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12:34 AM
It is now canon in our Tuesday game that Deep Speech is just Common sentences, but followed with "in Deep Speech".
Ah, Chantho.
5 hours later…
5:43 AM
"‘Go Forth And Create’: Into The Mother Lands’ Successful Kickstarter Is An Inspiration For Other Creators" interview by Rob Wieland for Forbes magazine. An interview with the cast and creators of Into The Mother Lands about the popularity of streaming, their struggles in their creative space, and the popularity of their Kickstarter.
Question: has anybody seen a setting/adventure product that was just the physical handouts (letters, maps, signs, etc) without a story explicitly attached? Would you be interested in such a thing?
I think it would help if the handouts came with suggested questions to help jump-start the storytelling (without explicitly dictating anything about the story). E.g. a beat-up sign saying "Mart-a's Bak--y" - who's Martha? Why did they let the sign get so run-down? What does/did the bakery sell? etc. (And no, I haven't seen something like this)
@BESW I haven’t seen that particularly, off the top of my head, but I might be interested in one. Seems like something that could work well for a game where you don’t have a larger story in mind from the beginning
Yeah, exactly.
I've got this idea for, like, a packet that contains the sorts of paper matter you'd encounter up at a roadside attraction--brochure, kid's menu/coloring mat, FREE GUITAR LESSONS flier, non-scaled isometric map, walking tour pamphlet, etc.
And let the GM/group figure out what kind of fiction they're going to make with it.
There'd be hooks for different kinds of engagement, but it wouldn't be a "study the clues to solve the mystery" kind of thing.
It'd be more like "study the clues to find a mystery."
5:58 AM
@BESW Sounds similar to AD&D Treasure Maps. I thought it had just the maps, but on checking, it had info on what treasure & threats were there as well.
2 hours later…
7:50 AM
@ThomasMarkov 1/n where n is any Real number sans 0.
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Bad keyword with email in answer, email in answer, pattern-matching email in answer (262): Creating a campaign everyone can DM in? by Michael Williams on rpg.SE (@Rubiksmoose @ThomasMarkov)
@SmokeDetector Great that the story totally doesn't check out! A criminal trial for murder takes a year to prosecute in the first place.
Wouldn't that depend a lot on the locale
@kviiri ok, in russia or such that is faster, but in general, murder processes are rather long, unless there is a confession. On the other hand, Soviet Russia and PRC don't have a legal system worth its salt.
@Trish Seeing the poor spambot was framed, it's likely they are in a place with a shady court system ;)
8:03 AM
@kviiri True, but must be a backwater place where they have both a legal system like that, magicians and internet... Does Mississippi have a legal system? They are unrepresented on the Stack ;)
Every place has magic.
@BESW It depends on whether you consider notes on monsters and inhabitants to count as story. The Forking Paths zine devotes its first issue to presenting a system-agnostic locale called the Viridian Maw, and indicating what shaped it and its peoples, but it doesn't assume a particular prompt for what brings the mythical beings known as PCs (or if it does, it's missable, as I have missed it).
Yeah, nothing like stat blocks or the like, and no backstory or lore outside what's conveyed by the handout material.
My vision is there's the handouts, and there's guidance about the principles I imagine might guide how it's used--but the only information about the setting is in the objects of play.
If there's a "why you're here" prompt, it's a letter or a phone transcript or the like.
8:19 AM
Interesting. Certainly I'd try to have it see use, once my province leaves the current state of emergency.
(I'm imagining a cryptic postcard of the place, with "Can't wait for you to visit!" or something scrawled on it.)
There might even be multiple bits of correspondence and any of them could be what brought the party there, or could be something found at the place after they arrive.
I'm reminded of some of the maps that are to be found in Silent Hill 2 with details scrawled on them.
Something I made last year:
Yeah, I'm definitely intrigued, like, 'what kind of weathering is that and how did it come to be so?' is a thought that comes to mind.
8:44 AM
Q: How shall we frame our upcoming revisit of the Don't Guess the System Policy?

AkixkisuWhen we eventually revisit the Don't Guess the System Policy, we should do so from framing that is not initiated by our moderators. Our moderators have already made their standpoint of policy enforcement in their role as moderators known. As a community, we should discuss how to frame the upcomin...

9:00 AM
1 hour later…
10:03 AM
rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/27531/… I'm uncertain about whether this is or isn't a game recommendation question as the primary query seems to be, paraphrased,: "How do we go about discovering adventures that fit our needs?" which seems to be about expertise on how to go about resource gathering rather than shopping for anything in particular.
10:30 AM
@Akixkisu i think you're right
i've flagged it and revised the title+tags
@ThomasMarkov Hit me up with that draft whenever you'd like o/
I think "but this doesn't mean we should just take our hands off as a community and divest ourselves of involvement. If moderators happen to open the meta, they would even be helped by understanding how we want to go about this." is a great way to phrase it.
@Akixkisu honestly imagine you + three other people were put in a room and said "alright, you have to do this thing for this entire community all by yourselves, don't screw it up." you might appreciate some input at the very least.
@doppelgreener it is quite the burden.
And not what you sign up for as a moderator.
It is frankly unfair to put that onto them.
As a moderator you already have to make difficult decisions that only that power entails you to make.
And then also to be out into a position where you have to do that is too much to handle.
And I don't mean that they would be incapable, it is simply not an obligation that should apply to them due to their role as elected moderators.
I'm also very much open to additional things that the framework would need to consider if you have input in that regard.
10:56 AM
honestly when i signed up to moderate i knew i'd have to do stuff like organise important metas all ourselves from time to time. i just didn't sign up to have sole responsibility for doing that.
I think we've talked about accompaniment in the past.
I would find moderating a site a bit stressful in the first place, but especially if there were only three of us
or four, it feels like too little.
It'd help if the Stack gave their volunteers proper support or training.
...or even an accurate description of what the role entails.
If I had to moderate something (apart from this chat which I kinda do, pretty nominally but still) RPG.se would at least be nice in the sense that it's a fairly low-traffic community
And we have an exceptionally good culture of friendly discourse, not entirely without its lapses of course but still way better than most open online communities I've seen.
@BESW yeah it's kinda just left at: “yeah being a moderator is about, you know,” [gestures broadly around at things] “and other stuff like that.”
11:09 AM
May 10 '20 at 9:02, by BESW
The position would involve structured training protocols and other tools for creating qualified moderators instead of just magicking up the volunteers who are willing to sweat their qualifications out on their own with what support can be offered by the other equally self-made moderators and a negligent skeleton crew of paid employees.
in The Ink Spot, May 15 '18 at 10:39, by BESW
> I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Elected mods on fire off the shoulder of christianity.se. I watched CMs glitter in the dark near the Mos Eisley chat room. All those moderators will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to resign.
I've impressioned a few times upon staff that it's actually a serious issue that the company has no vetting process and no training process for moderators, as demonstrated by [gestures at 2019] all these moderators who were unwilling to comply with the very same “no bigotry” clauses they signed up to enforce. No part of moderator election involves a check of “do you actually share any of these values?”. I think they are beginning training, at least.
No part of moderator election even involves a check for competence at enforcing any of those values.
There's some vague sussing out by the active community of moderator's capacity, but they can only see what they already see, or find out if the correct questions get put in that list of 10 the candidates get asked.
@doppelgreener And you can totally just look at past answers to those questions to find successful templates.
... I was just last month pinged about moderator elections running in communities I'm in. Next time I get one of those, maybe I ought to submit a question asking if they're willing to enforce our protections around trans and queer identities.
Are stackizens here aware Sci-Fi & Fantasy are having an election?
I am and I think I'm qualified to vote, technically, but I don't use the site often enough to have any sort of opinion on who should be moderating it.
11:24 AM
@kviiri if in doubt, read their questionnaire responses, or chat to them here
I've just now cast some votes
but I'm voting for people I already know previously might do well
I only feel qualified to vote in communities where I've already been active enough to know about the candidates in the long term
@doppelgreener yay
hi @TheLethalCarrot
Have you come to shake hands and kiss babies?
11:26 AM
Just lurking :P
But if anyone does want to shake my hand, I shall extend it
howdy carrot :D
@doppelgreener Yeah, in elections I'm a lot less interested in "does this person say they'll do things I like" and more interested in "have I seen this person demonstrate good judgement and the skills needed to be effective in the position?"
I've never really played DND and the like but I do like reading the questions/answers when they hit the HNQ
@BESW yes this
@TheLethalCarrot they're fun :D
11:29 AM
I don't want somebody who promises to do specific things I think are a good idea, I want somebody who's going to be wise and effective in whatever situations arise.
@BESW You can, hopefully, get a reasonable understanding of the candidates even if you've never seen them around before I feel
Though that would be taking their word at face value of course
@TheLethalCarrot well you can also look at review stats
and meta participation
Meta probably says more than review stats - someone reviewing a lot doesn't necessarily make them a good mod (no offence Carrot).
Aye, though that can take a significant amount of time which is understandable if a lot of people don't want to do that
(hi RPGers!)
11:32 AM
::waves at people he already knows::
how's things Rand?
@Randal'Thor Well it's true. I'd look at the quality of the reviews as well as the amount
[wave] Hey @Randal'Thor. I'm about halfway through Properties of Perpetual Light (I keep having to take breaks because it gives me Many Feelings) and it feels like almost every other page Julian's also recommending some other book that I really want to read.
@BESW FWIW, even though I've known all seven candidates for years, I still found it hard to rank my top picks (bottom ones were easy).
@doppelgreener Long time no see! I'm good, how's things in greenerland?
11:36 AM
@Randal'Thor Heh. It's not like I do much of anything Stackly outside of chat for the last couple years.
@Randal'Thor real nice. very warm.
how's things in Land al'Thor?
@TheLethalCarrot Yes, but that's a lot harder and more time-consuming to judge.
(sorry, misping)
@BESW To my embarrassment, I still haven't taken the time to go through all your recommendations on Oceanian literature from a while ago and propose some topic challenges for Literature ... it's still on my to-do list though.
@doppelgreener Also warm and with fine views. Heh, Land al'Thor, nice one.
I guess greenerland is the Emerald City?
[looks out window, adjusts tinted glasses] yep, everything looks emerald from here
@Randal'Thor do you use the story graph?
Haven't heard of that before.
11:48 AM
StoryGraph is an excellent alternative to GoodReads.
12:07 PM
@AncientSwordRage Are you to remain a moderator there?
@ThomasMarkov yup
unless there's a coup
We can probably reopen this question, I've got an answer ready.
@ThomasMarkov done!
This answer is wrong, and the argument is impossible to follow.
12:32 PM
@Randal'Thor Of course but then so is just looking through meta questions. There's already a lot of reading available just on the election page that most will probably ignore
@doppelgreener wanna send me an email at markovthomas@gmail?
@ThomasMarkov I followed it part way and just realised it was wrong
@Ben did you see this is getting answers: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/121829/…
12:48 PM
@AncientSwordRage I already voted
1:14 PM
@KorvinStarmast you voted for there to be a coup? :-o
@AncientSwordRage no, I got an alert to vote in the election and I did so.
Question for those who use pre-made character for first-timers: I'm running a short adventure to introduce the game to a couple of folks and trying to give a good set of characters so they see the different options. Was going to go swashbuckler, evoker, light cleric, bear barbarian. Is that a good mix?
@KorvinStarmast ah ok
@NautArch Yes, good enough
@KorvinStarmast halfling rogue, high elf evoker, dwarf light cleric, half-orc barb.
1:24 PM
@AncientSwordRage I didn't see that option... unfortunately :P
@TheLethalCarrot :p
@NautArch depends on the system actually. For TDE, I use archetypes that the game designer made (at times those are not actually following the rules as they are printed, but they are close enough that it doesn't matter)
@Trish This is for 5e.
@NautArch While I'd recommend against using a halfling for anything, that's a matter of personal taste and it will probably go well if any of them liked the LoTR movies.
@KorvinStarmast You are anti-halfling?
1:26 PM
@NautArch Yes, the longer I play the more I dislike them, and I played a boat load of hobbits and halflings in early D&D days. (Similarly, gnomes can all go and hang ... and Kender need to all be fed to a dragon as soon as possible)
@NautArch Something easy that doesn't need to branch then. Like... For Pathfinder I usually prepared a simple war-caster with one or two utility spells, a ranger with a choice of bow or spear (had two) and the correct enemy for the adventure I tried to run (abberations), a simple fighter or two and a healer-cleric with board-and-sword (scimitar technically).
@KorvinStarmast You gots an issue with the vertically challenged, races, eh?
@Trish We're not going to continue these characters beyond this adventure (unless the player really likes them.) This is really to showcase the options and mechanics.
oh, and the Dwarven Gunslinger, but nobody chose that ever.
@NautArch I am no longer able to suspend disbelief as regards them, yes.
@KorvinStarmast ha!
1:28 PM
@NautArch (Though gnomes as inherently magical are somewhat internally consistent - forest) It's the steam punk tinker gnomes that give me hives)
We are working on teaching suspension of disbelief to the kids. They've already learned Dramatic Effect.
I only do emulsion of disbelief
@kviiri I'm a supersaturated solution of disbelief guy.
When someone says to me, with a straight face, "Yes, a halfling can have a 20 Strength, just as a Goliath does" I just can't buy in to that.
@NautArch keeping the whole character tailored around the main gig helped in that. Like: "The caster here flings fire and ice in combat and can light a fire as well as do X". "The Elven Rogue fights with a Longsword, opens locks, disarms traps and prefers to flank others."
1:30 PM
@KorvinStarmast Is that something you'd be happy to elaborate on?
Oh you just have
@AncientSwordRage Nothing further to say; it just doesn't work for me anymore. (Might have to do with how many different kinds of stories I've read over the past 40+ years too)
Trying to have each archetype fit a 2-sentence descriptor can help.
@KorvinStarmast A halfling with 20 strength is a dwarf.
@Trish Thank you. 😁
I mean, with 20 strength I expect them at least to look like one in bulk. Possibly a shaven dwarf, but then again, I love the idea of the Dwarven alchemist that has not a single hair left on his burnscared face.
@Trish I powerlifted in college, 148 pound class. I simply could not move the kind of metal the lifters in the 190 - 200+ pound class could. (I also did enough further damage to my back (had a problem with lower back since age 14, and spent a couple years rowing/crew) that the doc told me to stop doing it; glad he did).
1:36 PM
For me, 20 strength in the first place (especially it being a cap) is such a suspension of disbelief that anybody can attain it
@KorvinStarmast That's body mechanics, yes. Depending on how thick the bones of the halfling are there might be physical limits.
@Trish yeah, also got the lecture from the doc about my bone mass not being conducive to that sport; he did some measurements .... been on calcium supplements for the last decade or so, similar concerns from my current doctor as I got past age 50
@Medix2 How about the spindly farmhand that just happens to wear the legendary belt of Stength+12 that used to be Thor's?
@Trish At least that's magic ...
@KorvinStarmast Most weightlifters have a calcium rich diet. Just like Sumo wrestlers need a very protein and carbohydrate rich diet but actually little to no fat - despite their body shape. They need to very carefully keep their weight to not risk damaging their body further
1:39 PM
@Trish we drank milk by the quart, we did.
And I'll say that sports medicine and sports diet in the past few decades are far better than when we were doing that. I tip my cap to the advances therein. (Heh, a couple of my compadres messed around with steroids, I stayed away from them, and am really glad that I made that choice).
@KorvinStarmast that's a quarter gallon? about... 1.2 liters or such? My intake is like half a liter to a liter per day, depending on if I have cereal and how much coffee...
@Trish On a give day I probably drank a quart to a half gallon of milk back then. Sometimes a bit more, but that's about what my intake was.
@KorvinStarmast I tip my head to Takaki Kanehiro, who brought us the realisation that pure white rice is causing Beriberi, and upon who's research the finding of Vitamin B was founded.
@KorvinStarmast I hope 3.5% fat one, the 1.5% is pretty much water with flavor...
Hmm, wasn't aware of that. We switched to brown rice about five years ago. Never looked back.
@Trish Yes, whole milk, and usually two tablespoons of protien powder in the first glass of milk for each day.
(Gawd, that stuff tasted awful).
@KorvinStarmast That was before they started to enrich any riche with Vitamin B. Parboiled is also good.
1:48 PM
Can I get a temperature check here?
See comments.
It' a dupe.
You don’t. The linked question asks the same thing here without restricting to items, but it is still asking the same thing. This answer answers your question here directly. This question is an obvious subset of that one and it is sufficiently answered by that one, so there is no reason for this question not to be closed as a duplicate. — Thomas Markov 7 mins ago
Correct assessment ^
@ThomasMarkov with you on that one: dupe.
But they can bounty for to ask a for a revisit with more info.
anyone of you making LARP props? I can't get Barch contact cement here in Germany... what other brands are good?
1:55 PM
@ThomasMarkov But given the language at glance, the conversation is heating up and getting spicy. May be good to let it cool down, too.
@Medix2 I could do this edit "As a community, we should discuss how to frame the upcoming revisit of the Don't Guess the System Policy. We need a transparent and fair vote, so we ought to establish voting rules that prevent influences that negatively impact the transparency of the voting process. We have to acknowledge our initial situation and the expression of the will of our community therein."
@Akixkisu What do you mean by voting rules?
What things can influence?
@NautArch such as, when do we cut of the vote.
@Akixkisu I will say I like that far far more and I think it removes the problems I had with the question
@Akixkisu how about let's not tamper with the voting system?
1:58 PM
@KorvinStarmast Who is tampering?
I think Korvin is effectively saying we should just do what we've always done? I could be misinterpreting that though
"We have to acknowledge our initial situation and the expression of the will of our community therein." That's some loaded language right there. See recent meta on people trying to prevent votes over time .... which doppel answered nicely
@KorvinStarmast exactly.
@Medix2 More or less, yes.
We have a policy that is not supported by the majority of voters.
Clearly that is problematic.
How do we organise the process in such a way that we don't end up in that situation again?
2:00 PM
Why can't we just make another revisit then?
Hmm, I am going to remove myself from this conversation, as I think that we are back to picking at a scab. Cheers.
@Medix2 When is that revisit complete?
In three months, 4?
When the moderators decide it is done?
I couldn't see any possible reason/way to argue for any specific amount of time. They all feel totally arbitrary to me
The argument here is that we would establish that before we vote.
To make clear when we cut off the vote, or that we do not cut off the vote.
Then I think "frame" may not be a good question here. Framing is about how we ask the rererevisit, not how we decide when it is over
2:03 PM
Q: How can I get answers about items serving specific purpose, without my question being closed as duplicate of the one that doesn't care about items?

MołotI'm looking specifically for items that can mitigate issues with light sensitivity. I asked here: Are there official items for mitigating light sensitivity? and it got closed as a duplicate of How can I get around the drow's light sensitivity? Problem is, older question does not focus on items. I...

Or that every position has enough time to draft their answer.
But I see what you mean, I think, and will work on an answer
@Medix2 that is part of it.
If we would handle the issue like every other, then we would simply acknowledge the overwhelming majority that is in favour of reverting the policy.
But that is not how we handle it.
So this is a complicated issue.
I don't actually think that is how we handle anything, but oh well, drafting an answer now
@Akixkisu It's not about a time cutoff. Last time, we waited until one answer was clearly in the lead and not changing anytime soon. The one answer had pulled far ahead of the other, and that gap was not diminishing at all, and votes had slowed to a crawl. We waited for a long time to be sure, and the mods after I left waited even longer before calling it, and at that time it was a safe call. The representative community had appeared to have their say.
2:19 PM
@doppelgreener and then we cutoff the vote, after that and over time the majority changed, quite drastically.
So what happens then?
haven't we been talking about that?
I just don't see a problem with that. If anything, the vote totals just indicate that we should ask a rererevisit
2:21 PM
it took the better part of a year for that to even begin to happen, and more than a year to crystallise as something that's definitely happening—that's not a sign that we should wait longer before calling metas, that's a sign we should be open to figuring out we need to change things
I think that could be a good way to phrase it.
Welp, just gave notice at my current job
@Medix2 I don't know about that. We could also change the call and not revisit the question as there is no appearant increase in support for one stance.
@G.Moylan Like a two week leaving notice?
@Medix2 yes. Got a new one lined up with an over 50% pay bump
2:32 PM
But revisiting seems to be what we are doing, so I'm thinking from that perspective.
@Medix2 I think those are good answers.
@G.Moylan that sounds pretty awesome.
@Akixkisu Yeah I 'm excited. Once the contract is over I'll have a pretty sweet deal with benefits, too.
@AncientSwordRage are you remaining a mod at SF&F?
2:49 PM
@G.Moylan congrats! is the work more interesting?
@NautArch Should be, moving from software dev to DevOps
@G.Moylan why do people keep asking that? 😅
3 hours ago, by Thomas Markov
@AncientSwordRage Are you to remain a moderator there?
@AncientSwordRage everyone wants you to quit, obviously.
jk dont quit
@AncientSwordRage You announced the elections and I didn't see if you're stepping down. The election info I saw doesn't mention anyone leaving.
Now I feel like there really is a secret coup...
3:10 PM
Is there a question lock type that prevents answers but not comments?
@AncientSwordRage So the chickens can hide from the foxes?
@Medix2 Wiki Answer, which I'm pretty sure doesn't stop comments nor votes
@AncientSwordRage Coups generally don't work if they're publicly known
3:27 PM
Q: Thanks to Kevin and Thaddeus for their years of service as moderators

