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12:00 AM
My personal barometer of job happiness is this: In the next week, is there anything that I'm excited to do? In the next week, is there anything I'm dreading?
If list B is bigger than list A, then I'm unhappy.
I don't try to measure it like that
it's literally all about how I feel
and I feel pretty good right now XD
I think the fact that I'm basically a living spreadsheet skews how I view this sort of thing. :P
@DuckTapeAl Crap.
I do get frustrated sometimes, to be fair, but it's usually not bad enough to sour my mood for too long
and I can still take a certain amount of pride in my work
That's good.
12:05 AM
it isn't always glamourus, but it's all contributing to something I think I can get behind
Speaking as someone who has carved out a niche by being really good at making design tools using Excel scripting, I feel you. :P
I have been doing like, a bunch of different mostly un-related things here
currently I am organizing PDFs inside of a website so people can actually like, find them at all
An admirable task.
I started out making 3D models for buildings in the area the office is located
not because we are here, we just happened to be in the area they were needed for XD
and in between actual work, learning to code stuff
the PDF sorting is the least fun thing, but it is still something someone actually needs to be doing
and I can definitely get behind that
I wouldn't even be frustrated at all,.... except someone deleted all the work I did a couple weeks ago
if someone does that again I'll actually be mad
12:15 AM
as is, for now, I am just assuming it was entirely accidental
It's this sort of question that makes me wish one didn't need 20 rep to chat. We'd get them going quick-and-easy, and leave a new user who has a poor question with a good experience, rather than the often-frustrating one that they end up with.
(But not sacrifice mainsite to do so.)
That's basically why I keep asking the "how would you deal with this" question in mod elections.
I wish we had a good way to stay on-message for the site while still helping those people.
Yeeeeah, it's not a problem. If they can and will be clear about their situation and explain what specifically is the problem, it gets re-opened and they get help. If they can't or won't, do we really think chat would magically change that?
@DuckTapeAl Yeah, I upvoted yours. I'm with you.
The comments on that question are exactly how we keep users who want to be part of the site, and how we slough users who wouldn't be positive participants even if we bent over backwards for them.
12:21 AM
That's how we do it now, but I'm not convinced that we're doing it the best way possible.
yeah, letting any and everyone just walk into the chat without showing they know enough about the rules here to get 20 rep,...... will not fix the problem
@BESW That strikes me as a little presumptuous. We don't know they wouldn't be positive participants. We know that it rejects most who wouldn't be, but I don't think we have a good sense of how many we reject who might turn out just fine if the dial were half-a-notch in either direction.
@DuckTapeAl I'd love to hear some ideas about how to improve the situation, but so far most suggestions boil down to teaching new users bad habits by waiving the rules for them.
@nitsua60 How do you turn the dial "a half-notch", though?
How about a chat-invite?
12:23 AM
I'd love to hear ideas too, which is why I ask that question in the Mod Questionnaire. :P
@nitsua60 how would that work exactly?
@nitsua60 To a chatroom specifically for that question, you mean?
Okay, let me spitball here...
@DuckTapeAl I don't think the mod questionnaire is the place for that discussion.
Keep the 20 rep for entering chat on one's own.
12:24 AM
Moderators can grant users access to chatrooms even if they are below 20 rep, I think, but it's not really sustainable to require mod intervention for such cases, I think
But let "established" users--10K, 20K, diamonds, draw a line where you like--somehow concatenate a ping and a [chat] link that gives the poster a one-day (hour?) ticket.
@ACuriousMind We did it semi-regularly for a while back in... gosh, 2013ish? And I, at least, didn't see any appreciable gains.
@nitsua60 I'd suggest, rather than a one-hour ticket, a one-chatroom ticket.
@BESW I don't know that "come to chat when you've got a lot of little questions that aren't well-formulated" is a bad habit.
@Miniman Sure. I'd probably drop that invite on a question like this, then link that room here. "Anyone else wanna give [Michael] a hand?"
So, the reason why this issue is so near and dear to me is that my first question isn't actually a great fit for the site.
12:26 AM
@nitsua60 Yeah, so let them into a chatroom that exists specifically to help them with their problem (and sneak some new user guidance in the process).
@nitsua60 It's arguable, depending on implementation. We've seen some periods where chat became the "get answers if you don't want to bother with the effort main-site expects" alternative.
And if I came here, asked that question, and got a quick close, I wouldn't be back.
