View Profile: Tony Vargas - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:41 AM
    IDK, couldn't a GM just stay on the ball and consider a combat-bad-ass concept character's bad-ass-ed-ness when adjudication combat? Taking advantage of the system's lethality by killing enemies when the odds are all on your side? It's classic CaW.
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:58 AM
    You'll run into contention with any unfair mechanic or lack there of. It might take different forms. Bang! Your Dead! Am Not. Are too! for lack of combat mechanics, vs moping and not showing up to the next session when your 18 CHA paladin is humiliated in court for the nth time, because the DM doesn't care for the way you RP him, and it's reflected in his success in social situation, for want...
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:54 AM
    You caught me, I left out 'virtually,' that time: vs Next time I'll just quote myself up-front. Yep, LFQW only /virtually/ absent in 4e. The Wizard's spells and the fighter's exploits per encounter & per day were gained at the same rate. So, in a given day, they're at neat parity at all levels. No LFQW, there, at the macro level, over 30 levels. Lightyears ahead, just in basic...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:39 AM
    Hey! I resembled that remark... ... that's fair.
    13 replies | 408 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:32 AM
    Ö well, it's not easy to kill PCs and PC-level enemies before they close (though, in some eds, certainly quite possible, just not with mere weapons). But it's quite easy to kill under-level enemies (or, in 4e, minions) before they close.
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:25 AM
    There are more fallacies than just /ad populum/ resorted to, certainly. I gave you one example, LFQW, above. It's a fact. It makes D&D a bad game - imbalanced, problematic to play at low & high levels. 4e fixed it. 4e is reviled for fixing it, because it's one of those flaws that people came to love. Now, we've been on this marry-go-round before, so having demanded facts and having...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:18 AM
    Wait? Edition/s/? plural! Cool. 1e: Weapon v Armor type adjustments! Subdual damage. Attack & Save Matrixes (they were complex, but not complicated, and the save matrixes gave good results that preserved higher level characters, the 'heroes' of the story, in a world of SoDs). The Druid class. The Fighter's 1 attack/level vs less-than-1-HD monsters mechanic. Spells listed by class, then...
    17 replies | 352 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:44 PM
    Because people keep pulling out the same tired /ad populum/ fallacies to claim that there was something terribad about it, and it's necessary to point out that something can be qualitatively, even quantitatively, 'better' and genuinely fail in a market, to counter those fallacious, factually false, assertions.
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:35 PM
    It's not a flaw /in/ the consumer, it's a preference for (familiar) flaws /in the product/. Having a preference isn't a flaw. Heck, I can back up quantitative claims about the various editions (FREX: LFQW is a mathematical fact of D&D class design - it's profound in 1e or 3e, significant in 5e, virtually absent in 4e, resulting in a level-based game that actually remains playable at all...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:22 PM
    So, does that mean you probably /do/ want combat mechanics, especially if you don't want actual combat at the table? ;P
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    ::shrug:: A more accurate claim would be that "4e was not nearly as bad a game as every other edition of D&D." Because, honestly, it still wasn't that good. Scale of 1 to 10? D&D's never risen to 5. I'm not sure any RPG has, TTRPG is a new kind of game, and it's evolved very slowly over a mere 45 years. You can love something for it's virtues, you can love it in spite of it's flaws,...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    3e & 4e /certainly/ consolidated a lot of needless complexity. Just the d20 core mechanic was huge (tiny?) that way. Nothing 'mere' about it. Yet, here you are, weighing in. ;P PUll down $50-100 million in a $20 million market, at the brink of the worst recession since the great depression, using as a prime selling point a bit of software developed by one guy, who, to put it very...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:47 PM
    Again, I'd argue they're not necessarily easier, just more familiar, that way. Is it really that difficult to conclude who wins a fight (a fight in an heroic fantasy story, no less - the hero usually wins, unless his loss advances the plot somehow, no?), and narrate how, vs both the DM and player getting deeply enough into the minds & emotions of a character & NPC to accurately simulate a tense...
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:48 PM
    You don't need rules, at all, it's true: the DM can just rule on everything - combat, absolutely, included. If you feel you /do/ need rules for combat - because it's life-or-death, presumably, what about life-or-death exploration challenges or negotiations? D&D grew out of wargames, they were heavily combat-oriented, so D&D rules started out heavily combat-oriented. The game happened to...
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:11 AM
    When you put it that way, it's amazing we spent so many hrs playing it! ;) And, typically only one character... I can see how some table take a fair play message from encounter guidelines - and, hey, its not a dysfunctional style of play for the DM to essentially assemble foes for the party like building an army in a wargame, then playing that side intelligently, to win. That's the...
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:53 AM
    So, yeah, doable, with MCing, by level 6-9, as fully realized as possible by 15th.
    21 replies | 519 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 AM
    That doesn't actually look that strange, not if the characters are running around, dodging, seeking cover, breaking Los and trying to get the drop on eachother (and lots of minor characters gunned down in the process)... as sometimes happens in genre - if all that hp-ablation is narrated on accord with genre (near-misses, even actual misses that still inflict damage and/or some other effect),...
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Especially the magic items, sure. But, if you killed the monster to get it's treasure, you also got the XP for that - and, everyone got to play, the "More engaging aspect" as well as greater incentive. Trying to trick or steal treasure was probably going to involve just the theif, just the talkiest player, or just the caster using just the right spells. What's a task it didn't cover? ...
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:29 PM
    Believe it or not - and I'm gonna assume not - 5e actually jettisoned what narrative mechanisms D&D had accumulated in the hopes of achieving 'fast combat.' Yeah, and here you are complaining that it's not narrative enough /and/ too slow? Seriously, 'reverse'-engineer novels based on a game inspired by novels? Again, for the sake of that fast combat you find too slow... As long as...
    52 replies | 1189 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    That sounds a reasonable observation. Can't disagree... That hardly seems to follow from the above. Early eds gave exp for combat & treasure, not for non-combat, and had detailed, elaborate rules for combat (many of which were summarily ignored) and far fewer, less consistent, and less engaging rules for other tasks - they also 'niche protected' a lot of exploration abilities in the Thief...
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Its not a holdover, in the sense that it had been gone quite while, so more of a callback - which is true of a lot if 5e, really - and, really, so is your observation. Back in the early 80s there was a very earnest, carefully thought out Dragon magazine article that put forth arguments that elves and other above-ground races should have Ultravision instead of Infravision. (Yep, D&D was that...
    205 replies | 7518 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    In D&D we call them hit points.
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:33 AM
    No version of D&D has ever worked well as laws of physics - at best you end up with a setting Terry Pratchette might've come up with, at worst, you run a crap campaign, both is not out of the question. But, 3e did come pretty close in a few areas, particularly character generation, which worked about the same for PCs, NPCs, & monsters. But, it wasn't trying to, rather it was leveling the...
    255 replies | 23557 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:46 AM
    Damage shouldn't be a sticking point in modeling firearms - they kill people, so do knives, clubs, knitting needles, slipping in the shower, and swans - they need to do damage, but it needn't be crazy. With older firearms, RoF could actually render them pointless in the context of 6-second rounds, while the RoF of a revolver or semi-automatic weapon could be problematic in the other...
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:56 AM
    I've seen that work well enough, but it doesn't capture the tropes you see in fiction around guns. There's not nearly so much dodging and seeking cover and just, well, missing - unless you really whole-heartedly embrace the 1e/4e psuedo-hit - not to mention the tense stand-off of characters held at gunpoint.
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:02 AM
    Every edition that has succeeded has succeeded on that basis, 5e just more so than any other since the 80s fad, mainly thanks to timing... ...But also because it threaded the needle between enraging vocal fragments of its fan base, and being accessible to new players. 4e erred on the side of being accessible, and touched off a spontaneous grassroots movement determined to burn the line to the...
    99 replies | 4082 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    The best game of SR I was ever in was run using M:tA (oWoD Storyteller), so, IDK, a very different dynamic from the native system may not be such a bad thing...
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:09 PM
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread?
    206 replies | 5515 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Something about TWF becoming the best option for a raging barbarian seems off. Not as off as S&B - it's at least given to full offense - but off... ....though, ultimately, worrying about how combat options balance vs eachother and what's optimal doesn't seem that important in the context of 5e.
