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Satyr

Kirth Gersen's page

26,110 posts (27,128 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 14 aliases.


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Of course you can do that with a small spiked shield!


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thejeff wrote:
[There's no colonial tradition of Chinese people coming into backward European countries and exploiting them for their own good.

Of course not.


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If Matt Damon is unacceptable in a Chinese-made movie set in China, is it equally unacceptable for, say, Jackie Chan to star in an American-made movie set in America? Just wondering what the limits are.

(That said, I don't like Matt Damon and don't understand why he's in the movie.)


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Fluffylove wrote:
Selective Spell - Was huge expansion of utility intended? As written, you could apply it to an Antimagic Field, Wall of Fire, Cloudkill, etc. Likely a Wall of Force too. Tons of horrifying combinations. Should it only work with instantaneous spells, like Fireball, Holy Word, etc?

I'm fine with it applying to things like a wall of fire or wall of force, and with the various cloud spells (I guess I'd need a caveat that they still obscure vision, however).

AMF would be a 7th level spell, meaning a (minimum) 13th level caster; as a point of comparison, an 18th level barbarian can do that any time he rages. So, a somewhat higher level increase cost for non-instantaneous spells seems like a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion!


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This sounds like a perfect setup for an E6 game, which is specifically intended to create a "gritty," more realistic feel. Above 6th level, the PF game's genre shifts from struggling adventurers to comic book superheroes, simply based on what the characters can do. That applies even to martials, who by that time can wrestle dinosaurs, and go skydiving without parachutes and live every time.

People have a hard time with E6 because of expectations: "But... we want to play the same game at levels 7-20!" But that's not how PF is set up. If you go in with the expectation that level advancement will be slow, and that the campaign will stay somewhat grounded in realism, then it's ideal for what you're envisioning.


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Belabras wrote:
An animated version of Glengarry, Glen Ross where all the characters are talking mice.

I'm picturing that in my head, and for some reason I'm seeing the CGI hellscape backdrops from "300" instead of an office...


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River of Sticks wrote:

I had a realization and wanted to share my appreciation for this system; it is very easy to choose a singular focus for a concept, and then realize it to the extent that your characters is now the best in the world at it. It is much more difficult to create a character who is superb in two or more areas; but very easy to make one excellent in two areas. It is difficult to create a character excellent in three or more areas, but still very easy to create a character who is good in four or five. Finally, it is hard to create a character good at everything, but easy to create a jack of all trades who can get by.

All in all, a very simple and elegant scaling that the mathematical part of my soul quite enjoys. Thank you.

That was the goal, anyway -- I appreciate the feedback.


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If I were in charge of the Democratic party, I'd look for job-creating opportunities in every state, then find people to run for congress who would plug those projects. "Martha Gersen wants to bring 50,000 new jobs to Pennsylvania." Republicans sarcastically ask how to pay for it -- raise taxes? No, by "closing tax loopholes for Wall Street." Want to get us out of Afghanistan? Hammer the job aspect again. "We've spent 17 years rebuilding Afghanistan. Now it's time to start rebuilding America -- building our future!"

By branding themselves the "put Americans to work again" party, the party of small businesses vs. Wall Street, you tap into all the disaffected people who put Trump in office, but you do it state by state in 2018. Then look at approval ratings, and plan 2020 accordingly.

People with their brains in alt-right parallel universes are never going to vote Democrat. But they're not what ultimately gave Trump the win.

Finally, never underestimate the power of catchy slogans. Just saying "Hope and change!" was enough to elect Obama. The Trump voters I know kept repeating "Make America Great Again!" like it was a litany.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
So, yet again, I ask you; were you trying to refute my point with the counterpoint that republicans don't create their own reality because HRC is bad

In no way.

Knight who says Meh wrote:
or was quoting me simply a non sequitur (I have never used that so often in one day before) so you could attack Hillary Clinton?

It was an attempt to steer back to what the Dems can do to get the country out of the downward economic spiral it's in. Not so much a non-sequitor as an attempt to get back on topic (just like the title of the thread says).

As I mentioned to the jeff, Democrats cannot fix the Republican party. (In fact, I think at this point the Repubs are actually so far gone they're past their own ability to fix.) The Democrats aren't anywhere near that badly off, and they could (and, in my opinion should) be the party we turn to. But if they keep using "we're not as bad as the other guys" as an excuse to continue to cater to the 0.1%, they're not really helping the middle class out of the jam it's in.

