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Judge Trabe

Hudax's page

787 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Quark Blast wrote:
More wasted tax dollars does not a persuasive argument make.

This presumes it would be wasted.

I think it's self-evident it wouldn't be.

Fergurg wrote:

Sort of. Depends on what you mean by "for its own sake".

Some people read Plato and Shakespeare for the purpose of sounding smart and saying, "I read Plato and Shakespeare." That is simply absorbing, which is the opposite of thinking. Might as well read The Turner Diaries.

Now, if you are reading it because you enjoy it, that is different. Some people read them for the purpose of trying to understand some theory or nuance of classical literature, or even to find out why they were so great anyway. (But be careful - they are Dead White Males(tm), so don't read them near a Women's Studies graduate.)

In other words, for a purpose. In order to fulfill a specific thing.

What is meant by "for it's own sake" is "for the sake of learning."

I would have thought that would also be self-evident.

Quark Blast wrote:
I submit that some people are unable to capitalize on a college education.

I won't argue with that. But they won't qualify. There are grade requirements.

Hudax's hand waving allusions to Plato aside (Yes, Plato! That scion of Antiquities who promoted education for men, and only men, and upper class men at that - LOL ;D with Tears).

It was ancient Greece--a patriarchal slave-based economy. What did you expect him to think?

Thankfully Plato's treatise on "Rich White Dudes" did not stand the test of time.

It is when you attribute concepts to Plato that aren't there in the least.

I didn't attribute anything to anyone. You're adding your own subtext to my words.

And as MMCJawa so helpfully points out, we have in effect already performed the educate everybody experiment and it hasn't shown obvious positive benefits on the whole.

I think MMCJawa meant all the concerns people have in this thread that "might" happen, already happened a long time ago. So the worry is over nothing. 4 year degrees are already devalued, and free 2 year degrees would be "blue on black."

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Fergurg wrote:
As for education being an end to itself, that is a ridiculous premise - education for the purpose of education is worthless.

Wish someone had told me that when I was reading all that Plato and Shakespeare.

Damn them! How dare they suggest that thinking is worthwhile!

Quark Blast wrote:
Hudax wrote:
stuff...Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted... stuff


Nuclear bombs.

You just pulled the equivalent of a Godwin, except science flavored.

Well done!

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LazarX wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I imagine the exact same arguments were made against free public high school, and elementary school for that matter.

Exactly. It makes as much sense to oppose free community college as it does to oppose the free public education we already have.

To the arguments:

1) A rising tide raises all ships. There is nothing to lose from everyone becoming smarter and better educated. I mean, what if we create a smarter, better educated nation for nothing? It's a ridiculous argument because education is an end in itself.

Scientific research pays off 2 to 5 times on the money invested, on average. Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted. Money allocated to education will pay society back well beyond what was invested.

The disconnect here is the inability to wait for the payoff. Granted, it would take many years. But the hallmark of successful people is their ability to delay gratification. If as a nation we decide we want instant gratification, on this or any other investment, then as a nation we will fail.

And ultimately if "everyone" has a CC degree, and that means the only job you can find is road construction, then maybe one of those higher educated people will come up with a better way to fix roads, or even a better way to build them, or something so fantastic it would eliminate the need for roads entirely. That may look like loss of value on your degree, but it's actually the opposite. That's the return on investment. Making the world better.

And also ultimately, maintaining the quality and competitive value of one's education is one's own responsibility. There's a reason why doctors and others with professional bodies of knowledge constantly have to do continuing education. To keep up. If more people getting CC degrees forces you to keep up or fall behind, so be it. That's your choice to make. And since the thing that would be holding you back is FREE, it's a pretty easy choice!

2) Right now, you pay for other people's children to do a lot of things. Go to the ER. Collect unemployment. Collect disability. Collect social security (everyone is someone's child regardless of age). Drive on public roads, perhaps in public transportation. Go to the library. Go to high school. What's two more years? Nothing. And regardless of precisely where the tax money comes from, you would be paying for it somehow, one way or another, unless you stop paying taxes.

This is the price you pay for living in a nation that invests in society, even to the low extent that the U.S. does.

Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?

You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:

Cosmo's older than dirt.

Seriously. On the third day, God was like, "What should I make today?" and Cosmo said, "Dirt!"

Thus begins the cult of Cosmo the Subholy.

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Sara Marie wrote:
liz: With the caveat of “When you start agreeing with the parents in kids movies, that’s when you’re an adult”

What about when you start agreeing with the bad guys in Rankin & Bass movies?

Let the hate flow through you, little drummer boy.

Quark Blast wrote:

So if splitting the customer base was the core sin at TSR...

Isn't that same error now being repeated with the Kickstarter℠ phenomenon?