    206 replies | 5515 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:44 PM
    I can't think of a RPG that wouldn't call for either, at times. One game can be clearer and more functional than another, even by a large margin, without actually being perfect. By comparison to most games other than early eds of D&D, I suppose, but the important takeaway isn't relative, it intent: 5e set out to be that way, on purpose, and for a purpose - several, really - for one, it...
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:55 PM
    It was a long time coming. I gave variant fighters a % DEX instead of STR back in the day - complete with maximums by race & sex. The 3e Finesse feat essentially taxed DEX fighters, and left them inferior. Not if it was random roll in order - just gets no benefit from it, as a fighter. Really, INT is a triffle lacklustre in 5e - though I feel knowledge skills can still be important.
    26 replies | 870 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Agreed. Passive scores as targets work well. AC is essentially an example. You could start grapples with an attack (though vs a Touch AC would make more sense), and use a STR save to break out. DEX save to avoid and STR to escape might make more sense. Note, though, that 2 saves to work, and two different saves at that, leaves it a pretty low-percentage option.
    13 replies | 422 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Alternatives to class/level appeared almost immediately. Traveller ditched level - and indeed, advancement beyond accumulating wealth - RQ was skill-based. Champions! was out in '81, with a fully point-buy, effects-based system. Yet, even games that eschew class/level have some sort of advancement, and some sort of archetypes. If you played Champions! Back in the day, you talk of Bricks,...
    99 replies | 4082 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    Well, you can, if you want to, it just doesn't have much impact. But, it's funny you should mention Gauntlet: it's a fair analogy to how certain classes played in most editions of D&D: grind damage in melee, heal with found potions (food) or Clerical assistance, when briefly not in melee, grind out damage at range. That's a fighter in TSR D&D, or a barbarian in 3e, or an Essentials Slayer...
    255 replies | 23557 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    It is a lot of system, sure - at least as complex as any other ed for the amount of crunch it hss out - but it's a lot of system that relies on the DM to make it work. Try the thought experiment yourself, or just consider carefully the next time you run: how far do you get before you're making an interpretation or ruling that another DM might've done differently?
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    You could also watch the encounter end without getting to act - not just combat encounters, either, many other challenges would also likely be resolved by a single PC, as well. The issue wasn't so much fast v slow or boring v exciting, but spectator v participant. Nod, 5e is that kind of deadly only at the lowest levels, but it establishes, especially in the eyes of a new player "this game...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:06 PM
    The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations. Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    DMs are people, not robots, so, yeah, it has to be a very extreme hypothetical. Even the least experienced, least talented DM is going to exercise judgement when the system punts to him. Sure, but those come in after DM has judged success/failure/uncertainty. Theres the d20 core mechanic, really. The players get 6 stats and various proficiencies, and a (very) few other bonuses. ...
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:19 AM
    The brilliance of 5e is that the system is not the game: the DM is. Thought experiment: try putting 5e on autopilot, resolve to run a quick session with no rulings, just rules. Here's how it goes: The players build some characters, the DM describes the situation, a player declares an action - and the game stops, because there is no resolution without a DM ruling. And that's just effing...
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:07 AM
    It just occurred to me: No one has nominated Calcryx as their favorite white dragon. What an oversight! Meepo must be rolling in his grave...
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:59 AM
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly. But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    When to rest has always been about spells, more than hp. Sure, in the early game, you'd run out if healing, out of hp and have to rest - 15 min workday. But, then we got WoCLW, and did it give us an 8hr workday? Nope, the 5MWD, because casters wanted their top-level spells back for the next round of rocket tag, the next scry/buff/teleport assault, or the next buff/targetted-dispel contest....
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think, ultimately, errata comes down to attitude. Is your product something that's supposed to work, and when it doesn't, that's a bad thing? Then you fix it, promptly, and free of charge if at all possible. Is your product not really supposed to work until the customer has kitbashed it into what he was actually looking for when he bought it? Then why worry, trying to change it is just...
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:01 PM
    How many 5e feats would you identify as chaff? If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    ...over substance?
    206 replies | 5515 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Step one was clearing out the chaff. I suspect that was part of the impetus to have 'big' feats: it means characters get fewer feats, so make fewer feat choices, which means you can publish only a handful of them.
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    Over in the sense that 4e was already out of print.
    52 replies | 1516 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:48 PM
    I thought that was clear. Yeah, I'm not saying either complaint is valid, IMX, just that they're made. I have no problems with 5e being too easy, I just adjust encounter difficulty on the fly rather than coloring inside the guidelines (and don't run high level games), and none with 4e being too slow (even when I ran weekly in a 2-hr slot with a hard stop) because I could keep players engaged...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:24 AM
    Yep, and trap choices reward system mastery, which is inclusive of 3e fans. And, Feats are optional, so if you don't want that, don't opt in. What's more, 5e is designed to be a starting point. There's less sense moving the starting line after the gun than moving the goal posts. DMs will have already done what they wanted with feats (and anything else). And, yes, for organized play,...
    72 replies | 2370 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:00 AM
    The original said "Medieval " right on the cover, 45 years ago.... ....and, y'know, 45 is middle aged. ;P
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:54 AM
    Check the join date: he came in after it was over.
    52 replies | 1516 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:26 AM
    so, red sports cars? ;P D&D has always been wonky, a genre hybrid among high-fantasy/S&S, Lovecraft (and a bit of Poe), and science fiction from EE Doc Smith through Vance. It's pretty nuts, but, really, that's what the 70s were like, very iconoclastic, irreverent, derivative, and, well, there's an in-joke over here: "The Decade Taste Forgot." ;P I took a stab it throwing AD&D in 3...
    139 replies | 2905 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:37 PM
    Closest to this, I suppose. I really lift from the fiction of Tanith Lee & Michael Moorcock, when it comes to the relationship of the mortal to the divine. Gods gain power, perhaps even derive existence, from their worshippers. It's a chicken and egg question whether the gods created mortals or vice-versa. So when a mortal gains power from the divine, it can be a matter of developing his...
    27 replies | 830 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:23 PM
    Awesome, for the era in which I played it, with little besides D&D to compare it to. RQII was the version I played. I did get a good look at a later ed, 3 or 4, that included more elaborate rules for magic - Sorcery, I think it was - didn't grab me. The mythology of the setting, though, is some pretty amazing stuff, too, regardless of system.
    11 replies | 472 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:47 PM
    Could be knowledge checks, too. And a 'right tool for the job' ethos, with specialized variations on weapons specific to a foe he expects to face...
    34 replies | 1143 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:42 PM
    I didn't catch that. But, I did also like the ways dragons worked in 1e - fear, subdual, hps/die based on age instead of a random roll, breath weapons that did their max hp in damage, etc - they were more clearly distinct from other monsters.
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:30 PM
    So it was the art. Give me the B&W line art in the 1e MM, thankyouverymuch.
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 PM
    The art: 1e art had a charm and enthusiasm that the technically more professional art of later eds, or even later 1e, for that matter, would never re-capture. Steal from the best: When I was introduced to D&D, I found animated sword-fighting skeletons, out of Harryhausen, zombies out of Night of the Living Dead, viscous (not just vicious) monsters out of The Blob, and just the general...
    52 replies | 1516 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:05 PM
    Is this art or stats? Either way, voting AD&D for 1e, not 2e. 2e took the 'self defense for dragons' thing too far, and I feel the 1e MM line art had a charm to it that no subsequent edition could. But if I had to vote on just the art you posted, it'd have to be 3e. The AD&D one if just goofy, and the 4e & 5e look like they have beaks.
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 06:52 PM
    I guess if you mention anime, your thread gets spammed.
    35 replies | 3302 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Fast & Exciting sorta go together, sure. 3e definitely delivered short, high-stakes combats, both 3.0 scry/buff/teleport and 3.5 Rocket Tag. While 5e can be deadly at very low level, you have to reach beyond the encounter guidelines to get the same sorts of things going in it, and SoDs aren't what they were, either - the complaint from 3.x fans is often along the lines of 'too easy' rather than...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:03 PM
