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1:01 PM
@kviiri Yes. The runs need to be pretty carefully designed in advance since a large part of the game typically is the players trying to scout the location and get all sorts of useful intel. Trying to improvise such intel usually goes awry rather quickly in my experience
 
@ACuriousMind Yep, it does :P
I'm also a big fan of retroactive planning moves
I mean, we've tried some systems heavy on actual planning, but it never has been quite fun because of analysis paralysis
 
Retroactive planning can be great for some tables and systems, but at least for my group, a large part of the enjoyment of a Shadowrun comes from the careful and detailed plan the players made in advance falling apart when being confronted with something they overlooked. Then chaos usually ensues :)
 
Yeah, Shadowrun is not probably the best fit for it because planning in advance is to my knowledge a huge part of the game.
...by design, even!
 
Well, you can certainly play it differently - the players don't need to be traditional runners after all, even if that is the default assumption
A team exploring some of the more heavily magically distorted regions of the world would have a rather different flavour and less planning, I imagine
 
Retroactive planning is just one of those things that's really hard to ease into the mind of player who has only ever played in the most traditional manner possible. It is certainly a rather large paradigm shift from the traditionally linear RPG time.
...although I'd argue DnD needs it more than AW
 
1:13 PM
@kviiri I don't think any system "needs" it. Retroactive planning is great for those with a narrative focus, but it is anathema to those more interested in the simulation aspect - a simulation runs forward in time, period. As you say, it's a paradigm shift to introduce it, but I wouldn't claim that the paradigm necessarily needs to be shifted - it wholly depends on what your goals are.
 
mornin
 
@ACuriousMind Well, simulationist playing can substitute with a great degree of GM integrity
But it has rather significant challenges.
 
[cough] For subsets of "simulation" which meet that definition.
 
Yeah
 
"Simulation" doesn't inherently mean "simulating reality." It's about taking any given non-RPG paradigm and reproducing it as accurately as possible within an RPG context.
 
1:22 PM
I personally take it as a sort of a red flag when the GM assures they'll be "fair" and "will just try to represent what's happening in the world as closely as possible, without bias".
 
 
so the book store that literally just opened less than a month ago in the mall in my city... is being liquidated because the chain is liquidating all of its stores
 
@DForck42 Ouch :/
 
hoping to snag a book or two
 
Is it a general bookstore or a specialized one?
 
1:26 PM
@kviiri general
basically, a smaller version of barnes and noble
 
in The Reading Room, Oct 29 at 2:18, by BESW
> Before anything else, grammar itself renders [objectivity] impossible. I, being a subject, cannot become the object. I can view the object, but I will never be objective because the object in question is not me. If it were, it would become the subject, and thus we return to where we started. (source)
 
@BESW This is something I have to really think about, because it makes a lot of sense intuitively, but I can't come up with any particularly good examples right off the top of my head.
 
yesterday, by doppelspooker
@THiebert I've had several games and several kinds of stories with @trogdor and @BESW, and a couple with another group, and I'm beginning to learn & appreciate that it really, really helps to have a vision everyone shares and agrees on. We've played a few sessions in a Stargate SG-13 game (a team invented to explore some plot never touched on in the Stargate SG-1 series) and I think it's our most successful yet; we understand all its tropes and what we can & can't do.
 
@BESW Man, English is hard.
@BESW Ah yes, so in this instance simulation would be respecting the SG lore?
Or rather, the rules of the SG lore.
 
Right.
 
1:30 PM
Yeah, now I get what you mean and yep, that opens some new insights
 
For example, fighting is rarely the lasting solution to a problem; fighting is what you do to survive long enough to find the solution.
 
I know almost nothing about SG apart from the fact that Richard Dean Anderson was in it :)
 
Every genre has rules.
 
Yep
One of my intents in the #2 Campaign was to reconcile the genre of the mechanics with the genre of the narrative as much as possible
 
In noir stories, nobody can be fully trusted and nobody gets a really happy ending. Superhero stories have complexly intra-referential narratives.
 
1:32 PM
@BESW when in doubt, science up some s***
 
@DForck42 Actually, a significant theme in SG-1 is friendship as the primary sustainable solution to major problems.
 
It's almost as if friendship was somehow magical...
:ponderous_visage:
 
You can often science your way out of problem of the week, but the season arcs are solved by trusting people and being worthy of trust, by forging alliances and cooperating with each other.
 
@BESW aka, the "don't be a dick" methodology of constructing allies
 
It's one of the things I like about the show, which I didn't actually figure out was what I liked until very late in the game.
 
