DarkLightHitomi's page

Organized Play Member. 1,894 posts (8,266 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 5 Organized Play characters. 48 aliases.


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Lantern Lodge

M Human Intellectual Fighter 2, Scientist 1

A bit old, but I've been gone awhile. This is a misconception about me that I really need to correct though.

GM Blake wrote:

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Reducing table variation requires limiting player agency, but without player agency, what point is there in playing? For that reason, and the lack of any reason to avoid table variation (seriously, the only reason I can think of anyone would want no table variation woukd be marketers trying to pretend that experience at the table is somehow related to brand and therefore want brand consistency. This is idiotic though, experience at the table is about 60% gm and 30% other players.), I simply and absolutely find restricting table variation to be a very bad design goal.

And I very much disagree with this.

I want to reduce table variation when I GM and I want reduced table variation at the tables that I play at because I want to expect what my character's capabilities are and to not be blind-sided by a GM's personal opinion about how the 'real world works' whether I play at my FLGS, on PbP, or at GenCon.

And while this is just my personal taste and not a morale judgement, I can see that I want to avoid GM DLH's tables.

This is not at all what I mean by table variation. This is what I'd call in-world consistancy and has nothing to do with the variation I'd like to have. This is why I regarded the cantrip in question as being in need of fixing.

The mechanic was written without consideration for what it actually represented, and therefore, it leads to this very type of inconsistency precisely because it relies on the gm to make a judgement call that could go either way.

Table variation is basically things like video game vs interactive novel, penny packet enemies with no larger strategy vs Tucker's Kobolds, cooperative storywriting vs writer-to-reader type of experience. To me, a campaign about the PCs being ordinary people on the run from an axe murderer is a completely valid campaign, despite the unfortunately common beliefs that PCs must be superheroes with "adventurer"/wanderer as their occupation.

Shifty wrote:
The item takes 1d6 damage, as does the target. Clearly the item is striking the target.

First, if the object takes dmg, then why is there a question about using a vial of something dangerous?

Second, despite the above, you still get a problem. A feather needs to be moving significantly faster at a much higher energy than a pebble to do similar dmg, both because the smaller mass and also the broader striking area.

However, a light spell doesn't do anything to an object, rather it simply is attached to a carrier object. If you consider the cantrip in question to be a similar case of a magic effect that is merely attached to a physical object, then the consistent dmg to both target and object can be reasonably explained as the magic effect telekinetically moving, then twisting and exploding towards the target (much like a copper armor piercing effect that perverts the copper cone making the back into the front), dmging the carrier object and the target in a consistent fashion regardless of carrier object.

This would indeed break a vial, yet the dmg itself wouldn't be from what object carried the effect.

I don't think 'agency' is what you are saying it is, because to me it seems like you are advocating just making it all up on the fly, in which case we're moving more into a freeform storytelling experience - either we have mechanics or we don't.

This is so very wrong. The use of mechanics is NOT black-and-white. Frankly, roleplaying as opposed to rollplaying, is a freeform experience with a set of well defined terms to make communication easier and to add some randomizing structures to enhance tension and uncertainty while removing the single worst source of player-gm animosity (that being the gm arbitrarily deciding success/failure on everything).

Just because you have some mechanics does not mean that everyone must treat them like a boardgame.

Like mentioned above, players need to be able to accurately judge what they are capable of (in-so-far as their characters can make such judgements anyway), and stats are the single best way to achieve that even if you never rolled a single die.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cheer up. At least you gots lots of players supporting you. Even from games you aren't running anymore. :)

It'll turn out ok eventually.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snowlilly wrote:
DarkLightHitomi wrote:
An attack is simply a type of action where a creature attempts to make contact with a target.

That is a very creative alternative definition for the word attack.

Do you have RAW to support that definition or did you write it yourself?

Depends on what you consider "RAW support."

To use a metaphore, we scientifically can describe the effects, range, strength, etc of magnetic fields, despite not having a clue about how energy is actually transferred.

The term "attack" is the same way. We don't get a direct definition in the book, but we do see several cases about when things count as attacks and several additional bits of info about them. Basically, see the effects of what attack is defined as despite not seeing the definition directly.

Consolidate those rules effects and what those rules represent and it all can easily be summed up as,

An attack is an attempt to make contact with a target, either directly, with an implement, or indirectly with a projectile/ray/emenation/etc. If the target doesn't willingly accept the contact, then a roll is required by the one attempting the contact to achieve said contact unless the target is incapable of avoiding the contact (such as with magic missile).

Lantern Lodge

An attack is simply a type of action where a creature attempts to make contact with a target. There is no reason to assume that a creature is unable to target itself with an attempt to touch, and as a willing target, no roll would be required.

Also, keep in mind, the original d20 rules were designed with the expectation that the gm would use common sense. They were not designed to be absolutely strict like the rules in chess are. It was expected that the gm would use the rules as a baseline, and if a questionable situation arose, the gm is supposed to make a ruling based on what makes sense and what would be fun, with the existing rules being merely a baseline tool to make that ruling faster and easier to formulate and implement.

PF seems to be steering for the (sadly in my opinion) more popular style of treating the rules as rock hard and inflexible outside of explicitly considered uses, or upfront houserules. However, they still have lots of these inherited rules and wordings with a more flexible "guidelines" type approach, and this should be accounted for by the gm.

What makes sense for this armor is that who or what touches the outside can be targeted by the stored spell, or trigger the stored spell. Now this, in my opinion, gives the gm two choices, either the wearer must touch the armor on the outside in order to trigger the spell (if they want to allow it), or say that the armor is built to prevent the wearer from being targeted by the spell as a safety feature (if they want to make it offensive only).