    Sure, if a fighter can do it, clearly everyone should be able to do it. Check me out, I'm an INT-based Commoner, I work for Realmsoft. Ogg very proud he invent magic, but get very tired of carrying huge stone tablets everywhere. "I Theologize him to death!" A temple dancer.
    34 replies | 1143 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Not initiative - DEX still had it over INT on that one - but otherwise, stats were paired for defense, and any stat could be a primary (attack) or secondary (riders, features) for a class or build, somewhere. That meant a concept that called for a particular high stat wasn't just dead in the water. Stats still represented different things, acted as prerequisites, and added to different...
    61 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:45 PM
    There were competing carrot or stick philosophies of encouraging RP. 1e Paladins, Druids, Assassins, alignments, race restrictions &c were examples of the 'stick' - toe the line in how you play your character or the DM will punish you. 5e Inspiration is an example of a 'carrot.' Maybe, because I'm an old timer, while the former look like a bad idea, in retrospect, they at least feel like...
    77 replies | 2690 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Well the 4e fighter, specifically was originally designed around S&B vs two-hander. TWF was added later (with a defender spin, vs the Ranger's TWF, and the Ranger also covered archery, while the rogue covered the lighter DEX-based styles... and got a Duelist build in Dragon, IIRC). So feature would seem to be the place to insert a one-handed-weapon emphasis, an alternative to S&B,...
    26 replies | 870 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    We could call it "Deep Thought."
    44 replies | 1208 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:35 PM
    You didn't say it, may not believe it, but the rating systems you're thinking about - and your reactions to what's been proposed as possible ratings - make me think that's what you're looking for... ... or, at least, what you'll end up finding, by looking in the manner that you seem to be leaning towards. You'd end up evaluating it negatively (in the sense of judging it to be bad, or in the...
    44 replies | 1208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:33 PM
    But you would hold up nunchuck-wielding uber-Gnolls as the D&D lore standard? However vague the description and different the spelling I'll take Lord Dunsany over Bruce Lee, thanks. ...yeah, I'm sorry, it's the whole flindbar thing, just can't take it seriously...
    77 replies | 2690 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:32 PM
    It's a tangent, but, sure: it'd be fairly simple to give a bonus (in 5e, say advantage) to a character who has not been attacked since the end of his last turn and was not threatened at the start of his turn. It'd be a mild counter-incentive against somewhat unrealistic focus fire, and make 'suppressive fire' a thing in D&D's Fantasy Vietnam - heck, we already have recon by fire(ball). ;P
    135 replies | 3940 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Original D&D, of course! Might as well go full-retro. :) And, I mean, just: green rubbery supernaturally-regenerating humanoid + ceramic lawn decoration come to life = hyena-morph (which puns with 'knoll')? Genius! Flinds? Really? Stocky hyena-Łbermenschen with nunchucks? Someone took those seriously? Don't fret, it's not really a toolbox. Well, that'd make sense,...
    77 replies | 2690 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:18 PM
    If we were all Americans, here, I could just say "because we're a violent society." Instead, for my flip, sarcastic, cynical answere I'm going to have to go all ST:tNG, and say " because we are an egregiously violent species." (And, you don't get to complain about flip, joking answered to serious questions.)
    219 replies | 5709 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:12 PM
    That's still rules for using weapons, just less detailed ones. And it's hard to say a game is X level of detailed. For instance, 1e AD&D had a more detailed list of weapons, with more detailed stats than 3e, but 3e had more detailed rules for using them. How do you rate those differences? What if a game were to (gasp) do something differently than other games? In the 80s, 'Core...
    44 replies | 1208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:16 PM
    That's not a matter of clarity, but of scope or completeness, and not an interpretation or a ruling, but simply adding - formally or informally - to the game. For instance, if a game includes no prices, stats, or rules for weapons, then armed combat might be outside its scope - maybe it's all about boxing, IDK. The rules it does present might be clear enough that no rulings or...
    44 replies | 1208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:03 AM
    While the fact 4e isn't OGL means it can't be cloned the way PF cloned 3.5, game mechanics like defenses other than AC aren't an impediment: 13A uses them, for one instance.
    320 replies | 10757 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:45 AM
    Google it It's not like "I know it when I see it," it's a thing. And, yes, Clarity is a major plus for any rule system that's not trying to evoke the DM-centric feel of classic D&D. It cuts down on the need for rulings, makes the game easier to understand, run, and play, and cuts down on the kinds of endless arguments that ruin sessions, but keep internet discussion forums thriving... ...
    44 replies | 1208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:28 AM
    You've got a lot of 1e books and a sense of humor, how bout compiling those stats?
    44 replies | 1208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    It was needed, at that point, because players would finally be having fun playing capable characters they were invested in, but the improving plot-armor mechanics, especially saves, were never quite dependable enough.
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:24 AM
    Certainly. Once you know that a blackpudding is attracted to movement or a mindless undead to life force, an exploit like C&Gi should be an at-will vs them. They'll never see through it. Two very different ways to go, the modern-intuitive robot-like behaviors, or the mythic, anthropomorphized behaviors.
    255 replies | 23557 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:11 AM
    So, not enough Rocket Tag (short, but hard combat) means a game fails at its core? True, I suppose, if, at its core, it's trying to be a degenerate case of high-level 3.5 play. Apart from the fact that RP happens in combat, that's just a matter of scheduling. Even if RL dictates short sessions, you can devote one to a setup scene, say in exploration trying to locate and engage the enenemy...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:22 PM
    I'm sorry, we can't accept that answer... But, yes, the idea of the non-casting martial PC as noble or heroic - the 9th level Lord, fighters being barronettes, the 3e fighter as natural party leader, the 4e Warlord, and EDs like legendary sovereign, ect - and taking the campaign from dungeons and treasure hunting to castles and campaigning. D&D has always floated it, but rarely delivered much...
    77 replies | 2690 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:15 AM
    You can trust it as far as you can mod it. ;) Which is as far as youre willing to take it. DM Empowerment is about trusting the DM over the system. 4e didn't set the stage properly for that (neither did 3e, so it's not /just/ about balance), it left DMs hesitant to go full-bore variant and/or improv, and vested players in what yhe system had to offer (3e, too, it just offered rewards for...
    135 replies | 3940 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 11:46 PM
    If D&D get's any more retro, it'll be Chainmail... -no, Ironclads!
    5 replies | 375 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    It /seems/ significant in the kinds of simplified scenarios DPR calculations represent, because you can have things like hypothetical Big BeatStick doing exactly twice as much damage as the hypothetical little beatstick that attacks twice as often, for exactly the same damage, and who each always attack enemies in isolation.
    135 replies | 3940 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 11:33 PM
    A creature can be mindless but still display, say tropisms, so a black pudding or something would move towards prey to engulf it, jerk away from painful stimuli, etc. As children of the information age, we tend to think of golems as 'programmed' but the long-dead tellers of those stories probably thought of them as obeying commands (or not, the original golem became murderous) like a person...
    255 replies | 23557 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 11:04 PM
    That was the problem, yes. I'm not convinced overkill is a meaningful concept in the first place. Overkilled is still killed and exactly-killed is a coincidence. It was considering two beatsticks beating down their hp pinatas at the same rate to be doing so at different rates that sounded squirelly. I let myself forget just how squirelly D&D hps can get. ;)
    135 replies | 3940 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:29 PM
    It's also one of the more-nearly-valid expressions of discontent from that period. Like over in the MAYA thread. The issue was being so unfamiliar as a consequence of it's numerous, only 20 or 30 years overdue, improvements, that it ended up 'not feeling like D&D.' It /was/ D&D, it said so right on the cover, it was published by the owners of the D&D IP, there's no disputing it. But in a...
    220 replies | 8716 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:00 PM
    9 levels of spellcasting
    34 replies | 1143 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:00 PM
    "Rock climbing, Joel, /Rock Climbing/Ö"
    26 replies | 1059 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 09:33 PM
    Just what you were /trying/ to say wasn't clear. You're on about that oddity of D&D hps that an enemy is still fighting at full power even at 1 hp, which introduces a sort of rounding effect. Wounded rounds down to alive, so if your attack can only kill, never wound, your curve remains smooth & symmetrical, but if it can wound, it gets pulled in, becomes lopsided, because wounded enemies are...
    135 replies | 3940 view(s)
    0 XP
More Activity
About Tony Vargas