1:35 PM
Incidentally I'm writing a seminar paper on trust at the moment, although it's from a very mathematical POV :)
 
@BESW yeah, and atlantis didnt' stick to that in the same way, and suffered for it
 
@BESW This happens to me all the time, something just clicks right with me and only through long reflection and contrast I figure out what it was.
 
Nov 7 '16 at 13:55, by BESW
That got loosely adapted into a TV series called Stargate SG-1, about a team of humanity's best and brightest facing overwhelming odds and triumphing through making good moral choices in tough situations. I'm a big fan of the early/middle seasons.
Nov 7 '16 at 13:57, by BESW
Then there was a spinoff, Stargate: Atlantis, about a bunch of dysfunctional geniuses scraping by on the skin of their teeth establishing a foothold in a distant galaxy while being their own worst enemies. It's popular, but not quite my thing.
Nov 7 '16 at 13:58, by BESW
That was followed by Stargate: Universe, which is about a bunch of incompetent jerks infighting while stuck on a spaceship they can't operate. I'm not a fan, and it got cancelled relatively quickly given the franchise's prior records.
I call it The Stargate Declining Plane of Likeable Characters.
 
I think I'm sold. I'm quite eager to get some good TV in my life while waiting for season 4 of Better Call Saul.
 
(Unfortunately the entire first season of SG-1, up to but not including the season finale, is seriously shaky and often dives head-first into the bad kind of cringe.)
 
1:44 PM
@BESW stargate universe getting cancelled was the best part of stargate universe
 
@doppelspooker There were a couple of episodes where I almost liked it! But major characters kept surviving them.
 
@BESW i watched a handful and it is not the kind of thing i watch stargate for. i think trying to attach the stargate name to it was a mistake. without that, though, it also would've been cancelled, and probably not even had a chance of mild popularity.
 
@BESW well, also in the first series, the seasons 3 to 6 did decline in plot-likeability, only the last 2 seasons did rescue the whole thing with the Uri war as an overarching backdrop giving the whole thing coherence again
 
I dunno, if it hadn't been tied to the Stargate lore it might've been able to be whatever it actually wanted to be.
@Trish You've got your season numbering wrong, and we'll have to agree to disagree on the Ori being a saving grace.
(I do think that season 2 and maybe 3 were probably the most solid in many ways, but up through 7 or 8 all had good things to commend them. I found the Ori in seasons 9 and 10 thematically nonsensical and a total departure from the show's foundational thesis.)
 
@BESW the numbering might be wrong, but a huge part after the third or fourth season up to the second to last one was... "just another planet... what will they mess up this time? Plunge another civilisation into chaos? Kill another Goa'uld? Resue another Tok'ra?" - the Ori were... they were not the best, but at least they provided a somewhat glorious finale to a season that had declined into rinse and repeat.
 
1:51 PM
(Seasons 2 through 8 were fun. The Ori seasons weren't fun. They were brutal and nasty. Even the attempts at humor were unpleasantly often at the expense of characters' dignity.)
 
Well, true, the 2 to 8 were somewhat fun, but sooooo many episodes felt "filler" between the realy good ones that carried metaplot
 
Stargate SG-1 was made in an era when shows had filler, because of behind-the-scenes pressures for syndication, among other things. It's part of the medium.
 
@BESW it also started on hbo or showtime, so nudity
 
(Look at Buffy, which was airing at roughly the same time. Numfar! Dance the dance of redundant filler!)
 
True, but most of some series felt like they had to no particular order, no references to earlier stuff but a general "reminds me of <insert season 1 or 2>
 
1:54 PM
@DForck42 [face/palm] Pretty much just the one scene in the pilot, thankfully.
 
Buffy was just a mess...
 
@BESW yeah
but it felt weird and out of place when I last watched it
 
@BESW yeah, i agree with that. as-is all i remember is "terrible people on a big grey spaceship" and that takes some care to make enjoyable.
 
@BESW lol
 
1:56 PM
@BESW REDUNDANT filler!? How, pray tell, does filler get redundant? Also let me grab my safety blanket.
[wraps up in safety blanket]
Okay, I'm ready for this.
 
@doppelspooker Those parts of my brain boiled out of my ears in self-defense, I can't remember details.
 
How 'bout the same filler plot getting repeated for every filler episode? no wait, that is an recursive filler... or itterative if they make it more bland each time.
 
@doppelspooker It kinda makes sense in the context of the pilot producers obviously not having nailed down how the show's tone would be different from the film's... Emmerich's Stargate was in part a grand, bombastic homage to pulp scifantasy epics, and gratuitous nudity wouldn't have been surprising if they'd chosen to go in that direction for the show.
 
