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Messages - Pat

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 186
1
Media and Inspiration / Re: What were they thinking?
« on: Today at 10:28:55 AM »
Sigh. Yes, you are. You literally compared the Castle of Dracula to the Lincoln Memorial, on the basis of their namesakes.

Ghostmaker, you're supposed to be smarter than this. I didn't say they were your heroes. I just pointed out that they were radically different, and comparing the two created an incongruous effect. Like comparing General burn-down-Atlanta with Mother living-in-poverty-to-help-the-poor-in-Calcutta.

2
Media and Inspiration / Re: What were they thinking?
« on: Today at 10:06:53 AM »
Ok, superstitious or not, you have to admit these people were just asking for trouble.

https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/05/10/draculas-castle-proves-an-ideal-setting-for-covid-19-jabs/

I'm trying to see the potential for a game scenario here. Conspiracy/horror ones are pretty obvious.
Uh, you know the historical Vlad III Tepes -- the guy Stoker based Dracula on -- is considered something of a folk hero in that region, right? It'd be kinda like getting your jab at the Lincoln Memorial or something here in the States.
You're comparing Vlad the Impaler with Lincoln the Emancipater?

Plus, the Lincoln Memorial shows up in fiction all the time.
Don't blame me, blame the Romanians. Keep in mind the Ottomans had been screwing with Wallachia and surrounding regions for a LONG time prior to the Impaler demonstrating extreme disapproval of such by way of unique lawn ornaments. So yeah, Vlad's a historical hero to them.
You're comparing Vlad the Impaler with Lincoln the Emancipater.

General Sherman is admired, and so is Mother Theresa. They're rarely compared.

3
I addressed the attacks to the head thing since post 1 on this side topic. A random successful hit does not represent a strike to the head. That would be more in line with a critical hit. If we go by your assumption that means a 1hp peasant ALWAYS get struct in the head whenever hit with a low damage weapon, just so you can bend yourself into a pretzel to try to justify why level 0-1 characters have such ridiculously low HP. Working backwards from the assumption that D&D can do no wrong.

D&D is trash.
Yeah, at this point you're completely irrational.

Old school D&D doesn't have critical hits, so yes, a hit to the head is a normal hit. Or to be even more precise, hit points are an abstract measure of injury that's uncorrelated with any specific wound, which means the DM, or even the player depending on the social contract, can describe injuries in any way they see fit, including as head wounds.

And I specifically pointed out that hit points were pretty damn low for 0-level peasants, and argued the baseline should be more than 3 HD. I literally said the opposite of what you're claiming I'm contorting myself to support.

The real example of someone starting with a conclusion and then contorting everything to try to support it is your claim that D&D is trash because an abstract mechanic designed to create a good flow in a game doesn't sufficiently match your perception of reality.

4
Media and Inspiration / Re: What were they thinking?
« on: Today at 09:47:46 AM »
Ok, superstitious or not, you have to admit these people were just asking for trouble.

https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/05/10/draculas-castle-proves-an-ideal-setting-for-covid-19-jabs/

I'm trying to see the potential for a game scenario here. Conspiracy/horror ones are pretty obvious.
Uh, you know the historical Vlad III Tepes -- the guy Stoker based Dracula on -- is considered something of a folk hero in that region, right? It'd be kinda like getting your jab at the Lincoln Memorial or something here in the States.
You're comparing Vlad the Impaler with Lincoln the Emancipater?

Plus, the Lincoln Memorial shows up in fiction all the time.


5
I think one of the mistakes of the Ravenloft setting as a whole was trying to make it have a "continent" with fixed borders. If you're in a weird demiplane, then it would be far more practical to have each realm be in its own space, and travelling through the mists would not reliably take you from one nation to the next. It would then have been random or up to the GM where the PCs moved/fled to.
I really like the idea of a patchwork map. A significant amount of consistency keeps the weirdness but prevents Ravenloft from just becoming another Astral Plane, where everything is next to everything else. And once that's established, it makes sense within the setting as well. Realms may break off and the Mists may not always be reliable, but explorers are still going to try for their best guess at a map.

6
Ravenloft was stupid from the get go, only the maps were any good.  I've never understood people's obsession with it, but, every time someone creates a "Greatest classic D&D modules" list, there we see, I6 right up towards the top.

Of course, those lists are never really going to be repeated, like they were in the early 90s, because now old D&D and old D&D adventures are icky and have problematic things in them.

I always liked the concept of Ravenloft, but never found the execution done quite right.
In addition to the maps, the atmosphere was good, and so was the the dynamic nature of key plot elements.