Basic Information

About Tony Vargas
Introduction:
I played D&D for a long time...
About Me:
I discovered D&D in middle school, in 1980, so I was kinda on the leading edge of the fad. I played avidly through 1995 when 2e AD&D lost my interest.

I continued to play other games - White Wolf and Hero System, mostly.

Late in 1999, or early 2000, I returned with 3.0, which I quite liked from the player side of the screen - running it was a bit of a pain. I stayed with that through the full official run of 3.5, and adopted 4e with no problems, in fact, I found it as much fun to run as to play, so I started running a lot more, as well, including an Heroic-Epic campaign from 2012 through 2018.

In 2010 I started playing, then running, in Encounters program at an FLGS in Santa Clara, Illusive Comics & Games. They eventually spun off Isle of Gamers - no comics, just gaming - in 2014, just in time for 5e. (Check 'em out, they're still going strong!)

5e reminded a lot of folks of 2e, and I have to concur with that observation. I did enjoy running 5e, at first, finding it nostalgic. I ran a lot of introductory games, and converted 1e & Basic modules for that purpose, and also ran AL for a while.

As of early 2019, I find I don't have a lot of energy left for gaming (I've had some serious health challenges) and not much interest in using that energy on D&D.

Maybe I'll check back in on D&D for it's 50th?

Happy gaming and best wishes to all of you who stick with the hobby.
Location:
San Jose/Santa Clara, CA
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Santa Clara
State:
California
Game Details:
The last serious game I ran was an Heroic-Epic campaign lasting from 2012 through 2018. The second-longest campaign I ever ran, the longest being '85-'95, spanning 1e & 2e AD&D. I never did get around to a 5e campaign, just AL and one-shots.
More information:
https://www.isleofgamers.com/
My Character:
The last PC I played was Ghourah the Foresworn, a Disgraced Dragonborn Noble Bravura Warlord, Mercurial Assassin*, Deadly Trickster.