@BESW yeah, I have personally seen this happen, and it can get annoying when the person isn't asking for help formulating the right question, and would rather just get a quick answer in here
I don't have access to the mod stats, but I've been told that positive vs negative interactions don't have an appreciable influence on user retention; it's being completely ignored that makes users leave most.
@BESW Who's that guy who'se been in here a lot in the last day or two, never really seen them around before, with lots of questions about their first 5e question? I don't feel like they're a vampire. (Then again, they're asking about the system I play most, so perhaps I'm biased?)
12:27 AM
There are hundreds of places on the internet to find peoples' opinions on RPGs, and if my first encounter with a site is "sorry, you're not asking well enough", then I'm going to go somewhere else. I don't take well to people telling me to git gud.
And then you need a sizable population of users who actually are going to chat with those users. Most chatrooms aren't that active to begin with, and not everyone is going to be willing to do that. I guess I'm worried that the effectiveness of that idea will strongly fluctuate depending on which individual users are currently active, which is a bit counter to the SE model which is generally not supposed to work in real-time
@ACuriousMind The question that was just asked... there is always someone in this room who can answer it. Or at least knows whom from the inhabitant-list whom to ping and the expertise'll be here in three minutes. Again, that's a D&D/PF-specific thing, but that's also where 3/4 of our questions are coming from.
@nitsua60 I don't pay much attention when the chat goes 5e, so I don't know if this is the case or not--but there's a big difference between (a) chat helping with questions that can't be asked by mainsite standards; (b) chat helping to workshop questions so they can be asked on mainsite; and (c) questions that'd be fine on mainsite with a bit of work getting answered by chat instead.
@DuckTapeAl That doesn't seem like the reaction that question could have gotten though. Definitely potential for a "this isn't really the sort of thing we do here"-type reaction, but not a "you didn't ask well enough".
@BESW Agree that there's a difference. The one that just came up strikes me as squarely in the (a) category. I wouldn't want to see (c) happen.
12:30 AM
@ACuriousMind Real-time interaction is another bugbear of this site, I think; every now and then we get this "but it'll take a daaay to get my question re-opened!" thread.
(See also: acting on meta voting after the post's only been up less than 12 hours.)
@Miniman Generally, when I see a poorly-formed 3.X homebrew question come up like that one, the comments are saying something to the effect of "we don't answer questions like that, here's some suggestions on how to make this answerable".
@ACuriousMind SE model isn't real-time? Sure, except what's the median time-to-answer across all stacks? (SEDE, anyone?) Again, in the systems that generate 3/4 of our traffic, users are getting good answers in minutes.
@nitsua60 Mh, well, I guess it might be that rpg.SE and this chat would be able to make it work. Most sites couldn't and wouldn't, in my impression
@BESW With you there.
@ACuriousMind We've got a much more active chat than most stacks.
My first time trying to talk to someone in a chat outside of here was very disappointing. :P
12:34 AM
@DuckTapeAl You mean IRL? Me too....
@ACuriousMind Fair--I'm only thinking about this chat and, currently, this particular question and new user.
@nitsua60 It's really hard to use narrative brackets IRL.
[waves hands demonstratively]
@BESW And braces are just asking for a harassment complaint.
How do you star a comment you like?
12:36 AM
@nitsua60 I don't know what you mean, I have no trouble talking to people in meatspace ><
And it's impossible to indicate which message you're responding to! So confusing.
@BESW I have a colleague who carries a sheet of grade-school-style star-stickers in her back pocket. She has no trouble with this.
@nitsua60 I have a new life goal.
Much harder to go back and delete that stupid thing you just said, too.
@BESW Generally, I post it to Facebook.
12:41 AM
@nitsua60 I really do wish I could do this IRL
@DuckTapeAl I think I'm pretty much with you on a lot of this. I feel like I see the same fallacious argument on meta with some frequency: "the system we have successfully screens out almost all yahoos, so it works well and needs no changes." Except we're largely blind to the population we're excluding. Yes, we're excluding lots of yahoos. But we might also be excluding lots of troggys and besws and ducktapeals.
We don't know, which is not great. But it seems to me like a lot of people don't care to know, which I think is not good.
I also have a vague notion of a "we have lost diversity of opinion (at least in meta discussions)" answer for the "how're we doing?" question, but can't quite seem to put the words on it.
Sort of like what dark_wanderer is saying?