I would personally allow it to be used for defensive spells, or even healing spells, that target the wearer, as that would be a very useful and sensible ability, especially if they wearer is a non-caster.

Lantern Lodge

I'm interested.

Lantern Lodge

Indeed, it is not in my downloads, and the product page reports the preview but not the full pdf as being in my downloads. I had the preview already. I don't know if that makes a difference or helpps find the cause, but figured I'd mention it just in case.

Lantern Lodge

That is nice to know, thanks!

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Terquem wrote:
When I am always to late to have read the removed baiting posts, ohhhh that grinds my gears

I really hate having an entire post disappear over a small part of it and then with no record of what it said, then trying to reconstruct the post minus the offending part.

Or worse, being left in confusion over what was so bad about the post.

Or having poor word choice lead people down a majorly wrong and bad direction away from the intent, and then any attempt to bring things back to the intended meaning leads to accusations of trolling.

Lantern Lodge

Murderhobo meme? What's that?

Magic shops are neat. Didn't realize people had a problem with these.

I don't know very much mmo slang, but I don't see much wrong with it as long no one expects me to know it.

Lantern Lodge

M Human Intellectual Fighter 2, Scientist 1


I was begining to think I had been abandoned. I admit to not being the best of GMs, so if Im not doing very well, let me know.

Lantern Lodge

@ bugleyman

What most dont know about 3.x is that most DCs and secondary rules are based on reality. Even carry capacity is based on reality, 3.0 jump DCs are based on reality. People often claim otherwise because they try to make elite individuals as lvl 20 when the max of human ability is lvl 5.

4e does away with any pretense of even trying to compare to reality or plausability not even within the game world itself.

Lantern Lodge

So much to comment on O.O I will have to pick and choose I guess.

@ matthew

Part of being smart is prepardness. Being a fat couch potato slob is not intelligent, and no strength means your heart doesnt have the strength to pump blood, so of course some strength, and by some strength I mean near average, as in not from a gym but not unhealthy either.

You shouldnt take my comments to extremes. Extremes will always be there but they are hardly helpfull in discussing 99% of cases.

As for what you describe as what you want from games doesnt require balance. Besides even if you play beside smeone who was allowed to break their character, when asked what you do, it doesnt matter if they have +30 and you have +5, you still have a great chance of success, and someone elses chance doesnt change your ability.

Besides, a situation with multiple avenues of success means you can do what you ae good at to move on, but yet you support every character being good enough at everything that they have no weakness such that you only encouter situations with one way to succeed which isbad on the writers and GMs part, and allows you to be lazy, taking the obvious route because you dont have to worry about being weak. What you ask for is god characters.

Next point, so combat magic should be free of charge, but the more commonly used magic should cost more then most nonadventurers make in several months for each use? Making certain spells usable as rituals is fine, making anything not combat focused a costly ritual is not fine and it breaks the IC continuity, what do you think most spellcasters spend their time doing? Why were thise rituals even made, copied, and sold? Adventurers are a tiny part of population, and the "action" sequences of their lives are miniscule compared to the drudgery of everyday. You think zo much work and expense goes into researching the least often used magic without researching more beneficial magic?

Skill challenges are neat but bland and repetative. They also dont reflect the skill very well in most cases, sometimes it works, like for diplomacy, but not for most cases. And at least in DnD each DC represented an actual difficulty compared to an objective standard, 4e doesnt. That is becase then they can let you have all kinds of numbers without it saying anything about your skill compared to anyone else, nor can you make any juxgements about the world based on your results, basically the numbers become meaningless so they can keep adding them to give you that sense of improvement more often while ignoring the world your characters live in. Perhaps this rather lazy approach suits you, but that doesnt make it great, awesome, or the best thing since sliced bread. There is no relation between what is acheived and what is normal for the world and its inhabitants, thus any sense of balance only applies to your party, an illusion of balance.

As for my experience with never being defeated, if other guys get beat up because they are small its because of not just what they know but also what they cant figure out, what they cant see, what they choose to do, and perhaps most importantly what they believe.

Implying tha people would play like me if they lived up to there potential was not intended, but if they lived up to their potential they would understand what Im saying and realize how system balance is nothing but an illusion that shatters under intelligent play of any sort.

@ digital mage

Preperation of magic is something I have always disliked about DnD casters, that however is why I play sorcerers, however, when it comes to daily life for a wizard, the same daily life spells are likely to be used repeatedly and thus be easy choices, its the combat and unusual situations that often require guessing about what to prepare. Of course, combat isnt suiable for rituals.

And while I do like rituals, what I dont like is any and all out of combat magic being rituals including the ones that are likely to be used commonly or repeatedly, except for suddenly being ridiculously expensive by IC normal peopl standards.

As for winning unarmed combat matches, no I dont believe its black and white, I do however believe its closer to black and white then most people are willing to believe. People in general are instinctual creatures they see big muscles and respond instinctually with the belief that guy could easily beat anyone smaller then him. And while they might be true of those who have never expected to face a real fight, anyone trained, or very smart can easily overcome Mr muscles.
No I do not have extensive training, I do have a more disiplined mind which renders pressure points moot, and I use preprogrammed (for lack of better terminology) reponses to avoid strikes and blows while I focus on analyzing my opponant and the environment and update my responses and make offensive attacks based on what I see of my opponant. Using this however requires the intelligence to foresee possibilities and account for them.

As for Benda, you are getting to specific. Its like complaining about useing two fives instead of a ten, you have to back off a bit and look at generalities, the input of effort vs the available options. Taking the option that uses the least amount of effort is lazy unless it is the best of all available options. So when better options are present but someone doesnt pick them, its laziness. Brenda isnt picking a less optimum option.