I've asked this question about half a dozen times now but, taking Digitalelf's last post at face value, that seems to be an affirmative answer.

Funny that people in the industry, like Sean Reynolds, are always promoting Kickstarter℠ campaigns then? Huh?

There's splitting the player base at the source, and there's having an "official" game with lots of supplementary options--even if those options are complete games in and of themselves. There's nothing detrimental to the hobby or the industry about providing people with the material to cherry-pick for their houserules. But that's very different than if PF or D&D decided to try to support two different versions of the same game, or tried to support multiple settings.

So... hackers threaten. What else is new? Why would anyone even blink at that threat? It's perpetual. They're going to hack us anyway. That's what they do, constantly.


Maybe this will shed some light on the fact that we don't take internet security or cyberterrorism seriously.

Sharaya wrote:

Katina: we should offer [redacted] to customers

Robot Chris: is that where we get Cosmo to personally lick all the stamps?

I have never not wanted to know what [redacted] was before. Well done.

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Rynjin wrote:
By sloppily killing her it just shows that she was used to further a man's (Daryl's) storyline.
Oh pff. Just more SJW b*##&#%&. Never mind, I thought it was something normal people had created. I take back my incredulity, this isn't surprising in the least.

Agreed. The mere suggestion that her death was just a vehicle to forward Daryl's story is one of the more offensive and brain-dead things I've read in a while. Way to try to shift the spotlight away from Beth where it belongs and was intended to be. That makes me more angry than her death did.

And sloppy? Seriously? It was a death we should have all seen coming since the Beth/Daryl episode in season 4 where they practically tell us in so many words that she's going to die. And it was still a complete and total shock. Right up to the split second where your arms go up in the air to cheer when she tries to stab Dawn and then... bam. With your arms still in the air. Sloppy? They had us on a line for a year right up until the last second.

That is absolute perfect writing.

Sara Marie wrote:

redacted: I’ll do it the weird way then

redacted: just to be sure

I'm a bit late but... I really like this strategy.

MMCJawa wrote:
not making us sit through Star Wars: the retirement years

Bubba Ho-Fett.

Come on... you know you would watch that.

Sara Marie wrote:
robot chris: and that google suggested “kawaii baphomet”

So much for "don't be evil."

Kalshane wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Southeast Jerome wrote:
However, a 10th level Wizard can't take one level of Rogue and immediately get to deal a 5d6 sneak attack

No, but he can add 1d6 sneak attack dmg to any cantrip or spell that has an attack roll. Spells and cantrips count as weapons if they have an attack roll. (There was a question a while back about whether casters could benefit from the sharpshooter feat, and the answer is yes for the same reason.)

Where in the rules does it say cantrips or spells count as weapons? The general consensus I've seen is that spells and cantrips DO NOT qualify for sneak attack in 5E.

On reflection it seems I misremembered part of the discussion on this due to it being how my current game is working with a multiclass wizard/rogue. The discussion was about throwing weapons and sharpshooter. I thought there was talk of cantrips as well, but apparently I imagined it. That's what I get for not checking.

But the logic is still sound. If a 10 wizard/ 1 rogue can do 3d8 with a cantrip, there's no way he would choose to use any weapon plus 1d6 as an action. Just as a 10 fighter/ 1 wizard would never use a cantrip as an action if it didn't scale. Why multiclass to gain a permanently inviable option? That's why cantrips scale, and why my group's wizard gets sneak attack. I'm not sure if it's intended, but I strongly suspect that it is.

Southeast Jerome wrote:
However, a 10th level Wizard can't take one level of Rogue and immediately get to deal a 5d6 sneak attack

No, but he can add 1d6 sneak attack dmg to any cantrip or spell that has an attack roll. Spells and cantrips count as weapons if they have an attack roll. (There was a question a while back about whether casters could benefit from the sharpshooter feat, and the answer is yes for the same reason.)

Laurefindel wrote:
The rest is just a skin.

Beyond the core mechanics, it's all skin.

It's trivially easy to justify a rule based on verisimilitude. Doing so doesn't make it a good design decision. And the opposite is also true. It's trivially easy to criticize a rule based on verisimilitude as well.

That's why it's so easy to argue about rules. Anyone can come up with reasons why this or that should or shouldn't be.

I think the only good way to judge a rule is in a metagame sense. If it's a good rule, you can justify it literally however you want, and it will still be a good rule. If it's not, it doesn't matter how you justify it, because no amount of justification will make it good.

This is one of very few rules I find to be just plain wrong. Padded armor is just a quilted shirt. Wearing it wouldn't make you look like a tick that's about to pop.

If it's thick and bulky and heavy enough to warrant disadvantage, it should also give much more than 1 AC. As it is, there should be no penalty.