@BESW at this point i'm just assuming it's filler that repeats previous episodes or plot points. "let's create the same character complication we already created last season and re-explore the same character flaws!"
 
I'm very glad they didn't; that's part of the pulp scifantasy genre we can do without repeating too much.
 
2:00 PM
@BESW also gratuitous nudity probably would've made the original movie even weirder
 
@doppelspooker There was definitely a lot of that. Xander gets seduced by the demonic femme fatale of the week (though I liked when they played his becoming Dracula's Renfeld in exactly the same way), for example.
 
@doppelspooker yes
 
In a season six episode Buffy said, "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday." (Buffy aired on Tuesdays.)
 
@BESW Hah!
 
@BESW I'm reading about the vow of peace thanks to that question about it. It forbids hurting creatures, or incapacitating creatures so that they can be hurt. Notably, though, it doesn't forbid killing creatures, and it permits nonlethal damage. Suddenly I'm thinking of your library lich, and how he'd be completely fine with its constraints, and how it'd be funny because "vow of peace" means a completely different sense of peace for him.
 
2:05 PM
[sigh] Yet another example of D&D 3.5 utterly failing to reconcile its mechanics with its fluff.
 
Let's fix the problem with more fluff and mechanics!
 
 
@BESW lol
 
vow of peace: a thousand delayed sonic explosions go off at once. for hundreds of miles around, a great voice booms: "QUIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEET DOOOOOOWWWN!!!". everyone in the city center is found deceased. nothing is particularly amiss, other than three books missing from the library, with appropriate borrower's fees and an IOU left on the library counter.
there is plenty of peace, though.
 
One of my Campaign #2 villains was a mind-controller alchemist who was going to transform everyone into animalistic monsters who were easy to control.
Her motive was rather honest, though - she (correctly) believed that a massive plot was in place to draw everyone with a free will to sin, so she took away the free will to preserve the integrity of peoples' immortal souls.
 
2:23 PM
Hrm. I came across a pet peeve with D&D earlier today again in that D&D 5e lich question: if there is a super, awesome, really cool thing you want your character can do, you can probably only ever get it at level 20 and barely make use of it. Meanwhile I play in games that let me have that right at the beginning.
 
Aug 28 '14 at 22:41, by BESW
@Emrakul My librarian with all the custom spells, when he hit epic levels, created a permanent suppress/activate at-will 10'-radius aura of swirling pages which dealt 100 damage worth of papercuts divided evenly among all targets inside the aura every round.
He also had an always-on 60-foot aura of modified silence (no sounds above a whisper) and mage hand (so he could read several books at once and turn pages with his hands free, and get books from tall shelves) combined.
 
@BESW Ooh. I think he'd have to not have that. Unless papercuts are nonlethal, because nonlethal papercuts are fine.
 
He could've made it nonlethal, and probably increased the amount of damage at the same time.
 
@BESW should i be parsing that as aura of mage hand?
(because aura of mage hand sounds great)
 
@doppelspooker Yeah, it bugs me too. And conversely, for many campaigns the DnD power scale grows beyond enjoyable (hence e6).
 
2:26 PM
@doppelspooker Well, it was called librarian's aura and he could control multiple mage hand effects within its range, at the cost of not being able to send them out as far away as he would if he cast them normally. So... yes.
 
lovely.
 
It was especially helpful since, if you recall, his body was really just a skeletal left hand. The rest of him was an illusion.
 
@doppelspooker And also, that being DnD, having to earn one's fun is also "The Norm" for RPGs in general for many people, which might have implications when trying to play something else.
 
@kviiri e6?
 
@kviiri yeah... see, my thinking is, by the time you can get most of those super cool character features, it's only because you've reached a stage where having the character feature isn't all that relevant.
@DForck42 epic level 6.
 
2:27 PM
@doppelspooker Yep :P
 
ahh
 
75
Q: What is E6? Why would I use it?

Oblivious SageI've heard a number of people reference an apparently common set of houserules for D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder called E6. What do these variant rules entail? What problems are they intended to solve? If there is an "official" ruleset for it somewhere, where can I find it?

 
I wish 5e had a module that took characters up to level 20
 
basically you stop advancing at level 6, and from then on can only obtain feats. it targets a sort of power level sweet spot in D&D 3.5e.
 
@DForck42 It's a "mod" for DnD 3.5 (and can be adapted for other editions too I think) where the level ups cap at sixth level and after that characters only gain feats instead of levels.
 
