« first day (2461 days earlier)      last day (1392 days later) » 
00:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00

12:39 AM
We're playing @EvilHatOfficial's #FateCore right now in #Roll20CON raising money for @CybersmileHQ! Join us at http://www.supergeekedup.com
1:25 AM
hey there @Blaze
1 hour later…
2:34 AM
Let's Play Cthulhu Confidential, The Fathomless Sleep. In case you wanted to listen to me and a certain Brian play a game.
Current plan is for weekly updates, we'd already recorded a session's worth of episodes.
3:11 AM
@Magician Better than an uncertain Brian
Is it though?
I'm not certain. (I'm also not a Brian)
4 hours later…
6:59 AM
@doppelgreener ah fair enough
3 hours later…
10:03 AM
Hey folksies, what's that D&D 5e service that lets you write up book-like entries in markdown?
aha, found it -- the homebrewery
10:37 AM
@doppelgreener Wow, starred. That looks insanely useful.
10:52 AM
@DrRDizzle As long as you want D&D formatting
11:08 AM
@eimyr I only play D&D lol, so it's pretty perfect for me.
Time to branch out!
11:30 AM
@eimyr Maybe if we format other games using the homebrewery, people will find them and think that they are cool D&D homebrews and we'll trick them into branching out? WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
@Anaphory so you're saying we should coax the players into playing the game we want them to play through deception? Why not just play World of Darkness then, it's the same thing.
@DrRDizzle it's super.
12:29 PM
@doppelgreener that is super cool
@NautArch no you
@doppelgreener awwww shucks
The lesson of this Midsummer was: never tempt fate. Especially when on a boating trip with your fellow RPG players. I praised our group for our excellent discipline and safety and lo, the boat starts leaking and we found ourselves shipwrecked on an uninhabited island four kilometers away from home base.
Was thinking about Unearthed Arcana and how they update some entries, some entries get put into final publications, but all receive feedback. Would it be a Stack question to ask if they ever 'retire' Unearthed Arcana?
(We managed to partially plug the leak and bail fast enough to salvage both ourselves and the vessel)
12:44 PM
@kviiri please clarify whether this was a real life boat or in-game boat
because i'm very concerned and i think you mean the first
but want to know whether i should be that concerned first xD
@doppelgreener A real one. There was no real danger of loss of life, though. I brought a big bail.
After the initial shock of realizing the boat leaked, we could expel water far faster than it came in.
@kviiri glad to hear you made it to shore! Whose boat was it?
@NautArch It's just a simple rowboat, and belongs to the family of our host. He was really chill about the whole incident, possibly in part because the boat came back in one piece too.
@kviiri HE was chill? I'd expect some sort of concern/apology. That's crazy to have a watercraft that isn't safe and let others use it!
@NautArch you mean 'retire' in the sense of "is never published and development stops on it"?
12:59 PM
@Adam Or even 'removes from being an option"
@NautArch The craft itself was safe. It has one of those little holes in the bottom for emptying water splashings and minor leakage when ashore. They're plugged with little rubber plugs when operational. The plug we had slipped through the hole when there was some rough weather, something none of us had anticipated could happen.
@kviiri Hmm. "slipping through the hole" seems like something a plug shouldn't do :)
@NautArch Sure. I really blame myself for not checking the plug, but it's one of those things that just happens. We crafted a new plug from a piece of wood when ashore so we could be towed back to base.
I'm really glad we had extra people on board, would've sucked to bail and keep the hole plugged with my hand at the same time.
@kviiri as am I! GOod adventure, still! :)
@NautArch A very good one. Also, we found the geocache we went for. Both the target island and the one we had to land on were beautiful as heck, too.
Also, an important life lesson: even if you think you've prepared for everything, something can go wrong. But even then, being prepared can be very useful. In this case, bringing the bail was probably a defining good move of the trip ;)
Also, since our in-universe party is conveniently on the shore of a lake, we agreed they had a similar trip in-universe for giggles.
1:14 PM
@kviiri Give yourself Inspiration!
marks on the character sheet
@kviiri sounds well handled. nice work.
1:35 PM
@kviiri "probably"? PROBABLY Clearly irrelevant.
@godskook Heh, right. We had an empty soda bottle but it probably would've been quite a struggle to manage with that!
@NautArch What defines my comment in rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/102262/… as an answer and not a comment?
Comments are for improving existing questions or answers. Answers are for solutions to questions.
Your suggestion is a solution to the question rather than an improvement to it.
Q: Should users refrain from answers (or partial answers) in comments?

YasskierThere are situations, when you know SOMETHING that is related to the question but its insubstantial to be a proper answer, in example lets imagine a question: In which edition of game X dwarves are allowed to play as mages? Now lets say that I know a bit of game X, but I haven't played a wh...

It's attempting to work toward a solution (or part of a solution), which is the domain of answers. The domain of comments is to work toward a question more capable of receiving solutions that help the asker.
I've removed the comment.
1:51 PM
Partial answers get negative credit around here. Why would we give them as answers?
you either do more research to make your partial answer a full answer, or suggest it as an improvement to an existing answer, or you don't post.
this means we're not really in the business of hosting partial answers in any capacity
Yeah, I'm not sure if I agree with the reasoning behind this... I know my comment is a mere suggestion and has no official rules to back it up; there isn't a way to flesh this out into a proper answer since it doesn't have rules supporting it; it's simply a comment suggesting a possible way to view the process of "drawing a staff from a tree".