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Kthulhu wrote:
Charlie D. wrote:
Pan wrote:
Charlie D. wrote:
(like, RAW can my character breath--I'm not making it up).
Oh man that's funny. Did someone counter with "RAW doesn't say you have to breath!"?
That response seemed obvious. What is scary is how much debate and how many pages those posts go on for. I honestly can't tell who is serious and who is trolling and who is laughing. It's way too trippy for me.

Bah. I've seen comparable threads here

"Is breathing evil?"

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Fake Healer wrote:
The actual rules surrounding when they should be used seems to be mostly "when the DM determines you have one". It doesn't clearly define when to use them though.

Any time you roll a d20 you have an opportunity to roleplay to gain advantage. The rule makes the whole game reward roleplaying.

Instead of spending their time searching through the books looking for bonuses, players will be spending their time imagining what they can do tactically/in-character to gain advantage. You're in the game instead of in the rules.

It's just simply a brilliant mechanic and if you're leaving it out, 5e is going to be just another ruleset. If you make the small effort to use it thought, the game comes alive.

I would do augury right away, mainly as a teaching tool and plot hook. Maybe give it 1 charge a day per level, plus whatever you deem necessary for her to know using the sword as a narrative tool.

Light could be level 2. Something for the first level up that's visually dramatic and lets her put the torch away.

The power level is high for the level, but the effects are not "power" effects, so personally I don't feel it matters.

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Vincent Takeda wrote:
I'm glad they havent meta'd. Playing what they want to play instead of trying to form a party thats ideally suited to the type of fights they're expecting to see.

But they did. The cleric meta'd that he'd be the healbot, and everyone else meta'd that there would be a healbot.

It's time to teach your players how to be self-sufficient instead of relying on this guy to save their butts every single combat round.

Job one as others said is don't roll HP! Or if you insist on it, be prepared to fix it when it inevitably breaks characters. Let them retcon their HP to average, which will probably boost their health by 150%, which will help a lot.

It's much, MUCH better to never take damage than it is to heal damage. What is preventing the ranged players from maintaining range? Is the ranger casting entangle ever? Does the cleric ever cast any buffs? Is the cleric ending the day with spells uncast (wasted)? If there is a spell the cleric can cast that mitigates potential damage, that is inherently better than casting a heal after the fact.

Read this: a player's guide to healing in TOZ's profile. And have your players read it.

If all else fails, buff the heck out of channel's heal. Double it, or give it 1d6 per level. Who cares. Your healer's probably been getting shafted for years. This will have a few effects. One, your cleric will wait until it's effect won't overheal too much, and will consequently be doing other things. Two, it's really underpowered anyway (channel specifically and healing in general). Three, the party will start to realize, as they sit there with falling health for a few rounds, that maybe there are things they could be doing to keep themselves alive until the huge heal comes.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
it's the Five Moons RPG, not the Five Stats RPG. :)

How dare you use other numbers!?!

Oh, and grats! :)

boring7 wrote:
Finally, any blade worth knowing is a blade worth having arguments with. You don't want to overdo talking/personality weapons, but a tool that's granted by the god(dess) and grows in divine power as the PC grows in divine power is a cheap and easy conduit for divine guidance.

Yeah. That's better than my magic 8 ball from the other thread. Put that into the sword instead. Maybe immediately. The sword could give her very limited guidance right away, like whispering that it needs the blood of evil-doers to "recover" or something.

RumpinRufus wrote:

Do you need to plan out 30 levels of this up front?

I'd say let it progress with the story. She'll probably be some sort of divine caster, so the sword should have some connection with her god.

See how she uses it, see what the story requires. When she does some service to her god, go the sword an extra New power that's somehow related to the service she's performed.

Agreed. Just plan out the first few levels with things like augury and light (and obviously being a magic weapon). Those will really help her adventure without adding much to character power.

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Magic eight ball of augury, for when she doesn't know what to do.

I don't think it's been made clear if the GM fiat was necessary because the fight was hopeless from the start, or because the party was one PC short, or because the party was trapped by the OP. If GM intervention was necessary because of the OP's actions, the paladin was right to seek retribution, and was probably right anyway simply because of the strong perception of betrayal.

The paladin was wrong not to heal the OP, who registers as indeterminate to detect evil. The OP was in need of healing, and the paladin should have helped. Unless he saw the OP as an enemy, in which case he should never have agreed to be in the same party in the first place. Either way, he was in the wrong on that note. (That said, the question of whether the paladin should fall isn't remotely valid, and paladin baiting is extremely lame.)

I think caving in the entrance was played out of alignment. CN characters don't generally claim to act for the greater good. They do what they think is a good idea at the time ("good" as in self-interest), and have no strong inclination towards good or evil. If the OP's character is consistently going to act for the greater good, she needs to be CG, not CN.