I did also mention that Im not sure people ralize that they can do better.

My comment about balance being noticed only by the lazy, is quite simply based on the fact that if you arent being lazy in your thinkingthen you would realize tnat tbe choices of the player have orders of magnitude more effect on outcomes then the system, which merely facilitates implementing random chances of failure. This is why a GM is needed because the system has such limits to what it can handle.

I blame video games because in a video game you cant allow options except for those explicitly allowed in programming, thus people get used to thinking in terms of what the system allows rather then thinking beyond that to what the GM can allow.

That is the point that makes being lazy a legitimate way of playing.

At unarmed combat.

Ill have to watch them again but I was pretty sure it was when he was runjing towards the bridge, but in any case, just before the bridge, he had them all chasing him, no need for stealth then. Besides, error or not on my part can you not understand the point I was making?

@ Lokiare
Do that and you will find tactics has a significantly larger effects then abilities and skills.

Choosing inferior options or self imposed penalties is always more difficult then choosing one option but not another. Self imposed penalties are also houseruling in which we come to square one of the whole houseruling shouldnt be needed issue.

Lightning doesnt just go to ground, lightning is when you have two areas, one suffused with positive ions, the other with negative ions, and when a path connects the two. Lightning guns dont exist because we cant remotely produce an area with negative or positive ions. The ground usually has a fair amount of ions somehwere and so occasionally if a path is available it will balance out. It is just like how pressure between two areas will balance out if they can. Lightning just has a harder time connecting two areas to balance out.

Although, why dont modern soldiers use swords? Because the guns invented by intelligent people have ranged, speed of attack, penetration, and ease of use. All of which overcome any disadvantages of guns. Technology is comparative to magic.

Im out of time, ill be back later.

Lantern Lodge

Hello all!

I have presented my concept for a bard to the GM. I will be playing a rather outgoing character which is unusual for me, so we'll see how well I can pull it off. :)

Still picking a name, and will put crunch together at work (plenty of time as work for me involves guarding a field in the middle of nowhere.)

Edit: Base character concept, I am a noble woman who has just come of age recently. She is outgoing and a bit careless, though she trains hard and is proud of what she can do. She has learned much of the magic and knowledge passed down in her family. She takes takes her responsibility as a noble seriously, though her outgoing careless nature disguises it quite well.

Lantern Lodge

I see. That is understandable, but you will probably have greater success if you find something that you want to provide, some goal for which you can ask "Does this feature help or hinder?" It is easier that way to make a base, then you can expand upon it.

For example, if I were making this clone, I would set the initial goal as "I want this game to be set in a moderate fantasy setting, and have the flexability of classless systems, with the tactics and ease of play of 4e."

Then I can constantly check ideas against whether they help support that goal, or hinder it.

I could then later supplement with additional rules for other things and fit them to the base I already solidly built.

Lantern Lodge

Probably more true in the case of 4e though. I wouldnt be surprised if a lot of the anger expressed towards 4e was more because folks bought the books expecting DnD made better but got an entirely different game instead, thus likely feeling cheated having got something other then what they thought they were paying for.

Just supposition on my part.

Lantern Lodge

Tacticslion wrote:
DarkLightHitomi wrote:
If you make a 4e clone, I would like to see it be classless (perhaps use skill ranks to determine selectable powers) and perhaps have encounter powers cost points that could be spent on one power or across several. I always hated having longer combats yet could only usea power once.
That sounds very similar to psionics from Player's Handbook 3.

Yep, though the short little bit I played, if I recall correctly, psionics only enhances at will powers rather then having mid level powers in their own right that cant be used without power expenditure. Otherwise it is a good base.

Lantern Lodge

What is it you actually want to achieve with this game? When you answer that, then I can actual advice. Depending on the answer, a 4e clone may not be the best idea, or it might be better to make a 4e mod rather then all out clone, or maybe something else.

Lantern Lodge

Formatting buttons, yes. Sig space, absolutely not! I always hate the confusion and busyness of forums with sig space. Half the time you dont even know what someone wrote as a response or what was just their personal ad campaign.

Wouldnt be too bad I guess if it was on the side, but still, much cleaner looking without it. Not as much scrolling either, as sig space inevitably takes additional space. Would be quite distracting from games too.

I agree with Diffen about Next. It is rules light, and is generaly better for one offs. It could alo be a good introduction to RPGs for brand new players too, start off simple so they get a chance to actually play and get hooked before being scared off by three pages of homework.

Lantern Lodge

If you make a 4e clone, I would like to see it be classless (perhaps use skill ranks to determine selectable powers) and perhaps have encounter powers cost points that could be spent on one power or across several. I always hated having longer combats yet could only usea power once.

Lantern Lodge

Oh, you have to be careful referencing fiction, as story takes precedence over continuity or even common sense.

I.e., indiana jones, when he stole the stones from the temple of doom, he had a pistol yet he only shot one guy, and that was only because harrison ford was sick that day and ad libbed after messing up several takes. If he had a pistol with ammo, why didnt he use it more? Because it would have been bad for the story.

Lantern Lodge

-if you cant use a lever, get a longer lever. A long enough lever will let a one pound weight lift a two ton truck. Strength only applies if the lever is sideways or you have something to brace against. Bracing vastly increases the power output and is a result of intellect. Sure the intellect needs to be usable and preferably practical, a smart individual stays fit, which is more than enough to handle anything that can be handled by people.

-equal effort rarely gives equal results, this is why I dont care about balance. This actually mirrors some financial advice "dont work harder for money, make money work harder for you" aka putting more effort into one way can be surpassed by less effort in another way. Equal effort generally only gets equal results when the effort taken is nearly identical by nearly identical people.