I find it strange that this site doesn't accept comments like this, every other stack exchange site I'm active in supports these kinds of comments.
Answering in comments bypasses the voting system AND the site's search functions, so your answer won't be sortable or findable by others. It also discourages others from giving full, well-researched answers.
@onewho, I'm with you on this, but this seems rather ingrained into the culture at least on this stack.
A: Should users refrain from answers (or partial answers) in comments?

ShalvenayI'll step in and provide some background here -- the reason why you see things that resemble "partial answers" in other Stacks is because troubleshooting is an iterative process. "Try turning it off and on again" is not an answer -- yet it may not be possible for anyone to answer the question we...

2:00 PM
@BESW, considering it provides research for such answers, by what mechanism does it discourage people from giving full answers?
Read the links in the comments from there.
Comments are also often cleaned up, so a "good comment" you left could be removed.
@godskook Again, this is answered by fully reading the answers and comments in the linked meta material.
These are not new concerns or conversations, and it's a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the existing dialog when entering an ongoing debate.
Otherwise we'll either get ignored or waste everyone's time going over the same ground again and again.
@godskook Based on the number of times I've seen answers fleshed out in the chat between two people, I would say it's in part because we're too nice. If somebody else does the leg work, they deserve the rep. Many of us feel that way and won't make answers out of somebody else's work because of that, even if they say "no, please, take my rep. I don't want it"
@BESW, the post @onewho made is the very type of comment @Shalvenay was saying "we don't make" in the linked material. So no, that's not answered fully by a post that's blind to the use-case being discussed here.
2:04 PM
And, of course, all the "other Stacks do it differently" argument needs to first be familiar with the standard from which all Stacks may choose to deviate and perhaps look at why different Stacks do it differently.
@godskook For the question of "discouraging people from giving full answers," I'm referring to the comments under this answer.
No Stack should accept "other Stacks do it differently so you should too" as a sufficient argument, as each Stack has its own context and exterior community patterns to deal with.
And I think it's important not to underestimate the difficulty we've had with fine differentiation between types of participation. One kind of comment answer is okay while another is not? Not gonna fly--if entirely different Stacks are being used as examples of why a comment here should be permitted, how much harder will it be for people to recognize a subtle variation in use case? (This is not rhetorical; from experience, it's very very hard.)
Again, there's a lot of history behind our choices in moderating . We're, of course, always open to suggestions and criticisms. But they need to come from a position of familiarity with why we do it this way now, or it's not gonna be helpful.
So basically regardless of how helpful a comment might be it's not going to be accepted here, is what I'm reading...
A comment is not the appropriate place for all kinds of helpful things one might say, no.
Remember the lesson of Pokémon Go: a public space is not suitable for all activities just because it's public.
@onewho I wouldn't necessarily say that. A comment on the question itself which is geared toward answers isn't accepted. But if you stuck that same comment on an answer and said "this answer could be improved by talking about [this stuff that doesn't belong on the question]" that could very well be fine.
Comments have a particular purpose, and we've found that opening them up to unrelated purposes dilutes their usefulness and diverts energy from other more important things like full answers which give the site lasting, sortable quality content.
RPG enforces a very firm comment policy which requires that comments be used only for certain specific tasks, and not for other things (lest they be removed or, sometimes, moved to chat).
2:13 PM
@onewho I agree with @Adam. It's a matter of purpose. Comments are to clarify a question/answer - not to provide one.
Per our current policy, as a body we're not interested in having mercy or much laxness in that regard.
I feel tempted to point out that our stack has a fairly large amount of questions that are objectively very difficult to answer correctly: for instance, "Does X exist?" (where X is, for example, published stats for some DnD monster). Easy as pie as long as one can really find X somewhere to confirm it exists - but otherwise, they'll have to confirm a negative, which is hard.
You're welcome to use meta to challenge the site's current stance on this subject--but it'll only be useful if your challenge acknowledges and addresses the experience and discussion which led to the current stance; otherwise you're asking us to unfix a solution.
Chat is not the place for getting policies changed.
@kviiri It is OK for questions to sit unanswered for a considerable period.
Not saying that's an appropriate way to use a comment, though - it's best to pour in a reasonable amount of effort into finding X, and then answering negatively while listing places where one looked.
2:16 PM
@kviiri I agree with that.
It's even okay for questions to be literally unanswerable (because proving a question is unanswerable is HARD, and makes for a good answer itself).
"Here's all the places I looked, and I found nothing" has been the basis of multiple well-received "help me find this thing" responses.
Contextually, RPG.SE exists in a hobby space which major flamewars breaking out over benign disagreements are a norm. The early moderators of the site decided to come down hard on comments to prevent our site from just becoming more of the same, and so we've drawn the line at "use comments for the purposes for which they're intended and nothing else", and it's worked fairly well.
Thus far any time comment moderation has relaxed, both content and temperament have suffered a marked drop in desirability.
It'd be lovely to learn a way to be more lax about comments without the site catching fire.
@BESW The commments under that answer kinda prove my point, thanks for linking!
hello folks! i have brought you a question

as an aspiring worldbuilder and a D&D GM, how much of my actual world data (geography, legends, tales and such) can i reveal to my players? those players are all scattered across the realm, having some nice quests and adventures locally but completely oblivious to the wide world. this doesn't seem like a decent Stackexchange question, so i come to you. any related experiences, cool stories and advice would be appreciated :)
2:23 PM
@AlexAgapov I like having my players as clued in as possible, so we can collaborate to have maximum interest/drama happen to their characters. It's more fun when players can be the audience who sees the monster in the dark or the bomb under the table--that's what makes a scene tense, knowing what the characters don't. The same goes, in my experience, for worldbuilding elements.
