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12:49 AM
@NautArch I have played tempest clerics. Also, in the tier 3 group I am in, that spell has been an immense boon in a variety of situations when our tempest cleric uses it. Just sayin'
@Xirema Use a hex map, works better
 
 
2 hours later…
Ben
2:45 AM
Spiderman, Into the Spiderverse. Highly recommend
 
3:02 AM
Did I come across too strongly with the comment response to "why down votes, did I offend you?" appeal on this question? Opinions, please.
 
@ColinGross is your chat username colingross but site username grosscol? Or are those two different users?
 
 
1 hour later…
4:37 AM
@KorvinStarmast Thanks for the tip about the header. Now that I had more sit-down time I added more to the answer, and tried to incorporate the point you were making.
 
 
3 hours later…
7:19 AM
@BESW Got any opinions? ;-)
 
Jeeves and Wooster is a complicated commentary on class power dynamics, because Jeeves is clearly more intelligent than any of the noble families he serves but bends his powers primarily toward sustaining their power and indulging their vices, in order that his relatively comfortable place in the existing system be preserved.
 
@BESW Care to elaborate further?
 
@BESW What are your opinions on this amazing homebrew race
 
Maybe if I were more familiar with the 1930s source material I could compare its commentary to that of the 1990s TV show and other contemporary noble/valet relationships in fiction like Campion and Lugg who were also later re-imagined as charming BBC period shows.
As is, I can only observe that the dynamic of the clever servant who holds his master in mild contempt while exercising his clearly superior powers to sustain his master's place in the order has clear modern parallels with the willingness of the middle class to support their exploiters.
 
LoL. About the pic.
 
7:34 AM
@Caldrun I hope my frame challenge answer to your question about ability scores isn't coming off as rude
In-game rules that risk limiting how a player plays a game, they're a complicated subject
 
@Mike Q No. You weren't being rude, just frank. It's clear protecting player agency is important to you. Indeed it's something worthy to protect. I believe my answer is a good one and my question as well. As is yours from a different angle. I also believe there are some people on this site who vote on a topic primarily by feeling, not reason.
 
The question originally also asked about techniques for dealing with characters with high stats but players not playing up to them - making bad decisions, forgetting things, etc
I think there's a similar question on rpg.se about that, but I couldn't find it to link it :/
As for James Jacobs' quote, it's their personal opinion, and it seems to promote player behaviors that could be viewed as disruptive, so I'd heed it with caution
 
7:49 AM
Yes. I changed it some, so as not to offend. Like Paizo I believe the stats represent the abilities of the characters being played. Forgive me if you don't like the term but the "crunch" supports the fluff. If you have a 20 wisdom and you keep rushing into deadly situations, something is wrong. As the creative director it holds some water, but more so when Paizo states stats are tied to character behavior.
 
There's always the technique of having the character perform a check. WIS 20 druid about to make a risky situation? WIS check to get a DM advice. INT 20 wizard forgetting an important clue from a previous session? INT check to get a DM reminder. Basically, if the character has high stats, you can GM intervene to help out.
 
@BESW Ah but BESW, people are so easy to exploit when you make it "worth their while". ;-)
 
For the flipped situation that's a bit harder to rein in. E.g. when the low CHA barbarian gives an eloquent speech, you could have a CHA check, and on a failure, you say they fumble the speech or something along those lines
 
@Mike Q I agree, it's part of my answer. Using checks. It's part of the GM's job (generally anyway) to maintain a cohesive world that's immersive. When players are metagaming heavily or ignoring stats of the character it breaks the immersion. If the player wants to play against his stats I let them, but there are in game repercussions to such actions.
Part of the down votes are on me with regard to the question. I have a friend that reminds me sometimes I come off as condescending. I don't know where he gets the idea though. ;-)
 
tbh If my GM kept telling me that my decisions are essentially too dumb for what my character would do (e.g. high-WIS druid making poor decisions), I would start to take that as an insult
 
8:04 AM
BESW's profile said he was never short on opinions. I guess it's just for now. :-)
Sorry, I didn't do it that way. It was more like, "Are you really sure you want to do that?"
After a few times I asked him "Would your character really do those things and be so impulsive, with a Wisdom of 20?"
@Mike Q You are chatting according to your Neutral decent alignment, dare I say Neutral good even?
 
Yes, I choose to stay in character
 
LoL
That was good.
V2Blast is the graveyard shift editor, eh?
@Mike Q Quick question. Have you ever played a rpg that gives the breadth of options when combining 3.5 with Pathfinder?
 