* yes, that was a terrible choice, but it fit - he worked /for/ a Mercury Dragon for a while, who turned out to be an Exarch of Bane - really, a terrible choice on a number of levels.

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
14,667
Posts Per Day
2.31
Last Post
Why are we okay with violence in RPGs? Today 02:41 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
14
General Information
Last Activity
Today 02:44 AM
Join Date
Sunday, 20th January, 2002
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0
My Game Details
Town:
Santa Clara
State:
California
Game Details:
The last serious game I ran was an Heroic-Epic campaign lasting from 2012 through 2018. The second-longest campaign I ever ran, the longest being '85-'95, spanning 1e & 2e AD&D. I never did get around to a 5e campaign, just AL and one-shots.
More information:
https://www.isleofgamers.com/
My Character:
The last PC I played was Ghourah the Foresworn, a Disgraced Dragonborn Noble Bravura Warlord, Mercurial Assassin*, Deadly Trickster.







* yes, that was a terrible choice, but it fit - he worked /for/ a Mercury Dragon for a while, who turned out to be an Exarch of Bane - really, a terrible choice on a number of levels.
Page 1 of 21 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019


Monday, 17th June, 2019



Page 1 of 21 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Page 1 of 17 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 11:30 PM - Imaro mentioned Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    ...ith 'But not as many people liked it!' is meaningless and doesn't address the point. Now, I mean, he doesn't really back up his claim with anything and its fine if you disagree. But the metric of 'How many people enjoyed/did not enjoy this' does not belong in a discussion about quality. Does it have a place in a discussion about 'What can we sell to make more money?' Absolutely. But thats not Tony's claim. 5e is a more profitable edition. Hands down. But that is not indicative of quality of the product. I don't see where, in the post you were responding to, that lowkey13 made a statement concerning qualitative judgement, if anything he seemed to be responding to this part of the sentence he emphasized.... ... and if you weren't too deeply wedded to the flaws of past editions, it was hard to dislike. where it does seem to be implying if not outright stating that the product isn't to blame for it's failure or consumers disliking... a flaw in the consumer is. If anything I've seen Tony Vargas make continuous statements around qualitative judgement concerning 4e and other editions without backing it up in any way. Which I guess is why I see this particular call out as kind of odd.
  • 03:45 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Tony Vargas in post On the Inscrutability of AD&D and Ye Olde Styles of Play
    ...m other people that you don't have in your local community. b. On the other hand, it also encourages standardization and homogenization. To the extent you don't know or understand what the RAW (or RAI) are, you can find the answer here. Sure, sometimes there is a debate, but for the most part you can find the correct answer. This is really important, because AD&D* didn't have that. And as I put in more detail below, the rules were opaque and could be a little confusing, which led to a great of amount of variance from table-to-table. Moreover, the one semi-official publication that would explicate certain rules (Dragon Magazine) wasn't read by everyone, and was mostly filled with additional rules and content to modify the game! Which means that the truly involved gamers who had access to Dragon Magazine usually also ran the most modified games. This, combined with the amount of DIY ethos in the game at the time, meant that generalizations about style are difficult to make. 3. The Tony Vargas Postulate. So, one of the major issues with AD&D is the distinction between what we now call RAW and RAI. AD&D was so complex, so verbose, and had so many optional parts and so many inherent conflicts, that we would probably have to add a completely separate category for RAP (rules as played). In other words, every game, for the most part, was a custom build. The reason I refer to this as the Tony Vargas postulate is because my go-to example always used to be that no one used weapon v. AC modifiers; of course, I learned that Tony Vargas not only used them, but was a huge proponent and advocate of them! And so it goes with almost anything in AD&D; some people loved item saving throws, other people didn't use them. Some people didn't play with the whole "Elves can't be resurrected," other people did play with it, and still other people remembered that elves can't be resurrected, except by a rod of resurrection, because reasons. But the takeaway from this should be that it is difficult t...

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 01:45 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas 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).

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 08:12 PM - Lanefan mentioned Tony Vargas in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Initial-release 2e was very much "tamed and genericized" in comparison to 1e, and despite some less-tame releases later in its run was never really able to overcome this. Combine that with all the other 1990s-era TSR mistakes and mis-reads ( Tony Vargas hits some of these just above) and - somewhat sadly - 2e's fate was sealed.
  • 07:43 PM - Yaarel mentioned Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    Tony Vargas Heh, if anything, the lasso targets the Perception defense! Not the Reflex defense. Anyone paying attention can easily render a lasso useless. Tony Vargas Maybe Sneak Attack against an unaware target, targets the Perception defense thus bypasses the Reflex-Armor defense.
  • 07:39 PM - Yaarel mentioned Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    Tony Vargas Heh, if anything, the lasso targets the Perception defense! Not the Reflex defense. Anyone paying attention can easily render a lasso useless.
  • 07:02 PM - Yaarel mentioned Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    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.
  • 05:02 PM - Yaarel mentioned Tony Vargas in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    @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 Personally, I love the 5e proficiency bonus, and feel it more than adequately addresses the 4e half-level bonus. Student Tier Levels 1-4 (Proficiency +2) Heroic Tier Levels 5-12 (Proficiency +3, +4) Paragon Tier Levels 13-20 (Proficiency +5, +6) Epic Tier Levels 21-24 (Proficiency +7, also allows ability scores to improve beyond 20) Moreover the Epic Tier can come with an Epic Destiny, becoming ĎImmortalí by various methods. 5e feats include certain ones that are a Ďhalf featí plus a +1 ability score improvement. It is easy to equate smaller 5e feats as one or two half feats. I consider 4 skill proficien...

Thursday, 30th May, 2019

  • 01:18 AM - Fenris-77 mentioned Tony Vargas in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    That is a lot of salt. Don't get me wrong, I like a little salt on my rhetoric, I feel like it really brings out the full range of flavours in a post. Not just the dissatisfaction, but the rage and angst too. When you add the long multi quote it smooths out the rough edges on the palate and really pulls the whole post together. When you add too much salt though, especially when mixed with store bought sarcasm, it can really bring the whole thing down. I've played worse than nothing. 5E ain't it. Tony beat me to the post. The above was not @Tony Vargas

