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12:10 AM
Yeah, there's been a number of recent discussions on Twitter about the role of layout in TTRPGs and how it differs depending on where you're at in the professional sphere.
Dee Pennyway and David Shugars have both written about using Google Docs as a layout program, for example.
A lot of indie designers with a slightly-larger-than-zero budget are using Serif's Affinity suite.
if you want something that follows a "you control everything" DTP style model, I've poked at Scribus before....
For example, Pennyway made the absolutely beautiful Mnemonic in Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo.
12:33 AM
I think perception plays a big role. If i was reading a self-published, indie .pdf, I'd give them some leeway. But a 'professional' publication 'should' do better.
Well, what are you talking about? Leading and kerning aesthetics, or colorblind accessibility, or comprehensive indexing, or...?
Header and one line of a Section just before a page-break
Mostly 'white background' pages, with some dark-background. Some dark-background are "asides". Some are in the middle of body-text.
Also, there's a sweet spot where you've got enough money/team to do things carefully but not so much pressure to publish quickly that you have to cut corners on time.
Like, Evil Hat sets their own pressure points based on their own projections and goals. D&D has executive pressure from owners with goals that doesn't have anything to do with RPGs.
My current pet-peeve (due to recent exposure) is V:tM 5e. Especially considering their history (grey-on-black pages, multi-text-over-b/w-images ...). I hoped they'd learnt something ....
Heh. White Wolf has been an absolute mess for the last several years on every conceivable level. I'd be almost disappointed if the product of that looked good.
12:41 AM
"several years" = "from the get-go" ?
I'm no Pro on layout, just a "mere" consumer. I just like to have books that are actually readable. Sometimes, it seems like that is too much to ask. :(
Nov 17 '18 at 7:44, by BESW
....Looks like Paradox Interactive finally noticed what White Wolf Publishing has been doing lately.
@BESW I only skimmed that story ... it's always a difficult line to draw
@BESW oh god what? what have they done?
They outsourced their Vampire RPG to a group with known and clear ties to white supremacists, which then began dog-whistling white supremacist rhetoric in their publicity material about the new version of the RPG.
oh great
12:46 AM
oh boy that is super not great
just the best
if you'll excuse me I'm just gonna go there and yell random things at no one in particular
ugh. Who are the White Supremacist group? paradox?
Eventually Paradox noticed the outcry --after a publicity preview contained passages that seemed to re-frame real-life Chechnyan atrocities within the fiction in ways that were... very bad... and they pulled the franchise license from the White Wolf team and revised it in-house before publishing.
I think it's White Wolf?
12:49 AM
but Paradox apparently did nothing about it? (until the outcry I assume)
is that the right way around?
@trogdor ok, got it. Paradox = Boss. NuWW = got it wrong (possibly intentionally).
I don't know for sure though
That's what it looks like, yes.
There's, understandably, a lot of chaff in the wind about the whole thing.
Paradox has had one slightly similar issue with Stellaris actually. there wasn't an in house racist thing but apparently someone made a mod to make all the humans white
12:53 AM
@trogdor pah, such a boring color.
I know VtM is meant to be 'edgy', "challenging" ... but ... did they not learn from the backlash on their "gypsy" book?
now I don't know if they waited until people complained about it (it wouldn't surprise me though) but they did get rid of that mod
at least apparently
For myself, the paragraph equating "the fraudster ripping off his own company, the lawyer representing the poor pro bono," "the neo-Nazi claiming to be “alt-right,”" and "the basement-dweller downloading thousands of movies illegally for redistribution on streaming sites," was an audible dogwhistle long before the Chechnya chapter.
I only know this because I play Stellaris, was looking,.. up some kind of mechanic I didn't understand, and somehow news of this mod popped up in the search
I couldn't hardly tell you which mechanic either because boy was there a heck of a learning curve on that game
@BESW These are examples of "good guys"? (or at least 'playable PCs'?)
12:56 AM
yeah I'm not too clear on that?
although I see an entirely seperate issue
which may or may not be the main point
@BlackSpike That's the scope of Clan Brujah membership, as "vocal and visible outsiders" who "desire for rebellion"
But it doesn't matter, to me, whether they're playable or whatever. Comparing pro-bono lawyers to neo-Nazis as examples of disaffected rebels is a non-starter.
the neo nazi is like, clearly worse than the guy downloading movies illegally
@BESW Some very varied concepts in there ...
even if that is a ridiculous number of movies
@BESW yeah, that is pretty daft
