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TheAnomaly
Feb 20, 2003


Antinumeric posted:

Isn't this just Deathwatch?

Call of Cthulhu is excellent in that regards. Investigators and other fellows with firearms can shoot until they run out of ammo, club cultists until the cows come home, and occasionally shank a deep one... but every spell costs sanity, and learning more costs permanent sanity, so the more awesome the spell is, the more likely it is to put you in a loony bin permanently.

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Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Evil Mastermind posted:

Except that a "living, breathing world" isn't created completely at random. If I run into a bear in the woods, it's not because some cosmic hand rolled a 5, it's because that's where bears live.

e: My point is that if you want a world to make sense, you can't just jam poo poo together at random like everything exists independently of everything else. You have to put some thought into it and have things where they are because that's the most logical assembly, not because someone rolled on a chart. That's how you get the "swamp next to a desert" thing on maps, or monsters who do nothing but sit around and wait in a dungeon room for the PCs to show up.

Well if you just turn to page 132 of my homebrew gazeteer you will see that the Kingdom of Uglot actually...

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.


Evil Mastermind posted:

Except that a "living, breathing world" isn't created completely at random. If I run into a bear in the woods, it's not because some cosmic hand rolled a 5, it's because that's where bears live.

e: My point is that if you want a world to make sense, you can't just jam poo poo together at random like everything exists independently of everything else. You have to put some thought into it and have things where they are because that's the most logical assembly, not because someone rolled on a chart. That's how you get the "swamp next to a desert" thing on maps, or monsters who do nothing but sit around and wait in a dungeon room for the PCs to show up.

The guy says, "The game world was supposed to be its own living breathing entity, separate from the PCs." He's not talking about a verisimilitudinous simulation of 14th Century Southern Wales, except with wizards and monsters. He's talking about a world that seems to exist on its own, even though it exists as a direct result of the PCs' actions. He says that part of the fun comes from inventing explanations for all the randomness. In the case of the "swamp next to a desert" thing, obviously a wizard did it. And he's not saying that it's a superior play style or anything like that. Hell, there is only "a bit of challenge and fun to be had in that sort of gaming."

My point is that the dude isn't saying what you're saying he is saying, and what he is actually saying isn't that groggy.

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



Evil Mastermind posted:

Saying there are orcs in the forest because the GM felt it makes sense for them to be there: storygamey.
Saying there are orcs in the forest because I rolled a 5: realistic.

This actually ties into the whole 'player skill = playing the GM' issue (I'm slowly making my way through that huge weird Zak 5e-proposal thread--it's pretty interesting).

The OSR mode of play is weird because it both uses a lot of DM Fiat AND places a heavy emphasis on the importance of player choices, and the play between the DM's, the players', and the dices' points of control over the game are actually really interesting and complex. I think one pretty common method is to divide power up roughly like so:

The Power to Drive Events: The Players ("I want to go to Castle Bigtower. We can make it in one day's march if we cut through the Orc Forest, so we'll do that.")
The Power to Set Probabilities/Possible Outcomes: The DM ("Sounds good, but there's a 1 in 6 chance per day of travel through Orc Forest that you'll be attacked by orcs")
The Power to Decide What the PCs Actually Attempt: The Players ("I want to get there quickly and the safe path would take me 3 days to travel. I do it.")
The Power to Determine What Actually Happens: The Dice ("I rolled a 1. Orcs attack.").

So the idea isn't so much that the style of play that guy's talking about is desirable because it's random, but because it lets the DM lay down the fiat that there are orcs in the woods but carves up power over the events in the game so that no single participant is completely in control. Somewhere down the line, though, grogs started deciding that having a world that operated by predictable mechanisms was desirable because it was 'realistic' and not because it gave the players more leverage to do cool poo poo, and things stared getting weird and bad.

Edit: gently caress, a lot of posts happened while I was typing this up relating to this topic. Give me a moment.
Post-Edit: Yeah, I pretty much agree with what people said over the last few posts. Nonsensical die-rolls should be either vetoed by the GM or excused away with something cool that makes the world more interesting. PeterWeller's bit on using randomness to generate a world around the PCs that feels realistic and diverse while minimizing the amount of away-from-table world-building the GM has to do is really spot on.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


PeterWeller posted:

My point is that the dude isn't saying what you're saying he is saying, and what he is actually saying isn't that groggy.
You're right. I think I was looking for something where there was nothing. I just hate the whole "you can't have a realistic world if you plan" thing.

That being said, it's still dumb that he says that rolling the random encounter gives a world that's not built around the PCs, but those orcs didn't (and wouldn't) exist until the PCs went to the woods and the GM rolled on the wandering monster chart.

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Evil Mastermind posted:

You're right. I think I was looking for something where there was nothing. I just hate the whole "you can't have a realistic world if you plan" thing.

