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12:24 AM
@bobble I'm trying to make a cryptic, because I've noticed that there's a word where WORD=A+B+C, but also that A+C and B are valid words but I'm struggling to make a coherent cryptic out of it
 
12:34 AM
I use thesarus.com and crossword clue banks to get ideas for words to use
this fandom wiki has nice lists of indicators: cryptics.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Setting_and_solving_aids
 
12:54 AM
@bobble ooooh
 
@ThomasMarkov Do you (or anybody else) think there's a disconnect in saying that a speed lowering effect doesn't stack with itself but a Strength lowering effect does?
 
I have no idea what the context is, but a ton of games --TRPG and CRPG-- apply different combination rules to movement vs ability scores.
So on general principle, no, I don't get any dissonance from the concept.
 
Ya know, that is very true. So even if the 5e rules aren't the most explicit I can be happy ruling that way given how many other things work that way
 
1:19 AM
@Medix2 no, since all strength lowering effects I’m aware of are quite clearly intended to stack.
 
@ThomasMarkov Yeah agreed there, I can be happy with just that
 
@Medix2 with that accept check I just gave you, I have exactly 60,000 rep
 
@ThomasMarkov You're making me want to go vote on something you've done just to ruin it. :P
 
Lol I already got an upvote that ruined it
 
 
1 hour later…
2:56 AM
Jay Dragon wrote a twitter thread about "designing rules that are meant to be broken."
Kickstarter: Somninauts by Fish in the Pot. A Rules-Light RPG and Storytelling Toolkit for Dreamy Mystery Adventures
Babes in the Wood 2e by World Champ Game Co. a tabletop rpg of kids & critters lost in an endless wood on Halloween night
The Gardener is Dead by inkyginge. A GMless storytelling TTRPG about tending to a haunted garden. For Groups or solo play.
Not exactly TRPG-related but I think it's pretty cool and relephant: Pulp Librarian wrote a twitter thread about "my definition of pulp."
 
3:32 AM
Baffling question in Worldbuilding; as asked, it amounts to "given a town with enough people for them to survive on indefinitely, how long could my vampire survive".
I'm not the only person confused. The OP does still seem to be about and answering questions, anyway, so hopefully there will be an explanation some time.
 
Obviously they are looking for answers that cite historical and scientific facts about real-world vampires.
 
4
Q: Do caltrop penalties stack?

Guillaume F.As an action, caltrops can be spread to cover a 5-foot-square area: Any creature that enters the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or stop moving and take 1 piercing damage. Until the creature regains at least 1 hit point, its walking speed is reduced by 10 feet. If a creature...

 
:-D
 
3:55 AM
Maria Mison wrote a twitter thread about "vulnerability, safety and bleed in ttrpgs."
HOW TO MAKE YOUR RPG/STORY GAME MORE HEALING/ THERAPEUTIC by Maria Mison. y'all keep talking about TTRPGS bein therapy but w no methodology let's fix that
 
 
1 hour later…
5:18 AM
@KorvinStarmast Yes and no — the monkey's paw is a malicious but still literal genie, and I'd assume that and similar stories of wishes gone awry are the reason we even have the foolproof wordings for wishes "genre". People love to imagine that if they had the monkey's paw, they could word their wishes in a way they'd get a desirable outcome.
DnD 5e goes one level further by explicitly stating the Wish does not even have to happen "as-worded"
 
5:43 AM
4
Q: Can a translation of a text declared as OGC be declared as Product Identity?

FraNe91Le't say I make a translation of an rpg originally published in English (in this case a retroclone of D&D BX). The original game was licenced under OGL. Under the Open Game Content section it is stated that "All text and tables not declared as product identity are Open Game Content." There are tw...

 
6:13 AM
I should say, though, that I prefer that bit to the alternative. Corrputed wishes are a nice trope for certain situations, but usually I'd prefer them to apply to only situations where the wish is clearly for something undeserved. (Unlike the Monkey's Paw, which in the original story corrupts even small-scale wishes and even defies the expectation that un-doing previous wishes is safe)
 
6:26 AM
And especially the trope of "I'll word my wish very carefully so it works surely!" feels both athematic and adversarial, so I'm sort of glad the GM has this (seemingly) oft-neglected explicit liberty to neglect any "safeguarded wish". But I wish the expectation on what kinds of Wishes are supposed to go through without GM corrupting them was better defined
 
GcL
@kviiri I concur. There are two varieties of plot line under which a wish gets granted with me. 1) It's required to fulfill one of two or more objectives and the choice of which to use it on is tough. 2) It's a trap complete with ominous bell, large purple neon sign, omens from wizen sage, and a bridge keeper
In the first case, it's a plot device to short cut the group to make a tough choice.
In the second case, it's a plot device test the group's ability to avoid temptation.
The second case is the DM will definitely mess with this wish if it deviates at all from the list of bog standard cases (e.g. an 8th level spell, ASI, 10k gold, etc)
 
There's also the NetHack model where you're expected to use your Wish for strategic gain and careful wording helps there x)
If I ever actually got a Wish in a DnD game, and should wish for an object, I would probably begin with "Blessed Fixed ..."
 
GcL
@kviiri I always drink from the freakin' fountain and end up dissolved by acid.
 
