« first day (1642 days earlier)   

2:33 AM
o/ @Pixie
@Shalvenay Hey.
@doppelgreener Pretty cool, actually.
@KojiFox http://t.co/289UuMgZWO
@Pixie how're things going?
@Shalvenay Alright. How are you?
fine here -- although trying to figure out what should balance a strong fighting char, if social problems aren't it (and also finally getting a measure of engagement with my character's social flaws, for one)
2:47 AM
Perhaps one element you're struggling with is defining balance?
"Balance" can mean many different things, but it's often treated as some kind of objective truth.
For some, balance can mean "story-breakingly competent in one area, provided they're crippled to uselessness in another area." For others, it might be "good at a few things and competent in many, but neither auto-win nor auto-fail in any."
And so forth.
It could also mean "having at least 5 ranks in the Balance skill" - vitally important to avoid being horrifyingly crippled by Grease.
balance needs context
in real life, someone might be an exceptional jiu-jitsu practitioner. this is a martial art which is extremely hard to deal with; masters of other martial arts have been crushed by jiu-jitsu practitioners. that person could also be a perfectly socially functional human being who's a good conversationalist, fun to spend time with, gentle with people, a good listener, knows all the good places in the city to hang out and get a meal or a drink, and so on.
this is a completely probable human being, and could also be a fun character to play, and i could make him right now and play him in our atomic robo fate game and we'd get along just fine.
he doesn't need any sort of balancing, because i don't foresee him creating any problems, overshadowing anyone, and so on.
3:03 AM
This is partly because the ARRPG skill point/mode system has built-in safeguards to avoid hyper-competence across too wide a set of fields (something the FST talks about explicitly as a balance value).
yeah. even putting that aside, in atomic robo, he excels at combat and banter, but there are areas of expertise he doesn't cover, like science, vehicles, and so on. he's not inherently a master at everything the game is about, so nobody will feel overshadowed by this guy who is at least as good as they are at everything they can do.
And even in combat and social settings, he's not going to have any I-always-win buttons.
he doesn't have any flaws with regards to his technical or scientific capabilities - he might be pretty competent on his computer at home and might've gotten an A+ in all his science classes through high school - he just won't be an expert on physics to the same degree as the guy who's spent his last 20 years studying environmentally friendly weaponry.
yeah -- what I think happens is that I find myself with a metagame I-win-way-too-often button
@BESW yes, this too. he can still be tripped up socially and physically. someone can get the best of him. he's very good, but there's no concept of him being unbeatable.
@Shalvenay yes, and that is a well-explored problem you need to deal with (and which is currently banned from this room, so let's not go into it)
in general the solution to balancing your character who auto-wins too often is to stop auto-winning. in this case, this comes from your approach to the game at a meta level, and no level of in-game handicaps is likely to make up for it. if it were an in-game trait, i'd try to diagnose the cause by reflecting on play, then take a look at my sheet, see the contributors, and think: "Hmm, maybe Babbage shouldn't have Attack +4 and Weapon:8."
but if it's how I am playing, then I need to change how I'm playing - no amount of changes to my character will fix how I play. Like, I could take this martial arts guy then find a way as a player to force every conflict into a physical one or a social one, i.e. his domains of power, but that would upset the dude whose area of power is neither of those things and instead doing science.
3:14 AM
Right, we can't delve into specifics there too deeply here. But if your mode of play is overwhelming others by engineering the situation to suit whatever you're given -- if you're driven to find a way around any problem no matter what -- then giving your character problems won't help. You'll work around them.
@BESW is this a reaction or a reference, because it is very funny as a reaction x)
that works too XD
Grah. My attempt to order adorable plushes was foiled by probably overwhelming site traffic in the last half hour of their free shipping promotion. C'est la vie.
3:25 AM
Not that I really needed more anyway. :v I made the semi-mistake of ordering a large-sized Alpacasso recently. It's bigger than several of my dogs. What will I even do with this giant alpaca? Only time will tell.
3:44 AM
In less than a month, astronomers have found two separate, distinct ways to prove Ganymede has a buried ocean.
