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Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Halloween Jack posted:

Was Soth popular with Ravenloft fans? His backstory is superficially similar to Strahd's.

Soth is in fact surprisingly popular with Ravenloft fans, though I confess I never really got why—he always struck me as one of the least interesting darklords of the Core. Maybe it's because of Ravenloft fans who were also Dragonlance fans and liked him because of his connection to Dragonlance. Or maybe it's because he was fleshed out (er... figuratively) in the Ravenloft novels about him. There were two such novels, Knight of the Black Rose and Spectre of the Black Rose, both by James Lowder, and while I've read the first one and wasn't impressed I've never read the second, and maybe it develops him into a more compelling figure than he is in his brief treatment in the Ravenloft core sets. (Soth never really figured in any Ravenloft modules before the one in which he escaped.)

e:

Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Unfortunately, this points to the key fact that the whole setting reads better as "Monsterhearts where no one's loving" than as a place for adventures and adventurers.

Eh, I disagree with that; I think there's plenty of room for adventures and adventurers in Ravenloft. The PCs aren't likely to meddle directly in the rivalries between some of the darklords, but there's plenty to do on a smaller scale, and even the darklords' plots could have significant indirect effects on adventures.

(That being said, Ravenloft did certainly have its issues, one of which was the overuse of Azalin as driver of plots. Practically every large-scale event that affected the setting was ultimately Azalin's fault...)

e2: And regarding the "where no one's loving", I take it you're not familiar with the Gentleman Caller...

Jerik fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Nov 28, 2019

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Wait, what's so lethal about fantasy capoiera? Did I miss something?

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Wait, so, TDE's core requirement for playing the game is nine books? I guess you could skip "Gods, Cults, Myths," but all the remaining ones seem a necessity to actually play the game...

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Unfortunately a lot of early darklords just aren't that compelling, or a loving mess, so Soth ends up being one of the interesting ones by default in 2e. Though again, the thought of Azalin Rex hearing Soth got out by just not giving a gently caress, and just loving flipping over his lab table in a fit of rage is never not funny.

Moldless Bread
Jul 10, 2019


Night10194 posted:

Wait, what's so lethal about fantasy capoiera? Did I miss something?

The text specifically emphasizes that no fairground fighter would use it because it too lethal for a friendly fight. :shrug: Probably because it's the only unarmed fighting style that can deal proper, weapons-grade damage.

PurpleXVI posted:

Wait, so, TDE's core requirement for playing the game is nine books? I guess you could skip "Gods, Cults, Myths," but all the remaining ones seem a necessity to actually play the game...

Well, you don't need to be a wizard either.

Length-wise each book is ... not short, but all three books per box taken together are well within the length of a single hardcover. Just sold in a box in seperate books.
Also a lot of this space is filled with (wordy) descriptions of cultures and professions.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Soth in Ravenloft was interesting as a sort of evil Fisher King, locked in eternal slumber while his realm became a sort of dark fairy tale land, in contrast to the Gothic/Hammer Horror of most of the core.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Moldless Bread posted:

Well, you don't need to be a wizard either.

Sure, but a fantasy game without wizards feels like it would be lacking something. :v:

Moldless Bread posted:

Length-wise each book is ... not short, but all three books per box taken together are well within the length of a single hardcover. Just sold in a box in seperate books.
Also a lot of this space is filled with (wordy) descriptions of cultures and professions.

And that's fair enough, I suppose. I just feel like I'd be more annoyed finding stuff if I had to flip through nine small hardcovers than three large hardcovers.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Sadly my F&Fs always suck rear end

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Meinberg posted:

Soth in Ravenloft was interesting as a sort of evil Fisher King, locked in eternal slumber while his realm became a sort of dark fairy tale land, in contrast to the Gothic/Hammer Horror of most of the core.

You're describing his status as he appeared in the module where he escaped Ravenloft, and where he was inactive due to the apathy that eventually led the Dark Powers to let him go. But he only fit that description for the length of that single module; prior to that he was as active as any other darklord, and there was nothing particularly fairytailish about his realm. And it seems not to be the just-before-release slumbering Soth that appealed to most Ravenloft fans, but the original actively evil Soth who... I'm sorry, still doesn't strike me as particularly interesting, even in comparison to most of the other 2E darklords. I guess it's probably just that (due to his origins in Dragonlance fiction) he did have a more detailed backstory than any other early darklord aside from Strahd himself, but I still don't think that backstory made him into a compelling character. (Then again, I've never read the Dragonlance books in which he originally appeared; maybe he was a more compelling character there.)