@GcL I mean there's a difference on strategy viability as measured in number of characters per success vs amount of time per success, and offing characters in early-game high-stakes gambits is usually good for the latter ;)
 
GcL
Yeah, but them I'm just going to point an old bot at the game and let it run for a few hours before I sort out I should just fire up Progress Quest.
 
6:38 AM
I gave up on NetHack years ago myself, been more of an on-off Dungeon Crawl guy since
 
GcL
I found Dungeons of Dredmor to be a suitably casual and entertaining experience.
 
6:52 AM
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (DCSS, the mainstream fork of Dungeon Crawl) is basically what you get when you take the core concept of NetHack, remove the "gotchas" and replace that with conventional difficulty. And then you remove grinding and replace that with more conventional difficulty.
(DCSS has a very well-defined design philosophy, which has manifested in lots of anti-tedium, anti-frustration and convenience features, which is very nice for a game that's still very, very hard)
 
7:53 AM
Vampire question person commented to say more or less "yes, I have answered my own question", and then deleted the comment again. I dunno.
worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/202904/… Now, this has a flavour of "asking for a friend". :-)
 
 
1 hour later…
9:01 AM
MOTH-LIGHT (beta) by Dissonance. Post-Fall Science Fiction, Forged in the Dark.
Kickstarter: The Shape of Shadows by Jeeyon Shim. A connected path game about magic, being taken under someone's wing, and the price you are willing to pay to fly on your own.
 
 
2 hours later…
10:43 AM
28
Q: What alternative models exist for Vampire populations in WoD?

JSBձոգչThe official WoD sources say that a vampire requires between 50,000 and 100,000 people to support them, giving an upper limit of about 50,000 vampires in the entire world. I've always found this answer to be unsatisfactory, mostly because it implies that the number of vampires in the world was ve...

22
Q: What would be the minimum human population to sustain a single vampire indefinitely?

eimyrAs per question in the title. I recognise that there are numerous criteria that would affect this, however, I am looking for a baseline estimate that could be modified as per specific vampire (his humanity, feeding habits, discipline usage etc.) I would assume that the said vampire is drinking ...

 
Yes, I remember that one.
...Or maybe it was the second one. I'd forgotten there were two.
It would be a duplicate (there are questions to that effect on Worldbuilding.SE, too), if only we could sort out what it is the OP is asking.
It is a perennially fun thing to do the maths for, that :-)
 
10
A: What is a sensible ratio of humans to vampires in various fictions?

BeofettAs was mentioned in comments, this varies quite widely depending upon the type of vampire. Some vampires don't actually require human blood, and can survive exclusively on other sources of mammalian blood. Anne Rice's vampire Louis, for example, survived off of rats for a period of time. This ...

 
Heh, somebody's going through vampire questions. I got an upvote on a 4e vampire answer.
 
lol
oh god 4e vampire
 
Wasn't me this time.
 
10:46 AM
they must be desperate to see vampire stuff :P
 
@BESW strangely relevant given earlier conversation
 
I don't know about 4e vampires, I take it they were rubbish.
 
@BESW link or it didn't happen :p
@A.B. agreed. Fermi-Vampires
 
@trogdor Nah, it was basically "will my Sunsword kill a vampire? 'cause it says 'sun' in the flavor text, sooooo." (cc @AncientSwordRage)
 
@A.B. they are pretty rubbish yes
there's a whole PC vampire class and, it's absolutely filled with ridiculous benefits and drawbacks to being a vampire and it kinda makes them a huge pain to play, not to even mention the powers they get are weird and don't always actually help in the tactical situations you can find yourself in in 4e
 
10:50 AM
@BESW thanks for the cc
 
it feels like someone really really wanted to add vampires into the game and had too many ideas and just shoved them all in
with no one telling them to stop XD
 
@AncientSwordRage As you can see, it was a pretty simple matter of applying a broad 4e principle to a specific situation. A principle which 3.5 and 5e both actively rejected.
It actually helped me migrate my brain into narrative-first systems like Fate, for 4e to be so very clear about being not that.
 
@trogdor I'm still grateful I never saw that class, in action or otherwise :D
 
@BESW mmmmhm, I can see how it would help migrate your brain to that space
 
For @A.B.'s benefit I should add, the whole drawbacks thing is used very sparingly in DnD 4e.
 
10:54 AM
@kviiri I used a multiclass feat to take literally everything I wanted, and a couple things I didn't, from vampire and it was already ridiculous and weird
thankfully I didn't do it with my main character just one of the like 3 or 4 or so that I switched to a few times XD
 
The late-stage publications of 3.5 and 4e were both very experimental and didn't work super well as additions to their own edition. But where 3.5 was doing really interesting experiments that presaged the 4e power system, 4e was just sort of losing direction.
 
Eg. a cleric's class description flat out states that they gain their magical powers from their investiture, not a direct divine connection --> the GM can't pull a "your god won't approve, so the magic don't work" without GM fiat.
 