You mean, have I ever just had way too many options?
 
8:21 AM
No, more like although many options aren't necessarily good per se, a good amount are though. I believe the many classes (prestige included) of 3.5 and Pathfinder really helps a player make unique characters that hopefully fulfill their vision of what they want.
@Mike Q I like for the options available in a game system to help the players feel less "cookie cutter" if you will.
 
True, having a lot of choices like that, it's good for players who have a concept or build in mind. Especially those who like to research the options and meticulously plan out their character's entire progression. For other players, though, the bloat of choices can be overwhelming and frustrating.
I ran a pathfinder campaign and basically allowed all the books. Because I thought that more options = more fun, and it meant I had more options for NPCs. Got very different feedback from these different types of players.
 
I try to help the players make their characters be in the game what is in their imagination. You want to be a stealth killer, let's see what we can do about that. What would you change?
 
Personally? I changed it by not GMing pathfinder anymore.
 
What do you GM now?
Don't say 4e. ;)
 
One-shots. Experimenting with different systems. Trying games that aren't based on the D&D model.
Also some of the regulars here are fond of 4e. I never played it but I've heard either very positive or very negative opinions of it.
 
8:32 AM
Oh, please do share what you've found out.
 
Been looking into Fate and some PBtA systems. Usually I pester ask the chat for suggestions.
I also tend to somewhat-jokingly recommend Maid RPG for basically anything
 
4e has some good ideas. Everyone using powers wasn't one of them. There are better ways to close the gap between martials and casters. Sadly I had a friend talk me into playing Maid.;) He's a big anime fan.
It was different. I can say that. The groups I play with it's either 3.5/Pathfinder, or 5E. I did get them to play some Shadow of the Demon Lord though. It was pretty fun. I always try to give new systems a chance to see what I've been missing. Do you have any recommendations?
@Ben How is the Amateur Tabletop RP going?
@Mike Q Do you have any recommendations beyond Maid?
 
9:14 AM
@Caldrun I think it's an excellent idea
And while there may be better ways... that's the only one DnD has actually tried.
 
9:33 AM
@kviiri It was to "cookie cutter" for the different groups I play with. Using all the 3.5/Pathfinder options we have come up with a greater diversity of characters compared to 4e, both in feel and execution. This is not to say that 4e didn't have better design in certain areas, such as clearer rules.
Open question to all who reads this. What RPGs besides D&D do you recommend & why?
 
@Caldrun Apocalypse World is my top candidate for here, because it really changed the way I see and play RPGs. It's a masterpiece and I'll be happy to explain its workings at length :)
I also have a lot of faith in Fate although I still have very limited experience with it. I'd like to try it in a group with more experienced people sometime.
 
Ben
@Caldrun I'm not sure what this is referring to haha. Sorry. I have a few games that I'm a player in going but I don't have any that I would consider "amateur"?
 
Apocalypse World is a post-apocalyptic RPG that spawned a "genre" of its own: PbtA (Powered by the Apocalypse). It seems to have deceptively simple rules: every roll is 2d6+<bonus/penalty> and 10+ is always a "hard hit" (success!), 7-9 is always a "soft hit" (success, but...) and 6- is always a "miss" (which can be a "failure", a "failure, but..." or occasionally even a "success, but..." with a particularly pointy "but")
 
@kviiri Appreciated! I'm looking to get my groups to try other RPGs. Any of the games with the Powered by the Apocalypse engine or just Apocalypse World?
@Ben On your profile it states that you are "Amateur Tabletop RP Gamer". I was asking how that was going for you.
 
@Caldrun I like Apocalypse World the most, but as a gateway drug you could try Dungeon World which is a high-fantasy game that attempts to mix DnD tropes with the style of Apocalypse World. I don't like it particularly much because tactical combat is one of my favorite parts of DnD
(cont.) AW attempts to emulate the tropes common in post-apocalyptic fiction, and that reflects in the rules. Whether something makes sense in the framework of those tropes is more important than whether it is realistic or "balanced". (In fact, the PCs start out quite powerful so you can go on power trips starting in session 1)
Character advancement is not as a big deal as it's in DnD: characters start out near the top of their power curve in the stuff they're good at, and gaining advancements will more readily grant them new stuff. Eg. a Gunlugger is already pretty damn good at this combat thing, but on advancing, they can gain skills in being a combat medic or earn a holding of their own to rule.
 