Baku
Aug 20, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Unfortunately, this points to the key fact that the whole setting reads better as "Monsterhearts where no one's loving" than as a place for adventures and adventurers.

Even tho - probably unfortunately, because I can't imagine the D&D take on horror sex from the 90s is any good - this is apparently not true, I'd actually be fine with "Monsterhearts where no one's loving" if the point is to be horror fantasy and not Monsterhearts (a game about human relationships).

A horror setting, literally the demiplane of horror and bad feelings in this case, shouldn't be full of pleasant stuff and people enjoying life's joys. Which means it can write sexuality one of two ways: downplaying it because everyone's miserable and lonely and alienated and not getting it, or by focusing on the darker aspects of sexuality - exploitation, pain, abuse. As games go, D&D is really one that should tread lightly around the latter, and not one that I trust to explore those themes intelligently and ethically. A pretty sexless Ravenloft makes sense to me.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Jerik posted:

You're describing his status as he appeared in the module where he escaped Ravenloft, and where he was inactive due to the apathy that eventually led the Dark Powers to let him go. But he only fit that description for the length of that single module; prior to that he was as active as any other darklord, and there was nothing particularly fairytailish about his realm. And it seems not to be the just-before-release slumbering Soth that appealed to most Ravenloft fans, but the original actively evil Soth who... I'm sorry, still doesn't strike me as particularly interesting, even in comparison to most of the other 2E darklords. I guess it's probably just that (due to his origins in Dragonlance fiction) he did have a more detailed backstory than any other early darklord aside from Strahd himself, but I still don't think that backstory made him into a compelling character. (Then again, I've never read the Dragonlance books in which he originally appeared; maybe he was a more compelling character there.)

Weird! I like rose and thorn dark fairy tale stuff a lot more than “Strahd but can shoot a 20d6 fireball once per day.” Then again, I’ve always like Ravenloft a lot more for what it could have been than for what it was.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



No. 1 Apartheid Fan posted:

Even tho - probably unfortunately, because I can't imagine the D&D take on horror sex from the 90s is any good - this is apparently not true, I'd actually be fine with "Monsterhearts where no one's loving" if the point is to be horror fantasy and not Monsterhearts (a game about human relationships).

A horror setting, literally the demiplane of horror and bad feelings in this case, shouldn't be full of pleasant stuff and people enjoying life's joys. Which means it can write sexuality one of two ways: downplaying it because everyone's miserable and lonely and alienated and not getting it, or by focusing on the darker aspects of sexuality - exploitation, pain, abuse. As games go, D&D is really one that should tread lightly around the latter, and not one that I trust to explore those themes intelligently and ethically. A pretty sexless Ravenloft makes sense to me.
Yeah I was mostly joking about the fact that Ravenloft as a fiction setting is written about the petty politicking and whiny slapfights of (in/vol)cel ghouls, while Ravenloft as a game setting is "You find yourself in the Spooky Woods. If you're lucky you won't run into Count Spooky, who has a dozen levels on you and can't die". But also, agreed.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Ravenloft was not the first and far from the last setting to suffer from being a peg shoved into the wargame shaped hole.

Baku
Aug 20, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Along those lines - wargame shapes are the ones you get when you combine a fixation on violence/combat as a primary means of interaction and problem resolution with crunchy rules. In my experience we see it as "D&D locked people into this box where they only think in wargame shapes when they approach RPG writing/design/playing", but I wonder how much of that is actually related to larger cultural forces; the biggest Hollywood films are all about flashy combat as a means of resolving ideological conflicts, the most popular games are video games which almost always have tons of complicated, deeply-codified rules due to the nature of the medium. Do we have trouble exploring other kinds of RPGs because of D&D's dominant place in the market and near-ownership of the concept in peoples' imagination, or is D&D - the wargame shaped roleplaying game - actually what a lot of people would genuinely want even in the face of alternative choices?