@kviiri Hah, yes. Ditto paladin, warlock, etc., there was never a permission --mechanical or narrative-- for losing your powers without your consent.
Troggy and I played with that; he had a warlock multiclassed to paladin, and when he fulfilled his pact with his warlock patron, he rebuilt the character mechanically as a paladin with a warlock multiclass. Neither patron ever really cared that he had another patron, because they weren't jealous, he was useful to both of them.
 
@BESW On the other hand, I can see this making classes that do bring extra, err... difficulties like the Vampire apparently does being super nasty.
Pronouncedly out-of-place, so to say.
 
Yeah. Honestly, reading that class description was kinda like reading the part in a horror novel where you slowly realize that the ordinary familiar place has been invaded by a hostile outside force.
What is this, why is it here, and how do I make it leave.
 
11:01 AM
"Oh no my vampire has been invaded by this horrible terriffying thing" x)
 
Haha, I was just trying to work out how to say that! :-D
 
@BESW that's awesome
 
It's kinda ironic that many of the things that I now think are the best parts of DnD 4e's design, comparatively, were the things that I hated when I first picked the game up (having never played a TRPG before)
 
@AncientSwordRage I'm a very big fan of the kind of character arcs Troggy gives his PCs.
 
@BESW It sounds like the sort of arcs I like to aim for, although I don't think I often hit them when I did play
 
11:06 AM
His character's origin story was being a bookkeeper for an expansionist empire, and when he realized the evil he was enabling and that it went against the teachings of his patron deity, a fairy queen came to him in a dream to give him the power to turn traitor and inform the opposing alliance of nations about the invasion plans he'd helped put into motion.
 
sighs
 
(Fey pact warlock: specializing in invisibility and illusion.)
 
That is good and I wish I could do characters with stories.
I suppose you can talk about it all you like but you can only see how from actually seeing it done in practice.
 
About ten levels into the campaign the fairy queen showed up and said "Okay, time for you to do ME a favor" and sent them on a tough adventure. After they succeeded at her task, she lifted the obligation and let him choose whether to renegotiate the pact or end their association.
 
Eek. :-)
But fun eek.
He wasn't the GM, right?
 
11:11 AM
By this time Troggy and I had several years of experience collaborating on characters and stories, including a short solo campaign about an Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian thief who accidentally got loopholed into being the only male priestess of Bastet when a temple robbery went very VERY wrong.
So I'd tell him the gist of the setting and themes I was thinking about, he'd tell me where he thought his character could fit in, and then we'd massage both character and setting to make them fit together.
 
Sounds great.
 
And since he was the most regularly attending player, I tended to wrap the plot around his characters: that campaign had all the PCs be part of a black ops strike team that got sent on missions against the evil empire, when the allied nations needed plausible deniability.
(I was a big fan of giving players an organization for their PCs to all belong to, to give structure to the adventures and a reason for them all to work together even when the characters weren't all getting along perfectly.)
 
You know, that "things happen to a bunch of people and somehow they're all in an adventure together through no fault of their own" happens pretty often in fiction and it's fun. That might not be a bad strategy for RPGs. (I mean, freeform/living-world RPGs, in which you need a strategy). Forget trying to make your character's interactions with people be a
story all by itself and trust that the GM will get the lot of you into trouble soon enough anyway.
In other vampire-related news: I hate my VtM character, I hate his backstory, and I regret not having picked the clan that turns into bats. What's the use of a vampire that doesn't turn into a bat?
 
@BESW XD
 
Just a random statement, not really looking for advice.
 
11:17 AM
thanks
 
Feb 15 '16 at 11:46, by BESW
@eimyr In my 4e campaign, Trogdor's character ascended to become the sapient but formless patron spirit of peaceful multi-cultural coexistence.
 
lol
 
He didn't have the kind of dramatic rehabilitation arc as, say, Kamola the half-orc palace guard from the same campaign, but honestly if all half-dozen PCs had been trying to do that I think it would've been overwhelming. Sometimes it can very be satisfying to have a character who just becomes more himself over time.
(See also: the Riddick franchise, in which the protagonist has no character development at all over the course of four films and two video games, and we don't care.)
 
I mean, he sorta had a dramatic rehabilitaion,... offscreen XD
 
> Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian thief who accidentally got loopholed into being the only male priestess of Bastet when a temple robbery went very VERY wrong.
OK, that sounds like very VERY wrong.
 
11:24 AM
@A.B. is that your character? they sounds cool
 
No, that's BESW's description of Trogdor's character, from a bit above. I wish mine was that cool.
 
May 24 '16 at 2:27, by BESW
It was a political thriller in a magical version of Ancient Egypt, wherein a thief (Ajani) accidentally became a werecat. Which was massively confusing for everyone because only the highest ranks of Bast priestess were given that blessing. And Ajani was a very lowly male totally untrained in any religious niceties.
 
@A.B. happy to workshops something, elsewhere maybe? Could always speak to your ST about your unhapiness
@BESW I vaguely remember this being brought up before
 
Feb 1 '17 at 22:59, by BESW
Everyone was very confused, and then the Pharaoh Hatshepsut (historically the first female to rule as Pharaoh in her own name) decreed that if this guy was a werecat then Bastet must have intended it to be so, and the priestesses needed to catch him up on what it means to be a high priestess of Bastet.
It started as a one-shot in 3.5 and then we did a few one-on-one sessions in a custom Fate drift before we figured out that Troggy and I have a lot of trouble making TRPGs work when it's just the two of us.
We work together very well... when there's other people involved also.
 
Mmmhm
@A.B. you reminded me to post a WB question of my own
 
11:31 AM
wb?
 
world building
 
Ah yes
 
@BESW yeah honestly I'm not sure I can make one on ones work well regardless of who it's with
 
I've had a lot of success with them... with very specific people, and with others it works even less than it does with us.
 
11:45 AM
I mean that's fair but what I mean is
I think that kind of setup doesn't give me the ability to shift out of the spotlight and hide behind other people
and I at least think retroactively that that was at least part of the problem
 
Yeah, that fits with my thoughts on it.
Sep 4 '18 at 0:34, by BESW
Twosies are definitionally intense, because there's nobody to share the spotlight with so it's always on you.
Sep 4 '18 at 0:38, by BESW
Even as a GM, twosies are more intense for that reason.
 
I wasn't so much trying to say it was just a me thing so much as, it's a me thing and I think it wouldn't matter even if it was someone else
I would still have the same problem with any one on one RPG session type thing
 
I'm somewhat frightened by the idea of playing a twosie with any expectation set remotely resembling a normal TRPG
 
Aye. Most custom-made twosies systems I've seen make allowances for that change in the dynamic.
When I successfully use a "normal" system for a twosie, it's usually in the context of using it as a learning tool.
Like, I've run Roll For Shoes with just one person, and we'd stop and talk about each action and how it could be used to zoom in or out on the action, establish/reinforce/challenge facts, expose character, etc.
 
Of course, one-on-one conversation in general is intense, and there's no particular reason why playing a game in that conversation would by definition be more intense
maybe I should give it a shot sometime
 
12:01 PM
I've heard people play Walkies With Grim as a twosie.
 
@BESW I think that would work really well
 
I know somebody here played it with their kids.
 
Quite many things we do in normal idle conversation are already games of some nature. Eg. one recurring small-talk thing I do with my partner is "hey, if you could be any [topic], what would you be and why?"
Or "Would you rather" (which is something I haven't actually seen or heard anyone do IRL, but I know it from imported American media)
 
@kviiri My wife and I recently went over 'X-powers' and 'which is your favourite dinosaur'
 
@kviiri I feel like it kinda is honestly
but that's me
 
12:11 PM
@AncientSwordRage I've been with my current partner for only about half a year, we've recently been discussing who's our favorite Gargoyle
(from the animated series)
 
@kviiri I once saw an "introduction to TRPGs" conversation model which started with that as the base schema to build on.
 
We still have a lot of deeper topics to cover x)
 
@kviiri oooh cool
 
@kviiri I have known people to very occasionally pose would you rather scenarios before
It's definitely more common in media than in real life in my personal experience
 
This answer is the most work I've put into a post in a very long time. Something about the stats of that question hooked me.
 
12:24 PM
@linksassin pretty graph === I upvote
 
12:54 PM
6
Q: Struggling with rolling for stats probability calculation

FishoI tried finding a specific statistic calculator, even tried playing with anydice.com, with no success. My friends love to roll dice, but we also want the same playing field when starting a campaign, so we thought of this idea : Each player rolls for their starting stats and those are the viable a...

 
1:11 PM
@linksassin I don't understand their argument that 4D6d1 is "too strong"
 
1:24 PM
I've noticed there is a lot of more preference for randomness in DnD circles than I personally subscribe to, so I don't find that a particularly surprising view.
(insert here also the usual Nat 20 / Nat 1 worship)
I personally like Standard array
 
@G.Moylan It isn't.
@kviiri I despise it. Tastes differ. Point buy, though, I am fine with.
 
@KorvinStarmast Right. I thought maybe I was missing something but it just seems like borderline superstition
@KorvinStarmast I use array for pre-made characters or for quick builds for one-shots. I think I'm going to use point buy for the next campaign I end up running, though
I've moved away from rolling. I'm not a fan of the variance
 
Yeah, I think the randomness is less appealing than it's often made out to be.
 
I've also found that people get salty when they don't roll well, so I have to make adjustments and allow certain reroll thresholds to make people happy, and it's just a PITA
 
@KorvinStarmast I mainly prefer array over point buy because it means I don't get stuck in analysis paralysis as easier :)
@G.Moylan Aye :D
 
1:31 PM
@kviiri The array is mathematically wrong, unfortunately.
 
@KorvinStarmast How so?
 
We even have a post here about that ...
 
It's like, uh... "Let's make this random! Random is The Right Way to Go!" ---> but uh, random has obvious problems when this or that happens ---> "Okay, let's make it random but with these re-rolls that make it pretty much meaningless it was random in the first place!"
 
@kviiri lol yeah, random with lots of accommodations
 
@KorvinStarmast Huh. This vaguely rings the tiniest bell, but I can't recall any of the specifics.
I do get the excitement of having varying results in a sense, but character creation is not a good place for that in my opinion. The excitement of possibly getting interesting stats doesn't last nearly as long as the annoyance of having sub-par stats does, should such luck occur.
And one thing that would absolutely drive me out of the table would be rolling stats without freedom of assignment: that is, not getting to choose which result goes to which stat
Even when I played TRPGs more often, I didn't get to play much, and creating a new character for a game was often a luxurious moment I had been preparing for for a long time. Getting to try out new classes and their mechanics and all that jazz! But that's not likely to happen if you wanted to be a warlock and rolled poorly when it was Charisma's turn.
 
1:39 PM
@kviiri How dare you want playable stats in my adventure combat simulator!
 
@A.B. It is fun! I'm a fan of relationship maps for creating this exact thing. Like, in some Cortex games or PBTA games (notably Masks), you define your relationship with the other characters concretely as part of the steps of creating the game, including how you feel about them. Masks playbooks give you some set questions, so not everyone has the same kinds of relationships — one character has "I have to prove myself to (insert another character here)", another has "(character) is my rival"
In games without that structure, it takes some work from players to create it for themselves, which generally takes the form of actively finding reasons to be friends and ensuring you put in work to continue to support them being together.
... Then there's Lady Blackbird which starts you off with a predefined cast with predefined relationships that just give you a springboard to leap off of and have fun with.
 
We've tended to do "How do you know each other and why do you stick together?" as the last part of char generation during session 0 in our DnD, one of the happier developments in our group.
 
@G.Moylan I have had to let people use standard arrray who rolled poorly on 4d6d1
 
@ThomasMarkov If you have any of those questions you mentioned, feel free to add them. I'm not finding any that harp on the distinction I've made and the part of the feature I'm talking about
 
@doppelgreener Bonds (between PCs) are a neat narrative/mechanical fusion. Took me a while to grasp them when Glazius ran Fellowship for us.
 
1:49 PM
Ahh the Fellowship. Really want to try that out sometime.
 
I've used systems that have you define "what's your character's relationship to this character?" for each other player character, and which let you define some facet of the other character's life. Like you might say "We share a grunge band and I love spending time with them." Now the other character's in a grunge band, also featuring your character! Is the other player cool with that? Rad. Do they want to make changes or veto that? Also okay. But it's a pretty neat platform for collaboration.
 
@doppelgreener THat wouldn't be a bad session zero addition! Evades the whole issue of PvP starting because the 'characters aren't friends yet'.
 
But it can also be something like "I really don't like them because [thing about them]" or "I feel indebted to them after them rescuing me during the shark tank incident" (never defined)
@NautArch In this map framework the characters definitely have pre-existing relationships. If you're only just about to run into each other as a rag-tag group, you've at least bumped into each other before or heard of each other.
Possibly due to fame, or the grapevine, or just being kids from the same town.
 
@doppelgreener I'd be okay with little things like that, because there are always things our friends do that rub us the wrong way.
But I really like the idea of creating a framework to define pre-existing relationships.
 
Masks doesn't try to create relationships for every character pair: it gives each character a relationship with two other characters, which means in a four-player game, there's going to be a character you have no defined relationship with. That's fine! The bonds the group has collectively are going to be enough to make things work. You might not have any specific relationship with this person, but they're e.g. the person your rival admires, so that means things to you.
 
1:55 PM
My personal favorite was in one group when we decided my character'd be another's son-in-law
 
@kviiri nice :D
 
Familial relationships feel like an under-explored space in our games
 
I don't think it's always necessary, but if a group is gravitating towards PvP because there are no good reasons to yet be friends, then this is a really cool tool.
 
@G.Moylan The 8 is wrong, and the 15 is wrong
 
In Bubblegumshoe, I don't recall there being character-to-character relationships, but we do connect our characters to NPCs and locations, which means you can have connections in common. The game I ran with @BESW, @trogdor, and friends, there's a guy called Antoine who is BFF to one character and dating another, giving common ground—he's a high school student who works at the local garage and that became our sleuth group's de-facto hangout spot.
That game starts out with the premise you're going to work together to solve mysteries, so you're designing characters with that in mind and finding that kind of overlap kind of naturally emerges because you're looking for ways to connect them.
 
2:01 PM
@GMoylan see this post
 
Because the players define all these NPCs and locations themselves, it means they all mean a lot to the players too, and helps things feel very personal. I loved that.
 
@G.Moylan and this one
 
@NautArch I find that occurs pretty easily in D&D since the characters are typically defined independently and there's nothing in the game to drive them together. Making the tough decisions is an article that spends the entire second half talking about my guy syndrome driving characters apart and how you need to put in conscious work as a player to maintain a healthy squad.
 
@G.Moylan The Standard array ought to be 16, 14, 13, 12, 10, 9. If they wanted to clip the top at 15, add one to the bottom making 10, 9, 10, 10, or 11, 9 ... don't get me started.
 
(Well, other than the gameplay necessity of being able to fight bad guys together.)
 
2:05 PM
@doppelgreener If the players can't figure out a reason why they are together, I point a finger at a lack of player imagination.
But the DM can provide a whole bunch of small hooks for the players to hang their cloaks on ...
(That's another place in the basic rules of DMG where in an early page "9 reasons your players meet, one of whic is 'they are all in the same tavern' and 8 other reasons" would be great for new DMs to see as examples)
One doesn't need a game mechanic for that.
 