9:51 AM
@kviiri That sounds like fun. I also like d&d combat as well. Would this mean I should try one of the others like Apocalypse World first?
 
@Caldrun I'm not sure if there's a PbtA that has combat that works like DnD. I feel the omission of grid-based tactical combat only feels bad in DW because I kinda expect in fantasy hack 'n' slash :)
In AW, combat is usually over in a couple of rolls --- it's fast, furious and fun. (unlike Savage Worlds :D)
 
@kviiri I've thought about trying The Savage World of Solomon Kane, which I believe is based on the same system. Anything you would like to share about the system?
 
Ben
@Caldrun oh right lol. That was a few years ago now, so I should probably change that haha
But it is going well. Been at it for... Maybe 5 years now.
 
@Caldrun Savage Worlds is the worst RPG system I've played. I'm not saying it's irredeemably bad or that one can't have fun with it, but it had some really badly designed bits that contributed significantly to our game not running too well. (However, I later learned that some of those bits were changed afterwards)
I can look up one of my rants regarding the system if you'd like :D
Oct 1 at 14:11, by kviiri
Savage Worlds is a real pain in that the non-combat and combat skills come from the same pool, and while training a character to any direction is possible, learning the necessary abilities and skills to be combat-capable post-chargen is a pain
 
@Ben Excellent. What tabletop RPG's are you currently enjoying?
 
9:59 AM
Sep 11 at 13:13, by kviiri
@ColinGross The top offender is Savage Worlds where one gets stunlocked quite easily
(Savage Worlds doesn't have a straightforward HP system --- instead, if you get hit, you're Shaken which means you must roll to see if you get to act during your turn)
(and that roll is made more and more difficult with accumulating wound penalties...)
 
@kviiri I for one believe rants can be quite useful. :-)
 
Ben
I've played 5e, Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader, Numenera, Savage Worlds, Pathfinder, AFMBE, and 3.5
 
Apr 2 at 18:30, by kviiri
@NautArch Savage Worlds has a rather unintuitive and tricky damage mechanic. I had to explain it over every time anew because I was the only one who bothered to learn the common part, and there's one (not very large, but still...) wound table to look up.
Apr 2 at 17:48, by kviiri
Our poor jerk of a sheriff got bit by a bunch of jackalopes in Deadlands: Reloaded. -3 wound penalty, stunlocked, slim chance to succeed at even the things he was good at. And by the book, healing that would've taken ages (because there's a negative modifier in Savage Worlds for being in pre-modern technology level).
Hm, the wound penalties seem to be a common theme :D
 
@kviiri Savage Worlds came out in 2003. The Savage World of Solomon Kane in 2008. So maybe there is hope.
@Ben What was Numenera like?
 
Eh, I can't be bothered to look up more rants but the main issues in a nutshell, followed with the redeeming bits:
 
10:05 AM
@kviiri Oh that was plenty and appreciated.
 
@Caldrun I'll skip to the redeeming bits then
 
Cool
 
SW feels like a miniature combat game with RPG mechanics slapped on top. That's not a bad thing, at least completely so --- it actually felt like it'd be pretty cool to play some tactical shooty game on top of it, with less emphasis on everything else.
 
Ben
@Caldrun We had fun. The system is one sided, in regards that the GM never rolls. The players just make rolls to resist damage, etc, and the mob mechanics simplifies combat.
 
However, I'd insist everyone plays about three characters, because it's so easy to lose agency in SW
 
10:09 AM
@kviiri Well then. The Savage World of Solomon Kane might be worth a try.
@Ben Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader? If you don't mind.
 
@Caldrun PSA regarding Apocalypse World: the second edition came out a bit over a year ago, but it changes very little about any core philosophy or mechanics. Most of the changes are reflected in the character and move sheets that are freely available content. So if you want to try it before you buy it, you can sign in with an email address on their homesite to get free access to the first edition book as a PDF, and couple it with second edition char sheets.
(they never sent me any email from there. I am not loved ;_;)
 
@kviiri Awesome. Definitely moved up on the to try list. Many thanks kviiri! I almost hate to ask further, but any other noteworthy mentions? :-)
 
@Caldrun Humm de dum dum... well, I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but Lady Blackbird has a reputation here for being awesome.
 
@kviiri Nice! For the win! Above and beyond!
 
10:25 AM
And it's not the most traditional RPG, more like a collaborative story-telling game, but Microscope is a fun way to build worlds.
 
