Matt Filla's page

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Pan wrote:
If TNG busted open the door, DS9 tore it off the hinges. Here you have a federation crew running a space station for a non-federation species. The crew doesn't have the convenience of flying around doing things by their rules under their morality. We also get to see that not everyone in the Fed is a shining example of moral goodness. When push comes to shove, the Fed gets dirty (section 31).

Just having a main cast that didn't always get along and had to learn to trust each other was great.

Tectorman wrote:
I think one of DS9's claims to greatness is how it was a series-long story.

I remember watching the final season and being amazed at how that final stretch of episodes was basically one long episode. It really did change forever what I want from TV - everything I have liked on TV for a lone time now has been long-form and heavily serialized. I am doing a Fringe rewatch with some friends who have not seen it before and I keep getting impatient with it because I know how truly serialized it is going to become and we're still in the early seasons where there were a lot of stand alone episodes.

I will forever argue that the reason DS9 is the best Star Trek series (which it clearly is - I have high hope for Picard, but it won't be on the air long enough to match the epicness of DS9) is that it finally got ST out from under the heavy thumb of Gene Roddenberry.

Started playing this myself, and I agree - so far it is great. I'm about ready to leave the first planet and I am weighing the big decision that you make there. There is no obviously right or wrong option.

Greylurker wrote:

Just reached that settlement next to the rails. two people, white rail station building and a decent garden. Can't remember the name of the place.

Decided to build a 4 story elevator there and make an apartment complex

Good thinking - people will pay a premium for easy access to a train line.

DQ, your comparison has made me realize it has been long enough since I played Fallout 3 that I have forgotten enough to make it worth playing again.


This order originally included the final book for the Tyrant's Grasp AP, and the first book for the Age of Ashes AP. I requested that my subscription be canceled after the end of the Tyrant's Grasp AP, and reviewing the order it appears that was done (thanks!). But the order (consisting now of simply the final book of the Tyrant's Grasp AP) now is sitting in Pending status, with the notation "Waiting for backordered products". Since the AP book is listed as available on the website, I am concerned that this order is hung up in the system somehow. Can you please look into this, and send the product (which I assume is available)?


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"OK - let's try some different braid-tugging scenarios. First, Rand is being a typical addle-pated male...Good, I felt your frustration. OK - something different. Lan is getting you all hot and bothered and he really smells good, but at the same time he and Perrin are talking about how good the ale will taste when you reach the next inn...Nice - very conflicted tugging."

I wonder how much braid-tugging was involved in the audition process.


As stated in the title, please cancel my Adventure Path subscription after the final chapter of Tyrant's Grasp, before the 2E AP starts.


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morairtym wrote:
Unikatze wrote:

Also. One box has made it's way to ebay. There's one day left on the bid and it's going pretty high.
But I thought I would share. ly-rare-and-out-of-print/283462680103?hash=item41ffb13e27:g:9pgAAOSwNpdcwXa b

$405, Yep not enough demand that's fore sure.

Seriously, people need to quit equating "a couple of people are willing to pay a crazy price on eBay" with "there is enough demand out there to justify a large enough print run to make the price reasonable (and the associated inventory storage costs, etc)". They are not related.

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"Look - I have to put up with all your characters' bombastic pronouncements during the game, so shut up and listen for once. Nothing's going to happen until I allow it anyways, so you might as well settle in."

DaveMage wrote:
Slumbering Tsar from Frog God Games (written by Greg Vaughan).

Great adventure (I'm running it now) but not for the four-month timeframe the OP mentioned.

You should make clear to your players that there will be encounters where the CR is far, far above the other encounters on that level, and that "the deeper you go, the harder it gets" general rule for dungeon delving is often broken in RA. Players who are not prepared to have their PCs run away like scared children on occasion are going to die even more frequently.

On the plus side, the really overpowered encounters are often pretty hard to find.

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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
but there is enough about it that I just don't like. The whole bounded accuracy thing really annoys the hell out of me, for instance, and the arcanist casting, advantage/disadvantage, and more.

