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Messages - deadDMwalking

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1
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token.
If you have a shared source for the points not actively assigned to PCs, then it makes no difference if they draw from a full common source or toss into an empty common source.

Mathematically?  No

In practice?  Yes.

When you have a pile of 200 pennies and you start tossing into a bank, when you die it's really easy to realize you dropped 2 or 3 (or your neighbor accidentally harvested them when they encroached on his table.  Picking up pennies and putting them in your pile makes them a bad thibg and they're not going to end up where they don't belong.

It is possible that someone will end up with too much damage and not realize - the difference between 190 and 200 is hard to eyeball - it's much easier to see the difference between 10 and zero - but combined with reducing counters (using quarters in place of 25 pennies for example) it isn't much different.  I'm not going to expect you to be a genius, but surely you can count 8 quarters without taking off your shoes?

2
, and magic that is quite dark and risky - and you can fuck yourself if you use too much of it.

I don't believe you.  I mean, I believe that you want to believe that using magic is dangerous, but in reality, you want it to only be a mild inconvenience.  If your character fails to cast magic missile and instead summons Orcus leading an army of undead-demons, that would be 'dark and risky' but it would also end the campaign.  A lot of the fun of D&D comes from thinking that bad things could happen, but it usually isn't actually fun when it does happen. 

In a novel or a movie, the heroes win in the end.  In D&D there is no author to ensure the right outcome is achieved, but the GM is trying to set up a scenario that is difficult but winnable - get the balance right and it's fun - you need to believe that failure was always possible, but if that's what usually happens, I doubt you'd be pulling up to the table week after week. 

Players and their characters have to make the story happen, and for that to have meaning failure has to be possible but it doesn't have to be probable.  The fact is, low probability events happen all the time - if you do double Nat 20 = instant kill, we'll, odds are good that a PC will bit it over the course of 10 encounters with 5 or more enemies lasting 3-4 rounds - approaching 50%.  Knowing it could happen does make combat feel dangerous, but having your 20th level character taken out by a 1st level scullery maid throwing a frying pan is the antithesis of heroic escapist fantasy.

3
If you experiment with counters, count up, not down

If you count down, every player has to have ALL their counters, and then when they take damage, they have to physically put them somewhere else.  If you have 5 people at the table, and they each have 40 hit points, you'd have 200 counters at all times.

On the other hand, if you count up, you can have a single container with 200 poker chips (or use values like white = 1 / blue = 5 red = 10) so if each player has taken 10 points of damage you only have 4-40 tokens in play.  It's also easier to see that someone is getting hurt if they have a big pile of damage sitting in front of them versus having a small pile.  Monkey brains are good at associating big piles with big amounts. 

It's easier to track damage than health if you use a physical token. 

4
For myself personally, I don't have a problem with high level characters being able to survive a direct blast of fire from a dragon's mouth.  In cinema, the hero would leap aside or take cover in a barrel of water, but D&D doesn't offer 'cinematic escapes'.  If you have to make a dodge roll and the moment you fail, you're dead (game over), that's not good design either.  So in my mind, D&D characters generally use Action Hero logic - getting shot once or twice or a bunch doesn't matter, as long as you're not shot in a VULNERABLE place.  In real life, even a shot to the arm or shoulder can be deadly, but we're used to suspending disbelief in Die Hard, so I'm fine with doing it in the game, too. 

So in movies, the hero parries and dodges every thrust against him and every thrust of his sword fells an opponent.  In D&D, every attack against the hero does a small amount of damage, and if he's outnumbered eventually he'll fall.  Death by a thousand cuts.  Hit points are a useful abstraction to support the fiction - for our game we do track two types of damage - one that is plentiful, easy to heal, and represents all those 'near misses', and one that is small, you take penalties if you lose ANY, and if you run out, you die. So if you shoot someone for 1d10+5 points of damage, it comes off the first category and doesn't REALLY count as a hit; if you roll a critical or they're out of the first category of hit points, they take a wound and might die.

5
d3, d4, d5, d6, d7, d8, d10, d10+1, d10+2, d10+3

Damage is only a part of the equation.  Accuracy (percent hit) and durability (opponent hit points) matter, too. 