2:28 PM
it'd be nice to have one to continue after Storm King's Thunder
@doppelspooker interesting. it'd make doing fighter feat chains easier
well, i guess that depends on how your BAB progresses, if it does
 
@kviiri I remember @doppelspooker being completely blown away when switching from D&D 4e to Fate showed him how much of his planned campaign had just been filler to pump XP into his players so they could reach the cool parts of the story.
 
cause quite a few fighter feats require a BAB for a minimum number
 
@doppelspooker Another thing I've been thinking about is forced gameplay changes. I don't have much experience with them myself, but a friend who is an ardent DnD fan counters my "linear fighter" rants with "fighters weren't supposed to stay just fighters, they should lead an army after level X".
@BESW Wow :D but yeah, I can see that happening.
 
Okay, I need the sleeps. ttfn
 
I'm not sure if I actually enjoy the first levels more because they play better than higher levels, or because all my higher-level experience has taken place after campaign tedium has set in.
G'nite
 
2:31 PM
@kviiri more likely campaign fatigue
 
@DForck42 Yeah, think that's the term I was looking for
 
@BESW goodnight! :)
 
At this point the idea of having a campaign is making me weary, I think what I'd really like is rapid-fire one-shots of various systems :3
 
@kviiri right, yeah. I had this big campaign where the players were dealing with war, civil war, elementals, primordials, even potentially a god -- but all of that would take time to work up to, because D&D 4e says a hero at single digit levels was not ready to go through half of that. so i was also going to have to walk them through other stuff to fill it out and give them XP. somewhere in there would have to be fighting regularly, which none of us were super interested in.
 
@doppelspooker Yeah. It's not an easy situation to figure out, esp. if you're new to the system or especially to the whole hobby
 
2:37 PM
then we switched to fate because it better supported exploring stories that weren't 90% beating things up in tactical combat, then immediately also switched to other stories, so i didn't really revisit that one in fate for a while -- until BESW said "how about playing out that 4e campaign in fate?" "but how do i start?" "well, you could just skip to the end."
MIND = BLOWN. a fate character can be ready to face a god directly as of character creation, with no complexity compared to any other character.
 
@doppelspooker That advice <3
Sounds very BESW!
 
so i realised i could just skip to all the exciting bits, like a movie would do, and ignore the rest because it's not important.
if i were to do that D&D 4e story again nowadays, in D&D 4e, I'd just say people level up after every session no matter what, no combat-dependent XP. but then, I wouldn't do it in 4e either, I'd do it in something else, like Fate, which lets me not have to focus on violence.
 
I actually like DnD 4e way more than when I first played it. The first campaign we had in it, I was mostly annoyed at non-violent gameplay working very well. Years and systems later, I actually prefer to have a "yes, this game is for bashing in skulls" option in my shelf between games that are about something else.
I think I even hated DnD 4e way back.
 
See, the whole story was a whole bunch of internal conflicts had been bubbling up, and the setting's past was catching up with the people of the present. there were assassinations, political coups, civil wars, all-out wars, and even invasions imminent, all bubbling to the surface, and the players were going to be well-positioned to tip the scales one way or another, stopping conflicts or influencing which side won.
None of that, strictly speaking, needs any focus on fighting -- and the fighting was the least interesting part of all of it.
@kviiri same!!! it's really nice that i have a game that's great for tactical fighting if and when i need it.
i'll need to find a game that isn't fate to run that particular story though, or some players who are into it (like we're into the SG-13 game) so that we can collaboratively understand our limitations.
 
once my 5e game is running and stable, I'm thinking around running a Fate game
what the game is about will be open to everyone involved, but my suggestion is going to be: dragons in space
 
2:48 PM
nice
@DForck42 (obligatory @trogdor ping)
 
@doppelspooker lol
i had that as a rough idea for a video game concept, everyone laught at me
i think it's cool, and i haven't seen anyone do it yet
 
if you've got a video game concept that makes everyone laugh, it sounds like a fun video game concept. even if they're laughing at you because it sounds silly to them.
like, how would people have responded to katamari damacy. "you roll up things into a huge ball for your space dad!"
 
exactly
 
@doppelspooker Conversely, I am nowadays very skeptical of systems that try to cater to all playstyles or genres.
 
3:14 PM
@DForck42 Dragons IN SPACE is pretty much a double TvTRope!
 
3:25 PM
@Trish yes!
 
What is even better?! MINI Dragons and Sharks in SPACE!
THERE! Code is tricky.
 