You just listed several things I like about 5E.

I have a long-running PF group (currently I am running Slumbering Tsar), and we have no desire to switch to a new system (including PF2). I have started a very occasional campaign for some friends and their kids - they were familiar with 5E and it was far easier for me to learn 5E than it was for them to learn PF, so I'm running that campaign as 5E. Having learned 5E now, I really like it - it's not going to replace my PF game, but I understand why people like it, and if I was new to RPGs, I would absolutely start there (and probably stay there).

I play because I enjoy it, and because I can spend time doing it with people I like. If my PF group all decided they wanted to make the switch to 5E, I'd go along with that (but they won't, which is also fine).

The main problem I have is remembering what's in PF and not in 5E (or vice versa) when I run my 5E game.

If the druid is also human, maybe you should show him how much damage you can do against a favored enemy...

Brother Fen wrote:
I just want to use the products sold to me.

I don't have any interest in 2E, but I don't understand what is stopping you from doing that. You own the Mythic rulebook - just use it if you want.

Sharoth wrote:

Helgen Reborn is on the list. I pretty much just downloaded everything that was on the LotD list and installed it.

Sadly, getting the time and the energy to do the modding has been a problem. Too much RL stuff to do.

That was my approach too - I also downloaded several new dungeons just to add some variety to the exploration. I have found few to no issues with mod compatibility.

Sharoth wrote:
I am almost done loading all the mods for my Skyrim - Legacy of the Dragonborn and Other Quests playthrough. After that, it is down to troubleshooting to try and clear out the bugs from having over 200 mods going at once.

I am looking forward to hearing your experience. I am still loving my playthrough - pursuing the Helgen Reborn questline right now. The museum is up to about 950 items on display.

Nice summary, DQ. I generally avoid the Civil War quest line until late in my games because I don't like either side, really. I do love killing Thalmor, though, as they are huge jackasses.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Matt Filla wrote:
People ask each other what class they are all the time - "so, what do you do for a living?" Why would it be different in the game?

What you do and what class you are are not necessarily the same thing.

"I am a healer"

Does that mean cleric, oracle, hedge witch, paladin, bard, or maybe a commoner with max ranks in Heal and skill focus: Heal?

"I am a scout"

Is that a rogue, slayer, ranger, or is a DEX focused magus that invested in the relevant skills?

Right, but no one in game is going to say, "I am a commoner with max ranks in Heal and skill focus: Heal". Class, feats, ranks - none of those terms have any meaning in game.

"What do you do?"

"I am a healer."

"Ah - the priest in my village could heal injuries - he healed my father when he got a nasty cut from his sickle when it slipped in his hands during harvest. Your god also grants you that power?"

"No - a woman in my village taught me to use the power that lies within the world around us. The gods are not the only source of power like that." (i.e., "I am a witch, and I am being circumspect about the source of my power.")

Or, "No - I have always had this power. I do not know where it comes from, but it did not come without a price." (i.e., "I am an oracle.")

A stealh/archer build is super powerful once you get the skills high enough. I am playing that way currently, and I get a ridiculous thrill out of sniping everyone.

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People ask each other what class they are all the time - "so, what do you do for a living?" Why would it be different in the game?

I skimmed past the thread title at first and for a second I thought it said "Mary Poppins returns full frontal", which would change things dramatically. :)

Anyways, Julie Andrews was the perfect Mary Poppins and this movie is the definition of unnecessary.

Sharoth wrote:
Dawnbreaker - Man At Arms: Reforged

That was fantastic.

Andostre wrote:
Matt Filla wrote:
Sure - here are the ones I think are great

*fist bump*

Any issues with loading them all at once? Last I looked at mods, I kept hearing that it's a good idea to get a mod-loader mod....

I have seen no issues with having all of those loaded at once. I use the Nexus Mod Manager tool and it works great for, well, managing mods (especially if you are getting them off the Nexus site - it's usually one click to install them and a second click to activate them). I have something close to 100 mods currently installed (the ones I listed and a bunch of retexture mods, one or two gameplay mods), and it was easy to install them all with the NMM.

