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Recent Posts

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91
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Support Your FLGS
« Last post by Razor 007 on January 15, 2021, 09:39:27 pm »
I understand that stores can only afford to stock what sells.  A store can't afford to be a museum.

However, it gets old having to pay full retail for every single item.  Every item is cheaper online.
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The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: These FIVE men control your freedom
« Last post by jhkim on January 15, 2021, 09:27:53 pm »
That’s the problem with 230 protections.  Social media companies are exercising all the editorial power of publishers while having all the legal protections of platforms.

I agree - that's what I said on the other thread on social media. However, if we simply repeal Section 230, then Facebook and Twitter will get *more* heavy with bans and blocking, because they can be sued for what is said on them.


But Internet servers are private property, not public. If I try to put something onto *my* server, I can say whatever I like - just like how I can put a sign on my own lawn. However, if I put something onto a *Facebook* server, though, then they don't have to obey me. They can decide they don't want to host my signs.

Just like a wedding cake shop, right...

Anti-discrimination laws are pitched as special-case exceptions to the general rules of capitalism. The problem is that there are two extremes:

(1) "Whites-only" movie theaters, "no Jews" signs, and other real cases from the first half of the 20th century

(2) "Modeling agencies discriminate against ugly people"; "fancy restaurants discriminate against rude people"; and so forth

Most people are fine with outlawing #1, but think that #2 is going too far. So there has to be some limited middle ground. The U.S. anti-discrimination laws are justified in the same way as other specific business regulations - like how gas stations have to conform to certain standards, and food has to pass FDA inspection, etc. They apply only to certain classes of businesses, and to certain categories of people.

I could imagine having "political party" be added as a protected category - especially if the ultra-partisanship of the country gets even worse. But if that were true, I expect I'd still be hated here for saying that it means that conservatives couldn't discriminate against liberals as well as vice-versa.
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You wouldn’t want me in a “proper” evil campaign. Most people have zero concept of what actual evil looks like. They think is something edgy or cool. It’s not. It’s cruel, vindictive and ultimately nihilistic.

Well as a Catholic I have to disagree - while yes that's probably fine Evil Outsider - aka demon description, I think most of human evil is very... banal, almost boring, not really even criminal.
Of course in D&D it's all much more murky - but I prefer a way when you have a lot of perfectly socially adjustable people whose current karmic-sheet says EVIL (as usually I like to treat D&D alignment in a karmic way more than = oh look there is only 9 personalities).

In 3,5 Ultimate Scoundrel there was good example of it - and I love it - they counted Jack Black's character from "King Kong" the fat director who wanted to film King Kong - as Chaotic Evil, and I was like - excellent! He is no mad cultist, he is no mass murderer, he is not cruel or vindictive - he is just sort of uncaring about consequences in a massive way as long as his purpose if fullfilled.
In other way - you do not need to play Evil Incarnated to play character with evil alignment in evil campaign.

But I agree it's usually not cool or edgy.

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See, the thing about playing a “goody-two-shoes” is that you care about a lot of people and help alot of people. So I told the DM that if my goal is “hurt my good self as much as possible” they wouldn’t stay and fight... they’d immediately teleport away, leaving their mirror allies in the lurch and start systematically murdering everyone my PC had ever loved or helped (which included a lot of the DMs favorite non-combat NPCs), get a copy of the animate dead spell to turn everyone killed into skeletons (because in 3e your soul can’t move on to the afterlife or be resurrected while it is undead) and then scatter them with commands to lay buried and motionless for eternity so their souls would be trapped forever and denied the afterlife. Then I’d send my PC a message via spell of what I’d done and that if they ever helped another soul I’d do the same to them.

That's absolutely wonderful idea - but then you were playing very malicious mirror clone, not just evil dude like dunno Edwin or Eldoth from Baldur's Gate.

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I play only good PCs not because I don’t know HOW to play evil, but because I cannot understand why anyone would ever WANT to.

Simply because well dependent on how your team understand alignment because I'm sure some would count what I'm gonna to say as barely Neutrals - there are multiple characters in stories I count as Evil - that are no looney, vindictive, mass murderers. Outsiders are literally made from Good and Evil. Mortal beings are not.
Walter White was evil, yet he still risked his life and fortune for his wacky sidekick (to some point at least), Darth Vader was quite way gone, but still cared about his family.
Precise interesting point about Evil-Doers is that they are not evil to everybody. And many are perfectly suitable to teamwork - still Evil in Alignment Chart.

And why would you want to play it? To explore such uncertainities. Duality of man. Unfairness of judgement. To explore how in many ways evil, sin, corruption is not this blatant Satanic choice to become bloodthirsty monster but slow, slow, slow corruption and even in corrupted man some aspects corode fast, while others can survive.

And I mean even in most blatant way you can make LE mercenary that always hold his end of deal.

94
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Post your latest acquisitions
« Last post by Spike on January 15, 2021, 09:00:02 pm »
I dunno. I liked the IDEA of the Coriolis setting, but upon deeper inspection I kept running into 'no there, there', if you get me? 

It doesn't help that the MY0 rules, and as you noted how equipment tends to go, produces no 'feeling' for the setting either, its just sort of meh.