That being said, it's still dumb that he says that rolling the random encounter gives a world that's not built around the PCs, but those orcs didn't (and wouldn't) exist until the PCs went to the woods and the GM rolled on the wandering monster chart.

Yeah deprotagonizing the pcs sure makes for some terrible games.

EDIT: On rereading that might come off as sarcastic but really I'm just agreeing with you.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.


Evil Mastermind posted:

You're right. I think I was looking for something where there was nothing. I just hate the whole "you can't have a realistic world if you plan" thing.

That being said, it's still dumb that he says that rolling the random encounter gives a world that's not built around the PCs, but those orcs didn't (and wouldn't) exist until the PCs went to the woods and the GM rolled on the wandering monster chart.

Oh for sure. The idea that random = realistic is so terribly flawed.

And yeah, how he puts it is dumb when you consider that those rolls all happen because of decisions the PCs make, but I think he means that the randomness makes the world feel like it happens with or without the PCs' existence.

The kind of randomness he's talking about can be a lot of fun. It's the kind of randomness behind why making a Gamma World character is so fun, though obviously, Gamma World does it in a much better way than 1E D&D.

quote:

Yeah deprotagonizing the pcs sure makes for some terrible games.

Well, the kind of random poo poo he's talking about really doesn't take away from PC agency; it just gives the illusion that the players aren't the world's prime movers and shakers.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


quote:

ASCENDANCY - Rogue Marshal, draws the players into a world of political intrigue and power-plays; psychotic serial killers and obsessed fetish gangs; derranged cults, calling forth eldritch nightmares and mad inventors creating mechanical and chemical abominations. All amid the background of Ashendrya — The Endless City.

Ashendrya, a city so vast that normal citizens are called upon to act as its wardens in time of need. And there is always a need. While industrial cabals wage secret wars threatening to engulf whole regions of the city, malign cults pray to Shiok, the mad god, and call his influence into the very heart of Ashendrya.

Where celebrity, fame and fashion are proof of success, poisoning the weak of mind to fall into madness, the poor are left to rot in the low regions, witout light or hope, or join the nations fighting forces and march to war.

Ascendancy, a core rule book, provides everything the aspiring game master needs to run a FateStorm game, as well as information on setting, creatures, character development and suggested story arcs.

With 288 pages including;

new unique races

a broad beastiary covering the most common creatures, manifesicants, and npcs

more than 200 unique magical weaves

a long list of highly detailed magical artefacts for use in your games

over 40 unique vocations and vocation paths for the Avatar's to follow

And a highly detailed dark fantasy setting with npcs, maps, locations and story hooks

Introducing the FateStorm Virtual Reality System

The Art of Evolutionary Roleplay

More than a decade in the making, including five years of extensive game testing, the FateStorm VRS offers players an imnersive experience that is as richly nuanced as life, by putting the player in control instead of relying on the roll of a D20.

Influenced by Jung, Joseph Cambell, the Tarot and ancient astrology, FateStorm is truly gaming for roleplayers.

From now on it's not up to the GM or the dice to prove a characters worth - it's up to you.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


quote:

Introduction to FateStorm VRS
INTRODUCING THE FATESTORM VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEM
THE ART OF EVOLUTIONARY ROLEPLAY
More than a decade in the making, including five years of extensive game testing, the FateStorm VRS offers players an imnersive experience that is as richly nuanced as life, by putting the player in control instead of relying on the roll of a D20.

Influenced by Jung, Joseph Cambell, the Tarot and ancient astrology, FateStorm is truly gaming for roleplayers.

From now on it’s not up to the GM or the dice to prove a characters worth – it’s up to you.

So what makes FateStorm different? What makes it unique?

FateStorm uses a unique wager system for determining reward for risk
FateStorm has a unique duelling system which engages the player in the action without making the outcome inevitable
FateStorm accesses Jungian and Cambell archetypes and delivers to the players a system that can be as deep in character complexity as it can in setting breadth. All the while maintaining consistency of mechanics and game philosophy
The system is flexible enough to be modified by a GM who wishes to add their own personal touch, is modular enough to engage newbies as well as veteran RPGers and visceral enough to act as a virtual reality rule set.
What’s in it for the players?

The player is no longer at the mercy of an arbitrary and random dice roll, they will have to judge for themselves, based on their avatar’s abilities, talents and knowledge, whether a particular course of action has a chance of success or not – and then see if they were right.
New and exciting worlds, planes of existence and unique races.
The added control offered by the system means that the players can create avatars with personality beyond a fancy sword or name. Using the unique system they can develop their own style of play, their own unique combat techniques and combination attacks as well as their own magical and spiritual powers.
A system that is integrated into the very lives of their avatars, where the player and the system are not at odds with what they are trying to achieve but compliment each other. A system which creates a story around the player’s avatar by enabling the avatar to constantly evolve in an understandable and believable manner.
And what’s in it for the GM?