I'm exhorting the Democrats to stop griping about how bad the opposition is -- I think everyone in the thread knows how abysmal they are -- and instead start focusing on where the Dems can shore up their strengths. Again, I'm not exhorting the Republicans because (a) they're too far gone to be reached, and (b) there seem to be none in the thread, and (c) that would call for a separate thread ("The Future of the Republican Party") anyway.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
But only because I'm a democrat, right?

There's this thing you can do, when arguing in good faith, where you try to actually rephrase a person's stance back to them -- not to caricature it or score points, but to actually see if you're getting it right.

If I understand yours correctly, you view criticism of HRD, and of the current Democratic party, as somehow excusing the Repblicans' much more egregious behavior. Is that accurate? If not, please correct me.

And, if you're actually trying to have a discussion, rather than just blowing off steam, you might try the same.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
That she wouldn't have an attorney general that actively suppressed the black vote by having community activists arrested

Yes. Don't get me wrong -- she has some stances that I very much approve of.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
That she's be appointing a supreme court justice that wouldn't be in favor of citizens united, which is what keeps the people from having any say in their government

I'm all in favor of overturning CU, but I'm not sure this follows from electing HRC. Justices are still (hopefully) beholden to precedent and other jurisprudence, not to the person appointing them. Also, at this point it would require a Constitutional amendment. Still absolutely necessary to fight for, though.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
That she's not going to start a war with Elbonia in three years

Syria maybe. Staying in Afghanistan and Iraq, almost certainly. But, I agree, not Elbonia.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
We'd at least acknowledge that global warming is a thing, not a scam to get free trips to the arctic circle

See #1.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
People have a reasonable expectation of what they were getting with Hillary. It was okay, but compared to trump it was amazing.

That's my issue -- as long as we keep comparing sand to ground glass, of course we'll keep eating sand. But I'd like more nutrient value in my diet than that -- this way we just starve instead of dying faster and in more agony. I'm not even asking for filet mignon or anything -- just something to keep us (the middle class) from wasting away.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
If you want to stop the republican/democrat light consortium from destroying the middle class you need to move the government from republican/democrat light to democrat and democrat light. To do that, you need to ungerrymander the country. To do that you need to elect the republicans light.

I agree. Let's get to it, then!


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
I do very much disagree with the narrative that both parties are the same and are part of some secret plot to destroy us all. Maybe that's the same thing to you, I don't know.

They're not the same.

There is no secret plot; there are very open policies. And those policies won't destroy us all -- only the middle class.

If that end is OK with you, by all means let it continue.


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thejeff wrote:
But apparently it doesn't matter. The first order of business is to destroy the Democratic party because it's the real problem.

Are you a Republican? No? Then you can't fix the Republican party. Are you a Democrat? Yes? Then you can help fix the Democratic party. That would probably be a lot easier and more useful than destroying it. But that would also require being honest with yourself, when their policies are a continuation of the Republicans', or even an expansion of them (in at least one case).

"Republicans are bad, therefore Dems can do no wrong!" is precisely what's allowing a number of the Republicans' worst economic policies to continue.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
Just to be clear, you're not right wing but you do believe Hillary Clinton had a secret (or maybe not secret) plan to turn America into a feudal serfdom? That's your reality?

What's secret? Is she in favor of for-profit prisons, based on her past voting record, etc.? Check for yourself. And did Bill Clinton in fact start the massive upward trend that now leaves us with 1% of the adult population in prison (far greater than any other nation on Earth)? Again, check for yourself.

Has Hillary come out in favor of expanded foreign wars, based on her record and debates? Did previous Democratic presidents (Obama) continue our involvement in those wars? Do both Democrats and Republicans both continue to spend far more on those wars than on all our own internal problems put together?

Has Hillary been on record saying "Wall Street isn't really responsible for '08"? Again, don't take my word for it. Inform yourself.

The reality I'm inhabiting is the one you're ignoring, which is entirely distinct from the alt-right hellhole.


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Kajehase wrote:
The one that's famous outside North America.

Ah, you mean David R. Adams, who decided to go by "Ryan Adams" as soon as he became a singer. Lame move, that.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
So you don't believe...

