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What is the point of GM's notes?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I... how the H-E-double-hockey-sticks can you min-max BIFTs?! I really need to know because this is utterly alien to any thought I have in my head.
It's not really min-maxing, but you can choose a flaw or a FLAW. Not all are equally negative. You can minimize how bad for your character the flaw is likely to be. You can also choose ideals, etc. the same way. The ideal of tradition is less likely to garner good will and future reward than the ideal of charity is. Or if keeping your hard won loot is more your thing, you'd pick power over charity. There are better and worse choices to make for your character.
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
It's not really min-maxing, but you can choose a flaw or a FLAW. Not all are equally negative. You can minimize how bad for your character the flaw is likely to be. You can also choose ideals, etc. the same way. The ideal of tradition is less likely to garner good will and future reward than the ideal of charity is. Or if keeping your hard won loot is more your thing, you'd pick power over charity. There are better and worse choices to make for your character.
I suppose, but the rewards are so meager that it seems to me like a lot of work for a reward of thin gruel. It's nothing like picking, i.e., Disadvantages in Champions, where you want more points for less actual in-play cost.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I suppose, but the rewards are so meager that it seems to me like a lot of work for a reward of thin gruel. It's nothing like picking, i.e., Disadvantages in Champions, where you want more points for less actual in-play cost.
It depends on who you are charitable to I suppose. Sometimes having a place to hide where you have someone loyal and won't give you away is worth more than a pile of gold. Sometimes the person is just at a down point in life and will return to power and be able to help you considerably for your favors. And there are also other traits that can be chosen for PC gain, instead of neutral or bad.

I also agree with you, which is why I opened with, "It's not really min-maxing..." ;)
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
It depends on who you are charitable to I suppose. Sometimes having a place to hide where you have someone loyal and won't give you away is worth more than a pile of gold. Sometimes the person is just at a down point in life and will return to power and be able to help you considerably for your favors. And there are also other traits that can be chosen for PC gain, instead of neutral or bad.

I also agree with you, which is why I opened with, "It's not really min-maxing..." ;)
I like the idea of having Patrons, advantages and disadvantages etc.... but I think I'd prefer them to be separate subsystems to prevent manipulation. Starting the game with some allies is a good thing. This is something that 13th Age did well. Not endorsing that game for other reasons but I liked that aspect of it.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I would say the 5 minute work day runs through all the "children" of Gygax which includes the early editions of D&D and a bunch of offshoots since. Not all of them are OSR but many are of course. They all seem to tout the old school feel though which it seems to me must be something they think people these days yearn for.
OSR play significantly deempahsizes the 5 minute work day. There are far less per day abilities and far less per day healing. A greater emphasis on resource management also makes the 5MWD less appealing because there are significantly more pressures on the party's time due to things like food and torch use, things that are laughably hand wave-y in 5E and newer editions. The newer the edition, generally speaking, the more you deal with 5 minute workday style play. Pointing to OSR play here is probably a mistake on your part.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
OSR play significantly deempahsizes the 5 minute work day. There are far less per day abilities and far less per day healing. A greater emphasis on resource management also makes the 5MWD less appealing because there are significantly more pressures on the party's time due to things like food and torch use, things that are laughably hand wave-y in 5E and newer editions. The newer the edition, generally speaking, the more you deal with 5 minute workday style play. Pointing to OSR play here is probably a mistake on your part.
In my experience, it was prevalent in every edition from Basic on up. You pretty virtually every party had spellcasters and it was almost always the better choice to keep them rested to get spells back. Especially if you had a cleric for magic healing. Magic healing = overnight healing when you get high enough level.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
In my experience, it was prevalent in every edition from Basic on up. You pretty virtually every party had spellcasters and it was almost always the better choice to keep them rested to get spells back. Especially if you had a cleric for magic healing. Magic healing = overnight healing when you get high enough level.
High level play is the least common play tier, so why is that the yardstick? I'd also submit that played with strict attention to detail on the resource side, this isn't how B/X or BECMI actually play, and certainly not at low or mid tier. I was specifically addressing the 5 minute workday remember, which isn't just about healing, but also blowing nova abilities, a thing that those editions don't really have.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
High level play is the least common play tier, so why is that the yardstick?
It's not. The 5 minute work day is actually more prevalent at lower levels than high levels. First, when you only have 1-4 spells per day to cast(levels 1-4), you rest a whole lot after fights so that the spellcaster(s) can get back into combat. Second, you can start fully or nearly fully healing the entire party overnight at mid levels, not high levels.