Most importantly the common problem of non-dice based gaming is eliminated, in that the GM is no longer the driving force behind the success or failure of the avatars actions taking away the stress of so many on the spot decisions and leaving the hard work in the hands of the players where the responsibility for their avatars lives should be.
A system which allows for open modification and easy adaptability to any setting or genre.
And a richly complex, yet approachable multiverse, that creates a logical and adaptable framework for any sort of setting, creature, belief system, culture or genre.
So put down those dice and decide your own fate.

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

quote:

Influenced by Jung, Joseph Cambell, the Tarot and ancient astrology, FateStorm is truly gaming for roleplayers.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Evil Mastermind posted:

Introduction to FateStorm VRS
INTRODUCING THE FATESTORM VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEM
One of my favorite hallmarks of a terrible Fantasy Heartbreaker in the making is the way they always, always give their core system a grandiose InterCapped trademarkable name - as if their Fantasy Heartbreaker was simply the first in an unstoppable wave of follow-on RealmWorld or FateMaster or RoleCore-engine driven RPGs.

Dire Wombat
Oct 29, 2011


Evil Mastermind posted:

FateStormQuestMaster

If you write something that long about your "revolutionary" system, you should probably actually explain it. As far as I can tell, it amounts to the players declaring what happens more or less arbitrarily. That's less of a system and more of an agreement to just work things out cooperatively. If the system is crunchy enough to have a big list of "spell weaves", I can't see how that will work out. It could boil down to spellcasters having specific crunchy abilities and everyone else having to make stuff up on the spot. Grog never changes.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


ince I've appointed myself a minor curate in the Church of Preserving Cool D&D History, I couldn't resist the opportunity to pepper Mike with questions. I also got to play a session in his game, and made a real hash of being the party mapper. (What else would you expected from a 4e player?)

Mike showed off some of his autographed books: his 1e Player's Handbook was signed to "Lessnard the Wizard", one of Mike's characters. Apparently, when he was level 1, Lessnard had the distinction of surviving a solo trip to level 3 of the Greyhawk dungeon. Lessnard was alone because he couldn't convince any hirelings to join him - he had lost too many hirelings in the dungeon already. Mike produced that story to demonstrate that, contrary to common belief, a lowly level 1 wizard had plenty of survivability!

It sounds like Lessnard adventured over several solo adventures with Gygax, which seems to have been pretty common in the old days. I'd heard that low-level characters often travelled in groups while high-level characters adventured solo, with just their henchmen to back them up, but from the Lessnard story, it appears that even ill-advised level-one characters sometimes attempted the feat. On the other hand, Lessnard's survival was notable enough to be memorable for 40 years, so maybe it wasn't a common practice.

Mike gave a fascinating account of a typical early D&D game, with a peculiar detail that I'd never heard before. Gary never used maps or minis: maps and minis were Dave Arneson's thing. Gary ran games in his office, which was provided with chairs, a couch, and file cabinets. While playing, Gary would open the drawers of the file cabinet and sit behind them so that the players COULD NOT SEE HIM. They only experienced the Dungeon Master as a disembodied voice.

During games, cross-talk was discouraged: the party caller did most of the talking, and other players only talked if they had something to contribute. If the players chattered too much, they'd miss what the Disembodied Voice was saying, and that would be, as Mike put it, "suicide". "You could feel the tension in the room," he added.

It's a very different style than the way I and my friends play. We do a lot of joking and chattering, the DM doesn't kill you for not paying attention, and apart from a few suspenseful moments, tension at the table is often low.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


Mike cried fie on the modern-era concept of PC-leveled encounters. (I don't remember if he actually said "fie," but he is the sort of person who would have said "fie" if he thought of it, so I'll let it stand.) In Greyhawk, you might encounter trolls on level 1 of the dungeon. There would be warnings: skulls and gnawed bones, and the party dwarf might notice a trollish stench. I asked, "Would there also be skulls and gnawed bones in front of the kobold lair?" meaning to ask if the danger warning signs were applied to every monster, weak and strong alike. It turned out to be a bad question

When we finally found a part of the mine that was studded with gems, we grabbed the gems and ran - we didn't care what else was in the dungeon. We ended up with 27 gems: Mike gave our fighter bonus XP for being cautious enough to pry the first one out with a ten-foot pole.

When we got back from town, Mike rolled up the values of all the gems, announcing the value of each to the party record-keeper (me, again my default). If I were the DM, I probably would have announced an average value of the gems or something: I wouldn't have thought the players wanted to sit through a list of 27 numbers. But it's funny: people's attention spans get longer when it comes to profits.

The random rolling paid off for us when, among the other gems, we found a 10,000 GP-value gem. That pushed us all up to level 2. Mike commented that that's why he likes random charts: they help tell a story that neither the DM nor the players can anticipate.

Mornard told us about an early D&D tournament game - possibly in the first Gen Con in Parkside in 1978? Gary Gygax was DMing nine tournament teams successively through the same module, and whoever got the furthest in the dungeon would win. You'd expect this to take all day, and so Mike was surprised to see Gary, looking shaken, wandering through the hallways at about 2 PM. Mike bought Gary a beer and asked him what had happened - wasn't he supposed to be DMing right now?

"It's over!" replied a stunned Gary Gygax.

Gary described how the first group had fared. Walking down the first staircase into the dungeon, the first rank of fighters suddenly disappeared through a black wall. There was a quiet whoosh, and a quiet thud. The players conferred, and then they sent the second rank forward, who disappeared too. The rest of the players followed.

The same thing happened to the next tournament team, and the next. Players filed into the unknown, one after another. And they were all killed. The wall was an illusion, and behind it was a pit. Eight out of the nine groups had thrown themselves like lemmings over a cliff; only one group had thought to tap around with a ten foot pole. That group passed the first obstacle, so they won the tournament.

Gary and his players couldn't believe that the tournament players had been so incautious. But, to be fair, none of those tournament groups had played in Gary Gygax's game. They had learned the rules of D&D, but they had no experience of the milieu in which the book was written. Of those nine groups that had learned D&D from a book, only one played sufficiently like Gary's group to survive thirty seconds in his dungeon.

In OD&D, there's no guarantee that things are fair. One of Gary's and Rob Kuntz's favorite stories, says Mornard, was Clark Ashton Smith's The Seven Geases, in which (spoilers ahead) the hero survives a horrible death at the hands of seven different monsters only to die meaninglessly slipping from a ledge. That was one of the seminal texts of D&D, said Mornard, and one of the stories it was designed to model. "The story that D&D tells," said Mike, "is the story of the world. Heroes aren't invincible."

That's a long way from the Fourth Edition ethos. In 4e, it takes a long time to make a character, and so you're invested in him before he's downed his first kobold. If your 4e character is killed, you can be sure he'll get a chance to put up a good fight first.

Not in 0e. Characters died all the time. That's why Gary Gygax's characters got names like Xagyg the wizard and Yrag the fighter, and other players contributed Melf the Elf, or (if I remember Mike's anecdote correctly) Bellus of Telefono. It was the sixties and seventies. Life was cheap, and heroes died.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


Running from goblins, we barricaded ourselves in a dead-end room. Tavis's fighter spiked the door closed, and then prepared a surprise for the goblins: holding his torch ready, he poured a flask of oil in front of the door.

Unfortunately for us, we had already played these tricks on this band of goblins, and they had learned. The next thing we heard was hammering around the perimeter of the door: the goblins were spiking US in. And then we saw more oil trickle into the room from under the doorframe.

And that's how we ended up locked and barricaded in a room that was on fire, huddled in the corner and dying of asphyxiation.

Old-school players talk a lot about player skill. As a new-school player, I've never really grasped what they meant. It it tactical skill? A set of procedures for dealing with common dungeon hazards, like tapping floors with ten-foot poles? The ability to read the DM and tell when he was planning something devious? What does it mean to be good at D&D?

As Mike Mornard DMed us through a brown-book OD&D dungeon crawl, he told us a little about player skill. Apparently, among the original Greyhawk players, Rob Kuntz was good at D&D. He was good enough to adventure solo, not even bringing henchmen, and survive threats that would threaten whole parties of less skilled players. Once Kuntz started going on solo dungeon delves, it became the thing to do, even among other players who didn't have Kuntz's player skill.

Lesson two was this: when Mike Mornard is DMing, assume that you're speaking in character. We entered the dungeon with a lot of hirelings: we had hired a dozen bandits last session, and this session we hired half a dozen heavy footmen. At three people per rank, our expedition filled about twenty feet of 10-foot-wide corridor.

Our party was so unwieldy that the wizard joked about letting the dangers of the dungeon doing our downsizing for us. The hirelings heard him, and they were not happy. A few bad reaction rolls later, and my bandit followers abandoned us in the dungeon.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


I’m looking for some volunteers to play D&D in a gallery on three days in March, as a re-enactment of “Lawful Evil, ”a work by artist Brody Condon . The dates are 3/15, 3/17 and 3/24, and the location is 319 Scholes, located in Brooklyn between the Grand St and Montrose St stops on the L train. Here are a few things to consider if you’re interested in taking part:

- You have to be willing to play in a public space and ignore distractions. Players should not engage in conversation with visitors to the gallery; it would interrupt gameplay and erase the barrier between the work and the audience (which is already precariously thin in this piece). Ignoring distractions will be toughest on opening night, when the gallery will be crowded. I anticipate fairly light traffic on the other two days.

- You should be willing to role-play. Players are not expected to “perform” their characters, but are expected to keep in mind that the title of the work is “Lawful Evil.” Players must make in-game decisions in character according to the definition of the LE alignment.

