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Sep 5, 2007

For giggles, and to make a point, I want to make the unoptimal character.

See, back in the day when D&D was geared toward mature people, you rolled for your stats, in order, and you kept the rolls and you did your best with the results.

Not in 4E. In 4E, everyone's a pro. The party consists of John Rambo, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Jack Welch, with Chuck Norris for good measure. Nobody ever dares play a character, say, a Fighter, with a 10 Strength and 16 Dex.

I just got told nope, you're playing a Ranger!

But, I don't want to play a dinky Ranger. He doesn't get the armor that the Fighter would get.


Or, what if I want to play the suboptimal Cleric. A guy with a 5 Wisdom. You know, the Point Buy system of 4E won't give me point credit toward other stats for it.


But, I want to be a priest.

Wouldn't you let a player play a Cleric with low primary stats? Or a Fighter with a low Strength that didn't boost his Martial Powers? Isn't this a role-playing game? I mean, people tell me it's a role-playing game, right?

Basically the point is that I am not allowed to make the character I want to make. Why? Because, as you've pointed out, it might not be optimal for the party.

Optimal for the party. I don't know. I thought this was a role-playing game. Not a wargame. I thought this was a game about overcoming challenge. Not being mollycoddled into everything. About heroism.

Wrong. They're simply playing to type. Every character they make is no different from each other. Their Rangers look exactly the same stat wise. Their Clerics are always wise. Always strong. Their Warlords, always very Charismatic. Always. No changes, except with regard to feats and powers, but they're still very much the same. Why put names on them? Why bother? Hell, why bother with gender? It doesn't matter at all. Why bother with alignment?

Note the sheer interdependence in this version of the game. Once was that you could play anything you wanted and not really have to worry so much about this sort of thing. But I come in with a sub-par character, and people go ape-poo poo!

Sorry. You're not playing a Role-Playing Game. That's a wargame and a wargame mentality. Sorry if you think I'm being a dick. But I thought this was a role-playing game with OPTIONS. Maybe I want a challenge, for once. Maybe I want some character, for once. Maybe I want something interesting, for once.

Or maybe, I just have skill and guts. I don't cry when I get a low stat. I take it, and I work with it. It's a role-playing challenge. But, if that isn't optimal for you, then we're not really playing a role-playing game, are we?

Could it be that such a character is the only guy you could find to fill a niche? Why does everyone feel as though they got to play the Pros from Dover? Why can't we have some people who aren't all that optimal, who have deficiencies, who aren't playing to type? Why can't we be like the Mystery Men?

Well, you see, in a wargame, you can't do that. You have standard units. Standard heroes. If they wouldn't muster up, they wouldn't be on the battlefield. Apparrently, judging by some of these replies, that's the same measure used in D&D 4E. So, get real.

If this game purports to be an RPG, then I should make whatever the hell I drat well want. Part of role-playing is dealing with the cards you're dealt. None of us get to choose all of our characteristics.

So, in truth, this notion that the Players are role-playing characters who would weed out such characters is not only nonsense, it's stupid nonsense that has no bearing on either reality or fantasy. Why? Because sometimes, you have to deal with what you got. That's called coping. It's a part of life. And if you can't handle it, go back to kindergarten.

Mikan fucked around with this message at 04:28 on Mar 16, 2009


Sep 5, 2007

it's not just lovely moderation it's lovely posters too.
RPGnet is just bad all around.
Also this site is the best source for grognards.txt

Over at theRPGsite, someone had made a comment about 4e; about how the "real damage" of D&D 4e would come along when other gaming companies tried to clone the horrible concepts the game contains.

Well, I think what they should have said here is "the real damage will come IF the other game manufacturers clone this monster".

That's one of the best measures of if a new edition is "successful" or not from a design point of view. D&D 1e (and OD&D) were obviously the biggest success in that sense in that virtually all RPGs are in one sense or another based on OD&D's design concepts and basic framework even to this day.

2e didn't inspire gently caress all. It was Vampire that was inspiring people in the 90s and games were borrowing stuff from WW; more in setting and pretentiousness than system because there wasn't any real system innovation, though even there the horrid WW-style Dice Pools, though not original, might not have been as popular had it not been for them.

3e INSPIRED. Or more specifically, D20 did. It revolutionized how people thought about game design. Open source gaming. Single Unified mechanics. Even the basic layout of RPGs; if you look at books that were considered perfectly well laid-out before 3e came out, today you read them and feel like they aren't quite well-organized because they don't follow the organization structure 3e used and that became almost universally adopted.

Will this thing they call 4e really end up inspiring anyone? Will new games that come out really end up being full of 4ncoutars, and treat their setting like a meaningless mmorpg backdrop and be all about the power-cards?
Frankly, I can't really imagine it right now. I can't imagine almost anything from 4e ending up making a big impact on other games.

Its been out long enough already that it would have started doing so already if it was going to, and from what I see 4e has inspired gently caress all thus far.

Once again, D&D has lost the ideological vanguard in gaming.

And yeah, in one sense, thank god that it means no one is going to be copying 4e, but in another, that's only going to be bad for gaming in the long run, because while people won't be looking at 4e to imitate for their own games, they will end up looking elsewhere. Which is exactly what the Swine wanted, it the reason that they wanted to cripple D&D into being a purely "gamist" game all along, so it couldn't inspire, and the Swine could usurp that ideological vanguard.


Currently smoking: Mastro De Paja Media + Hearth & Home's Namaste

Sep 5, 2007

The Swine are any people for whom RPGs have, as their primary purpose, the conveyance of some kind of sense of personal self-worth. This need for gaining self-esteem out of RPGs manifests itself in creating and aggresively promoting the concept that RPGs are either "art" or "intellectual pursuit" rather than a mere game, and usually implying that someone who participates (to them it would not just be "playing") in an RPG is doing something of inherent value with their lives. In order to create this illusion, the value of "art" or "intellectual" has to totally superimpose itself over "fun" and "play".

