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Recent content by Aenghus

  1. Aenghus

    Burning Questions: What's the Worst Thing a DM Can Do?

    Ignoring the clearly stated preferences of a player and attempting to change them into the player the DM (thinks s/he) wants. Demanding trust from players while not giving them reason to trust him or her in return.
  2. Aenghus

    What is the GM's Job?

    Lots of good responses in the thread so far. I certainly don't agree with everything said, but I don't expect to. Some of my thoughts: A GM needs to enjoy the game as well as the players The GM and players need to constantly win each other's trust. The GM needs to set a good example. Run the...
  3. Aenghus

    My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games

    My take on the OP is that wargames are distinctly games despite often requiring scenario creation, printed scenarios or user created scenarios. They often also involve worldbuilding. I don't see RPGs as any different, apart from the difference in game activities. I bought the 1st edition...
  4. Aenghus

    Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs

    Death Spiral systems can exaggerate the effects of an effective first strike. Such systems can push the players towards a "paranoid ninja" style of play which is all about being the people who escalate and ambush first, or conversely, severely discourage any combat at all. Sometimes a GM wants...
  5. Aenghus

    The Min-Max Problem: Solved

    Sometimes its the GM or the group as a whole that encourage min-maxing. For instance the GM overly punishing failure mechanically or plotwise or the gm and/or group responding negatively to suboptimal character design or play. Some groups expect certain types of min-maxing, though they might...
  6. Aenghus

    My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games

    I prefer RPGs that are games, that have sufficient mechanics provided with them to allow a complete game without being forced to go outside the box. Accordingly I disagree with your premise. While it's true in many cases that a scenario needs to be acquired or created to run the game, in most...
  7. Aenghus

    Suspense in RPGs

    Some people like gambling. Some people avoid gambling. Most are in the middle somewhere. Being far closer to the "avoid" side of the spectrum, IMO gambling isn't the universal sales point you portray above. Over the decades I've been involved with RPGs, it's clear to me that some people love...
  8. Aenghus

    Suspense in RPGs

    I find suspense is highly personal and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Fairly often referees get this wrong and their attempts to create suspense can fall flat for some or all of their players. What players care about in games varies hugely, which is one of the...
  9. Aenghus

    Suspense in RPGs

    As I and over people have mentioned more than once, if there is some sort of script immunity in operation in a game the play is about stakes other than mere survival. The very script immunity allows players to feel safer forming bonds with NPCs and laying down roots in setting, safe in the...
  10. Aenghus

    Death and Storytelling

    Been there, done that, as a player and a referee. It's just that I don't like running PC-created ugly situations and ruthlessness most of the time. It messes with what I get out of the game. I soft focus or move off camera much of this stuff, so anyone who wants it will be disappointed in my...
  11. Aenghus

    Death and Storytelling

    Actually, I can run entire sessions with no combat or overt danger, there's plenty of other RPG material that can be captivating for the right players. Mysteries, social networking, research, sneaking, wheeling and dealing can all happen without combat being triggered regularly or at all. Plans...
  12. Aenghus

    Death and Storytelling

    But the amount of wear and tear can vary a lot from game to game, and there are no police that enforce a particular rate of wear an tear. I've been in plenty of games where the PCs could have been called "brigands" with a varying degree of vaildity, but plenty of other games where that wasn't...
  13. Aenghus

    Death and Storytelling

    Except we don't all participate in this, at least not in the same way. Throughout the editions, game style and genre have varied amazingly from group to group and campaign to campaign. A significant minority of campaigns avoid the sort of behaviour what would label them brigands, whether that's...
  14. Aenghus

    What is the essence of 4E?

    I disagree that 4e classes are homogenous and easy to learn after learning one of them.. Learning a 4e class involves more than just reading the individual powers, there's often a particular "flow" to learn to get the best out of a class, and that requires playing them with something of an open...
  15. Aenghus

    What is the essence of 4E?

    As regards running out of healing surges, in later 4e there was a 1st level magic ritual Comrades' Succor, that at the cost of one healing surge from one of the participants allowed up to six participants to trade healing surges between each other.
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