- Different DMs may be running different versions of D&D. If you have strong preferences about which edition you want to play, please let me know so I can try to pair you with the right game. If you usually play a very recent or very old edition of D&D in which “lawful evil” is not a standard alignment, you should bone up on how it is defined in editions from AD&D to 3.5/Pathfinder. Pre-generated characters will be provided at each table; contact me if you want to bring your own and we’ll see if it can be worked out.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


Passive perception and sense motive?

By that do you mean it is always on, the characters are always looking around for dangers, all directions, up and down simultaneously, and do not have to state where they are looking and what they are looking or listening for? Are they also passively searching for traps without taking the movement penalty?

On sense motive, are they trying to sense the intent behind any and all conversations around them, without a requirement of participating in the conversation or focusing on one target?

Now just imagine, someone trying to do all of those things, at one time, while doing other actions, like walking or keeping their guard up, or interacting with people. I really do question if they have any actions left apart from a 5ft if they are constantly making perception and sense motive checks against any and everything. Really against this passive idea.

Done some checking up, perception is reactive if there is something to sense or a part of the scene to pick up. If you are actively using it to search or constantly making the check around you, it is a move action. Sense motive takes a whole minute with a target, and, as it states "you could spend a whole evening trying to get a sense of the people around you" (Core: 104). One is a move, one takes a turn, you can't do them both in the same round and have them passively on all the time because there are requirements. If it is under a minute that you have been with a target, can't make the sense motive yet. If you are also constantly making perception checks, you are also continually burning a move. If you are taking the full turn to suss them out, you don't have any more actions apart from talking. So you can hear something loud that happens around you (reactive), but you can't actively make perception checks on say behind and around you, while making a minute-long sense motive check on a target.

Which means gentle rogues, a distraction that talks to the party, bluffs, gets their suspicion up and their attention on the lure, is a good set-up for an ambush or backstab. They get a reactive check as the sneak attack is about to be made, but don't get a passive always on every round perception check. One also can't make double moves, and other full round actions while making a perception check.

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



Mikan posted:

Running from goblins, we barricaded ourselves in a dead-end room. Tavis's fighter spiked the door closed, and then prepared a surprise for the goblins: holding his torch ready, he poured a flask of oil in front of the door.

Not going to lie--all of those stories sound like sessions I'd have an absolute loving blast playing through. Maybe the frustration part of my brain is burnt out or something, but all of those deaths/near deaths sound like legitimately fun stories to me.

Also, if I'm not completely burnt out from school I'm going to be at that gallery show tomorrow. Any other NYC-native grognards.txt posters who are free should totally show up, too.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


Exactly. The market split with 4e, and a large part of that split was between players who wanted "perfect balance" and players who wanted "magic to be magic."

I am in the latter camp.

I play both 4e and Pathfinder.

I like Pathfinder a lot more.

Casters is a big reason why. When magic doesn't do any more than swinging a big stick, well, there's not really much point to it, is there? Just swing a big pointy stick yourself.

What you are complaining about is the PRIMARY reason that Pathfinder has emerged as a serious competitor to D&D.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


OtspIII posted:

Not going to lie--all of those stories sound like sessions I'd have an absolute loving blast playing through. Maybe the frustration part of my brain is burnt out or something, but all of those deaths/near deaths sound like legitimately fun stories to me.

Old school D&D is not Dark Souls. It's more like an old nintendo game, where you die because of bullshit and bad programming.

also the Mike dude they're talking about is Old Geezer

quote:

Also, if I'm not completely burnt out from school I'm going to be at that gallery show tomorrow. Any other NYC-native grognards.txt posters who are free should totally show up, too.

do a trip report, I can't see it being anything other than awkward and creepy.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


OK, let's address a few of your points Kolok,

quote:

First of all, you should eliminate full caster classes.

Hmm... not interested in balance? You just want to get rid of all full casters.... Why? Because you think they are overpowered. But that's not a "balance" issue.... Right....

quote:

If you want to take out the more rediculous things casters can do, you need to get rid of the highest level spells

"The more re[sic]diculous things casters can do..." Nope, no indication of balance concerns their either Kolok... What might those things be? Oh. Magic things.

quote:

halting the advance of levels at level 6, 7, or 8.

Hmm... would that be because you think that casters get... "unbalanced" at higher levels Kolok?

And the rage powers thing... You seriously think rage powers are equivalent to, oh, say "wish?"

Oh wait. That's right. "Wish" would be on your list of spells to get rid of, wouldn't it. In the search for "balance" presumably.

There. Addressed enough for ya?

~*~

Literally waiting for PATHFINDER FAN IN NAME ONLY and a full McCarthy-esque conspiracy watch against 4e fans

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


Alec: You really need to take a moment and look at what you are arguing here. Casters wield magic, that's why they can bend reality. If you want martial classes to have magic then you ,multiclass or play a Magus.

Fighters and other melee classes are designed to be aided by magic items, their own abilities and the casters.