It's hard to deconstruct that impression. Complicating factors: (1) I think I joined and became aware of meta at one of the most-tumultuous times it's seen, so anything less than pure chaos seems like notable silence. (2) I have become acculturated, so perhaps what used to look like healthy diversity of opinion now just looks like "this person doesn't get it."
@DuckTapeAl I don't think that's quite it.
@nitsua60 I think the idea that we need to always be on the lookout for improvements is in fact, a good idea
@nitsua60 I think we'd need to see stats on new user retention; without that, we don't even know if there's a problem--much less what sort of problem it is. And without knowing the problem, changes are just going to be shots in the dark.
I'm always for being friendlier, more welcoming, etc., but I'm wary of turning that into permissiveness or a personality cult.
12:53 AM
@trogdor Problem is, it's easy for me to sit here and say "let's turn the reject-filter back half a notch and see how the characteristics of what that lets through compare to the characteristics of what we'd had before, and use that to inform where we think we are on the yahoo-spectrum." But we can't actually do that here. It's all anecdote/synthesis of impressions.
@BESW Yes, this.
(Not catching the 'personality cult' bit.)
@BESW I also agree with all this, it would be easy to make a mistake like that
@nitsua60 And this is why the prospective-mod questionnaire isn't a productive place to have the conversation.
@nitsua60 In the past we've had trouble with making chat too big a part of main-site activity. When big personalities are active on the chat and their ideas are also seen in main-site activity, it's tempting to conflate chat with mainsite in unhealthy ways.
@BESW Ahh, gotcha.
I don't think I ever saw that stuff
When chat becomes informal meta, to some extent?
12:57 AM
Right. eg: if we want a space to help people workshop their mainsite questions, before we start fiddling with chat invites to brand-new users we should think long and hard about why we aren't using meta for it.
Q: The role of chat at RPG Stack Exchange

C. RossTL;DR? Meta is where consensus happens. Questions and answers, have to be good questions and answers without chat. Any Stack Exchange site has three realms for interaction, Main, Meta, and Chat. Main is where the business of the site happens, in our case we ask and answer questions abou...

Real talk: we had a period when folks on chat would give advice on main-site actions, and the non-chat community would respond very differently when the action was taken on the main site.
@BESW But let's keep it localized for a sec: is there any contention that the question we most-recently closed was workshoppable to mainsite? I tend to think not, and given that ( <--- ) belief the site would be better if the user went away with "well, I don't really understand their deal with questions, but at least they're nice and helpful people" rather than "well, I don't really understand their deal with questions."
@nitsua60 Sure, that's excellent theory. Praxis is where it gets contentious.
Because we aren't talking about how to deal with a single localised event; we're talking about using that event as an example for establishing praxis.
In my defense, I did characterize it as "spitballing." =)
These are useful options to consider, for sure. Not least because they help us figure out what we're really after.
Question for the room since my google-fu is lacking. Is there a question on the main site about how to deconstruct an NPC? By that I mean, I am creating a tavern owner that used to be an adventurer, 14th level fighter/ranger/somethingorother. Obviously if he has been out for several years, he is no longer the person he was, but how do you descale his abilities? If there is a question like that on the main, I'd appreciate a link, otherwise I'll go ahead and ask it.
1:05 AM
If they're a ranger, aren't the abilities already weak enough? (cheap shot, sorry.)
@JohnP What game?
I don't think I've ever seen something like that, but depending on the system I could've missed it easily.
@nitsua60 Only if you don't know how to play them.
@JohnP [riposte!] =)
@DuckTapeAl Pathfinder, but could be equally applied to most D20 D&D derivatives.
1:06 AM
My knee-jerk response is to create the monster Crushing Weight Of Mundane Responsibility and have it target him with level drain every 1d6 months.
@JohnP I am unaware of any system that involves descaling of characters once they stop adventuring, nor am I aware of a mainsite question on such a system.
So, in seriousness, you mean something that degrades performance/ability/skill/proficiency over time?
@nitsua60 Yes. Like, I train martial arts and have for many years. I had to take a couple years off, and my abilities degraded quite a bit. I imagine that a typical adventurer would have the same.
If you need an example, look at how Caramon degraded once he married and settled down (Before all the time travel kerfuffle).
@JohnP No, I just look in the mirror =\
Movement, reaction, presumably hit points, proficiency, etc.
@nitsua60 Ouch. :(
1:09 AM
S'all good, man. =)
(D&D characters don't have to train in order to gain abilities, why would lack of training make them lose abilities?)