(Also, my players always have more ideas than I do, so the story is better with their input on the world as we go.)
so you'd rather have them know every detail about the world they explore?
@AlexAgapov, that's....absurdly broad :P The best I can tell you quickly is that they should at least know everything that'd be common knowledge for their characters to know, and this is especially cool if their characters had different sets of "common knowledge".
However much is reasonable. Depends a lot on the group's playstyle preferences and the kind of story you're playing.
@AlexAgapov, the more they know, the less they can explore, but the more they can contribute to the kinds of inter-woven stories BESW seems to like to run.
Often a few mysteries are fun to keep back and surprise folks with, but I try to never keep secrets for their own sake.
2:25 PM
you're both right. short answer to my "question": it depends :D
yeah, intentional secrets are a nasty thing to have
i mean, if player characters should have known this but you kept it hidden - that's bad
but other than that, i'd say it's okay to have the default condition set to "unknown"
@AlexAgapov, otoh, what qualifies as that sort of thing is quite arbitrary.
A lot of my recent games have involved a collaborative worldbuilding session before we start, so everyone has a hand in making sure it's a setting we're going to enjoy.
Some people even use to build a whole era of history and then choose where in it they'll adventure with a more traditional system.
i just thought that in simple, small and unsophisticated (or completely explored prior to the game's events) worlds it's often common sense to reveal the map from the start. and that's both tasty (let us see what's in that funny-looking ruined city on the other side of the world!) and disappointing (there's no mysteries for us to unravel, how sad is that!)
@godskook @onewho I'll confirm we're open to having our comment policies re-evaluated on meta, but BESW is right on the money when he says that needs to be done with awareness of the current context: the comment policies against partial answers, comment policies in general, the benefits of them, etc. I'm happy to speak about that to the extent I can provide answers, and so might many others here.
2:31 PM
collaborative worldbuilding is a fun idea - i actually never thought of that
lots of issues and risks are bound to arise, though
@AlexAgapov There are a number of systems and techniques to give it structure.
@AlexAgapov, I'd consider the geography, as best you can portray it and as best locals can record it, to be "common knowledge".
for example, some cool feature might not bet implemented because players A and B had completely opposite feelings about it
is a popular framework, and has several different variations of its take on the concept.
@AlexAgapov That's part of collaboration: finding the common ground and not pushing for something that makes someone else uncomfortable.
@AlexAgapov A nice middle ground might be to make your map, say, 1/6th of the actual world. That should provide enough area that players can collaborate on that area, set up some adventures, and provide backgrounds to everybody, but if you guys want some "explore the wild blue yonder" type adventures, you just have to go to the edge of the map.
2:33 PM
@doppelgreener RE: incomplete answers... every now and then I get a +10 from Arqade, which I don't frequent. It's from a question that only has one, very incomplete answer that also has been upvoted reasonably. I hate the answer and I hate how the site is reminding me of it!
Remember, RPGs are still just games with friends, and the friendships are more important than anything in the game.
microscope sounds a lot like dwarffortress legends mode
Need to read this copy of Cthulhu Dark 0, now that the KS has closed.
Microscope can be fun. I find it to be a great way to collaboratively build a small setting with creative friends.
@MadMAxJr Urrgh, I need to smack my bank around until they approve the charge.
On it's own it's more a storytelling engine than full fledged RPG.
But it's a really good story building tool.
2:35 PM
great to know, thanks! i never used it before
My first time with Microscope wasn't great, because I got some bad advice on how to use it. But the second time was a lot of fun.
@AlexAgapov My preferred way of doing things is to just start the first adventure in a town, or small area, and then key in on my player's backstories after the game, and build more of the world around that. So they "collaborate" in that they become part of the world, but they don't necessarily need to see the map, unless I want to show it to them, or be a part of the actual building.
@Adam yes, that's a great way of making the world alive
Another thing I used to do was draw a big world map to share with the players, and only design the details of places as they became important to the adventure.
this is nice too
2:37 PM
I gave my fairly new players a slice of world-building through a mock newsletter that's published of the happenings of their world. It's also an exposition tool, but they can establish stuff as canon by submitting written content to me for inclusion between the sessions.
i actually started a new game last week and made lots of features around the players' backstories. but at some point their influence on the world has stopped, and "the lands beyond these mountains" are yet unknown to anyone but me
still learning to use this chat, hehe
@kviiri ;_;!
Alright. Here's our map. John has added the Kingdom of Ruul, a dwarven civilization focusing on mineral riches from a vast cliff-face. Great. Dave... What have you writen on the map Dave? "Disneyland but with cybernetic wolfmen, laser robots, and blackjack...."
@kviiri newspaper sounds like a fun thing to implement :)
yeeeah, crazy people are crazy
that's what stops me
@MadMAxJr If you're not using Dave, can I borrow him?
2:39 PM
@BESW Feel free.
i know my players as fantastic people who can do great things with their characters and contribute to the fun, but god forbid i actually let them make the world. no, no, no
I'm pretty sure he'd love .