@kviiri same. i have come across publications and games like those, and have been quite sure they don't understand either the scope of "all playstyles" or "all genres", or don't understand what "catering" to them means. i seek out games that "cater" to just the one playstyle and genre i need for that game, because them "catering" means they've dug out all the stops, focused every mechanic around one specific kind of experience.
 
3:42 PM
@doppelspooker I know only one system that makes that claim... and delivers. GURPS.
(as long as "all playstyles" contains some degree of simulationist)
 
I've understood GURPS doesn't do asymmetric stuff well at all.
Eg. like in DnD where PCs are expected to survive for way longer than the monsters they fight.
 
@kviiri i think modern video games have had a major impact on that part of the game, where players feel like they should be overpowered and able to handle anything that comes at them. that's one nice thing about games like dark souls, where it's more realistic that you could die in one hit if you're caught unprepared
 
@DForck42 It's not a video game thing. Heroes have been safe from casual death or injury in fiction for centuries.
 
@Trish doesn't deliver: GURPS focuses radically in on real-world simulationism via extreme amounts of crunch, with the offer of "or just make it up / wing it". it has no catering to non-simulationist play except by choice not to use the rules at all.
likewise, Fate doesn't make that claim, because it understands it has a narrow set of playstyles it targets.
 
Some systems I like, for example Apocalypse World, make character death voluntary. Others have optional rules for this, so that only plot-important enemies may strike down a character (eg. 13th Age). Dungeon World has an interesting twist where dying is a certain outcome of failing a Last Breath roll, but the GM decides when the character actually dies.
 
3:56 PM
@doppelspooker is there a compiled list of rpg play styles, how they work, and which systems support them?
 
@DForck42 i am not sure. O_O
 
@DForck42 There have been such lists, and usually they're horribly oversimplified or incomplete :P
 
GNS and (separately) the threefold model attempted a couple of such categorisations....
 
Yep
 
cause tbh, I'm interested in learning what the different play styles are and how they differentiate
i only have 3 rpg's that I've really played in: DND (3.5, 4e, 5e), Vampire: Requieum (larp version with MES), and Dresden Files RPG (FATE, but older system)
and everyone I've played with tends to treat those all similar
 
4:00 PM
It's a very multifaceted thing, which probably sums up to "playstyle is everything you do different to the other group when playing" :)
2
 
@DForck42 Eh, there's a difficulty with any such list where very few people tend to play their RPGs in a "pure" style: If you take any classification of play styles and just try to play each of them in succession, I predict you will be miserable
 
@kviiri sounds right :D
 
E.g. I find the GNS classification very useful to discuss with others, but it's more about personal preferences than an external paradigm: If you say "I want to play a narrativist game", you can of course choose a system that's designed for that, but unless you play it with people with narrativist tendencies, it's probably not going to be what you wanted.
I've seen FATE fail completely because the GM took a bunch of simulationists and thought the game system would magically turn them into narrativists :P
 
Personally, I find GNS to be mostly lacking, but in its simplicity it's a simple point where to begin explaining how different games (or tables, or people) can differ in what they want.
Many things go way beyond GNS, for instance my primary RPG party is (or claims to be) narrativist but one can agree on how to best improve narrative gameplay in DnD.
 
4:16 PM
@ACuriousMind oh dear
 
I'm a rules guy, I want to have transparent mechanics for agency. Many of the people in the party are influenced by a rather old-skool semi-adversarial gameplay where the GM should basically keep things secret from the party and invoke the fiat often and liberally to surprise the players.
 
@kviiri one thing i'm looking for is a game that is flexible like fate, but lets me still provide crunch-based (not narrative-based) opposition to the players. faith corps might let me do that, or the cortex system.
i want the improvisation & freedom aspects of fate, but i want the numerical immutability of "this person has an AC 17. good luck."
 
@doppelspooker Fate Corps... what an awesome name :D
 
@kviiri Faith corps, in fact! Fate corps is a great name too. It's a hybrid cortex/fate system Mike Olson put together for one of his games, Demon Hunters.
 
Man, I wish I had someone to play Fate with. Corps or otherwise :)
That reminds me, I need to lure some unsuspecting fool to play a Landfall Marine in one of my Apocalypse World one-shots.
 
4:46 PM
@kviiri noice. 8D
 
@doppelspooker The original version of the Landfall Marine was "Space Marine Mammal", a dolphin in a mecha suit. And it was remarkably well-done for a joke class.
 