Except to the extent that you interpret each XP gain as representative of training.
Frame challenge: How does a system like this help your game?
And why can't you just fudge it?
@nitsua60 Ah, but loss of XP can never cause you to lose a level.
1:10 AM
Is the exact level and abilities of this bartender going to matter that much?
This is a narrative issue, not a game rule issue. Unless the PCs are expected to fight him, he doesn't need stats beyond a solid description.
@DuckTapeAl Possibly, possibly not. It was something I was thinking about as I was creating a well known NPC that retired 20 years ago and bought a bar kind of thing.
Assuming the players try to kill him or something, will they notice the difference between a level 12 ranger and a level 14 ranger who hasn't trained in a while based on some system?
@Karelzarath yeah -- I generally don't stat things that the PCs aren't expected to fight (although that raises the question -- how do you deal with PCs attacking things that you haven't statted for combat?)
@DuckTapeAl Possibly not, but you think you would only lose 2 levels worth of whatever in 25 years? Level 12 vs level 14 wouldn't matter a lot, but level 9 versus level 14 would.
1:13 AM
@Shalvenay You wing it.
It just strikes me as a weird gap. We'll close a topic as OT because it, really, begs discussion rather than Q&A. And we'll link them to our curated list of fora, including this room. But they can't use it. It seems to me that a strong reason to require the rep is to keep spambots and trolls/puppets out. Targeted, time-localized invites (with a trail of breadcrumbs left on the original post) would also do that, methinks.
That's what got me thinking, ok, he was level X, but that was 25 years ago.
@JohnP What I'm saying is I really don't think it matters exactly what his level is.
Kind of like watching George Foreman lumber around the ring in his 50's.
@JohnP Spitballing it, I'd have him claim to be a L14 whatever, but give 'em the stats of a L10. And have the rest come out organically.
1:14 AM
@Shalvenay Fake it. :D Pathfinder has some thumbnail sketches of the general stats a CR X opponent should have. Spellcasters can be approximated by selecting a few thematically appropriate spells off the cuff.
@JohnP Fun fact: I once made a George Foreman monk who lived off the grease of elk.
"Seriously!? I used to make that shot all the time!"
@Shalvenay Have you never had that? My players continually get into fights I never even imagined, and carefully avoid everything I planned :P
@ACuriousMind So, so true.
@ACuriousMind I have not, but I haven't really run into the fights-everything-under-the-sun player in my short-form experience
1:15 AM
@Shalvenay Lucky! I have an entire party of them.
@JohnP What does the story need his stats to be?
@Papayaman1000 yeah, your players would be most unhappy with me as their DM
They also started the campaign, twice, by attacking the innkeeper, burning down the village, and becoming a fugitive, independently of each other. They started hungover in an inn.
One player kicked him in his nethers, castrated him, and kept the severed member.
@Karelzarath Probably in the 8-10 range. Tough, but enough that they could beat the answers out of him if things go really sour.
dangit. Kid in the catbox. I will e back later.
@Papayaman1000 be nice, please
1:17 AM
@Papayaman1000 That's... uh, quite the... special group you've got there. tiptoes away
@Shalvenay Oh, it's not that they're looking for fights per se. They're just good at antagonizing background characters or go off looking for trouble in places I didn't expect.
@JohnP Make him the 8-10ish and give him an extra feat or ability to represent his old skill level. The players will never know the difference.
As long as you're consistent, the players will never know if you're faking it all the time.
This conversation is a very large part of the reason I stopped playing D&D.
@Karelzarath Heck, I figure that by requesting a game with an organic parser, they're explicitly demanding you fake it.
1:20 AM
@Karelzarath The point is...are you really "faking it" if it's consistent? I'd argue you're just being a good GM.
@DuckTapeAl Oh? Why's that?
@DuckTapeAl The propensity of some groups to kill everything in sight?
Ten years ago, I thought this kind of discussion was really fun, and accurately simulating a world based on game rules was really interesting to me.
Now the sort of mechanical acrobatics that D&D requires just makes me bored.
@DuckTapeAl Been there, got the t-shirt, then I played Roll For Shoes.
@ACuriousMind Well, in the sense of not slavishly following the rules and fully statting up every NPC in lieu of "close enough" approximations. But I agree: if the players are having fun, that's all that matters.
1:22 AM
I've never been able to get my friends to play Roll for Shoes. I have high hopes for a one-shot at the end of the Fate game I'm playing.