@KorvinStarmast I wouldn't. One character creates an Ewok Barbarian and the other a Stormtrooper of the Royal Guard? Why are they together indeed? Blank page syndrome is a heck of a thing, and especially if you're running on the idea that no player is allowed to define anything about any other character, it can be difficult to figure out a connection.
 
The PHB spends a good big of text in the character class introduction asking the players to come up with a lot of the why they are adventuring, and then Xanathar's (one of its nice features) has some rollable tables for people who are stuck.
 
@NautArch I think it's about much more than whether the group is gravitating towards PvP or co-operation. It's about the whole breadth of interaction and bonds between the characters, how they react to each others' failings and triumphs...
 
@doppelgreener I'll go back to my old saw: chargen is a collaborative process between DM and players. Doing chargen in isolation is not a best practice. The PHB has numerous "work with you DM" guidance on that ... I'll get off of my soap box.
 
I wouldn't call it lack of imagination, but like ......... you know that phenomenon where bubbles can't just appear in water, they have to gather on something like debris, so you can wind up superheating a glass of water in the microwave? Ideas are like that — you can have all the imagination in the world but it can be hard to find anything tactile to formulate your ideas around.
 
2:10 PM
@doppelgreener Yeah, see my point about in re DM providing a few hooks to hang their cloaks on. Seeding, perhaps, as a term?
 
For sure!
 
The fancy word is nucleation
 
That works for me.
@Someone_Evil That is a very fancy word indeed.
 
@Someone_Evil Oooh, nucleation, well played! 👍
 
I mean you can basically tell the players that "this is a game of co-operation" and they will happily co-operate without needing particular in-universe encouragement, with the usual assumptions of good faith, but that still gets you nowhere when you want your hero to react to the other hero getting, I dunno, charred to extra-crispy by a Titan's lightning bolt or something. Or when they reunite with their long-lost love.
 
2:13 PM
@KorvinStarmast I'm actually hoping to set up an in-person chargen event for my hopefully hyperlocal group
 
In my saltmarsh campaign, I worked with each character to arrive at "why are you here,
where are you from, and why are you an adventurer?" and then provided a place where they met. I then dropped a few more seeds in the way of NPCs to act as a catalyst. Lots of baack and forth, lots of dialogue.
@NautArch My brain is not parsing hyperlocal. All on the same street?
 
I often find that just as @doppelgreener it takes effort to keep everyone friendly, but it also takes effort to start to be unfriendly. I think some folks bring to the table the desire for that type of interaction.
@KorvinStarmast Yep! Well, 2 out of3.
 
I often find myself drawing a blank in these situations, because these more dramatic moments are often the first time when I need to define my character's relationship with the others. Are we close enough for me to weep if they die? Am I secretly relieved that it wasn't me who got fried instead? And then it gets kinda awkward. And this happens in less pointed circumstances too, of course
 
@KorvinStarmast As one of the players in that game, I don't dislike this approach, but I feel like having a hook NPC per player doesn't really connect the PCs together.
 
Hence my advocation and desire to connect the PCs somehow before the game even starts.
 
2:15 PM
@MikeQ That's not what I did in Ensar when we started. Not sure how you got that from my comment, sorry if I was uncleear.
You and Bron, coming in to the already established group, we had to work on a bit but you both were great / easy to work with.
 
@NautArch I don't follow how friendly vs unfriendly is relevant here
 
Hm, yes, establishing prior relationships is much trickier when players join an existing campaign.
 
@kviiri People who are interested in having intra-party strife vs those who are not.
 
@NautArch But is anyone really talking about this as a chiefly intra-party strife thing?
 
@MikeQ Ignaz was going out to scratch that artificer/inventor itch, Titus was a merc, Laz had a band that was going to perform, Seven was a drunk who needed drying out, etc...
 
2:18 PM
@kviiri When there aren't pre-existing reasons to not have strife, I've found certain players gravitate to strife.
 
.. Darkeyes had nearly died in a shipwreck and washed ashored, all of a sudden chosen by a deity (Tempest cleric)
 
I just think the issues seem highly orthogonal
 
There's inter-party strife, then there's having characters at each others' throats such that they can't cooperate.
 
@MikeQ By the way, I think that Kevin is going to want to kill me/groan if and when the party discovers why the ship he and his band were on got kicked out of Monmurg ...
 
That doesn't take much effort. For example, putting a paladin and a rogue together in the same D&D party is a prototypical example of disaster.
 
2:21 PM
@doppelgreener And each is a very different thing at the table
 
@doppelgreener Yes, and the lack of cooperation is the strife I'm talking about. Minor pranks/issues aren't what I'm referencing as problematic.
 
@doppelgreener ??? Really? never had a problem with that in old school D&D, nor in 5e. But that was probably due to the players I was playing with.
 
@KorvinStarmast Paladin loses powers if paladin doesn't try to reform this criminal, etc
 
@NautArch But you can have cooperation by simple agreement, really (assuming good intentions from your players). I think the main problem collaborative char-gen, bonds etc try to answer is not enforcing cooperation within the party, it's to help creative juices flow.
 
@doppelgreener That's a DM playing gotcha, got it.
 