@kviiri whoa XD
 
5:16 PM
There's also The Marmot.
A crime-solving one, no less.
 
is there a good place to read up on how a good west marches game is played?
I'm intrigued by it, but found information on it rather lacking
 
I dunno, I mostly learn about it from a friend who keeps talking about it :P
 
But the idea is just that instead of coming up with a "game night" where the DM comes up for a thing for the players to do, the players have to say "We four want to go explore this place out here. When is everyone available?"
You have an overarching environment instead of an overarching narrative, and let the players themselves decide where to go, when to get together, and who to go along with.
 
5:44 PM
yeah, i like the concept
might me something i try and set up in a couple of years, maybe after my SKT game
 
6:01 PM
@Adam Forty years ago, we used to do this in the dungeon/campaign we ran in most frequently. There were a number of areas to explore, and we always let the DM know "ahead of time" where we intended to go on a given Friday night. But this was with a semi mature campaign, the one major dungeon (a huge cavern complex) and a number of smaller/lesser adventure areas.
 
so, question for the dnd 5e players in here
do you feel that WotC is going to slow with releasing content for 5e?
this is a grumble that I've seen quite a few times now
 
Yes, but I'm not sure if it's objectively true. I don't have any point of comparison outside 4e, and was late enough for the 4e train for most of the content to have already been released by the time I wanted it.
 
@DForck42 I am glad they are going slow. I really hated the bloat in some previous editions. I like what they are doing with UA, getting some ideas out there to have people critique and play with, and then trying to fit them in better. Incremental is good.
 
@DForck42 going to slow as in going to slow down? Or going too slow, as in there was a typo?
 
@Adam .... :O sounds like a concept i should use for something.....
 
6:07 PM
As to the grumblers (they fill the boards at GiTP) all I can say is: first world problem. :p
 
@DForck42 in previous editions, fans who couldn't play every week would find themselves under an avalanche of content they could never really explore.
 
sorry, that should have been "too slow"
@Adam too slow, sorry
 
yeah, that's how i feel. the current content we have is enough to fill YEARS of gameplay without repeating anything
 
My other advice to grumblers is "build and DM some one shots tailored to various/different levels." There is almost no end of variety one can apply that to.
 
6:10 PM
and yet, some people don't think it's enough
 
Yeah, well, some people are not willing to do the work to DM. It is my opinion that the grumblers are in a "player heavy" clump. I don't see people who DM a lot griping.
 
imho, i think it's more of of "there's not enough content for me to min-max the way i could in 3.5"
 
axes self May Gygax help us if it goes that way ...
(axes self is a humorous take on 'crosses one's self' ... not self mutilation
 
@DForck42 Why don't those people just keep playing 3.5?
There's no need to switch games if you like the old one.
 
@Adam shrugs
 
6:15 PM
People choose their systems (and editions) for the weirdest reasons. One of my friends for instance kept playing 4e despite preferring 3e because he simply felt the latest edition is the correct one to play :P
 
probably because the other people at the table like 5e for it's relative simplicity and ease of which to pick up and play?
 
But yeah, it's also a good point that people often don't have the luxury of choosing the system. They need other players and a GM to agree (or have to GM themselves, which at least I wouldn't like to do all the time!)
 
i really like the adventure league idea of PHB + 1. allows flexibility and creativity, while keeping the possible edge case combos down to a reasonable amount
if i wasn't running a mostly newbie campaign start in December (hopefully), I'd probably opt to let them run wild
 
My task is to get more facile with the roll20 tools so that I can run a few one shots for my group. Getting the time to dedicate to that without interruption is a trial, what with a wife and a job and being tasked to fix things around the house. :(
 
@DForck42 What's PHB+1?
At most one supplement in addition to PHB per player character?
 
6:22 PM
Yes. PHB + one additional source book like EE players companion, SCAG, Volos, etc.
 
Yolo's Guide to Swag
 
@KorvinStarmast I had a similar goal, but shortly after making it, I got to get into some physical games, and so I've left it by the wayside.
 
@kviiri yup
 
@Adam our group is spread out over six states. My other group is in fewer states, but stable at once every two weeks. Loving it.
 
6:41 PM
@kviiri I wish this wasn't true. Why can't things be simple? But I also live to deprieve myself of sleep until everyone on the Internet gets it right. What a sad life.
@DForck42 Until they pull off the Cancer Mage combo again, that is.
 
@Zachiel lol
but honestly, one of the nice things about 5e is that each class is unique and odes it's own thing, but none of them truly outshine the rest from what I've seen
whereas in my last 3.5 game we explicitly had classes marked as off-limits because of how overpowering they can be (wizard, etc)
in 4e you could abuse half elves to make some pretty op characters as well
 
I've got players here at work who are adamant that 5e half elves are OP, or that paladins are OP, and are somewhat shocked that I'm cool with either of them, but I really don't believe any of it.
 