It's always worth reading the notes for the mod on the Nexus site - they will usually tell you if there is a potential for conflict with other well-known mods (and if there is a patch to handle it), or if there are any other things you need to watch for with the mod.

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Andostre wrote:
Matt, I haven't played Skyrim in a long time, so I'm out of the game on most of the mods. I'd love to hear what other mods you like that add new content to the game. I'm not necessarily interested in mods that are about changing the game mechanics, but new quests and story lines would be fun.

Sure - here are the ones I think are great(note: I am playing the Special Edition but most of these are available for the original Skyrim. I get all the mods from

- Legacy of the Dragonborn (as if it wasn't clear)
- Moonpath to Elsweyr (travel to the lands of the Khajit)
- The Forgotten City (solve a murder in an underground city)
- Immersive College of Winterhold (adds locations, quests, etc., to flesh out the college of magic)
- Helgen Reborn (rebuild Helgen after the dragon attack which opens the game)
- Forgotten Dungeons, Skyrim Underground, Immersive Dungeons, Easier Riders' Dungeon Pack, The Unfinished Business (each of these adds several new dungeons to Skyrim - some with quests, some just cool to explore)
- Beyond Skyrim - Bruma (sends you back to Cyrodil and the province of Bruma, from Oblivion)
- Falskaar (a whole new island with many quests)
- Qaxe's Questorium (over 100 new quests, voiced NPCs, covering several different quest lines)
- Vigilant (adds a whole quest line for the Vigilants of Stendarr - make sure you get the English language add-on as the original is in Japanese)
- Artifacts of Skyrim, Royal Armory:New Artifacts, New Treasure Hunt, Amulets of Skyrim, Hidden Treasures, Skyrim's Unique Treasures (add tons of new items to find scattered about Skyrim)
- Fossil Mining (now you can find cool fossils when you mine for ore)

Legacy of the Dragonborn works with most of these to provide displays for the new items you find.

DeathQuaker wrote:

I love the idea of that, but I do not want to add too much new content or it will only increase the compulsion to play. I want to feel okay departing what I'm doing if Kingmaker's reviews are good or My Time at Portia ever hits final release.

I've only got a couple mods installed... I think the only one that adds any content is the Parthurnaax Dilemma, and that isn't much. I had one of those "your character feels the cold" mods but it looks like it's no longer supported in the Workshop.

I get that, certainly. You can add Legacy of the Dragonborn without adding a bunch of other things - it will just make the number of items you can find smaller. It also handles situations where you find an item that you have to give to someone to complete a quest (e.g., Amren's father's sword). There is a crafting table in the museum which you can use to create replicas of those items, and then you display the replica in the museum.

For myself, I've played the base game + Dragonborn + Dawnguard enough that I had gotten bored with it. I am not someone who will find it interesting to play the same game with a different character (unless there is new content specific to that character). I need more quests, more content, to be inspired to play again. Adding this mod (and all the supported mods) has provided that inspiration. Every dungeon becomes a "what cool item for the museum can I find in this place" encounter.

There is a "natural history" wing where you can use (for example) a mammoth snout and tusk, and a giant's toe to make a big "giant and mammoth" display, or a hagraven claw and feather to do the same for that creature, like you might find a display of the Pacific Northwest forest with stuffed wolves and moose in a museum in Seattle. There is a display stand for all the different types of gems you find. There are places to hang all the treasure maps, store all the books, armory displays on iron and steel and elven, etc. weapons and armor. There is a Hall of Lost Empires for all the Dwemer and Falmer and Ancient Nord stuff, with displays that are automatically added whenever you explore a Dwemer ruin or a Nord tomb (e.g, one for Labyrinthian) that have specific references to that place. As you complete big questlines such as the College of Winterhold, the museum will automatically get a display on the College added. There is a "not open to the public" area (and yes, people will come in and wander around the museum and make comments) where you can display all the less noble items you might have acquired (like the emperor's robes, or items associated with the Thieves' Guild). It's really amazing how much content there is.

On top of all of this, there is a whole safehouse which makes a great player home.

You definitely need to hang on to any interesting items you find before you get to the museum - you never know what there will be a display for. I restarted after 60 hours of play because I realized that I had sold off some items that I could have displayed and I couldn't find them again.

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I got the Skyrim bug again a few weeks ago and I installed the special edition and modded it up, and found my favorite mod of all time - Legacy of the Dragonborn. It adds a museum in Solitude that has displays for over 3200 items (it supports a number of mods that add weapons and armor, other "treasure hunt" items, etc.), has several associated quests, allows you to form the Explorer's Guild, adds excavation sites to many of the Falmer, Dwemer, and ancient Nord ruins - it's amazing, and it has totally changed how I play the game (the Live Another Life mod now has an option to start as the newly appointed head of the Explorer's Guild, which is how I began my game, although Legacy works with any start - you will find a letter on the counter of some shops announcing the opening of the museum if you use a different start). Someone commented on Nexus that this mod allows you to play Indiana Jones in Skyrim and that's a perfect description of it. I can't recommend it highly enough - definitely add in the mods it supports, and you can basically turn Skyrim into one giant treasure hunt.

The HUD-focused augments and similar things make the first-person approach the best match (which is fine with me).

Werthead wrote:
Matt Filla wrote:
Frankly, I wonder how many board games will actually get played 20 years after they come out these days. When all people had was Catan and Puerto Rico, maybe, but I doubt I'll be playing many (if any) of the hundreds of board games I have twenty years from now. I'll be playing different, newer games (or dead, I suppose, as I will be approaching 70).
I dunno, I still occasionally break out ESCAPE FROM ATLANTIS (which my parents bought for me 30 years ago), HERO QUEST and SPACE CRUSADE. Me and my friends still play AXIS & ALLIES on a semi-regular basis after 20 years.

Perhaps a better way of stating my point would be, "I won't be able to play it 20 years from now" is not much of a reason for not buying a legacy game.

Irontruth wrote:
The card isn't destroyed. It just had a film removed that kept certain information hidden. The silver scratch-off is not required to actually play the game. It isn't a game component. Any method of concealing the information will serve equally as well as the scratch-off.

Which is not the point I am making. I am saying that while you can choose not to tear up a card, you can't choose not to scratch off the silver coating. I can play Gloomhaven without modifying a single component (might be tough to open the boxes for the unlockable classes without destroying the seal, but it maybe could be done with enough patience). Not so with Pandemic Legacy. I agree it doesn't make the game unplayable, but I was never claiming that it did.

Werthead wrote:
Apparently, at some point after launch the publishers will allow custom servers, so you could just play it completely single-player at that point. However, from the sound of it there will vastly less content than any single-player FALLOUT game, so there's not much point to that other than just exploring the landscape.

At that point, at least I could play only with my friends instead of with random strangers.

Irontruth wrote:
Scratching off the film covering information doesn't damage the game to an unusable state, it reveals information to you. The actual "damage" is to your state of knowing what was underneath the scratch-off, not the scratch-off.

My point was simply that unlike simply not tearing up the cards that you are supposed to and setting them aside in an envelope, you can't play Pandemic Legacy without making permanent changes to components. In Gloomhaven you can use those temp stickers on the board and cards, you can choose not to destroy cards, etc. In Pandemic Legacy, there is no way to avoid scratching off the silver coating on some cards - the game is really not playable without defacing at least some components.

You can turn over a used copy of Gloomhaven to someone else in a form basically no different than how it came new, if you really want to. You cannot do that with Pandemic Legacy.

Irontruth wrote:
As far as I'm aware, usually you can just put anything "destroyed" in an envelope labeled "destroyed" in any legacy game.

Pandemic Legacy (both seasons) includes scratch-off cards, so while you don't technically tear them up, it's really not possible to undo the changes to them.

Werthead wrote:
but £200 (which is what GLOOMHAVEN is going for) for a game you can't bust out and play twenty years from now is a much bigger ask.