There are no identical people so rules cant be used that way, someone is going to use them differently, and part of the GMs job to fit game to the group that is playing, this is the biggest reason to actually need a GM.

-a question to consider, what is your goal in playing the game? To kill every last enemy? Or to portray a character? What are these results you "need" and why do you need them? Do you somehow feel inadequate if have a 30% chance of failure rather then 5% chance of failure? Do you feel inadequate if you encounter anything at all that your are not suited or preppared to deal with? Do not people learn more and show their true mettle when dealing with obstacles that they dont know how to deal with? Is a game only fun if you never encounter failure, if you never have to backtrack, rethink your strategy, and try again?

-properly designed rules reflect the IC world you are playing in. DnD is not properly designed, this is why it seems so horrible. Designing the wizard, magic is assumed to be very powerful and easy, but designing the fighter made no consideration for the world the fighters inhabit, thus they were poorly designed to handle the world. IfDnD suddenly became real and followed the IC rules of greyhawk, there would never be straight fighters as the class, instead soldiers and other fighter types, would lean to deal with what the world had to throw at them, including magic and superior ranged attacks. Castles would be designed very differently, and the world itself would shift away from how it was written because it was inconsistant.

This boils down to one thing, are you designing a character for the world in which the live or are you designing a character seperatly then dropping them into the world? If you do the latter, then you should expect problems, which should be taken as IC motivations for your character to change what and how they do things.

-digitalmages post

- I should have included the word "reletivily" because yes they are there but they are seriously reduced down to almost nothing. Skill challanges are neat but definately rules light way of handling things, and rituals are a serious backstep which make direct support casting nonexistant, and severly discourages magic outside of combat. Casting alarm around the camp every night goes from being a regular duty of the group wizard to a an expensive thing that doesnt even require a caster at all and is prohibitivly expensive unless you actually have encounters everyday with merchants all over the place to turn loot into ritual componants. Most of the spells I used dont even exist anymore, and some non combat spells could still be used in combat for creative tactics, but not anymore. This is a severe hindrance to creative combat casters.

-all these ways of balanceing lightning bolts are changes to the game world itself. There is a difference between the game world, and the game system. A good system reflects the world. Making lightning bolts take three minutes instead of one action, is a change in the world, and causes a butterfly effect, as IC casters, fighters, castle designers, plus many others, suddenly need to change their expectations and strategies. It isnt just the PCs that get affected by game world changes, its everybody, NPCs included, and then the system needs changing to reflect the game world changes.

As I said, a good system reflects the game world. DnD is in this sense, not a good system because many of the rules, particularly the classes, were not designed within the design of the game world but rather they were designed independantly.

-I am 130 lbs, in the army and was the lightest person (well there one girl who weighed only 124, but was only in my unit for a short time) and in three years, I have never lost. Never. Not to the combat instructers, not to the 245 lbs fitness fanatic, I never lost. If the 7 stone guy has brains, he will win. This particular point comes from experience.

-adam and brenda, you obviously completely missed my point, there is a difference between not spending money that you have, and spending that money in a different way. I made a claim the people had something (metaphorically money) that they didnt spend, you countered with an example of money spent in a different fashion. Thus your example was not really fitting of the debate.

-example, I was in charge of a task to stack cases on pallets. Most of these cases were light or empty. We got straps to hold them down, one guy tried to wrapped the straps horizontally around the side so the cases would be tied into seperate layers and none tied to the pallet itself. I said it wasnt tied adequatly and they fall when the forklift turned, he asked why, so I tried guiding him through it,
"do the cases fit together real well?"
"Are the cases tied to every other case?"
"Look at the straps, how are the cases at the top attached to the ones at the bottem?"
"I dont know. Why would they fall?"
"Because they are strpped in layers and each layer can slide easily on the layer underneath."
"So how is that gonna make them fall?"
"The exact same way you go sliding sideways in the car when it turns too fast."

I have had similar discussions on other occasions with other people, and even when I dont, I like asking people why they did something or why they think something, and the number one response, even from full grown adults, is "I dont know, I didnt think about it" and when they do give another answer, it is usually shallow and straightforward (not always the simplest either)

-one, I never said it was bad wrong fun, to have balanced games, and even said that playing lazily (regardless of how you define the term) was a perfectly acceptable and legitimate way of playing, and I just wished that it wasnt always the center of discussion with rules.

Two, communication is non-logical and relies primarily on all prticipants having similar views, culture, experiences, and preconceptions to each other. The less similar these are the more difficult communication becomes and the greater chance of misunderstandings. Obviously you and I have significantly disimilar [everything listed above].

Lantern Lodge

@ Onishi

Do we really need to worry about it as much in a sandbox? I didnt play Eve very long but I dont recall anything to encourage grouping mechanically, but trying to go outside the high security areas was painful enough just from players, that I didnt bother. One of the reasons I stopped was the fact that I had to go through gates so was unable to sneak anywhere or take unlikely routes to avoid enemy players.

Since this is a similar style sandbox, and is influenced by Eve, I think it is entirely possible that mechanics may not be needed to encourage grouping, and if certain conditions are present may even need to mechanically support solo just to make it possible.

Lantern Lodge

90% of my social interactions will be out of combat. I have no desire for 90% of my gameplay to be out of combat however.

I am not, nor will I ever be good at grouping. I hate following after others with an absolute passion, even more so when Im the only one doing things my way.

Me I want social interactions, but I want them on the settlement, crafter levels rather than combat.