@Adam I've got players that are adamant that a D&D 3.5e vampire monk would be OP because it dishes out a flurry of negative levels. I hate to be the one telling him that, by that level, parties should be immune to negative levels anyway.
I also hate to have been killed by negative levels at a higher level than the CR of the earliest vampire monk possible.
 
@Zachiel that's one thing that drove me crazy in 3.5, ability score damage and negative levels
cause then I have to redo all the math
like, I'd rather just die
 
6:58 PM
@DForck42 I have the same hate towards dispel magic
And it keeps happening
 
@Zachiel oh? why's that?
 
7:24 PM
@DForck42 Dispelling buffs that you counted on using when doing attack/AC math?
 
@GreySage ahh
 
@DForck42 "You mean I lose my +2 to hit, AND I have to recalculate all my 5 attacks toHit bonuses before anyone can do anything?"
 
@DForck42 One of the major gripes I had with 4e was that classes were less unique than I had assumed.
 
@GreySage lol
yeah, i can see how that'd be annoying
 
@Lord_Gareth You're very welcome! Good to see you back again.
 
7:43 PM
@GreySage Precisely. Also, the need to keep track of which conditions I'm currently immune, my current speed and maneuvrability, AC and Touch AC, saves, attack and damage routines. The thing that irks me is that there's people who manage to get the values right and quickly, while I have to rewrite the whole list of bonuses, wondering if I left any behind, every single time.
 
@Zachiel which system are we talking about again?
 
@DForck42 3.5e
@DForck42 I was coming from there.
So I have a weapon attack, that uses iteratives and has an enhancement bonus (using 1.5 times my Str bonus), and then a bite, that is a secondary natural attack (it deals 0.5 times my Str bonus) and an usually primary but secondary because I'm using a manufactured weapon rake attack pair (that deals 1 times my Str bonus). With Str varying based on my buffs, and Power Attack on top of it.
 
@DForck42 Have you played DnD 4e?
 
8:07 PM
@Zachiel yeah... hard pass
@kviiri yes, 4e was my first rpg
 
Neat, same here :) (from commercial systems)
 
@kviiri technically my very first was 3.5, but it was one game, they didnt' bother to explain anything to me, and one guy from the party basically controlled what we did that whole day. it sucked
basically, i was handed a cleric sheet and told "heal us"
 
@DForck42 That's too bad :<
 
and then my next rpg adjacent experience was a larp that a friend of mine started
however, we never really pinned down the identity of that larp (heavy rp, heavy combat, half-half, etc), and it suffered for it.
it was during the larp days that i joined my first, real, dnd game
 
8:23 PM
Good evening!
 
Our major problem with 4e was that only a few of us had any role-playing experience before and concepts like "same page", "playstyle", "my guy syndrome" and "session zero" were completely foreign to us.
I picture hobby scenes as spheres, and those things are quite close to the core. But when approaching from the outside, one sees completely different stuff.
 
8:37 PM
@kviiri For the first couple years of my RPG experience (3.5 almost exclusively with a dash of White Wolf), this essay by Rich Burlew was pretty much the only touchstone I had for those kinds of issues.
It took a while to realize that I could apply the lessons of the Ruhi Institute to tabletop gaming, and I don't think I'll ever stop learning how wrong I am about many basic assumptions about how RPGs work (or can work) socially.
 
@BESW Yeah, uh... I read that and it does have a lot of stuff I can't find myself agreeing with anymore, with my present knowledge and experience.
But it does sound like something I could've written myself a few years ago.
The latter section is closer to my views though.
The first section reads too much like "roleplay your character in a mechanically suboptimal way, it'll be more fun that way!" which is all too dependent on the GM and the game.
I feel tempted to say it's on the GM to show, not tell, the players that they're playing a game that is fun even if their characters fail or make suboptimal moves.
 
8:56 PM
He advocates not using consumables, I can live with that.
 
As a borderline pathological consumable-hoarder, I can get behind that too, and conserving for the future is always a possibly good idea.
But in the trapped tunnel example deciding to rush through the traps is clearly not a good move, and I think it's not exactly cool to expect players to pull off these balancing acts between mechanically strong play and role-playing their character.
 
9:11 PM
I'm not a consumable hoarder. I'm a gold hoarder.
 
Gold is this pointless resource all DnD heroes hoard. I used to think it's silly, but then I realized that so is real-life gold :)
 
My high level character has this problem where... ok, bear with me. I hoard money because I fear what could happen if I ended up using it all. How can this possibly happen to my character who earns 3000 gp per day?
 