12:58 AM
and yeah the pro bono laywer isn't even in the same ballpark
See, stories about vampires --especially the flavour of vampire that White Wolf indulges in-- are VERY EASILY coded as pro-fascist and pro-white-supremacy. It takes active work to avoid accidentally leaning into those metaphors, and White Wolf products in the past have tried to do that work. Not always successfully but they've visibly tried.
Brujah are Political Dissidents. That's their thing. That can manifest in many ways ... some of which may be difficult ... and then there are Outright Fraudsters, and Nazis ... :(
The new dev team formed in 2016... well, the absolute best one can say based on the results is that they weren't trying to actively avoid those implications.
doesn't make me all that upset about not trying out any White Wolf stuff
This is one reason I tend to play with close friends, small groups ... we can take a Setting, and say "that aint right" ..." these folk are obviously Bad People" ... we're making some House-Rules (setting-wise) ...
1:03 AM
A charitable interpretation would be that they were trying to be edgelordy but didn't put in the work to do so responsibly. This included a pre-made PC who was clearly coded --even within the existing frame of White Wolf symbolism-- as a pedophile; and naming the Brujah clan's weakness "Triggered."
@BESW Yeah, "Triggered" was a ... misguided (charitable interpretation) title.
The problem with that interpretation is that when called out on it they disavowed intent without modifying content to change the effects.
@BESW .....
Clan Weakness: bunch of sjw snowflakes!!!!
Old-school White Wolf came to understand that content warnings are good, they show respect for your audience and get people more trusting of your material.
1:08 AM
content warnings are not an excuse for Bad Behaviour
The 2016 White Wolf team under Paradox mocked content warnings.
I'll be the first in line to say that old-school White Wolf had deep-running problems they never managed to resolve. But they showed self-awareness and willingness to try to learn and grow.
There's more, but it delves into real-life harm by famously bad actors in the TTRPG community and I really don't want to put that stuff in this place.
So... if the Vampire 5e books looked hasty and shoddy I'm not surprised at all because they were recalled from a bad dev team at the last minute, and the publication date was pushed back while they were re-tooled by a new team that hadn't been prepared for the work.
@BESW Fair enough. That is a reason, but not an excuse! :)
Yeah, Paradox had clear publicly-known reasons to pull the plug on that team a year earlier, and if they'd done due diligence they never should've put that team together in the first place.
But if I know there is a Reason, I'll feel better
I make (very Amateur) Android Apps, and "what will the User see" is always a (second) priority (behind "does it actually work?") ... vexes me to see "professionals" fail in areas that i, as an amateur, can identify ...
1:38 AM
@BESW Just out of curiosity, do we know that's true? I mean, D&D's such a tiny part of its parent company, which is so tiny compared to its parent company... I wouldn't be surprised if nobody as Hasbros of the Coast cared how quickly or not D&D products were produced. OTOH, they could also have just been "pop out two books a year and we'll let you keep your precious little staff...." I dunno.
@nitsua60 There will be somebody looking at the books, and thinking "is this a good RoI?", "is it worth building a Regular Release Schedule?", "Does this align with our Corporate Mission Statement?"
@nitsua60 I admit I'm extrapolating and reading between the lines.
But the impression of pressure is coherent over a period of ten years or more, across multiple editions.
@BESW I was just wondering if I was forgetting anything. (Like someone saying "oh, yes, we're committed to a blahblah release schedule.") Though, I suppose you don't really make a schedule like theirs of the last six years happen if it's not pretty intentional.
And I do know that they're producing content a good 18-24 months out, so somebody's managing that pipeline..... (If not multiple somebodys.)
1:55 AM
And part of it is trying to assume good faith on things like how D&D doesn't really do rigorous playtesting for a lot of its material--I prefer to think that's because of publishing pressures from above.
Also both 4e and 5e began their pre-publication advertising with pitches that sounded suspiciously over-ambitious for realistic delivery, but would have been very good at making a non-RPG-familiar overseeing executive sign off on the new edition.
Then those pitches got scaled back dramatically once the new edition was committed to.
(4e was pitched with a dedicated roll20 competitor app, 5e was pitched as a modular system to re-unite the opposed edition factions)
1 hour later…
3:02 AM
@Shalvenay I'm gonna have to cancel this week too, sorry. We're doing some make-or-break dev work at my workplace and they need people in at all hours.
@Glazius huggles the @Glazius
3:52 AM
Q: Can an Unconscious PC hear you?