At high levels you have enough spells that you don't have to rest after every fight and can fully heal everyone who needs it multiple times before needing to rest, so occurrences of the 5 minute work day go down a bit.
I'd also submit that played with strict attention to detail on the resource side, this isn't how B/X or BECMI actually play, and certainly not at low or mid tier. I was specifically addressing the 5 minute workday remember, which isn't just about healing, but also blowing nova abilities, a thing that those editions don't really have.
No, they didn't really "nova," but they did run out of resources after 1 fight at low levels. Unless of course the wizard ineffectually attacked with a staff or daggers. The cleric could at least wear armor, so fighting wasn't a God awful choice.
 

It's not really min-maxing, but you can choose a flaw or a FLAW. Not all are equally negative. You can minimize how bad for your character the flaw is likely to be. You can also choose ideals, etc. the same way. The ideal of tradition is less likely to garner good will and future reward than the ideal of charity is. Or if keeping your hard won loot is more your thing, you'd pick power over charity. There are better and worse choices to make for your character.
Yeah, there's definitely an element of this. You also see the flipside, though, with people leaning so heavily into their stuff that it borders on "you have to be bad at things in order to roleplay!" territory. I have seen plenty of "but that's my character's alignment/flaw/whatever!" excuses in the past, in various games I've played.

I, personally, prefer to go for flaws that are relatable but not debilitating: often pride, wrath, or indecision. The latter is especially valuable because it allows even "you did the right thing" to still logically and appropriately express the flaw, because doing the right thing late can sometimes be just as bad as doing the wrong thing. Agonizing over what choice to make is also very, very relatable for a lot of people.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yeah, there's definitely an element of this. You also see the flipside, though, with people leaning so heavily into their stuff that it borders on "you have to be bad at things in order to roleplay!" territory. I have seen plenty of "but that's my character's alignment/flaw/whatever!" excuses in the past, in various games I've played.

I, personally, prefer to go for flaws that are relatable but not debilitating: often pride, wrath, or indecision. The latter is especially valuable because it allows even "you did the right thing" to still logically and appropriately express the flaw, because doing the right thing late can sometimes be just as bad as doing the wrong thing. Agonizing over what choice to make is also very, very relatable for a lot of people.
Yeah. I've seen that flipside as well. Personally, I just look for whichever one fits my character concept the best and go with it. Whether that's the best, most debilitating, or somewhere in-between. Of course, if there are two choices that are equally valid, I'll go with the less debilitating of the two. ;)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'd also submit that played with strict attention to detail on the resource side, this isn't how B/X or BECMI actually play, and certainly not at low or mid tier.

How any RPG plays is a combination of the rules, adventure design, and GM runtime choices. No D&D plays just one way.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
How any RPG plays is a combination of the rules, adventure design, and GM runtime choices. No D&D plays just one way.
This is a tad lazy -- you haven't explained how @Fenris-77 is incorrect in his assertion (which I believe is largely correct), just offered a fairly obvious statement that games have a range of ways they can be played within their rules. This statement does nothing to refute @Fenris-77's statement, but it seems to want to try to. Just not very hard, mind.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This is a tad lazy

You probably want to get out of the habit of making public assessments about people's internal states as a way of dismissing what they say. Including this makes it about me the author, and my dedication to effort, rather than about any logic. That's not appropriate. So, don't do it.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You probably want to get out of the habit of making public assessments about people's internal states as a way of dismissing what they say.
The argument was lazy, I wasn't making any comment on your habits or behaviors. So, yeah, I guess that you should get out of the habit of making public assessments about people's internal states as a way of dismissing what they say, eh? Given you isolated this one thing and didn't have anything to say on the larger point (which the grammatical structure of the sentence you quoted indicates is an expansion of the bit your snipped out, and clearly shows that it refers to the argument made), I'd suppose this is much more relevant advice for you.
 


This is effectively you saying "analysis of systems design is pointless".
Honestly, any honest analysis, in my view also probably ought to account for what Umbran says here.

Also the ‘lazy x’ is kind of vague and overused (and assumed you know how much effort was exerted in something). I find it is often used when someone simply doesn’t like something.
 


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