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 05:28 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned Tony Vargas in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    I don't know about PrCs. The current MC rules already have a lot of min-max type synergy built in, adding PrCs could just make that worse. That's a design issue though, not a barrier to service. In fact, in a lot of ways, a 3-5 level MC dip functions a lot like a PrC anyway. Tony Vargas - the player controlled part is a potential issue. Maybe put the whole PrCs thing in the GMs hands and tie them in to the specific world and story. If there is a knightly order that has certain standards and whatever, then make the player work for it in character, rather than just choosing a knightly PrC based on pre-reqs.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 02:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    ...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. Likewise, it's possible for a goblin chieftain to have more than 9hp. It's possible for the world's toughest goblin to be tougher than the world's weakest giant. But in every case, that HP total still represents its ability to withstand an impact of given force. Or, alternatively, and still well within the bounds of HP as explained by Mr. Gygax, this particular giant, while just as tough as other giants, simply lacks the connections to fate and luck needed to avoid a particularly skilled thrust made by a dwarf fighter with his trusty bastard sword on the rd of Crackrock in the Forest of Grin, land of Kinergh. It is really that simple. And when we are talking about humans who gain dozens, possibly even 100 hit points, over time, it is pretty hard to justify it any other way, as Tony Vargas has just pointed out. You are factually incorrect on this point. I played at level 16, and nothing was going down from one hit, unless it was a minion. A level 1 (non-minion) goblin has between 25 and 29 HP. As a level 16 character, my at-will arrows still only deal 1d8+10 (or so). Even my encounter powers could fail to break 25, if I rolled low. I would leave someone like MwaO to comment on this in detail, but I find it unlikely to say the least. I'm sure it is POSSIBLE to neglect your attack capability to a great degree, but even level 1 PCs generally do the sorts of damage you are talking about here (Level 1 sword and board fighter, 16 STR, long sword, making an at-will attack, and assuming the player took even one feat which helps damage, is already at 1d8 + 5, and this is a low damage output PC using his worst attack. Give him 16 levels and he's now got STR 20, and at least a +3 weapon. This already got me to 1d8 + 10 and I have EIGHT FEATS to spend which can improve on that....

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 06:10 AM - Hussar mentioned Tony Vargas in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    *ducks back in, waving a white flag* Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest. I just want to point something out iserith. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, Oofta and now Tony Vargas, all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is. I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well. I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued. I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. However, it took an actual example to see that. I guess what I'm trying to say is, continuously repea...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 02:58 AM - OlegRu mentioned Tony Vargas in post Help me with good RP/Optimization balance for Half-Elf (probably)Valor Bard (archer?)
    So from reading all of the replies, here are my follow-up ideas/questions for you guys - @Zardnaar, @TwoSix, @Mistwell, @Tony Vargas, @Treantmonklvl20 I'll format this to go by topic: Is there something you'd recommend outside an archer bard that would fit my char's style (maybe some simple-type multiclass I mentioned in the OP or something else)? Also, is a ranged bard preferable to keep him safer due to lower defense/HP and for spell concentration? Ability Scores: Cool so I'll probably take the STR10 DEX16 CON12 INT10 WIS12 CHA16 then. (I care about strength as I'd like to have decent athletics score and wisdom, again, for the skills) Although, I'm a bit worried regarding the CON - I've seen a lot of talk that it's important - for concentration I think? So in order to avoid issues casting, I should equip just a sword if I'm not using ranged at the moment, not the shield? (and keep shield around just in case, but I'm not sure when I'd use it) For armor, yeah I don't want penalties to stealth as I'd like my char to be able to sneak around in the wilderness camouflaged or hide places, so I guess the best opti...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:05 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post messy's 4e newbie questions thread
    83. do 4e elves and eladrin correspond to 5e wood elves and high elves, respectively? While I think Tony Vargas has a decent answer, I think that 4e's elves and eladrin aren't PRECISELY like anything that came before. Eladrin are more like 'Fey creatures', the 'shee' of Celtic myth in essence. They live in an otherworld, the Feywild, and often readily travel back and forth, entering the mortal world through 'Fey crossings' and such. They are inherently magical, being more loosely tied to time and space than mere mortals. Powerful Eladrin enter into the ranks of, and become indistinguishable from, the 'arch fey', a category of creatures somewhat analogous to things like demons and such. Elves, I would say, more represent something that doesn't really exist in European folklore, and is much more closely aligned with Tolkien's depiction of 'Avari' or something like that. A race which has withdrawn from its more magical roots and become essentially mundane creatures, though still with some distant connections to their ancient fey origins. There simply aren't exact parallels with AD&D elf t...

Friday, 1st February, 2019


Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 09:40 AM - Sadras mentioned Tony Vargas in post Robert Schwalb releases his version of Warlord
    Over 10 pages in a Warlord thread and no @Tony Vargas. Consider me nonplussed. EDIT: Just saw that the North American meaning of the word nonplussed is considerably different to the UK meaning of the word. In this instance it is very much the UK version being used (surprised..etc).

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 04:53 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Tony Vargas in post On Variability, House Rules, Research, and the 1e/5e Difference
    ...ystems that had no resemblance to the rest of the game. As I've often recounted, I tried to run an AD&D campaign with psionics; it was terrible and was quickly abandoned. I modified the original rules- it was still terrible. The only time it worked was when I ripped out the system completely and replaced it was a complete homebrew based on Julian May's books. An easier example for most people to grok is the Armor Class Adjustments Table. IMO, it was Gygax's wargamey routes trying really, really hard to make "fetch" happen. While it made sense in theory (a flail is good against plate armor, while a jo stick is not), it suffered from several issues- first, the lack of clear explanation as to what constitutes armor class, second, the fiddliness of the rules, and finally, the fact that the vast majority of the time, unlike a wargame, you would be fighting monsters with natural AC, and it was unclear what, if any, modifier should be used. So IME almost all tables did away with this (except Tony Vargas !). Communication Breakdown, It's Always the Same. Explaining life before the internet is like explaining life before cell phones, or before ATMs (you had to go to a bank, when it was open, and take out the amount of money you needed to hold you over!). You just take it what you have now for granted. But just think- not only do we have rulebooks, we have the ability to post questions to forums (such as this one), conduct research, and even get tweeted responses ... not to mention you can always watch streaming video of how other people play! But it wasn't always like that. Imagine each gaming group trying to figure out how to play on their own, with maybe some crossover to other gaming groups in the area and/or the FLGS (or, um, Waldenbooks); sure, maybe (MAYBE!) there would be a convention, but the majority of players and DMs didn't go to conventions. There was Dragon Magazine, if someone subscribed. But otherwise, there was a high degree of variability in home campaigns because the...

Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 02:41 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Admittedly this didn't come online until late heroic, and then really took off in paragon - maybe that's the point I'm missing. It was definitely @Tony Vargas point of view with Martial Controllers or atleast the polearm build one. I am looking at medium range Warlord style enemy manipulating martial controller.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 03:48 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    You're not trying to make an acrobatics check against a stationary chandelier in that example. You're trying to make a combat move that happens to involve a chandelier while an at-level opponent could use that opportunity to bash your head in. The DC changing represents that the harder opponent you happen to be fighting is making it progressively more difficult to attempt the same task. Tony Vargas used that principle and came up with a rather innovative way to use caltrops for those in the caltrop field with no adjacent enemies they can move carefully and take no damage(shift) or quickly and take minor hazard damage however with an adjacent enemies interfering its more like the Caltrops are an extra attack from the enemy interfering with you being careful of the caltrops.