Frankly, I wonder how many board games will actually get played 20 years after they come out these days. When all people had was Catan and Puerto Rico, maybe, but I doubt I'll be playing many (if any) of the hundreds of board games I have twenty years from now. I'll be playing different, newer games (or dead, I suppose, as I will be approaching 70).

Yeah, there's really no required destruction of any components in Gloomhaven. I'm taking a break at the moment from my solo campaign to get some other stuff on the table, but as Irontruth says, there are many, many hours of play in Gloomhaven, so it's not like you would lose out by "only" playing through it once.

The last two "legacy" games I played (Pandemic Season 1 and Seafall), I played 15 and 16 times respectively, which is far more times than most games I own and on a cost per hour basis is incredibly cheap. (Plus, I find it fun to play a game where I am actually supposed to alter/destroy components - I wouldn't want them all to be like that, but I relished tearing up the cards in both those games :) ).

This sounds and looks fantastic.

Celestial Healer wrote:
I wonder if you can choose who is on your server. If something like that was an option, that could actually be cool.

A friend and I were just talking about this last night. That would be great, and pretty much the only way I would give this a try.

Yeah, I was afraid that's what he meant by "you can play it solo". So pass, then.

Apparently there is a solo-play option for Fallout 76, but I don't know exactly what that means. Online appeals to me not at all, so I am hoping the solo option is worthwhile.

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An adventuring group is going to be actively putting itself into life-threatening danger on a regular basis. Why would such a group include a member who is a liability? If the only reason for including your character in the group is "because it's being played by a person sitting at the table," when otherwise that character would never be considered for inclusion in a group of people who need everyone to have each others' backs and pull their own weight as a matter of survival, then your character needs to be reconsidered. This includes both the under-powered (relative to the rest of the party) character as well as the character who is a jerk/evil or otherwise causes significant conflict/antagonism within the party.

A competent fighter, cleric, and rogue are not going to fill out their group with an incompetent wizard, and if they accidentally did, they would boot him/her out at the first opportunity, because their lives are likely to literally depend on it.

The Mad Comrade wrote:
Matt Filla wrote:
I haven't used XP for years - I level them when it makes sense. I'm surprised that some people have players who need to be bribed with XP to play - my group plays because we enjoy it. I would never go back to handing out XP.
It isn't bribery unless small amounts of positive reinforcement is considered bribery. I can go for multiple sessions without loot, but experience points tell me we're more-or-less on the right track while butt-kicking for Goodness/Evil/teenage angst/political drama/[insert something here].

This is your quote I was responding to:

"I've noticed that too. When my group switched to milestones, the risk-reward for attending every session went away over time.

"'Meh, I can come back later, everyone'll be the same level and more-or-less the same items anyway.'

"The story is not always compelling enough to keep people coming every session."

I can't imagine gaming with players who would skip sessions because the story wasn't "compelling" at that moment. Every player is going to find moments in the campaign that are more or less interesting to them personally. As a grown-up who has made a commitment to the game, I am going to show up without demanding to be fascinated every moment.

If everyone is bored with the campaign then it's time for a change. If someone is consistently bored, it's time for a discussion with the GM. But the first time a player said, "I'm not finding this compelling, so I'll see you next session - unless I'll miss out on some XP" there wouldn't be a next session for them.

I haven't used XP for years - I level them when it makes sense. I'm surprised that some people have players who need to be bribed with XP to play - my group plays because we enjoy it. I would never go back to handing out XP.

There's a big switch on them and everything.

The book looks great, but I am not happy about having to have the Midgard bestiary to get some of the monster stat blocks.

Joana wrote:
Matt Filla wrote:
Nope. Now I just need to know when to cancel my AP subscription before they become second edition products.
July 2019 will be the last volume of the last first-edition AP.

And now I know. Thanks.

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Nope. Now I just need to know when to cancel my AP subscription before they become second edition products.

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I milked every last quest XP I could get out of the Nuka-World raiders, and then slew them all in an orgy of blood.

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