Oh, speaking of D&D: A friend of mine has some of his books in a DM's Guild Megabundle: dmsguild.com/product/209091/…
Well, I guess technically my awakening started with Dogs in the Vineyard and My Life With Master and solidified with DFRPG.
hey there @daze413
@Karelzarath Is that thing about "fully stat every NPC" actually in the D&D rules? (I've never played D&D)
Dogs in the Vineyard took a machete to my GM style and left it leaner and looking for vengeance.
I helped proofread The Companion Card System and Planar Bestiary, and they're both pretty cool.
DitV is one of those games I wish I could play.
1:24 AM
@DuckTapeAl -- I want to try some of the more sim-oriented stuff outside the whole D&D world, myself
Also anything PbtA, or Fate with someone who has played it for a while, or...
@ACuriousMind it isn't really "in the rules" it's just that if the PC's decide to fight the NPC,.. you need stats for em
@Shalvenay Well, if you ever get into GURPS and have questions, let me know. :P
@ACuriousMind If it's not, it's heavily implied. Every published product has full stat blocks for every enemy, and heavily intimates that you should do the same.
@DuckTapeAl yeah, I'd probably give DW another whirl given the caveat that it will not be a frictionless experience for me
@DuckTapeAl heheh. I sure will if that comes up
1:25 AM
@DuckTapeAl I highly recommend The Princes' Kingdom instead.
It's almost exactly the same game in both mechanics and themes, but with a much less distractingly troublesome setting.
in the meantime, I'm facepalming over bad 3PP PF material (the witch hunter class that just was asked about recently on this site, to be precise)
@BESW ...that sounds...worth a shot?
@ACuriousMind But you can easily get away with just deciding hit points, armor class, general attacks and weapon choices, saving throws, and a handful of spells. Generate NPCs in a couple minutes instead of hours.
@Shalvenay heya! just creeping meta, exciting time to be in rpg se to be sure
Or in a panic when the players decide they're going to take a sharp left and initiate combat with something unexpected. >.>
DitV's setting is a paper-thin expy of Mormon stereotypes, with a good helping of Magical Noble Native Savages in the background, and it uses religious authoritarianism and manifest destiny to prop up themes which don't need to be propped up.
1:28 AM
or... take a WC break™ and then hurriedly stat the NPC while the players go off into the bathroom.
@BESW yeah...doesn't sound like fun territory for me :/
@daze413 That was my go-to!
"Snack break while I figure out how to handle this curveball you threw me."
@BESW Exactly.
@BESW I stole it but am not ashamed. :)
@Karelzarath I dunno... I follow the same work-flow as with skills. First ask "is there even a question as to the outcome?" Generally, if they're attacking an NPC I didn't think to stat up beforehand the answer's going to be "no." Either it's because the party's actually not going to have any trouble killing the innkeep--in the immediacy--or because they're not going to get anywhere near killing the king.
1:31 AM
@Shalvenay The Princes' Kingdom isn't without its probably-unnecessary implications (child endangerment, background polygamy), but it's ripped out the religious and colonial setting for a much more potentially diverse world without any obvious parallels to real-life peoples.
@BESW those I could probably put up with a lot better, yeah
@nitsua60 An absolutely excellent point. No sense dragging out the inevitable.
And if they say they want to fight the entire royal guard, I have no problem saying "really? Then I'm going to need a few minutes to set up this completely unnecessary and certain-to-kill-you battle. I don't mind doing that, I just want to make sure we all head into this with our eyes open."
In Dogs, PCs are teenage enforcers of a distant religious authority who travel from town to town wiping out sin at any cost; in Princes they're the pre-teen children of a benevolent but distant monarch who travel from island to island addressing complex injustices.
I don't mind running a tactical battle-royale. Royal. Roy\'al. Whatever. That's fun, too.
1:34 AM
@Karelzarath so yeah -- just looking at the quote from the class feature desc in this post:
Q: Are drow considered to be witches?

jvriesemThe Witch Hunter class by Super Genius Games highlights the question of what creatures are considered a witch: So, who or what is a witch? First, it needs to be explicitly stated that “witch” refers to creatures of all genders, not solely females. Second, while a GM is always welcome to ...

@Miniman apropos of nothing, the more I look back at SKT BBEG encounter from the weekend, the more it seems the GM really wasn't playing BB hard.