Obviously, increasing the damage for the Fighter (and not other characters) means they're doing more damage, but it is not clear to what effect. Getting an extra d6 per round (3.5 damage on a hit) doesn't necessarily change how long it takes to drop a 10 hp creature or a 20 hp creature, depending on the rest of the damage. 

Ie, a Fighter doing 1d10+10 is going to drop a 10-hp opponent with one hit without another +1d6 damage.  The odds of dropping a 20 hp foe in a single hit increase from 10% (rolling a 10 on damage) to 45% (rolling a combination of d10+d6 that totals 10 or better or 27/60).  But against an opponent that had 30 hit points, the extra d6 wouldn't matter unless the fighter had poor damage rolls. 

A lot of game design is like that - someone thinks giving someone a benefit is going to solve some perceived problem, but once you dig in, it might not be the solution that you expected it to be.  It's my take that a lot of people try to fix something like the fighters by giving them a damage bonus, but the that becomes the excuse for why they can't provide something else.  Ie, if we 'already fixed the fighter', then you don't need to do another fix.  But a little extra damage probably doesn't solve the problem. 

Take a fighter (any edition) and a troll (any edition) and you'll see that adding more damage is probably not going to give the fighter anything resembling a fighting chance.  Unfortunately, D&D (and clones) don't typically give fighters tactical options like impaling a troll on a boar spear and holding them at bay.  Ultimately, there's a disconnect between the fiction and the game mechanics - fighters fight with intelligent using terrain, tools and tactics against monsters who are stronger, tougher and have bigger weapons.  You can make a Fighter who has an AC, hit points, and damage equal to a dragon, but most people don't REALLY think that's the right level of balance. 

6
(B) he has constantly defended a position of 'Discrimination is ok, as long as the target is not a "legally, protected class"'

You know, it's funny, but that's almost the literal definition used by insurance companies. 

Charge you more because teen men are reckless drivers compared to teen females - they do it every day.  Charge you more because you're younger or VERY OLD?  As long as they're not refusing to hire you, that type of discrimination is okay. 

And of course, many clubs and associations have membership rules (like being male) that are allowed. 

Where discrimination becomes a problem is when the objective is specifically to be exclusionary. 

Setting that aside, Five Thirty Eight had a chat about how much danger our Democracy was in.  There is a chart titled 'V-Dem's 'illiberalism index' shows Republican party has retreated from upholding democratic norms'. 

Bearing in mind that this is data driven and you can dissect the data (available from their site) I think this jives with my lived experience.  On this site there are a lot of people who claim that Democrats are the threat to Democracy, but they're the ones that have been using electoral majorities to affect change.  Many of the institutional advantages favor Republicans (ie, Rural states have more per capita representation in the Senate than urban States -  Wyoming has the same influence as California despite having 1/70th the population), so while you could claim that Democracy has been 'unfair', Republicans seem surprisingly willing to abandon Democracy as the will of the majority seems about to overcome the institutionalized barriers. 

We don't HAVE to have an all or nothing election system.  We could have proportional representation.  There's certainly an argument for that being 'more fair', but that's not something either party has really committed to. 


7

Did you disavow the statements made by Biden regarding terrorists or did you support them?

You mean this one?

Quote from: Biden
No major party, no major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with national security.  We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, who has no plan whatsoever to make us safer.

Or do you have another quote in mind? 

Personally, I think armed protesters storming the US Capitol combined with statements like the ones on this site about this being 'just the beginning' qualify as an attempt to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, so sure, I'm willing to agree that some of the protestors last week are terrorists.  Not CONVICTED terrorists, which I know matters to everyone here up until that person in Muslim or black. 

8
I disagree with 'obvious and grotesque election fraud'.

There is no evidence of fraud.  Claims of fraud have been investigated.  Most of the states where fraud has been claimed - all of which are battleground states that showed Biden with a lead in pre-election polling - have Republican officials in charge of the elections.

Prior to the election, Trump claimed that it was fraud if he lost.  It would have been appropriate to take actions to prevent fraud.  Nearly every single court case was decided along the lines of 'if this was unfair you should have brought it up BEFORE the election'.  None of those contentions are actually of fraud - just states running their elections following the rule of law as they do.  Post-election, Trump demanding that states like Georgia 'find the votes' to put him in the lead are criminal attempts at stealing an election. 

The Republican secretary of state submitted a point-by-point rebuttal of every single claim.  These things are not complicated. 

The one consistent message is that every year a small number of fraudulent votes are initially counted - but they are investigated and dealt with and they are not enough to swing an election.  Not in a single state and not nationally.  While polling may have failed to capture Trump's full support (which was a major point of discussion) our best models and tools indicated this would be a close election in the Electoral College, but not in the popular vote.  That's exactly what happened.

Republican attempts to disenfranchise millions of Americans for voting their conscience are traitorous.  Our officials take an oath to uphold the constitution.  Elections are integral to the Democratic process.  Throwing out the results of this election without any evidence of fraud would not magically make things 'fair' - how would you be certain that your new 'chosen results actually reflect the will of the people?  These things can't be decided by 'feelz'.

Prior conversations about California and 'coastal elites' acknowledge that a huge chunk of this country subscribes to Democratic philosophies.  There were a few states that flipped from Trump to Biden - those states had been won by Trump by relatively small margins (some razor thin) and conventional wisdom has been that demographic changes would erase those margins.

It is not controversial that older and more religious voters are staunchly Republican, and minorities and younger voters lean Democrat.  Demographic shifts explain just about everything we saw in 2020.  There is no conspiracy required.  There was no fraud required. 

Disregarding election results because you don't like them is Un-american.

9
In our home-brew, we don't have spell-slots, but we do have a resource that allows you to cast spells.

Spells cost mana; a 1st level spell costs 1, a 3rd level spell costs 3.  There are some things you can do to potentially regain mana during a fight, but generally you have a relatively small amount (say 10).  It's up to you whether to cast 3 3rd level spells, or 2 4th level spells - generally, if fights go long you do worry about 'running out of magical mojo' - but with the ability to get some back with a relatively short rest.

For cantrips, as long as you have at least 1 mana, you can cast them and they don't cost anything.  Most of them are not particularly useful (if they were, they'd be 1st level spells).  Many of the spells that qualify do things like let you speak with animals or creatures of a particular subtype (ie fire creatures).  Primarily, they're intended to give players a chance to 'feel magical', even if they aren't particularly practical. 

For example, we have elemental schools (like Air) with the following Cantrips: Amplify Sound, Cooling Aura, Speak with Flyers, Ventriloquism.  And if you decide to spend time casting Ventriloquism while you're partying at the inn, it won't make you less effective in the fight that happens after you make the wrong person look like they said the wrong thing.


10
I stand corrected. Do you think her claim was accurate? That 25% of Americans are deplorable?

I think that's an interesting question.  There are a couple of definitions for the word - (1)deserving strong condemnation (2)shockingly bad in quality.  For the use of the first definition, I think that the mob attacking the capitol deserve strong condemnation, so I think it's fair to say that I find them deplorable.

And since Trump only won 46% of the vote in 2016, I certainly wouldn't call 'half of his supporters' 25% of the population - only 23%.  But that's just math. 

But let's take a look at a recent poll:

Quote from: Five Thirty Eight
Polls so far — and we are still very early in this news cycle — have found that a solid majority of Americans opposed the unrest in Washington, D.C. In a YouGov poll, 71 percent of registered voters opposed the “storming of the Capitol” (63 percent of them “strongly”), and 62 percent viewed it as “a threat to democracy.” Similarly, 70 percent of respondents to an Ipsos poll opposed “the protesters who broke into the Capitol.” And, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey, 59 percent of registered voters think the perpetrators should be viewed as “domestic terrorists.”

However, a not-small 19 percent of Ipsos respondents said that they supported the rioters. In the YouGov poll, 21 percent said the same (including 14 percent who strongly supported storming the Capitol), and 32 percent did not believe that the occupation constituted a threat to democracy. Those who backed it were disproportionately Republican: 45 percent of GOP voters supported the siege, while 43 percent opposed it.

If we can agree that the mob deserves 'strong condemnation', and 45% of GOP voters support the mob, that'd work out to 21% of Americans. 

I think I'm comfortable with saying that it's deplorable that 21% of American support this type of violence.  I'm less comfortable with saying 'they're deplorable', but that has more to do with talking about the whole person.  I'm sure some of those people are obnoxious alcoholic abusers that have raped their own children, and it'd be pretty hard to find them redeemable in any way, and some of them are god-fearing pillars of their community active in social outreach programs that do good things even though they have some reprehensible beliefs.  But at the moment, I'm thinking that an off-the-cuff comment about how terrible some of the people who support Trump are, I don't find it particularly inaccurate. 

I don't know if Clinton provided any more clarity to her remarks, but I do think that some beliefs (like white supremacy and islamophobia) qualify as 'shockingly bad in quality', and from that perspective, those who hold them could be referred to as 'deplorable'.  Again, I don't think that EXACTLY HALF of Trump supporters qualify under that definition, but if that's somewhere between 25-45%, calling it 'half' isn't too inexcusable an exaggeration.  So, I don't think that the comment itself is necessarily wrong - just some people were upset that she was painting with too broad a brush. 

But yeah, laying aside all nuance and discussion of semantics, I would agree that some Trump supporters are deplorable. 

11
Democrats have more than their fair share of blame to shoulder. Hilary famously called half of America "Deplorables" in order to make political hay. (And then wondered why she lost the election)

Correction - she referred to half of Trump voters as 'deplorables'. 

Quote from: Clinton
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”


Romney referred to 47% of Americans pretty negatively.

Quote from: Romney
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Of course, Trump had some unkind words for the people who rioted.  Whether they represent 'half of his supporters' isn't clear, but for round numbers, it's probably not totally inaccurate.  There are people HERE who weren't at the Capitol but think it was righteous. 

Quote from: Trump
The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.  To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country.

Deplorable would be a $5 word for Trump (he prefers 'really bad hombres'), but I think those words indicate that he is calling them deplorables.  So, depending on what percentage of his supporters think the assault on the Capitol was justified, maybe Clinton was right? 

12
Storming the capital wasn't like any of the BLM protests.  Not one. 

I thought this article from fivethirtyeight was interesting.

Quote
Much will be said about the fact that these actions threaten the core of our democracy and undermine the rule of law. Commentators and political observers will rightly note that these actions are the result of disinformation and heightened political polarization in the United States. And there will be no shortage of debate and discussion about the role Trump played in giving rise to this kind of extreme behavior. As we have these discussions, however, we must take care to appreciate that this is not just about folks being angry about the outcome of one election. Nor should we believe for one second that this is a simple manifestation of the president’s lies about the integrity of his defeat. This is, like so much of American politics, about race, racism and white Americans’ stubborn commitment to white dominance, no matter the cost or the consequence.

Since on this site there's been so much ink spilled comparing and contrasting left versus right protests, and several people have said 'anything is justified if MY SIDE claims it' (usually accusing the other side of holding that belief) let's talk about the differences between these protests. 

So, what was the 'Stop the Steal' rally about?  Clearly it was overturning the election results that showed Biden winning over Trump.  Nobody involved in the election outside the top of the ticket argued that their own election was the result of fraud.  The results for down-ballot races closely mirror the same results at the highest level.  There are processes for preventing fraud prior to the election, Democrats offered money to increase election security, and the existing state government officials many of whom were Republican confirmed that the election was free, fair and accurate.

What Constitutional principle were they demonstrating in favor of? 

Meanwhile, we accept that governments exist to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  BLM protesters argue that police violence unfairly targets innocent members of their community - literally denying them life and the freedom of movement that white Americans take for granted. 

Both protests made me uncomfortable - BLM because American has failed to deliver on the promise of equal treatment under the law.  The 'Stop the Steal' makes me uncomfortable because clearly millions of self-styled 'Patriots' are willing to abandon the rule of law and Democratic government to ensure their preferred ruler is installed. 

Democracy doesn't exist to give the veneer of respectability to autocracy - it exists to ensure the will of the people is maintained.  Fortunately, in this country we have strong protections for the minority.  Many of those protections have been under assault by the Trump administration, but I don't expect that to continue under Biden.  Nobody is coming for your guns.  Democrats aren't trying to repeal the Constitution.