Lantern Lodge

Nihimon wrote:

@kenshi33, I would also ask you to consider this post from Ryan Dancey (Goblinworks Blog: I Can See for Miles). Specifically, the post talks about how the players of Ultima Online were very vocal in their desire for a non-PvP server, but once they got it, the game started losing players. What they didn't see was that the PvP made everything else they were doing meaningful.

I think the desire for solo content in PFO is similar. If there are things we can accomplish in PFO without having to team up with others, then those things will become less meaningful.

I'm not saying this to argue that everything should require a group - others have already pointed to a number of things that you'll be able to do solo. I'm just saying that solo content in PFO is likely to always be High Risk for a relatively Low Reward, and I think that's probably the way it should be.

While I agree with the idea of solo being harder, I do not think it should be required ever. What happens when I just cant find a good group, or I join a group of morons that I break away from in the middle of our mission? No, grouping shouldnt be a requirement.

Solo should be high risk, moderate reward. You should get more from grouping to encourage grouping, but the let the risk be the discouraging factor rather than rewards.

Lantern Lodge

-What you are talking about aren't discrepencies. And consider the reasons why many GMs like 4e for storytelling, they like the lack of rules for out of combat things. With fewer rules they dont feel constrained to follow them. A lack of rules isnt balance, its freedom for the GM to do something they desire without feeling like they are fixing things. A GM can legitimately make the same call in either 4e or 3.x, but appearently they feel relunctant in 3.x because there are rules already thus it feels like fixing things, but in 4e the rule doesnt exist so its not fixing something, so doing the exact same thing is somehow more acceptable to them. Took me awhile to catch on to this one.

-Dont see how you can possibly have a +20 at second level, not without some ridiculous allowences by the GM, such as having really high point buy for stats plus really crazy synergizing magic items. Of course if its magic items, then its not the character, its the item.

Really starting with a +4 from ability plus 5 max ranks, plus assuming human so two feats and those being persuasive +2 and skillfocus +3 and still get only 14. Thus if you are playing with people having 20+ for bonuses your GM better not be complaining cuase its their choices that are allowing it.

-just because a system works doesnt make the world plausible. Plausible comes from the world being consistant not the rules of the game. There is no way to have swinging asword be better then slinging lightning bolts. By the very nature of the two, lightning wins. There are limits to what can be done with pointy sticks, this world knows well what those limits are. If you want magic to overshadow pointy sticks, then you must make magic subtle and weak, incapable of manipulating large base energies. You cant have it both ways, you cant have powerful awesome magical effects while being weak enough to be overcome by pointy sticks.

I have never read a fantasy in which magic didnt do more then pointy sticks. Some didnt use magic to its potential, but obviously for reasons of story, things get ignored.

Pointy sticks exist, you cant really change what can be done with them, but magic doesnt, you have to change what can be done with it, but you need to be consistant or frustration builds. The whole hatred of wizards being better then fighters is because magic was made powerful, yet the fighter was designed to never use it, thus the fighter came with expectation that it should be powerful since it went to lvl 20 but that was not consistant with the design. This inconsistancy is the problem, the fighter and wizard were designed with differing assumtions, which is inconsistant.

Further, very few players catch on to the fact that heros like Aragorn or Conan should be lvl 4-5 so they assume that such heros should be max lvl characters and make them as such then complain when the system doesnt fit, an incosistancy between their expectations and the reality of the design.

-Strength is never mighter then intellect. Never. Cant break that rope? Use something sharp. Cant lift that rock? Use ropes and pulleys. Intellect created the gun, now the very idea of warrior is so far dead most soldiers dont even understand it anymore. Intellect made the gun to defeat the sword. Intellect always beats strength.

Note, I wouldnt mark magic knowledge as somehow seperate from knowledge in general, no more then saying that knowledge of carpentry is seperate from knowledge of physics.

-perhaps I gave a bad example. Yes I know there some optimizers who do things other than damage, I have only seen two. I dont consider that a significant number, and doubt that the ratio of those I met are *excessively* far from total population.

-I dont think you understand how people are lazy. If a characters performance is only minorly affected by mechanics, then the imbalance of the reality between players renders any balance of mechanics moot. Seeking balance in mechanics is avoiding the work involved in useing ones intellect to guide the character to success, also in thinking enough to realize how the disjoint between player and character affects decisions, and in the lack of thinking beyond the first answer, and perhaps most importantly, in how people deal with their emotions and how they allow those emotions to guide decisions.

If people werent what I am calling lazy, then they wouldnt be relying so much on the mechanical build of their character, and thus would find the system balance to have far less if not no effect.

Your example with Adam and Brenda sucks, as Brenda isnt even remotely being lazy. She does have something that she isnt using. Adam isnt useing something Brenda isnt either. Adam eats fast to spend more time on other things, Brenda is utilyzing her time to enjoy eating.

When I say people are being lazy in thinking, its because they arent thinking, its not that they are thinking differently, its that they think less, less in amount, less in depth, less in detail.

-They can indeed both enjoy playing. To enjoy playing being the goal yes?

-yes from Naruto, the first few seasons were good. After that, still good but things start to get ridiculous. Naruto has a monster sealed inside giving him great amounts of raw power, Sasuke does not, yet both characters are important to the story, and neither truly outshines the other even though Sasuke feels like it sometimes.

-well of course not everyone is like me, but they certainly have the potential to be, but instead they stick their heads in sands and complain about getting sand in ther eyes.

-you know, its funny where conversations can eventually lead too. So far from the initial point.

Lantern Lodge

GMs are part of the system because the rules are incapable of accounting for the player. The performance of a character is only about 30% the mechanics, the rest is the player and the GM.

