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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:27 PM
    In D&D we call them hit points.
    66 replies | 1357 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 23136 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    66 replies | 1357 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    66 replies | 1357 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    66 replies | 1357 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:09 PM
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread?
    195 replies | 4920 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    195 replies | 4920 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 846 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 23136 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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?
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    201 replies | 8073 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    201 replies | 8073 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:11 PM
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    201 replies | 8073 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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. ...
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 1091 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    201 replies | 8073 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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....
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • 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...
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • 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
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    ...over substance?
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  • 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.
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    Over in the sense that 4e was already out of print.
    49 replies | 1311 view(s)
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  • 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...
    201 replies | 8073 view(s)
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  • 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,...
    65 replies | 1955 view(s)
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  • 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
    66 replies | 1357 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:54 AM
    Check the join date: he came in after it was over.
    49 replies | 1311 view(s)
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  • 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...
    66 replies | 1357 view(s)
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  • 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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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 | 1130 view(s)
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  • 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.
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  • 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 | 1091 view(s)
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  • 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...
    49 replies | 1311 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1091 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 06:52 PM
    I guess if you mention anime, your thread gets spammed.
    35 replies | 3274 view(s)
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  • 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...
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  • 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 | 1130 view(s)
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    We could call it "Deep Thought."
    44 replies | 1131 view(s)
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 | 3918 view(s)
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  • 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,...
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  • 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.)
    152 replies | 4159 view(s)
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  • 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...
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  • 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 | 1131 view(s)
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  • 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 | 10671 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1131 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1131 view(s)
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 | 368 view(s)
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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. ;)
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  • 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...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:00 PM
    9 levels of spellcasting
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:00 PM
    "Rock climbing, Joel, /Rock Climbing/Ö"
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  • 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...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:24 PM
    Over a sufficiently large sample size, testing both tails of the distribution, they will. But that includes things like wiffing multiple rounds in a row. For instance, in your first example, 16% of the time Big Stick will take at least 3 rounds to kill one enemy, while for Little sticks, that same 16% is the chance to take at least 2 rounds...
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    To be fair, you're probably thinking of earlier eds. In 3e you could totally have a band of goblins, most ordinary, a leader with levels of IDK, Rogue, maybe, for the skills, brutes with Barbarian levels, and maybe a witchdoctor with Adept levels.
    255 replies | 23136 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 05:46 AM
    Could they use it for a bonus to AC, before, too? Seems like Jedi do a lot of dodging and blocking.
    166 replies | 5295 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 05:36 AM
    That's why I like damage die plus mods for a single hit, combined damage dice + non-stacking mods when both weapons hit. That is add a stat mod once, a magic weapon bonus once (the higher of the two if both are magical), etc. That way you're not magnifying static mods in a problematic way, and you do better than 1/2 damage when splitting attacks. It does seem intuitive, though.
    195 replies | 4920 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 04:42 AM
    I think that's actually a different scenario, that favors the Big Stick, and, there's another, corresponding one that favors the little sticks. What you've been focusing on, AFAICT is the likelihood of finishing off an enemy in the shortest possible time, that is, of not missing from the time you choose to focus on that target until it drops. Assuming the same chance to hit, that will favor...
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 04:29 AM
    Has any edition of D&D ever done anything to model those sorts of things?
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 09:33 PM
    Sounds like you've skipped ahead to epic, already. No Epic potential, there, then... Feels like the wrong sense of scope. Maybe have some "duties" and "adventures" in the city that are below their paygrade, and serve as distractions from the developing Epic threat...? Could be amusing if they recruit "a small crew of odd balls looking for extra cash" to deal with some of those lesser...
    6 replies | 343 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 08:31 PM
    The main thing a clone seeks to fix is that the game being cloned is out if print. The edition war.
    320 replies | 10671 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 06:19 PM
    Sure, that difference is a system artifact. Conceptually, the attacker is always responsible for the event. He attacked, whether with weapon, cantrip, spell, or quip. And, both attacker and defender (If not helpless) should, conceptually, be able to affect the outcome.
    166 replies | 5295 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 06:07 PM
    That does seem like the crux of it. I think I finally get it... Just an observation: what you're measuring, there is chance to drop an enemy in the minimum time possible. Of course, the mechanic that calls for fewer checks will do that more often. But, it will also take /longer/ than the expected time more often, for the same reason. So the dual attacker with the same DPR is more...
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:19 PM
    I was thinking converting DEX-secondary Powers and DEX-preq Feats to INT. The single-one-handed-weapon archetype so common in fencing (&other martial arts) never got a great treatment in D&D, which is maybe too medieval and gear-focused for that. In 3e the rogue had some definite use for INT - but so did the Fighter who wanted the Expertise feat tree.
    26 replies | 846 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:57 PM
    Then there's no issue. I was pointing out that a lone PC whittling down a block of hp was implausible (mainly because of the lone PC) - Maybe I should have said an oversimplification? Possibly, due to positioning or trying to occupy foes in melee so they don't focus on one PC - not that either is handled well by 5e in TotM mode. Focus fire is just so effective under D&D style hp rules,...
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:16 PM
    5e scales most clearly in terms of hp/damage, and the fan base lives* to calculate DPR. So 5e 'balance' overvalues DPR, and, the Fighter, Mr Best At Combat (with weapons, without magic), gets little else. The bonus ASIs give the Fighter a tiny amount of versatility at the build-design phase, so they're a godsend for any theorycrafter who wishes to prove the Fighter can 'do' something or meet...
    34 replies | 1130 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:58 AM
    Is it an outlier - like the single-PC party - or part of the expected range of play? It's intentionally enabled and often offered as an example of something 5e handles better than other editions, due to BA.
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:35 AM
    Not remotely, just that 5e BA was designed in part, to enable it, so it shouldn't be discounted. Nope. I asserted that lone-character scenarios were less plausible. The expectation that D&D is typically played by a group. Do you wish to argue that, to the contrary, solo play is the norm?
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:16 AM
    It's an article of faith in 5e BA that weaker enemies remain relevant, even as hp/damage balloons with level, so you can't discount the many-low-hp foe scenario - there may well be quite a few scattered about after the smoke of the fireball has cleared.
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:23 AM
    The plausible scenario is an ordinary game with a number of players, no?
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:13 AM
    In more plausible situations, different PCs are going to be inflicting damage on a given enemy in different ways. It'll prettymuch be a random event if an enemy is dropped exactly, left up or overkilled. Higher DPR avoids the first, and more often experiences the last... ...but overkilled is still killed.
    135 replies | 3918 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:40 AM
    They've had attempts at that going back to the 2e Complete Fighters' Handbook. And, IIRC, they almost had one in 5e, but then ruled it worked with S&B? But, as far as it goes, the basic idea of TWF & GWF doing moar damage, is that they take both hands, so no shield...
    195 replies | 4920 view(s)
    0 XP
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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.
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Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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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.

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Town:
Santa Clara
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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.
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Sunday, 16th June, 2019


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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.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018


Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:59 PM - Satyrn mentioned Tony Vargas in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Except nobody is arguing that the DM can't change the fluff. :) Hey, I'm not arguing anything. It's just my life's mission to point out this fact repeatedly when discussing gods in 5e. Well, it's more like one of my life's continuing side quests. My life's mission is to top the Laughs columns. I'm almost there. I'm topping the Laughs Given by quite a wide margin over Tony Vargas and I'm closing in on him for Laughs Received. Once I catch him, its just TwoSix and . . . . . . lowkey13. Sigh That one's gonna take a while.


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Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 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.
  • 11:31 AM - Derren quoted Tony Vargas in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    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... oWoD is not D&D. D&D, especially the current edition, has the problem that the non combat part is very underdeveloped and because of the leveling system tied to combat power. That makes several archetypes in SR impossible and also complicates the non combat gameplay in SR which depending on the playstyle can be as important if not more so than combat. And speaking of combat, the SR system is done so that everyone is a glass cannon without much healing, so you have to pick your fights and complete runs as fast as possible. D&D is pretty much the opposite where PCs are big HP bags with lots of healing and the entire combat system being designer around fighting encounter after encounter and crawling through dungeons. That gives a very different, and imo worse, dynamic than what SR has.