3:59 AM
That is cool.
@BESW Ocean as in H2O?
Salt water.
Geographic observation reveals that there has to be a liquid layer beneath the outer crust.
Observation of auroras says the liquid has to be electrically conductive.
These aren't new ideas--Ganymede's been suspected of having an internal ocean since the 70s--but it was unprovable until less than a month ago, when it was confirmed twice over.
Astronomy lab measurements suggest your mom must have a statistically significant gravitational pull in the solar system model.
@BESW that is cool :)
4:13 AM
As dismaying as it was to have our manned space expeditions curtailed so abruptly, it's really pushing people to see what unmanned expeditions are capable of.
i recall there are a lot of other events in scientific history where two people in two places relatively isolated from each other have nearly simultaneously come up with the same concept or found two different proofs for the same one
This is really inevitably going to put manned missions back on the table, by ramping up our understanding of the Solar System until we just have to go out ourselves because there's so much awesome stuff to poke at.
Knowing more about the nature and content of the SS means manned missions won't just be exploratory: they'll have very deliberate, actionable agendas to "go here, do this" rather than "go here, see if it's there."
@doppelgreener It's actually a fairly common theme throughout human innovation, not just in science.
@BESW also by that time we may have a better approach to the whole exiting the planet problem
That too!
It seems like humanity hits a collaborative limit break every so often, and collectively levels up.
i for one plan to bring my proposal for an intercontinental ship railgun to the UN sometime this year, only i am concerned that the paperclipped set of cocktail napkin doodles may be considered somewhat brief
4:24 AM
@doppelgreener For Stellata's concern.
@BESW nooooo ;_;
2 hours later…
6:02 AM
@BESW so, here is a thought.
stellata becoming druidic is going to be a natural development of her abilities and senses. she's already intuitively intimately connected with the natural world around her, and probably feels her best walking on living soil.
however, it's also possible that it'll become a natural development of her ambitions. i know and she knows there's places that the natural world is being destroyed, like the amazon rainforest's logging. but if stuff is becoming endangered in general, she might start to feel she has something to fight for - a world of fauna that can't fight for themselves as easily, at least, not against invasive species and the humans who move much faster than them.
however this would carry her in the direction of potentially annoying character traits, so i would want a sensible way for walking that line. she won't be someone who flinches if you step on a daisy, but she might just quietly encourage growth in the places she goes to.
Maybe keep her less about punishing the damage and more about repairing it and giving environments the tools to resist it.
7:58 AM
I wish people wouldn't downvote first questions by new users without some kind of explanation. There's been a rash of it lately, and all it does is make the site feel unwelcoming
@Phil Meta post?
@Phil Probably because there's been a rash of really awful posts, and people aren't willing to put the effort in to explain downvotes on all of them. (Disclaimer: "people" here includes me.)
8:25 AM
@BESW there's at least one existing post on meta already dealing with the same subject
2 hours later…
10:13 AM
@Pixie that would work well
plus she could like... encourage a root system to engorge so she can use it to her advantage. and then leave it there, healthily (mostly) grown and stronger than before.
She might also be invested in finding non-destructive solutions to humanity's resource needs.
The influx of magic might have potential there.
@BESW isn't that also part of what doctor light wants to do?
except slightly less down to earth
"using this machine we can convert PURE SOLAR ENERGY into FOOD for YEARS!" "sir this machine is lethally radioactive within a one kilometre radius"
"...so we install it on the moon. Obviously."
1 hour later…
11:20 AM
@BESW hahaha yes.
@doppelgreener It's only logical.
12:13 PM
Good morning
@best I've added Guam to my cellphone's timezones so I canbetter know when in the future you are
Nice autocorrect.
@BESW i wonder if babbage has caught up with the latest news that the moon is uninhabited
12:29 PM
And/or believes it.
that as well :)
Q: How can I improve my question so that it is re-opened?

Ascar LanthirWhen I logged in today hoping to see new answers, I was surprised when I found that my question was on hold. The notice has flagged it as too broad. There was one comment suggesting that system-agnostic is an inappropriate tag, but that is it. To the six users who put my question on hold, what...