Does anybody have good reading recs - blogs, essays, books, whatever - on how D&D has shaped the culture of RPGs and how people (especially novice players) approach them, for good or ill? I realize that's sort of a broad question and I'm musing philosophical gibberish in what's normally a fun funny thread, but I enjoy thinking and reading about that stuff and one of the big creative projects I'd like to embark on in 2020 is writing my first roleplaying game.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


No. 1 Apartheid Fan posted:

Do we have trouble exploring other kinds of RPGs because of D&D's dominant place in the market and near-ownership of the concept in peoples' imagination, or is D&D - the wargame shaped roleplaying game - actually what a lot of people would genuinely want even in the face of alternative choices?

I think it's just that there's plain more easily accessible gameplay depth in a fight than there is in a conversation, like... it's easier to mechanically stat a ballista bolt, a sword and shield or a lightning bolt than is to stat a cunning argument.

If you wanted to adapt the same sort of gameplay depth as you can get in strategic/tactical combat. Supply lines, positioning, status effects, different types of weaponry... to social or intellectual interactions. You'd either need to abstract it so much that it would no longer bear any resemblance to that original social interaction, or you'd need to melt it down into such easily-interchangable pieces that instead of the level 10 wizard yelling "I CAST MAGIC MISSILE!" you get the level 10 philosopher yelling "I PROCLAIM LOGICAL FALLACY FOR 5D6 INTELLECT POINTS."

It's also a more neutral medium for entertainment. By and large it's easy to find a neutral action sequence that will appeal to everyone, because a shotgun is a pretty dispassionate object. We can agree, without too much argument, that objectively, a shotgun will do these things when fired. So a gunfight is gonna be believable and engaging to pretty much anyone watching it. On the other hand, an EPIC ARGUMENT will either fall-eyerollingly flat or be engrossing and convincing very much depending on what you believe, have faith in or would yourself be convinced by, so it's more of a gamble.

No. 1 Apartheid Fan posted:

Does anybody have good reading recs - blogs, essays, books, whatever - on how D&D has shaped the culture of RPGs and how people (especially novice players) approach them, for good or ill? I realize that's sort of a broad question and I'm musing philosophical gibberish in what's normally a fun funny thread, but I enjoy thinking and reading about that stuff and one of the big creative projects I'd like to embark on in 2020 is writing my first roleplaying game.

So I think it's less of a cultural matter, more just that there are some very simple forces that make violence easier to work with both mechanically and presentation-wise than arguments or investigation.

Plus, to be fair, most large-scale ideological conflicts in the real world do eventually tend to come down to people shooting at each other, too.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

PurpleXVI posted:

Gnomes are now Tinker Gnomes, which largely means they've been infested by a terrible strain of lolsorandom monkeycheese 90's comedy. You see, because Tinker Gnomes build things, but sometimes they don't work, and it leads to wacky!!!!!! consequences!

'cause it'd be a real shame if these little assholes who are apparently smart enough to invent gunpowder and cannons actually contributed something other than slapstick comedy to the setting. They've a couple of potentially useful special items, but all of them backfire "comically" about as often as they do anything handy, meaning they're basically Skaven but it's not supposed to be funny when they blow their own hands off, and the game, of course, has no actual rules(that I can see or find anywhere) for making your own wacky inventions of any kind. This kind of relegates them to an unfun NPC backwater.

Rules for making gnomish inventions were added in the later "Dragonlance Adventures" supplement. I can't remember perfectly - something about a backfire chance that went down as you leveled and up with the complexity of the invention?

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Fate does social combat quite well. You have a social stress track just like anything else and when it fills up you get arrested.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


90s Cringe Rock posted:

Yeah, he shows up (as Celeborn because Jackson was a coward and feared the name Teleporno), but I think you're thinking of someone else at Helm's Deep. Which didn't have elves helping out in the books.

Uh, nothing to do with Jackson. I have a 1965 edition of the book, it's Celeborn there.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013




Spellbound Kingdoms has an entire combat system about trying to browbeat, convince, or bribe people for your own interests.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:


Gnomes are now Tinker Gnomes, which largely means they've been infested by a terrible strain of lolsorandom monkeycheese 90's comedy. You see, because Tinker Gnomes build things, but sometimes they don't work, and it leads to wacky!!!!!! consequences!

'cause it'd be a real shame if these little assholes who are apparently smart enough to invent gunpowder and cannons actually contributed something other than slapstick comedy to the setting. They've a couple of potentially useful special items, but all of them backfire "comically" about as often as they do anything handy, meaning they're basically Skaven but it's not supposed to be funny when they blow their own hands off, and the game, of course, has no actual rules(that I can see or find anywhere) for making your own wacky inventions of any kind. This kind of relegates them to an unfun NPC backwater.


Not actually true. In the Dragonlance Adventures source book, both Tinker Gnomes and the steps for their inventions are detailed. They're still pretty rear end and if you play one, you're really rooting for it to go "mad." "Mad" gnomes are better at building stuff (+5 to the roll) and their stiuff is 1d6 sizes smaller. So they actually become a decent, viable character class.

I recall actually playing one of those guys. For about five levels "Gnosh" hung at the bang, occasioally shot a crossbow and tried not to die. Then he went Mad (or the GM had pity on me and "Maddened" him). So, he built the Actuating Kineticizer # 4.7. It was a backpack contraption with a couple of hoses linked to a tube with a crossbow trigger and a lever on top. Steel piece coins went into the backpack. The lever controlled the rate of fire which was single or "burst" the trigger was to induce inverse magnetic polarity.

Basically, Gnosh built a rail gun. That worked.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 21:26 on Nov 28, 2019

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Everyone posted:

Not actually true. In the Dragonlance Adventures source book, both Tinker Gnomes and the steps for their inventions are detailed.

So what you're saying is, they're not in the source book and you need to acquire extra books for them to be playable, at which point they'll still not be as good as an Irda or a Minotaur.

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:

If you wanted to adapt the same sort of gameplay depth as you can get in strategic/tactical combat. Supply lines, positioning, status effects, different types of weaponry... to social or intellectual interactions. You'd either need to abstract it so much that it would no longer bear any resemblance to that original social interaction, or you'd need to melt it down into such easily-interchangable pieces that instead of the level 10 wizard yelling "I CAST MAGIC MISSILE!" you get the level 10 philosopher yelling "I PROCLAIM LOGICAL FALLACY FOR 5D6 INTELLECT POINTS."

I think you might be the person he was talking about, the one who likes D&D because it matches how you understand the world.

Dungeons and Dragons in absolutely no way reflects the actual nature of violence or how people use it to accomplish their goals in anyway. I’d argue the D&D combat engine is probably LESS realistic than “social hitpoints”.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


D&D is, by my understanding, a relatively decent understanding of ship-to-ship naval combat.

As for the ubiquity of violence as a tool of conflict resolution, I think it’s a combination of D&D’s prominence and the general ouvre of violence in nerd media. Non action stuff is typically presented as indie or prestige media, but even then there is a tendency on violence, if only as a reflection of the darkness of the human condition.

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


Meinberg posted:

D&D is, by my understanding, a relatively decent understanding of ship-to-ship naval combat.

As for the ubiquity of violence as a tool of conflict resolution, I think it’s a combination of D&D’s prominence and the general ouvre of violence in nerd media. Non action stuff is typically presented as indie or prestige media, but even then there is a tendency on violence, if only as a reflection of the darkness of the human condition.

It kinda accurately reflects two knights in full suits of plate armor trying to kill each other with swords, so long as neither knight ever gains more than their first level of hitpoints.

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Yeah I was mostly joking about the fact that Ravenloft as a fiction setting is written about the petty politicking and whiny slapfights of (in/vol)cel ghouls

To be fair, that only describes maybe three or four of the almost two dozen Ravenloft novels. There were other Ravenloft novels that don't fit that description. For example, there were the Ravenloft novels that weren't actually set in any Ravenloft domains and featured no characters mentioned in any other Ravenloft material and in fact were branded as Ravenloft novels despite having nothing to do with Ravenloft at all aside from being in the horror genre and maybe if you squint one of the characters might be a darklord even though it's never explicitly stated, oh and also maybe one of the characters is a Vistani.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:

So what you're saying is, they're not in the source book and you need to acquire extra books for them to be playable, at which point they'll still not be as good as an Irda or a Minotaur.

No, they are in the source book. Though we might not be talking about the same source book. This is the one that I'm talking about.

Tinker gnomes are listed at page 21. The general gnomish race of Krynn and Mad Gnomes are on page 56.