Page 1 of 17 1234567891011 ... LastLast
No results to display...

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 03:09 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    IDK, couldn't a GM just stay on the ball and consider a combat-bad-ass concept character's bad-ass-ed-ness when adjudication combat? He could do that, but I think combat is a lot harder to adjudicate in that way than talking (which I explained in an earlier post). Taking advantage of the system's lethality by killing enemies when the odds are all on your side? It's classic CaW. But if it is genuinely lethal, any time you engage in combat it is a risky proposition. Look, you might have reckless players who do this, particularly if they don't care if their character dies or if the premise of the campaign involves a high level of character death, but for the most part my experience with this has been players are much more cautious using violence and tend to lean on non-violent solutions when they are feasible. If all it takes is one bullet to kill you, you can have the best laid plans and if one little thing goes wrong, you die. You can't get away with that over the long haul if you are doing ...
  • 02:24 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    You'll run into contention with any unfair mechanic or lack there of. It might take different forms. Bang! Your Dead! Am Not. Are too! for lack of combat mechanics, vs moping and not showing up to the next session when your 18 CHA paladin is humiliated in court for the nth time, because the DM doesn't care for the way you RP him, and it's reflected in his success in social situation, for want of any actual mechanics... Again, I think there is a big difference between combat and non-combat situations here. I've certainly seen people upset about the 18 CHR paladin thing, but that still doesn't require a whole system dedicated to social mechanics. It just requires the GM stay on the ball and fairly incorporate the CHR score. At the same time, I've not seen nearly as many fights and arguments over this sort of thing as I have over combat issues. I just think combat is much more open to contention. And I find it fairly easy to run a game without non combat mechanics. Like shooting first. ;P Ser...
  • 01:15 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    So, does that mean you probably /do/ want combat mechanics, especially if you don't want actual combat at the table? ;P I just think RPGs are generally harder to run without them than they are without social mechanics. Doesn't mean you have to have them. You can just use fiat if you want. But I think you will run into more contention if and when combat comes up if it isn't perceived to be a fair system. What I will say is I don't think having zero combat mechanics is the best way to discourage combat. Players can still pursue combat mechanics even if you don't have them (you will just be forced to figure out mechanics on the fly if they push for combat). In my experience the best ways to discourage combat are to make adventures where there are plenty of non-combat solutions, be open to non-combat solutions and use lethal combat systems. If the combat systems are sufficiently lethal, I find players tend to lean on smarter solutions to problems.
  • 12:49 AM - Imaro quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    There are more fallacies than just /ad populum/ resorted to, certainly. I gave you one example, LFQW, above. It's a fact. It makes D&D a bad game - imbalanced, problematic to play at low & high levels. 4e fixed it. 4e is reviled for fixing it, because it's one of those flaws that people came to love. Well 4e didnt solve this... like 5e it lessened the impact but wizards... especially since they got ritual casting for free as well as more skills... still had much more out of the box versatility than the fighter. So it did the same thing 5e, AD&D and BECMI did... reduced the wizards power in comparison to 3e.... not sure that's evidence of 4e's superiority over other editions, maybe 3e but even then the pros and cons would have to be looked at and evaluated holistically. We should all just live-and-let live. We should have all just live-and-let live since 2008, too. Yep... of course it would be easier if some posters would realize it's not 2008 and throwing inflammatory claims of superi...

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 11:56 PM - Imaro quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    Because people keep pulling out the same tired /ad populum/ fallacies to claim that there was something terribad about it, and it's necessary to point out that something can be qualitatively, even quantitatively, 'better' and genuinely fail in a market, to counter those fallacious, factually false, assertions. Well I don't think every time you've stated 4e is the best (or better than X) edition... or edition X is not as good as 4e it's been to answer one of those assertions but putting all that aside... without anything to back your statements up they are no different from the fallacious, factually false, assertions you are pushing back against...
  • 11:41 PM - Imaro quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    Heck, I can back up quantitative claims about the various editions, but they wouldn't convince you, because that's not what liking a game is ultimately most about - nor is it the point. If those claims are not the point why keep making them?
  • 11:30 PM - Imaro quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    ...ith 'But not as many people liked it!' is meaningless and doesn't address the point. Now, I mean, he doesn't really back up his claim with anything and its fine if you disagree. But the metric of 'How many people enjoyed/did not enjoy this' does not belong in a discussion about quality. Does it have a place in a discussion about 'What can we sell to make more money?' Absolutely. But thats not Tony's claim. 5e is a more profitable edition. Hands down. But that is not indicative of quality of the product. I don't see where, in the post you were responding to, that lowkey13 made a statement concerning qualitative judgement, if anything he seemed to be responding to this part of the sentence he emphasized.... ... and if you weren't too deeply wedded to the flaws of past editions, it was hard to dislike. where it does seem to be implying if not outright stating that the product isn't to blame for it's failure or consumers disliking... a flaw in the consumer is. If anything I've seen Tony Vargas make continuous statements around qualitative judgement concerning 4e and other editions without backing it up in any way. Which I guess is why I see this particular call out as kind of odd.
  • 09:57 PM - lowkey13 quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    The edition war probably didn't cause anyone who actually gave 4e a real try to reject it... OK... not many people, there are some serious 'followers' out there, I suppose. 4e was as good a game as D&D has ever managed to be, and if you weren't too deeply wedded to the flaws of past editions, it was hard to dislike. I didn't want to comment on the rest of your post, but something stuck with me, and I went back, and this was it. There is a large disconnect if you keep insisting (as I have seen various designers insist) that the consumers are "just doing it wrong." Let's give an easy example- a lot of what you hear is engineered to please you. Like ... the thunk of your car door when it closes. You may, or may not, know this but the door doesn't naturally sound like this anymore (the deep and satisfying clunk); instead, engineers had to alter car doors to provide the sound that people were expecting and wanting. You know where this is going, right? Okay, how about when you take a photo on your...
  • 09:33 PM - lowkey13 quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    From Hasbro's PoV, the d20 SRD is probably the worst thing WotC ever did, so I'm guess'n that'll happen, never. Well, the difference being that this would be the release of a system that is no longer supported, and isn't very popular (no offense). I am sure that there would be some 3PP that would seize the chance to take it out for a spin, but, yeah, given that it wouldn't have D&D behind it, it wouldn't go very far. So ... yeah. (Now, given the general risk-adverseness of corporations, I would be surprised if they do; you never know when you might make some additional scratch off of some IP for little-to-no money; maybe a 25th anniversary re-release of the rules in hardcover. *shrug*)
  • 08:14 PM - lowkey13 quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations. Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried for 7 years now, and it's still not possible to have an honest discussion of its actual qualities. 4e being overly complex and hard to learn/play has been an edition-war accusation very nearly as long as the accusation that it was dumbed-down and simplistic. Both were equally valid. Of course, RPGing is a complex activity, and there are many ways to manage, conceal, or otherwise render that complexity acceptable. Rules Lite games - including no version of D&D ever - cope with it by off-loading complexity to the GM, and in more progressive ones, the players, as well. Rules-heavy games, by over-rewarding...
  • 07:01 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    When you put it that way, it's amazing we spent so many hrs playing it! ;) And, typically only one character... I can see how some table take a fair play message from encounter guidelines - and, hey, its not a dysfunctional style of play for the DM to essentially assemble foes for the party like building an army in a wargame, then playing that side intelligently, to win. That's the sense I was going for.... Yes, I do find that idea compelling. It was just 1e treasure for XP as an example that threw me. And, while I argued that the WotC eds have implemented some sub-systems that move the game towards more non-combat challenges, I have to acknowledge that none ever really succeeded. Skill Challenges were probably the closest, but they were still more abstract, and faster/less engaging than combat, unless the DM stepped up and elaborated on them to a degree that the game didn't tend to encourage. Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that XP for GP was a solution. Just that it at least offered so...
  • 06:57 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    You don't need rules, at all, it's true: the DM can just rule on everything - combat, absolutely, included. If you feel you /do/ need rules for combat - because it's life-or-death, presumably, what about life-or-death exploration challenges or negotiations? D&D grew out of wargames, they were heavily combat-oriented, so D&D rules started out heavily combat-oriented. The game happened to progress slowly and haphazardly, at first, then fall into the hands of people who neither understood nor cared about it - so the first 25 years saw very little progress towards more formal, more functional, coverage of other areas. But that was just an accident of how the game developed. It's not that you do "need" rules for combat, it's that you've always had them. It's not that you "don't" need rules for non-combat, it's that you'd gotten accustomed to getting by without them fairly well before even comparatively dubious ones were even published. I disagree very strongly. It isn't just about the stakes....
  • 08:43 AM - CapnZapp quoted Tony Vargas in post Who Playtested This Anyway?
    You've been here since 03, A very long reply, a very short answer: I was talking about RPGs in general, not any specific game in particular.
  • 02:14 AM - Travis Henry quoted Tony Vargas in post Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels?
    Short of Foglio's "coin-toss dungeon" parody, IDK how you'd even begin to do that... IIRC, awhile back Mike Mearls himself posted a method he's working on for resolving an entire combat with one roll.