I think that's easy to miss in the Year Zero line, because the (counts finger...) Four distinct play options each provide radically different approaches to characterization that it obscures how thin everything else is... of course since 'everything else' is also supposed to be unexplored, and thus easily served with a nice heaping of 'DYI' setting creation rules, also makes up for it.. both elements lacking in Coriolis. Which is why I steeled myself, and exercised rare discipline and did NOT buy the new Aliens RPG.... previewing it showed me the 'illusion of choice' in character creations (Eg every character winds up a near clone of every other character, mechanically), and.. well... MY0 rules.
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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.

But in D&D it's not mildly incovinient - it's totally relatable unless you purposefuly point spell in a wrong place :P
How I see things - it's like you have d100(0) table of Minor Mispells, with various effects from purely cosmetic, to somehow annoying - and then if you roll over dunno 93 you get to another table, and so on - and in table 4 you have catastrophic events and so on, and of course there are some Corrupting effects so it's chance one per million to summon Orcus as W1, but more mishaps happen, the risk of big failures is bigger. As in Warhammer it's balancing on the edge - chance to kill yourself right away are slim, but slowly and slowly getting in more problems, that's how it goes.

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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.

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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.

Dude, I was answering to guy talking about why OSR is popular - and how OSR is not heroic escapist fantasy like later D&D's but more horror/war movie escapism and you loose a lot of PC characters, it's dangerous. Look I also play more heroic usually (because due to my group I play Pathfinder/D&D 3,5 - but I totally get why high letality game is fun where you make five PC's up front to not waste time later, because they will be WASTED, and I really as we go up and up start to dislike this abstract HP bags aspect of mechanics.


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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.

The problem is to extent how HP is trying to be both abstract and real indicator of characters help - depending on various aspect of mechanics.
So I'd rather see how with each level you are harder to hit - lot of active defences, and AC reduced to DR (still very important with right balance) and no HP inflation.
High level character should be hard to hit, but each hit happening should be painful, in optimal design.

But we've got what we've got.

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Are you familiar with WFRP? It's fairly popular, and it features both high chances of character failure (including death and permanent maiming) along with a magic system that can have some horrendous miscast results. It's not really for those that only want "mild inconvenience" from their failures.

Yes. Though it also varies between editions - for instance in 1 edition you can up your Endurance and Hit Points in a way that makes plate armour knight softer than you - so it's not always as letal as it seems. But yeah that what I was pointing to.

I ended long campaign in WHF 1e - as a wizard - it was 1 e so unfortunately no miscasts yet, just mana points management - still it was quite deadly for some time, until wonkiness of system made us into superheroes ;)
But in first few adventures my wizard apprentice was twice almost butchered and beared very nasty scars, and once a piece of shrapnel in back put him in recovery for weeks. So this letality was very tangible - one bad shot and our leading knight very tough guys almost bled out of leg artery - with only save or die chance won by our surgeon.
96
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Counters vs numbers
« Last post by HappyDaze on January 15, 2021, 08:44:03 pm »
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?
My players have used a token system with spell slots, and they quite like the diminishing pool of resources as 0 (pool is empty) is a very natural end point for counting. If you reversed it and accumulated tokens, you have to remember each character's particular thresholds.
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, 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.
Are you familiar with WFRP? It's fairly popular, and it features both high chances of character failure (including death and permanent maiming) along with a magic system that can have some horrendous miscast results. It's not really for those that only want "mild inconvenience" from their failures.
98
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: Here's your Mask Protocol
« Last post by jhkim on January 15, 2021, 08:34:57 pm »
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2019-2020.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html (scenario 5 is the best guess)

Thanks. The two CDC pages certainly don't make it easy to compare. They break it down into  different age cohorts for flu than for Covid. Plus one is reported as an infection fatality ratio and the other as numbers per 100,000, so you have to do some math to get comparable figures. But near as I can tell, the Covid mortality rate for 20-49 year olds is ten times higher than the flu mortality rate for 18-49 year olds (0.0002 vs. 0.000019 respectively).

EDITED TO ADD: that said, even if my math is right, I am not super confident in the flu-Covid comparisons except maybe in a broad-brush way. Flu is not reportable, so really hard to get a handle on its prevalence. Just look at the uncertainty intervals in the flu tables, they are huge!
I get that number as well, but I'm not terribly confident without looking over the data a lot more closely. As you noted, the pages aren't terribly friendly or easy to compare.

But that conflicts with other sources, which suggests the flu has an IFR of 0.1% (the CDC's 38 million infected/22K deaths for the last season is 0.57%, i.e. within in a factor of two but not the same) and that COVID-19's is only a few times larger.

22k deaths out of 38 million is 0.057%, not 0.57%. But that is the rate for the flu among all ages - including the very elderly. The rate for those under 50 is much lower.

The 22K deaths from the 2019-2020 flu season is parallel to the 390K total deaths from covid-19.
99
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: These FIVE men control your freedom
« Last post by ArrozConLeche on January 15, 2021, 08:18:24 pm »
You can sum up people wanting to force private companies to accept their membership like this: "Free market for me, not for thee"

Trump was forced by the Supreme Court to allow everyone to see his Tweets.

But Jack Beaner can decide to stop everyone from seeing Trumps tweets.

Thats real Beaner logic there.

Too bad you don't understand the concept of a private company. Your spinner cap is interferring with your two neurons. 
100
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: These FIVE men control your freedom
« Last post by ArrozConLeche on January 15, 2021, 08:03:37 pm »
What is the TV telling you to do today?

I don't watch TV. What's QAnon telling you to believe today?



Ah, hello there, asshat. It's nice to finally see your stupid face.

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