2:23 PM
@kviiri You can, but you don't always. Collaborative definitely helps the latter as well, but I think it will also curb players who have those tendencies.
 
we did have that in the older versions, sometimes
 
@NautArch This is something that takes work and can super easily happen (among many other ways) if you focus on "my guy would..." without looking at the collective picture and finding alternatives to help things work well.
So in Masks, there can be strife because we're playing with teenage characters leading messy teenage lives. They are growing, finding a place in the world, and have their own baggage they're dealing with. It's okay for them to not always see eye to eye, and in fact some of the relationships in the playbooks are there to introduce turbulence.
 
@doppelgreener Small group dynamics 101: forming, storming, norming, performing
 
@MikeQ My personal recommendation would be to have the new character's first session or two be more heavily focused on them and their place in the group. Kinda like you'd do it on a TV show when a new member joins the group
 
@doppelgreener Absolutely, that's why I think this is a player-type. Not that I'm blaming shows like Critical Roll, but they don't help. Those professional actors are much better trained at being able to balance that.
 
2:24 PM
@NautArch Professional Actors, yeah, that's basically "nobody I ever played D&D with ever"
 
@MikeQ I tend to hand-wave that sort of stuff. It always feels more awkward to shoe-horn in a reason then it does to just hand-wave. Same with character death and new character introduction.
 
@KorvinStarmast mmmmm but real life groups aren't normally made out of different characters with knives who are expected to use them on people they don't like
 
Definitely depends on the system though. A session of Apocalypse World is typically much denser in content than a session of DnD.
 
@doppelgreener Fisticuffs are a thing, though, and verbal hostility/taking the piss
 
well sure
there's also "falling apart" or "some guy gets stabbed through the chest in his sleep because you're in a game that has no safety net to discourage that"
 
2:26 PM
@doppelgreener Guns of Navarone (the book and the movie) - that's the D&D model in a lot of ways
@doppelgreener which then is followed by RL fisticuffs. Seen that too.
 
@KorvinStarmast Not Dirty Dozen? :D
 
@NautArch Not really, but it's an apt model for a DM to apply for a big group
 
It's an issue with different preconceptions about how the game should be. There are players who genuinely think that paladin-vs-rogue, elf-vs-dwarf, etc interparty conflicts are expected to occur.
 
I'd lean more to Magnificent Seven
 
@G.Moylan I prefer Seven Samurai, but yeah, same thing
 
2:27 PM
Anyway, I didn't want this conversation to go revolve around D&D, I've got games I can talk about where this stuff actually functions and I'm not interested in apologia for D&D's pitfalls
I don't gotta work with that system anymore and I don't want to go find ways to patch over the ways it can fail to work for people
 
@MikeQ Traveller had the imperative of "well, we need to be on a space ship and if we get sucked out into the vacuum we die" lurking
That will tend to focus a team on workign together, at least for a while
 
@MikeQ I would argue that if a situation where party members are expected to have a conflict is likely by the rules, it's a deficit in the rules if the conflict is not treated in some manner in the material.
 
@kviiri The OSR solution to this is the DM making the world so darned dangerous and lethal that PCs die unless they work as a team. That suits some tastes and not others
 
@kviiri I would hope for that as well in a system - and I think something like Paranoia has that.
 
And I mean "treated" loosely, can be either "sure, your Texas Rangers should/shouldn't shoot any Pinkerton they come across no matter what anyone says!" or "Okay so we the authors know this sort of thing can happen, please agree as a group what you want to do with it"
 
2:31 PM
Still not my game jam (paranoia)
 
Or anything in between, of course.
 
@kviiri I like the latter.
Pinkertons can be corrupt individuals!
 
@KorvinStarmast I think either works, I mean different systems for different circumstances and sometimes it's very nice that the game tells up-front what expectations it relies on. But IMO the important thing is that it is there.
 
@kviiri I don't think I've really encountered things that handle that well yet. But My experience is probably a bit limited.
 
@G.Moylan It's core premise is 'a team of people with mixed abilities, strengths, and weakness go off and do {something}' ... or die trying
 
2:35 PM
1 message moved to ­Trash
 
:58052497 I hope your hyper local group doesn't get stuck with the old DC 35 scheduling saving thorw. RL keeps doing that. MY highwayman idea looks like it may never come to pass now, arrrrgggggghhhhhhh
 
@doppelgreener So how does Masks prevent the player characters from attacking each other with their powers during an interparty conflict? I'm thinking of those soapy superhero shows where the characters just bicker all the time... how does Masks manage that?
 
@KorvinStarmast Yeah :( There's one new player I'm having trouble getting started, but I know he's busy.
 
2:39 PM
Man, there was a link I wanted to share about 8 ways to start that aren't in a tavern, but now I can't find it. Blah. RL calls, visit with you later.
 
@MikeQ I haven't gotten deep enough, but I think Masks puts enough constraints on how the narrative can progress that I can't see that actually happening. You are, fundamentally, a superhero squad working together. You might resent each other and fail to cooperate well leading to catastrophic mission failure, but that's a narrative turn the game's okay with taking. I ... don't really see room in the game for arriving at "so then Gwyndolin tried to punch the newbie through the chest."
I'd have to check with my friend who would have played it enough (and read the GM section) to know how that shakes out.
 
Another one of those often times I wish Rubiks was still around.
 
@NautArch Huh, what's up with Rubik? I haven't noticed them being gone
...I mean, I haven't noticed them here either, but... I hope you see my idea :D
 
Please remember that we accept a plethora of playstyles here and we all enjoy different games differently. We can all talk about the things we love, but focusing on what's wrong with a system and denigrating a system someone may really like isn't necessary. We can have discussions about problems within a system, but crossing over into badwrongfun is a blurry line. Just please be aware that your statements about another system you dislike may impact someone's enjoyment of it.
6
 
@kviiri Rubiks has had one main site interaction in 2021.
 
2:46 PM
@kviiri Yeah, they're not 'gone', but they're not present anymore - and I miss him!
 
Ah, thanks to both. I was thinking there might be some commonly-known situation of leave going on
 
Oh no! (or I hope not!)
 
(I don't mean to pry, if it's something less-commonly known!)
 
And Rubik's last meta action was in October.
Is four different system tags correct for this question
 
@doppelgreener Jumping in here, there's something I can't quite place that makes me feel very anti-playbook. It feels like the characters aren't mind but I'm just playing a role someone else has defined
 
2:52 PM
@ThomasMarkov It's a lore question, edition (mostly) isn't relevant. Also, [WoD] is a setting, [Werewolf] is the system. And it probably only needs one
[Werewolf-20th-anniverssary] and [werewolf-2e] can go I think
 
@RevanantBacon WoD is both...?
 
@AncientSwordRage I have something similar. I like them as a jumping-off point, and they're a template I can make mine, but they are also a template. It's somewhat less personal than a character I made all my own. But that's kind of nice sometimes, too. Masks gives me a functional character and gives me a ton of structure for a messy teenage superhero life, and the fact the character is slightly impersonal makes that a lot safer to explore.
 
@AncientSwordRage Well, yes and no. It's kind of like the core mechanics of the game
 
@RevanantBacon but oWod/WoD/nWod/CofD all differ in setting as well
it's massively confusing to me
 
@AncientSwordRage You're not alone there
 
2:56 PM
@doppelgreener I'm glad I'm not alone here
@RevanantBacon we do have a question about it somewhere
can I just sound check, is this comment unfriendly?
If you are interested in short-range communications, the Wikipedia article radio controlled submarine may be of interest; money quote: "the lowest hobby bands, typically around 27MHz/40MHz, can penetrate several feet of water at short distances, typically less than 45 meters". On the other hand, for underwater communication radio is the almost often a much worse idea than acoustic waves. (And -1 for asking a set of benevolent strangers to do basic research for you.) — AlexP 57 mins ago
 
@AncientSwordRage Ehhhh, I don't think so.
 
> (And -1 for asking a set of benevolent strangers to do basic research for you.)
 
@AncientSwordRage the parenthetical seems unfriendly, chop it off and the comment is constructively fine
 
@doppelgreener oh I didn't catch that part
 
was the only bit that left a sour taste, and maybe the contrast between the two made it worse?
@doppelgreener I thought as much, thanks for helping confirm
 
3:00 PM
@G.Moylan yeah i was thinking "this seems fine, what could the problem possibly be that ASR is seeing?" until i reached the parenthetical and, oh, that would be it
 
After having read the context of the question asked (a Q on sci-fi SE) about a science question, I would say yeah, that's probably unfriendly enough to consider deleting. Possibly with a "Also, don't answer in comments" tacked on
 
@doppelgreener also, strangely, they didn't actually downvote
 
@AncientSwordRage i bet ive even asked you this before, but are you able to move messages to dragons with your mod powers
 
@ThomasMarkov yup
 
3:39 PM
@AncientSwordRage hello?
 
@Catofdoom2 oh hi
hows things?
 
having a better day than usual. so I thought I'd be here for awhile.
 
@Catofdoom2 awesome
glad to have you
 
@AncientSwordRage my depression decided to take a vacation so may as well enjoy it for now
 
PARTY TIME :D
 
3:49 PM
@AncientSwordRage I'll bring the Shirley Temples if you bring the chips and salsa
 
No popcorn?
 
I'll rent out the hobby store.
 
@Catofdoom2 nice
@bobble all the popcorn
 
I'm more of a chip'n'dip kinda person, but if you wanna bring popcorn too, feel free (my favorite kind is kettle corn) :p
 
how long do we need it for? @AncientSwordRage
 
3:51 PM
@Catofdoom2 as long as possible?
 
ummmm
its about 300$ an hour soooo. time to get the life savings out of the bank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
 
4
Q: What happens after 30 days to the intelligence of a creature who was awakened?

TomaI'm trying to understand the Awaken spell. My confusion stems from the duration of the added intelligence. What happens to the intelligence of a creature after the 30 day charm period? Is it gone, or is the creature intelligent forever, but would walk away? I'll add that a group of druids could u...

 
@Catofdoom2 Good grief, $300/ hour? Too expensive for me, how about we just camp around the dumpster out back? XD
 
@RevanantBacon renting all the rooms in the store costs alot
 
3:57 PM
Lol, fair enough. What's their rate on a single room per hour?
 
18
18 for a big room 10 for a small
 

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