This is why Microscope has a VERY important first phase where you establish the 'ingredients'. You can setup 'adds' and 'bans'. Things you specifically encourage to see, and specific topics to not have in your story.
@AlexAgapov I really recommend it if you're into writing. We've been having great fun with it so far! It gives me a tool to provide exposition between the sessions and foreshadow important events.
have any of you guys played dwarf fortress?
2:40 PM
Some people write encyclopedias of their homebrew fantasy worlds, but the whole newsletter thing works.
Many, many moons ago.
@AlexAgapov Sure, but not in a few years.
@kviiri Sounds like it could be especially useful in a Marshes game.
When carp would still launch out of the river to fight dwarves.
the stories this game generates are just awesome
2:41 PM
And a single elephant could end dwarf civs.
and get a following
Yes.. The AI in that game is unusual.
Dwarf is working. Dwarf very, very far away dies. Working dwarf, "I need his shoes. I should go get them."
you mean the AI itself or just the pre-defined range of events that can happen?
@AlexAgapov Our setting is basically slightly campy fantasy where people gather in the Society of Heroes and Adventurers to receive quests against evil. The newsletter is, in-universe, written by this slightly geeky researcher working for the society but occasionally features quest writers from the Society's administration.
Both in some cases.
Also playing with the files is fun. If I recall, creatures have XML files that use keywords to tell how they're built. Such as parts of the body and what they're made of.
Turns out if you replace 'flesh' with 'obsidian' apparently you could have dwarves that live inside lava.
2:43 PM
@kviiri pathfinder society, huh? :)
yeah, and you could also have dwarves melt in the sun
fun times
@AlexAgapov Err, sorta, I guess. I didn't learn of the similarity until afterwards.
or do we just do the legwork and answer it?
Basically, four out of five of the others in the party (I'm the GM) are total newbies to DnD and RPGs in general. We discussed the idea of having a fairly minimalistic, simplistic plot at first so they could familiarize the mechanics.
Now it's developing into a darker direction, as they've been uncovering evidence of an Asmodean conspiracy seeking to take over the region...
And wherever they go and whatever they do, they always discover in retrospect it went exactly as the conspiracy planned ;)
this is really nice. all my players are newbies, i'm a newbie with 6-months experience in D&D, and we're already exploring deep caverns and doing some pretty-openworld stuff. the folks love it so far, but the openness scares me sometimes
@NautArch The officially forbidden type of "read the book to me" question is the kind where someone doesn't have the book and is literally requesting we reproduce a section for them to help them violate copyright. Listing all the ways something might work may be too broad, circumstantially. Note "too much work" is not itself a close reason.
2:48 PM
so i'm steering onto the side of "make a huge world with some generic history, races and areas, and get yourself ready to improvise whenever you need to add detail"
seems to work nicely
I prefer to run DnD in a half-railed fashion. We've experimented with total sandbox, but it wasn't as fun. So I usually prepare a set of quest hooks for my players and see what they do with it.
yeah, quest hooks are a must
If someone asked "what are all the ways I can inflict {extremely common status condition}" I would vote to close it as too broad, leaving a comment saying "I'm voting to close this as too broad, as there are an enormous number of ways to do this. Could you filter this down and tell us what you're trying to do and tell us about the character build you're trying to do this with?"
What are all the ways I can inflict pain?
npc's needing help, evil baddies making evil plans, treasure maps left under beds, that sort of thing
2:49 PM
@NautArch For the moment I'm voting to close this as unclear. Comment on it incoming.
If I wanted to make a more open game, with the players really picking their own agenda without my cues, I would go for something other than DnD.
@AlexAgapov All good stuff!
i've come up with a neat way of making the world lively and getting some actual sleep at night, not needing to detail every tree
I also do this, where when I have more than one player absent but the rest still want to play, that I just tell them upfront that "since I don't want to advance the plot that much when the others are gone, it's SIDEQUEST TIME!" and then they go on a treasure hunt in a Kobold infested mine or a cultists' hideout.
@doppelgreener Ah! I had though Read the Book To Me was more about the "i'm too lazy to look this up myself" and less "can you please infringe on copyright and post the details I need?"
sidequests :D
that's a nice touch
2:53 PM
Yeah! That's not to say they're less interesting for the players or me. And I like to incorporate bits and pieces of them to the main campaign too.
@doppelgreener love the homebrewery. I even use it to do up pregens for new players, because it makes them feel like it's such an "official" character.
@nitsua60 What do you mean by Pre-Gen?
For example, in their last session, three out of five party members were present and helped recover an egg belonging to a slain dragon from a Kobold cult revering it, in order to prevent a future dragon crisis. Said egg was delivered to the Society of Heroes and Adventurers, but it's not exactly out of the story yet ;)
@NautArch People may also be adopting it to refer to the former. There definitely are a number of banal "list all the ways to {thing}" requests I've noticed for D&D 5e, but AFAIK we've had no meta on those directly. The latter doesn't have exclusive rights over the term, it's just the one kind of read the book to me question we have an official meta decision on.
@NautArch Characters to have on hand, created without the player's input.