The paladin owes the rogue a debt for poor treatment and for sparing his life. But the rogue owes the party a much larger debt for abandoning them and trapping them. I don't see how this group can move forward without a huge act of contrition, which the rogue wouldn't feel is owed unless her survival hinges on being in this group, or she recognizes the fact that the group has divine mandate.

In any event, the OP's character is the one that has to change, whether by re-rolling or by making recompense and changing alignment. The group probably isn't going to allow the rogue to continue with them otherwise.

Virellius wrote:
See, I think a group where people aren't afraid to fight if it makes sense im character makes for a very strong story, especially in a mature group. Usually, we are. I was looking for advice on in-game ways to deal with an unusual situation.

You're going to have to aim for an alignment change down the road. There's really no other way forward. If you're not going for a redemption story with this character, then you're just trolling the group.

Tacticslion wrote:
Hudax wrote:
He's like the student whose 5 page essays are 30 pages long and several months late. You want to fail them on principle.
H-hey! I put a lot of research and effort into those, thankyouverymu-

YOU! *crumples up fictitious red pen*

It's a good thing I'm not a teacher. Everyone would just get C's.

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Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Hudax wrote:
(Terry Brooks would call this a failure to outline, meaning if you don't know where you're going when you start, you'll just go on and on.)
I could sort of see your point, but citing one of the worst hacks of the 20th century on "how to write" definitely does not instill any confidence in it.

Your opinion on Brooks' writing doesn't mean he's wrong, or a bad writer. It just makes it your opinion. "Hacks" generally aren't extremely successful.

Martin on writing: "Three years from now when I'm sitting on 1,800 pages of manuscript with no end in sight, who the hell knows."

Does that sound like someone who knows where they're going? He may know who's on the throne at the end, but that's all he seems to know. He's like the student whose 5 page essays are 30 pages long and several months late. You want to fail them on principle.

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I think the major contributer to the problem is the huge-sweeping-multi-book-single-story-epic just isn't a viable form. And I think a major contributer to that problem is, the writers who are inclined to pursue that form don't know when to stop. (Terry Brooks would call this a failure to outline, meaning if you don't know where you're going when you start, you'll just go on and on.)

Is anyone else hoping Rothfuss's 3rd book is the last one?

I'm not sure if the writers engaged in sweeping epics are megalomaniacs, or if it's a problem perpetuated by publishers wanting to indenture writers, or if stand-alone books don't sell as well, or if writers don't want to do them as much. But I'm really starting to not want to see any more series. At all. It's to the point where I cringe whenever I see something new and see it's "book 1 of who the hell knows." There's a reason Netflix originals are released whole seasons at once. They understand that's how people want to consume entertainment. Serialized entertainment is becoming obsolete.

More stand-alones, please. There's something to be said for being able to tell a *whole* story in just one book. (That something is *thank you!*)

Simon Legrande wrote:
Instead I live in a world designed by lunatics and just have to make due the best I can.

You know what helps deal with that suffering? Art.

You know what helps art exist? When artists are expected to FINISH IT.

Darkrist wrote:
Wow. Having read this entire thread I can actually say I am shocked at the lengths both sides of this argument are going to to defend their "turf". Both sides are like "cargo cult" members building elaborate landing strips for the fruit of their argument to land on... And oh the sadness when the plane never lands. There is only human (and even stranger : Corporate) nature at work here. And any analysis by rabid fan-base or long suffering authors is probably time better spent reading or writing books. There is a rather large world of books (finished and unfinished....) and life experience outside these petty arguments. Enjoy!

Pick a side or hand in your bubblewrap jumpsuit!

Simon Legrande wrote:
Now since I know you're referring to the stupid "social contract" idea, it doesn't exist and the writer is in no way bound by it.

You mean the "stupid" idea that makes up the entirety of the thin veneer we know of as civilization? Yep, pretty stupid.

He can also choose to work at his own pace as he has been. At this point you've broken down to "I WANT IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT!" My kids are better than that.

You're missing the point because you're hung up on semantics and want to pretend I have an entitlement problem because I have an emotional investment in what I read and have reasonable expectations about publishing schedules and authors finishing stories. If you aren't emotionally invested in books, you must be reading some really lame books. If you don't expect capable (living, thinking) authors to finish what they started, then I simply don't know what to say to you.

The point is, it's not reasonable to expect an audience to pay attention to you for decades while you give them one or two years' worth of material every five years. Sooner or later they're gonna get impatient and either drop you or tell you to get busy and finish already.

If Rowling had dragged Harry Potter out for 20-30 years instead of a reasonable 10 years (GRRM at his current rate will clear 25 years), people would be pretty pissed off at her too. We'd still be waiting for Order of the Phoenix.

I started reading The Wheel of Time when the first book came out. I was always looking forward to the next, but I never felt that RJ OWED me anything. I looked forward to every new book, and read plenty of others in the meantime. Sure I was a little bummed when he died, but I was happy when I heard they brought someone in to finish it up. Even if it had never been finished, I would not have insisted that someone owes me something.

You like to move the goalposts, don't you?

RJ's books came out with reasonable frequency, about once a year or two years, despite being long. He also died before the series was completed. The publisher realized there was a such thing as a responsibility to the story, and found someone to finish it. Responsibility upheld. Social contract satisfied.

The reason you don't feel owed is because you aren't. RJ & Co fulfilled all their obligations and went above and beyond for their fans. GRRM isn't--he's pulling a Dark Tower.

James Sutter wrote:
To speak to the latter: I'm not saying that *all* fan entitlement is valid. If you expect a happy ending, or past tense, or whatever, and an author chooses to do something different, that's totally fine by me. The point is not that everyone gets exactly the book they want or expect, only that if your selling point is "check out this awesome story arc!" rather than "check out this great standalone book!", it's reasonable for fans to expect you to provide what you sold them on, rather than simply a portion of it.

A key part of being a good writer is being able to surprise the reader. Robert Frost said "No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader." Not getting what you expect is par for the course, and a story that doesn't surprise you is probably disappointing. (There are exceptions, as there are with anything.)

I don't equate surprise with betrayal. Surprise is a necessary element. Betrayal is what happens when the writer does not give a good faith effort, or crafts the end of a good story in such a disappointing way that there is no other adequate word to describe it. (Note that it has to be a good story with a bad ending. A story that starts off bad can't betray you, because you already know it's bad, and if you keep reading, that's on you.)

For instance, if we went crazy and decided to stop publishing Iron Gods at the third volume, a lot of people would be justifiably upset. The whole idea of an AP as we've promoted it is that it has a six-volume arc. Could it be continued beyond there? Sure, and we encourage people to do so, but we're always careful to wrap up the main arc in the volumes we publish. Even though each volume is a great adventure on its own, our advertising focuses on the larger story, and thus we have an obligation (in my mind) to provide it.

On the other hand, if you guys decided it would be best for the story to wrap it up sooner, that would be understandable. Key words being "wrap it up" and "best for the story."

The discussion of social contract is really just about recognizing *why* fans might feel a certain way, and admitting that there's validity to it, rather than just waving it all aside and claiming those readers (who are the exact people who supported you as an author) are somehow immature, which is what I feel some authors do.

Part of the contract is the writer has a responsibility not only to the audience but to the story itself. There is a responsibility to deliver on what was promised. But what is good for the story takes precedence. (And in cases as big as GoT, the good of the story takes precedence even over the writer's personal happiness. Hey, if you don't want that kind of responsibility, don't make the baby.)

While it's frustrating waiting 5 years between GRRM's books, I get that he's prioritizing the good of the story over my frustration. But he has a pacing problem. He could publish 400 pages every couple years instead, maintain the quality of work, and increase good will among his fans. But for some reason he chooses not to. And that's annoying, because we've walked down this road before, and I don't want to do it again. There's a point where it just gets to be Way Too Long and drawn out. People complained about this regarding Lost long before it ended, and Wheel of Time and Dark Tower. At some point, he just needs to stop rambling and get to the end. Preferably in his lifetime.

What should we as authors lose if we violate those expectations? Nothing but our good name with readers. But in this business, until you're as big as GRRM, your good name is all you have...

I don't believe anyone is ever too big to have any more than their good name. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. If the ending sucks, he won't be the guy who created one of the best series ever written, he'll be the guy who screwed up one of the best series ever written.

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MMCJawa wrote:

That's why I kind of get confused on concepts such as "betrayal" or "owing"? author taking extra long doesn't even come up on my radar as anything like a betrayal. If the author slept with my that is betrayal...


Someone taking a long time isn't a betrayal. I never said it was. What I said was a betrayal is a writer botching the end of a story, or failing to complete a story people care about, that they are capable of finishing. The better the story, the larger the betrayal if either of these occurs. It's a perfectly apt word. In fact it's the perfect word. People become emotionally invested in stories (that is what they are for) and when those stories let them down, what else would you call it?

Just as books can inspire, comfort, and evoke other positive emotional responses, so can they disappoint, anger, and betray the reader.


If I open a book I expect to be entertained. That is a reasonable expectation. If the book is book 1 of 2, I am owed book 2. If book 2 is never published, that author gets crossed off my list. You know why? Because they are unreliable. You know what a common thread is among unreliable people? They end up owing other people. There are plenty of other reliable authors who will not leave me hanging.