Berkshire Hunts
Nov 5, 2009


Everyone posted:

No, they are in the source book. Though we might not be talking about the same source book. This is the one that I'm talking about.

Tinker gnomes are listed at page 21. The general gnomish race of Krynn and Mad Gnomes are on page 56.

Purple‘s review is of the Tales of the Lance boxed set published in 1992.

e: I played in a dragonlance campign for all of junior high & high school & the day the DM managed to get a copy of Dragonlance Adventures was the day anyone was at all interested in playing a tinker gnome.

Berkshire Hunts fucked around with this message at 23:26 on Nov 28, 2019

Gun Jam
Apr 11, 2015


About the HP debate - Y'know, a high level ranger follow a mouse's 3 days old trail, and shoot a sparrow from 200 meters. A rogue can rob fort knox at a brisk walking pace, without anybody noticing.
Even the fighter should be able to butt head with giants, and win.
So... Isn't an appropriate answer to "that damage could have killed a rhino - how you are not dead?" is that yes, you are just that tough, you tanked it with your face, and stopped being "just a normal human" a long time ago?

PurpleXVI posted:


Original Species Do Not Steal


They didn't steal. They got no idea how it got into their pockets, they swear...

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Everyone posted:

No, they are in the source book. Though we might not be talking about the same source book. This is the one that I'm talking about.

Tinker gnomes are listed at page 21. The general gnomish race of Krynn and Mad Gnomes are on page 56.

As Berkshire said, I'm doing the boxed set. I thought Dragonlance Adventures was a supplement, but as the boxed set seems to be the definitive core for 2E, Adventures appears to be the definitive core for 1E. I've got Adventures but, uh, firstly I'm not as familiar with 1E as I am with 2E by any means, so I feel like any balance-related reviewing I do would be flawed. And secondly by .PDF of Adventures is some incredibly blurry trash.

Also ha ha, wow, these loving 1E Tinker Gnome rules. "why yes, my AD&D game does need rules for how difficulty it is to construct a time machine the size of a mountain that features colour TV, can exist in space and blow up dragons." I'm used to AD&D subsystems and this poo poo made my eyes glaze over.

Gun Jam posted:

About the HP debate - Y'know, a high level ranger follow a mouse's 3 days old trail, and shoot a sparrow from 200 meters. A rogue can rob fort knox at a brisk walking pace, without anybody noticing.
Even the fighter should be able to butt head with giants, and win.
So... Isn't an appropriate answer to "that damage could have killed a rhino - how you are not dead?" is that yes, you are just that tough, you tanked it with your face, and stopped being "just a normal human" a long time ago?

Welcome to an age-old debate, it usually has three answers.

#1: "It's a game, stop thinking about it."

#2: "Not every hit point is a bleeding, gashing wound, sometimes it's a near-miss, a bruise or just plain exhaustion."

#3: "Ah, yes, a valid point, allow me to show you my homemade supplement that completely dispenses with HP, tracks character blood by the drop, has over 500 discrete hit locations, a new critical hit chart and- wait, where are you going? I haven't even shown you my homemade d35 you need to roll on subtable 89D yet!"

PurpleXVI fucked around with this message at 00:05 on Nov 29, 2019

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:

As Berkshire said, I'm doing the boxed set. I thought Dragonlance Adventures was a supplement, but as the boxed set seems to be the definitive core for 2E, Adventures appears to be the definitive core for 1E. I've got Adventures but, uh, firstly I'm not as familiar with 1E as I am with 2E by any means, so I feel like any balance-related reviewing I do would be flawed. And secondly by .PDF of Adventures is some incredibly blurry trash.

Also ha ha, wow, these loving 1E Tinker Gnome rules. "why yes, my AD&D game does need rules for how difficulty it is to construct a time machine the size of a mountain that features colour TV, can exist in space and blow up dragons." I'm used to AD&D subsystems and this poo poo made my eyes glaze over.


Welcome to an age-old debate, it usually has three answers.

#1: "It's a game, stop thinking about it."

#2: "Not every hit point is a bleeding, gashing wound, sometimes it's a near-miss, a bruise or just plain exhaustion."

#3: "Ah, yes, a valid point, allow me to show you my homemade supplement that completely dispenses with HP, tracks character blood by the drop, has over 500 discrete hit locations, a new critical hit chart and- wait, where are you going? I haven't even shown you my homemade d35 you need to roll on subtable 89D yet!"

The Tinker Gnomes could be fun but scary - especially with Mad Gnomes. Stupid elevators? Sure. Goofy-rear end Net gun, of course. "Aww, and what do you have little fella?" *Pyong Zsorch* "Holy poo poo, it's a blaster rifle!." Or, "wasn't the Red Dragonarmy camp near here? " "I think it's that way underneath that big, bright cloud that looks like a mushroom."

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Everyone posted:

"wasn't the Red Dragonarmy camp near here? " "I think it's that way underneath that big, bright cloud that looks like a mushroom."

Funny thing, one of the official Dragonlance side stories does in fact involve a Mad Gnome who figures out how to refine uranium and tries to sell his new bomb to one of the Dragonarmies in one of their occupied territories. When they laugh it off as "silly short man with his little play weapon" he yanks out the rod preventing it from going critical and they only manage to wrestle it away from him brief seconds before a large part of the continent turns into a radioactive crater.

So, nukes are canon on Krynn.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Some groups who had tinker gnome gadgeteer PCs often reflavored existing classes to make them playable.

Some went for the easy option and made it reflavored magic or "science-magic" like Pathfinder's alchemist or gunslinger, which while they can simulate "fireball frag grenades" isn't as good for the "janky battlemech" and Rube Goldberg vehicles said tinker gnomes often made. I recall some Pathfinder group using Paths of Iron classes to simulate gnome inventions (the Vanguard even has a robot companion).

As for 5th Edition, there's now an official Artificer class in the new Eberron sourcebook which can simulate "alchemist mage," "gun mage," and "heavy weapons/robo companion mage" based on archetypes.

The 3rd party Dragonlance sourcebooks for 3rd Edition had a Master class in War of the Lance which was basically the Expert NPC class but given some middling class features. There was also a Gnomish Tinker Prestige Class which gave bonuses on a variety of skill checks, let you increase the enhancement bonus on items and tools non-magically, and could simulate 0 to 2nd level spells via devices. Which is subpar in comparison to the above options, but likely the best thing we had officially at the time.

There were rules for tinker inventions in Races of Ansalson which matched the AD&D level of complexity and were often so high in DC, costly, and slow to make that literally no Dragonlance fan I knew used them.

a computing pun
Jan 1, 2013


wiegieman posted:

Fate does social combat quite well. You have a social stress track just like anything else and when it fills up you get arrested.

Yeah, but Fate doesn't do social combat with any degree of gameplay depth. It does narratively compelling social combat, but that's not the same thing as mechanically deep or tactically interesting. And the reason it can do it so well is precisely because it doesn't try to mechanically represent anything about the unique nature of communication and debate as a medium of conflict.

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012




PurpleXVI posted:

I think it's just that there's plain more easily accessible gameplay depth in a fight than there is in a conversation, like... it's easier to mechanically stat a ballista bolt, a sword and shield or a lightning bolt than is to stat a cunning argument.

If you wanted to adapt the same sort of gameplay depth as you can get in strategic/tactical combat. Supply lines, positioning, status effects, different types of weaponry... to social or intellectual interactions. You'd either need to abstract it so much that it would no longer bear any resemblance to that original social interaction, or you'd need to melt it down into such easily-interchangable pieces that instead of the level 10 wizard yelling "I CAST MAGIC MISSILE!" you get the level 10 philosopher yelling "I PROCLAIM LOGICAL FALLACY FOR 5D6 INTELLECT POINTS."

[...]

So I think it's less of a cultural matter, more just that there are some very simple forces that make violence easier to work with both mechanically and presentation-wise than arguments or investigation.

I mean, the "combat" of most games whether RPG, board game or video game will usually have nothing whatsoever to do with actual combat beyond the surface fiction. To work with your example I'd say yeah, rename all the parts of DnD combat to argument tactics and you get just as accurate a simulation of arguments as you currently get of sword fights, i.e. it would still just be simple game system with an arbitrary fiction attached.

I think the reason we choose to go with sword fights, and the reason you think they are easier to simulate, is because we have spent so much time playing in that particular fiction so that it comes natural to us, which is just an expression of culture. There is nothing about the complexities of actual sword fights (minutia of grip and balance; differences in rote training instincts; processing speed for identifying feints etc.) that is objectively "easier" to make into a game, IMO.