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 11:12 PM - FrogReaver quoted Tony Vargas in post Improving Two-Weapon Fighting
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread? it is but Specific context trumps general context.
  • 11:06 PM - FrogReaver quoted Tony Vargas in post Improving Two-Weapon Fighting
    ....though, ultimately, worrying about how combat options balance vs eachother and what's optimal doesn't seem that important in the context of 5e. But it's very important to the context of this thread ;)
  • 10:22 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Tony Vargas in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    They kind of are garbage...unless you have an odd ability score, and then they are awesome. Moderately Armored gave my rogue everything a Dex increase would, and bumped my AC up to match the highest in the party. It was a hefty power boost. If youíre a strength character, ASI Dex/Str or even Dex/Con would have probably done more, in the long run. Unless you also got Medium armor Mastery, but then youíre 2 feats deep for less benefit than two of nearly any other ďhalf-featĒ. 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? I had to interpret and make rulings in 4e, too. Itís part of running the game. The contention i replied to was that 5e isnít functional out of the box, presumab...
  • 06:03 PM - Fanaelialae quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you? I can see what he's saying, as it was one of the factors that ultimately turned me off of 3e, despite that I loved it initially, and still respect the design contributions it made to the game. It was not all that uncommon in 3e for life or death to be determined by who won initiative. Hence why the combat could be described as 'rocket tag'. There would typically also be one or more attack rolls or saving throws, but because of the way the math was structured those could be nothing more than a formality. You could literally die before getting a turn to act, and it wasn't that uncommon. It might be exciting for a one-shot, but by the time you're rolling up your twelve character in the same number of sessions, it got very old very fast (IME). Now, certainly, that didn't always happen, but if you had a DM who didn't believe in pulling punches then it could happen fairly often. There was (again IME) only...
  • 05:44 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Tony Vargas in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    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. And the DM sets a DC, which is no different from setting a % chance of success with a granularity of 5. Now, the reality is there are two areas where the DM will rarely rule success/failure and DCs are mostly predefined: combat and casting. And, of course, in organized play, at a convention, using modules, the DM shaping the game may not be just the one at the table: AL has it's own predefined rulings, and modules set a lot of resolution for you. Again, thatís a lot of system. 5e runs without kit bashing. The game works. Itís functional.
  • 11:14 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    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. you forgot the quotes "meaningful" .... because who rolled highest initiative is to me not very meaningful
  • 07:06 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Tony Vargas in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    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 brilliant, because, while 1e conditioned players to depend on the DM more or less by accident, 5e set out to do it, on purpose, admitted they were doing it, and totally got away with it. It's why I'm up to run 5e, but wouldn't run 3.5 again unless there was some real money in it. Eh, I think you're exaggerating the case, as the very, very, least. The player declares an action, and the system describes various methods of resolution, depending on the sort of action being declared. If it's an attack, you roll initiative and go from there. If it's an attempt to find your way past a guard, the system tells the D...
  • 06:06 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Tony Vargas in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Would you let someone get regenerate or mass heal from a feat? My point was the healer feat is, in effect, giving a spell slot, refreshing on a short or long rest, for every person in your party for the low low cost of a healer's kit. My point was the amount of healing it gets is really high. I've seen it taken twice. I've also seen Inspiring Leader taken once. And I haven't gotten to be in too many 5E games. When I do get a chance to play and not DM, the character I'm planning on making is a Bard built like a Warlord and both of those feats are on my docket to take. Healer gives an amount of power that rests between Magic Initiate and the racial magic feats. Depending on what use of Magic Initiate you compare it to, it may actually fall behind Magic Initiate. (not very many cases, but still) Requiring a specific consumable item to use it is of variable significance, but it hardly breaks the game. Few DMs will just allow infinite healer kits even without the feat, but if they do, so what? Not...
  • 01:34 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    Fast & Exciting sorta go together, sure. Fast and Anti-climactic do just as much. Fast can also be just boring with mostly bags of hit points Fast is also anti-interesting choices for players.
  • 01:10 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P When you have 3,724 feats * Yeah, I know. Still using Trumpish math is not impressive.

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 08:21 PM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Step one was clearing out the chaff. Not convinced that it worked.
  • 11:09 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post What do you love about your favorite edition that ISNíT rules related?
    Check the join date: he came in after it was over. Really I have seen Umbrum warning people in the last several days.... and it must be "impossible" someone has had more than one account ?
  • 09:19 AM - CapnZapp quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    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 [once you have left those levels] (My bracketed sentence ending inserted) Yep, that's for sure. Then again, encounter guidelines are easily ignored so this is a small price to pay :) (In my mind this is similar to complaints about leveling is too fast, or too slow. My response? Give out less, or more, XP, and problem solved - no real rule changes necessary!)
  • 04:55 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post What would be some good metics to evaluate RPG rules/systems?
    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 interpretations are called for, everyone who reads the rules can play the game without confusion or argument over what the rules mean. But, when a player decides his character will hit someone with a folding chair, or try to buy a gun, the GM will either deny him, or add to the game.This post makes many assumptions about how a game might work. Many games don't require "adding to the game" (eg by way of new subsystems, or new modifiers, or whatever) because they have resolution systems that are relatively straightforward to extrapolate to novel situations. I appreciate that D&D, historically, has not been such a syst...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 10:33 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Tony Vargas in post Favorite version: White Dragon [poll]
    So it was the art. . It wasn't meant to be. I said it could be for any reason. People just gravitated towards the appearance.
  • 02:04 PM - CapnZapp quoted Tony Vargas in post Should I play 4e?
    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. No. Being able to combine excitement and reasonably fast play is not an unreasonably impossible goal, no matter how you try to twist it. For us, 4E failed. That doesn't mean WotC can't do it right. In this aspect, both 3E and 5E works much better.


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