1 hour later…
1:43 PM
back on a real PC
yeah, same on that front, was mobile all weekend...though was visiting family so no chatting for me
2:01 PM
bleh 2 more days and Im done with this old apt stuff
just have to finish cleanin tonight and tomorrow
awesome :)
getting into and out of a place is a serious hassle
yeah, security deposit, probably not seeing that lol
lol, yeah I think we got halfish of ours in our last place. Our first place didn't even have a sec deposit because it was so trashed.
now we own so if we ever want to get out we have to get it presentable first
basically the contrater who did the work for the place before we moved did a really lame job and they used cheap materials
so the wood laminate floor in the living room has worn out the veneer where my desk chair is
and the floor was never level in the kitchen so tiles have cracked
and the whole kitchen cabinet assembly is wonky
They were planning to renovate it anyway
so maybe they wont take itall
I dont know
might want to check your rights and obligations in your tenancy agreement
2:06 PM
right, Im fine if I lose it all as I would rather not care
"the floor broke because we used it" doesn't make paying for repairs to the floor your obligation, for instance
oh you were saying that side
yeah I'll wait an dsee what happenes
(that's a sentence i never thought i'd write)
my friends recently moved out of a house that was a total wreck
then the real estate agent sent them a big repair bill with all sorts of problems which would've eaten up most of their deposit
they replied back saying: the house was in terrible shape when we got there, prove based on the entry report that we did it.
... turns out someone hadn't followed up on the paperwork properly and there was no entry report completed. if there was, it still would've listed the house as being in a mostly irrecoverable state in the beginning.
they got out just paying for some water bills and that was it.
(also i dunno about there but in Australia, if you can't agree with your home's property manager over what portion of the bond should be refunded, you can fill out a bond form yourself, and if the property manager disagrees some processes get followed. probably the house being made poorly is going to put things on your side.)
2:12 PM
yeah philly has some pretty ironclad tenant rights and laws
in my own previous tenancy the owner got some gardeners and cleaners in, and from the itemised bill it looks like they did proper cleanup which we didn't have the time to do but the gardeners and cleaners also did a bunch of work which improved the house beyond what it was like when we started the tenancy. we worked it out and split things 50/50 rather than 0/100 (which seemed relatively fair, going off the cleaning descriptions).
@JoshuaAslanSmith excellent
yeah, like I said we shall see what happens, turn in the keys on august 1st
Sorry April
keep them as an april fool's joke
break into the house next year as an april fool's joke, the cops will understand i am sure
anyway i think i was saying some of that in part because i hadn't spoken much about that and i was involved in both things happening and it felt so good
2:21 PM
@doppelgreener heh, SOP in the US (And certainly somewhere like Philly) is to change all the locks
@waxeagle sounds reasonable, tenants could've kept spare keys and all
they even put new garage locks on at the new apt
also if the walls get dinged or stained its no biggie since painting is required by philly between tenants
huh. that sounds a little bit excessive but i am sure it works out fine.
its a public health thing
2 hours later…
4:23 PM
In the news - Gen Con threatened to relocate out of Indiana due to bill signed by Governor Pence on Thursday: files.gencon.com/Gen_Con_Statement_Regarding_SB101.pdf
@RobertF yep, been floating around for a bit
Secretly I'm hoping Gen Con does move farther east & closer to my home, although in truth Indiana is probably close to the "center of mass" of RPG players in the United States.
its like whatevz
im still super annoyed at WOTC about their gen con moves last year
I know gencon is so much more
id probably would go for the boardgaems if it was somewhere else
What did WOTC do last year?
So 5e is going to release later in the fall, theres this big level 1-10 adventure using the final playtest ruleset with a bunch of the world lore built in that they decide to release a gen con exclusive
no word on an eventual digital release
months go by
PHB comes out
then in late decemeber they release the adventure via drivethrurpg
4:29 PM
@JoshuaAslanSmith wasn't htat Gencon 2 years ago?
at a point where youd need to do some heavy balancing and importing to make it work ith the 5e phb rules
ah yes it was 2 years ago
so move that timeline back a year
and the story still holds true
Whatever happened to the company that was going to publish a digital character creation sheet for 5e? They couldn't meet a deadline, or their product was too buggy?
