Feb 152012
 

Let’s get to quotin’

  • Actually, as a consequence of a really bizarre interaction of the Higgs boson, the current common language of all Material Plane semi-European cultures is, in fact, modern English. Earth, Golarion, Toril, Krynn, Oerth, Aebrynis, Scarn, it’s all the same language.
  • Thank you for your very helpful commentary.This message is automated to tell you that it while the DM in question does and will continue to make homebrew items he prefers when possible to use the stuff that’s already there as it would make life easier and less time is spent on a side thing. Additionally, the fact is not all GMs like having players submit homebrew due to the largely varying quality of it.
  • he’s so fucking suave his accent wears a tuxedo
  • No, running back into a burning inn to rescue the people who spit on me at dinner makes my characters heroic.

Anyone else find it hilarious how most gorups always have one guy that has really high charisma?

“Hello I’m Sir Face of Charmingston. Do not be alramed heh, you’re merely feeling the efects of an arbitrarily high diplomacy roll-please no autographs-allow me to introduce my companions.
This is Noodly mcpizzaoldface the highly intelligent and all powerful wizard.
This is Loner McGothkid the stealthy assassin.
And this is AM BARBARIAN I here tell he sunders things.
Don’t mind their smell or their terrible fashion sense, please, we’ll just pay less than normal for a night here and, heh, be out of your hair.
Oh? Oh them? Oh they’re just my fangirls, just ignore them. I certainly do.
Ciao~!!”

  • I rolled my eyes so hard my head flew off my shoulders
  • “The plan is astoundingly short-sighted…clearly dwarves are behind this!”
  • If this kind of thing is possible, then it’s possible to exploit.
  • I don’t think you guys are giving him enough credit. It takes a very brave individual to steal from a group of people that just killed all the possible witnesses.
  • Sorry, but if you aren’t willing to invest some minimal effort like a transatlantic flight, you don’t deserve any of my bread.

Fresh Quotes, served weekly.

Feb 082012
 

I could talk about [topical topic X] but this post was written a month ago.

  • It’s shocking how much I don’t care.
  • The brilliant thing that Crane Style does let you do? Tank a T-Rex, as a monk (yes, or anyone really), at no risk to yourself! :DI have to admit, that’s awesome. Definitely a feature, not a bug. I’m just seeing this T-Rex come charging over the hill and the monk stepping forward, narrowing his eyes and saying “Don’t worry, guys. I got this.”
  • No, it’s definitely a solution. If one thing doesn’t work, use something else.
  • So expect D&D to be much like you’d expect Magic: The Warhammer Fantasy Battles would be if the two games got together and had progeny.
  • There’s so many people trying to put the cork back in the elephant I almost missed the blast.
  • “They’ve actually managed to cast someone with less dramatic range than Schwarzenegger.”
  • The rule for Colin Farrell movies is Irish Accent = Good Movie, Other Accent = Bad Movie.
  • That uncertainty is part of what makes the game challenging and different from other games, and it can force players to guess about their best course of action, which in my experience often leads to roleplaying.
  • Roleplaying and building an optimal character are not exclusive. Having a less than optimal character does not make you a better at roleplaying, no matter how you look at it.

These are filler to make the blog look active in-between podcast episodes.

Feb 012012
 

What are you planing to do with your extra day this month?

  • And they will never stop complaining. It will always be something. Because once you start giving people’s opinions the illusion of moral force, they get addicted to the power of complaining. So they don’t ever stop. The only way to deal with that is to ignore them.
  • Don’t confuse me thinking very little of your argument with an inability to comprehend what you’re saying.
  • Prices in this area have been known to spike .25 -.30 cents over night.  I can only assume one of the sheiks camels died, or spat in the eye of the local shaman the previous day.
  • Do you really have an ability if the DM never lets it come into play?
  • What I will say is that the FDA has guidelines for how much rat poop can show up in your food. Same with hair, dangerous chemicals, etc. Those numbers are not zero, because they *can’t* be zero. Rat poop happens. What they’ve done is set the bar as high as seems feasible (and, hopefully, safe).
  • Yes, if only we had a gear quality mechanic we could draw on and and use to gauge how well a particular piece of kit functions. But alas, such a thing most definitely does not exist on page 296/297 of the Core rulebook. *cough*
  • There’s some GMing advice I read somewhere: “When in doubt, err on the side of awesome.”
  • “And for the record, her penis was very charismatic.”
  • Charisma is not a measure of a character’s beauty. Hitler had a high charisma, and he was uglier than a sack of smashed @$$holes.
  • Conversely, you could simply have no idea what actual optimal choices are, and your character is gimptastic in practice. I’ve sat at enough PFS tables with people who thought their characters were the end all be all, but were in fact a boat anchor. You might well be in the category.

Me I’m planing something. Oh yes. Something that’s totally not stay home and play minecraft.

 

Jan 252012
 

In general I like to start these out of context quotes wth a little bit of personal writing. Much like the previous sentence.

FATE. Its treated in someplaces as the great RPG ever to be written and those who do not like it or do not get it are pretty much unenlightened heathens.
Call me an unenlightened Heathen as its kinda MEH, and just does not click for me, it might be an ok system but it isn’t the be all , end off of RPGdom people seem to think it is.

  • “Ixnay on the Agicmay.”
  • if you’re going to question why you’re climbing a jagged, icy mountain, that’s the sort of question that’d make more sense at the bottom, rather than halfway up.
  • “I say unto thee, thou hast snoozed and thus, thou have lost.”
  • “Thank you for calling the CIA anti-espionage hotline. We’ve dispatched agents to the location you are calling from already. What is your issue?”
  • In a Call of Cthulhu game where all the PCs were academics he wanted to be a professor of ninja studies.
  • AoO aren’t hard to deal with, I don’t know what paint-chip eating players keep complaining about them.
  • One of my players tried running a campaign that started with us as slaves. It didn’t really work, because none of us were willing to stop trying to escape, not even for a second.
  • But it would open the floodgates to things like casting ventriloquism and having the voice come from the target of antagonize so that he would attack himself in melee because he thinks he is fed up with his own bull s&&&.
  • Either way, I have only one genuine requirement, before characters are even created. Backstory or no, they must be the type to answer the call to adventure, and work as a team. They can be evil, ugly, temperamental or strange, but when that plot hook drops they must be the type to say “yes please” and take it up. I am not running a game for boring coward PCs. It’s an adventure game, and PCs must be adventurous, if not adventurers outright.

My example may not have been the best.

Jan 182012
 

I’m going to, from now on, try to make these as RPG-centric as possible.

  • Jean-Luc Picard famously said, “Being first at any cost is not always the point.”
  • As for SoS abilities, don’t spam it if you can’t take it is what I tell ’em.
  • What I find unrealistic is that the other PCs let you live.

I find it sad that multiple people at the table thought it would be perfectly reasonable to bring a loaded weapon to church.
Well, first of all, an unloaded gun isn’t much use. And second of all, not everyone is okay with dying in church. As convenient as it is.

  • I mean if the GM specifically says that he’s running a very four color cartoonish style of superhero game where the villain’s plan is always this zany scheme to kidnap the Statue of Liberty and stuff like that, where it’s very unlikely that civilians ever get killed, then it’s ok if the villain escapes and does it again because hey the heroes need something to keep them busy, right? But if the villain is typically committing violent crimes where people are killed then I think it is the GM’s responsibility not to make the players feel like a bunch of saps for handing him over to the authorities only to escape time after time. Otherwise I think it is perfectly reasonable for them to be asking themselves, “Is our code of justice costing lives that we could otherwise be saving?”
  • Some groups switched to Pathfinder simply because the GM said, “I’m only running Pathfinder, if you want to do 4E you’ll need a different GM.”
  • You are wrong! I invoke nerdrage to prove it!
  • Laugh all the way to the bank as the GM vows silent, swift, revenge.
  • My dad was an old school newspaper man, who said, “Never get in an argument with a newspaper which buys ink by the ton.” It is still good advice, even if it needs to be modernized in this digital medium.

Helaman wrote:
Assuming your characters maxed out at level 6, what class(es) would you play and why?
LazarX Replied:A different game. Being forever restricted to third level spells is fine for some, but it’s not my cup of cocoa.
Let me put it this way. Looking at the game, it shows you Mt. Everest and once you see that mountain, you want to climb it. You arrive there all pumped up, and then E6 ropes off everything but the foothills and tells you that’s where you’re restricted to climbing not just now, but forever.
Handing out a feat every now and then isn’t the same thing. It’s not the same as playing a game without levels those games have a structure and a rhythm that accomodates it. But D&D and it’s children have always been about Mt. Everest. I might not ever scale the peak, I might fall into a crevasse, but at least I know the mountain is there and potentially climbable.

Mostly so I can justify them in the RPG feed.

Jan 112012
 

Be sure to stay tuned later today for another Humble Opinion

  • Ryan Dancey used to say, “the D&D rules is a very good simulator of a typical D&D game.” D&D isn’t Tolkien. It isn’t Forbidden Kingdom. It’s not Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It’s not Blind Fury. It isn’t The Crippled Masters. The game assumes from the very start that gear is an essential part of being an adventurer. You can’t just throw that out for one guy and expect a smooth experience, any more than you can run a campaign that’s standard except for “there is no metal armor” or “there are no clerics” and expect a smooth experience.
  • Postal speed varies wildly. I suspect that “Dark Mountains of Idaho” might be a somewhat remote location and take a while longer than, say, Seattle.
  • It’s YOUR personal taste, so that is how the rules should be? My, but that sure is a high horse you’re riding there sir.
  • If I had a player who played with the intent to be jerk to everyone else because the game world didn’t work exactly like he wanted it to then yes the player can take his dice bag and dangle.
  • I vote for “hookers and blow” every time.
  • At a game table, a player telling you his character is a Kender might as well just say, “I’d like to troll you all for several hours, once a week. But you can’t get mad, because it’s roleplaying.”
  • “Be sure to tie a rope around your waist so we can haul your battered corpse back up and loot it.”

PvP Player 1: “I use Antagonize on you!”

PvP Player 2: “I counter it with Iron Heart Surge!”

PvP Arena GM: *head explodes*

  • I say yes. If PCs want to play rocket tag it’s ultimately them that will lose out.

It’s just a suggestion to the powers that be.

Jan 042012
 

I just noticed that the new year started on a Sunday.

  • At a point where playstyles are divergent enough, you’re no longer really gaming with people. You’re just nervously steering a flimsy boat through a bunch of mines.

Whatever the truth of the situation is, and I don’t claim to know it, here’s how your coming across: entitled, negative, possessive, self-centered. Your group doesn’t owe you three weeks in a row. Most people don’t want to game with someone who spends his off-time considering which players
to fire, or whether others are being disloyal, or whatever. It sounds like you’re used to GMing from a standpoint where others follow your lead, but the group has come to want more input on scheduling and such. Through it all, all I keep hearing is how upset you are, how your feelings were hurt, and so forth, and it appears likely to me you have offended your group members and I’m wondering why you’re not curious why.

  • “If the PCs were under a quest given by Queen Latifa, to save Philadelphia from the the Detroit Lions, and needed Steven Hawking’s help to get the Oscar trophy from the dread
    warlord Donald Trump, they’d remember that freaking campaign.”
  • “For freedom! For Philadelphia! FOR LATIFAH!”
  • “selective realism isn’t realism”
  • You’re using science for no good… we took an oath we would try to do that less.
  • This is part of why media usually gives a very short timescale for world destruction. If you give us any time at all, you have to deal with what *billions* of people can do if they set their mind to it.

Here’s how you test your players:
Player: “I want to play an old character for the concept.”
GM: “Sure. You can use the normal non-aged stats and just
roleplay being older.”
Note the reaction carefully.

  • I wasn’t changing NPCs. I was making a point to the players that I’m ok with whatever cheese they want to bring to the game, but if they bring limburger, they better like eating and
    smelling it

Just an observation, that’s all.

Dec 282011
 

The year is almost over, Does everyone have a resolution for the New Year in mind?

  • He doesn’t even use paper. He just writes this shit on his palm and delivers it to you bitch-style.
  • A classic maxim of GM advice is to avoid being be the adversary of the players, to present a world and its challenges, but not to personally fight against the players. A very rules light primarily-trust game environment encourages the adversarial relationship by placing too much in the hands of the GM.
  • It’s a long-winded defense of using GM fiat as your resolution mechanic wrapped up with a pretty bow on top. It then attempts to slyly claim that detailed descriptions, player-initiated action, and GM rulings all depend on using GM fiat as your resolution mechanic… which is patently and obviously untrue.
  • Furthermore, its general thesis that “modern games include mechanics for resolving stuff that old school games didn’t” is severely selective in its sampling of reality. As a simple example, OD&D included explicit resolution mechanics for monster morale; 4E doesn’t.
  • So we’ve discovered that “rulings, not rules” is really just a mantra for, “I like GM fiat.”

Man. You make a good point. Where on earth could I have gotten the impression that you were advocating not having mechanics for certain actions?
Oh. Right. It was the part where you said exactly that. Repeatedly. And in many different ways. And then continued to say it even after you had just gotten done implying you had never said it.

  • The single thing I hated most about early edition play was sitting around a table for an hour while describing all the different things we did to a magic ring to try and figure out what it did or all the different ways we searched a room or all the thing we did to try and find or disarm a trap. It was a huge time sink with very little reward. “Whew, it only took us 3 hours to play it out, but I finally figured out this dagger has a slightly magically increased chance to hit! What was that Mr. DM, during the 37 turns of game time I used up in my attempts, the dragon ate the princess?”
  • Giving a bad GM the option to make up things in an arbitrary fashion will not make him a good GM.