OvermanXAN posted:

Uh, nothing to do with Jackson. I have a 1965 edition of the book, it's Celeborn there.

Teleporno is for Patreons only~ :wink:

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Teleporno

PoontifexMacksimus fucked around with this message at 01:41 on Nov 29, 2019

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012





My favourite part of these maps, especially the last, is how obvious it is that they were originally drawn on hex maps: notice how all mountain chains (and most coasts) run at the same 60 degree angles?

PoontifexMacksimus fucked around with this message at 02:28 on Nov 29, 2019

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Some day I hope I post something of interest here but then again the last time that happened, I had like 6 people including one of the lead developers saying not to do it for some dumb reason.

Like I dunno it just sucks to make poo poo that gets no engagement because I can’t make it seem exciting (but who really can with this poo poo), so if I want to find something interesting, I’ve got to pray some goon has never touched it here and that it’s something goons know.

SunAndSpring fucked around with this message at 02:54 on Nov 29, 2019

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


Gun Jam posted:

About the HP debate - Y'know, a high level ranger follow a mouse's 3 days old trail, and shoot a sparrow from 200 meters. A rogue can rob fort knox at a brisk walking pace, without anybody noticing.
Even the fighter should be able to butt head with giants, and win.
So... Isn't an appropriate answer to "that damage could have killed a rhino - how you are not dead?" is that yes, you are just that tough, you tanked it with your face, and stopped being "just a normal human" a long time ago?


I would love to play an edition of Dungeons and Dragons in which those things were true and also applied outside of those incredibly narrow constraints.

Alas.

PurpleXVI posted:


Welcome to an age-old debate, it usually has three answers.

#1: "It's a game, stop thinking about it."

#2: "Not every hit point is a bleeding, gashing wound, sometimes it's a near-miss, a bruise or just plain exhaustion."

#3: "Ah, yes, a valid point, allow me to show you my homemade supplement that completely dispenses with HP, tracks character blood by the drop, has over 500 discrete hit locations, a new critical hit chart and- wait, where are you going? I haven't even shown you my homemade d35 you need to roll on subtable 89D yet!"

The 4th answer, an unspeakable heresy of immense power:

Play a better game.

Edit: Or buy the IP and give 6e a different or better system.

jakodee fucked around with this message at 03:10 on Nov 29, 2019

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




a computing pun posted:

Yeah, but Fate doesn't do social combat with any degree of gameplay depth. It does narratively compelling social combat, but that's not the same thing as mechanically deep or tactically interesting. And the reason it can do it so well is precisely because it doesn't try to mechanically represent anything about the unique nature of communication and debate as a medium of conflict.

Well, it treats a social conflict the same way it treats any other conflict. You can cause Social stress or consequences by having your stealth person sneak into the bad guy's mansion and steal his secret plans to destroy the community center so you can distribute them to various news outlets, and you can tag him with negative aspects by using your own social skills to show him up at that same party in front of the movers and shakers. He can fire back at you by using his own social abilities (probably augmented by stunts representing large amounts of money and lawyers) to mess with your life and get you foreclosed on or something.

IshmaelZarkov
Jun 20, 2013



jakodee posted:

It kinda accurately reflects two knights in full suits of plate armor trying to kill each other with swords, so long as neither knight ever gains more than their first level of hitpoints.

The last time I ran 5E*, I didn't allow anyone to play casters, and reduced hit points gained per level to +Con Modifier (min. 0). It made the game surprisingly fun. I'd recommend it to everyone forced to play D&D.



*Because the choice between "Play a game you enjoy" and "Play the only game your friends have interest in playing" never gets loving old.

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jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


IshmaelZarkov posted:

The last time I ran 5E*, I didn't allow anyone to play casters, and reduced hit points gained per level to +Con Modifier (min. 0). It made the game surprisingly fun. I'd recommend it to everyone forced to play D&D.



*Because the choice between "Play a game you enjoy" and "Play the only game your friends have interest in playing" never gets loving old.

Prevent this choice by never introducing your friends to role playing with D&D. This means they will HAVE to learn a second system to play D&D and thus not be afraid of new games.

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