Additionally, you need to calibrate your expectations of DnD. Level 5 is the limit for normal humans so once you get a bonus above 10, you have basically become a demigod, so why wouldnt a demigod of persuasion have any difficulty in persuading the halfling chief? Well the GM can step in here and recall that halflings generally keep to their own and would likely refuse to speak to the elf when there is a halfling they can speak to instead. The skill is not the end all and be all of the situation, other factors come into play, people, including halfling chiefs can be so stubborn that no silver tongue can sway them, only some other form of persuasion, but can the elf do that other form of persuasion or even recognize the possibility?

Besides, designing an adventure with the idea of players useing a particular skill at a particular place is just bad design to begin with, and such bad designs will undoubtedly lead to irritations such as this. Better to design without PCs in mind at all and let them find creative solutions.

- I prefer plausable rather then realistic, however, think of it this way, swing a stick or command the the very elements of nature, which is more versatile, which has greater potential, greater scope and depth? Why do you think we use guns and not swords in modern day? Because swords have limited use! Yes you can be the greatest sword wielder in all of history and yet you would still be defeated by one who has the ability to strike from a distance, repeatedly and quickly.

Magic mirrors technology, the only difference being that technology is based on the knowledge of the group while magic is knowledge of the individual.

Greater knowledge is greater power.

Guys love strength of muscles because its easy to see, easy to display, yet it is the weakest of all potential strengths possessed of any person. Knowledge and the ability to quickly utilize it, will defeat muscles anytime, anywhere.

- I have very rarely seen people try to win in anyway other then stereotypes. Fair or not, that is the most common way people try to win. Why do you think most optimizers maximize damage output? Why not gain the ability to immobilze or disable an opponant quickly and damage them at their leisure? Or work as a team to hold an opponant unable to act, while others deal the damage? Yet somehow people always boil it down to "I punch you, you punch me"

-When I say that most players I have seen are lazy, its because that is what I see. Perhaps I am unlucky and dont meet very many not lazy players, yet the most popular games are those that focus on the attributes lazy players gravitate towards, some even deny the ability to be smart and creative to win instead requiring the use of lazy tactics to win.

-3.x didnt emphasize optimization, it was a bit simulationist, and of course, real life is very much in favor of optimizers and imbalance. I had plenty of fun without optimizing, plenty of fun even when I had to start 3 lvls behind everyone else. Probably because it wasnt my goal to win and be the best at something, rather my goal was the characters goal, to survive or focused on some IC goal which was almost never "kill all enemies!"

-90% of the time everyone I see is being mentally lazy, whether at work or at play, they always take the the most obvious route, not the easiest or the best, but rather the most obvious. It is uncommon for me see otherwise anywhere in life and I have travelled a bit, lived in several states and even joined the army for awhile.

-play a soldier who is good socially? Exactly why I hate classes. In a skill based system you would simply split training between the two. Being stuck with classes presents a problem for one who wants to have a nontraditional character, but that is an issue unrelated to balance, but impacts balance in that making things balanced requires limiting characters and what they can have, so they cant have any combos that are overpowered.

-part of your problem is that you see a character with +5 as being pointless beside a character with +30 and really, in most situations that isnt true. Of course if you get a GM who likes to fudge the DCs to always make them challanging rather then reflective of the actually difficulty of the task, then you might have problems bu in that case the GM isnt useing the system as intended, thus no amount of good system design can help. Better and clearer writing of rules maybe.

Rolling against a DC 10 a +5 will still have a great chance of success, so how is that pointless?

Do you really need to compare your bonus to everyone else in order to feel good about it?

Lantern Lodge


-People have the ability to be many times more intelligent then they commonly are. I see glimses of that intelligence on rare occasions, yet they almost never utilize it not in games nor in life, as though they themselves dont realize its there. What other word is there for not useing what is available to you?

-if both players are not lazy, then each contributes greatly to the game in their own way. Neither being outshined by the other, think Naruto and Sasuke. Does either outshine the other even when one has greater power then the other?

-Well, I dont know of a better word for it. No disservice intended. If they want to be that way, let them. It is better if they understand though.

-Well I was never good with words, so my apologies.

Lantern Lodge

@ DigitalMage
The only time balance is noticed is when people are being lazy (though I think a certain amount of mental laziness is instinctual. Its on my list for future research)

If I can take a mechanically weaker character and out perform others with stronger characters, then obviously the performance has as much to do with the player as the mechanics.

Additionally, this is a game, and as a game it is intended to be fun, if most people have fun being lazy, then by all means do so. Treating balance as the holy grail of game design however I feel is doing a disservice to those like myself who are not lazy, and thus find that mechanical balance is completely pointless.

I was trying to point out that it wasnt the only way. I did not claim that my way was better. Therefore you ironically said the same thing to me as I was trying to say to others.

The "hulk smash" character can interact with the story without being good at everything.

A couple of options for a nonsocial fighter in your example of getting on the good side of a merchant house.

-be the comic relief. You can provide to the game/story without being the one who progresses the story.

-be the gruff not so talkative guy who has others speak on his behalf. Or just be gruff, when it comes to specialized skill sets, people in power occasionally need to deal with those who are "unrefined" and while mr hulk might not be overly persuasive in speech he can still get good graces by being usefull or even simply being polite despite a social ineptness.

There are plenty of ways to get in a merchants good graces outside the obvious social skills. You can get into 95% of peoples good graces by demonstrating reliability with a pinch of either silence or politeness, none of those require even one rank in a social skill.

My entire point being, is if a fighter has no social skills, then he simply finds another way of gaining those good graces, perhaps offering to do a job in exhange.

Lantern Lodge


Since when do scenes have to be challanges? Why do social scenes have to played socially? Why not present an obstacle and let the players pass it in whatever method that plays to their strength? Why do you need to succeed at a dice roll to feel like you contributed to play?

The best advice I ever got for GMing a game was to always fail forward (i.e. if the fighter fails the strength check to bash the door, let him through the door but give him a penalty such a bruised shoulder with -1 to skill checks with his right arm for the rest of the day) so if you are always failing forward why do you always need to succeed?

An outright fail doesnt have to stop or block play, it can be turned into an additional obstacle, an additional scene to play through, and yet you speak of outright failure like its the worst possible thing to happen.

Weak builds are often played by me, and if that keeps you from a game then that is an issue with the GM, not the game itself. Same goes for dealing with optimizers, if they keeping stealing the spotlight, then the GM isnt doing her job.

Besides most of your balance is completely nonsensical, why in the world would any fighter living in a world with mages and magic not learn it? Of course magic is stronger then a sword, a sword is usually faster but there is not any magical realm fantasy I have ever heard of where ignoring magic was the smart thing to do. It only makes sense that a fighter would learn magic to enhance and support his swordfighting skills, or at least to negate an opponants magic. Yet people talk about LFQW like swinging a sword should somehow be as power as commanding the elements of the universe. It doesn't make sense. Granted this is partially due to the class designs, but not a balance issue. If you want to stick to the mundane then you better expect those with vast amounts of power to be better then you and you had better use tactics and good planning to gain success, oh waitplayers hate that, they want to play like Halo, rush in and slaughter with no plan and no strategy.

Too bad really, strategy and planning can make the weak builds come out on top, which is another issue with game balance. How you play is extremely important. An optimum build played with suboptimum choices will fall to a suboptimum build with optimum choices.

So really, balance is important when people are lazy, and while I can respect that some people like being lazy in their leisure, there is no reason to assume that pandering to their playstyle is somehow better or the most important thing.

Lantern Lodge

If there is one thing I like about 4e it is the combat.

But every example you gave about games does not mirror RL, in Monopoly, the shoe might actually own more hotels then me, and thus get paid more then me, this is imbalance which is usually created by the luck of the dice combined with intellect. In chess, someone gets to move first, often times giving advantage to one player, even if its minor. Coop video games and Ill give extra stuff to another if they need it to compensate for a lack of skill or experience.

Playing fair and playing balanced are not equal.

It is also a rather lazy assumtion that balance is needed to participate.

I.e. the fighter with negative social skill can participate by constantly sticking his foot in his mouth. The mage can think "to heck with pussyfooting around" and cast a domination spell.

There is always something a character can do, they don't have to be good, they dont have to succeed, they don't have to do the expected.

Unfortunatly, many players are either unwilling or too blind to realize they have those options and this hyperfocus on balance reinforces this unwillingness/blindness.

Play a scrawny stupid guy named Harry who is always missing his socks.

Think about Indiana Jones, he is constantly failing yet the story moves forward and at the end in his favor, yet fewer and fewer want to be Indiana, they want to be gods, utterly incapable of making a mistake.

Lantern Lodge

Mechanics should support RP, never independant of RP. Real life isn't perfectly balanced, not every choice in RL has equal chance of success. Heck, in RL intelligence is the single most important ability score because if it's high enough it can compensate for any other score being low.

So if our RL isn't balanced, why do we need games about life to be balanced? Doesn't make sense to me.

Lantern Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Seriously, does everything need to be designed with only one right answer thus requiring every character to be able to use that right answer?
Since I don't think anyone said that, I'm going with no.

Jeremy described exactly that. The idea that every character must have a decent or great social skill is the direct result of thinking like in my quote.

Lantern Lodge

Any particular reason no one ever believesin the following,

GM:This is the situation you find yourself in. What do you do?
PC1: Well Im good at talking, so Ill try talking my out.
PC2: Well I got spells, so Ill magic my way out.
PC3: Wel I brought my BFG, so Ill blast my out.

Seriously, does everything need to be designed with only one right answer thus requiring every character to be able to use that right answer?

Lantern Lodge

You kinda missed the point. What if I want to end combat in some other manner, such as dominating my attacker, or intimidation, or sneak around to avoid the fight. How do you balance that? The only way to be balanced is to remove the dominating and intimidation options, because there is no mechanical way to balance it to your combat options.

Besides, how powerful those abilities are depends on your use of them. If option three could be used without suffering a return attack because of intelligent use of environment, is the ability OP? Or is it simply useing the environment intelligently to take advantage of your selected abilities?

Lantern Lodge

@ lokiare
By the very nature of balancing a game removes options and makes limitations, it is absolutely required in order to maintain balance.

There is no such thing as a balanced game with as much potential as a more freeform game.

Lantern Lodge

I have plenty of room at the moment for players.

Lantern Lodge

I don't feel negatively towards balance (except that usually "balanced"implies stricter, less flexible rules for characters). I just find superfluous.

I have played characters several levels behind players and never got irritated nor felt useless or weak. I have never needed to make a character strong enough to match the party, and plenty of times have even been knowingly weakened against the party and still come out on top. It is a matter of how the character is played.

There was one time I played a kobald wizard level 1 during a DnD day and out of 34 games was one of only two of the kobalds to survive, and I had been seperated from the party too.

There just isn't a reason for me personally to care about my power level compared to the party, I played a kid once a saved the party twice in one adventure , I dont need to be balanced to the party, and just get irritated when others make a big deal out of it as though they just cant think enough to do anythink in combat other then swing sword and trip or deal direct damage spells.

@ Jeremy
Being focused on combat doesn't equal ignore the games roots. I really should have phrased it as them focusing on the "kick in the door" style players.