2:56 PM
so here's my way of making the world and saving time: just do a general outline of what the world looks like and where are all the major sights, maybe even treat yourself to some tasty details here and there, but don't go into finest details everywhere. just make yourself a means of procedurally generating detailed content on the fly

for example, if there's a huge forest with lots of monsters and caverns, just make a general "probability table" that defines how likely are the players to meet each type of monster, and draw a couple of those caverns to get an idea of how they look so that yo
@nitsua60 It's been on my mind to use it to make a Stack Exchange Elemental, with a Help Pile ability that makes its target explode after too much help has been rendered (a la a Positive Energy Elemental with its murder-via-healing)
@nitsua60 Ah - I was thinking also to 'simplify' a Class/race combo to have all the info and fluff in one place without bits that they didn't choose. Once someone has chosen their path, put it all in this and then they can have it as a resource.
IME many D&D players' first experience is "yay! let's play! First we need to make you a character..." [what follows is a series of seventy questions about the character they'd like, almost none of which the player has information to formulate an answer with, accompanied by a growing sense that 'I'm making wrong choices, and this is going to screw me over =]
@doppelgreener That may have applied to the Silent Image/Trompe L'oeil question :)
A little too realistic, perhaps?
3:00 PM
@nitsua60 Aye.
@AlexAgapov I think you'll find that D&D GMs will run the gamut from "I tell them only what they ask" to "I don't build the world, I simply prod my players into doing it," and that at all points on that spectrum you'll find groups who were either ecstatic or miserable playing that way.
@kviiri So I tend to try and have four or five "vanilla" ones around so I can simply say "do you want to focus on pew-pew or smash-smash or talky-talky or something else? Then, once you've seen some and played with this character, we can make changes to it or make you a completely new one--this is a no-risk choice."
@nitsua60 It really doesn't help that DnD classes aren't exactly always that intuitive in their differences. Like, describing the difference between the Warlock, Wizard and Sorcerer.
@AlexAgapov personally, I love it when players get involved in worldbuilding. "Hey, you know that kingdom over yonder you heard rumors about. Alice--you want to design it? Here are three things I know to be true about it, here's one thing that cannot be true, other than that have at it!"
"Well Wizard is a spellcaster by academic expertise, a Sorcerer is a spellcaster by innate ability and a Warlock is a spellcaster by a pact with some extradimensional deity... no, not a cleric, just a... urgh."
@kviiri Luckily, if we're talking about the hypothetical new player, I'm not going to even offer them that choice. If they like pew-pew and would like their pew-pew to be magic-based (that's the follow-up question), then I'm handing them a sorcerer.
3:11 PM
@nitsua60 That might be a smart idea.
@kviiri Clerics are just Warlocks with more cred.
Clerics are just Warlocks with a holier-than-thou attitude. Although they can usually back said attitude up with actual proof.
[crafts warlock of Pelor]
@nitsua60 Having recently jumped into 5e, I find the character creation process quite streamlined. The only mechanical choices you have to make are Class (which is easily explained by general archetype), race (mostly fluff), and stat distribution (which is mostly composed of a bunch of obvious choices, followed by some basically meaningless ones).
Warlocks are just fighters with magic and no heavy armor :D
3:13 PM
@GreySage How many other RPGs and, specifically, D&D editions had you played before 5e?
@Yuuki My favorite interpretation of a DnD cleric is that they receive their magical power through ordination, not direct divine intervention. Then they still have to deal with crises of faith because they can't know for sure whether the ritual that gave them magic is truly divine or just "normal" magic.
@nitsua60 that is an amazing idea, actually. letting players design a certain part of the world with some limitations
Well, actual proof isn't necessarily direct divine intervention. Namely just presenting a certificate of "yes, I'm an ordained priest of the Church of <Deity>" is usually enough proof that one is in fact holier than thou.
@NautArch That's where I tend to downvote, not close-vote. "Does not show research effort" is part of the DV tooltip, and "It would take reading the book(s), which I don't care to do" hits that one right on the head for me.
@nitsua60 Oh! That's an interesting idea. My problem is I enjoy doing that kind of research. You know, because I'm a sadist and I like research for small use-cases :)
3:20 PM
@nitsua60 Mostly 3.5 and pathfinder
@NautArch I'm the resident researcher of my party too. It's not always a very satisfying position :P
@AlexAgapov For me it's almost necessary. I'm not a spontaneously creative person, but rather my creativity takes a big step up once the constraints reach a certain magic threshold. I.e. given a blank page I'm largely useless, but given "there's a lone mountain in the middle of a desert covered in ice, which is thought to be cursed by humanoids but a is a pilgrimage location for Kenku" I'm off to the races with a hundred ideas.
@GreySage I think, if we put ourselves in the mindset of one who hasn't already mastered some form of D&D, it feels a lot less streamlined. (I'll agree it's more streamlined than other versions, but I contend that D&D is absolutely horrible at presenting itself to newcomers, across all editions.)
@NautArch Which is great--you'll probably get a highly-voted answer to a low-voted question. The Stack works =D
As a newcomer to DnD 5e with prior experience in DnD 4e, Savage Worlds, Apocalypse World and Dungeon World, I'm not too keen on 5e chargen. I think I liked the discrete per-class powers of 4e more than the spells of 5e.
My first impression with DnD 5e was a definitely positive one, though.
As our party has grown in power, I've noticed it getting somewhat less appealing, mainly because our fighters are nowhere near as cool as our casters.
@GreySage consider: it tells you about ability scores first. So I'll pick some scores. Then I'll grab a race, which modifies some of those scores. Then I'll look at classes, and now that I've read those dozen descriptions maybe I'll realize that I actually should have a good score in X. So maybe I'll change score, or even race. Alright, lemme choose some skills.
Oh, but a skill I like is in a crap stat, so lemme go back to scores... actually, this skill thing is kinda cool, maybe I'll pick a different class that gives me an extra skill or two... no, this is good. Equipment's pretty easy, an
@kviiri I've heard that only 4e ever solved that problem.
3:34 PM
@Adam IMO 2e and before solved that problem completely. (See an historical reflection.)
uhoh, I just got access to Moderator tools
The notion of a L15 PC still going on dungeon-delves with a small party strikes me, attached as I am to the ethos of TSR's high-level play, as a sort of self-inflicted Peter Pan Syndrome.
I mean in a way I could see that. With Fighters getting keeps and controlling nations, or guilds or all that and MUs researching and creating spells. But then the higher level players need to go on more involved adventures on a grander scale, or you switch from D&D to a wargame. At that point, fighters are still just better at swinging a sword, where MUs can bend reality to their will
I mean, if at 7th-10th level you were expected to retire to your tower or keep for the rest of time and not actually fight anything, why stat out up to 20th level?
@Adam 4e was pretty good, yep.
@nitsua60 love that bit...and Mitch!
3:41 PM
@Adam That's my point. It was expected to transition from small-party adventurer to not a wargamer, but a kingdom-gamer. (Which might include wars, true.)
I used to hate 4e, but that was before I realized that it just wants a specific playstyle - an action-packed hack 'n' slash romp. Then I found other games that did the casual social narration better but lacked the appeal of tactical combat. Both do their own thing well.
Well, reasonably well. 4e at least used to suffer from the ridiculously low damage-per-turn versus total hp on later levels.
@Adam I guess I'm just saying that I don't see build a keep, assemble a warband, fight an orc army, carve out a kingdom as not-D&D, which your statement seems to imply. To me that is high-level D&D.
And you have to stat out higher levels because occasionally you do have to strap on your old adventuring gear to root a dragon out of its hole, or deal with a planar incursion. Or a demigod.
I guess my question would be: why do high level wizards not take high level fighters' keeps?
(Back when dragons were actually fearsome beasts.)
@Magician They've got better things to do? =D
What makes fighters good at owning keeps/gathering warbands?
3:44 PM
@Magician too busy studying, keeps are beneath them
@Magician hoi polloi like to follow them.
Ah, so the only reason wizards don't rule the world is because they don't care to?
@Magician And the masses would revolt.
That still strikes me as "fighters are idiots with metal sticks", though.
@nitsua60 that certainly wasn't my intention. Frankly, I wouldn't even say that I know what D&D is. This is like a sage arguing with a fool. I, the fool, don't really have a chance, nor the goal to convince you of anything. Only trying to convey what I have been led to believe by listening to others
3:45 PM
And they're smart enough to avoid the hassle of ruling the world.
they're too busy playing Bosses & Bookkeeping
@Adam No sage here--I'm just trying to do the same thing: present to you a concept of the game you might not have yet heard described.
i'm being facetious, there's no good reason a wizard shouldn't be the one ruling a kingdom, or a druid, or a monk, or etc
@nitsua60 Don't be so modest
I 'unno, I'm not fond of the idea of "fighters working as intended, they can do stuff people with actual power don't care about".
3:48 PM
personally i became a moderator here because i felt i had the capacity to do it and do well at it, and i had the opportunity to do it.
likewise a wizard could easily be a wise, kind, benevolent and cunning ruler guiding his kingdom and taking good care of his people. like King Solomon.
@Magician Same here.
@doppelgreener Or they could just cast mass brain control spells
@doppelgreener areyouawizard.jpg
Also, if some of the players are meant to bother with ruling and others as simply being awesome superheroes, it sounds like it's hard to maintain a cohesive party.
@Adam Yes, possibly also malevolent :D
3:54 PM
"Cool, I get a keep and an army and I become king!"
-"Yeah! That's Awesome! And I get to learn new magic that could turn you to dust in an instant, decimate your army, and enslave the survivors...Does this mean we can't be friends anymore?"
@Adam I have this headcanon of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (a game with extremely little actual canon to work with) novice Ice Mages being employed as refrigerators on the surface.
And as they gain experience, slowly progressing to the machines of destruction we all know and love.
@Magician I'm just trying to say that's baked into the DNA of the D&D family tree. (Howzat for a mixed metaphor!?) If that's not your cuppa--and that's, of course, fine--then you can make changes, but they need to be thought out at the fundamentals-level.
Well, yeah, there's no doubt about that. D&D's legacy is a mixed bag.
(i just went back to fact-check something and now i'm not sure how I got the idea that plants have RNA and not DNA)
4:10 PM
Rats, I forgot to write out and submit my 200 word RPG for this year's contest.
Cool RPG Stuff: [Clink: Mysterious Drifters & Risky Coin Flips](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sigilstonepublishing/clink-an-rpg-of-mysterious-drifters-and-risky-coin)
🎲 [Damn the Man, Save the Music](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hannahshaffer/damn-the-man-save-the-music)
🎲 [200 Word RPG Finalists](https://200wordrpg.github.io/winners)
🎲 [Cthulhu Dark preorders](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78929588/cthulhu-dark)
ping me if there's any Cool RPG Stuff we should add to our pin. :)
4:25 PM
On the same cottage trip where we had our little maritime mishap, I encountered some cool RPG stuff of our own: 7th Sea.
A friend of mine had hyped the system and setting for ages, but I didn't even realize how cool the entire theme park version of European history was before getting to read the book myself.
woo! pirates!
remember though
(courtesy of Disney, which appears to not fully grasp the concept of pirates)
@doppelgreener I always found Lazy Town to be extremely overzealous with their definitions when they accused all lovers of sailing of piracy.
they what?
You know, in the song. "Yarr harr feedle-de-dee, if you love to sail the sea, you are a pirate!"
oh, right :P
4:30 PM
It pleases me how Iceland, of all places, managed to produce such a popular and high-quality kids' show.
...although it appears the bulk of the production happened elsewhere. :<
No wait, they actually had a studio in Reykjavik! Nice.
I'm happy with that too!
4:48 PM
I think Finland's most successful media export is the Moomin family, but their best-known incarnation is made mostly in Japan.
5:29 PM
@kviiri Oh! I always thought they were from Sweden and just about Finnish trolls, but huh, no! A quick dig just now taught me that they're Finnish in nationality, but Swedish in language. This explains my confusion.
@SevenSidedDie Yeah, curiously quite a many Finnish "national heroes" are/were of the Swedish-speaking minority.
I had to cheat a bit by looking it up in Wikipedia, but even our national poet Runeberg is one.
@kviiri Interesting, I didn't know that. I do know the national-linguistic situation in both countries is somewhat complicated. I wonder if it's just chance, or if there's some effect biasing that towards Swedish-speakers? I don't know enough about the social demographics to even guess if or what that could be.
@SevenSidedDie There is a reason for the earlier cases at least. I'm by no means a historian, more a history enthusiast, but Swedish used to be the main language used in formal and academic contexts until the late 19th century when nationalism helped raise the status of Finnish.
I guess that gave Swedish families an advantage in literary fields, although academic Finnish speakers had to pick up Swedish too.
5:46 PM
@kviiri Ah, that would very much do it, I would think. I knew Norway and Sweden were ruled by Sweden at one point; was that true of Finland too?
For more modern instances like Tove Jansson or Linus Torvalds, it's likely to be just numbers doing their work - about one Finn in twenty speaks Swedish natively, so a respectable amount of Finnish "great people" will be Swedish-speaking too.
@SevenSidedDie Yep, from 1323 (Treaty of Nöteborg) to 1809 (Treaty of Fredrikshamn) after which Finland became a mostly-autonomous part of Russia.
Cthulhu Dark Zero has some pretty straightforward combat rules. "If you try to fight a supernatural creature, you will die. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
The treaty of Nöteborg really split the modern-day Finland between Sweden and the Russian republic of Novgorod, but "Finland proper" remained under Swedish control, and later wars between the Swedish and Russian realms led to Eastern Finland falling under Sweden as well until 1809.
@MadMAxJr Yeah, I like that too! Also, how it's not necessarily still a bad move.
You can achieve stuff by attacking a supernatural creature, but those achievements are paid with one's life.
I'm just picturing a powerpoint slide where the left half is a million billion workflow paths on how to do a combat action in CoC, where in CD0, it's just a bunch of action names that all point at 'die'
'Cthulhu Dark is a game about doomed investigators' Heh. Welllllll with that on the tin, only two of my players will ever touch this.
@kviiri (I should read more history of Northern Europe. That tidbit is fascinating, and startlingly relevant to the shape of modern relations.)
@MadMAxJr An investigative duo might be even more thematically appropriate than a full party. I often find that the party-based assumption is a poor fit with some RPGs, but it's stuck in there for pragmatic audience-related reasons.
6:00 PM
Unfortunately for the immediate future, I am responsible for the entertainment of a group of four every other week, so I need something a little more broad. But it was a cheap KS and I like reading up on 'keep it simple' systems as opposed to the things I end up running.
Game uses collaborative judgement. I like games that press this. The GM can call for rolling insight to see if you go crazy, but players should be doing it themselves when they think 'yup, that's gonna tick my sanity'.
@SevenSidedDie Me and my SO watched this historical drama series Hovimäki that had some great commentary on the evolution of the Finnish, Swedish and Russian societies during the 19th century. Unfortunately, the bits that aren't historical (the main characters' soapish love lives, for example) aren't quite as appreciable as the historical events depicted.
I wonder if an English fan-sub exists...
Part of the reason why 7th Sea seems to nice to me is that its version of European history catches a lot of cool bits.
6:17 PM
Finland. I have a friend from there. I asked about Åland. All he could say is "That's complicated."
6:35 PM
Åland is slightly complicated, but there's little active debate around it. The real complicated bits are in the Sami territories up North.
6:45 PM
Anyway, veering off-topic fast and have to leave anyway. See you later!
7:04 PM
@nitsua60 what was that for?
@nitsua60 Are accepted answers the exception to the rep cap?
@NautArch Yes
7:23 PM
@ACuriousMind cool
erp - i think i'm about to ask a cheez question @KorvinStarmast
7:38 PM
I've got the crackers!
I searched for Tiny Hut, but couldn't find if you could put it on a mobile craft (train/cart/boat)
@KorvinStarmast is that cheesy enough?
The only way to find out is to ask ... and see how gouda 'tis. :)
7:55 PM
Rep capped today, will ask tomorrow in time for my gameday wednesday
@NautArch couldn't remember if we'd ever made the dicebot accessible.
@nitsua60 nice!
@NautArch Yes, as well as bounties, accepted suggested edits, maybe an un-downvote if the sequencing is right...?
You guys be good, gotta go.
That last one might not be right. Maybe it's the deletion of a post on which you've DVed, subject to a five-minute window? I.e. if you're at the cap, then all within 5 min you DV (now +199), receive an upvote (+200 per cap), the answer you DVed is deleted (refund of 1, for +201)? There're some strange little edge-cases like that which I think I've seen.
@KorvinStarmast Peace.
(That seemed a little too assertive with the (!) there.)
8:10 PM
@nitsua60 You'll be peaceful and like it!
@NautArch "Ride on the peace train!" Cat commanded the audience.
@nitsua60 I've now got a very different version of the song in my head
8:27 PM
Q: PCs Using Disciplinary Talk from DM as Leverage, Leading to Group Dysfunction

B. S. MorgansteinThis is a follow up from my previous question based on what I think to have been an unfortunate development since I originally posted the question. The 2 players from the previous question are still in our game, however, a new problem has emerged: they are now dominating the game, to the detrime...

Am I the only one who reads this guy as being an unreliable narrator of his own story?
@godskook A bit yeah, although I loved the mental image I got when he mentioned his barbarian flipped the ship.
@godskook I had that thought, too, but decided to just take it at face value.
Although I don't need to frame-challenge to point out his DM wasn't unjustified in shifting his alignment for murdering a boatful of people because they said mean things to him. I just can't write-up a good answer atm. It'll take too long.
8:42 PM
@godskook I was giving benefit of the dumb there... 'cause honestly, I can't see any plausible way for a man-sized being in the water to capsize a ship. I think the DM was silly for allowing it and excessive for changing an alignment over it. Plus, capsizing the ship isn't going to instantly kill them all.
@T.J.L., except that's what the narrator is claiming now to have wanted to happen.
If the result was out of proportion with his post-hoc stated desires, I'd have some willingness to give doubt there.
@godskook I'm not sure what you're saying... The GM put the boat there (fine). The GM allowed him to flip it (dumb). The GM changed his alignment (excessive).
He is a level 20 Barbarian, not sure what type, but could have some crazy lifting capacity.
1.The DM put the boat there.
2.The player decided to flip the boat
@NautArch Um... in-water? :) What's he lifting against?
8:45 PM
3.The DM let the player succeed at what he wanted.
4.The DM adjusted his alignment accordingly.
but either way, if the DM approved the action - he could have told him that there may be a consequence (or gave very strong hints)
@T.J.L. his awesomeness :)
#2 and #3 agree with each other completely.
@godskook The DM's response should have been "Um... no. That's stupid. You can't flip a boat in the water while you're in the water. That's absurd".
Fundamental problem: they're playing L20 characters, but are not an L20 table. You'd think they'd have worked out communication and playstyle issues during the 18 mo. of weekly sessions it'd take to go from L1 to L20....
8:47 PM
But, as previously established, the DM seems kind of spineless.
@T.J.L. That's what I thought, then I started to think about how it could be done
I took even allowing it to succeed as evidence of the GM's ineptitude.
@T.J.L. My theory is the barb grabbed the bottom of the boat and pushed/swam REALLY hard, until it capsized
@T.J.L., have you ever touched a boat in the water? I have, and have flipped them, from in the water. I have ~10-12 Str and 1-2 levels, by D&D standards.
@GreySage Have you ever been sailing, or studied sailing? There are huge forces involved in anything that could be considered a ship.
8:49 PM
Perhaps you're assuming the boat is sufficiently large to make the DM's adjudication dumb?
@godskook Meet me in Boston Harbor and I'll watch you take a whirl a tipping over Old Ironsides.
@godskook The word "ship" was used.
So it was....
I don't know why I got on boat.
If it was a smaller boat, there's even LESS justification for an alignment shift. If it was, he dumped some guys in the water; he didn't kill anybody.
Perhaps a shift towards Chaos would be inline, but the character was already Chaotic, so it's moot.
@T.J.L. I'm not saying its reasonable, I'm saying it's possible given a stupidly powerful force (for which a lvl 20 barb adjudicated by a weak DM qualifies)
@T.J.L., "I wasn't worried about drowning because of Str, Con and being level 20" implies to me that lesser men would be worried about drowning in that situation.
@GreySage It's not plausible, but a weak GM allowed it... an important distinction.
@T.J.L., why does it matter why the DM allowed it, in terms of the player's alignment?
Its what the player wanted to happen.
@godskook If the DM hadn't allowed it, the alignment shift would be entirely unjustified. As it is, even with the DM allowing it (bad DMing), I think it's excessive (more bad DMing). If you're trying to convince me otherwise, you're wasting your bits.
@T.J.L., why do you think its excessive?
Mind you... I'm not saying the player is terribly good, but the question wasn't about game mechanics. The question was about social issues. And he has done a fairly decent job on both the linked questions explaining his position. Assuming ill-intent on the part of the OP is unfair.
@godskook Irrelevant to the original poster's question, so I'm not going to take the time to justify it.
8:57 PM
@T.J.L., I'm not assuming ill-intent, I'm assuming unreliability.
:38385132 Its very much relevant to the answer I plan to give when I get home. Because I plan on asserting the opposite.
Interesting....that doesn't work like I'd expect :(
My reasoning should not factor into your answer.
The question is about what the player should do in light of the GM's activity. Trying to shame the querent is inappropriate.
00:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00

« first day (2461 days earlier)      last day (1392 days later) »