It's supposed to be a team game where the martial guys stay in the front while the casters sit back and buff the martial guys, while slinging offensive spells on their own. I think the team work thing is where this is all breaking down.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


I said "heroic fantasy" and meant "heroic fantasy." Not all heroic fantasy is low magic.

I do tend to prefer lower magic compaigns to high magic ones. But I still want my wizards to be manipulating awesome cosmic powers when they get high enough. If that means that someone feels martial characters get less spotlight time... Oh well. There are trade-offs in everything. I play both martial and casters, and mixes of both and enjoy them all. I can enjoy the game even if my character is not able to match the awesome abilities of a teammate. That's not required for me when I'm playing a martial character. I do my role and that's enough.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


Alec, perhaps I am reading more into your comments about providing options comparable to spellcasters for martial classes. But if so that's because I don't see how you give martial classes abilities comparable to spellcasters without them being magic in all but name.

Unless you nerf the spellcasters so much that they no longer gain any benefit from being spellcasters.

As I said, 4e did both of these things. A: Their martial classes are just refluffed casters. I don't like that. B: Their spellcasters have been nerfed into oblivion compared to PF spellcasters. I don't like that either.

Unless I am very much mistaken you are outright proposing B, and I think you are proposing A the same way 4e did, by using semantics to claim that the powers aren't "magic". Perhaps in your mind you can justify the martial "options" as being non-magical, but I suspect on a case-by-case basis you and I would not agree on how plausible those powers would be, and the more implausible they are, the more they are really just refluffed magic.

It may well be that you don't intend to pursue your logic to the ultimate 4e clone conclusion that I see. But I don't even like the path you are on.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


I don't mind a eastern style character with wacky kung fu powers or even the more "mundane" leap from treetop to treetop while engaging in a sword duel with your foe. Which is why I'm rather interested in the dragon empires ki powers. However if we wound up in a 4th ed style game I'd probably not play it. I love playing casters but the casters in 4th ed just don't feel like magic users to me. I played a wizard there and by the end of the game that character was pretty much superfluous and I was seriously considering asking the DM to let me switch to a barbarian simply so I could actually get involved in the fights in a significant way. Frankly the whole problem was made worse because 4th ed needs a dedicated roleplaying DM to actually let you get any use out of the rituals that are now available to EVERYONE fighter, wizard, cleric, kobold, what have you.

As for the skills being inversely proportional to spells I'm sorry but that is a very bad idea. It doesn't even make sense from a flavour standpoint I've spent a thousand years seeking out ancient knowledge in foreign lands, I posses the power to create a demi-plane, hurl bolts of fire, fly, breath in space etc but I know less about the planes, dungeons, forging rings, theology, philosophy, running a business, carpentry, sneaking around and weather than that 18 year old kid who's spent the last 2 years hitting goblins with his fathers sword.

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



Mikan posted:

Old school D&D is not Dark Souls. It's more like an old nintendo game, where you die because of bullshit and bad programming.

This really isn't true, though? I only got into old-school D&D in the last year or so, but it totally works for me in unique ways I'd never have expected if I hadn't actually just given the group I found a try. I can imagine a thousand and one ways to have a dysfunctional group with the game, but it's hosed up to say that it's somehow fundamentally broken.

Mikan posted:

also the Mike dude they're talking about is Old Geezer

I know, I've actually already met the guy at a similar event. I haven't played with him myself, but a few people from my group have (Tavis from the thing you posted), and he sounds just find to play with as long as you don't mind a bit of goofball old man half-ironic griping.

Mikan posted:

do a trip report, I can't see it being anything other than awkward and creepy.

I mean, I've been to other things like this and they've all been just fine. I can't vouch for this particular event because I know nothing about the people involved in running it, but this isn't really anything that unusual for the area.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Dire Wombat posted:

If you write something that long about your "revolutionary" system, you should probably actually explain it. As far as I can tell, it amounts to the players declaring what happens more or less arbitrarily. That's less of a system and more of an agreement to just work things out cooperatively.
You're missing the forest for the pissy golden trees. Once you get underneath the ridiculous puff-pieces about how a "revolutionary" game facilitates roleplaying like no other, is the product of years of playtesting, the only limit is your imagination, etc. you always roll twice on the following table:

Table -1.0: Laughable Vanity RPG Project House System

Roll 1d4

1: Fantasy Heartbreaker. AD&D "fixed" with a bunch of clunky useless bullshit tacked on
2: Simasturbationalism: A bland universal system with a bunch of clunky useless bullshit tacked on
3: SchadenFreud: Pretentious Freud/Jung/Campbell namedropping bullshit rules tacked on
4: Schizophrenia: the system is an aborted Harlequin fetus encysted with the need for variant die mechanics, Zocchi dice, Tarot cards, multicoloured dice, or what-have-you tacked on

All of the special snowflake laughingstock games I can think of fit this model. Imagine was a straight up Heartbreaker; The Secret Fire is a SchadenFreud Heartbreaker. Core-7 was a Simasturbation with a few paragraphs devoted to SchadenFreud; Everlasting was a Schizophrenic White Wolf ripoff.