@Caldrun Yea, that :)
 
@kviiri Last but not least. Going to need some poetry! ;-)
 
@Caldrun I'm much better at that in Finnish
 
@kviiri Darn. Surely you but a morsel to share in English, no?
 
10:40 AM
@Caldrun Well there's a bit from the poet Aaro Hellaakoski which I've translated into English, also in my profile: "To the walker, the road's a chain --- true freedom is the snowy plain"
Actually lemme edit that to point to English wikipedia
 
@kviiri Nice! Good poetry has a lot of depth. I find meditating upon it to be very beneficial.
 
@Caldrun I find myself iterating some of my favorites daily, when walking to work or meditating on tricky problems. Sometimes I even speak them out loud, or sing them. I must appear a bit zany when singing an ode to the Summer night at this bleak time of year
 
Ben
@Caldrun greatly enjoyed that one. Based in the Warhammer 40k universe, and very narrative.
Uses percentile dice
 
@Caldrun So, what other arts do you appreciate? :)
 
@kviiri Indeed! Ozymandias is a good one. Writing, music, sculpting, painting. I believe a well crafted videogame to be art as well.
 
10:52 AM
@Caldrun Hear hear!
 
@Ben Thank you for the reply Ben. The Grey Knights are my favorite in 40k.
@kviiri Michelangelo is probably my favorite. A true master!
 
@Caldrun I try not to hold favorites, but usually it's composers anyway. Scott Joplin and Antonìn Dvoƙák at this time
My attention shifts quite often :)
 
@kviiri I know I may be stuck in the past, but Mozart and Bach are high on my list. I obviously listen to others, but their reputations were well earned!
 
@Caldrun Yeah. Bach has a special place in my heart too (not to disparage Mozart in any way of course!)
 
@kviiri For electric guitar (my favorite instrument by the way). Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Van Halen, and Zakk Wylde.
 
11:02 AM
I guess the Joplin thing gave me away as a pianist
 
@kviiri Yeah. Any Malmsteen love?
@kviiri Here is a pretty good sample. youtube.com/watch?v=QE2b8sUS4Xc
 
@Caldrun Honestly I haven't heard too much of him but I'm willing to learn :)
 
@kviiri Check the link I posted. The man can play! I think you might like.
 
Yea, I'm listening right now :>
 
11:24 AM
For those interested, here is the whole concert. youtube.com/watch?v=Mylvwhy63bk
One last time. Open question to all who reads this. What RPGs besides D&D do you recommend & why?
 
@Caldrun I starred it so it shows in the sidebar for later comers too
 
 
2 hours later…
1:10 PM
@Caldrun Most of the PtbA games, but especially Dungeon World for showing how to tell D&D-like stories without most of the mechanics. For those who like detailed mechanics but not the traditional fantasy setting, I very much like the cyberpunk of Shadowrun. It strikes a good balance where the player charaters are usually both powerful and vulnerable.
 
1:49 PM
I like to say that RPGs are like food; I like different ones for different reasons and I can have a lot more of some than others. I then move on to Angry GM's article on [8 kinds of fun](https://theangrygm.com/gaming-for-fun-part-1-eight-kinds-of-fun/) (some profanity) to get a baseline on what my audience is interested in or has time/resources for. Some games are basically one-shot only; others greatly reward extended campaigns.
For epic fantasy story, I like Dungeon World, aka D&D Lite
For fantasy combat simulation with some stuff on the side, I like D&D (though its various versions strik
Oh, and of course the Fate series of games is great for a more story-driven game.
 
@Caldrun Since nobody except whoever mentioned Great Ork Gods and Microscope mentioned games that are wildly different from the big elephants in the room (D&D, World of Darkness, Fate, Solar System / Lady Blackbird, PbtA*) I'd go with Sorcerer, Dogs in the Vineyard, Trollbabe, Drifter's Escape, Primetime Adventures, Kagematsu and, despite never having played it, My Life with Master.
 
2:05 PM
@Caldrun Seconding Fate (flexible group-customized system that pushes character-driven crisis/victory cycles while feeling competent and in control), Lady Blackbird (fast pickup romantic action game that pushes character drama and lets you roll a lot of dice), Microscope (almost-not-an-RPG edge case that makes worldbuilding its own game).
Also Cthulhu Dark (codified existential horror to its bare bones for single-session play), Bubblegumshoe (great relationship mechanic that pushes an understanding of mystery stories as less about how you solve a mystery and more about what you do with the solution), InSpectres (blue collar supernatural startup comedy that messes with GM/player dynamics in really cool ways)...
 