@RobertF no clue, WOTC cut the cord
they tried to launch a KS as a PF product, but didn't make 1/4 of what they were asking (which was a healthy 400k)
There was no full disclosure of the reasons, probably for some very good legal reasons
from the roundabout way some of the laid off or still with the company employees talked about it though it seems like they had lots of delays and WOTC had the option contractually to kill it
From my experience with their "beta" and the fact that baseline PC building features were lacking right away and the UI was the worst I can fully understand why
I mean they were and are a digital book licensing and accessibility platform developer, not an RPG manager developer and it showed
@JoshuaAslanSmith A lot of people were saying they liked the UI but I can't understand why. It was pretty rough.
4:44 PM
those people were not real people
those people still probably play Neverwinter nights
@JoshuaAslanSmith I suspect they were Silurians.
Im not even talking about aesthetic appearances (though I also agree that sucked, but just the UX to use their UI was so bad, ]
@JoshuaAslanSmith I never tested it. But with a UI that looked like that, I would have been floored if the UX wasn't awful.
like 10 different pages in a single character sheet
They should just tap the people who do HeroLab for it and get out of the way of the incoming awesome.
4:46 PM
part of it is they were trying to make the mobile and PC design exactly the same
so wasting a ton of PC screen real estate
@JoshuaAslanSmith Responsive design is a good thing in general, but it doesn't happen by magic.
I mean I like that they had an open ticket system for their beta to create a user driven experience, its just like, why did you not have test groups far, far earlier
the beta also felt kinda deathmarchy, like they were trying to show WOTC they could still do it
@JoshuaAslanSmith Ugh, that sucks.
close votes
Q: How Can I GM the Arts and Sciences?

the dark wandererMany RPGs provide a detailed game system for combat, which determines the limitations of various characters and provides a metaphysics in which equally 'powerful' characters-- characters who are equally 'good at combat'-- can be differentiated from each other. No system I am aware of provides a ...

But WotC's touch is death for everything digital, so I'm not surprised.
4:51 PM
as a late 4e player I was very happy with insider's feature set
I wish the virtual tabletop was not a forlorn beta experience, but it still worked properly with all the rest of the tools
it was functional
@JoshuaAslanSmith Someone needs to learn about more games. Ars Magica, or GURPS, or...
@SevenSidedDie we just keep getting these "find me a system or make me a system to do X in any game I want to play"
@JoshuaAslanSmith Yeah, but it took them all the years of 4e's life to get there, only to shut it down once it was decent. I can't imagine the money pit that was.
insider is stil up
I never bought a single book, and they were still releasing a splat or 2 when I got into 4e
@JoshuaAslanSmith Oh, it's thedarkwanderer. As in, should know better. I noticed the "I would like an overview" at the end, but man alive, the number of games that do what they're looking for is a mountain.
@JoshuaAslanSmith Is it? I knew they were going to keep it going "as long as it's feasible". I wasn't sure how long that would actually be, so good on 'em for that.
4:55 PM
Yeah there is a good system optimization question OR a system recommendation question in there, somewehre
yeah I mean I dont have an account, I let my payment lapse when I got a new bank card since I wasnt playing and was only using it to answer 4e questions here (which dropped off with 5es release)
@JoshuaAslanSmith I don't think a game-rec can be pulled out of there though. I sense a lack of further requirements, which would make narrowing it clunky and artificial. SE might be an excellent hammer, but this need a wrench and a forum is an excellent wrench. "I want a game that does non-combat stuff awesome" is something a forum will excel at.
Id like to hope WOTC somehow releases the library as a paid product at some point, I'd totally throw them dollars to get access to the compendium, the character builder, and the monster builder
oh I agree that it is best served by a forum
users dont tend to like that suggestion though
@JoshuaAslanSmith users can lump it. I don't like trying to accommodate the impulse to use SE for all things. I do think it's awesome and I understand the impulse, but that impulse is bad for the site.