Note that I never mentioned movies, particularly movies that are adapted from books. The Golden Compass movie doesn't matter one bit to me, nor do the Narnia ones, because if I want to I can read the books. Similarly, if HBO ends up finishing GoT instead of GRRM, I will be somewhat satisfied, because the story will exist in its entirety somewhere. It would be preferable if GRRM just finished writing it, but whatever gets it done, as long as it gets done. Until then, however, GRRM and/or HBO most certainly owe fans an ending, and failing to provide one, or worse providing a bad one, would certainly be a betrayal.

James Jacobs wrote:
Been too distracted by Netflix and Wasteland 2.

Whatcha watchin'? :)

I read it. You have a point--magic, for instance, needs to be governed by rules, explicit or not. But largely, any reference to actual rules, spell names and the like are destined to be comic relief (like the guy from GoT who says he wanted to be a wizard when he grew up, and then later the girl he rescues thinks he's a wizard because he can read).

In order for a D&D movie to be taken seriously, I think it would have to be a Drizzt movie, for two reasons.

One, Salvatore already has a large fanbase (as someone mentioned, larger than D&D) and a serious movie needs to attract more attention than us few dice-rollers.

And two, it is much easier to write something that has already been outlined. If they (anyone) has to make up something themselves, unless they're truly amazing, it will not be as good as adapting something that already exists. This is also an opportunity to take something cool (Icewind Dale) and improve it (because honestly it reads like an actual D&D game). That certainly isn't foolproof, but it would increase their chances of success dramatically.

Scythia wrote:

More on topic, with a fantasy novel, the big one that's always thrown around in fantasy rpg circles: LotR. Aragorn is the only character that could remotely be said to be defined by the women in his life. The ostensible main character, Frodo, has very little involvement with women whatsoever. Even Sam, the primary supporting hero, only interacts with a woman (as a victory prize) at the end.


All I want is a female character who can handle things herself...

Read Beren & Luthien from the Silmarillion.

You might need some caffeine, but it will dispel the notion that Tolkien doesn't pass this test.

If a book is published in the woods, and no one reads it, does it exist?

No. It does not.

So what does an author owe their readers? Everything.

Barring an untimely death, I fully expect a conclusion to a story, and a satisfying one at that. Otherwise, I stop reading. I invested years reading and waiting for Stephen King to finish Dark Tower. I got to a point where (the same point I am with GRRM right now) I stopped buying and reading, opting to wait for him to finish. He did. I read the last chapter of the last book (yeah, I cheat sometimes) and dropped the series like a hot potato. (This is just a personal example and doesn't mean you have to join me in my hate for Dark Tower.)

As an audience, I have the right to not be betrayed, whether it's by a lack of an ending, or a poorly contrived ending. I have this right because there are literally thousands of other writers out there, eager to be heard, who will not betray me. And I would rather read something that's just ok that doesn't betray me, than read the greatest story ever told except for the sucky ending.

GRRM may not be my b-word, but competition sure is.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Maybe it's volume of rules which encourages that philosophy

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
...(which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).

They go that way because the rules are there to fuel them. Without the fuel, the debates die down. PF emphasizes system mastery and rewards the person who spends more time scouring the rules and arguing about what applies. 5e rewards critical thinking and creativity, and only needs one or two rules to support that emphasis (advantage and inspiration).

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Bluenose wrote:

I didn't ask them exactly what the two I bumped into meant by "dumbed down", because I was on my lunch break and didn't really have time to chat. But when I've played with them they've always liked piling on modifiers and checking they're all there, so I suspect the Advantage/Disadvantage system would be a part of that. That they also use Fire Fusion and Steel when we occasionally play Traveller might give you an impression of their rules preferences.

"Dumbed down" is a copout catchphrase, and a major pet peeve of mine. It doesn't actually mean anything--it's an assessment that is incorrect frequently enough that it carries no weight. It says more about the person saying it than it does about what they're referring to.

5e is "dumbed down" in the way multiplication "dumbs down" addition, or in the way a lever "dumbs down" force. In the way something can be made easier by utilizing a more sophisticated system. In other words, it's not.

Instead of piling on modifiers and rules-lawyering/brute-forcing the system, the challenge is to roleplay to gain advantage. One is about system mastery, the other is about critical thinking and creativity. Saying one of those is "dumb" is dumb. Calling a different kind of challenge than you're used to "dumb" is dumb. If they prefer the former playstyle, that's one thing. They should just say that. But I suspect they don't know what they mean when they say "dumbed down," which is why they're saying it.

Bluenose wrote:
As for rules-lite, there's not a single edition of D&D I'd consider to hit that, and certainly they wouldn't. One of them said to me, and I wish I could get the mixed contempt and disdain in their tone across on a message board, "It's got over a hundred pages of spells. You could right a whole system in that, and have space left over for stuff that matters."

