The rules pretty much explicitly tell you to be reasonable about judging whether somebody can actually hide, and so I don’t understand how you can make an argument that the RAW tell you not to use your judgment.
Like, the way I read the rules is, “You can hide behind cover, but not if somebody can obviously still see you, duh”
Whereas he was trying to tell me that you can hide behind a glass wall unless the rules explicitly tell you that you can’t.
The RAW says unreasonable things quite frequently, and then attempts to compensate by telling you to ignore the RAW when you find it unreasonable. This doesn't make the RAW stop saying unreasonable things.
Right. The rules are trying to simultaneously be extremely abstract (such as defining "cover" as a generic condition regardless of what grants it) and simulationist (by then introducing dozens of caveats to the generic condition), which produces bizarre interactions when the simulationist caveats interact with effects which assume the generic condition.
Like, “The rules also do not recognize anything as partially hidden, so the tower shield is hidden if you are.” Except that the rules don’t mandate how you must describe somebody hidden behind a shield.
So in the rare case where somebody comes up with a plausible way to hide behind a shield such that everyone in sight doesn’t just say “Oh yeah, it’s that dumb guy,” then you can describe it however you like, which need not be absurd.
I just don’t see how you can argue that the absurd interpretation is the rules fault here, unless you’re reading stuff into the rules to make them absurd.
(To be clear: I'm not taking either "side" in this. I don't care enough to research it to have an informed opinion on the actual ruling. I'm just being amused by how easily the rules fold over on themselves.)
This question just kinda bugs me, because not only is it a dumb rules trick question that any reasonable person should read the right way, but also the top-voted answer is validating a perverse reading of the rules instead of just saying, “this is a stupid rules trick and here’s why it doesn’t work, which is in the very next paragraph”
It’s another kind of system bashing, albeit a subtler one.
The game publisher who does Fate games, among others.
@BraddSzonye One of the attractions of 3.5 for many of its users is the legalistic minigame. Focusing on the legal reasons why it doesn't work might be more productive, because challenging it on common sense grounds seems to be a challenge to the frame of the question.
@BESW Speaking of challenging the frame, more than one of KRyan’s answers challenge the frame of D&D by ignoring the fact that RPG designers, even D&D’s, often expect you to apply real-world knowledge to guide interpretation.
He has a fundamental assumption that if it isn’t written in the rules, it isn’t real. But that isn’t a useful assumption for interpreting D&D rules (or most other RPGs)
> When the character finally fails her Constitution check, she begins to drown. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hp). In the following round, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she drowns.
The problem lies in an assumption that everyone's got the same real-world assumptions and "common sense." This is demonstrably untrue, and so the only common ground we can have in discussing the rules is the text itself.
A sane person says, “That’s cute, the authors could have written that better. We will apply the rules in the way that actually makes sense.” I’ve met rules lawyers who would in all seriousness think they should benefit from the loophole. And I’ve met bashers who propose this as a serious criticism of the game, rather than a criticism of obnoxious rules laywering.
I could sympathize with the bashers more if it were not so blatantly an example of rules lawyering stupid loopholes that nobody ever intended or thinks are a good idea.
@BESW That isn’t the criticism here though, is it?
Note how KRyan’s answer isn’t “The authors could have written this better, but here’s what it means.” Instead, he says that the rules offer no caveat to prevent the absurd result, even though there are huge caveats in the same and the following paragraph.
Fate runs on narrative conventions, and willing suspension of belief is a big one. So it’s a valid criticism to say that the game easily lets you get results that strain willing suspension of disbelief.
The blind sniper problem is sort of a death by thousand cuts problem.
@BESW That’s a reasonable answer to the problem if the group can agree on how much is too much. Otherwise you’re going to get arguments between people who find it unbelievable and people who find it just peachy.
@Smurfton That's not too big a deal though, depending. The crazy part is, well, you're blind and a good distance away. Narratively, it's pretty unreasonable you'll even know where you're aiming. (Making the "in my sights" advantage very strange, and probably unjustifiable.)
For me, "system" is the text (in the literary theory sense): not just the rules, but the agreed-upon reference which guides the game. It includes the manual's explanation of its philosophy, if it has any, and house rules, and so forth. A group will individually choose what its text is. Most groups which use a particular publication will assume they share the majority of the text with other groups using the same publication--which lets us talk to each other, but can lead to miscommunications.
But for RPG.SE answers, we only have the published source material as common system texts and it's really hard to give answers which draw on outside system texts--that's why Back It Up is so important, like requiring experience-based insights.
@Smurfton Total cover is being behind something, such that you can't draw a straight line from creature A to creature B without touching anything but air. This blocks line of effect, but isn't necessarily concealment, which blocks line of sight.
[pokes ToC adventure] Really, adventure? Only one guy on the ship is from Arkham, and he's the bad guy? Really? There's separation of player and character knowledge, and then there's poking suspension of disbelief with pointy sticks.
[changes the town]
(There's no reason for his association with Arkham in the narrative, except that it's a Mythos story and Arkham is a Mythos town.)
@Smurfton By contrast NetHack gives me ample food most of the time, and the hard decision is just how much to carry because it's heavy... and my deaths are mostly of my own folly, or occasionally encountering a far too difficult monster without a means to escape.
This is a great adventure, but it's got too much busywork and it couldn't figure out a graceful way to let the investigators piece the story together themselves so it shoves an awkward exposition dump into the second act.
And personally, I have no interest in giving the investigators a fair chance of figuring out the whole story at all.
I much prefer my Mythos horror to end with "Hooray! We stopped... a... thing... probably? Our brains aren't melting anymore, anyway. Take the win."
> "Any alien encounter you don't wind up dead or probed, take the win." - Peacemaker, Blue Beetle 13
If a party could possibly have no resources that refresh in anything more than a few hours, rewarding XP only in encounters in which resources measured in days or wealth have been consumed is not a good plan.
@Lord_Gareth Last time I took my players somewhere truly extradimensional, it was in a 4e game, and the Far Realm looked like an Arizona desert oasis with blood instead of water, where the air was filled with tentacled bubbles.
@trogdor I agree with this, I've read one or two of his books and rather than actually being scary he just told me I should be scared. He'd describe mountains as scary by just throwing a load of adjectives at them saying how scary they are - not by actually describing them in a way that made me reach the conclusion myself that they are scary.
The problem with his work--and definitely with many of the authors who follow in his footsteps-- often comes from over explaining, or showing too much.
This is something I'm taking issue with in the adventure I'm re-working: by explaining what's going on, it makes the events understandable and even mundane.
When you're told the horrific events you're experiencing are just the interdimensional equivalent of coaxing a couple of pandas to mate, it loses that "atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces."
I'm afraid of Yog-Sothoth when he's holding an inseminator, but it's not a cosmic fear.
I discovered that RPG.SE apparently follows the policy that if the question changes, answers get deleted and then un-deleted if they update, as opposed to if the question changes, asking another question.
The word policy meaning "that is what a mod did" in this case
Tonight, the party prepared to kill the Warden hunting them. Then he reminded them that his death would bring the wrath of the White Council on the island, and said if they refused to surrender he'd call the feds to arrest everyone on the island for collusion with the gang based there.
So they faked their deaths in a massive explosion.