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My threshold is that it's on par with what wishes can absolutely grant. Thus, since a wish can duplicate the effect of any 8th-level or lower spell, any comparable effect is reasonable without particular consideration. It is a bit more powerful than that, though, given that you can choose ANY lower spell, and it's a ninth-level spell, so the power bar SHOULD be higher. In general, it is easier to say what should NOT be possible. As a starting point:
Time travel, unless there is a good reason for it that would improve the campaign.
Stuff that can't be expressed well in the ruleset. Complete invulnerability, special unique abilities like turning stuff to gold by touch, and the like.
Stuff messing with the gods. No. It could certainly get the gods' attention, though.
Major holdings, titles, and other roleplaying- and story awards that would in effect change the opinions of a zogging lot of people. I would say it is ALWAYS easier to get these things by conventional deeds than through magic.
Barring this, there are many other things it can certainly do. Change someone's race, improve inherent bonuses to stats, get lesser magic items or get a chance at obtaining major ones, locations of hidden things, clues to major mysteries, solutions to minor ones. Temporary strange abilities. Destruction on a scale on par with major damage spells of level 8-9. Minor effects over larger areas.
There is no point in screwing players over for making wishes. If they come up with a real stinker, I'd be fine with letting them redo.
MWWG (the first edition) was more of a board game, generally well done parody of sexist crap in games. In particular, their monster table was magnificent, with Gnarlyhotep, Isaac Azathoth, Yoko Uggoth (That which screams without a voice) from the Lovecraft mythos, and Mental Midgets, Drunken Frat Boys, and so on.
1. How has the American left moved this last century?
1. No. No, I REALLY don't want to try that. Not even with hot sauce.
"For the glory!" - Get unbelievably, horribly dirty, such as being drenched in dragon intestines, cuddling with a herd of otyughs, or diving into sewer water.
"THIS!!! IS!!! SPARTA!!!" - Fail an important Diplomacy check in a spectacular manner.
"There is always plan A." - Spend at least an hour making a complex plan for something, only to abandon it immediately in favour of "get in, kill everything in the way, get what we came for, and get out."
"Express elevator to Hell, going down!" - Visit Hell.
"Only way to be sure" - Throw at least twenty fireballs from a flying position.
"Only 99 left to go" - Kill a *murf.
"Corpse by the side of the road" - Get more than one stat below 6 in random generation and still play the character.
"I'll just be here drinking then." - Make a character with maximum ranks in a skill the campaign will never use, such as a pilot without a ship.
"*sigh* Times are tough." - Spend an entire session in one room.
What has changed is that people want to listen to the exact songs they want, when they want them, without spending a s+&*load of money, and without the hassle of DRM and handling physical products. With streaming services, they can have it - to the point where it is now what is expected. Not providing this would at this point be marketing suicide and the companies know it. Cue cries of BUT PIRACY!!!11one, but the fact of the matter is the business changed due to people's expectations. It is possible this change came about because of piracy, but it's not something that can be undone today.
In practice, it means that the old model of sponsoring a few big artists and bands, through very lucrative contracts, aiming for few but mega-selling albums and thus less money spent on marketing... is dead. Given the opportunity, people are far more eclectic and nuanced in listening habits. I don't see this changing.
I think that is too much excusing. If nothing else, that is a way to make it an issue. Asking "how do you identify, gender-wise?" is not rude, and I have found that many are happy that it was not made an issue. If someone gets angry, that is when you tell them about the form of questions and why.
How did it go?
Meh. This is not a situation for negotiation. When the dice start thinking it is acceptable to ruin things for you like this, it is time to take off the kid gloves. Punish the dice. Find the most egregious offender and execute it in front of the others. I find that hammers work well. Once this is done, you will find the dice roll VERY well a period afterward... But after things start to sag again, another example is needed. Get new dice to replace those lost, and treat those VERY well. Do this, and you will have shown your dice that they serve you, not the other way around. You should be able to reach 10.5 quickly, maybe even a little bit more.
I guess I wasn't clear enough. I will commit these gladly. Excepting one thing I missed earlier: Paladins and casual sex. I wouldn't dream of punishing a character mechanically for roleplaying - the problems to follow would be golden material for me as a GM.
So: Yes, I demand the players roll in the open. I roll behind my screen. I have never been ashamed about it.
I use NPCs, weak and strong, to try to make a vivid setting. I never understood why having a strong NPC somewhere in the world means the players are useless. Sending these powerful NPCs out to accompany the PCs is not usually a good idea, though, unless it's for a short period of time (and will not usually focus on combat...) I vehemently HATE the GMPC concept and will not use it for any reason. If the PCs get a hangaround NPC to follow them for a while, it will be a weak one, but more importantly, it WILL be an NPC, i.e. it will be its own character, have its own motivations, and its own assumptions about the PCs.
I have pretty clear views on alignment, I share them if asked, and you know what? My views are what go because I am the GM. That said, I have never really had a complaint about my handling of it in a game. Paladins are nothing new, and I warn players about to change alignment clearly. I do not, as a rule, allow evil PCs unless the campaign is geared toward them.
I restrict whatever I feel like in a campaign. Simple as that, and anyone who prefers another setup is free to GM instead of me. If I would wait for them to do that, it wouldn't happen, so *shrug*. Theme and flavour are much more important to me than mechanics in why something is restricted or not... but I already have a group of players who don't want to play full casters due to paperwork.