But otherwise, I mostly agree. It's overrated.

7
One issue i see here is people saying "But would it still be you?"

I'm not sure how that could be answered, but even if it's not the same as you is that terrible?

Now, yes, getting hacked to be a good l'il corporate servant sucks infinite ass,  no argument there.

But as to remaining 'you', are you the same you that existed when you were 10? Are you the same you that you were 20 years ago? Have you changed thru education, growth or some sort of trauma? Trying to remain the same you you were long ago means you didn't become more than you were.

In 'ghost in the shell" (Not the whitewash live action mess) Motoko  Kusanagi is offered a chance to merge with a fully sentient self aware AI that evolved in the internet's sea of information. She asks how she can be sure she'd still be her.

Project 2501 admits she can't be sure she'd still be the same, and says you cannot become what you could be by remaining what you are. Your effort to remain as you are limits you.

So maybe a you that became a transhuman ego able to shift from body to body, fork and reintegrate, etc wouldn't be you as you are now. Would it be better?  Worse?

Honestly arguing if humans would be the same after transhuman tech, mind uploading, morphing, etc opens a question: "Is humanity so good it shouldn't change?"

Yeah, i'm glad we changed from our ancestors who practiced open slavery, total dominance of women, human sacrifice, etc.  You look at the well documented and recorded 20th century and i think you see that the human race as it is now needs some improving.


Look, america today would shock the founding fathers, i mean they voted for slavery, declared a black man was property and amounted to 3/5 of a person, woman could not vote, etc. in most of america a woman could not have her own bank account until the 1970's. Imagine them seeing barack obama sworn in as president.  :o
You're conflating a lot of very different things. Not all changes are the same, and the real issue of continuity of consciousness is even more fundamental.

You also badly misunderstanding the 3/5 compromise. It means nothing of the sort.

Edit: Just to clarify, because that could easily be taken the wrong way, though I don't want to get into it any further: The 3/5th compromise does not mean a black man was 3/5th of a person. Their status as a free man or a slave, or their ability to vote, was utterly unaffected by it. Saying they're 3/5th of a person implies they had 3/5ths the rights, or 3/5th the voting power, or something like that, which has nothing to do with how the compromise actually worked. Because what it affects is congressional apportionment. It means, when they're figuring out how many reps each state gets, that black people counts as 3/5th their population. That doesn't give those black people a vote, but it does mean the the vote of each white land-owning man in the states with large slave populations will tend to count for more than the vote of their counterparts in free states, by a proportion equal to 3/5th the black population. The compromise isn't about black personhood, it's about giving all the white men with slaves more voting power.

8
Frankly, the death by house cat issue is why I always preferred Palladium’s HP = PE attribute (rolled on 3D6) + 1D6/level approach as it put an ordinary person’s HP at about 14.
In 1e someone doesn't croak until -10 hp, especially if the common misreading of that rule is used. Which works out to 13 to 14 hp. Coincidentally, that 10 extra hit points also works out to roughly 3d6. So you can make an argument that the default character in AD&D has the equivalent of 3 HD, with their class HD on top. Stretching it even further, you can argue that the class hit points on top are a character's heroism or staying power. After all, in a real fight, most people go down after one hit, regardless of the severity. The class hp on top are just your chance to keep fight. Plus, didn't Gygax start characters at 3rd level, at least in his later years? 3 HD also roughly corresponds with the expected HD for a natural animal of roughly human-size, like a hyena, wolf, or leopard. Overall, there's a decent argument that a capable adult human should have 3 HD.

Which might put weapon damage in context, a bit.

9
Disagree. This is all a cop out to sidestep the fact that a single rat bite can still be an excruciatingly painful and potentially serious injury, with longer lasting effects than merely being an annoyance.

It also conveniently leaves out the part of my post where I bring up a 1hp peasant being instantly killed by any hit with a stick large enough to cause damage. Not a critical hit or a hard hit to the back of the head, or whatever, but just ANY random hit that causes ANY amount of damage. A rock would have the same effect. Yet neither of these items would instantly kill anyone (even an out of shape couch potato or a child) in real life, unless the attack involved an extremely lucky hit to the head. But they can instantly kill a peasant who rolled 1hp on their single HD in traditional D&D.

But make that peasant a level 10 PC, and it suddenly becomes almost impossible to kill them with a stick or a rock, even on a critical hit to the head, David vs Goliath style.

The problem isn't small animal bites causing HP damage. The problem is that D&D SUCKS at handling damage all around.
Painful != 25% of the population dies.