This gets really funny when the creators go on forums to try to snatch their baby from off the coals. I remember one of the guys at the helm of Everlasting being asked to justify the game's chapter on "Legendmaking" and its (seriously) suggestion that you start games with a candle-and-liturgy ceremony to make you feel extra super pretentious, and also what the gently caress is "Legendmaking?" The response was basically "Roleplaying, but we want roleplaying to be mythopoetic self-help bullshit smothered in goth sauce." Or when someone teased Imagine for (among other things) a rule saying that you don't gain experience points if you don't get a good night's sleep. The author/PR monkey chimed in to argue the scientific evidence that people don't retain information and new skills without proper sleep. For, y'know, a game with classes and levels and 3 varieties of hobbit.

Assumethisisreal
May 21, 2007


OtspIII posted:

Not going to lie--all of those stories sound like sessions I'd have an absolute loving blast playing through. Maybe the frustration part of my brain is burnt out or something, but all of those deaths/near deaths sound like legitimately fun stories to me.

Also, if I'm not completely burnt out from school I'm going to be at that gallery show tomorrow. Any other NYC-native grognards.txt posters who are free should totally show up, too.

You can read the rest here at Blog Of Holding, I think it's still on the top page. It's a really good blog, actually! Check out his Mazes & Monsters project too.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


OtspIII posted:

This really isn't true, though?

It is though. Dark Souls is like playing with a good rules set and it's your fault if you die. If you want to survive, you get good at the game. This is what old school gaming thinks it is. (edit: it's like playing old school style but with something more like 4e's rule set, but by "old school style" I don't mean the Gygaxian 8/9 fell in a pit bullshit)
Old nintendo games is like the rules are stupid and inconsistent and the person in charge of the game pulls all kinds of "gotcha" false difficulty stuff. It might be fun but it's not good. That's old school gaming.

it's me,

edit: you just posted a thing about using 4e for this in the 5e thread, weird coincidence

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



Mikan posted:

It is though. Dark Souls is like playing with a good rules set and it's your fault if you die. If you want to survive, you get good at the game. This is what old school gaming thinks it is.
Old nintendo games is like the rules are stupid and inconsistent and the person in charge of the game pulls all kinds of "gotcha" false difficulty stuff. It might be fun but it's not good. That's old school gaming.

it's me,

Maybe you are right to an extent, in that I actually really enjoy games like Ghosts & Goblins and IWBtG (games I didn't discover until my early 20's), and not in an entirely different way than the way I like Basic.

Saying 'this is what ______ thinks' is always dumb, though. It's dumb when old-schoolers try to say 'kids these days just want trophies for showing up and just want to interact with mechanics over roleplaying', and it's dumb when people say 'OSR folk just want to prove to themselves and others that they're superior beings and not old'. You can find that dark side if you look for it, but then you'll miss all the actual good poo poo that's going on.

The stories you all listed sound fun because they produce a situation where you get to struggle with all your might to survive and have to stay tense and engaged in order to do so. Tension and engagement are fun! Maybe you succeed, and that feels good because you did your best and got rewarded for it with some XP and a good story. Maybe you did your best and failed, but it's STILL fun because it gave you an excuse to pull a bunch of crazy stunts, and those stunts don't become any less cool just because you got killed trying to execute them.

And unless your DM's a huge dick getting half your party resurrected just means that you get your next plot hook from the local church instead of the local tavern and maybe bringing back some specific item that you won't get paid for. Even in a ridiculous funhouse of death game it's easy for a character to die but actually kind of hard for them to be destroyed post level 3 or so.

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


OtspIII posted:

Saying 'this is what ______ thinks' is always dumb, though. It's dumb when old-schoolers try to say 'kids these days just want trophies for showing up and just want to interact with mechanics over roleplaying', and it's dumb when people say 'OSR folk just want to prove to themselves and others that they're superior beings and not old'. You can find that dark side if you look for it, but then you'll miss all the actual good poo poo that's going on.

But when I do it I'm right

edit: wait forgot how TG can be sometimes, I've always been more hyperbole-prone in grognards.txt and I'm about to run two games of OSH so my actual opinions are obviously more reasonable than this

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



Mikan posted:

edit: wait forgot how TG can be sometimes, I've always been more hyperbole-prone in grognards.txt and I'm about to run two games of OSH so my actual opinions are obviously more reasonable than this

It's all good! I just like defending defendable grogquotes because understanding the culture lets the crazy ones stand out all the more. (Also, in this case, I sort of game with one of the players in the game the quote was describing.)