DestruktorSome spells and abilities specify that the target must be able to hear you. Is an unconscious PC (0 HP) considered a valid target? Unconscious ... An unconscious creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings... For example, the Oa...

4 hours later…
7:38 AM
Q: Can Chill Touch prevent Regeneration?

JoshjurgCan the D&D 5th Edition cantrip Chill Touch prevent regeneration and similar abilities? Do specific forms of regeneration (like a troll's) circumvent this? Chill Touch: You create a ghostly, skeletal hand in the space of a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the cr...

3 hours later…
10:21 AM
Q: Are Changelings immune to the Polymorph spell?

Saber CrusaderThe Polymorph spell says: This spell transforms a creature with at least 1 hit point that you can see within range into a new form. An unwilling creature must make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect. A shapechanger automatically succeeds on this saving throw. Changelings (from Wayfin...

2 hours later…
12:23 PM
Q: Will my familiar remember me when I re-summon it, or is it a new entity?

JeanSibeliusPlaying D&D 5e, and my Pact of the Chain warlock's quasit familiar, Jimmy Peanuts, has fallen at the hands of a lizardman and vanished upon hitting 0 hp. I understand that I can cast Find Familiar again and summon a quasit familiar, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm re-summoning Jimmy Peanuts, o...

12:39 PM
@HotRPGQuestions well if it doesn't remember then it should be called an unfamiliar
1 hour later…
1:45 PM
@nitsua60 This question may be right up your alley.
2:39 PM
@BESW Is that pitch lost to the ages or is it somewhere accessible? I'd be interested in seeing the "before" since I am familiar with the after.
2:59 PM
I've been thinking... D&D combat drags. there's a point where enemies are clearly losing the battle and "any sane DM" should have them run. But then the party wants to kill them all the same because, you know, they could be back with reinforcements. So it's more combat anyway, but without the players being hit at all for lack of trying.
Well, if the enemies were going to run anyway, then it's the same outcome as the PCs not getting hurt. So the DM can just say the rest of the combat is trivially easy, and the PCs have no trouble subduing the remaining enemies.
@MikeQ +1. it's a good way to keep play moving.
The DM could ask the players if they want to play out the rest of the combat, if they have time, but personally I'd just handwave the rest of it
3:27 PM
hey again @KorvinStarmast
how're things going?
Working on a roll20 scenario for my brother's group. He's in Aus so I am DMing the next two weeks.
There are a lot of fiddly bits to play with so that I have token actions ready to go so pace of play can keep up.
@Shalvenay our last session I had two Lamia using a varietyof illusions. I find illusions tricky to narrate, but this time it worked out OK. Also, Mirror Image is a great defensive spell. The PC's got quite frustrated with hits being misses until the mirror images subsided. during the wrap up, the party wizard went ... "OK, I gotta use that spell!" he'd never seen it in action before.
@KorvinStarmast eheheh
What that means is that i have created a monster. The Arcane Trickster Rogue took careful note of that spell and said (OK, next level up, I am taking that one!)
He already has a broom of flying; my brother (DM) dropped that back at 4th level and we gave it to the gnome. All I can say is that item is really handy until you go underground.
4:15 PM
@KorvinStarmast when would be a good time to catch you for that epilog session? later today perhaps?
@Shalvenay what does your calendar look like tomorrow? Missus has me busy for most of today, but she's at work tomorrow and I am at home.
@KorvinStarmast ah, drat. I'm also at work tomorrow
and we have dinner with mother in law tonight
@Shalvenay Tuesday evening? Monday I am booked
@KorvinStarmast could try for that
@Shalvenay OK, let's drop a note tomorrow to revalidate?
4:18 PM
@KorvinStarmast :)
1 hour later…
5:28 PM
Small thing I just found out: When marking as a duplicate answers that were spam/rude/abusive actually appear in their original form, not as the statement that the answer has been removed
@Medix2 That's odd. Maybe worth pointing out on the meta. Do you have any examples?
@MikeQ When marking something as a duplicate of this: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/72910
Oh, I see. Mark question A as a duplicate of question B. In the box you see the preview of question B, and any deleted answers (to B) are in their original forms. Yeah that's weird.
@Medix2 Definitely post about it on the meta!
It seems to have been reported as a bug on SE meta here
@MikeQ Ah, it already exists then, thanks for finding that!
But it's still not fixed, or even addressed
5:44 PM
Yeah... Should I just open another near-identical one?
2 hours later…
7:35 PM
Hmm, question that's probably too POB for the stack proper.
If you (as the DM) have a Monk/Barbarian character who mostly focuses on Strength that has declared they plan to take Way of the Sun Soul as their Monk specialization, would you allow them to use Strength for their Sun Bolts instead of Dexterity?
I'm currently leaning towards 'Yes', but I'd like to solicit input on that matter.
(Obviously, this is not RAW, which says they must use Dexterity—but the character only has a 13 in Dexterity, and a 17 in Strength)
Naturally, they would not be able to benefit from Barbarian features (Rage damage, Reckless Attack) for this specific attack regardless.
So they'd be using Strength for ranged attacks, but not adding the benefits of rage?
@MikeQ Yeah.
It's kinda like the reverse of how finesse works... Seems within the system balance I guess
Strictly speaking, Finesse allows the use of both Strength and Dexterity. It's commonly interpreted to mean "allows the use of Dexterity in addition to Strength" because you only see it on Melee Weapons, but it's actually broader than that.
Regardless. =P
The trick here is that they're already not using DEX for their AC, since they're a Tortle with a flat AC of 17.
Ah. There's the rub.
7:48 PM
My other sense is that the party as a whole is pretty well optimized, between the 17/8/16/8/8/18 Paladin and the DEX-Fighter with the Crossbow Expert Feat.
So it's pretty unlikely this benefit will push him over the rest of the party.
Well if you're unsure, you could try allowing it temporarily. Explain it as some sort of blessing or conditional benefit. Test it out, and then decide on a permanent ruling.
8:19 PM
Well, finally got around to play(testing) Elements (that non-joke RPG I wrote and shared some time back). It not being an utter failure, I guess makes it a roaring success.
3 hours later…
11:19 PM
Today in Your Fantasy World Is Boring, chainmail armor with holy verses on the individual links: India, early 1600s and Turkey, late 1400s.
Oh that's really neat
11:53 PM
yeah that is cool stuff

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