(No judgment on the GM: it may be because one of our table-mates is 38 wks pregnant and we were really planning on Saturday being our last session, come hell or high water.)
@nitsua60 Oh, hey, did you ever come across the rules you were using for "Little Adventures"?
it leaves me almost banging my head on the wall -- RAW, that class would be chasing Kelemvorite and Tymoran clerics atop most Gnome clerics (considering Garl heads up the Gnome pantheon and has almost always been a Trickery domain deity AFAICT)
@Karelzarath Nah, but I ran it recently with, among others, @Shalvenay. You could ask him about what it's like as a player.
@nitsua60 Well, I was looking to run it for my daughter when she's old enough.
1:37 AM
and it basically assumes fey bloodline sorcs are auto-evil (eh?) atop not providing basically any wiggle room for non-evil witch/warlock patronage (some fey and more importantly, eladrins)
and that's atop finding itself all the time :P
(One thing I like about Princes: the younger you are, the more talents you have--things you're very good at doing; the older you are, the more troubles you have--things which give you problems by doing them.)
(And no matter how old you are, "I'm a prince" has to be one of your qualities; you get to choose if it's strong or troublesome.)
(oh, and flagging 20th level monks as witches...that's just lulzworthy)
@nitsua60 I dunno, "only one member of the party is really effective" sounds like hard mode to me.
Yeah, but we all know how effective she was =)
@Karelzarath There are a number of RPGs which are good for little kids of varying ages. I generally think the recommended ages on games are a bit wonky.
Like, Happy Birthday Robot says it's 9+ while Princes' Kingdom says it's 5+, and just no.
A couple weeks ago Fred Hicks tweeted an interesting shaved-down Fate-like game for kids.
1:47 AM
@BESW That's actually a pretty decent idea.
@BESW I had an answerer over at B&CG tell me that you absolutely can't try Risk without meeting the published age minimum of 10yo. Meanwhile, my 8yo has already beaten me a few times.
[rummages for link]
The only age recommendation I'd implicitly trust is "contains small pieces, not for children under 3"
@nitsua60 The real age requirement for Risk is ">10 years remaining life expectancy".
Here we go, it's kinda Faith Corps Lite.
Think I’m gonna run the kids through another adventure tonight with these heroes of theirs. Been a while. https://t.co/7BUbCOZvbX
1:50 AM
@Miniman I may have prepared him well for this game: we'd already played a half-dozen games of Axis and Allies before I even told him Risk existed.
@nitsua60 Personally, I think Risk is one of the rare examples of boardgames which improve vastly on being made into a videogame - automating all that dice rolling cuts about game time down by about 60%.
...I feel like there's gotta be an easier way to search Twitter.
Fred Hicks wrote that for his kids, who were 5 and 7 years old.
@Miniman I'm learning (from Risk and A&A) that my kid definitely shares my tactile enjoyment: moving pieces around, adjusting their orientation, rolling dice, it's all soothing/amusing.
There's a worldbuilding sheet too, but I can't track it down.
But I totally get that running a Risk battle of 25 vs. 18 is pretty tedious. For most.
1:53 AM
@nitsua60 That's fair - I enjoy rolling physical dice too. I just think Risk involves too much sitting there for minutes at a time rolling dice over and over again.
@Miniman I really like Risk, I wish there was a reasonable way to speed it up without removing my enjoyment of it
Yeah, we've been mostly playing games that don't roll many dice at once, and then we played Lady Blackbird. Urrrgh so good.
(See also: Danger Patrol.)
@trogdor It's worth trying a videogame variant - I got a lot of enjoyment out of it.
@Miniman which one would you recommend?
I actually had a handheld device that was only for playing monopoly against the computer
I enjoyed that immensely
.@storythebard That’s awesome! Only image missing from what I posted is the collective world-building document (sho… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/845702499847823369
1:57 AM
@trogdor The best one I've seen was Lux, but I don't know if that's still a thing.
@Miniman ah, so it's a bit old and might not be find-able huh?
There are Lux implementations on the iOS app store.
@trogdor Not that old, I just haven't played it in a long time.
@Karelzarath Oh, hey, by the way! It seems JSON is the answer to our problems. It just makes so much sense!
@trogdor Or, to put it differently, I have no reason to think it wouldn't still be a thing, but I don't want to be like "Yeah, play this!" and have it turn out to be gone/expensive/crappy/etc.