I get that. My eyes glaze over when I get to the spell section and realize a full third of the book is not relevant to the character I want to make. That's a lot of wasted rules from one perspective. And when I do get around to making a caster, I'm perpetually struck by how many spells there are that just do something mundane in a fancy, expensive way. Alarm, for instance, is a magical tin can on a string. It can also alert me long distance, but so can message, so why can't message do what that part of alarm does, and I'll just buy a tin can?

There is also a lot of redundancy due to an unwillingness to scale certain spells. For instance, there's really no need to have slow and time stop be different spells. One is a much weaker version of the other--so why not just design them that way?

5e shows us that with the right rules, you can design a system that is both robust and easy to use. It's too bad they didn't take that approach more with spells.

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Steve Geddes wrote:

I clearly didn't explain myself very well. You "don't overthink it" guys are missing the point of this thread. I just grabbed a rule as an example - I don't really care what anyone thinks about that specific feat, it works for thrown weapons at my table and that's that.

I'm curious about how people are approaching reading 5E - as you might read an OSRIC-all-rules-are-guidelines rule book or as you would read a PF/4E-all-terms-are-defined/codified game.

The question is specifically about different play styles, so there can't be a right answer.

In general I think 5e will prove resistant to rules-lawyering. There are fewer rules, and they have taken care to not attempt to codify every conceivable scenario, opting instead for broader rules and more reliance on the DM's ability to adjudicate (and making it fairly easy for them to do so since most of it revolves around advantage). More rules, especially specific corner-case rules, means more arguing about rules. Fewer, broader rules means less arguing about who is "correct" and more negotiating/roleplaying/adjudicating between players and the DM.

When weapons with the "thrown" property are thrown, they are ranged weapons.

John Robey wrote:
Kip84 wrote:
I like that the short rest is an hour long now as apposed to five minutes. I find that party's really feel like they can't waste an hour taking a rest. In 4e my players would rest after each encounter now I find that they keep going as long as they possibly can.

I agree. :) I basically use taking a short rest as a cue to check for wandering monsters (lurking around in a dungeon for an hour is not without its hazards).

-The Gneech

How are you guys compensating players for the regenerative benefits they are expected to get from short rests?

I applaud random encounters and forging ahead (not abusing the 10 minute adventure day), but the game is designed with the assumption that the group will be able to rest frequently, lest they just go back to town and sleep off the effects of the first encounter.

Olondir wrote:
That example about having tons of advantages but darkness negating it, as a GM, If you're in a situation with so many (5+) advantages, you probably don't need to roll in the first place.

I think that's actually the opposite of the intent.

I think the rules intend that there's no such thing as a "perfect storm" of advantage, where you can just stack your way to success without rolling. And that idea works in conjunction with the "bounded accuracy" power curve as well. It doesn't matter how awesome you are, how well prepared, or anything--you can still be taken down.

It's like the movie Office Space. They have the perfect plan (advantage), with the idiot company not paying attention (advantage), with the right team to pull it off (advantage), but because the programmer misplaced a decimal (disadvantage), none of that matters.

Steve Geddes wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Olondir wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Try it for sure! I'm just sharing my own experiences with trying out fights at lvl 5, 10, and 15. Players will hit often thanks to near constant advantage.

I appreciate the comment. Theory is not one of my strengths.

I see a rule where you have five sources of advantage but because the light is poor none of them have any effect and it doesn't seem right. I've certainly got no experience as to how often that kind of situation comes up in play though, or what effect it will have on more "usual" situations.

I'm very wary of the "That make no sense. House ruling it away." reaction. If it really bothers me, I'll look for a way to change it, but not on first glance. I want to play with the game as written for awhile to see if I can figure out why the "makes no sense at first glance" rule was left in.

If it's obvious to me, it was probably obvious to the designer too. Which suggests there's a reason it stayed.

I generally think game designers will do a better job of game design than I will.

Nonetheless, I have a peculiar stance in that balance in an RPG is almost totally unimportant to me. It seems to me that quite often the disconnect between what game designers do and what I prefer stems from balance considerations.

Having said that, I do take your point. We have one member of our group who very much takes your position - namely to play a game as written first before tinkering with it, so we may well play the first 5E campaign with the "5:1 = draw" approach.

It appears to make no sense because you're looking at it arithmetically (ie: 5-1=4, not zero). But I bet the reason for it is to prevent every single d20 roll from devolving into an advantage/disadvantage arms race.

They prioritized gameplay over fussing with numbers.

And it sort of makes sense even without that design philosophy. In the example about not gaining advantage because of dim light, you're mistaking what's happening as "you fail to gain advantage" when it's actually "you successfully avoided disadvantage."