Likewise, and here's the insidious part, in order for the Swine to be able to gain this sense of self-worth from what any sane person would consider a meaningless game (meaningless good fun, but still utterly meaningless and certainly not self-validating) the Swine must attempt to utterly destroy the concept that RPGs should be played for fun as a mere game, and must promote the concept that they (the Swine) are the special elite who truly understand RPGs, and actively work against the popularity of RPGs.
So the Swine have it as part of their make-up, conscious of the fact or not, the destruction of the RPG industry, and indeed of the hobby as a hobby or as play. All this for their own selfish, low, contemptible ends.

Now, only a few of the Swine are the truly incorrigible willfully evil kind that have no real interest in RPGs as a game, as play, or as fun, and want only to fulfill some kind of sick psychosis. Sadly, the vast majority of the Swine were hapless rubes, the willing or unwilling fools that bought into the foul creeds of the real Swine in the 1990s when the Swine took over the entire ideological basis of the Gaming industry; hence that era being what I've called gaming's "generation of Swine". Most of these gamers had come into RPGs playing D&D and having a great old time, but let themselves be hoodwinked into thinking that how they were playing RPGs was "wrong" or "stupid", and in their desperate desire to appear as sophisticated as the Swine appeared (and only the very young and impressionable, or the terminally stupid, could fail to see through the Swine's cheap two-bit artistic posturing and pathetic pseudo-intellectualism), they let themselves be brainwashed into thinking that playing story-based games where nothing happens and the players are cheerleaders for the DM's (or the game designer's) brilliance were somehow more fun than blowing up buildings or cutting orcs in half.
Fortunately, with each year in the last six or so, there have been less and less people fooled by the Swine, some of the lost generation have even reformed themselves, and the damage is slowly being repaired. Slowly, the hardcore Swine are being pushed more and more to the margin, leaving only the most extreme cases to continue arguing meaninglessly in places like and the Forge, still pretending that they are the ones who matter.

There is obviously some kind of deep psychological explanation for why the Swine are like this, which I won't pretend to be able to analyze, except to look at the most basic probable cause which is that people who become Gamer Swine are the ones who don't have enough going for them in the real world or in their real lives to give them some kind of a sense of validation. I mean, I sure as gently caress don't need to play RPGs as a way to make myself feel smart, or to pretend I'm doing meaningful work. I play RPGs as a way to get away from that poo poo; that poo poo being what I do in the real world, in my real life. I have a strong suspicion that the majority of the Swine don't have much of a real life.

Let's hope that (mixed with my original essays on the Swine in the first entries to this blog) this definition ends up clarifying the issue somewhat, and providing a better breakdown of what the Swine are all about.

Sep 5, 2007

Naar posted:

Yes but at least that dude hates Burning Wheel so he isn't all bad.

The Lost Generation

The other day I hit upon a revelation that sincerely shocked the crap out of me: I have been gaming for as long as some of my players have been alive. In some cases longer. This came as a shock to me, as I'd never thought of myself as a grognard; mine was the generation of gamers of the mid to late eighties, the ones who were the New Generation.

We were those who were inheriting the gaming earth from the old guard of the grognards, and would create a bold new tomorrow.

We produced masterpieces of RPGs in our days, the great second era of RPGs in fact, and ours was the peak of the gaming hobby. There were more gamers actively playing, and the industry was bigger than it had ever been, and as it turns out bigger than it would ever be again.

But the center could not hold, things fell apart. Starting with TSR's moral decadence into Lorrain Williams-land, where the she-harpy set the model for corporate mismanagement of gaming companies by people who despised gamers. After she had cheated Gary Gygax out of company control, and given him the boot, TSR released 2nd Edition; which set the tone for second editions made for reasons other than to improve the game. The only real motive for 2nd edition was Williams' own spite, and the end result was a catastrophic drop in the number of people drawn to gaming.

But all this was just the catalyst for what was to come. Williams' subversion of TSR created an environment where TSR had lost its natural position as industry leader. Into this vacuum stepped White Wolf. The 1990s were to be gaming's age of darkness, in more ways than one.

I have hope for this new generation of gamers, few as they are, that are getting into gaming in this foul year of our lord 2005. A couple of the gamers in my groups here in Uruguay have under 2 years of gaming experience, and they show so much promise. Even if South America is really a different beast altogether (and it is), on my last visit to North America I got to witness my younger brother's game. He's ten years younger than I, and his group are all relative newbies. They're good. They'll do fine, if only we were getting more of them, if only the gaming companies could get their heads out of their asses and realize that making new gamers should be priority one.

But this is after 15 years of utter disaster in the gaming world. And that generation of gamers, the ones "born" into the hobby from the early to mid nineties, are a lost generation. Lost in the sense of those who we did not manage to bring into the hobby, those gamers who never were, who should be roleplaying now and are not; and Lost in the sense of those who do game, only to have been subverted by the pseudointellectuals.

This is the "white wolf generation", coincidentally the same generation my friend Hunter S. Thompson, in another context, called "the Generation of Swine". But this is just as good a term to use for the roleplaying hobby as it is for everything else the 90s generation represents.

Not that the kids were all bad kids, far from it, just that they were brought into gaming in a time when people had been hoodwinked into thinking RPGs were "Storytelling"; were meant to be a thing of sophistication, and one had to take them awfully seriously. In terms of gaming style, this was the age of story-based gaming, of metaplots, of the dreaded in-game fiction. It was a time of pretentiousness, which bred a closed, cliqueish mentality among gamers. They not only didn't care that people were dropping out in droves from the gaming hobby; they WANTED that. They wanted exclusivity, so it didn't matter to them that kids were turning away from RPGs. RPGs weren't supposed to be for "kids" anyways in their twisted world, never mind that most gamers started as young teens; that many of the Generation of Swine themselves started as young teens, brought into the game by the people of my generation or the grognards, now the Generation of Swine wanted RPGs to be "mature". So selfishly, they shut themselves in, and those of us who refused to quit gaming with them.

The mentality of pseudo-intellectual elitism is one that inevitably leads to the formation of incestuous sub-cultures. Pseudo-intellectual gamers cringe when they hear that RPGs are enjoyed by "millions". They hate D&D simply for being the most popular. The most extreme among them even hate Vampire because its too "mainstream", and choose to hang out in intellectual garbage-dumps like the Forge, spewing nonsense theories about gaming philosophy, and producing nothing of value.

The Generation of Swine are not to blame really, except in their complacency. Its only some of them who are pseudo-intellectuals, but the problem is that many of the rest are enablers. They allowed a small group of pseudo-intellectual artistes, mostly brought into the hobby only because of White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade, to hijack the entire industry. Many of those of my generation have their share of the blame too, for choosing to quit gaming, rather than soldier on and call for a restoration of sanity.

This mentality brought us to the brink of disaster... had Peter Adkinson and Ryan Dancey not come in and restored sanity, gaming as a commercial industry may have ceased to exist. They did the humane thing; they took the spoiled brat's toys away and re-established order. Wizards has taken up the reins of industry leader, and gaming is slowly on the mend.

But many, many gamers are still infested with the mentality of the Generation of Swine, in particular those who are active online. This continues to be a problem; there are those who still despise D20 for taking control of the asylum back from the lunatics; there are others who would try to make D20 more like the old and utterly failed model of story-based gaming.

More on this later.

Cheers to all!

Currently smoking: Castello Collection Fiamatta + GL Pease Charing Cross

Sep 5, 2007

His rants about RPGnet are the best. Yeah, RPGnet sucks hard but rpgpundit has this weird paranoid vendetta against the site that turns creepy fast.

Sep 5, 2007

I'm 6'2". I used to lift weights (I'm a bit out of practice). I've got a scary-high IQ. And a wide variety of skills.

Most games I've seen that started with "Normal people" made me feel cramped and a lot weaker than I am IRL in a lot of minor ways.

Sep 5, 2007

First, let me tell you a few things about myself. I'm a big fan of Star Wars. Well, actually I'm not, but I still think the first movie was genius and the second and third were good. I watched the fourth one with a feeling of mild curiosity, but I didn't particulary care for the fifth and sixth. That's all in order of appearance, by the way. I don't have the action figures or the die-cast models and I've never read any of the “Expanded Universe” (if I use that term correctly) books and I probably wouldn't kill somebody over the “Han shot first” matter. So I don't think I'm allowed to call myself a fan.

Nevertheless, the Star Wars trilogy gives me a warm fuzz and I wouldn't be adverse to role-playing in the Star Wars universe. So, through channels and Ebay, I laid my hands on the 2nd revised and the 1st editions and had a good look at the stuff. Being a dumbass role-player (actually I'm unsure about calling myself a role-player, or at least a real role-player, as well, but that's a long story), I didn't understand a single word about the whole concept. I mean, It's, well, different from, say, AD&D. It's like, something else completely or whatever. Couldn't wrap my head around it all.

So when I got the opportunity to play in a round of Star Wars (2nd rev.) at a local convention yesterday (BTW: Maurice de H‒‒‒ isn't wearing a frock ‒ yet), I jumped at it. I'm not sure how to put it, but during this five hour ordeal, it all came together. It was, like, a piffany, a religious enlightenement to me. All those big concepts finally clicked, snapped into place in my bran. It's like a boy who never could see for the dandruff using Head&Shoulders for the first time.

Take this “immediate race” thing. That's actually Latin for “jump right in” or something. Never knew how to use it in play, but it was so simple after the GM had explained it. “Immediate race” means: You wake up in a cell to the cackling laughter of an alien in a “I'm your employer and all you'll get is this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt. How cool is that!?

Or I learned that Star Wars is all about characters, not roles. You see, after I had come -5 minutes late and didn't bring a character and asked him what the party needed, the GM allowed me to play whatever I chose. So naturally I chose a freighter pilot, kind of like Han Solo's younger brother, and there wasn't a spaceship to pilot in the whole adventure. Just think of the opportunities! Instead of being bogged down by tedious piloting rolls, I could sit back and enjoy the others' role-playing. I think I never had so much time for contemplation at the table in my whole role-playing life, marvellous!

One thing Spielberg got wrong in the movies is the investigatitive foundations of Star Wars adventures. Naturally, we didn't know at the beginning of the adventure that the employer, the incumbent planetary governor, was screwing us over and that his missing fiance was with the Hutt-puppet challenging him in the elections. Fortunately, one of the players's characters was an alien type called a De'Kr or something, who googled all the neccessary informations on the imperial internet-thingy with a few lucky rolls.

This, of course, saved us all the hassle of blaster-blazing battles and all. Really, it's so unrealistic. Given the technology level, even the lowly mook is too much of an investment to the higher-up NPCs to squander him in baseless “stormtroopers knock down the door and start shooting at you” type attacks. All the Rambo stuff in the movies is due to the fact that Luke and his folks are capital-ache-Heroes. Playing the genre really means playing the game world, so why would the governor or his rival send any of their scarce supply of mooks (the GM can only create so many preparing the adventure, after all) after a bunch of lowly guttersnipes like us? This rationale really also bursts the stupid “the PCs are at the center of things” bubble the RPG writers pulled out of their asses. It's really bogus and only applies to Luke &c, and to those people who frown at laundry runs I say: The Rebellion needs laundry done, too. So there!

A clear-cut morality is the hallmark of Star Wars, so much I had already gathered on my own, but the way the GM implemented it in his adventure was simply brilliant. Now, whom do we help: The governor, who screwed us, or his rival, whose strings are pulled by a Hutt somewhere off-system? After much deliberation we decided to follow the Path of the Righteous and Good, meaning we did nothing and let the providential Force sort it out.

Talking about deliberation, one of the most intense role-playing experiences I ever had was the two-hour argument about what to do at that point. It nicely blended tabletop and live-action role-playing, IMHO, people shouting at each other just like our characters would have. My ears were literally ringing and I was hoarse from trying to get a word in edgewise (I didn't). And I'm proud to say that I had the final vote on the matter, because when I came back from the bathroom (and chatting with my SO for half an hour, who, for reasons I can't fathom, was enjoying a game of WHFRP), the loudmoth GM's buddy actually asked me which way I swung. I had been hoping for a more interesting option, but they explained to newbie me that my character could get shot at that way, so I opted for doing nothing, and it all turned out for the best.

This was in all respects an enlightening experience, which gave me insights I could never have gotten elsewhere. I salute the Force for giving me an opportunity to see the Star Wars RPG in action and learn what it's all about.

Sep 5, 2007

It was, like, a piffany, a religious enlightenement to me.

Sep 5, 2007

The Avenger is Love. Or Hate. Something like that. It's Batman, anyway. I am so tsundere for this class.

I just picked up PHB2 today, and I've only had enough time to really digest parts of it, but I'm really impressed by what I've seen so far. The Avenger looks like it manages to be a really interesting class, which is really the most important thing. Let's break it down:

Avengers are clothies, but get a rough analogue to Swordmage Warding. I get the feeling Armor Proficiency is going to be basically mandatory for these guys, but Armor of Faith and their reliance on Dex/Int keeps them in light armor. They have a surprising number of HP and Surges; less than a defender, but more than any other striker save the Barbarian. That's probably to make up for their lack of armor, even though they look like frontline types.

The striker feature is Oath of Enmity (hereafter OoE). You pick a guy and get to roll Melee attacks twice against it. It differs from the usual striker feature in that you only get one, and you can't open up a new can of whoopass until you're done with your first. This makes a pretty huge difference in terms of tactics, as Avengers have limited ability to adapt. Once they're on track, they kind of have to stay the course... which is fitting, one supposes. Of course, they also get tons of powers that help them stay on target, so it's not all that bad. It's also limited in that the target has to be the only enemy adjacent to you, so positioning is pretty key.

The reroll stacks just fine with Elven Accuracy and the Deva racial power, so you can get some pretty sick probabilities there; for all that there was some pixelbitching about it not being as good as other striker damage features, it's really, really nice for landing those important Daily and Encounter powers. The problem, of course, is that it only works on Melee attacks, so it hampers an Avenger's ability to sideline in AoE or sniping.

An Avenger's Censure gives them bonuses to damage based on stuff. Censure of Pursuit gives them +dmg to their OoE target if it tries to run from them. Censure of Retribution gives them stackable +dmg to their OoE target if anyone tries to horn in on their action. In both cases, they're punishing their target for trying to escape his punishment, but the two builds end up being significantly different; Retribution spec is more about control and denial, while Pursuit is more about relentless agression and rushdown.

They also have Channel Divinity; in addition to whatever applications they might have from feats, they can burn their channel to give an ally an attack reroll against their OoE target. They also have the standard divine class undead-raping channel.

Bond of Pursuit lets you shift to follow your target.
Bond of Retribution causes an autodamage effect against anyone who attacks you except the target.
Overwhelming Strike is basically Footwork Lure, but it's pretty good when your class feature demands precise positioning.
Radiant Vengeance is a ranged radiant attack vs Reflex that gives you temp HP. It's kind of like the striker version of Sacred Flame.

It's interesting that you have at-wills that sort of emulate the effects of the two Censures, so you can either have an at-will that enhances your Censure or one that gives you some of the benefits of the other Censure. Or both, I guess.

Overwhelming Strike seems pretty important for making sure you get your OoE reroll, and Radiant Vengeance helps you out by giving you a source of radiant damage on demand and letting you target another defense, as well as covering what would otherwise be a bad range for you. The temp HP are okay too, I guess.

All in all, there aren't any strictly bad at-wills here, and the limited selection actually means something for any build (as opposed to, say, Rangers, who pretty much just need Twin Strike and whatever else).

As for the other powers, I'm impressed that they managed to write so many interesting and unique powers while maintaining a relatively tight theme. Avenger powers are all about hunting down your target and keeping everybody else from interfering. They have some really nice powers (like Distracting Flare, which lets you do the Batman disappearing trick at 2nd level), and going through in detail I found only maybe one or two that weren't awesome in some way. The Avenger bag of tricks is both deep and broad (like yo momma!), including tons of shifts, teleports, some invisibility, and painful control effects that follow your target. They have access to a lot of damage types, with Thunder, Fire, Lightning, and Psychic damage all being well-represented.

I cannot wait to take this bad boy out for a test run in an actual game.

Sep 5, 2007

I am so tsundere for this class.

Sep 5, 2007

I love RPGnet. Where else can you get such classic posts as "Valiant Strike is the best at-will", "deva are overpowered because they come back to life automatically" and "catchphrase from three years ago"?

Also that one dude whose post history is nothing but "I gamed with Gary Gygax, pay attention to me".

Sep 5, 2007

That's the dude.

It's really creepy the way people respond to him. I don't feel like sinking down to RPGnet right now, but there's this almost-but-not-quite joking worship thing they have going on.

Okay, actually I have a good example. It's 22 pages of people sucking up and asking questions and he doesn't answer any of them.

Mikan fucked around with this message at 20:03 on Mar 18, 2009

Sep 5, 2007

the moderation policy is more to encourage and protect everyone who never posts about RPGs. And to encourage and protect pedophiles. (the video game and other media sections are proof of this.)

I have high hopes for this thread

Sep 5, 2007

Let me tell you about my ~kawaii~ character

Sep 5, 2007

tendrilsfor20 posted:

less stuff like that
more stuff like this

Y'know, I was experimenting with a razorclaw shifter Avenger. I figured Sehanine would be a perfect patron god, with the whole lunar thing and shifters having lycantropic ancestry.

Then it suddenly hit me: "In the name of the moon, I will punish you."

Having just made catgirl sailor moon, my love for Avengers is now eternal.

Sep 5, 2007

ManMythLegend posted:

I'll only say that the "feel of D&D" started to fade in 2E for me. 3E killed it stone cold. But I learned to appreciate 3E as a different successor. 4E also doesn't feel like the D&D I grew up with, but this is not a new thing from where I sit.

That whole thread is great.

Alot of people can't pin down why it does not feel right, It just don't. Its like driving a car you know well and it just feels off. You have no ideal whats wrong with it but you know it does not feel right

4e broke with alot of the things that make D&D feel like D&D. Everyone has there own braking point as to what is to far, that line that when crossed is not the same any longer.

For many it's many things, breaking with established myth and setting is a big one, non vancian magic is another, death of anything but combat is a 3rd. Killing wizards and making every class have the same powers with diff names is a 4th.

I could go on and on and most 4e players will tell me I am wrong and just bashing, but truth is the souls is gone. Its a shell and just yet another fantasy system now, No more D&D then earthdawn is D&D.

D&D was not just a system, it was a feel and a rich history that is gone now.

Sep 5, 2007

I told myself that yesterday. I post too much in grognards.txt as it is and I could probably fill pages after just five minutes of looking at RPGnet.

Sep 5, 2007

ha i just made this race for the fun of it and fort i had to post it somewere so im putting it here so if you ever want a warhammer fantasy ork slave race give it a try please any feed back would be good

Average Height: 2 4˝ – 28 ˝
Average Weight: 20–35 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma
Size: Small
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, Goblin
Skill Bonuses: +2 Stealth, +2 Thievery
thick headed: You gain a +1 racial bonus to your Fortitude defense
damage soak:if an ally within 5 of you is delt damage you may take half that damage as a free action. the damage delt to your ally is then reduced to 0.
lucky grot: you may use lucky grot as a encounter power

lucky grot; Snottling Racial Power
Luck and small size combine to work in your favor as you dodge
your enemy’s attack.
Immediate Interrupt; Personal
Effect: When an attack hits you, force an enemy to roll the
attack again. The enemy uses the second roll, even if it’s

Play a halfling if you want
*to be small hero that can sneak past large enemys and fit into small places
*to be cunning, sneaky and grudgy hero
*to be a race that favers the rogue, ranger and fighter class.

Sep 5, 2007

What makes it not feel like D&D to me is that it stopped trying to make sense. The designers stopped trying to maintain a self-consistent world. D&D did not succeed 100% at this (or even 50%), of course, but it always tried. Now, it doesn't even try.

It's no longer rules for another world. It's rules for a game. Instead of telling me how Iggwilv tricked Iuz or how Mordenkain built the Obsidian Citadel or how a curate can animate a skeleton to guard the abbey's crypts, the rules tell me how to push a target creature 3 squares on a battlemat.

Put another way (since we just had a philosophy/Objectivist thread...), the rules specifically tell me that there is no primacy of existence but a primacy of consciousness. That is, the reality of the game world bends depending on what the characters do. If they are in combat, the characters can teleport or blast things with lightning. Outside of combat, though they might need lightning to light a fire against a blizzard, and though they might need to teleport across the river to save their gods' idols, characters simply can't do it. What they are experiencing - combat vs. non-combat - dictates reality, rather than reality dictating what they are experiencing.

So. Yeah. It stopped feeling like D&D to me when it stopped being another world I could explore. It was never a perfect world, but it tried. Now, it's just a facade. Who wants to explore a facade?

Sep 5, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my new favourite RPGnet poster: :swoon: seekerofshadowlight :swoon:


Alot of people can't pin down why it does not feel right, It just don't. Its like driving a car you know well and it just feels off. You have no ideal whats wrong with it but you know it does not feel right
4e broke with alot of the things that make D&D feel like D&D. Everyone has there own braking point as to what is to far, that line that when crossed is not the same any longer.
For many it's many things, breaking with established myth and setting is a big one, non vancian magic is another, death of anything but combat is a 3rd. Killing wizards and making every class have the same powers with diff names is a 4th.
I could go on and on and most 4e players will tell me I am wrong and just bashing, but truth is the souls is gone. Its a shell and just yet another fantasy system now, No more D&D then earthdawn is D&D.
D&D was not just a system, it was a feel and a rich history that is gone now.


Way to go man a personal attack on me for saying my opinion like the OP asked, way to go mighty Defender of the 4e god.


Really? I can use the Bard in my game without any other book then the core PHB ? I don't need the DDI and any other book then the PHB to play my Bard?

Adding stuff from other books does not help. The bard is not in the PHB so no Bards.


Humm I have just posted that once. But sorry so I have to buy more books to run say my FR game no I can't run it with the core 3 books. I now need the 2nd set of core must have to play books to use it.
Having to have extra books just to run a basic game was another not d&d feel to me. Ya know All I have done is state my opinion in this thread like the OP has asked, and I keep getting bashed for it.
If you find 4E is the best damned D&D game ever good for you, make a thread saying that if yall want. The OP asked the people that felt it was no longer D&D why that was. telling us we are wrong changed nothing


So my basic game with a bard is doable with just the PHB?


Nah I got that statements after my first post, so I posted again like a big dummy, and again I got something said about it. So ya know what I did...Said something back...yeah I know that was smart. And I was a bit,well rear end in a top hat like in some of my reply and really should not have been But getting called a scrub kinda pissed me off a bit as ya know I never attacked anyone personally and that was uncalled for .


Dude the whole damned thread is a opinion, get over it. I use that because for me it is a fact, maybe not for you but, a whatever. I was asked I replied many people read it and was fine but no the crusader just had to point out how wrong someone was that simple.


Nah I don't get that prissy, I don't know I guess my wording is the issue for some folks go fig. I just thought that people would understand what I meant I mean how many of you say stuff like....Fact she sure is crazy, or some one will say something and you will say that's true. And most time ya know what. It's an opioin that's all.
I mean if I had said Fact is 4e is nothing but a wargame with pretense of being a RPG. well thats not a fact. so if I got called on it it was needed.
But saying something like fact is 4e has lost the soul of D&D . Well that's clearly an opinion Maybe it's not worded the way yall like it but shug it's clearly an opinion. I didn't even think on the wording when I wrote it. Thats just the way I talk.
I guess I just don't see why that one thing was such a big deal.

Sep 5, 2007


Sleeper, that Otyugh PI is made of win.

I'm currently DMing a game that got otyugh-heavy for a while, and two facts about otyughs were decided by my players, seemingly by committee. I had no input.

1) Otyughs, due to their low Intelligence score, obsession with food and playful demeanor, talk like LOLcats.

2) Otyughs do not secrete waste like other animals--otherwise, sewers would just be full of otyugh leavings. Instead, their highly efficient metabolisms excrete nothing but a fine solid powder and pure oxygen. This explains why sewers are so liveable in D&D, rather than being full of asphyxiating toxic gasses.

Unfortunately, I hate the mechanical design of otyughs in 3rd Edition, my game of choice. They're big grapple monsters that are no stronger than a human, and they're woefully over-CRed.