2:05 AM
@Karelzarath Little Adventures, attribution incomplete. (cc: @Shalvenay if you see improvements needed, please do chime in)
Say, has anyone here worked with a spellcrafting system before? How'd it work out? I've been building a homebrew system, and to give more depth to magic study, I added that in addition to "out-of-the-box" spells. Ideally, they're weaker/more expensive than an OOTB equivalent, but still useful for their diversity.
@Papayaman1000 On-the-fly spellcasting, or "make your own, but beforehand"?
@BESW Make your own, but for a small addition to base cost, adjust power (and cost) on the fly.
@Miniman fair enough
A higher-level component is on-the-fly completely, though. Just from a predetermined list of components.
2:09 AM
@Papayaman1000 Older editions of D&D had guidelines for creating new spells. Not sure if 5e has, too.
@Adeptus Really? I'll have to dig through my source books...
3.5 had some very vague and poor guidelines, and then more specific guidelines for making epic spells but because they were reverse-engineered from non-epic spell lists that aren't designed with universal principles in mind, the guidelines made very little actual sense.
Hm. The hard part is, when I say homebrew system, I mean "taking some general ideas from D&D and other d20 systems, but completely from scratch, balance included."
2:12 AM
Does Morrowind and Oblivion count? :P
Wait we can just call out die notation and the chat will roll?
@DuckTapeAl I did take their magic schools :)
I did a pretty large amount of spellcrafting in both games, and I've got a pretty good grasp on the mechanics of it.
As have I. I'm a huge ES fanboy. Except for Online. Ech.
Guess it doesn't support that. Darn.
2:14 AM
I think I'm the only person who really likes Online. It gives the feeling of a living world in a way that none of the others do.
cool that worked.
Fun fact: I ran a Tamriel PF game once, a few years ago. It went fairly well.
@DuckTapeAl That is, not counting glitches, like when Drelas robbed me on a mountain despite being dead (and miles away from his cottage)
2:15 AM
The players didn't figure out any of the cruel machinations that I had planned by the time the game dissolved.
Darn. That's the worst part of DMing.
Eh. Just means I can re-use everything later in a system better-suited to the setting.
My current plan is to use Fate, and just copy over the skills from Skyrim into Fate.
@DuckTapeAl I've done that. Hell, it's half the reason I'm making this homebrew system.
Also, fun fact: In my world, WIS is the marksman's stat, not bloody DEX.
(Seriously, why DEX?! What use does that have for archery over JUDGEMENT?)
2:18 AM
It's a narrative thing. The quintessential archer in western fiction is a person like Legolas, who has high dex as a big part of his character.
Yeah, but doing backflips while launching a six-arrow spray is one thing, while actually being accurate is another.
The story of a man who proves this.
Seriously, though, are they an archer or a rogue? Make up your mind, Gygizards of the Coavalon Hill. Or whoever else at the moment.
...I'm not really far in, and it's already talking about travel times for arrows, which isn't a thing in 3.5.
When they fly over a 1/3 mile, it is.
They probably modeled that based on actual science, not D&D physics.
Is it? I've played a lot of 3.x, and I've never encountered a rule that mentioned travel times for arrows.
Oh, well, if you're going to homebrew that much, then you can do anything. :P
@DuckTapeAl Oh, the humanity! Introducing realistic physics!
2:24 AM
I mean, I can tell that you're being a little facetious, but D&D super does not get along with RL physics.
It's a system designed to tell stories about epic heroes triumphing over epic adversity in a high-magic setting. Physics is not part of its DNA.
Come to think of it, guy did mention bargaining with his DM to give him custom feats so he can be a practical English longbowman instead of a flashy backflipping A-Team-in-an-Elf.
He mentions a lot of homebrew stuff in the beginning.
(Note to self: Refer to all archers as A-Team-in-an-Elf from now on.)
But anyway, D&D is set up to heavily encourage archers to get as many attacks as possible, so it makes sense that it'd prefer Dex over Wis for the basic shooting stat.
Because D&D archery and real life war archery are very different things.
@DuckTapeAl Eh, I dunno. Besides, there are six main "skill stats" in my system, each with a corresponding primary stat, and I already gave DEX to Light Weapons (aka small-to-medium blades and pointy bits).
2:30 AM
I'm not trying to make any kind of value judgement about how you make your own system, just saying that I think that the way D&D does stats is generally pretty internally consistent, and ranged weapons using Dex makes sense there.
There are definitely other valid approaches.