... that Saint Hillary would have continued to expand our already unconscionable incarceration rates (expansion begun under a Democratic president she happened to be married to), continued to wage overseas wars to disastrous effect on our young people and economy (as did the last Democratic president), and continued to abet Wall Street's destruction of the middle class (as every president, Democrat and Republican alike, in recent memory)?


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Kajehase wrote:
Ryan Adams

Former Orioles 2nd baseman (2011), then suspended for amphetamines?


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Firewarrior44 wrote:

Like I said that entire section is advice.

*citation needed

RH, please bear in mind that your stance has consistently been that ALL of the rules are merely advice. Therefore the argument tack you're taking is a trifle disingenuous. Much like when you tell us (a) lying is always OK and no one should be offended, and yet (b) only the offended party is capable of determining if offense is given -- you contradict yourself in every argument.


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Jader7777 wrote:
Okay folks, that was a fun Pathfinder game. Hope to see you all next week. Oh and make sure you bring another character sheet okay? Great see you then.

As opposed to "Oh, you're 1st level and you encounter Cthulhu! Roll initiative! A 6! Cthulhu rolls... 19! I mean 1! He slips on a banana peal and dies! You win!!! Okay folks, that was a fun Pathfinder game."

If you thought your post was scathing commentary, this reply is what it sounds like coming from the other direction.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think one should simply consider using other idioms for calling things as they are or cutting through irrelevant details.

Was it Orwell who advised against using any idiom you didn't coin yourself?


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Due respect but insult or not insult isn't determined by the person who offers it or their intentions, but the person who receives it.

For example, if someone is insulted by you lying to them...


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knightnday wrote:
This lesson is taught every week to Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. Or Brennan on Bones. Or <insert character here who doesn't understand how to talk to people> on <X show/movie>.

STUNTMAN MIKE: "You have no idea what any of these shows or people are, do you?"

GIRL: (Shakes head, maintaining deer-in-the-headlights look)


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History pretty much shows that once all of the wealth of a country is concentrated into just a few hands, things tend to get ugly. That may not be something people want to hear, but it is something that needs to be addressed. Sadly, we do not have a party that seems willing to do so.


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Anzyr wrote:
Uh Kirth... if they tell the players in advance then they aren't cheating. My statement applies only to those who are not following the rules.

In the immortal words of Frank Drebin, "I know that... now."

See edit above -- sorry for the confusion.


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Anzyr wrote:
Whether you call the GMs cheaters or fudgers (this sounds wrong somehow) surely there is no disagreement about them being untrustworthy.

I disagree, in many cases. If the players want them to softball things by fudging the dice, and they agree, they're upholding their end of the bargain if they do it.

When you go on to clarify, "without letting the players know," I get a lot less sympathetic to them, and if you add, "after telling the players they wouldn't," that's the one that reduces my sympathy to zero.


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knightnday wrote:
you are punching people in the face over being lied to

To be accurate, no one is, or was, doing that. What I said was that I'd rather have someone go ahead and try to punch me in the face, rather than have to stand there and listen to them lie to me.


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knightnday wrote:
have a discussion when setting up the game. Heck, take out the book and show them what is written and ask what their opinion is.

Yes!


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Rannik wrote:
I learned that in that type of game, don't bother making a good background with a roleplay oriented character.

I still do all that. The ones that die are just as memorable to me as the ones who don't.


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TOZ wrote:

On her shift, a troll happened into our camp. She sounded the alarm and charged the beast. On it's turn, it claw/claw/bite/rended her for something like 26 damage. 1st level druid torn in half, first encounter.

Now, the way to prevent that would be the GM only rolling the one attack, backhanding the puny creature away. She clearly wasn't a threat.

I think we talked about this one before -- if it was an outdoor camp I probably would have had the troll eat one of the big, helpless, delicious horses tethered in place for the taking, giving the others plenty of warning. Charging the thing was also a dumb move -- make it come to you and you avoid a full attack.

Overall, in the case of newbies, even I myself am more likely to fudge things (with the players' knowledge and permission, of course) until they get the hang of it. (Then again, I'm not very secret about it. "New rule: every time Joe rolls another freaking 4, he has to reroll!" is about as subtle as I get.)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, as a GM I don't know when if or when I will be fudging, assuming something where it makes sense will even come up. So if someone asks "what's your opinion on fudging" my honest answer is something like "I'm certainly not categorically opposed to any tool in the GM's toolbox, but it's an inelegant solution and I'd prefer not to. Though I don't know the future and I can't completely rule out doing something that honestly doesn't seem like that big a deal to me."