And sure, you can make an argument that there should be nonlethal damage (oh wait there is), or that weapons do too much damage. Or that 0- and 1st level character have too few hp. But that's also not what the combat system is about. It's not about randomly walking up to a peasant and smacking them with a stick. It's about combat. It's about a healthy person using a weapon to actively try to kill someone else. And guess what? If someone swings a baseball at your head with the intent to kill, there's a good chance you'll die.

The rest seems to be your subjective dispreference for a system that works quite well for other people. <insert a quote from the Dude>

Rats do 0 points of damage.

10
https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1389993369867333635

LOL

I was just at the Lakers vs Clippers game, and I had to show either my vaccine card or evidence I had been tested in the past 72 hours (and there was a rapid test site there for 30 minute results if needed).

They are also instituting a vaccinated-only section of the stadium, in addition to the policy I mentioned above.
I'd glad we're finally over that irrational opposition to a two-tier society. We need to realize that some animals are more equal than others.

11
Is a single rat a metaphor for something? I don’t ever remember a stat block for a single New York style rat. Swarms of Rats over a foot long, yes, and three foot giant rats as well, but I have never seen a singular basic bitch rat in D&D.
They're in the AD&D1e Monster Manual 2, but they don't do damage. They have a chance of causing disease, though.

They're wimps compared to the ordinary squirrel, which does 1 point of damage. (Seriously. They have the giant black squirrel, the carnivorous flying squirrel, and the plain old ordinary squirrel. The MM2 went kind of crazy statting out mundane little animals.)

12
Another problem with D&D is that 1st level characters can be killed by things most normal couch potatoes in real life would survive, even if seriously injured. I mean seriously, a RAT can kill a 0-level commoner in D&D with little effort. D&D doesn't handle survivability well.
It's fine for creatures that are roughly human-size or larger. But yes, for smaller critters, old school D&D has some issues. The basic problem is about 1 in 3 or 4 NPCs has 1 hp. An attack that does even 1 point of damage is a potentially fatal wound, for at least 25% of the population.

Is there a reasonable chance an animal can kill a healthy human being who is actively defending themselves? If the answer is no, the animal should do 0 damage. This applies to small dogs, squirrels, hawks, eagles, and even the fabled domestic cat. If they have attacks, it should be of the nuisance variety, not the damage variety (ordinary bats in B/X are a good example).

The problem with that approach is that it doesn't emulate damage very well because a rat could still potentially kill a healthy human being. Eventually. Specially if it's a bunch of rats gnawing at the bits or the human keels over and can't get up (or is bound). So a rat bite should do some damage (not to mention risk of disease or infection). But when the system starts out with the assumption that an average healthy human who isn't an experienced adventurer only has a single hit dice and they need to hit points, you don't have a lot of room to work with, even if you lower a tiny creature's bite to just 1hp per hit.

Even when dealing with medium or larger creature attacks it still remains an issue, because a person who rolled one single HP on their HD would still be instant-killed if they get hit with a stick. Once! With ANY hit no matter how low as long as it inflicts damage. And that's freaking absurd.

A 1hp commoner could die from a hard bitch slap from a high Strength fighter.
That's terrible design, and thinking like that is the reason the problem exists in the first place. The hit points system is not designed to reflect psychological stress in combat, like freezing. It's not designed around realistic injuries, like sprains, blood loss, and shock. It's not a good measure of disease progression or fatigue. It doesn't handle slitting someone's throat in their sleep well.

It's an abstract system designed to provide a meter between fresh and dead in combat, using granular quanta, and it does that quite well. If you want a rat slowly chewing on a bound prisoner, the hit point system and damage per attack is completely the wrong tool. Have the DM make a judgment call, perhaps roll for save, say a rat does 1 point of damage/hour, whatever seems reasonable. Just don't roll individual hits, and then roll for damage for each them. And for Zagyg's sake, don't try to use a rat slowly gnawing on someone as a justification for why small creatures need to do more than 0 damage in the standard combat system. It breaks what hit points do well, without adding anything of value.

Rats do 0 hp.

13
I think that resleeving is one of the key aspects of the setting, and while it does blow up a lot of the key assumptions that most people need to tell stories or run games, that's what makes Eclipse Phase compelling.

One thing I'd like to consider would be to make bioconservatism an ideal.  Lean hard into all of the various problems that people have brought up with artificial bodies and synthetic spaces.  Make it clear that once you start going down the pleasure-pod-and-synthetic-drug route, you're on a very short, very slippery slope to just directly dumping synthetic neurohormones into your brain, to wireheading, to editing yourself so that you feel nothing but pleasure.