I'm also the weird person with next to no multiclassing penalty. In fact, I don't even have classes, in the traditional sense. Just those six skills. Of course, you could model them into class archetypes (esp. since some of them are just a class in a can, i.e. Healing magic is basically Clerical magic).
And HMAG runs off CON. Because flavor and the "whiffleball-shooting tank" character archetype.
Makes sense.
Though making the guy who gives buffs and heals also a huge damage sponge is a questionable decision...
Also, "no multiclassing penalty" is becoming more in vogue, as is "no classes".
@DuckTapeAl I'm the guy who usually takes True Neutral, so I do enjoy character flexibility.
Say, want a quick breakdown of the six skilltypes?
2:38 AM
HWEP - Heavy weapons. Anything blunt, most things improvised, unarmed, and large blades (like greatswords) go here. STR-based.
LWEP - Light, sharp blades and pointy bits. DEX-based.
RWEP - Any ranged weapons. WIS-based.
DMAG - Damage-dealing magic and some minor debuffs related to damage type. INT-based.
HMAG - Healing, buffs, debuffs, etc. CON-based
IMAG - Illusions, mobility, divinations, wibbly-wobbly ethereal-smethereal stuff... sort of a catch-all for non-combat stuff. CHA-based.
Most of the stat associations are for flavor reasons. However much a stat deviates from ten (over five, rounded down) is a modifier that affects the effective level for power, but not versatility.
As in, a creature with 5 STR gets a -1 penalty to their effective HWEP level (but can still use items that they'd need to be one level higher to), while one with 17 gets a +1 bonus (though they can't use items not allowed by the base score).
What is the normal spread for starting abilities?
@Papayaman1000 Just out of curiosity, what would your answers to the big 3+1 questions be?
What is your game about?
How does your game do this?
How does your game encourage / reward this?

How do you make this fun?
Generic system but built for high fantasy (meant for lightweight games and beginners to RPGs);
Simpler rules and often diceless;
Meant for getting a game going rather than uber-realistic fighting, as such, rewards clever trickery and good roleplaying over minmaxing;

It's tailor-built for my players, really...
@DuckTapeAl And, as for starting abilities, I allow allotment of... 90 points across all stats, I believe? (Or, rank each from 1-6 and allot 20-10pts based on ranking, in steps of two). Plus, two skill points. Each level up earns four stat points and two skill points. It's meant for faster, if minor, progression.
1) Is there a stat minimum? 2) Is there something preventing me from putting most of my points in one stat, and leaving another very low?
2:52 AM
Here's an example starting build:
STR 20
DEX 14
CON 18
INT 12
WIS 16
CHA 10

HWEP 2 (+2 mod)
LWEP 0 (+-0)
RWEP 0 (+1)
DMAG 0 (+-0)
HMAG 0 (+1)
IMAG 0 (+-0)
There is no stat minimum, but in general physical stats must be at least 1 for survival (as a CON of 0 would crush you under your own weight), and you can make any stat as high as you like, just know it won't unlock options quicker and leave you cripplingly overspecialized.
So.. what is the benefit to raising a stat?
So, you could absolutely take a wheelchair-bound, mentally and socially incapable fighter with no basic pattern recognition and glass bones, but hey, he can one-shot anything!
The benefit to raising a stat is (in pure combat terms) that it bolsters the power of a skill, if not necessarily its options.
Is there any benefit to having a stat that isn't divisible by 5? Other than, presumably, to raise it later on level ups?
Why is STR 40, all else 10 so much less desirable than the starting array you provided?
(I.e. mods of +4/0/0/0/0/0 rather than your +2/0/+1/0/+1/0)
@nitsua60 Because what use is a glass cannon for more than one fight?
2:58 AM
The glib answer would be to say that's why you have party members.
I don't know, I don't know your system. You've said it discourages minmaxing, but not how. Please explain.
I mean, yeah, you can have a dedicated healtank, but wouldn't it be nice to not nearly die in a routine encounter?
But more realistically, I'm trying to understand what benefit you gain from having many stats above 10.
Sure, maybe you don't want 40/10/10/10/10/10, but what about 30/20/10/10/10/10?
Help me understand, please. For context, know that I just played the utmost of glass cannons for the duration of an eight-month campaign and was only seriously harmed (needed external healing) once.
@DuckTapeAl Part diversity, part adaptability. You can be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none; or cripplingly overspecialized, but a good balance of two or three skills makes you much more survivable.

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