Look at how they gutted the skill list, and since when should everyone have something to do during the face segments, seriously its fun to watch the fighter fumble over his lips sometimes.

All they really did was make everyone more the same systematically, which I see as a bad thing. For a straight combat, its fine but for RP its not. Part of RP is having weak areas, but everyone in 4e is either good or passable, never weak.

Lantern Lodge

Maybe they'll be smart and support older editions as well as newer ones (just my wishfull thinking)

Dnd next is overly simple, and while I think it is a good system, I would classify it as a moderately rules light system, which may or may not be a good thing.

Lantern Lodge

Soundsto me like they designed a game to be tactics, thus leaving many gaping holes and so GMs are loving the feeling of freedom of haveing those holes remain unspecified, thus they say the game is good at story but then complain that the adventures are designed for tactics.

Truth is I think, that the game was never designed to be better at story, it justturned out that way for certain GM styles acccidentally, really because those GMs like the freedom which they don't feel they have in 3.x even if they are technically allowed that freedom.

Also it is a bit of a matter of mentality, I create an alternate self and thus play the game from the aspect of exploration and very "first person" thinking, but others seem to be looking at it like it is a story ora movie with a certain detachment from the characters, thinking in a very "third person" sort of way. Thus what I am looking for in the game is a very personal experience, yet those others are looking for the same kind of impersonal (or semi personal) experience as a movie, with all the drama and theatrics that entails.

Lantern Lodge

Actually, many of the numbers in 3.0 are taken from reality such as jump DCs, carry capacity, and other skills, even some of the environmental effects (of course some people disbelieve this but that's because real humans aren't capable of being higher then 5th level but for some reason everyone tries to make heros like Conan or Aragorn as 20th lvl but they are actually 5th.)

3.5 and after however have tweaked these thus getting farther from real life.

Many non-realistic elements are the story fluff or abtracted componants such as the vancian spell casting. And some combat elements (clearly the writers didn't know enough about fighting. I would be surprised if they got the pointy end pointing in the right direction) of course most players don't know enough to notice.

HP is just a method to make the game less lethal and probably a holdover from its roots as a tactical game where units were representative of a unit of many individuals.

Lantern Lodge

What is LFQW?

The funny thing is, things that are obvious to me that don't make sense basically kill suspension of disbelief making it harder for me to enjoy it. Funny that those exact same things things can make it easier for other people.

Lantern Lodge

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Well I guess to each their own. I personally never planned a build and never plan too, though I am one of the few that severly dislikes that nonsense. Balance is completely useless concept in RP, don't ask me why people care about it.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Spook205 wrote:

Sweet merciful Pete.

The more I see of this discussion the more it reminds me of College theology courses, with the protestants arguing sola scriptura and the Catholics going on about the tradition and magisterium.

The RAW side of things seem designed around thumping the rulebook without care or concern as to who wrote it, or why, until 'official errata' is issued.

The RAI side is weakened because so many people keep commenting, leaving interpretations vague.

TSR (for 1e, 2e, alternity, mystara, dragondice, etc, etc) used to put this on the Dragon Magazine Sage Advice, which unfortunately wasn't collected, but was spread out over dozens and dozens of magazines.

We need like a Paizo Rules-Pope or something, someone who's opinion trumps all others on questions of rules statements.

We should chip together and buy James a fancy hat or something.

There is a rules pope, there is even one for every game. Usuwlly refered to as the DM or GM.

Rule 0 isn't a rule to deal with misc matters, it is rather the core rule, all other rules are secondary to it, mere suggestions of how the game pope could handle thing.

Lantern Lodge

First, touching someone without consent is assault, shaking a finger at someone agressively is assault. So yes, itis assault to touch someone on the arm even to get their attention.

Two, Raw provides a baseline, things not covered or unclear should not be all considered with the same way. Sometimes it should be dissallowed and sometimes it should be allowed, it is up to the GM to decide on a case by case basis and the right answer is the one thats best for the game at the time (aka the answer can change)

Lantern Lodge

The spelss they get don't depend on the book, they get two free spells they don't have to pay for nor need to roll spellcraft rolls, and it assumed they were spells that were studied in downtime. No reason to allow willie nilly any spell choice. Can easily have players roll to see if they find the spells they want. Or atl least dicuss with them what spells they want and what they can find.

Lantern Lodge

+1 lol.

Lantern Lodge

Drachasor wrote:
Let's not forget that the vast majority of the rules do not have any ambiguity that people complain over. Most of it is 100% clear or nearly so. That certainly indicates that rules can be written clearly.

This is actually due to the readers being human thus having a fair amount of shared perspective with other humans. Is not due to a lack of ambiguity.

Lantern Lodge

Moridian wrote:
Oh god I hope they don't have mounted combat! I have never seen a game pull that off and I doubt Pathfinder would be the first.

Skyrim did it alright for mounted archery.

Otherwise I haven't seen any other attepts at it, though I certainly dont expect it to be difficult if someone actully uses a brain.

Lantern Lodge

Onishi wrote:
DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Prestige class type skill trees would be perfect for that, as well as number of "threads" (whatever they are called) to keep items on death, and other abstracted things.
The threads I have heard GW mention, but I have to say I'm skeptical on that idea, as it is a clear effect on power, but I suppose as long as it has a set cap (IE no super ritch player can thread a set of top of the line gear) it is reasonable

The concept didn't include money at all, so unless a player can buy character exp, money wont help. The idea is that as a character gains exp, some of it can be channeled to the main account where exp can unlock things, thus requiring a bit of dedication to the game.

Lantern Lodge

Prestige class type skill trees would be perfect for that, as well as number of "threads" (whatever they are called) to keep items on death, and other abstracted things.

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