Lemon Curdistan
Aug 6, 2009



ProfessorCirno posted:

OK, let's address a few of your points Kolok,

BALANCE IS NOT BALANCE

WAR IS PEACE

SLAVERY IS FREEDOM

fosborb
Dec 15, 2006



OtspIII posted:

Not going to lie--all of those stories sound like sessions I'd have an absolute loving blast playing through. Maybe the frustration part of my brain is burnt out or something, but all of those deaths/near deaths sound like legitimately fun stories to me.

A group of nerdy adults sitting around an office; the DM calling out troll actions while hiding behind his filing cabinet. Why does that sound familiar?

ImpactVector
Feb 24, 2007

HAHAHAHA FOOLS!!
I AM SO SMART!

Uh oh. What did he do now?


Mikan posted:

Gary and his players couldn't believe that the tournament players had been so incautious. But, to be fair, none of those tournament groups had played in Gary Gygax's game. They had learned the rules of D&D, but they had no experience of the milieu in which the book was written. Of those nine groups that had learned D&D from a book, only one played sufficiently like Gary's group to survive thirty seconds in his dungeon.
This is why I will never willingly play an old school game. It's absolutely unreal how much distaste I have for this sentiment. That players would be punished for having different underlying assumptions about how the game works and that this is lauded as the way things should be is mind-boggling to me.

I mean, I realize this was a tournament or whatever, but it's still like playing monopoly when only one player knows how to buy property and build houses (or that they would even be desirable things to try to do).

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


Halloween Jack posted:

Table -1.0: Laughable Vanity RPG Project House System

Roll 1d4

1: Fantasy Heartbreaker. AD&D "fixed" with a bunch of clunky useless bullshit tacked on
2: Simasturbationalism: A bland universal system with a bunch of clunky useless bullshit tacked on
3: SchadenFreud: Pretentious Freud/Jung/Campbell namedropping bullshit rules tacked on
4: Schizophrenia: the system is an aborted Harlequin fetus encysted with the need for variant die mechanics, Zocchi dice, Tarot cards, multicoloured dice, or what-have-you tacked on

I don't even think there are that many distictions. It's more like this:
Table 2.0 - lovely RPG Type
1 - High fantasy game that's just an old version of D&D but with extra house rules bolted on
2 - Generic RPG that tries to cover every possible mechanical thing that could happen in any genre via insane formulas
3 - Pretentious game that seeks to reinvent role-playing (either through bizarre props or mechanics) like there some undiscovered way to pretend to be an elf.
4 - Roll twice and combine.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


FMguru posted:

One of my favorite hallmarks of a terrible Fantasy Heartbreaker in the making is the way they always, always give their core system a grandiose InterCapped trademarkable name - as if their Fantasy Heartbreaker was simply the first in an unstoppable wave of follow-on RealmWorld or FateMaster or RoleCore-engine driven RPGs.

Table 3: Terrible System Name Generator
Roll twice and combine the words without a space between them, but keeping capitalization.
1 - Fate
2 - Master
3 - Weaver
4 - Destiny
5 - Hero
6 - World
7 - Realm
8 - Storm
9 - Persona
10 - Core


The only problem is that I can create "Fate Core" with this, which will be a real thing. At least they're splitting up the term and it will be the core of the Fate system instead of a convoluted rehash of something else.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


Game type: http://orokos.com/roll/64508: 1d4 1
System Name: http://orokos.com/roll/64509: 1d10 2 1d10 4

Be on the lookout for my upcoming High Fantasy RPG, which uses my DestinyMaster system, which is based off the classic d20 system.

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



ImpactVector posted:

This is why I will never willingly play an old school game. It's absolutely unreal how much distaste I have for this sentiment. That players would be punished for having different underlying assumptions about how the game works and that this is lauded as the way things should be is mind-boggling to me.

I mean, I realize this was a tournament or whatever, but it's still like playing monopoly when only one player knows how to buy property and build houses (or that they would even be desirable things to try to do).

But then isn't your problem that the game's assumptions weren't being broadcast, not what the assumptions were? The fact that failing to engage with them ended the game definitely makes it way worse, though.

Also, this is a pretty spectacularly lethal example. Even if it came from Gygax, it's not really representative of most old school play.

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Darwinism
Jan 6, 2008

Hail to the king, baby.


OtspIII posted:

But then isn't your problem that the game's assumptions weren't being broadcast, not what the assumptions were? The fact that failing to engage with them ended the game definitely makes it way worse, though.

Also, this is a pretty spectacularly lethal example. Even if it came from Gygax, it's not really representative of most old school play.

The old 'tournament' stuff seems to be hugely punitive in really silly ways; spheres of annihilation through portals, dryads that try to seduce you away for centuries if you fail a single save and are technically 'good' so you are penalized for being 'evil' if you dare attack them for attempting to enslave you, and so on. Not saying that old school groups by and large play like this, but the organized stuff that a lot of people see writeups of was insanely antagonistic towards players.

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