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  1. GrahamWills

    D&D 5E "Once an encounter begins, I will make changes to it for balance, fun, or rules reasons." (a poll)

    a counter point would be to say that you don’t understand why you let dice ruin stories and eliminate fun characters when it makes everyone feel bad. I mean, that’s why we have GMs, to adjudicate what happens.
  2. GrahamWills

    Top Three RPGs to Run at a FLGS?

    I’m not going to suggest systems, but rather genres. I’ve run for a lot of non-gamer people, at comic conventions, in churches and at boardgame cons. My observations: People know D&D and some will want to play it by name. There is no difference to their signing up if it is 5E, PF2, 13A...
  3. GrahamWills

    New 13th Age 'Escalation Edition' Coming Next Year!

    I am currently running Eyes of the Stone Thief on Foundry and the 13A support by Asacolips and his team are just fantastic. I switched from Roll20 because of them and they continue to improve and see new development monthly (thank you a ton for the default monster icons you added a few weeks...
  4. GrahamWills

    New 13th Age 'Escalation Edition' Coming Next Year!

    my solution is simply to veto stuff that isn’t in genre. I have as I do in every game. Do I allow my modern horror heroes to be called Investy McInvesitgatorface? No, I do not. One of the gaming contacts that our group has is that you must embrace the premise of the game. Of course, if you want...
  5. GrahamWills

    Which VTT do you use?

    I used to use roll 20 for pathfinder, but switched to foundry and am now also running 13th Age in it (very nice fan created content!) and it’s just much nicer. Very easy to add modules and customize it just the way you want and it has a far more engaging and good-looking interface. Even when I...
  6. GrahamWills

    D&D General What is each edition BEST at?

    Being careful to answer what each IS best at, not WAS best OD&D, Basic: Nothing springs to mind AD&D, 2E: Nostalgia and as a reminder of how much D&D has improved 3E: Best worlds: Sandstorm and Arcana being the ones topping my list 4E: Best version for tactical combat encounters 5E: Best for...
  7. GrahamWills

    D&D General DMs - What makes You...

    I very rarely do this. If I do change a rule it will be as a result of applying it at the table and getting a group consensus that it is not fun. The reason I game is to have fun with friends; the only reason to change a rule is to ensure the game is fun. Mostly I change rules that make one...
  8. GrahamWills

    Pathfinder 2E How is Pathfinder doing?

    Looking at the event listings for Gen Con 2022 in a few weeks by system, we have Dungeons and Dragons at 1000 sessions, Pathfinder 220, Call of Cthulhu 190, and the next largest was I think Shadowrun at 100. Pretty much supports the other sales numbers that say that PF and CoC are the #2 and...
  9. GrahamWills

    Is this an evil act, or not?

    As usual with this discussion, the problem is that the question "is this evil?" needs more context. Are kobolds intrinsically evil? Almost always evil? Is "evil" an observable status? Is there an objective definition of "evil" in the world? Are all creatures equal in the sense of having souls...
  10. GrahamWills

    How Do You Stop TPKs/Killer GM Habits?

    Oh, I remember this pair from The Show Must Go On. We were quite beaten up when our party met them and our GM was clearly concerned for us. Definitely one of the nastier fights in the adventure path. Definitely has a TPK potential. I'll note some of the mitigating factors that we employed, and...
  11. GrahamWills

    What game is the best simulationist game?

    Any universal system is not going to do well at modeling reality well, since by definition it has to cover a lot of ground and therefore the details will get subsumed into general approaches. In particular, I’ve never found GURPS or HERO realistic; they do manage quite well at being believable...
  12. GrahamWills

    Forsaking Dice as GM: Going full narrative

    But if the GM is deciding what is a consequential moment, and what is not, isn’t that exactly working to a pre-existing agenda? isn’t that exactly what PbtA is supposed to hate with a passion? If I decide that when Pippin kicks a stone down a well, it’s not a consequential decision, haven’t I...
  13. GrahamWills

    Forsaking Dice as GM: Going full narrative

    I understand that the principle is to always to roll to find out, but taken to the extreme you are suggesting, it’s ludicrous. Even if it is only for very obvious cases, in every roleplaying game, the GM has the task of deciding whether to apply rules or simply narrate it. I have played PbtA...
  14. GrahamWills

    Sorting armor by effectiveness

    I'm not sure it makes sense to distinguish so many types of armor when you are assuming they all have exactly the same property (a single "armor" stat). Especially since that seems to imply that it increases the chance of an attack missing you, which is probably exactly the opposite of what the...
  15. GrahamWills

    Recommendations for TTRPGs with a focus on strategic combat?

    My list of tactical things: The ability to trade between defensive ability and offensive ability Ganging up makes a big difference Ability to move opposition around the battlefield Terrain effects are important Ability to apply status effects such as ongoing damage, attack or defense penalties...
  16. GrahamWills

    Rivers of London, RuneQuest Gods, Regency Cthulhu Coming Soon From Chaosium

    Good news! The most recent version of BRP, with d100 rolls allows for fumbles, failures, successes, hard successes and extreme successes! I played this weekend at Chaosium Con and it was more common than not to have degrees of success for combat, passive skills, opposed skills and well, pretty...
  17. GrahamWills

    Recommendations for TTRPGs with a focus on strategic combat?

    Hmmm. I think you might need to explain this a little more. D&D 4E is an obvious high-tactical game, and yet often has "lots of hit points". I think you might mean to exclude games where you have lots of hit points, but few ways to change how you protect or destroy them. Again, true if they are...
  18. GrahamWills

    Recommendations for TTRPGs with a focus on strategic combat?

    D&D 4E is the clear first choice here. Having played a lot of other systems, nothing comes close for tactical choices, for strategies involving multiple characters, and for terrain affecting combat. But it’s complex for players (relatively easier for GMs) so you may find it too much. It’s also...
  19. GrahamWills

    What do you think about Powered by the Apocalypse games?

    Hey all -- quick note to say thanks for a lot of excellent comments and reflections on the system. It's been super-helpful to hear everyone's point of view and the consistent tone of being helpful and supportive has been ... well ... helpful and supportive! I've been in a few PbtA discussion...
  20. GrahamWills

    What do you think about Powered by the Apocalypse games?

    And I guess this is why it doesn't work for me. It says that the focus is "see what your characters do" but in practice, because much of the time any action results in success with a complication, it seems more like the focus is "see what the world does to your character". When I play Fate, if I...
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