View Profile: Tony Vargas - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:02 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There was no CR in 1e. You could totally face orcs (or heck, gnolls, zombies, an ogre, etc) at 1st level. ('Face' not necessarily to be taken literally.) Part of the appeal, I should think. (Of course, CR /guidelines/ don't prevent you from facing an Ogre - or disinterested dragon - at first level, they just wave a red flag at the idea.) So it's an Orcs to Orcs comparison. Orcs just have...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:34 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    The logic seemed irrefutable to my 15yo self. ;) "So, hey, Tony, it says here that peasants have 1-6 hps and or '0th' level." "Well, yeah, they're not as good as characters with classes, they don't have levels, but they do have some hps." "Right, but before you have a class you don't have a class, right?" "I guess." "So my magic-user, before he became a magic user, he had 1-6 hps." "That...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:51 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot. I recall Max 1st HD (because Rangers) being a very common variant. One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those. The version of that I encountered was the "brevet" - start at 2nd, but 0 exp...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:39 PM
    A standard game with no optional rules turned on. Feats & MCing are explicitly optional. You don't ban them, you just dont bother opting into them.
    46 replies | 1070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:29 AM
    What do rapiers have to do with caster supremacy, Monty Haul, treasure hunting, pixel-bitching, 5MWD, magic-item Xmass trees, Vancian spell-grenades, d20s, Fruedian psionics, 10' poles, white-room DPR calculations, cursed magic itens, 30mm lead pewter figures labeled 25mm, rules lawyers, Killer DMs, home-invasion-robbery, LFQW, name recognition, 20-level builds, spiked everything, plant/reptile...
    46 replies | 1070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:29 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I was more than half expecting I'd made some dumb math or table lookup error. ::shrug:: CR: 1/2. I already mentioned that, yes. You want slower pacing, it's readily doable, no heavy rules-rewriting called for.
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:37 AM
    Did you notice the remarkable visual similarity between 4e & PF1 monster stat blocks? With the shading and all? Most obvious difference was purple instead of green.
    5 replies | 307 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:34 AM
    The 4e Fighter's "Combat Superiority" OA spoiled the target's movement if it hit. They're mark-punishment interrupt, OTOH, did not, but could be in response to a shift or attack that didn't normally provoke. Consensus was the features made them very 'sticky,' even by defender standards. It could be automatic when they're in the fighter's Threatened area? Haven't used feats much when...
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:20 AM
    Yes. Play a Gangrel. Take the Flaw "Twisted Upbringing."
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:17 AM
    So we shouldn't mention the Pixie/Storm-Giant?
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:52 AM
    It's Sisyphean, but starting with the familiar concepts of D&D, and explaining the broader alternatives in those terms, would be using it as a baseline, but not assuming it as the only thing. Maybe? There's some of that in "if you'd just master this other system and accept it's paradigm, you'd understand..." Yeah, I can't see it by those mechanisms. Arbitrarily, though, sure. Your...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:37 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, IDK, compare a simple, iconic Orc, for instance. In 1e, it hits a stereotypical 1st level front-liner in banded/splint & shield on a natural 17, for 1d8 (4.5) damage (0.9 DPR), and as a 1 HD monster has 1-8 hps, and was AC 6. In 5e, it hits a starting-package heavy armor PC in chain & shield (AC 18) on a natural 13, for 9(1d12+3) damage (3.6 DPR - 4.05 if you count the crit on a 20, which...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:41 PM
    So, maybe piercing just needs to be a lot worse than slashing in some way? Because that seems like a difference, there, too. (Or the versatile blades need to be pierce & slashing, vs the finesse blades being piercing?) Or... …/clearly/ what's missing is ::drumroll:: 1e AD&D style Weapon vs Armor modifiers! Yep. If finesse weapons were good vs light armor and sucked vs heavy, while...
    46 replies | 1070 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, they hit more often than 1e monsters at low levels (and, thanks to BA, keep hitting at least some), and have more hps of their own as you go up levels, so stick around longer, inflicting more damage... ...doesn't sound too implausible. Certainly, I haven't seen any 5e parties breezing through 21-encounter days.
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:55 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    That's not a bad assumption, though character death is hardly unknown in D&D (to put it mildly), at some point, you reach some sort of, IDK, homeostasis, that results in PCs surviving & leveling rather than dying and being replaced. In 5e, scaling (and some class differentiation) was shifted from d20 modifiers (or targets in the case of the classic game) to hps & damage. Some of that shift,...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:32 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    To be clear, the balance of the turn being used in resting was the obscure rule, the d3 for 'binding wounds' during that rest was very much a variant - a Len Lakofka variant, I'd guess, at least, a lot of 'em that got heavily used in my area were his, straight from his Dragon articles. Per-hour doesn't ring a bell as loudly. Per turn, does, but I can't recall a specific example, either (also...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:18 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Not a lot more than merely setting short & long rests to different durations. You push out the time scale of the adventure. The bigger difference is table time devoted to bookkeeping, and that's not a /big/ difference, either. Again, folks played the game very differently from place to place & table to table back in the day. 5e shifted most scaling to hps, so, yeah, they balloon. ...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    Crossposting. Let's take it to the Pedantic complaints thread, and get you some XP to go with that laugh. ;) Hey, and that explains why Gimli was so into her. Well, makes it at tad less creepy. …
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:57 PM
    Let's take it to the Pedantic complaints thread, and get you some XP to go with that laugh. ;) Hey, and that explains why Gimli was so into her. Well, makes it at tad less creepy. Edit: wrong thread... ...cross-posting...
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:48 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    "Something akin to" is, I think, a pretty low bar. Admittedly, the balance of a 10 minute turn is a lot less resting than 5e's one hour. But it's still a rest, and it's still short. Some variant I vaguely recall even let that 'bind wounds' assumption heal d3 hps. Which, at 1st level, in particular, was nothing to sneeze at. Not spells in any standard class, now, but there were the occasional...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:35 PM
    Well, in the sense that flames won't stop it from regenerating... ;P ...we'll see... That's an interesting question. 5e has more than a few little details lifted straight from 4e, and more than a few more re-named, bowdlerized, or otherwise reduced to an acceptable post-edition-war level. The result is /both/ absolutely nothing like 4e, and very similar to 4e. So that complicates the...
    5 replies | 307 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:15 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Not a great point, actually. Old-school did actually have something akin to a 'short rest.' Play progressed in 10-min 'turns,' and if a combat didn't take 10 rounds, the balance was assumed to be spent resting, binding wounds and repairing gear. And, recovering hp & spells 'overnight' is a mere simplification of the complicated rules for recovering spells (requiring anything from 4 to 8 hrs of...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:06 PM
    Nope. The readied character would have to either move ahead of the one he was trying to move with, then ready, or take the readied action and move only 30' to the other's 60. To be fair, Delay doesn't do it, either, the other guy moves, /then/ you move right after. It's one of those things you just need to common-sense hand-wave. (sorry, I forgot the point of the thread there for a moment) ...
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 PM
    While I don't disagree that a wizard could learn magic & have his spell book while remaining ignorant of Arcane lore outside the practical necessities of his trade, I can't agree that opens up a wide variety. The wizard is a bookish, Vancian/Hermetic magic-user, no matter how you tweak or polish it. Casting arcane spells without all that training and that spellbook was broken out to the...
    65 replies | 1685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 PM
    Yes, there's several examples where the effect or hit line just creates an 'area' and avoids the Zone keyword.
    115 replies | 4795 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:28 PM
    Heh. Who can forget those iconic gnome characters in LotR…? What were their names again? That's probably a big part of it, yes. Any race other than human can tend to fall into racial stereotypes, the character becomes about the race (either conforming to or challenging stereotypes), rather than about the character.
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:17 AM
    Sure. Anything other than human and race tended to loom large. You could always shunt elves & gnomes and the like into some fey Otherworld.... Yes, like 4e which made gnomes fey (and, briefly, monsters) and introduced the Feywild (IMHO, it replaced the classic Ethereal, or you could say the Shadowfell merged it with the plane of shadow). The game presents tons of races, but unless you...
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:58 AM
    They're supposed to be examples of nitpicking over small details, rather than real problems like... ... unlikely to qualify as pedantic, unless you mean it ironically... Nope, that sounds serious. Totally off topic. ...to try to get back on topic, why is it called Faerie Fire? Everywhere else the game used American spellings. Why not Fairy? Was Sustare just being pedantic?
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:26 AM
    It seems to me that, unless you want to "punish" lack of system mastery, you'd give a class with an ability that directly built on a skill that skill, up front, and if a sub-class had such an ability, make the skill in question a preq or perk of the subclass... ...But I don't feel like 5e design was nearly that exacting.
    65 replies | 1685 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:17 AM
    possibly on the theory that defense style stacks with all the others?
    106 replies | 2230 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:11 AM
    I'm sorry, we can't accept that answer, we were looking for silly, pedantic, complaints. Thank you for playing, and enjoy a selection of your choice from the free offerings on DMsGuild, as a parting gift. They're monotremes? Do the males have a /venomous/ calcaneus spur? Like vision, but in the dark, instead of the light.
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:37 PM
    Some players might. Others will mysteriously change characters at some point. But, more typically, campaigns will just wrap at some point after the system starts to fall apart.
    16 replies | 513 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Well, sure, balance falls appart by the time you've covered even half that. ;P And, it's not a new problem. The classic game always had a narrow sweetspot that didn't extend past name level. So, when making 3e research showed not much play beyond 10th, so why bother balancing It? 1-20. There's no good reason to present dysfunctional levels of play.
    16 replies | 513 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:01 PM
    The original Fantasy Hero (1985) had the "Delayed" power modifier to do exactly that. D&D went from the "memorized" rubric to "prepared" a long time ago. Since 3.0, at least, though it might've been floated long before that.
    13 replies | 398 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:03 PM
    Brief side observation/perspective: Even just being able to model a valid genre character concept is still a challenge RPGs aren't exactly all up to, even though some have been doing it for a long time. Even if that were true (D&D class & alignment, among other things, do put constraints on PC personality), it wouldn't be comparing Exalted to D&D, but Exalted to freestyle RP.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I've never glanced at Exalted. All I've heard about, 2nd-hand, is that it was WWGS's ST-like stab at fantasy, the PCs are demigods, and most of all, in a very derogatory way, that it's wild, over-the-top superheroics. "...then you might as well be playing Exalted!" Like it was the RPG equivalent of Godwins Law or something.
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:10 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nothing can stop a DM from house ruling, or, y'know, just running a different system, but a system might not present as much perceived need or opportunity to do so. And, a system can set the stage for players to enthusiastically accept or violently resist outright house-rules or even any deviation from RAW orthodoxy. Objectively, sure, but when are these things ever objective? ...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:05 AM
    In a fanstasy sub-genre with magic as pervasive as D&D, in which the Fighter has a spell-casting sub-class, sure it is. That's the point: to have a lead-in to EK.
    106 replies | 2230 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    He can take the post of "Sailing Master," subordinate to the captain, even a warrant officer, but with all the skills to run the ship. ("Master & Commander" like the movie is when an officer below rank of Captain acts as both highest-ranking officer and sailing-master for his ship. Maybe that's what this guy was before the PCs took over?) Lol, she can still be the Captain, make with the...
    2 replies | 164 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 12:50 AM
    Oh, religious-zealot knight-in-shinning armor w/supernatural divine powers is a narrow concept, even w/o the old LG-only*, it's just familiar and spot-on enough that it's understandable devoting a sub-class or class to it.
    352 replies | 12033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    doctorbadwolf... thanks, I think? ;)
    106 replies | 2230 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    I couldn't quite recall if there was or whether it was "pick something else" or "just ignore it" (in essence lose a skill). But, given that there is, it doesn't mean someone didn't think "oh, if I hard-code this, there could be a collision..."
    65 replies | 1685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:11 PM
    Probably to keep a hard-coded class skill from colliding with a hard-coded background skill.
    65 replies | 1685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Vote Lawful Evil Party for 4 more years of safety and stability.
    56 replies | 1727 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:59 PM
    I know 5e didn't emphasize foci much, but a Weapon & Wand or Sword & Athame* style for the proto-EK might be cool. You give up the shield, but gain a magical perk of some kind. Like most rounds you minor-action cast a lesser shield cantrip that's only about as good as a shield (it might be cute if it gave a better AC bonus vs cantrips, or negated one magic missile/rnd or reduced mm damage from...
    106 replies | 2230 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Good point. I hate to sound like one of those old guys who bases how everything should be on how it was "back in my day" but, in the definitive (to me) version of the game, 1e AD&D, there were 5 saves, but everyone's saves got better in all categories as they leveled. Each save was a little better or worse for each class from the beginning, and they advanced at different rates - the...
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:39 PM
    You could substitute an Advantage-esque mechanic for extra attack, I suppose...
    38 replies | 1173 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:10 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    "Mana Systems" seemed pervasive back in the day, at least in my area - though I heard about 'em a lot more than had to play under them. I feel like they were often regarded as broken, but, 30+ years later, that could just have been me. ;) I think part of 5e's appeal (or, at least, comparative immunity from criticism) is that it /does/ at least accommodate both sorts of DMs. (Among other...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    That's a legit concern, that I wasnt attempting to address. The idea is that RES, FTH, &POW are only for supernatural sub-systems. They don't add to skills, which are mundane, at all.
    78 replies | 2900 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    Part of my thought process was that it would accept that innate imbalance, rather than paper it over. If you try to play say, a more socially adept character than yourself (relative to your DM, mainly), you're investing chargen resources and concept in something that you likely won't get a payoff on. Ok, that sounds interesting. Could you elaborate? Because, one thing I had in mind was...
    78 replies | 2900 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:02 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I've long noted a distinction between liking something in spite of flaws, and liking it for the flaws. But, I suppose there's a further distinction between liking the flaws for their 'silver linings' vs their dismal clouds. Replicated, no, of course you can use a more technically functional game to replicate the lesser one. You can show a B&W movie on a color tv. You could put strobing...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Maybe the purpose of basketball isn't all that clear, either? ;)
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    They're archetypal, they created a legacy, defined the hobby. They were brilliant and innovative in their day. You could design a technically mechanically better system, today, but it'd be derivative rather than innovative, polished rather than brilliant. And, indeed, LOTS of such systems have been designed. Sure, and that those issues only matter as such as something to learn from. As...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Dude, I've never played DL, if I'm even tracking the acronyms. And, it shouldn't matter which specific games someone has played, if the point isn't to be exclusionary. No, GNS. I thought that was clear from context. I'm maybe a little tired of it, because it's work, to me, and this is my hobby. But, seriously, taking something as complex as RPGs, and dividing it into three categories -...
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    Content Removed by Creator.
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    Critical Failure! 404 Post does not exist!
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:51 AM
    I'm glad I stared the thread, if only for the kobold blood of dragons story. Thanks. But, the original topic ultimately attracted no attention from the folks I hoped might see value in it. ::shrug::
    78 replies | 2900 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:43 AM
    Oh, snap, there's nothing here.
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:28 AM
    Whether you experience an issue or not, the facts remain.
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:18 AM
    ...move along.
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Just alluding to a fact. Whether LFQW means the fighter is broken, the wizard is broken, or the game is broken may be up for debate (and not the topic of this thread, really) but that it's a mathematical fact of D&D class designs since '74 (the odd blip like Bo9S notwithstanding) is not. It's just a D&D Thang. It /also/ used to be a D&D Thang that all 6 saves scaled dramatically with level.
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    His arch-rival, the Lex Luthor to his Superman? Or, more apropos, the Darkseid to his Jimmy Olsen. But, seriously, similar-CR monsters will force similar saves to a high-level caster, so except when he's slumming vs lower-CR save-forcing critters, he'll be notably worse off. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. Net, the fighter & wizard have advanced the same amount, and the fighter is a...
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:05 PM
    The /same caster/ is probably also 20th, now, and the same effect, even if it's a mere 1st-level spell, benefits from that DC scaling, so, yeah, /worse/. Thing is, Fighter's saves actually /did/ get better as they leveled back in the day. His target would go down as he, and whatever hypothetical foe he was facing, leveled, even if they happened to level at about the same rate, he'd get...
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Move along...
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:38 PM
    You can go about your business...
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:17 PM
    This is not the content you're looking for...
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nod. You /might/ still be able to enjoy that game on a different level. Like a one magician can appreciate the technique or artistry of another, precisely because he does know how the trick is done. With the asymmetrical roles of player & GM in most systems, running a TTRPG is arguably similar to throwing a competitive game. It's often the best advice available for a given system. ...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:12 PM
    You don't need to see my identification...
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:52 PM
    *ahem* mimimimimimi /ME/… let's do this... TRIGGER WARNING: I'm going to use the dreaded N(ostalgia) word. I'm only using it because it applies to me, and how I feel about revisiting the classic games I played decades ago. And, since I am applying it to myself, I hope it's clear I'm using it in a positive sense (yes, there are some). (still funny, btw) For /my/self, I have to admit...
    68 replies | 2235 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:19 PM
    And at 1st he was passing such saves on an 11. He's gotten worse. That's the point. Even if you grant him proficiency, he still gets worse, just more slowly. I do not understand the resistance to saves improving, or at least treading water. In the classic game, saves got /better/ as you leveled, even net of penalties inflicted by very high level spells & monsters. 3e *good* saves and...
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Or a Druid in the form of a parrot, with a differently-abled henchman.
    14 replies | 370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:00 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I like to think of Illisionism as being analogous to a magician's "illusions" (tricks) - they're fun to be 'fooled' by and to try to figure out, but once you see the strings, less fun. And, yes, there is a whole school (not sure if it's /the/ old school, but it's not a young one) or style of D&D that relies on that.
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Jack Chick and BADD didn't even need the internet. (Since politics are off topic, some D&D-history examples.) Thanks to the internet, we then got The Great Roll vs Role Debate, GNS, The Edition War, Zak S, and now, this guy.
    46 replies | 2241 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:33 AM
    What I recall of Ars Magica is a medieval world ruled by mages, opposed by a divine dominion? You were expected to play a mage, but could play a custos, a powerless bodyguard of a mage, if you really wanted to. Apart from the inherent honesty of the presentation, and the details of the magic system, sounds right up D&D's alley.
    79 replies | 2470 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:51 AM
    Yep, I could see that, it sounds pretty reasonable. At 5th, can do 2+X to one target or 1+X to two targets, for a net gain of X, if both attack :):):):), by choosing a different 'maneuver.' Meanwhile, at 5th, someone else may do 8d6 to one target, or 8d6 to all the targets that get w/in a 20' radius sphere... for a net gain of anything from 8d6 up to, oh, 400d6, very hypothetically, assuming...
    38 replies | 1173 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:29 AM
    It's worth noting that it could be vs the same 1st-level spell, cast with a 1st-level slot, by the same wizard, now that they're both 20th.
    71 replies | 1953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    Greater internal consistency, actually. Hit points are /very/ abstract, and they goof up the internal consistency of a world quite a lot. Particularly in the oddity of high-hp creatures being un-killable when fresh, by attacks that can kill them when worn down a bit (or when caught helpless). I mean, what's "deadly" in AD&D? A dagger, at 1-4/1-3? Laughable! ...until you're killed by one...
    638 replies | 15944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:13 PM
    10. Swinging across a gap and into an enemy. 11. Grab a halyard, cut it free so it pulls you into the rigging, as the spar it was holding up plunges to the deck - preferably onto an enemy. 12. Multiple pre-loaded hand-crossbows or other single-shot fantasy pistol analog of choice.
    14 replies | 370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:09 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nod. Like landing on "Go to Jail" or "Loose a Turn" in a board game. Just, arbitrarily, stuff happens. (I'm kinda surprised there aren't more funny stories about Reincarnated old-school D&D characters.) Characters weren't sacrosanct, they didn't /start/ with concepts, but they might come to embody one for part of their career, depending on what the DM had dropped on them.
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:50 PM
    Yeah, those elves, notorious powergamers.
    352 replies | 12033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:47 PM
    yeah, we'll go with that.
    352 replies | 12033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:45 PM
    If that's how you see arcana, then it'd also make sense for them to pick up more such bits and pieces while adventuring.
    224 replies | 5484 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:28 PM
    Oh, right, I forgot about all the scenes with Aragorn's "Bear" companion, what was his name? Boromir?
    352 replies | 12033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:23 PM
    Why would your half-elf Warlord>Battle Captain>Legendary Monarch be casting spells? ;)
    352 replies | 12033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:14 PM
    I was actually thinking the player could just remember the fact his character stumbled across, maybe note it on his character sheet. Arcana seems /really/ "Trained only" to me. It's, well, /arcane/.
    224 replies | 5484 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:08 PM
    Hardly. Some of 'em didn't do damage, at all. Many the damage is hardly the point, just a Martial Thang, a little differentiation that's as much feel as anything, secondary to supporting allies. I get a lot of use out of Warlord's Recovery, for instance. 5e /has/ long & short rest 'pools,' though I agree that the latter is /not/ equivalent to Encounters. It might be more in keeping...
    163 replies | 5538 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Yep, lots of ways for stats to go up (or down), or straight to 18, 18/00 or 24 back in the day. Many of the most significant were magic items, almost all, like items, were things the DM would 'drop,' rarely something a player could acquire as a matter of course. 3e, not 5e, codified stat increases as part of progression, both through giving stat increases with level, and by setting out...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:47 PM
    That's getting more into the concept of a Trained-only check. Though he might acquire specific knowledge in that domain second-hand or through experience.
    224 replies | 5484 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There's certainly both people who love the classic game in spite of it's flaws, and those who love it /for/ it's flaws. There's also the more conflicted set who hate it when those flaws are addressed elsewhere, as if it somehow diminishes or invalidates their appreciation of the still-flawed original.
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:25 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    OK, so you're not coming from the perspective I was wondering about. Everything you said makes sense, then. ;)
    209 replies | 6355 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.