As I suggested before, hack out the Alien Space Bats and their bullshit magic virus entirely, but keep the idea of the Exsurgent mass as an area of maximal Darwinian competition, stripped of all humanity and human values other than raw survival.  Tie the sanity system to humanity and human values.  Make the idea to sleeve into a purely organic, unaugmented meat body an actual consideration, that makes you impossible to hack, and gives you a huge boost to your mental stability, and locks you off from a bunch of self-destructive paths, so that the choice to go full-chrome is inherently a trade-off.

You'd want the rules to emphasize that humanity is special, worth preserving, and fragile.  Make it inherent that humanity can't leave its roots too far beyond without making that jump from trans- to post-.  Like, one idea off the top of my head is that digital sapiences have lifespans, as the existential horror of knowing that an unknown number of copies of you, or programs-that-used-to-be-you-before-being-ruthlessly-hacked, are floating around out there, and make people need to wipe their back-ups and spend time in a baseline human body to recenter themselves periodically before they can go back into the chrome, would also help things.

That way, we can keep the horror of the transhuman optimization curve, while not having it completely obliterate the setting the minute anyone tries it.
I agree that sleeving is a key element of the setting, and removing it would eliminate a lot of what makes EP compelling. But I think making bioconservatism the ideal has the same problem, because becoming posthuman is also a key element.

The best approach might be to view posthumanity as a bridge across the abyss -- the goal is to become something new, something spectacular. But the bridge to that new world is a narrow one. Humans have a lot of problems adapting to the new technology, but it's possible. Bioconservatism becomes the safe route with fewer options, while posthumanity becomes the more dangerous route with more options.

Successfully implementing that in a game, of course, is the real trick.

14
Another problem with D&D is that 1st level characters can be killed by things most normal couch potatoes in real life would survive, even if seriously injured. I mean seriously, a RAT can kill a 0-level commoner in D&D with little effort. D&D doesn't handle survivability well.
It's fine for creatures that are roughly human-size or larger. But yes, for smaller critters, old school D&D has some issues. The basic problem is about 1 in 3 or 4 NPCs has 1 hp. An attack that does even 1 point of damage is a potentially fatal wound, for at least 25% of the population.

Is there a reasonable chance an animal can kill a healthy human being who is actively defending themselves? If the answer is no, the animal should do 0 damage. This applies to small dogs, squirrels, hawks, eagles, and even the fabled domestic cat. If they have attacks, it should be of the nuisance variety, not the damage variety (ordinary bats in B/X are a good example).

15
However, I can see a game with a curve that's that is flatter than regular D&D. I'm not a fan of something like E6 which has one set of rules for early game and another, different, set of advancement rules after a certain point. You could just as easily adjust the leveling charts to account for limited hit point growth, for example, without actually stopping level advancement.
Old school D&D already has something similar to E6. Hit point progression doesn't stop at name level, but it does flatten out. A Basic fighter, for instance, gets 1d8+Con bonus/level up to 9th level, then +2 hp/level after. XP requirements to gain a new level also shift from exponential (x2/level) to linear (+X per level). The main difference is a Basic fighter continues to advance in to hit rolls and saves, and if used, skills and weapon mastery. And spellcasters still gain new spell levels (up to 16th to 21st level) and spells.

In contrast, E6 characters stop gaining hp, BAB, base save bonuses, and just gain new feats (which can be used to gain new skill levels and spells, but not to exceed the spell or skill level caps). XP requirements also shift from triangular to linear (+X/3 per new feat).

So E6 shifts to a kind of lateral progression at 6th level, where improvements in the primary game-stats are capped (with some minor exceptions), and characters are restricted to adding new abilities rather than improving existing ones. In contrast, the old school version only really caps hit points. Which is odd, because things like fireball damage still increase, which ends up hurting warriors and helping spellcasters (who really don't need it, at that point). Both BECMI and AD&D2e tried to deal with this by adding damage caps to at least some spells (20d in BECMI, variable but often 10d in 2e).

I find E6 to be more coherent. It really is a cap, while the name level cap in old school D&D is mostly about XP and hit points. Extending the concept, an E9 version of Basic D&D would cap saves, the to hit tables, spell levels (5th), and probably cap the maximum level of weapon mastery (Expert? Grand Master?), but allow new weapon mastery, skill, and spell slots. Have to play with the XP costs in BECMI E9, but each new feat after 6th level in E6 costs 1/3rd the number of XP required to reach 6th level. Charging say 60K for new skill slots, 60K for a new weapon mastery slot for fighters and 120K for everyone else, and 50/75/100K for new spell slots for clerics/magic-users/elves might be reasonable.

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