@Zachiel High-interest low-scrutiny consumer loans?
Those things ruin lives and economies, yo.
 
@kviiri Talk about characters making awful choices for roleplaying purposes.
 
9:26 PM
@Zachiel Heh :D
 
I like spending gold to buy passive bonus items, reusable items and most favorably items that I will keep using forever.
I'm currently cursing about epic items: I can't buy them yet but they will surely replace a lot of the items I should buy now to be strong enough to reach the epic levels.
 
We started using a random store application we found online to give the players something to spend on. It's good in the sense of being both impartial and easy, but does have some additional complications.
"Well, of course you can buy that oil of etherealness!" <fast forward three sessions> "...so you want to bypass the entire dungeon in the ethereal plane?"
Don't get me wrong, the option to bypass the dungeon in the ethereal plane is awesome - but works rather poorly in a system that relies a lot on the GM prepping everything in advance.
 
9:42 PM
@kviiri There are two kinds of people. Those who improvise enemy stats and those who play Dungeon World instead. XD
And then there's me, using premade adventures and knowing what's next several miles in advance.
 
@Zachiel One of these days I might learn Dungeon World!
Although I'm not really convinced it's a particularly well-designed game.
 
@kviiri I'm not either, but it's better than D&D at improvising.
 
@Zachiel Well, that doesn't take much :)
In theory, with plentiful monster stat blocks, DnD would be a super convenient game for rapid-fire improv encounters... assuming we could somehow lose the book poring for monsters stats and spells and the associated bookkeeping.
 
(I have problems with the AW engine, it makes me feel like problems are always lurking in plain sight, disasters will happen whatever I do and nothing will ever be safe.
That's also why I like dungeon crawl campaigns. You eventually reach the big bad, dispatch it and everybody (but the villain) is happy.
 
@Zachiel That's one of the things that requires a balancing act from the GM, yep. A major point of Apocalypse World is that things are broken, and one has to remember to throw in moments of calm and joy in there to spice it up.
 
9:50 PM
@kviiri how do they leave?
 
On the other hand, Apocalypse World (as played by the book) is much more gentle on its bad calls than DnD is.
@DForck42 Word of Recall. (I don't know if that's a thing in DnD though)
 
@kviiri i dunno what that is
 
@DForck42 There's this ancient Roguelike game Angband which is all about grinding a lot in a 100-level deep dungeon that gets progressively harder, in order to face Sauron at level 99 and then Morgoth at level 100. To illustrate how steep that power curve is, the PC starts by whacking worms and cockroaches. (Large ones, but still)
Word of Recall's a Very Obviously For The Player's Convenience spell in Angband allowing the player to exit the dungeon to the Town which is effectively level 0, or when used in the town, to return to where they previously recalled from.
(the game regenerates dungeon levels upon re-entry, so fast pathing over multiple levels would be impossible)
 
I don't think I've ever gone past level 3 or 4
 
ahh
 
9:55 PM
@Zachiel In Angband? Shame - you won't believe how many worms and small kobolds you can find on level 5! </sarcasm>
 
Managing consumable torches is not a thing I do. Going full Leeroy Jenkins, on the other hand, is.
 
The whole management thing was rather superficial, though, as after the first dive into the dungeon one is unlikely to run out of gold for supplies ever. I'm more offended by the copious grinding involved in beating the game :)
The farthest I've got in Angband, I even had a light that burned forever... The Phial of Galadriel maybe?
Anyway, it's bedtime for me
 
@kviiri Goodnight
 
See ya
 
10:23 PM
@doppelspooker cool, :D
 
Word of the day: precariat.
BREAKING: Scientists discover new hidden chamber in Egypt's Great Pyramid, say its purpose is unknown.
not to be alarmist but this is definitely 100 per cent connected to the octopuses crawling out of the sea last week https://twitter.com/AP/status/926057172882116609
I think we have a campaign hook.
BTW, @doppelspooker, what's the forecast say about Geek Night?
 
10:51 PM
If I want to rephrase a question that's been up for a while, should I edit it or close it and open a new one?
 
Unclear what you're asking, please add context.
 
Specifically changing "Is there anything stopping a druid from combining animals to form a new wild shape?" to "Would it be mechanically game breaking to allow a druid to hybridize wild shape?"
 
hey there @Skathix
 
Heya @Shalvenay
 
how're things going?
 
10:58 PM
@Skathix With that one, you should probably ask it as a new question.
Not least because you're going to have to say how hybridizing works for people to tell you whether it's balanced or not.
 
Yeah, that's definitely a different question.
 

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