That's at least the most honest answer I can give.

That answer would certainly satisfy me.


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Rannik wrote:
Yeah, real fun "no fudging" game time!

You knew going into it that was a possibility. If you didn't want a chance of that happening, well, either petition the DM for hero points or fudging, or join a different game, or offer to run one yourself.


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Talonhawke wrote:
I guess you could have a questionnaire ask how people feel about knowing your fudging among a list of questions and then only tell the group that wants to know and then swear them to secrecy.

It would probably be pretty obvious to the others when someone gets the questionnaire back and says, "I appreciate your time and candor, but I'll have to sit this one out."


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In 2016, all the people like the ones being hectored in the quote finally did get mad, and did decide to do something about it.

Unfortunately, their solution was to elect Trump.


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Berik wrote:
Right, and having the conversation beforehand is fine for you because you're getting what you want in certainty on the fudging question, but not fine for the person who doesn't want to know.

The DM can say, "Let's talk about that outside." That way none of the people who can't hear it need to hear it, and that way the DM can be honest with me, instead of lying to my face and thinking I won't know.

Or, if someone asks about it and you can't stand to hear the answer, you choose that time to use the restroom or have a smoke break or go get a soda from the fridge.

There's absolutely no need to ban that conversation wholesale, unless the aim is to enforce One True Wayism.


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Artificial 20 wrote:
GMs answer this honestly

Yes, that's the key. Contrary to QL and others who have openly bragged that they lie about that, and that all DMs need to do the same.


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Berik wrote:
It's totally fair that a lot of people don't want to have that doubt and want to be definite that fudging will or will not happen. But that just means that not everybody fits in with everybody else with their gaming preferences. There isn't a conversation that will please everybody and that's fine.

Well, it's fine for you, because you're getting what you want. It really sucks for all of us who get assured there will be no fudging, and then two sessions in we're like, "Dude, WTF?"

So, if any of the audience is in West Houston and wants a no-fudging game, let me assure you that (a) I won't fudge the dice without you asking me to, and (b) I'm actually telling the truth about that, and (c) I'm also telling the truth about telling the truth about that. Double pinky swear.


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My last experience with the original ToH was a long time ago; I remember everyone enjoying the module. Could be we were able to parse "thinking person's module" to mean "be paranoid or die," or maybe others had hinted at its deadliness, maybe some of both? In any case, I do remember we got a lot of fun out of it, even the guy whose fighter got turned to green slime.

(I think only one PC made it to the end, and they ended up turning ethereal to flee, with a demon in pursuit. Good times!)


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@TOZ - If you're angling towards, "In a state in which the rule of law is respected, we need to identify suspects and try them in a court of law, not just condemn them up front," I totally agree. On the other hand, for purposes of looking at this event, I'm inclined to take them at their word.

On a more minor scale, we've also got the anti-Trump protestors filmed setting vehicles on fire at the inauguration. Unless they, too, are undercover right-wing infiltrators?

Claims that only the political right uses violence in efforts to silence speech don't seem to be accurate.


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thejeff wrote:
Those who do like some judicious fudging however, commonly claim that they don't want to be told. They want the illusion preserved. You can't satisfy both.

You can easily satisfy both. You discuss it up front, then, for groups who want the GM to fudge, you don't mention it again. The illusion, during the game, can be preserved for you that way.

Refusing to discuss it at the start of the campaign -- or, worse, promising not to fudge and then doing it -- means that the people who dislike fudging have no place in the hobby.


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At some point, I think you really have to stop playing the "our party isn't quite as bad as the other one" game.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
If you accept the idea that the left is against free speech based on the evidence then you have to accept that the right is equally against free speech because the evidence is at least as good.

No argument. But that doesn't mean that I also need to be against free speech.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The instrument of the left shutting down free speech is "sorry, you can't use our universities podium. You'll have to make do with your own radio show, talk show, pulpet, the town square, a few city blocks, or an infinite number of youtube channels.

Or, "sorry, if you try to come to our campus, we'll destroy it rather than admit you."

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The instrument of the right shutting down free speech is to beat protestors with clubs, tear gas them, place undercover operatives to cause a ruckus to shoot them down, allow private paramilitary rentagoons to freeze people with a fire hose in the middle of winter, and shoot them in the head and then use that shooting as an excuse to clear the place out.