The infamous “arseplomancer” build for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: the Exemplar class lets you pick one skill which can be used to impress people, and a high enough Escape Artist skill lets you pass through a space narrower than your head. The result is a character who climbs into a guy’s rectum in a manner so awesome that everyone in 60 ft becomes undyingly loyal to him. Then the poor guy explodes.

  • I was shocked when I saw that Fox was advertising gay porn….then I realized I was just watching a commercial for Glee.
  • Yep, if it were dripping with any more sarcasm, you’d need to wipe your screen.

I hope everyone has a happy new year!

Dec 212011
 

While other blogs have been wishing you Happy Holidays for days now, this post was actually written weeks ago, so in reality it’s like I’ve been wishing you Happy Holidays for weeks! Beat that, Fear the Boot!

Mercy is certainly a notable trait of a good-aligned character… but it’s not a shackle.
Remember that a swift and clean death can be considered a mercy, given the right circumstances.

  • “The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try”-Samuel Eliot Morrison
  • as long as it doesn’t get into the biological sciences of evolution, because I DINT COME FROM NO MONKAHS!
  • sometimes shit just happens because Fate thinks it’d be cool.
  • Also exceptable, Taco Bell printing a full page ad of a middle finger.
  • “Can they print a hand gesture?”
  • I worked retail long enough to know that 90% of the time the customer is wrong and the business is agreeing with them just to shut them the hell up.
  • They should have taken a lesson from Southwest; refund her membership and ask her to please not to let the door impact her posterior during her egress.
  • And I find it odd that a group of professional murder-hobos would not have a set routine for proceeding in an environment in which death can come from any direction and any moment in untold gruesome forms.
  • Players frequently have no idea how to do what their character’s abilities and powers allow. Asking for them to describe what they do off the cuff and then arbitrarily ruling on the described actions is not going to work most of the time, at least from most players’ perspectives.

Have a great day!

Dec 142011
 

By now You’ve been hearing christmas music for about six months straight. I think you’ll agree it’s gettin’ pretty old.

Honestly, the obelisks and pyramids only require very basic engineering, provided you have a stable workforce–which an agricultural society, especially one in a mild climate, can provide.
I’m not saying that the priests and such were the deities, but rather that they “knew two things more”. It doesn’t take very much extra knowledge to appear to do magical things–I regularly pull that sort of crap off during my every day work.
Human nature does not change. People want to do things their own way, and people are much more likely to “invent” their own way of doing a task than find out what others are doing unless they are specifically taught how–take a look at the HBGary debacle, where the guy in charge thought he “invented” social media tracking.
Now, extrapolate that back to a time when research was a lot harder, and people were less likely to share their secrets.
I’m of the opinion that your so-called “advanced” construction techniques have been invented and reinvented every few hundred years across much of history. They’re not that hard to figure out, if you sit down and think about it. All it’d take is one particularly smart and observant “technoshaman”–and suddenly you’ve got the means to build another pyramid.

  • make like a loom and bolt
  • if you are a DM that has yet to read the PHB cover to cover and at least retain a little bit of info, you might want to consider a different system.

First – if you are a “new” DM and you decide to run an adventure for players with 5th level+ spells its going to be a trainwreck. I’ve seen it happen. You traditionally start at low level and following the normal XP progression, you will have quite a few sessions under your belt before PCs hit 10th level. If you still don’t get how to craft an adevnture for PCs of that level, maybe DMing isn’t your gig. Or, maybe you should wrap the game up at a nice end point right then and there. Then start another campaign and work your way through the levels you are comfortable with until you can start to understand what is necessary at higher levels.
Second – Look, in any game, sport, etc. there is a learning curve. If your players are “suffering” through your attempts at DMing presumably it is in a charitable sense. And if it never gets better, presumably they are good enough friends to step up and say “Hey, look, this just isn’t working out. Why don’t we let the player who is able to dismantle everything you throw at him in a standard action run the game for a bit?” However, the bottom line is people learn from their mistakes, they learn to be good at something they are motivated to do. I’d rather cultivate Great DMs then rearrraneg a system to accomodate so-so DMs.

  • Me llamo Capitán Shepard y eso es mi tienda favorita en el Citadel.
  • Emotional maturity? Not to put too fine a point on it, but I’m not the one gnashing my teeth about getting punk’d on April Fools Day.
  • It’s only my opinion, but I think anyone who was offended, hurt, or meaningfully impacted needs to re-evaluate their life choices.
  • The answer is obvious, people… BAN CHILDREN!!! No children, no child porn! No child abuse! No childhood diseases! And eventually, the end of ALL crime!!
  • “By the book, by the rules, for weal or woe – mine is to enforce them, not change them.”

Why can’t there be a few new holiday songs that don’t suck?