While on the topic of game optimization... have you guys ever tried competitive player vs. player campaigns in D&D? Or is D&D better suited to cooperative games where the players work togetehr to beat up on the bad guys?
@JoshuaAslanSmith I'd be very surprised if they did that, given Hasbro overlords. But, with Hasbro backing off the WotC division and letting them do their thing, maybe it'll happen?
5:01 PM
@SevenSidedDie Oh I just mean you can lead a student to knowledge but you cannot make him think, thats all
@JoshuaAslanSmith Yes, fully agree on that. :)
D&D sucks for competitive play
basically everything comes down to initiative and goblin dice rolls
@RobertF I've played a few "battle area" style one-shots before, but D&D really doesn't do well in that kind of play.
your wizard crit inititave? He casts fireball at the grouped enemy party who havent moved yet, you win, feel great, enemy team doesnt enjoy it at all
Ha, yes I can see that would be a problem.
5:04 PM
4e was probably the edition most likely to be able to handle this, and even then its still really terrible
It works a bit better if you have team vs team, because the micro-scale swingyness gets smoothed over. But if one side is more charoppy than the other, the macro-scale swingyness can be magnified.
maybe if you drafted from a pool of pre gens (moba style)
but yeah you're better off finding a boardgame that models that kind of thing but is actually balanced vs trying to do it in most RPG systems
especially with D&D and D&D clones
There are some very well-made tournament/gladiator boardgames out there. I've been out of the loop for too long to recommend any (except Gladiator (from 1981!)), but they're out there.
Boardgames would work, and there are plenty of PvP dungeon adventure/hex crawl boardgames. But D&D does have the advantage for encouraging out of the box tactical solutions.
For PvP that's not exclusively combat-based, there are a bunch of good RPGs too. Houses of the Blooded is one.
Most of the *World games are also good at PvP conflict (conflict as opposed to combat, mind). Burning Wheel is awesome for PvP conflict and combat, as is The Riddle of Steel.
5:09 PM
@SevenSidedDie - Thx for ther suggestions, I'll check those out
@RobertF The last two take a lot of player skill though, and it's completely unlike the skills needed in grid-based games like D&D though. Oh, and TRoS is OOP. For its in-print successor you might look at Blade of the Iron Throne.
What about a scavenger hunt type D&D campaign, where teams are racing to collect the most treasure? Suppose there would have to be rules curtailing players simply murdering each other at the start of the game for the quick win. Maybe they start out in different villages.
@SevenSidedDie I suspect he's phrasing things like that to further justify his views on the couple of meta questions about idea solicitation questions and game survey questions
which would also explain the 'overview' tag he's just created
@RobertF D&D would probably work really well for that. In fact, AD&D tournaments worked much like that, with parties competing to do the same dungeon best.
@RobertF that is essentially a tournament/con module that should just be run with a 1 party per table and a score system
compare scores at end
@phil where is this tag so I can destroy it lol
5:14 PM
waiting to be approved
@Phil Yeah. There's no community support for that view, so it's futile.
but he's pushing and pushing anyway :)
and I don't think its going to go away any time soon
@Phil That's how it's done, so fair enough. It's a bit questionable to take it to main when it's not got support on meta, but there's sorta support for a different pro-overview view on meta...
yeah I get that - it just bugs me that he seems to be deliberately constructing questions in such a way to support the view rather than waiting for them to naturally occur
5:17 PM
I think mxy sorta supports it for oldschool D&D questions but I think that is just his old school D&D questions bias
and cause one got in early in the site before we had decided truly that such questions wer junk
and I can certainly see no scenario where you would want to do a search for all 'overview' questions, so why the tag?
I can see a tournie style game would work where there's no interaction between teams. Yea, things get complicated once you introduce PvP options. The other option is have one player or team running the bad guys based in the dungeon while the other team plays the dungeon delvers.
@RobertF There should at some point be a ruleset for this for d20Monkey's game Karthun, his last Karthun story arc was a similar idea

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