The Othyug strike ? At first, no one cared. In the first part of it, they tried to stop eating dungs, but it didn't last for more than five minutes. Then the leader made his goons walk in the streets and throw craps everywhere, craps they almost immediately licked clean (actually making the street cleaner). They were doing it each day without any reaction by the Establishment until the Food Merchant Guild hired the PCs because, well, the food that was crapped then licked by the striking othyugs is arguably cleaner and healthier than it was (othyug saliva is actually some kind of organic bleach...), but it's hard to find a good marketing spin on "this apple was smeared with poo poo then a dung-eating aberration liked it", so they had to hire some dudes specialized in the treatment of funky fauna to resolve this problem.

Of course, the leader of the strike, a Neo-Othyug, is waiting eagerly for humanoid negotiators (the moment the group go down the sewers, two othyug with a panel where is crudely written "dis wai, plz" appears and escort the PCs) (and I like the concept of othyug speaking common in lolspeak) and quickly exposes its demands.

Sep 5, 2007


Sep 5, 2007

There are too many posts in this thread to pick just one.

Actually, maybe I can. Here's my favourite:

Dear Anima

I am on bent knee. Please listen to my plea! I ask. No! I beg you please do not become like the corporate slut 4e. Please do not force us to make characters based only on what meta classes are needed not what you players want to play. Oh sweet one do not become slutty a miniature combat game with a facade of a true RPG. Please Anima remain the Audrey Hepburn of fantasy games and not like Britney Spears.

Sep 5, 2007

btw Anima is even more anime than Exalted

Sep 5, 2007

I think I genuinely hate Old Geezer. I know it's silly, but I do.


Dear OD&D...

Don't ever change. You're still the only one for me, baby.

Don't you get it, even after 35 years? I love you BECAUSE you don't spell everything out explicitly. I love you BECAUSE you expected me to figure out what tactics were and were not, and how to use them. I love you BECAUSE of all the space you leave us to build our games in. I love you BECAUSE your Undead drain levels that don't come back, BECAUSE poison kills, BECAUSE lightning bolts reflect off walls and smack you in the face.

You're mine forever, and I'll never stop loving you.

Sep 5, 2007

I'm considering making up a magic item for Senzu Beans.

Essentially, you eat a bean and take a 5 minute break. Afterwards, you feel like you got an Extended Rest. You start with 1 Action Point, refreshed Healing Surges, refreshed Dailies.

What level magic consumable should that be?

I've been scouring Adventurer's Vault and PHB and can't find anything equivalent.

Sep 5, 2007

Well there is an official DBZ roleplaying game through Fuzion but yes, lots of forums have people sperging out how to best to be super saiyans

Sep 5, 2007

> What makes it not feel like D&D?

Here's my $0.02; you may give back change if you like...

When I opened the PHB, I was a shocked by the content. The "meat" of most other RPGs that I have ever played seemed to be missing -- there were a whole bunch of colorful "power cards", but where were all the rules? Wanting to examine it in further detail, I bought the 3 book set.

"It's good/bad because it's old/new." is a logical fallacy that carries no weight with anybody who knows how to think. From that you'll understand why I'm not going to go into comparisons with other RPGs, other editions, or any of that. Everything must be judged on its own merits; and that's how I judged D&D 4th edition -- on its own merits.

I believe the reason D&D 4th edition doesn't "feel like D&D" is that D&D 4th edition doesn't feel like a Role-Playing Game. After reading the PHB and DMG cover to cover, I was left with two questions:

1. Where did all the rules go?

2. Is this how low we've sunk?

I'll expand upon the 2nd question first, and come back around for the 1st question. The second question was prompted by this from the Dungeon Master's Guide:

"Crossword puzzles include crisscross puzzles, where the goal is to fit all the words from a list into a provided grid of crossing lines, and fully crossed puzzles like you find in most newspapers. A crisscross can hide a message spelled out by shaded squares in the grid, while a fully crossed puzzle is better as an obstacle the characters must solve to get past." -- Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, Dungeon Master's Guide, p.82


Sorry, but D&D was never crossword puzzles; not even in the childish games I ran back in grade school where everybody had a magic sword +5, battles between characters happened more frequently than with monsters, and everybody had an astral-plane-rift-free guarantee bag of super-holding to hold all their bags of holding.

The only other game I've seen mention of a crossword puzzle was Cyberpunk 2020, and they only wanted you to use the pattern of black and white squares to create "computer dungeon" layouts for hackers. If I wanted to do a crossword puzzle, I probably would have been doing it, instead of reading that paragraph on p.82 of the DMG. So I really must ask: Is this how low we've sunk; the crossword puzzle of doom? D&D it ain't.

And, I promised to get back to the 1st question, "Where did all the rules go?"

My other impression of D&D 4th edition was that it was very "rules light". At first, I thought maybe I was showing my age. Maybe this new material was like the mental equivalent of eating corn; in one hole and out the other; and I simply couldn't digest it. So, I gave the books a second read.

What's missing? Specific (and sometimes even generic) rules to cover any non-combat situation. If you're on the battle grid, and you're using one of your power card attacks, you're well covered. However, some other situations that might come up in a role-playing game; such as:

Climbing, Digging, Hiking, Holding Your Breath (and Suffocation), Jumping, Lifting and Moving Things, Running, Swimming, Flying, Throwing, Catching, Influencing NPCs, Fright Checks, Mounted Combat, Flying Combat, Hit Locations, Striking At Weapons, Unarmed Combat, Starvation and Dehydration, Sleeping (and Missed Sleep), Acid, Cold, Falling, Fire, Seasickness, Aging ... not really covered in the depth you find in almost any other RPG, including any previous version of D&D.

For example, from the Player's Handbook this time:

"Sleeping and Waking Up

You need at least 6 hours of sleep every day to keep functioning at your best. If, at the end of an extended rest, you haven't slept at least 6 hours in the last 24, you gain no benefit from that extended rest.

When you're asleep, you're unconscious (see "Conditions," page 277). You wake up if you take damage or if you make a successful Perception check (with a -5 penalty) to hear sounds of danger. An ally can wake you up by shaking you (a standard action) or by shouting (a free action)." -- Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, Player's Handbook, p.263

So basically D&D 4th edition "sleeping rules" boil down to: If you don't sleep 6 hours, you don't get your 1/day powers reset. (O BTW slp = uncnscs KTHXBYE)


I mean, would it have been so hard to throw in a paragraph or table indicating an attribute, skill, or even combat penalty for not sleeping? Or indicate a skill check to make when trying to remain awake? (I mean, I've *never* heard of adventurers who need to post a watch around camp at night out in the wilderness or anything like that.)

Then again, maybe it's somewhere in the books and I just missed it. And I guess that's the most disturbing part; the real hunks of meat that make up the rules of most any RPG are scattered to the winds and surrounded by fluff. All signs point back to the "power cards" that dominate the chapter on character classes. Absolutely everything else is given second-rate treatment (if it's treated at all).

So, the reason it doesn't feel like D&D? It doesn't feel like an RPG. Not all RPGs were D&D, but D&D was always an RPG, until 4th edition. 4th edition doesn't suck compared to other editions, it just plain sucks. I forgive WotC for putting it out; they were probably too busy working on crossword puzzles to make a role playing game.

Sep 5, 2007

I post using a series of charts and tables.

Sep 5, 2007

I'm not going to quote anything from this thread but gently caress this thread.
Dude who posted it should have been driven out of the forum and instead most everyone plays along.

Sep 5, 2007

We have been playing the 3.5 revision of "Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth", and my group are enjoying it immensely.

One of the encounters in the adventure (and I'm sure in the original version) is the corrupted gnome village of Thumbvale. For those not in the know, the village is corrupted by an evil artifact - the Horn of Tharizdun. Driven mad, the village will eventually attack the party. Well, this did not stand and soon the village of Thumbvale in my campaign was a silent ghosttown, a massive gnomish tomb, still save for the rattling of tumbleweeds and the howl of the wind.

My group jokingly refers to the event as "The Gnomish Holocaust", and with that in mind, I composed this email after listening to a certain song on the radio (you will quickly desern which one). I found it hilarious, and wanted to share. (the third stanza refers to the party - yes, one is playing a Ghale, and they were given Giant Owls after completing the Red Hand of Doom adventure).


Transcription of keynote speech given on the first day of Gnomish History Month

*Address given at Garl Glittergold Memorial Middle School, Blingdenstone. Given by Grimble Gromble, gnomish bard, historian and rights activist*

Thank you for inviting me here today to speak to you all. This is a day that will live in the hearts and minds of gnomes everywhere, and its an honor to be here, deep beneath the surface in the heart of Svirfneblin territory to once again reaffirm the ties of surface and deep gnomes. Other races of the Underdark maybe hateful of their surface dwelling cousins, but Gnomes of all stripe show an ingenuity, a sense of common purpose and a drive to treat others fairly not found in ANY other race in Faerun.

On this, the first day of our hopefully annual celebration of all things gnomish that shall soon spread across the length and breadth of Faerun, we gather for two purposes: one, to celebrate our heritage - to reaffirm our communal spirit and highlight gnomish successes of the past years; but secondly, and perhaps most importantly, to remember those gnomes who are no longer with us. It is well known we gnomes do not have it easy. The perils of the gnomish way of life are many - beyond common ailments and old age, the perils and pitfalls of life as a "shortleg" as humans call us, are many and varied. Being squished by giants and dragons, being captured by ogres and used in their sporting events as shot puts, discii, and javalin targets, captured by wizards placed under petrification spells and used to ghoulishly decorate their lawns and gardens, and of course we all know the perils of being employed by an adventuring party and used as "henchmen" - more like "mobile trap finders".

Recently, I came across a shattered gnome community deep in the heart of Southern Faerun. The images you see show the savage desolation of this once proud mining community of Thumbvale. Known for decades as the home of hardworking, proud, and industrious gnomes, their voices have now all been silenced forever in the most savage and inhumane way possible. Travelling with a cleric friend of mine, we happened upon this burnt and desolate community, and the savagrey displayed here has stayed with me since, as I know it will stay with you.

THIS is what we are here today for! To make sure this never happens again! If we all work hard, and spread the message, one day everyone in Faerun will shout with one voice on this day "Ich Bein Ein Thumbvalian!"

As a historian, I was moved to discover the truth of this atrocity. My cleric friend assisted me in speaking with the dead, silenced voices, now moved far beyond out mortal realm, to discover the truth of the matter. As a rights activist, I was moved to assist in the creation of this awareness celebration, to work with human, elven and dwarven officials to bring awareness of this heinous act and its repurcussions on the gnomish community.

As a bard, I was moved to write this song. I apologize for its frank harshness, but the bitter ashes in my mouth after witnessing the unspeakable would allow no kind or happy messages. Please induldge me:

Iggwilv came across the sea
She brought us pain and misery
She enslaved our tribe, she corrupted our creed,
She took our game for her own need

We fought her hard we fought her well
But on the plains, she sent us to hell
Her magic's strong, our saves too weak,
Oh will we ever be set free?

Riding through dustclouds and barren wastes
Flying hard o'er the plains
Chasing the shortlegs back to their holes
Taking their treasure and names.
Mages and ghale, fighters and monks,
The flew in on owls and destroyed us for fun!

Run to the Horn, run for your lives!
Run to the Horn, run for your lives!

Lawful good? Try HATEFUL NEUTRAL
Hunting and killing's their game.
Spewing some nonsense 'bout "Fiendish taint"
The only good gnomes are tame.
Stealing their artifacts and taking their gold
Destroying the town, both the young and the old!

Run to the Horn run for your lives!

Sep 5, 2007

To hell with you tink I was going to post that here
when does your scales of war thing start?

Sep 5, 2007

Recently, there had been some talk in certain Storygames circles about how shall they ever deal with the "problem" that some gamers have about perceptions of the GM, about how to re-educate gamers to "get it" that the GM isn't supposed to an "entertainer" of the party.

What?! That's exactly what the GM is supposed to be doing. Yes, the players should not expect to be passive in this, and should not be trying to thwart the party's fun; but its really the GM who's purpose it is to make sure EVERYONE has fun, and who's job it is to provide the premise of the night's entertainment.

If one player isn't having fun, it might be that player's problem, but if all the players are not having fun, its the GM's problem.

If, as the Storygamer Swine would seem to want, the GM was not the one who gets to entertain, then what's the loving point of being GM?

I really don't know what the gently caress their massive problems with GMs and GM-roles are, I've speculated sometime that it comes down to some bad GM having tried to entertain himself instead of the party, at the players' expense, and that this makes some frustrated players turn into GM-castrating Forge Swine, but really that's only a theory. What is clear is that what they want, and will not rest till they achieve, is for the GM to be reduced to nothing more than the Monopoly banker, only he doesn't get to play, either. So its meant to become a dull chore, the least likable part of the gaming party. Being a GM is what the Storygaming Swine wants to force you to do if they want to punish you, apparently.

Taking away the joy (and the power required to make that joy a reality) of providing fun for a whole group of people for an evening is essentially the agenda of a group of people who want the GM job to be boring, lifeless drudgery. Perhaps its due to the resentment of not getting their way too often, perhaps because they lack the talent to be GMs, its hard to know. What's clear is just how retarded their policies, really, their recipes for discord and misery, really are.


Currently Smoking: Mario Grandi Freehand + Hearth & Home's Mt.Marcy

Sep 5, 2007

I know it's cheating to post RPGPundit stuff but drat I can't help myself.

Sep 5, 2007

So, someone on my Friends list has a friend of theirs link to Bad Dragon in a comment. For those who don't know and don't want to click on the link, Bad Dragon apparently is a bunch of people who make draconic dildoes, complete with pornographic dragon-on-dragon artwork of the respective dildoes' flesh equivalents in use.

The first thing that goes through my mind, while looking at the site, is, "wrestling those dragons down to take penis casts must be one heckuva dangerous job. I hope those adventurers have resurrection coverage in their insurance."

And then I think, "That would be a wonderful D&D game concept."

Now I have to find some kind of group to inflict this upon. Who's up for the game, and who's going to bring the Funyuns and Mountain Dew?

- Mel

Sep 5, 2007

And rather than run the dude out of the forum, the responses...


I'm sure it's a serious site, but for the record? That poo poo's hilarious

I'm pretty sure we all know who posted this one:


This is ridiculous.

Dragons are monotremes. They have cloaca.


No no no. These are dragons. That is to say, the only species that will mate with gelatinous cubes while not drunk*. Getting the dragons to stick their respective junks into things is not the difficulty.

Preventing the creation of a race of construct half-dragon penis mold creatures, that is the problem the adventurers need to solve.

Of course, once you've got a goodly supply of dragon models, what next? Mayhap a centaur named after a Norse thunder god also stopped by at the studio?


Oh dear Lord, this thread's been moved to the D&D forum, and now folks are having arguments about dragon dongs.


So does this mean if I ran this game in PBP, someone would play?

- Mel


Im honestly not sure, but I'll be damned if I don't already have three different character ideas.

Sep 5, 2007

On 4e:

Which is what makes it "not feel like D&D" for a lot of people. "D&D" is the game where the DM randomly rolls to see that you're attacked, for no clear reason, by a Young Black Dragon, and when he's dead, you get 1d6*1000 gold pieces and three rolls on Table IV and one roll on table II, and you don't ask where he was carrying those items or how he even GOT into the dungeon. The Random Encounter Table SAID he was there. Now, shut up and take your +2 Greataxe (+3 vs. Lizardmen), Thief!

Sep 5, 2007

I'd like to believe that, but the guy who posted it has a history of similar sentiments. He's not smart enough for parody.

His posts in the RPGnet hybrid class are even worse.

Sep 5, 2007

For those of you who are unaware, I'm a New Yorker who was about to start a horribly planned business called "Caravan of Blades" back in early March. The business was a pay-for-play Dungeons and Dragons 4e campaign. I wasn't thinking clearly. My father had recently passed away of a heart attack and the experience and aftermath were a bit traumatic (I discovered the body that night). I needed to get a job and picked a bad idea for making money.

Fortunately I put a stop to the horror on the first day when I snapped back to my senses.

Unfortunately despite job-hunting since then I still haven't gotten hired. Yesterday featured an interview at the local Burger King yesterday which I think went very badly. I'm having serious doubts about being able to get a job. My resumé sucks, so much that it might be impossible for me to get anything due to local competition being fierce and better qualified in practically every case.

I'm handing in some more applications over the next couple of weeks, but I'm starting to feel very desperate as well as very pathetic.

I'm contemplating another try with paid game mastering. This time with a plausible sane business plan.

This time practically everything would have to be done differently.

This might be just a false alarm but I'm mulling this over nonetheless.

This will be just brainstorming for now. Actually going through with this would be a last resort. I'm open to suggestions.

So to start things off.

1. This will NOT be a pay-for play campaign. This time I'll be a game master hired by the hour. No sitting around simply hoping for people to show up. I'll be able to cancel in case of emergency.

2. I'll charge $8/hour + tip for my services. It will be relatively inexpensive if my clients are paying as a group. The tip is not mandatory.

3. I'll run 1-shot self-contained adventures for DnD 4e. They can be from a menu of prewritten original adventures I'll offer or published adventures or custom adventures tailored to the clients' preferences (with an extra service charge).

4. I'll advertise my services to local meetup groups and specific local businesses. The local DnD Meetup Group for example has over 800 members, many without a regular group or unable to find games that fit their schedules.

5. My primary hook will be convenience. For example, if someone is planning a special birthday party featuring a DnD game, and no one has the time to prepare a game, that's where a hired GM might be considered. I don't have to try to be the best. I just have to run a good fun game and be available. I'll be providing most if not all the gaming materials.

6. I'll have a web site tailored for the business instead of mooching off another website that is focused on something else altogether.

7. I'll scout out every location that I can find that is conducive to gaming to give clients a broad range of places to choose from if they have no specific one in mind.

8. All of my original 1-shots will be tested and refined through the local meetup group's meetup events.

9. I'll create a relationship with the local privately-owned game store(s) and comic shops. Cross advertisement and possible space rental/reservation.


Sep 5, 2007

I'm qualified for the jobs I'm trying for. Others trying for the same jobs are probably more qualified and I'm not looking for a long-term thing.

Long-term hiring...That's probably killing me the most.

My backup plan includes short/temporary jobs (such as being a movie extra or teaching freestyle nunchaku or babysitting for friends of my family) to supplement my income as a paid game master.

Things are looking kind of grim.