For the last year I have not had lot of energy left for gaming (I've had some serious health challenges). But, as of summer 2019, I've been doing well enough to get back to it.

I've resumed the 4e campaign I was trying to finish out - even at level 26, 4e is just plain easy to run - my first session was all RP, loosely held together by an under-level skill challenge. Zero prep, but lots of fun as longtime players got back into their characters, and new ones introduced theirs and we revisited the setting of a major Paragon-level story to set the stage for a new Epic-level one.

It's good to be back. :)
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. I picked it back up a year later, and it's still going, 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.

5e, I almost always ran: Owen was human Druid, sometime Dwarven Cleric, because AL lets you do that. I reprised Verinhal, my old-school fighter/magic-user in a one-shot..
...but the best 5e game I was in - pretty much just the core mechanics, pregens & the DM doing everything her way - I got to play a character based on Parker, from Leverage. THAT was fun. :)








* 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
15,182
Posts Per Day
2.38
Last Post
OSR Gripes Today 05:02 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
14
General Information
Last Activity
Today 05:09 PM
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. I picked it back up a year later, and it's still going, 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.

5e, I almost always ran: Owen was human Druid, sometime Dwarven Cleric, because AL lets you do that. I reprised Verinhal, my old-school fighter/magic-user in a one-shot..
...but the best 5e game I was in - pretty much just the core mechanics, pregens & the DM doing everything her way - I got to play a character based on Parker, from Leverage. THAT was fun. :)








* 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 28 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019


Monday, 15th July, 2019



Page 1 of 28 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Page 1 of 18 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 01:31 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post Diplomatic Inspiration / Leadership
    Tony Vargas Garthanos This is where I bill the 'non-wonky math' feature of HoML. Since a skill check and an attack roll are going to work exactly the same, you can simply make powers which attack with skill checks! That makes this sort of design a lot cleaner. Instead of imputing all sorts of craziness to a Diplomacy or Intimidate check, you simply create a power, which has an attack line of something like 'Intimidate vs WILL' and it can do whatever (psychic damage being an obvious possibility).

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 07:12 PM - TwoSix mentioned Tony Vargas in post Doing away with Extra Attack
    Along with this, I would be adding in weapon maneuvers. These would be effects that you could give up weapon damage dice to perform. -1 die to attack two targets, or to add a save or slow or save or prone effect. The need for an attack roll, lower damage, and a save would balance them against basic maneuvers that are generally a single save or skill check for no damage. Like Tony Vargas said, giving up damage to do X is basically a lost cause. (That's why Battle Master Manuevers are all "spend a die to do X AND add damage.) If you're looking at more broad systemic changes, something like allowing advantage and disadvantage to stack could be relevant in a battle maneuver system. Every time you gain an advantage or disadvantage, you gain +1 d20 to the roll. Advantages and disadvantages cancel out. If you have 2 advantages and 1 disadvantage, that's a total of 1 advantage, so you roll 2d20, keep highest. (I'm stealing this idea from Shadow of the Demon Lord's boon/bane system). To make this relevant to a battle maneuver system, you change Extra Attack to "You gain one advantage whenever you make a weapon attack." Then you design maneuvers like "Your next attack does damage equal to your weapon damage + attack modifier, but you gain one disadvantage." For every class that has Extra Attack, you design a small list of class-relevant maneuvers. You make t...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 10:16 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned Tony Vargas in post Expertise is RUINING THE GAME!
    Tony Vargas - yeah, that's about the size of the problem. I think the basic building blocks are there to do something richer and more interesting, but keeping it relatively light and non-invasive has proven really challenging so far.
  • 10:57 AM - Aldarc mentioned Tony Vargas in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    Overall, Tony Vargas, I don"t think that your point of contention in this thread is that far removed from several of the talking points of the OSR movement that tend to focus on player skill rather than leaning on character mental and social abilities.

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 07:43 PM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    Tony Vargas The Berserker/Barbarian one I made does have the advantage of hitting things you do not know are there and similar. I am liking the Wild Swing feat idea you had, to remove the that you can see limit. I removed the limit from the power above, hence the mention of presentience.

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 10:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    ...lamourie; it might also be done by using a Storyteller's Certificate to Incite Lust as a special effect), Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic (a check intended to inflict a Complication, or perhaps Emotional or Mental Stress, depending on context and further elaboration), Maelstrom Storytelling (I think I got the example from a rulebook example of a Quick Take), 4th ed D&D if the table is in the right mood (it would be a CHA check, or in the right context perhaps a Bluff or even a Diplomacy check - 4e is not super-prescriptive in respect of what skills can be used to do what), even Burning Wheel or Rolemaster if the setting/genre is not too grim (a Seduction check). I can't remember the scope of Seduction in The Dying Earth but I wouldn't be surprised if it covers this sort of thing also. Lanefan was the one who started a conversation about the reverse scenario, of a maiden softening a PC's heart with a wink. He didn't suggest any particular X as an action to be performed by the PC. As Tony Vargas correctly noted, he only suggested an emotional response - the PC's hear is softened - and didn't further explore what that might mean for play. Systems I can think of where something like this is possible I think I already mentioned: Prince Valiant (especially if the GM uses an Incite Lust special effect against a player's character); Marvel Heroic/Cortex+ Heroic (the situation of the PC is quite symmetrical to the NPC, and the cost of not going along with the softened heart is that the complication/stress will figure in the opposing dice pool - this is the same mechanic the system uses to adjudicate psychic mind control); The Dying Earth; Burning Wheel (the rules for NPC social skill use outside the context of a Duel of Wits are a bit thin, but as best I can tell it's intended to be a permissible thing); maybe others. In 4e D&D, in an appropriate context, I would regard it as a permissible complication in the narration of a skill challenge. Whether that's intended or not is har...
  • 04:32 AM - Hussar mentioned Tony Vargas in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I'm no big fan of GNS theory, mostly because bringing it up tends to be like invoking Tolkien in RPG discussions - it's the geek version of Godwinning a thread and more time gets spent debating the theory than actually using it. But, Tony Vargas, I do think you are way off base here. GNS theory is not exclusionary at all. It's, as Lost Soul above pointed out very concisely, simply a descriptive system for talking about the differences between RPG's. It's what you point to when someone calls 4e boardgamey or videogamey. You can actually point to how 4e leverages so many of the mechanics - page 42 being a prime example, plus the transparency of the mechanics themselves - in service to creating games where moral dilemmas are far more important than, say, the kill and loot cycle of heavily gamist 3e where the point of killing monsters is to gain loot and xp to let you kill bigger monsters. Note, D&D, at least in Forge terms, is not really a good example of pure forms. You can certainly play 4e as a pure gamist game where you kill your way to the top. Absolutely can. And, frankly, you can nudge it pretty close to simulationist play with a few twists of a couple of dials. D&D is such a huge game that it's more about...

Thursday, 4th July, 2019

  • 04:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Tony Vargas - just adding to what Manbearcat posted, which I fully agree with (except to add that 1st ed AD&D also started heading in the same direction in the post-DL era). The Forge isn't trying to explain your experience with CoC vs V:tM, and why you found them similar or different. It's offering an analytic vocabulary for talking about RPG design, and some features of RPG play. It's no more "confusing, inveigling or obfuscating" than is a chemist who tells you that coal and diamond are the same stuff, or Newton who tells you that an object falling to earth and a planet orbiting the sun is the same physical phenomenon, or an anthropologist who tells you that reigious practices among neolithic people and grief counselling in its contemporary Californian manifestation play the same social function. If you're not interested in that sort of analysis then that's fine, but as far as I can see it doesn't give any reason to complain about it. It's not like Ron Edwards dropped by your house and to...

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019

  • 05:53 PM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    ... <snip> I guess I'd be curious how you reconcile the complete inability of early D&D and most OSR games to model that concept with their popularity?I don't really follow this. It's imputing things to me that I didn't say. Moldvay Basic makes it incredibly easy to (at least aspire to) play a rogue with a heart of gold - you write Thief on your PC sheet and tell everyone, or maybe show them through play, that your thief is well-meaning and ultimately loyal even if a bit of a rascal. In AD&D you can reinforce this by writing CG in your alignment box. I use the language of aspiration because in Moldvay Basic and AD&D if the GM is following the rules then your thief might find it hard to succeed in roguish things due to the well-known mechanical suckitude of low-level thieves. In 5e this issue, as best I can tell, largely goes away for reason to do with (i) better success numbers on the PC sheet, and (ii) a slightly different approach to framing and adjudication of checks which Tony Vargas has posted about just upthread. This is kind of a weird statement paired with your position of not seeing much of a difference between 4E and 13th AgeI didn't say that. I said that - and you quoted me as saying that - "Assuming you're using GNS more-or-less as The Forge does, then there's no interesting difference between 4e and 13th Age." You suggested that 13th Age is "narrativist" and 4e is "gamist", but in The Forge sense the two systems exhibit no such contrast. And in fact, if anything, I would say that the existence of skill challenges in 4e and their absence from 13th Age makes 4e more suited for mainstream scene-framing narrativist play, while the presence of Icon rolls in 13th Age makes it easier to push that game in the direction of high-concept simulationism (whereas, as I posted, I think that's almost hopeless for 4e because too many of the system elements, including the skill challenge mechanic, will push against it). I've played enough PF and 5E to know that they...

Sunday, 30th June, 2019

  • 01:31 PM - Aldarc mentioned Tony Vargas in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    ...Paizo is listening to PF fans, some of which haven't even played 5E and thus can't see that you CAN design a fun game where martials and casters feel familiar yet different. (That is, what 4E couldn't offer)How dare Paizo listen to their playerbase and fans?! That's preposterous! You don't listen to your fans who play the game. You are supposed to listen to a singular doomsayer who doesn't play PF1 and who demands that Paizo makes his custom dream product based off a competitor's system and who also never participated in the playtest or shows any actual engagement or familiarity with the contents of PF2! :mad: I would have felt a lot less nervous if Paizo had exhibited clear tendencies to look at 5E and learn from it. Yet, most PF2 chatter I hear are about PF1 and 4E - two of the *least* appropriate games to build your future on in my opinion.Except when you combine them together, you essentially get 5e, and that is precisely what WotC did, Oh He of Short-Term Memory. As either Tony Vargas or Hussar has said - I can't remember which off the top of my head - the greatest trick that WotC did for 5E was in convincing people to play 4E in a game that looks more like 3E and Pathfinder.

Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 12:13 PM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Villains that are supposed to escape
    Contrived "he gets away no matter what" stuff is great for a novel, but D&D is a game.Well, in a novel we don't know if it's "no matter what". We just know that, on this occasion, the villain got away. I think the difference between a novel and D&D or similar RPG is not "no matter what", but rather the different mode of authorship: in a novel there is (typically) one author who decides what happens in the fiction; whereas in D&D or a RPG we normally work that out via action resolution mechanics. (Cue Tony Vargas to say that 5e D&D has not such mechanics other than GM decides, including maybe deciding to call for a check or similar.) If the villain is supposed to escape but the players are too smart (or lucky) for the published module to work, then you need to figure out a way to make it work for the story (if you're planning on using the villain again). This doesn't mean you need to cheat, just come up with a solution that's logically consistent for your world. If the PCs capture him and turn him over to the authorities, they eventually learn that he has escaped. If they kill him, one of his associates/followers/admirers has him resurrected. If that's not possible, then one of his apprentices/family members/love interests takes his place as antagonist and now has an added reason to hate the PCs.I tend to feel that this sort of thing doesn't really honour the outcome of the players' action declarations and resolution. What's the point - as players of the game - of having our PCs fight and d...
  • 12:10 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    Tony Vargas normally whatever fighter I am building I want to think of how they deal with 2 enemies in basic attacks. (cleave,dual strike, slash and pommel) Cleave is good for a two handed weapon use... Dual strike is better for pretty much everything else but if you arent building up your off hand weapon at low levels where at wills are mostly used a Brawler might take slash and pommel but cleave still works. Now realistic fencing is often seen as not likely to deal well with the situation of being swamped by minions but on the other hand being able to do just that is common of heroic fencing types like zorro. The above use weapons as limits (not always) So my thought is I might not need anything more But I have an idea called "using one against the other." which might be closer to attack one and he basic attacks his ally.

Monday, 24th June, 2019


Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 11:24 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Tony Vargas in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    ...en them can be stood up if they fall in a very efficient manner without loss of action. So I would prioritize healing another character, perhaps one that you would not because they aren't as close to dropping. Or possibly the healer themself. If I had to choose between two targets that need healed right now then I like your tactic. It's solid. But getting down to it, it's going to be particularly rare using my strategy to have 2 PC's that need healed on the same turn. So how does your strategy play out in the situation where only 1 PC needs healed. I presume your tactic is still to let them drop if the turn order falls in your favor. So you will presumably be casting a cantrip for 2d8 damage (none on a miss / successful save). There's about a 1 in a quadrillion chance that your small cantrip amount of damage on the turn I chose to heal is going to prevent a TPK and another 1 in a quadrillion chance that it would prevent a TPK that my heal wouldn't also have prevented. As Tony Vargas has pointed out, the big savings is potentially saving the higher level slot for later. That's a discussion I can get aboard, But your current argument that healing in combat is going to lead to more TPK's than not - because of lost actions isn't very compelling. IMO. If using a large slot in combat for healing leads to more TPK's to any meaningful degree then it's going to be because you didn't use the higher level slot on a spell that would have prevented the TPK. Scenario 1: You may have saved saved your high level slot for healing, used the slot in the fight for healing and still ended up in a TPK situation whereas some small unknown percentage of the time using a different spell earlier in the fight may have prevented the TPK Scenario 2: You may have used your high level slot for healing in an earlier fight that had no chance of resulting in a TPK. While the additional hp will cause a small advantage in the next few fights there's still the case where you have a TPK late...

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 01:39 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post Streamlined 4e combat
    I see something you need to integrate with powers. You need a method to allow a big cool method to defeat the big bad without it being a fluke of chance -- we have a method already it's the nature of powers. Conversely a power might be useable against an enemy or set of enemies you out class without expending a power slot. @AbdulAlhazred Yeah, there was a suggestion by Tony Vargas (in the other thread IIRC) about the minion/elite 'mode' thing. It could also be called 'aggressive' and 'defensive' or whatever, and there are a few options for implementing it, but that would get you some of it. You could 'go aggro' for a big move, and toss out your daily. HoML has 'vitality points' instead of AP/HS, you can burn them to play your big powers, so you could actually do something crazy like burn a VP to use a 'vitality' power, burn another one to buy an extra action, and burn a 3rd one to fire off a vitality power again, there's your real alpha strike! hehe.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 01:39 PM - dave2008 mentioned Tony Vargas in post Missing Battle Master Manuevers
    I've also seen advanced manoeuvres that cost two dice but are full of awesome. I like that idea. That would be an interesting way to implement something akin to the AEDU structure of 4e. Could make martials really interesting for Tony Vargas

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.


Page 1 of 18 1234567891011 ... LastLast
No results to display...

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 04:54 PM - Celebrim quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    The logic seemed irrefutable to my 15yo self. ;) "So, hey, Tony, it says here that peasants have 1-6 hps and or '0th' level."... I see where that comes from, but by my logic (at the time and since) is a 1st level M-U had never been before a 0th level peasant but had in fact been before a 0th level apprentice M-U. And before that they had been a child, and children did not have 6 h.p. Furthermore, it was never clear to me that 0th level peasants actually rolled hit points, but rather those hit points represented a range of being 'buff' based on the peasants age and profession and so were either assigned (in the case of profession first) or implied profession (in the case of hit points first). Thus, a 0th level peasant child never had 6 hit points in the first place as having 6 h.p. would have proved this peasant wasn't a child, but rather a middle aged blacksmith or stevedore. Still, in retrospect with me being a little open minded, it's a very reasonable solution to the problem of 1st le...
  • 04:07 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    I was more than half expecting I'd made some dumb math or table lookup error. ::shrug:: CR: 1/2. . Which makes the 5e orc twice as powerful compared to a level 1 5e PC than a 1e orc is to a 1e PC. As I said, apples to oranges. But what's the point. You're arguing that AD&D rest and recovery is comparable to 5e's, and that's just laughable. Not sure why you continue to argue that because everyone knows that's not true or even remotely close. I suspect you know it's not true. I suspect you knew it was not true even before I did the math for you to show just how different the two editions are. So shine on, I'm not going to continue to argue with someone who doesn't seem to be arguing honestly.
  • 03:02 PM - Celebrim quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot. The one true statement you can make about old school play is, "It varied a lot." One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those. Now that's one I haven't encountered before, but that's a very advanced concept we really wouldn't see in an official capacity till like 4e. It does solve a potential ton of problems, but I suspect that I would have hated it on first sight back in the day by pure reflex - "A 10 h.p. 1st level M-U, inconceivable?!?!"
  • 01:18 PM - Maxperson quoted Tony Vargas in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    So we shouldn't mention the Pixie/Storm-Giant? Probably not, but the Pixie penchant for wood gave us the Pixie Stick.
  • 10:44 AM - Lylandra quoted Tony Vargas in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    Part of my thought process was that it would accept that innate imbalance, rather than paper it over. If you try to play say, a more socially adept character than yourself (relative to your DM, mainly), you're investing chargen resources and concept in something that you likely won't get a payoff on. But in a game with INT/WIS/CHA this would be then the DM's fault, wouldn't it? Telling a dork to "persuade that baron" in character while ignoring his stats or skills and the tell him how he failed because he didn't use his "obvious weakness for cute kittens and love of being addressed with at least three positive adjectives" is bad DMing. At least in a game where your PC's mental stats can be different from your own. And I like to keep it that way. Why? Because I don't see why people are totally cool to let their PCs be the buffest, most agile or toughest guys on earth while being unfit weaklings themselves while having problems allowing that one autistic or shy player to play as a social genius....
  • 05:45 AM - CapnZapp quoted Tony Vargas in post Finesse rebalance
    What do rapiers have to do with caster supremacy, Monty Haul, treasure hunting, pixel-bitching, 5MWD, magic-item Xmass trees, Vancian spell-grenades, d20s, Fruedian psionics, 10' poles, white-room DPR calculations, cursed magic itens, 30mm lead pewter figures labeled 25mm, rules lawyers, Killer DMs, home-invasion-robbery, LFQW, name recognition, 20-level builds, spiked everything, plant/reptile boobs, perverting the intent of Wish, mapping, teen suicide, Devil worship, and sexism? ... Oh, I get it: nothing.No, you were onto the right answer: people get emotional when it comes to D&D even though once in a while the game itself is blameless; they're only projecting their own insecurities and prejudice. In other words, there's absolutely nothing special about a rapier discussion that's different from discussing Monty Haul, reptile boobs or Satanism. It's just one more thing to get riled up about.
  • 02:38 AM - Sacrosanct quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    Well, IDK, compare a simple, iconic Orc, for instance. In 1e, it hits a stereotypical 1st level front-liner in banded/splint & shield on a natural 17, for 1d8 (4.5) damage (0.9 DPR), and as a 1 HD monster has 1-8 hps, and was AC 6. In 5e, it hits a starting-package heavy armor PC in chain & shield (AC 18) on a natural 13, for 9(1d12+3) damage (3.6 DPR - 4.05 if you count the crit on a 20, which is standard in 5e, and wasn't in 1e), has 15 hps, and AC 13. So, it does twice the damage, hits twice as often, and has 5x the hps, but is way easier to hit (attack bonuses are easy for PCs to come by in 5e relative to 1e). Now, how fast you kill it is a whole 'nuther thing. A 1st level cleric or an unremarkable 1e fighter with a 15 STR and no weapon specialization does, on average, the 4.5 damage it takes to kill the average orc, and hits on a natural 14 - but, a high STR fighter 17-18/50, with specialization hits on a 12, while the 18/00 fighter w/specialization hits on an 10, and kills the tou...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 11:21 PM - Celebrim quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    But 5e is all-in on monsters that have huge numbers of hps compared to their classic counterparts, and a lot of damage flying around. One of the things about the Monster Encylopedia series of posts by Echohawk is that it allows you to track just how much number inflation has occurred between 1e and 5e, and it's a rare monster whose hit points and expected damage/round doesn't scale with its edition number.
  • 10:52 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    Well, they hit more often than 1e monsters at low levels . I'd love to see your figures that monsters in 5e average 3.5x the ratio (or in the example above, that means 6x flat rate) the average damage of 1e counterparts. find out how often each monster hits on average in 5e compared to 1e (because I don't think they did hit more often with any significance), find out the average damage for each of those hits, and then compare. If the raw comparison is 6x higher than in AD&D, I'd eat my socks. Honestly, I can't see why you are continuing to argue this. The healing rate and recovery in 5e is a lot higher than in AD&D, even when you consider 5e has higher HP in general. That's something that is blatantly obvious. Your unsubstantiated claims and handwaving of significant mathematical differences aren't helping your case.
  • 09:51 PM - Lanefan quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    To be clear, the balance of the turn being used in resting was the obscure rule, the d3 for 'binding wounds' during that rest was very much a variant - a Len Lakofka variant, I'd guess, at least, a lot of 'em that got heavily used in my area were his, straight from his Dragon articles. Per-hour doesn't ring a bell as loudly. Per turn, does, but I can't recall a specific example, either (also 'turn' sometimes seemed to be used ambiguously, like it might mean 10-min turn, or might mean round). Per round was everywhere, as most things couldn't be used or done more than once per round anyway...and that hasn't really changed. Heck, I'm near certain there were per week & month, too, but I can't recall exactly what. ;) We've both house-ruled in that some spells can only be cast once a week and added various magical devices that only do their thing once per week or per month (or in one currently-existing case per year, though the item's owner hasn't figured this out yet). Officially I think the...
  • 09:31 PM - Lanefan quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    "Something akin to" is, I think, a pretty low bar. Admittedly, the balance of a 10 minute turn is a lot less resting than 5e's one hour. But it's still a rest, and it's still short. Some variant I vaguely recall even let that 'bind wounds' assumption heal d3 hps. Which, at 1st level, in particular, was nothing to sneeze at. Interesting. I always thought this was an ancient house rule adopted before I started playing - never knew it had an official basis. Not spells in any standard class, now, but there were the occasional n/turn items or special abilities. I can think of gobs of per-day things and even a few x-per-hour devices but I can't for the life of me think of anything that recharged after a turn.
  • 08:54 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    5e shifted most scaling to hps, so, yeah, they balloon. PCs have more hps, especially from CON bonus, especially as they level. Monsters have more hps. They all do more damage. They blow through more healing. . When you make comments like this as to why healing is comparable in AD&D to 5e, this is why I think you either don't know anything about the game rules (which I doubt that's true), or that you hope no one else knows the difference, or that you're being intentionally disingenuous. I know you know the rules, so I can't figure out why you're insisting on arguing something that is so clearly not true. Yes, hp increased in 5e, but the ratio increased so much, that they aren't comparable as you claim. I shouldn't even have to show you the math because it's so obvious, but apparently I do: 5th level party, AD&D: Fighter: 33 hp (+1 bonus from con) Cleric: 23 hp Mu: 13 hp Thief: 18 hp Healing: no hit dice. 1 hp per party member (total: 4). cleric has 5/5/1 spells (2 bonus ...
  • 08:37 PM - Monayuris quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    Nod. And, I'll admit the balance of the turn after a combat being spent in rest &c was probably pretty obscure. But, there /were/ rests on a short scale, however little they recovered, so the short rest / long-rest cadence of WotC era D&D (and, yeah, 3.x had it, de-facto, too, when you paused to top everyone up from the WoCLW). (already mentioned variants that /did/ give you a little hp recovery for 'binding wound.') I don't remember using the bind wounds rule back then, I actually first heard of it as a Swords & Wizardry house rule. Makes sense as a way add a little longevity to a group. I think the common rule is that binding only works on damage taken that specific encounter. Personally, short rests are, to me, one of the least egregious differences. I don't really mind them all tat much... I've run quite a few games where a disastrous encounter shuts down a potentially lucrative delve. The idea of recovering a few hit points after such an encounter such that the party can explore further ...
  • 08:21 PM - Jer quoted Tony Vargas in post Similarities 4E PF2?
    The only possible source of similarity might be in that with nothing else to leverage, Paizo might resort to merely trying to make PF2 a better game than PF1 in it's own right. I'm not sure if this is the same thing that you're saying or not, but... My thought is that any "similarities" between PF2 and 4e arise because the developers of both are in similar headspaces - i.e. "the 3.5 D&D engine has certain balance issues that everyone knows about and make it hard to develop for - how can we fix the engine to make it more balanced so that it's easier to extend?" If you start from that and have certain things that you want to keep in the system, then it's kind of inevitable that you're going to end up with some similarities - they are fixing the same problem in the same way. For example, level based attack progression - the solution used in 4e is a natural extension to how 3e handled it - just give everyone the same progression and let something other than attack progression differentiate fig...
  • 08:11 PM - Monayuris quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    Not a great point, actually. Old-school did actually have something akin to a 'short rest.' Play progressed in 10-min 'turns,' and if a combat didn't take 10 rounds, the balance was assumed to be spent resting, binding wounds and repairing gear. And, recovering hp & spells 'overnight' is a mere simplification of the complicated rules for recovering spells (requiring anything from 4 to 8 hrs of actual sleep, plus considerable time "memorizing") and the de-facto rate of healing accomplished /by/ memorizing, castings and re-memorizing full slates of healing spells. (That is, the rest & time rate of healing was moot.) There were no short rest equivalents in B/X or AD&D. Combats were, indeed, rounded up to the nearest turn, but there wasn’t any actual resource or hit point recovery involved. The ‘rest period’ up to 10 minutes was more to maintain time keeping and to maintain the time pressure of a delve. There was also a 1 turn test period required for every 5 turns of activity. But these rest pe...
  • 07:45 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Tony Vargas in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    Galadriel was a gnome. :D No, really. At the risk of "well, actually'ing" you, in some of Tolkien's earlier drafts, the Noldor were referred to as gnomes. Galadriel was of the Noldor, ergo... Heh. Who can forget those iconic gnome characters in LotR…? What were their names again?
  • 07:25 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Tony Vargas in post OSR Gripes
    Not a great point, actually. Old-school did actually have something akin to a 'short rest.' No it didn't. Nothing in AD&D had rules where you regained spells from a short rest. Or had the ability to engage in non-magical hit point recovery in a short rest. And AD&D not only did not have heal back to full on a long rest, but you only got what? 1 hp back per day? If you think PCs just sat around for hours after hours casting/memorizing/recasting healing spells, then that tells me your experience with AD&D was limited to the goldbox PC video games. You didn't sit around for 38 hours doing that in an actual AD&D TTRPG while on an adventure (unless your DM paused the game world to allow their game to emulate said goldbox video games, but I never saw that once). Getting all hit points back after 8 hours in 5e is much different than the days of trying to do that in AD&D (even by your method). That difference is not "moot". The rate is significantly different. Pointing out how you'd have t...
  • 01:02 PM - MGibster quoted Tony Vargas in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    Sure. Anything other than human and race tended to loom large. In what way? It doesn't loom large in most of the published adventures. Keep on the Borderlands, Ravenloft (up to and including Cruse of Strahd), and Ghosts of Saltmarsh aren't a substantially different experience for those who play an elf or a gnome from those who play a human. I'm starting to think that the most important facet about race in D&D is how it shapes the perception a player has for their character. Which actually carries a lot of weight with me.
  • 12:42 PM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    And, the Zone keyword is subject to Dispel Magic, so kinda off the table. There are very few elements in 4e that have flavor so far knocked down that you cannot shake them up. Dispel Magic and Martial Practices vs Rituals are ones so far I have seen brought up. MP and R are generally fixed by giving MP sufficient support or allowing extremely liberal reflavoring of rituals. So do we create zones with a different flavor we call them areas of influence and allow martial controllers to disrupt areas of influence?
  • 12:18 PM - KentDT quoted Tony Vargas in post Vancian to Zelaznian magic
    edited


Tony Vargas's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites