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12:38 AM
@BESW I'm surprised I couldn't find a squirrel-themed letter A to counter this with.
hey there @JoelHarmon
hey @Shalvenay, how are you?
alright here, as for you?
sick recently, but on the upswing
heading out for a light walk soon
I have a question, but I'm not sure if it would be on topic, or really how to word it.
12:51 AM
throw it out here
I've got about three minutes to look at it, but others may still be around
hey there @Ben
well, I'm out of time. Blanket response: you can ask about it on meta instead if you're still unsure, or just post it and see what happens.
We have a new player, who seems to be obsessed with optimization. They're playing a warlock, and is constantly discussing tactics for choosing spells, even though at the moment, he can't do much about it until he levels up
@Shalvenay [wave]
@Ben how're things going?
At the hospital atm. Expecting the missus to go into labour soon!
1:08 AM
@Ben rugrats \o/
@Ben sounds like you'll have your hands more than full, too
1:33 AM
Yeah :)
1:44 AM
@Ben Congratulations!
@Ben It feels a bit overshadowed, discussion-topic-wise, but it's a perfectly fine question for the site - we've had fairly similar ones before.
There might be one close enough to be a dupe target, but from memory there's not.
@Ben What's the problem this is causing? Also grats!
2:02 AM
Thanks guys :)
The only problem is that I feel the player might be trying to "optimise" the character, and seems to be playing it like a LoL or Dota character... they're trying to choose their spells based on buffing, debuffing, or "multi-casting"
@Ben in other words, they have an optimization target in mind that isn't particularly compatible with the campaign...?
Not so much the campaign, just the class. They're a level 4 warlock
2:18 AM
@Shalvenay hiya
@Ben ah. yeah -- Warlocks are a bit more of a direct-acting class in their casting AIUI
@nitsua60 how're things going?
@Ben woo-hoo! Good luck with everything! First? nth?
Yeah first
@Shalvenay Alright... just got off explicit duty for the night, hoping I don't get an emergency call. (580 teenagers cooped up... what could possibly happen?)
@Ben Is this full-term?
2:39 AM
A few weeks early, but signs are pointing to it being closer than they reckon
3:15 AM
hey there @Pixie
@Shalvenay Hey.
how're things going?
Alright, not much going on. How are you?
alright here
@Pixie hi there, nice to see you again :)
3:22 AM
@trogdor Hello! :)
Nice to see you too.
3:45 AM
@Ben Congratulations!
On a much, much less important note, you should read DMG6, "Know Your Players", for a run down on common play styles.
and to expand on BESW's implication, it's not a problem until someone at the table isn't having fun because of it
4:06 AM
Thanks :)
4:17 AM
I'm in this room because I'm in a D&D session right now and my character got hijacked by an intellect devourer, so I'm just kinda sitting here.
4:29 AM
I am both proud and ashamed of my addition to an old answer
and also myself in general tonight
Q: Exalted Land Speed Record Build

CthosA while back, my group decided to see if we could come up with a way to get an Exalted Character, with unlimited XP and Personal Artifacts (those that can be worn for example), to run across creation in less than 10 minutes. What we came up with was the following: An Infernal of the Fiend Caste ...

tl:dr, I managed to cheese worldwide quasiteleportation out of a starting character
@PhiNotPi That could be an interesting question - "What do I do when my character is unable to take actions?"
@PhiNotPi oh, dear.
I recommend thinking very hard about things the intellect devourer finds unpleasant, such as perhaps his mother in a state of undress.
I like to let the player continue to control the character in that situation.
4:35 AM
Me too - but there comes a time when the possessed character starts murdering the other PCs, and the other players usually do not like that one bit
Like when @trogdor's character was replaced by a shape-shifting witch, he got to play the witch. Or when one of my old players got to play his character and his character's mirror duplicate.
So I just try to avoid using mind control, also things like stuns or dazes
Since D&D combat turns take a million years anyway - losing a turn means upwards of 30 minutes of doing nothing
Yeah, in 4e I modified all mind-control type debuffs to instead give the character an extra action that I got to choose instead of the player choosing it.
this is why the DM for the campaign I'm on - even if it's a homebrewed campaign - stopped "mind control" as a thing of absolute control - it's more like "extreme suggestion" that requires a roll now heh.
(after my PC kinda destroyed the entire party while mindcontrolled... heh)
"The mind flayer lets out a devastating psionic shriek, rattling your character's mind. Roderik the Brave finds himself casting a "u up?" sending to his ex
4:38 AM
Mind control style effects are also just plain less fun in systems like D&D where the primary problem-solving tool is lethal force.
They're much more suited for systems with a wider variety of problem-solving paradigms and where failure doesn't usually mean death.
I like mind control that does not consume time
For example - you cast suggestion and order a character to backstab his friend
He does so - on your turn as part of your action
And then he gets his own turn as normal, where he can retaliate against you, or loot his dead buddy's corpse :)
Of course that can be abused - an illusionist suggesting his party fighter into extra attacks - but abuse is always in the mind of the beholder
I got my character control back.
Nice! See if you can get some protection from mind control in the future
Something as simple as dropping 3k of treasure on Otyugh Hole for the feat Iron Will might help (assuming 3.5)
This is just a one-shot campaign. Death is expected tonight.
Ah, I love one-shots. Best opportunity to try out ridiculous monsters.
Ever try advancing udoroots by HD? Plant HD are 1/4 CR each, but udoroots are psionic, and psi-like abilities scale with manifester HD
So for 1 CR you sort of give them 4 manifester levels for their astral construct power
Not to mention their other goodies
4:47 AM
@SPavel -- I had one player play a wolverine (yes, the furry animal) with levels in Rogue in a one-shot once :)
led to a "HOW DO I DOOR!??!" moment :P
STR check to break
Every time
Enough STR and you don't ever need to bother with the doorknob, which let's face it, is probably trapped & coated in poison anyway
In fact, better enter through the chimney, and have an alibi if they spot you - wear a disguise and carry a big sack of props just in case
@SPavel well...it could be that the whole dang door is live at a few hundred V AC :P
@SPavel also, chimneys are so 20th century. just ask one of my professors. Santa can't deliver to him because he has no chimney on his house. xD
Ok, step 1: pick up the halfling, step 2: ram him into the door
Step 3: Say that he is your "elf helper"
@SPavel and then both you and the halfling get jolted :P
Worth it
4:51 AM
besides, some hins don't appreciate that sort of treatment, and will kick your rear for it
It could be that your butt is also electrified
In fact, I think there's a spell that does exactly that...
har har
(more seriously -- said dungeon also happens to be my standing short form 3.5e dungeon)
Does it have drainage canals and filtration systems to handle the smart alecs that always want to flood/smoke out the monsters
In one of my campaigns, we were fighting a water weird, and we had the idea (didn't follow through) of using a bag-of-devouring to drain the lake.
Kinda the opposite of flooding.
@SPavel it's a skillmonkey dungeon -- the monsters are half comic relief (and neither flooding nor smoking them out would be a particularly wise idea) anyway
5:20 AM
@BESW hehehe
5:33 AM
hey there @CTWind
1 hour later…
6:35 AM
1 character dead so far, 2 remaining
and we just got stunned by mindflayers
Hey guys, any really good examples of a story with a trial about reflecting on oneself
for a party
Im entering the rotation as DM for a campaign and want characters to analyze their characters. I guess I've generally been the only non-murder hobo so I want to make the characters disproportionately experience this inflicted on themselves
Its a bit of an experimental game for me I guess, and I may even make it a dreamplane of sorts
if its too deadly
6:53 AM
I'd advise caution. People don't react well to being forced into a didactic criticism of their actions, and "murder hobo" play is usually predicated on the assumption that they're playing a game which isn't about serious repercussions of their actions.
So that kind of session would probably be a massively unwelcome tone shift.
7:04 AM
We're performing surgery on a dead mindflayer to extract the brain from its stomach to bring the other player back to life.
Nat 20
7:28 AM
awkward scene -- having your partymate shackle your arm to hers while you're still holding a sword in that hand so that she can teleport you and her at once
you need shackles to do that?
@trogdor we are talking about a pair of Drow here. :P
ah, well I still find it odd, but maybe not as much
1 hour later…
8:46 AM
Something that I've found really helps with reflecting on characters is just asking questions. "How does Mike the Flamboyant feel about the events of this session, I ask as I gesture wildly toward the bloody swathe left in his wake? What about you, personally?" is a choice. Also, asking a question in the beginning of the session about their upbringing or where they got a particular value helps too.
Prompts and nudges work better than giving people their own medicine.
hey there @JuneShores
Hey, @Shalvenay.
how're things going?
Going alright. Though I have been up at very odd hours.
How's you?
OK here
have to get some zzz's though
8:51 AM
@JuneShores that is something our group tries to do every session
it's a really nice way to end a session
@trogdor It is! I like it a lot. I tend to forget though.
@doppelgreener is pretty good about reminding me though.
I don't know the numbers on how often it has been forgotten to remembered
but I think we usually remember
I came upon the tactic as trial and error. I was trying to do some heavy stuff with my Werewolf in Monsterhearts and I started talking to the MC about what I was going for and how to achieve it. I think that was about five sessions out of seven, and by the end we knew each other really well.
@JuneShores @doppelgreener is very good at helping with this kind of thing, yeah
That MC and I are best friends now, and we're dang good at playing freeform together. The foundation, I think, was laid in that Monsterhearts game.
Yeah, I really appreciate that about @doppelgreener.
9:03 AM
I am personally glad to have @doppelgreener and @BESW in my gaming group
I learn a lot just from that
9:23 AM
@JuneShores Have you read/played Lady Blackbird? Its GM advice is about 1/3 "ask leading questions about how a character might feel or react."
@BESW I've read it, never played it though.
We played a session of it for the... fourth or fifth time, last night, and every time I remember all over again what a joy it is.
Players roll good-sized fistfuls of dice that they feel like they've earned, mechanical advancement is incremental and fueled by dramatic characterisation choices, the setting is strongly evocative but full of gaps for the players to define, GMing is mostly playing the world, asking "what happens next?" and calling for dice rolls.
I've been meaning to get into a game, but my play habits are pretty chaotic, unfortunately.
That's reasonable.
My group only exists because I've spent a few years finding the best way to take advantage of (rather than just tolerate) everyone except myself and Troggy being almost completely unpredictable about attendance.
I've never run into any other group which is willing/able to do that.
I kinda feel like I need really regular or close to regular attendance in our Geek Nights to keep sane, to some degree
9:32 AM
Yeah, Geek Night is very much a self-care thing for us.
9:43 AM
I try to make it the same thing for me, but I get too caught up in my anxiety about GMing.
And I'm kind of the permanent GM of my cloud of people, since the only other person comfortable GMing has no time to prep or coordinate people.
Yeah, part of my success involved seeking out systems that were less stressful for me, and then accompanying other people to become more comfortable with the idea of GMing too.
A: How do I convince my group to try a new system without always having to DM it first?

BESWI've had similar challenges, both with getting group buy-in to try new systems and with getting people to feel comfortable GMing anything at all. My solution was a long-game process of changing the "landscape" of how people at the table viewed their role in the game. I didn't set out to delibera...

9:59 AM
I can't overstate the power of accompaniment.
2 hours later…
12:22 PM
D'aww. :')
I'm glad I'm of help.
I'm hoping to take some of BESW's GM burden; the only thing I'm concerned about is clarity over our Skype calls. BESW's side has gotten pretty good though — in the begining there were sometimes raucous conversations I couldn't be heard over, but the group makes plenty of room for me as I'm skyping in nowadays.
2 hours later…
2:08 PM
@Skyler Ever play ChronoTrigger?
@JoelHarmon Heh.
Certainly forces you to really think about what you do in videogames.
I admit I only got so far in it before I ended up stopping (ditto FF VI)
@Miniman also, throw Undertale in that category
@JoelHarmon I still haven't played Undertale - it looks interesting, but gimmicky.
it's worth it, and lasts around 6 hours for the first playthrough
I have several friends who buy it at anyone they find out doesn't have it already
Yeah, I do mean to play it, just haven't gotten around to it yet.
2 hours later…
3:51 PM
My long-running Curse of Strahd adventure came to a close last night and I couldn't be more excited
4:28 PM
@LegendaryDude Woo! How'd it go? How's it feel?
2 hours later…
6:19 PM
hey there @nitsua60
6:30 PM
@doppelgreener It's great! In all the years we've been gaming together, none of us have ever actually completed an adventure.
I'd been running the game for 6 months, now my buddy is going to step in and DM Storm King's Thunder and I'm excited for that because I finally get to play 5e as a PC.
He is really itching to run a game, so he was adamant about finishing Strahd. I honestly didn't expect them to be able to bumble their way straight to his location so easily, but it worked out really well.
And I do mean bumble; they had no idea where they were going and kind of just... ended up there.
6:48 PM
@JoelHarmon cant say i have, can you tell me more
since the game is decades old, I don't mind spoilers
in the opening scenes, you RPG yourself around town, helping rescue kittens, grabbing random items, etc. Then, for Reasons, you're put on trial. Character witnesses show up and tell the court about the good/bad things you did.
in this context, you could do something similar, wherein NPCs behave better/worse toward the PCs as they do good/bad things
The party I am GM'ing a game of DW for spent about 20-30 minutes deliberating on what to do with a stray goblin child that was practically screaming "I'm a spy" to them, on the basis that it was too cute to harm. They pointed out that this is one of the consequences of having the group of players be entirely female. Play to see what happens, for sure.
@BlackVegetable they could blindfold and hogtie into a cute burrito
@JoelHarmon good point
7:03 PM
@Skyler Well, they have a magical nearly-sentient rope they named "Ropert" that they instructed to tie it up so that only one hand and eyes were free so it could direct them around danger without escaping.
we sort of are doing a bit of a clean slate currently but I can set the stage for them to reflect on their actions, the previous DM did also promote murderhoboism a lot
we kidnapped a marquis kid to try to get him to execute this evil mogul (both were bitter rivals and prominent members in competing cults)
but the person who was originally DM in rotation and precipitated this whole setting decides the kid is a liability as all hell breaks loose, so he shoots her while being carried about by one of the players
hey there @LegendaryDude @Skyler @JoelHarmon @BlackVegetable
(if you're wondering why I'm here -- the AD&D table at my FLGS is on hold UFN as the DM is at work right now)
@Shalvenay yo
7:15 PM
@Shalvenay Hello. I'm just writing a self-answer to this right now: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/94743/…
nice, 4 acronyms at once
hey guys
Just finished the first coat of varnish on my gaming table, waiting for it to dry so I can sand and put another coat
would you consider it OP to give a player a few extra lower level spells that fit with the theme of their character
I'd say it depends on the spells and how often they can cast them
@Skyler Is the PC a wizard?
@Skyler If so, don't just give them to the PC. Put them in the world and let them find them.
If the PC is any other class, I'd say don't do it because it will upset the balance of the Force.
There is a reason all the casting classes work the way they do. Giving any character extra spell slots could have unforeseen results.
And giving them extra known spells changes the dynamic of the character substantially, especially if it's a bard or a sorcerer.
7:19 PM
Na, but there is this tempest running around purifying alters for his god of lightning/thunder (lots of effort goes into these) . I thought it might make his character a bit more fun if like a couple of level 1 or 2 lightning spells could be rewards.
Tempest what?
They already get to add extra damage on all of their lightning or thunder damage spells, and should have access to extra spells from their domain list.
it sounds like what you're after are domain spells, yeah
That being said, cleric is probably the only class that wouldn't be unbalanced if they had a few extra spells on their list
7:22 PM
@Shalvenay Yea, its just that runs out and stops matter at level 9
well, not stop mattering
call lightning is amazing and useful very often
but like there is nothing in the spellcasting they gain after that continues to build off the domain
and giving high level spells in the domain would be very unbalanced
@Shalvenay greetings and salutations
@Skyler a good point
I'd think that giving them an extra low level spell as a high level domain reward wouldn't be too far out of place, then
@Skyler Have you considered a one-use (or N-use) item instead of straight up spell slots?
that also gives you the option for a higher-level spell than he can cast, because <plot>, but it's limited enough that it shouldn't permanently break anything
@JoelHarmon so far they have a sword bestowed by their god that has improved a little at a time
seems to be totally in theme to give it a one-time use ability, then
7:26 PM
@JoelHarmon good point
@Shalvenay still feel like this might make it more interesting though
you can also use that to entice other characters to do plotty stuff, because rewards (if they're into that kind of thing)
@JoelHarmon hmm, the other characters are rogue monk wiz and paladin
wiz and pally are easy on that end
what flavor of rogue btw?
@Shalvenay assassin
7:29 PM
though he barely acts like one
harhar :P
some kind of special poison?
@Skyler All the best assassins don't act like one
@JoelHarmon I actually prefer that, before I stepped out of the rotation to take over as DM he was the only other character that wasnt a murderhobo
channels BESW: If you're looking for more of an interesting social game, consider suggesting a different system to your group
8:22 PM
hey @Axoren
@JoelHarmon i honestly feel like if 5e is a really good general system
I tend to mix up the genre a lot throughout a campaign and players end up doing radically different things between days
9:03 PM
@Skyler 5e is probably the best-rounded edition of D&D so far, although that's not saying too much
you can only go so far with the paradigm D&D relies upon
hwo about well rounded in general
not really. 5e only answers to its strengths genre-wise, and it also does expect at least some use of the combat mechanics IMO
compare to Fate, which can handle about 90% of the genres out there (the other 10% relying on incompetent/non-proactive characters) and also deals well with a variety of problem-solving paradigms
9:18 PM
I'd say that vanilla Fate does plenty of genres poorly. You gotta hack it to do anything specific. There's joy in that toolkit nature, but it can be troublesome if you want to play in a genre that turns on different paradigms.
@JuneShores yeah -- Fate is much more toolkit-y than many other systems
also, hey there @JuneShores
Magical girls sentai, for example, doesn't fit into the skills/approaches framework of Fate Core. Everything is about affairs of the heart, not any character's particular competency -- unless that competency or lack thereof highlights or justifies their emotional struggles.
Hey, @Shalvenay.
@JuneShores yeah -- that genre definitely is a poor fit for Fate from what you've described of it
@JuneShores how're things going?
I wonder if aspects-only would work for that...
Aspects-only, with extra bonuses for resolving DFA style Conditions would work well.
9:28 PM
I haven't played with that variant yet, but I really want to run this TMNT hack which uses it.
@Shalvenay Doing good, thanks.
@JuneShores would be better if my AD&D game wasn't on hold until further notice (our DM has to work Sundays now :/)
Oh, dang. That sucks.
@JuneShores yeah, it seems to be the fate of just about every game I get involved in -- the schedule stops working and the game dissolves or I lose track of it and drift away as a result
This is one reason I tend to use short-form or episodic formats.
The longer a campaign story goes, the more likely it is to dissolve before it's finished.
And the more pressure there is on people to show up for every single session, the fewer people are willing to commit to any session.
9:41 PM
btw, can someone reinvite me to the NAB?
10:39 PM
@JuneShores @BESW Or Fate with Bubblegumshoe-style relationships.
Hmmm. New ideas about MLP:FIAFBHBMSN are percolating.
"Friendship is..."
...a Fragile Barrier Holding Back My Seething Neuroses.
Dang, now I have a mighty need to refresh Friendship is Fate. I had a thing going with it, but I lost all my stuff in a computer crash.
It's a working title.
10:42 PM
That is an accurate summary of the show, for what it's worth.
I haven't read Bubblegumshoe yet.
It's been a background project for several years. Your TV system might be helpful, actually.
It's based on the idea that ponies are so small and simple that they can't really hold more than one emotion inside them at a time, or they crack under the pressure. Luckily they're pretty easy to fix, too--if they get support.
Oh, my cartoon game? Yeah, we have notes toward a Friendship is Magic flavored prototype that we're pretty excited about.
I want to make it a game that appeals to the show's actual target demographic, and doesn't require any extra materials beyond what a family with a kid that age probably already has lying around.
All my cartoon game requires is a printer and note cards. Alternatively, card stock and scissors. So that criteria fits.
Have you read/played I'm A Pretty Princess?
10:47 PM
I have not. What's it about?
Apr 29 '16 at 0:23, by BESW
For those unfamiliar, I'm a Pretty Princess is an RPG where part of your character generation is picking a colouring-book picture of a princess, which you colour in as you play.
It was one of the inspirations for my game Surgadores.
The colouring-book picture serves as your character sheet, and colouring in parts of it represents both developing your character and using up limited resources.
@BESW @June Both of you might like to get in touch and put your heads together over ideas around a MLP hack.
That might be fun!
I really like the idea of a game which leaves with an artefact of play, like I'm a Pretty Princess and Pilgrims of the Flying Temple both do.
Given the direction of the last couple seasons of MLP, I've actually toyed with just playtesting a Pilgrims hack.
Each turn involves writing sentences about what happens to one of the PCs, so at the end you get your Dear Princess Celestia letter.
some of this discussion really is throwing me off
@Skyler Hmm?
10:53 PM
im not really sure whats going on, initially it sounded like people were talking about the best general purpose tabletops
Ooh, that's a neat idea for Do, @BESW.
but then things got really confusiong
@BESW Let's join forces for a My Little Pony game. It's gonna be awesome.
@Skyler Ah, yeah, we were talking about games with a social focus. Then I started getting ideas about a game I've been low-key designing for a few years, which is inspired by the TV cartoon show "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic."
Though I draw the line at weird centaur DBZ fights. I shall not encourage that sort of thing in a My Little Pony RPG.
10:57 PM
The extent of my familiarity with DBZ is the time in college a friend took me to a fancy restaurant specifically for the purpose of spending the entire evening explaining it to me.
Right now I've mostly got a bundle of possibly-contradictory goals and far too many disjointed ideas for mechanical implementations.
The DBZ centaur fight is that super destructive magical battle in that one season finale where Twilight absorbed the other princesses' magic. It was past the point where point where I dropped the show, but I still tuned in, and hoo-boy! Was that ever dissonant.
@BESW What are your goals?
Well, like I said, I want it to be aimed at the show's actual target audience of young girls, not its unintended spillover into the young-adult demographic. I've got nothing against that demo, being among it myself, just--I think that the show is at its best when it's not winking too heavily at the older audience, and the game should reflect that.
Oh, definitely. Absolutely.
11:04 PM
The power of the brony concept is that it's a show for kids which appeals to other demographics because it doesn't condescend to kids and so it can talk about important concepts everybody deals with.
And also like I said, I'd like the game to be runnable with household stuff. If it needs dice, they should be what you can scrounge from a couple of board games.
Conflict resolution needs to avoid the winner/loser dichotomy; there has to be a way (even if it's hard) for everybody to come out ahead. Not just all the PCs, either.
I like the idea of using a Pilgrims-like mechanic so that each session concludes with an actual Dear Celestia.
I haven't analysed the structure of such shows the way you have for your system design, but I've been focusing mostly on the internal-struggle episodes for modelling the game: a pony gets stuck on something and fails forward spectacularly until her friends can help her straighten things out.
I was considering using a mechanic to reflect my theory that ponies are just too tiny to contain conflicting emotions.
Whatever they feel consumes them utterly.
(I'd represented that particular bit with a very low refresh in Fate.)
That heart-on-the-sleeve quality is one of the show's great strengths. It's not unlike the Prydain Chronicles: everybody has real emotions that can't be dismissed easily, but they also talk about their emotions much more than "adult" shows would find "realistic."
In Prydain it's sustainable because of Alexander's great writing.
In MLP, we're okay with it because they're candy-colored ponies rather than people.
@BESW what the heck is this? XD
@trogdor Keep reading.
@BESW @June Want me to introduce you to each others' skypes or discords?
11:15 PM
I'm cool with that.
My cartoon game currently addresses all of these goals, btw.
@BESW I did
Yes, please.
@JuneShores Sweeet.
Of course, there've also been moments where I toyed with a more style game focusing on the horrific implications of pony psychology.
@JuneShores this would be great
11:18 PM
@trogdor It's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?
@Miniman well, after the explanation it is

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