Nihimon wrote:
Hudax wrote:
The ability to duel or skirmish could be critical in training new players or just for practice. A safe zone or a safe pvp mode is not at all unreasonable. Rather, it should be an expected feature.
You might want to read Ryan's answer to the question Why no "non-lethal" duels?

I did. A year and eight months ago.

I agree that getting duel requests can be annoying. That's easily solved by only allowing them in predetermined locations (ie: arenas).

I agree that a gladiatorial style arena system can and should be implemented, possibly in every settlement that chooses to build one. Arenas could offer one-on-one duels or group skirmishes.

No one here can honestly say they wouldn't appreciate the opportunity to practice. I can't tell you how much I hate duels, but I also can't say how many times over the years they have been useful when I need to try something out. What breaks immersion more--being able to test a new technique immediately with a trusted friend (or say, a target dummy?), or having to travel halfway across the River Kingdoms to the single in-game arena just to try something out?

I disagree with everything else in that post.

1: There is nothing immersion breaking about pulling your punches. Duels don't have to end in death.

2: Agree. Solution is arenas.

3: The reward for dueling is obvious--you get better at playing your character. That is a reward worth investing resources toward.

4: Real combat is not devalued. Duels carry no risk/reward, no loot, no territory. Real combat does.

5: People are constantly dueling in other games despite lack of reward for the sake of socializing and improving their game. Ie: meaningful interaction.

6: Saying that people who enjoy dueling are generally annoying is kind of a silly thing to say. One could say the exact same thing about people who enjoy PvP.

Nihimon wrote:
There's no reason you can't fight a duel and simply stop when the loser is near death.

There are several.

Define "near death."
How do you get someone near death if you can kill them in just a few hits? At some point, you're either fine or dead.
What if your opponent doesn't notice or acknowledge they are near death and kills you while you're standing down?
How do you attack someone without bringing the guards down on you? How silly is it to have to leave town to duel? Or travel halfway across the map?
How many people on a team have to die before the team is near death?
How do you get everyone on two skirmish teams on the same page of an arbitrary honor system of victory?

The ability to duel or skirmish could be critical in training new players or just for practice. A safe zone or a safe pvp mode is not at all unreasonable. Rather, it should be an expected feature.

Continuing this discussion here where it's more appropriate.

Ryan Dancey wrote:

MTX pay to win: An MTX item is meaningfully better than the best item that can be created via player action in-game. No meaningful human interaction.

Selling Characters: A human had to play them to make them good, thus creating meaningful interaction with other humans in the process. The purchased character has no intrinsic superior benefit to a character you played from inception yourself.

Thanks for the clarifications.

I would like to counter with the typical definition of what pay-to-win means: paying cash to gain an in-game advantage or to skip content.

It's clear to everyone that cosmetics don't do this. Neither do toys that don't affect gameplay, like mounts and pets. Training likewise is fine because no matter how much money you spend, you can only train at the same rate as everyone else.

However, it is generally accepted among gamers that selling gear of any functional kind is automatically pay-to-win. The fact that you can craft something just as good is irrelevant. The cash shop item allows you to skip content--either the crafting process or the in-game transaction. Skipping either of these removes human interaction that would otherwise have to occur, and also upsets the playing field between someone wanting to play the game in a typical way (using in-game resources) vs. someone wanting to spend their way past that requirement. Not to mention if people feel the desire to skip content, how interesting is that content to begin with?

Regarding toons, I think it's fine if one player wants to sell their toon to another (as long as the toon was actually played by a human). MMOs have too long held the irrational stance that our toons are their property, and I respect this change of attitude.

However, if toons ever show up in the cash shop, that would be unacceptable for obvious reasons.

This game is going to be about advancement, loss and recovery. You should not want to allow people to spend their way past these stages. It will backfire in one way or another. If someone doesn't like the advancement stage, they're not going to like the recovery stage. If they bought gear to advance and lost it, they're not going to think "Oh well, I'll just throw more of my bar tab money at GW." They're going to think "Well that money just went down the drain, screw this, I'm going to the bar."

That's someone getting alienated from your game on an individual level.

On a group level, you may very well have lots of people willing to throw money at you over and over. But what sort of players will they be? What sort of players have they been in other games (ie: EVE)? These are the sort of people who pay their friends to hang out with them, and will join PFO because they'll see it's a game they can treat like it's their own private server. Get a significant number of them, fully equipped with everything money can buy from the cash shop, and suddenly there's a major problem in the balance of power. Actually, just get a bunch of them equipped with tons of healing potions. Still a big problem. Great for GW's bank account, but bad for the game.

If that doesn't scream pay-to-win, I don't know what to say.

You have lots of good ideas going for this game. Don't ruin it by underthinking the cash shop (or worse, by trying to redefine what is pay-to-win). I sincerely hope you take a look at every single proposed cash shop item and reevaluate it with this in mind.

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