Sorcerer is about people who did the impossible and summoned a real demon in real life, and how their life becomes very complicated, and how relationships change because of that. I've only played once, but it's a fundamental game because of how it changed what you care about in a game (not statistics but relationships and things you want instead of things you can do).
Dogs follows in the wake. The GM is supposed to provide moral dilemmas to players and have them think about the consequences. This old west school teacher is telling morally wrong things to students for what might even be a go
Trollbabe is a power fantasy where the playes can decide how much to risk, the GM doesn't need to pull punches in order to save them and character failure is always narrated by the player (and must be totally awesome to be acceptable).
Drifter's escape has a single player and a pool of game masters collaboratively working to worsen the life of a modern day vagrant.
Primetime Adventures is about creating a TV series, focusing an what we want to "see on screen" rather than on having our character "win" something.
 
...Golden Sky Stories (child-like magical animals making friends in rural Japan, a great demonstration that conflict doesn't have to be life-threatening to be high stakes); Dog Eat Dog (a Message Game done well, confronts colonial injustice by baking that injustice into the rules and making the players complicit in it); A Penny For My Thoughts (the only game I've ever seen where the manual is a diegetic prop)...
 
Kagamatsu has the women of a village try to have Kagematsu - a runaway samurai - stay and defend their village from peril since all able-bodied men are at war. Kagematsu is played by a woman who has to judge how good are the others at seducing a man (in a cute or in a sexy way).
My Life with Master talks about an evil master living in a castle with monsters, The monsters are sent to perform atrocities in the village but they might improve socially. Will it be enough to succesfully revolt against their master? (Or something like that)
I also want to mention Fiasco! (GMless one-shot, create one of those movies where ambitious people with poor control over their lives end up messing the plan) and maybe you want to mention Do, @BESW?
 
The thing about MLWM, for me, is that (a) the players design the Master they will be fighting and that almost always means they unconsciously make it something they have a horror of; and (b) the game emphasises the GM's use of physical presence at the table to create discomfort, which is interesting but needs more warning flags and support for how to do it appropriately.
 
While I'm sure I'm missing many other unconventional games, I have put an asterisk near PbtA and it is now time to explain: officially, PbtA is a brand that means "Inspired by Apocalypse World" and is not tied to the 10+, 7-9, 6- mechanic or anyy other mechanic in the AW manual. Informally, PbtA games are exactly that.
 
2:19 PM
Ah, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is singled out by many as "not traditional" because its randomization mechanic uses drawing stones from a bag instead of dice, but that's minor compared to the game drawing on an InSpectres-style division of character control: bad stuff happening is decided by the rest of the group while good stuff happening is decided by the player whose character it is.
 
@BESW Rhank you.
 
Also significant to me is that Do is one of the few games which deliberately produces an artifact of play.
Do is also noteworthy (alongside Fate) as a game which neither prioritizes nor disincentivizes conflict as specifically physical OR specifically social.
The same mechanics apply to all forms of conflict, success, and failure, and leaves the narrative details to the players.
 
2:43 PM
Yesterday evening, I suddenly remembered why I found DMing D&D 3.5 unsatisfying.
We have an alchemist in my Pathfinder game who can throw smoke bombs that inflict the nauseated condition (anyone that enters the smoke cah noly make move actions for 1d4+1 rounds after leaving the smoke).
So yesterday they faced some wererats. They did not prepare for wererats, which meant nobody had silvered weapons, which means the Summoner only dealt 1d3 damage per turn, so it was just the alckemist and a mystic. The wererats, in turn, only dealt a grand total of like 5 damage during the whole encounter, and their leader especially survived 12 turns while being able to do nothing at all - too slow to run away, too nauseated to attack, too proud to surrender.
Welcome back to the wonderful world of save or suck, DM Zachiel!
 
 
4 hours later…
7:01 PM
@BESW Artifact of play? I know the letter goes into play, what comes out?
 
 
4 hours later…
10:59 PM
@Anaphory The pilgrims in Do keep a collective journal of their adventures; whether the letter was resolved successfully or not depends on how many of the letter's keywords make it into the journal entries.
Drawing stones and picking a color influences how many words get written into the journal at a time.
So it's a bit like The Quiet Year in that respect, in that everyone's turn adds something new to a collective thing maintained by the players.
 

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