13
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: January 07, 2021, 03:40:17 PM »
Despite what your political masters have told you, myleftnut, you really can't have it both ways.

Actually, he's pointing out the double-standard that has been unfairly applied to BLM protesters.

Figures Show Stark Difference Between Arrests At D.C. Black Lives Matter Protest And Arrests At Capitol Hill

Quote
On June 1 alone, more than five times the number of people were arrested than on the day the Capitol was stormed, with 289 people booked.

One Night in D.C.: The Oral History of June 1, 2020

Quote
A day of peaceful protesting against the police killing of George Floyd turned violent in the nation’s capital, as President Trump forced people away from the area surrounding the White House. Here’s how a photo op became a flashpoint in the movement against racism.

Of course, it's a false equivalence to claim that people who broke through police barricades, illegally entered a building, caused property damage, broke windows and carried weapons are the same as people who were occupying a public space.

Quote
Reporting live, MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake knew he couldn’t soft-pedal what he was seeing. “As calmly as I could, I very specifically said what just happened,” Haake tells The Ringer. “I didn’t want it to be, ‘The president just spoke’ or ‘clash with protesters.’ There was no clash. People were forcibly, aggressively removed from that park with flash bangs and gas.”

The brazen display of force, captured on video in broad daylight during a demonstration calling attention to yet more instances of the extrajudicial killing of Black Americans—including Breonna Taylor, shot eight times in her home by still-uncharged Louisville police officers; and Ahmaud Arbery, stalked and shot in Southeast Georgia while jogging by three men now charged with murder—symbolized exactly what the current movement is protesting. The scourge of racist policing predates Trump by centuries, but rather than acknowledge it with consequential legislation, he and his allies seem set on crushing the nationwide uprising against it. That was nakedly apparent on the first day of June.



14
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: January 07, 2021, 01:20:33 PM »
Also deadDMWalking go fuck yourself.

Happily.   

I wouldn't be surprised if you are the Antifa tosser dressed up as the Indian

Too bad they didn't arrest everybody. 

But no, I wasn't in DC and this clearly wasn't a 'false flag operation'.  Or are you still trying to make that claim? 

Here's an Article about it

Quote
The photo and the caption are accurate, Angeli was indeed at a BLM protest. However, the photo is manipulated to crop out his QAnon sign. Angeli was photographed at a BLM protest...because he was there as a pro-Trump counter-protestor.

Here's the UNCROPPED image for you "Q Sent Me". That's Jake Angeli BTW - he's an actor and MAGA from Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/WOe9AzmCNs

— Kubrick's Lens Cap (@jonrosling) January 6, 2021

Furthermore, Angeli has made a name for himself as a big supporter of QAnon conspiracy, which is a hardcore pro-Trump movement. He has even spoken at pro-Trump events in support of Trump’s re-election.

But I'm sure that the QAnon Shaman will be happy to be 'unpersoned' by his allies for having the wrong political beliefs even though he did everything that those allies encouraged him to do. 

We're full-on in a Darkness at Noon scenario.

15
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: 2020 Election Commentary
« on: January 07, 2021, 12:39:29 PM »
Yet the ONE time Trump supporters have a large protest and a relatively small group (compared to the hundreds of thousands that showed up in DC) breaks away and decides to storm a government building that's public property on their own initiative (after Trump told them not to start shit earlier that day)--not assaulting anyone, just breaking windows to get in--this is suddenly an INSURRECTION personally led by Trump to stage a coup.

What about the protest in Michigan?  What about the attempt to kidnap Governor Whitmer?  What about the Capitol Police who were injured trying to block the crowd from entering? 

Why downplay the events?  Why ignore the people who, even now, are saying that what the rioters got wrong was not hanging all the politicians? 

The attempt to block Congress from certifying the results of the election is a coup - the certification being required prior to the transition of power pending something like a Supreme Court ruling saying otherwise.

So at least pick a position - was the riot a good thing that didn't go far enough, or a bad thing that certainly went to far?  I'm hearing both from too many people.

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