I do try to follow WBL guidelines, simply because it's easy. However, if it's off by some margin, I could definitely care more. Complaints about not getting enough WBL would be filed in the round file archive until such a time as it is clear to me that the PCs are in over their heads in the campaign.
Abusive metagaming and people "roleplaying" through stating mechanical actions, well, I don't have time for it. The first would be an out of game problem to me, and I would discuss sincerely with the player about it... but might well kick them for doing it afterward. People not roleplaying, saying stuff like "I use diplomacy on the... was it a guard this time?", that's so pointless it hurts. I have better things to do with my time.
It depends on the situation what happens, I think, when someone gets mind controlled. I have been in a few situations where the player got flak afterward for stuff he was mind controlled to do, but decided on himself. I would rather not deal with that, so I may well decide to assume control of dominated PCs immediately instead.
I am happy to let players control their mounts, familiars, usually their cohorts and so on - lots of paperwork. The only reason I step in is because the players want their allies to do suicidal acts or stuff the character in question never would.
Well, all of them. I dunno about benevolent autocrat, though. Maybe more toward the tour guide, depending on your definitions. Smacking down on abusive metagaming would not be an in-game problem to solve to me, but an out-of-game problem. All the others, pretty much, yes. Especially disallowing tone-breaking characters and refusing evil PCs.
Don't forget the Animate Rope spell. Also we should start figuring out how many atonement spells you all will need for getting this entangled with a chaotic evil being.
Honestly, I am thinking after participating in this thread, the succubus might be in need of an atonement as well. What IS the evil counterpart to this spell, by the way? Detonement? Harald's efficient blink puppy kicker?
A strong character that needs to hold back to not outclass your character means, even if it never does a single thing to be overbearing, that the entirety of your character's existence, motivation, struggle, whatever you call it, becomes meaningless in a single stroke. If Superman is with us, why doesn't Superman solve every problem with the villains? Your character becomes a supporting cast character in Superman's story... and feels completely irrelevant.
Reality is not as firm as we think, or want to think, it is. It is enough to be tired to see illusions, i.e. False sensory input building on something real. This is the twig against the window you see as a hand from a bit away. Even more strongly, hallucinations (genuine false sensory input) happen often to people falling asleep and waking up. Add in drugs, various reactions to sensory deprivation (listen to enough white noise and you WILL hear voices, especially if you expect to), various traumatic experiences, severe anxiety disorders, light versions of psychotic disorders, and so on, and you will realize that there is more than ample opportunity for the human brain to use the canvas we call reality as a sounding board. If we expect to see something, stand to gain from doing so, or want to see something, that is what we will see.
kestral: I think the answer to this can be clearly expressed best by the old adage about why people don't like the Forgotten Realms: Because there are dozens of ultra-high-power NPCs running around. Basically, since these exist, why don't they always deal with the current world-shaking crisis? What space is there for a hero in the presence of all those giants?
The central issue is this: Alice and Bob are out adventuring, fighting tooth and nail against an evil orc chief. Setbacks, crises and difficulties abound, but in the end, Alice and Bob manage to kill the orc chieftain. The year of struggling, the death of Charlie, the intrigue to make the threat known, the wounds, the uncertainty... it all feels like it MEANT something. Why? Because they fought through it all and won through their own skill and determination.
Now Alice and Bob hear of a new threat. A necromancer has risen in the North and needs to be fought. So they recruit Dave, a wizard. Dave is a massively powerful spellcaster, far beyond Alice's and Bob's growing skills. After this becomes obvious and leads to a conflict within the party, he tells them "Don't worry, I will only use my full power if it becomes absolutely necessary. The rest of the time, I will stay at your level."
That should have improved things, but didn't. See, as soon as anything seriously threatened the party, Dave blasted it, flew them through it, conjured something to solve the issue, at one point he even went toe-to-toe in melee against the blackguard and didn't break a sweat in killing it. See, Dave knew there was a serious risk this enemy might kill one or more of Alice or Bob, and thus it was "absolutely necessary".
They did kill the necromancer (or rather, Dave did). After this, Alice and Bob retired from adventuring.
If I understand this situation correctly...
The far right is whining about a subpoena that will show that the horrors of homosexuality has been a serious focus in their sermons, and are grabbing at any kind of straw that might help before it's too late and it goes through.
Once it does get through, of course, the main story in this will be how much trash the right wingers talk in their sermons about homosexuals.
It might carry a price to pay, of course. Everything does. And there is the point: Right-wing churches will pay a far worse price for decades of preaching intolerance.
Zombie news is the simple fact that by the time the general population gets word of news, they have been reheated at least four times. Not to mention gone through a heavy censoring process where media high-ups cancel news that are seen to carry a risk of "causing public unrest". So, next time you watch CNN, listen for the moans and the "Braaaaaains..."
The next poster will tell us how he discovered a far more literal reason for the term.
I dunno. I would be very interested in NEW material for Planescape. A rehash of the old material, with the stylized art replaced by generic "adventurer doing action-y stuff" like in fourth edition, without the language, likely without the deeper understanding of the setting that was its starting point, that would feel like merely a way to wring money from it. YAY! I can now play Planescape in fifth edition... which amounts to a Points-of-Light setting full of the standard warforged, dragonborn and various shades of elves PLUS rogue modrons and bariaurs, where some characters have faction membership, doing the standard action-heavy adventuring... Let's just say it has all the elements needed for exquisite suckage.
Documentation is important later in a slow process, and it's good that you're seeing progress. Congratulations. And caring how you look is human, not narcissistic. Talking about it in a place like this is sharing good news, not being narcissistic. =)