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 10:43 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Especially the magic items, sure. But, if you killed the monster to get it's treasure, you also got the XP for that - and, everyone got to play, the "More engaging aspect" as well as greater incentive. Trying to trick or steal treasure was probably going to involve just the theif, just the talkiest player, or just the caster using just the right spells. What's a task it didn't cover? Yes, the direction of making non-combat more engaging, so a more viable alternative to combat... Each system has pros and cons in relation to combat versus non-combat solutions; I didnít mean to sound like I was advocating one system over another in that way. 1E Made combat costly and potentially very dangerous, so clever play was often expected in order to avoid combat. The drawback here is that the game mechanics for non-combat options were minimal at best. My criticism of 3Eís skill system is not so much that it was limited in what actions it covered, but more that its resolution of those tasks was pretty...
  • 08:41 PM - lowkey13 quoted Tony Vargas in post Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels?
    Seriously, 'reverse'-engineer novels based on a game inspired by novels? The novelization of the movie that's based on the book! Yeah, I saw that too. ;) Travis Henry Your desire is great. HOWEVER, the above quote encapsulates the problem. D&D is an RPG. As such, to make it a good reading experience, liberties have to be taken- with the rules, for example. No one wants to read a typical D&D combat ... to use one example. If you want, you can look at all sorts of other source material that started as books or film properties and see how they were translated into RPGs, as that has been a common occurrence throughout time. You'll keep noticing that, for the most part, these various systems will borrow heavily from the setting so that you can approximate playing Gandalf, or playing the Hulk, or Starbuck, but ... it's just an approximation, you'll never quite the exact feel of the book/movie, because there is a difference. On the other hand, some RPGs are set up with a decidedly more narra...
  • 08:26 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Tony Vargas in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    That sounds a reasonable observation. Can't disagree... That hardly seems to follow from the above. Early eds gave exp for combat & treasure, not for non-combat, and had detailed, elaborate rules for combat (many of which were summarily ignored) and far fewer, less consistent, and less engaging rules for other tasks - they also 'niche protected' a lot of exploration abilities in the Thief class. Exp for treasure did nothing to mitigate that - you got more Exp for killing monsters for their treasure type than for sneakily stealing said treasure, and the combat engaged the entire party vs the Thief pulling a lone Bilbo v Smaug burglary. I mean in the broad sense of XP for GP; you could still gain a lot of XP by tricking the dragon or stealing from it as opposed to fighting it. The treasure was the goal, so you were heavily incentivized to get the treasure. So when the game shifted away from dungeon delving more toward heroic mission type of adventures, treasure was less of a motivation. Instea...
  • 05:45 PM - CapnZapp quoted Tony Vargas in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    In D&D we call them hit points. Don't tell me that. Tell it to the poster who called D&D firearms a "mockery".
  • 05:41 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Tony Vargas in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    In D&D we call them hit points. Yep. There isnít actually any reason DnD canít work fine for weird west play.
  • 03:01 PM - thanson02 quoted Tony Vargas in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    But, 3e did come pretty close in a few areas, particularly character generation, which worked about the same for PCs, NPCs, & monsters. But, it wasn't trying to, rather it was leveling the roles of player & DM - which coincidentally, enabled comparatively 'fair' adversarial DMing & PvP modes of play - something 5e finally reversed. Ironically, 4e didn't reverse that - even as it took PvP, at least 1:1 off the table -but did revert to rules modeling tropes of fiction instead of imaginary laws of physics. That's what I really loved about 4E. They weren't trying to create a table top simulator. If your focus is on telling a story, the fictional tropes are a lot more effective in doing this, at least in my experience. The key is keeping it modular enough so you can modifier what you need to tell the stories you need to tell. And given how modular 4E is, I also think they did a good job in that area as well.


Tony Vargas's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites