Charisma, the leader of a spiritual community, who can inspire hope, achieve faith healing, socially interact with positive beings, compel and intimidate negative beings. And so on. To some degree, the Cleric personifies the social aspects of the game.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 04:25 PM
    The elegance of the core engine affects everything. 4e did much to begin the consolidation of the ability scores. Two principles guide the assessment of the core engine. The ability scores work well when thematic and narratively intuitive. So that themes that naturally go together utilize the same score. Without ambiguity during narrative resolution. The ability scores are mechanically...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Different players have different preferences concerning different aspects of the game. I care about the elegance of the core engine of the D&D gaming system. Some players care about this too. Other players dont mind the irregularities, and view them as familiarities. Heh, your post comes across as if, you decide for all players everywhere? It also comes across as less civil.
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 12:04 PM
    A main feature D&D 4e, is the semi-reduction of the ability scores to three balanced and equally useful ability scores. • Strength/Constitution/Fortitude • Dexterity/Intelligence/Reflex • Charisma/Wisdom/Will This salient consolidation of D&D deep mechanics down to three, works well mechanically. However, 4e remains more complex because Passive Perception functions as a defacto fourth...
    320 replies | 11105 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 07:33 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Ancestor Reverence " The shamans role as an intermediary between human society and the land is not always obvious. We see the sorcerer called upon to cure an ailing tribesman or locate some missing goods. We witness entering trance and sending awareness into other ‘dimensions’ in search of insight and aid. We should not interpret these ‘dimensions’ as ‘supernatural’. Nor view them as...
    91 replies | 7965 view(s)
    1 XP
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Friday, 23rd March, 2018

  • 09:34 PM - Celebrim mentioned Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Zak S: Ok, do you see the length of the essay just above this? Now you want to ask me three or four questions at once? Yes, I can answer these questions, but please excuse me if I don't answer them all thoroughly just right now. Let me make a couple of notes about some of your questions that I think are important just as a quick drive by right now. If I'm not mistaken, "Fire on the Velvet Horizon" is system neutral and contains no stat blocks at all. I could use these monsters in OD&D or in 3e D&D or in GURP or in a White Wolf story teller system, just by putting some bones in the fluff. Now what I find really interesting about that is you seem to have by your question thoroughly destroyed the idea that people were going back to the old school because of some particular trait of the rules, since some of the things you first brought up as 'old school' are rules agnostic in the first place. Moreover, you seem to be asserting here that 'Fire on the Velvet Horizon' is in some s...

Wednesday, 27th January, 2016

  • 09:59 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Zak S in post Do you want your DM to fudge?
    "...and that those people might not prefer it because they like more challenge is an entirely reasonable explanation for why" To which I'd add, there are other possible reasons as well; And your statement that this is fact: "-that if players become aware the GM fudges they feel less challenged" You may feel less challenged, others might feel less challenged, but not all will feel less challenged, therefore it is not a fact. I would be OK with 'it is a fact that some players may feel less challenged if they become aware that the GM fudges. Some may object on account of a perceived fairness or unfairness, often expressed as favoritism, for example. I've just a moment for some brief commentary. The discussion of play priorities that Zak S has been attempting to frame the conversation around is the right one. However, I'm going to break down "challenge-based-play" a bit more and how it interfaces with rules and suspension of rules or mis-adjudication. The National Football League has lots and lots and lots of rules. They have grown increasingly subjective over the course of the last several years. This increasing subjectivity, and the inconsistent/bad (game-changing or deciding) calls that have stemmed from it, has absolutely impacted the competitive integrity of the game. That is a key phrase. This impacts the behavior of gamblers, of folks who watch the games, and definitely on its participants. The evolving rules construct of the NFL has taken place due to the competing priorities of (a) the competitive integrity of the game, (b) the want for an increased market share in viewership (revenue), and (c) player safety (which is basically a proxy for CYA for league executives). Both (b) and (c) have absolut...

Sunday, 24th January, 2016

  • 03:26 AM - Maxperson mentioned Zak S in post Do you want your DM to fudge?
    That is likely because no one has tried to prove that fudging is untrustworthy. There are only people that have pointed out the fact that fudging, and not being clear with your players that it is a thing which you do occasionally even/especially if they directly ask you if you do, is untrustworthy. It's really too bad for you that what you just said isn't a fact at all. It's just your opinion. Zak S I'm not ignoring you. I'm trying to formulate a good answer for your second question. It happens so rarely that I really don't track those events, so I don't have anything specific to reference.

Thursday, 15th October, 2015

  • 07:11 AM - Campbell mentioned Zak S in post Improvisation vs "code-breaking" in D&D
    ...realize that Vampire - The Requiem 2nd Edition was totally my jam. Historical context is important here. The Forge was what it was. We got a lot out of it, but it's a good thing it's not really a thing anymore. There's a time and place for movements and identity politics. A lot of what the Forge brought to our culture is still important though - focusing on actual play, being able to identify and verbalize what we want out of games, demanding functional and questioning assumptions are all very important things. Most importantly, we got some very good games out of it. That's the biggest thing. I think what gets lost in a lot of these discussions both in my crowd and outside of it is that at the end of the day we are talking about games and stuff. They games I play and the way I play them affects the people I play them with. It shouldn't directly impact you. I'm not telling people what they should do. I'm just talking about a thing I do that I sometimes take way too seriously. Zak S, I want to thank you for your perspective. I totally appreciate that you are sharing your perspective and not negating other people's experiences. This thread has been really weird for me. I personally feel a kinship with you OSR folks. I like the independence, the advocacy for an overlooked play style, and the willingness to question assumptions. At the end of the day I appreciate the opportunity to clarify and reflect on why I like the games I like, and also a chance to step outside of my own bubble a little. It was also formative.

Sunday, 11th October, 2015

  • 11:43 PM - pemerton mentioned Zak S in post Improvisation vs "code-breaking" in D&D
    There is no "must" there. I have played characters with no tactical expertise at all. It's rather enjoyable just doing whatever seems fun whether it's the most tactically sound move or not.Obviously I can't speak for Zak S, but I took him to be referring to your tactical expertise (the actual expertise of you, the player), not the (imagined) tactical expertise of your PC.

Friday, 9th October, 2015

  • 02:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Zak S in post How Do You Get Your Players To Stay On An Adventure Path?
    My experience of this (in Rise of the Runelords) was that it really sucked, because it broke my immersion. The adventure listed all these goblin tribes, exposition NPC talks about them, I say "Let's investigate Tribe X", GM says "No, only Tribe Y is detailed in the adventure". That sucked.Would it have been better if the GM had just used the descriptions about Y to handle your investigation of X (taking a punt that you would never bother coming back to the "real" Y, or at least giving the GM time to come up with new details for Y)? If the players make an uninformed choice, then I see no difference as to whether the DM placed the tower there before the game began, during game play because they thought it was cool, or rolled it randomly on a wildnerness encounter table.While I'm generally sympathetic to S'mon and Zak S saying that giving illusory choices is a waste of time, I don't think it always is. I think a lot of these illusory choices are just about creating a bit of colour. By choosing the desert or the forest, the players choose some colour. If the GM is any good, this also means that perhaps the dragon at the bottom of the dungeon gets changed from blue to green, or vice versa. If the PCs choose to go north then the weather at the dungeon is cold (assuming the typical northern hemispheric gameworld); if they choose to go south then the weather is warm. Contributing to colour in this way isn't the greatest expression of player agency by any means, but I can see why some RPGers wouldn't regard it as a complete was of time. (I think this is at least part of what Imaculata is trying to get at in this thread.) IMC the PCs didn't chase some bandits, which would have led to Dungeon 1. So I decided to use Dungeon 1 in a different locale instead, and the bandit cave would then be a differen...

Wednesday, 6th May, 2015

  • 07:08 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Zak S in post Character play vs Player play
    Zak S, quite a good bit of analysis there (quantity and quality). I skimmed as I'm short on time but gave the "Chokers" section a full read-through. The term "Chokers", presumably, could just as easily be interchanged with "choke-points" or "bottlenecks." The machinery at work serves to narrow opportunity, limit choice, constrain outcomes. Consequently, "stuff that (typically) immediately follows" is more (but perhaps not totally) predictable GM-side. I find that, most often, this is in the service of intensive prep or module hijinx (the classic anti-teleport and anti-divination stuff). Heavy-handed, consecutive usage will lead to an inevitable, singular path (the topographical realization of continuous, depressed bottlenecks is a valley or a canyon). Something interesting (and important, I feel) to note is how certain players will react to certain techniques (used at all) and will react differently based on how overt (at the metagame or system level) those techniques are and ho...

Saturday, 2nd May, 2015

  • 01:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Zak S in post Confirm or Deny: D&D4e would be going strong had it not been titled D&D
    ...e front line when the PC is far from heavy infantry in capabilities, or a player throwing his/her CHA-dump PC with few social skills into the thick of a social situation because s/he doesn't like the direction the "face" PCs are taking it. In that context, I said (post 581) in relation to the latter two sorts of occurrence that: This is not necessarily where heroism comes to the fore, but it can lead to narrow and exciting successes, or to meaningful failures - meaningful because the player really put his/her PC on the line for a reason, and even if it didn't work out quite as desired something interesting happened in the fiction as a result. I think 4e supports this better than AD&D because its approach to action resolution, consequences etc creates a more nuanced range of failure and partial failure conditions than simply alive/dead. My comment has nothing to do with whether or not PC death should be on or off the table, or makes for a good stake. On the latter, I think Zak S has given a good account of the power of PC death as a stake in a certain sort of game (from the outside, it sounds to me like a classic "skilled play" dungeon exploration game of the sort that Gygaxian AD&D and Moldvay Basic are aimed at - if I've got that wrong, I'm happy to be corrected). I've tried to explain why, in the sort of game that I like to play and run (from the inside, I would describe it as a game in which player identification with the PC is similar to the vicarious emotional experience to which dramatic fiction gives rise), PC death is not necessarily the ultimate or most powerful stake. Going back to what innerdude and I were discussing: in a system in which the main, or at least ultimate, consequence of failed action resolution is PC death, two things follow. First, a player always has a reason to try and engage the ingame situation using his/her PC's best ability; second, if a player (due to rationing, or misadventure, or whatever) finds him-/herself engaging the...

Monday, 22nd December, 2014

  • 11:53 PM - Deuce Traveler mentioned Zak S in post Favorite D&D Retroclone?
    Nice to see you here, Zak S. I've been a lurking fan of your website ever since you sent me a Google+ invite. I learned about LoTFP from you and purchased the pdf sometime back, too. For me, I still like the Castles and Crusades system for 1e retro clones, and Dark Dungeons for when I want to get BECMI back and running. I also like Labyrinth Lord, however, and the Mutant Future rules that clone Gamma World. Emerikol , thanks for mentioning ACKS. I love the campaign level play from BECMI, so ACKS looks like something quite different while simultaneously right up my ally.

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Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

  • 07:15 PM - Mistwell quoted Zak S in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    Probably someone already said this but I don't allow bards because they are bards It's acceptable that you have such poor taste. We still like you despite your incredible deficiency in taste concerning this singular topic. I consider it simply a disability you unfortunately have obtained, either through birth or environment. You may even park in the disabled parking spot, provided you display a "I Hate Bards" sign in your window so that all may see your special needs and shake their heads in understanding.

Monday, 6th August, 2018

  • 09:52 AM - ajevans quoted Zak S in post Congratulations to 2018's ENnie Award Winners!
    I've seen lots of people who like post-Forge games talk up Blades and Red Markets--though often while saying they regret they can't find anyone to play with, while I've seen way more discussion of people actually using Zweihander. Many indie games are disproportionately discussed online because they emerged from online discussion scenes whereas Zweihander's fanbase is anyone who liked old Warhammer and just wanted it cleaned up a little and modernized--a way bigger group. Entirely feasible - we largely operate in echo chambers.

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 02:34 PM - Ancalagon quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    You are changing the analogy away fro one fitting the real-life situation. NOOO, but the chicken!!!! (and you changed the analogy first, you analogy changer you) I don't care about how the conversation got here, what I care about is what you actually believe. I actually sort of do care, because this is essentially a perpetual motion argument machine. "Tony: This Zac: How dare you say that, that is clearly wrong!" Tony: but I'm saying this Zac: but that is wrong! Anc: I'm pretty sure he's trying to say this, not that Tony: Yes, I am saying this, not that Zac: You clearly are saying that, now admit that that is wrong! Anc: Chicken? Zac: your chicken is wrong!!" This will go on forever until: 1: Morrus closes the site 2: One of us gets bored 3: Thermal death of the universe. It's also interesting (edit: how we got here) because you said earlier True but after however many years watching this debate on the internet, I think everyone knows the second half of that ar...
  • 05:24 AM - Ancalagon quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Hello again! Sorry for not replying earlier - I had an OSR game to run! ... in 5e... ... using a 2nd ed module. But whatever. That is not important, the chicken is important! ... there was no chicken this week. Do you or do you not get that Tony's claim necessarily implies he's second guessing people he doesn't know and claiming he knows more about their experience than them? Well let's see, what is his core thesis... the crux of what he is saying My interpretation is that his main thesis is that the quality of the mechanics (ie rules) is not the main factor behind someone liking/playing a game. Mechanics aren't the main factor behind a game being popular or not. Monopoly, for instance, very popular... but ask a hard-core boardgamer how good it is, mechanically, sometime, if you don't mind listening to a rant. Hmm, seems I was right! (I'll note I used the "generic someone" vs his "people" (implied by "being popular") but whatever). So does this statement - th...
  • 01:00 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    No I was not referring to your vague claim, I was referring to this bold and explicit one: Z: "the main reason" they continue to use it. Tony: That'd make sense if people came to games with the idea of finding good-quality mechanics.So is it your point that people, in general, do come to games looking for good mechanics? If so I'd have to disagree: IMX, that's a relatively small minority - the more 'Hard Core' of gamers - who really delve into mechanics and start trying out and dissecting games specifically looking for the best mechanics. I don't believe that generally-fruitless quest much contributes to any game's popularity. ...That's you: That'd make sense if people came to games with the idea of finding good-quality mechanics. I rather doubt that's what most gamers are looking for. Instead, I suspect they're looking for an experience, of which the mechanics may or may not be a big part, and the quality of the mechanics may or may not influence, and may not deliver only...
  • 12:26 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Your claim was explicit:Does this: Everything you just described is standard-issue fad-cycling. Nostalgia may not feel like the right label for those of us who have been with the hobby the whole time, but it's pretty close: the appeal of OSR is it's similarity to the game of the past... D&D was a fad, fads flop, and when they do people always say they're dead & gone for good. Then the fad comes back, and people always say its here to stay. But, really, it's only the popular perception that cycles, the core enthusiasts stick around through the whole cycle.Really sound like: People who claim they like the mechanics _probably_ don't and like it for some other reason. to you?
  • 12:11 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    My interpretation is that his main thesis is that the quality of the mechanics (ie rules) is not the main factor behind someone liking/playing a game. Mechanics aren't the main factor behind a game being popular or not. Monopoly, for instance, very popular... but ask a hard-core boardgamer how good it is, mechanically, sometime, if you don't mind listening to a rant. Yes, which necessarily implies: Yeah, I'm just going to have to ask you to lay off the straw man thing. It's getting tiresome. No, I'm not calling anyone a liar (because that would be against the CoC, unlike actually lying). All the folks in the OSR have been harassed with claims they are nostalgists long before explaining that, no, they didn't even particularly like old D&D or (in many cases) know that they were playing an old ruleset. So you've been told too many times that you - personally? collectively? - /only/ like something that's patterned on something from an 80s fad, 'because nostalgia?' And, in defen...

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 11:30 PM - Ancalagon quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    I've tried all the other restaurants I think we both know that Tony Vargas will say to this astounding claim! ;)
  • 10:25 PM - Ancalagon quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Let him yank--so long as no gamer logs on to this page and reads misinformation that is not refuted immediately, we;re all good. Is it your contention that Tony said something other than what he meant? If not: what other possible meaning of "Probably they.." etc is there? I mean, if you say " my name is Dave" and I go "It probably isn't" then what possible explanation besides "I think you're lying or self-deceived" is there? Literally there's no other meaningful interpretation of Tony's claim.My interpretation is that his main thesis is that the quality of the mechanics (ie rules) is not the main factor behind someone liking/playing a game.
  • 10:06 PM - Ancalagon quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    No problem: Are you making the same bold claim that Tony Vargas is, that OSR folks' self-reports are wrong and that you know they "probably" want something else? If not: ok. If so: same question to you about evidence.I will make the claim that Tony's claim is not as categorical as you perceive it to be. I will *speculate* that you perceive it that way because it makes it easier to refute, or perhaps you see the world in binary. I will also speculate that Tony may have switched to a yanking your chain mode. Oh and mea culpa: I use OSR material in my game: a 5e Yoon Suin campaign. I also used a 2nd ed module in it too!
  • 08:41 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Ah, you've just said "probably" which means you're actually saying that your idea about why people are dong what they do is more likely to be accurate than their self-report. More likely than what you choose to report, for the purposes of shouting down anyone who posts something on this thread not in lock-step with your preferred narrative. But, yes, people often self-report things of secondary importance, because the issues of primary importance are assumed or unexamined. Why would someone try an OSR game? Because they're looking for a /better/ game? Or because they're looking for an Old School game? And, really, what's the natural way to express that you like something? "It's good." It's not a considered critique of mechanics, it's an opinion about the experience. Why do they not immediately hurl down popular OSRthings like Veins of the Earth (and other OSR products) in disgust, considering they make absolutely no appeal or attempt to appeal to nostalgia? VotE didn't ...
  • 08:07 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    "the main reason" they continue to use it. That'd make sense if people came to games with the idea of finding good-quality mechanics. I rather doubt that's what most gamers are looking for. Instead, I suspect they're looking for an experience, of which the mechanics may or may not be a big part, and the quality of the mechanics may or may not influence, and may not deliver only by the obvious expedient of being 'good.' In the case of D&D or OSR games harkening back to the early days of the hobby, that experience is probably either about re-capturing the feel of gaming in that era (which can be, perhaps unfairly, called 'nostalgia') or about exploring that feel for the first time (and there could be many reasons for wanting such an experience).
  • 07:31 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    In the case of the OSR, I don't know if it's related and do not care. I suppose we do have something in common. ;) I agree it's not relevant to the topic of popularity whether a given system is any good or not, let alone how they all rate in quality, collectively. I do know the stuff is good and that many people use it because of that now. You have an opinion about how good the stuff is, and speculate that others sharing that opinion is /the/ reason people use it. Fine, as far as it goes. It doesn't go as far as providing any evidence anything is good or bad, and those kinds of in-depth discussions rarely lead to solid conclusions anyway. Suffice to say you like it, thus its good, for you, and that's perfectly valid, and not something I'd want to disabuse you of, anyway. OTOH, OSR games harken back and tie into an 80s fad, which could also go a ways towards explaining why people use them. Because returning players are nostalgic for the kind of game they remember from the fad y...
  • 07:09 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Whatever reason people are drawn to the OSR at first Is the answer to the original question. Because that's what drives 'popularity,' people being drawn to it in the first place. it is good because the rules work well Good and popular are often entirely unrelated - when they are related, it can even be an inverse relationship. and the new supplements and modules are the most fire stuff available. 'fire' stuff?
  • 06:21 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Also find out if anyone who thinks that has some reason (valid or otherwise) heretofore not known to social science or game design Are you trying to assert that fads and the comebacks thereof are unknown to social science? (I can see how they'd be considered trivial, perhaps, though they do make some money.) Or that nostalgia has absolutely no role in comebacks? (Also sounds implausible to me.)
  • 06:09 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    If you think people like the retroclone mechanics or products solely bc nostalgia If I thought that, I would have said that, instead of going on about fads & come-backs. As far as mechanics go, I don't think they were relevant to the original fad nor particularly so to the current come-back. Qualities of mechanics matter to the Hard Core, sure, but they're (OK, we're - there, I've admitted it) just keepers of the flame through the flop phase, once the come-backs rolling, we're swamped by Returning Fans and New Blood, and like the mechanics we may have some pretty detailed opinions about, prettymuch irrelevant, ourselves. If you think something else: that's not really something that I'm concerned with. If your only agenda is to shout down that one very specific idea, that OSR is /solely/ due to nostalgia, then, yeah, you're wasting your time shouting at me. If you're actually trying to champion the opposite extreme: that OSR has /nothing/ to do with nostalgia, then, well, good ...
  • 05:40 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    That's not my rhetorical style .... I was being charitable in calling it a 'style,' but I feel like 'Stawman' gets tossed around far too much around here. I pretty much never hear any actual person say anything but "Renaissance" within OSR circles Really? They run around saying "Old School Renaissance!" all the time instead of just 'OSR?' I get that renaissance sounds classy, and by all means, do everything you can to claim it. But, as you tried to say, the name doesn't necessarily reflect the reality. The 'reality' (OK, a plausible characterization of reality) being that the OSR is coat-tailing the come-back of the D&D fad of the 80s... ...actually, that's not fair at all, it'd be more accurate to say that OSR was the /leading edge/ of the come-back, because WotC sadly miss-timed it's offerings in managing the D&D brand. D&D 5e, of course, being the full sound & fury of the returning fad.
  • 04:56 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    of course the ACTUAL Renaissance ("rebirth") was not simply a revival of greek and Roman art and ideas. It was not just that, but it was that. And, the R in OSR stands for 'Rules,' as often...
  • 04:41 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    So, Tony same question as for anyone else making this claim: 1. If the OSR is driven by nostalgia Let me stop you right there and clarify something. I did not say 'driven by nostalgia,' let alone /solely/ by nostalgia, which is the only sort of claim that your rhetorical questions might argue against. Rather, the OSR seems to part of the comeback phase of the D&D fad-flop-comeback cycle. Nostalgia certainly plays a part in comebacks, of course, it's a major motivator for returning fans who had left during the flop years - but, it's not that important to the Hard Core who'd stayed with the hobby the whole time, and it's not nostalgia for the past, but curiosity, aspiration, or other feelings about a past they 'missed' that helps bring New Blood into the come-back... but, (to reflect your own rhetorical style for a moment) if nostalgia really has nothing to do with the OSR, why do the first two letters stand for Old School?'

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 02:27 AM - Celebrim quoted Zak S in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Once you start making personal attacks and assuming bad faith the possibilty of a meaningful conversation is over. Well isn't there the pot now calling the kettle black. Don't lecture me about entering into conversations in good faith: "True but after however many years watching this debate on the internet, I think everyone knows the second half of that argument is always "And that's why people like it, definitely not because the new content is good or the old mechanics are often suited to their purpose". I mean: it's 2018, people who make the "nostalgia" claim have been doing this same thing and having this same conversation and avoiding the same questions...It's more than a pattern, it's literally the way this always goes. Every. Single. Time." - Zac S I have no idea if you are representing those past conversations fairly, but you aren't really inspiring me right now to think you are.


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