Rand al'ThorAs some of you have already noticed, this month our site's moderator team lost two of its members. They hadn't been active for a while, and the Stack Exchange Community Team removed their diamonds under the process for inactive moderators. Instead of focusing on their inactivity and removal, this...

@ThomasMarkov Before you posted that eyepatch, my headcanon definitely didn't see light sensitivity as an eyesight thing.
It still might not be about eyesight, the eyepatch is magical and prevents people from reading your thoughts too.
This isnt a mundane eyepatch, it’s a rare magic item
@ThomasMarkov True. Ah, rare.
It should totally be one of those hats with an umbrella, tho.
@TheLethalCarrot There's a process for inactive moderators?
@NautArch It's not really been used in practice till recently I think
Q: What is the process regarding moderator inactivity removals?

Sonic the Anonymous HedgehogAs far as I'm aware, moderators can now only be removed voluntarily or for cause (following one of the two processes listed here), but prior to the publication of that post, there has also been a process to remove moderators who are inactive from moderating their sites. I had previously inquired ...

3:40 PM
@G.Moylan from the fouxes?
@Someone_Evil true!
@AncientSwordRage One of my favorite silly jokes (which I think came from a Laffy Taffy wrapper) is: Why do chicken coops only have two doors? Because if they had any more they'd be chicken sedans!
@G.Moylan that's a good joke
The other option is for the chickens to get a hatchback
Drats, foiled again
3:56 PM
@RevanantBacon bacon foil?
I decided to try to be a jokester and add ♦ to my name. System wouldn't let me lol. Only alpha-numeric characters, hyphens, and apostrophes
@G.Moylan I like your optimism. Moving from the frying pan to the fire and hoping the temperature is nicer.
@AncientSwordRage Nice
@ThomasMarkov Did I read it wrong? I thought it said Uncommon.
Definitely rare.
@RevanantBacon similar on twitter which blocks adding a ✓ to your name
4:03 PM
Q: Can a Sorcerer heighten a granted spell?

AndrásYou only add granted spells to your repertoire1, and there the levels are fixed. For example, Demonic sorcerers have the divine spell list, but get Slow as a granted spell. Does it mean you cannot heighten them? (Unless of course you make them signature spells) not your spell list, like a Cleric

4:46 PM
@Trish You mentioned in a comment on a (now deleted) post that RAI can mean "rules as interpreted", which, it is true that people use that phrase from time to time, but I would propose to you that it is an entirely meaningless phrase.
@ThomasMarkov Aye, it IS, but the note that it can be either or is to show that it is meaningless. We can't know if that is intended and using it as interpreted just means the same as as written, meaning there is no difference
simply put: RAI is a an ill defined term while RAW is just a method of arguing rules.
Personally, I'm a fan of ditching the initialisms all together and just writing out what we mean.
@Trish Right, but only because there exist people that think "rules as interpreted" means something.
"Rules as intended" seems pretty well defined, but its obfuscated because there are people that use RAI to mean something else, and its unfortunate that the something else is horribly obfuscatory.
@ThomasMarkov well, Rules as interpreted technically would need a note on by whom. For example "Rules as interpreted by my GM" or "Rules as interpreted by the community in X".
@ThomasMarkov Rules as Intended would need designeer commentary akin to Sage Advice that says "With rule 21A we tried to balance the damage of a spear for its reach"
@Trish That would certainly help. My main issue with it is that every application of the rules is "rules as interpreted".
However, such commentary is rare. We actually Have such a commentary for MAID in the shape of the Nun-Approved files, which explains among other things what the intended tone is, or what the context of certain items was in the Japanese language version etc
5:00 PM
Q: Please avoid using the RAI acronym, or use it carefully & be clear in context

doppelgreenerThis meta exists to explain some issues with the RAI acronym. It has a couple of issues with its usage, and often get asked to clarify it. You've probably been pointed to this meta in relation to a request to clarify some usage of the acronym in a post. It attempts to summarise a couple of issues...

@ThomasMarkov The SAC makes a point of defining the acronyms, at least in the D&D 5E sphere
5:19 PM
I don' think I've ever seen someone use RAI to mean Rules as Interpreted, I've seen it exclusively used for Rules as Intended, and it's almost always in the context of RAI vs RAW (that is, what the authors meant for the rules to do, and what the rules actually do). I feel like Rules as Written is nearly, if not completely, synonymous with Rules as Interpreted
I wrote an answer:
A: What does "Rules As Interpreted" mean and how is it different to RAW and RAI (from D&D)?

Thomas Markov"Rules as Interpreted" doesn't mean anything. Rules do not exist in a vacuum. The rules of various games are applied at the table, and these applications of rules are always and forever some person's interpretation of those rules. So the issue with "rules as interpreted" is that it means everythi...

Yes, that answer is agreeable to me.
There is no meaningful distinction from Rules as Interpreted and Rules as Written
@RevanantBacon (or any other method of applying the rules)
To me, RAW is a very specific, literalistic, legalistic way of interpreting the rules. Rules As Interpreted is just the way that that individual interprets those rules, which can be any of an enormous number of methods
@Medix2 Right, we are Interpreting what was Written
5:27 PM
I'm not sure you can agree with me when I don't agree with you XD
You: there is no meaningful distinction. Me: There is a distinction. You: Right
Or maybe "right" didn't mean "correct" there?
Ah, see, I didn't get that takeaway from how you wrote that. What you Wrote didn't match your Intent
RAW is an extremely specific method of interpretation. There are thousands of other methods that would lead to different conclusions and those thousands of methods are the rules as interpreted
To me, RAW being a strict literal interpretation of the rules is Rules as Interpreted because that's how the rules should be read, eg very literally
I think it's a way the rules often are read. But is, by no means, how they should be read. RAW is a specific kind of Interpretation to me
As far as I'm concerned, anything outside of that is misinterpretation, be it deliberate or accidental
5:31 PM
Different strokes for different blokes
Rules as Intended, on the other hand, should cover what was probably meant by the author when they were written up (within reason, and with backing if possible), and is also a correct way to read the rules
RAW is a subset of rules as interpreted, because rules as interpreted is the universal set with respect to applying rules.
@ThomasMarkov I suppose with that viewpoint that Rules as Intended is a subset of Rules as Interpreted as well, since you're trying to see an alternate interpretation
which makes sense
Either way, Rules as Interpreted is an almost meaningless phrase
Now that I think about it, that would make even more sense than otherwise
@ThomasMarkov Agreed that the sunlight thing is no longer a dupe. Not sure it's a very good question, but it'snot a dupe.
I'd argue that every reading of the rules is Rules as Interpreted, because that's a fundamental aspect of how language works. Every reading of everything is an interpretation. Some interpretations are further from the Intended meaning or the general understanding of the text, but everyone is interpreting the words.
5:42 PM
@LCooper Correct.
Sorry, psychology and liberal arts degree is showing XD
@Medix2 I thought it was "folks"?
@AncientSwordRage Youre thinking of the idiom "different strolks for different folks".
@ThomasMarkov Watchoo talkin' 'bout, Thomas?
@ThomasMarkov so I am
5:59 PM
@AncientSwordRage It is, @ThomasMarkov they (both) are, and @everyone I think there was just a mild joke/world play going on
@RevanantBacon I thought that might be the case
@ThomasMarkov did you some tiny formatting stuff to make it easier readable.
@Trish Looks good, thanks.
also snuck in a tiny qualifier of on its own. Becasue "Rules as interpreted by Head-GM A" actually does mean something.
As a side note, should that be a meta question, or is it applicable to main site?
6:04 PM
I think it's about how the terms are used in the TTRPG community, not on the site. So it's good for mine
@Trish I removed it. Im trying to reinforce that the phrase is useless, even when its not on its own.
@ThomasMarkov aye!
Q: If I alter my Spined Devil permanently, can they still use their old features?

Afshin MangudaiThe description of the Ring of Alter Self says that if one wears it for a month, the effects become permanent. I'm a 4 level hexlock and I have a Spined Devil who I want to use as a henchman. If I make him alter himself into a humanoid shape and make it permanent using one of these rings, can he ...

@Medix2 Makes sense.
Like yeah, it means something when you specify who's interpretation it is, but then its not the phrase anymore, youre just telling us what someone's interpretation is.
6:05 PM
@ThomasMarkov How do you feel about that recent Aura question, specifically the fact that the answer has a lot of quoted text instead of just naming the features?
@Medix2 Idk tbh.
I mean, we could probably rebuild every class and subclass from text posted on this site, it just isnt ever all in one place.
I also wouldn't be surprised if you can find basically everything from 5e quoted on here at some point...
Ah, ya beat me me to it XD
@Medix2 Well, I'm sure there's lots of lore stuff from like SCAG or MToF that's not quoted.
But yeah, I would bet money that every class ability is quoted on here at least once, and probably most spells (although I'm sure there are one or two that aren't, just because they're very basic or just uninteresting)
@ThomasMarkov hit into the same notch, but I actually don't think that either of the terms is useful but for the one case where we actually have either a governing Head-GM or designer commentary... or are SUPER strict that RAW is just the text
6:48 PM
That soulknife / AMF question got me doing this at my desk .. how much soul could a soulknife knife if a soulknife could knife souls? yeah, slow news day.
@G.Moylan Hooray!
Q: Are there official items for incompletely mitigating light sensitivity?

MołotI know of the How can I get around the drow's light sensitivity? question, but I'm looking for something narrower and not seen in its answers. I don't want to magic disadvantage away for good. Are there items that can mitigate light sensitivity? Preferably mundane, like real life ilgaak. My next ...

7:15 PM
@KorvinStarmast Glad it wasn't just me, I saw it cross one of the queues this morning and briefly wondered if I had completely forgotten how to read
2 hours later…
9:35 PM
How many discussions about RAW have you seen that convinced anyone of anything, or clarified someone's position in a useful way?
I'm not sure when it happened, but they've started to read to me like D&D alignment debates.
@Powerdork RAW the concept or whether something works RAW?
The former.
The value of rules-as-written is that it’s an incomplete but reliable lens: it assumes the only shared information between two people is their mutual reading of the same text, and doesn’t make assumptions about play style, experience, etc. This makes it a great conversational lens for strangers on the internet to talk about their hobby together. As a lens for actually guiding play decisions, it’s seriously lacking.
And when you take into account the realities of the industry like editors adding or cutting words and phrases just to make the paragraphs fit nicely on the layout, dedication to word-specific critical analysis of the text loses a lot of its appeal.
Bumbling by Yvris Burke. A solo RPG about bees
9:53 PM
@BESW like, RAW you can be a supersonic swara that can manage Mach 17... but no GM should ever allow that because that swara would destroy cities by moving past them.
That's a more mechanical example than I'd use, but sure.
I'll also point out, though, that anybody even passingly familiar with cognitive reading theory or the history of text-based questions on this site, knows that even sharing the same text shouldn't be taken to imply a shared understanding of the text. Humans all read differently, bringing unique contexts to the text and taking away unique meanings.
@BESW which is why RAW beyond the actual rules text is pretty much an interpretation anyway.
Systems like Fate lean into this and make explicit that what matters is the shared understanding at the table, and the rules text is a prompt and a set of tools for guiding and structuring the conversations which create and manipulate the shared understanding of the people playing that game at the moment.
Whether the tools get used exactly as intended by the designer is irrelephant.
But while systems like D&D often say that in the text, they struggle to reify it in their design. For a lot of reasons--the illusion of shared coherency between tables is a valuable marketing gimmick, for one thing.
And when a system is built on a lot of carefully interconnected parts that move together in complicated ways, it's a lot harder for the designers to hand off responsibility for curating that movement to the table. The more complex a game engine is, the more responsibility the designers take for its proper working. Which means the designers need to have a clear, coherent vision of what "proper working" should look like, which may be at odds with the needs of a given table.
And that's the franchise's achilles heel, design-wise: its desperate need to be a universal system which can meet the play requirements of everyone, everywhere, while still being a complex system which rewards mastery with cascading effectiveness.
They tried reducing the scope of play styles the system can support (4e) and people got scared because the illusion of universality shattered; they tried passing the buck to the GM so their customers get blamed for the game's failure to live up to its promises (3.x, 5e) and so far customers have been buying into that more than not, sadly.
10:08 PM
@Powerdork It's tough. Because most tables aren't RAW. We all make changes that work for us or misunderstand something and keep going with it because we like it. But just pure rules does provide a baseline for answering questions. The problem is, we often don't play just pure rules so it's a bit of a wobbly base line.
Or what @BESW said much more eloquently.
Long story short: Tables can't be RAW because it's a conversational lens, not a practical one. If a group thinks they're playing RAW, it's because they're assuming the extra qualities they bring to the experience are universal and neutral.
And that's also why experienced based answers can be really good, but they need a lot of effort to explain how something works or doesn't work rather than just referencing a rule.
On a side note, @Trish has been posting other RPG questions and I think it's gotten others to feel more comfortable doing so. Really happy to see the front page not all just two systems.
The more I learn about the back end of designing TRPGs, both as a skill and an industry, the less I can take text-primacy lenses seriously as practical tools.
@NautArch doing my best, even if Mekton and Maid and L5R are like... outliers.
I mean, sure, MAID is not a good system, but it has some quite interesting premises and it actually IS the best example of designer (or rather translator) commentary on why is this how it is...
I'm gonna post my Sun's Ransom question as soon as the system goes public ('cause the big reason I want to post is to get eyes on the system and its creator, not to generate more content for the content gods, so asking the question while it's still only available to backers would defeat the purpose).
10:15 PM
@BESW Spreadsheets on the other hand can be RAW ;) (table is another word for spreadsheet too)
@BESW I actually want the answer to those mekton questions, as the last time I played mekton nobody in the group came to an answer at all... and I was the one to play the oddball in the power armor...
@Trish You've got good questions and I'm seeing others ask now more, too. I don't have hard data to back that up, but it at least feels like we're talking about more things.
@NautArch [old man hat] Back in my day, we flooded the front page with questions about the Fate beta and people hated it.
@NautArch the number of LARP questions in 2021 is infinitely greater than in 2020 already :P
Apr 7 at 1:16, by BESW
I'd also like to point out that a contest with prizes was held in 2013 to increase use of rare system tags, and its effect was... that the percentage of D&D questions went up by 1%, compared to the previous year's 6% and the following year's 9%.
I personally created at least three or four new system tags by asking the first (and sometimes only) question about a game.
10:25 PM
@BESW I am responsible for ... that much I know. which has 3 questions, one made by someone else :3
Q: What are the differences between different class types?

jvriesemMy Question In Pathfinder (1e), I'm seeing classes (or class-like things?) referred to as any of the following: Core classes Base classes Unchained classes Hybrid classes Parent classes Alternate classes Occult classes Prestige classes Archetypes NPC classes What are the similarities and differ...

Pretty sure I'm directly responsible for and indirectly responsible (tag created by someone else asking a question based on my talking about the game in chat) for
And there's a few like where I asked the first question but only tagged it with the engine, and the game tag got added by someone else.
11:13 PM
Pre-orders: Vibe Check - Enter the Inversion by Josh Hittie. Survive the Watcher's Game in this illuminated by LUMEN tabletop role-playing game. And here is a twitter thread with more information about the game.
On the Bones of Bathala by Ar-Em Bañas. MÖRK BORG Compatible TTRPG inspired by Filipino Folklore
11:24 PM
@BESW cf. why my wife and I call each other rather than text =)
@NautArch This all is correct and makes me so happy that when I learned to play--in an unintentional amalgam of BECMI and 1e and 2e that arose from the source texts of "whatever random D&D book the baseball card store happened to have on its shelf when I'd recently mowed a lawn"--there was no internet to tell me I was doing it all wrong and I was left alone to just have fun with my friends =)
Shah Alam by Nana. A map-making game about directing roundabouts in tri-fold pamphlet format
@AncientSwordRage I did. I was actually curious as to why I had started getting upvotes on it again, then I realised haha
And in all honesty, I hadn't expected it to be as simple as just getting his blood pumping.
@nitsua60 [wave]
11:56 PM
also @linksassin

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