Also intolerable, for a so-called civilized nation.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The idea that you are for free speech so you're going to vote for the right is ludicrous.

Agreed. But the idea that, because neither major political bloc seems to care about it doesn't mean it's not a useful value.


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thejeff wrote:
I will say that I've never had a player tell me (or heard a player tell another GM) "I want an authentic <module> experience" or anything even vaguely similar.

Different groups have different preferences. That's almost exactly what was said when we played Age of Worms -- and more specifically "Spire of Long Shadows." Not one but two TPKs in that module -- the third group made it through by casting speak with dead on the bodies of their predecessors to ask what killed them. It was an incredibly memorable experience that I still look back on as one of the high points in 35 years of gaming.

Other groups might have said "please fudge it so we don't die," and that would be good for them, but for me, that would have killed the entire experience.

Which is why, yes, one really probably should discuss these things in advance, and not tell your players you're going to go strictly by the dice but then turn around and fudge them.


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You mean my memory from 1981 or so isn't totally accurate? Next you'll be telling me that eyewitness testimony isn't reliable!


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Honestly though, when you were 12 and you were flipping through books at the store to see what's cool, how much time did you spend reading *prefaces*?

Enough that I knew what the module was for as soon as I got it home.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "do not open the door by standing in front of it, open the door with a claw affixed to the end of a 20 pole standing off to the side so that the flying spikes won't instantly kill you" is sufficiently counter-intuitive that the hobby is more accessible now that we don't do that anymore.

You missed the whole point of the module. Gygax went on for like pages on how this thing was meant specifically for players who thought they'd mastered the whole "trap-filled dungeon" thing, and wanted a tougher challenge. It wasn't meant for newcomers to the hobby. If you softball it, you defeat the entire purpose of the module.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
There wasn't a sticker on the front like "do not subject your friends to this."

No, but that's exactly what the preface did.


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Shouldn't have stepped into the room without prodding ahead. That used to be basic dungeoneering 101.


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PK the Dragon wrote:
I just wanted to bring up that Amateur GMing shouldn't be considered Bad GMing.

As long as that amateur DM is learning from mistakes, and aspiring to mastery. The goal should be not to need to fudge: to eventually get good enough at encounter design, anticipation, and foreshadowing that you don't have to pull stuff like changing opponents' AC in the middle of a fight. Because the less time and attention you spend making up for that stuff, the more you can spend on making the scenarios and NPCs really come alive.


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PK the Dragon wrote:
To a degree, the GM is similar to a magician. Their trade is to make the unreal seem real, and make players believe in that. No magician worth his trade is going to say at the beginning "oh by the way these are all tricks i'm technically lying to you", because that ruins the entire effect.

To name a few: The Amazing Randi, Penn and Teller, Criss Angel, Harry Houdini... These are magicians who would beg the audience to understand it was all illusion, and who would go out of their way (and still do) to debunk claims of psi/magic powers. They're also some of the greatest magicians of all time.

Any amateur can claim it's all real to try and pull of a stunt. It takes a master to announce point-blank that it isn't real, and still amaze the audience.


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Quiche Lisp wrote:
Hence, if I'm talking to a friend, months ahead of the actual RPG session, and I'm saying that I'm an hardcore DM who doesn't fudge dice, while I'm in fact prepared to fudge when I deem it necessary - for my player's enjoyment - I am a terrible liar, whose lie will serve our purpose of having a goood time in a totally make believe world of dragon elves and dungeon princesses.

WHY would you lie about that? Because you think you're oh-so-clever if you can get away with it? Because you're a congenital liar (and judging from other threads this might be the case)? It serves absolutely no purpose at all.

Just say, "I'm going to fudge rolls, OK?" and it's done. You run zero risk of offending your so-called "mate," and he doesn't have to pretend to believe you.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
If I want a recurring issue in the campaign to be "the antagonist can possess people, and uses this to do a variety of things" there's got to be a first time that happens, right? Do I need to explain exactly what's going on the first time it happens?

No, that's awesome -- provided there is an explanation, that it was planned, and you're going to stick with it. Those are the best kinds of campaigns.

But if you actually just jacked the AC to 25 on the spot so that the fight wouldn't be too easy (which is what the thread is about), and now you're trying to cover by saying, "Uh, maybe he was possessed!" -- well, that's incredibly lame.

Reference what I said above about unknown vs. unknowable.

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