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Eero_Tuovinen

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  • Yeah, the high level thing is a primo open question for me as well. We've spit-balled theory around it recently with the Finns, but the fact remains that in dearth of genuine play experience I'm limited to speculation. Ben Lehman suggested an inter…
  • Great imagery there, I like the eldritch western phantasmagoria you had going. What do you think about the endgame stuff in MLwM now that the game's done? I understood that you didn't have an entirely short and simple endgame, so you probably know …
  • The SIS is an instrumental phenomenon. You can claim that it does not exist, but then the onus of explanation falls on you to tell us how it is possible for my character to move from the interior part of the room next to the window. (Something that …
  • Good stuff, these random table techniques resonate with my own tastes.
  • Our campaigns have occasionally flirted with this direction. The main difference is that I have rarely had ten regular players, not to speak of twenty - that's big city numbers, outside the occasional special session. The second difference is one of…
  • That’s what Eero and Paul have been telling me over and over again, that my love for the “dollhouse” reality isn’t a real love and that what I value most of all is apparently the challenge…? Even though IDGAF about “game balance” If that is true, I…
  • For what it's worth, I like "hybrid" much more as a term than "neo-trad" when discussing games like TSoY, AW, Burning Wheel, Fate, etc. that combine an essentially traditional base chassis with progressive design methods and goals.
  • @Eero_Tuovinen, I’d love to hear why you think that AW is clearly a Narrativist game. (For what it’s worth, I don’t disagree at all, but I find the design fairly subtle about in a number of important respects, and the book isn’t explicit about any k…
  • The terminology itself is rather arbitrary. For the record, I would never call something like AW a "neo-trad" game myself, despite using the term in my own rpg history writing; I reserve that term for games that are fundamentally traditional while d…
  • I think it's an interesting distinction, though, and makes sense with what "diegesis" means in other fields. I mean, it's totally true that what's inside a setting book is not part of the SIS in Forgite analysis, but it is part of a more nebulously …
  • Ah, that's an interesting idea. Perhaps so! I absolutely agree with the idea that the traditional roleplaying game is forced to do a lot of busywork in converting the narrative predicate into a quantity. Just look at the mess of tables in Chainmail,…
  • It is all the same thing, is it not? It's a somewhat subtle theoretical concept in that there's nothing inherently special about any qualitative declaration that a player in a roleplaying game makes; as I mentioned, this is the normal way that verb…
  • Good stuff. I always like the historical reviews - rpg theory is often much too concerned with conceptual issues and too dismissive of understanding the history of the form. As everybody who's ever tried to write history knows, it's far from trivial…
  • It's not common theory jargon, but if I understand Sandra correctly, the old Forge-speak (via Vincent) for her "predicate" would be "elements of exploration" and "fictional positioning". It's basically an attempt at rigorous description of the inter…
  • The Nordic tradition indeed developed its own theory tradition independent of the Forge around the same time-frame. Much of what made the '00s so enchanting (read: terrible) here in Finland had its origins in rigorous disagreements between what amou…
  • Yes, I like this as well. Be sure to let us know how it goes. I'm almost tempted to send in my CV, and I definitely don't have time for a new group.
  • Hey Eero, your simplified large skirmish D&D resolution? GW is thinking of suing over IP infringement. ( That's essentially the core rules of combat in most Games Workshop minis games for the last 30 years or so). Ah, but it's also essentia…
  • As for the minutiae of pre-gunpowder warfare, the point of bunching a lot of men into a regular formation - a "closed formation" as the wargamer often says - was foremost that it guaranteed each individual soldier's flanks against enemies. It is muc…
  • Yeah, you get how it goes - that's exactly what I meant with the bits I skipped. I was musing about quick resolution, after all, not about the appropriate methods for running mass combat encounters. What with this being in the D&D context, you …
  • Oh, also, I just realized that the history of roleplaying actually knows of a few sandbox story games. It's just that they're so old that they slipped my mind just now. There are probably a few more, too, once you start thinking in these terms. Bot…
  • But the question remains. Are there 'story game' sandboxs? Or are the concepts atithetical? The short answer: no. People do their damnedest to dance around it, but you'll note that those who actually play full-blown sandboxes don't join the chorus. …
  • The big virtue that I hope to illustrate by discussing this simplified form of D&D combat relates to the idea of proportionality: by rolling even simplified attack rolls for every combatant, the system automatically accounts for force parity. Th…
  • Regarding the skirmish rules, if I may - a few comments. As you may know, I use methods similar to Deliverator's postal play skirmish rules in my wargamey D&D to speed up play and deal with trivial encounters. Were I doing this, I would try to …
  • That's actually really interesting, Jeph; the phase initiative system is an oldie and goldie, but I've never realized that it has such pedagogical strength with a modern complex game. You usually see that initiative system in games that are handling…
  • I'd say, based on my 4e experiences, that getting rid of the action types thing would speed up the modern D&D chassis immensely. The action typing may be a good thing for rigorous miniatures gaming, but the old way is better for being quick and …
  • But Paul - you were the one who claimed that D&D is the wrong starting point for development if you want fast. That was the whole point - that Dungeons & Dragons in itself is the wrong thing to start with. It just ain't so. Admittedly 5th ed…
  • The D&D HD directly influences a number of other things aside from hit points. What exactly depends on the flavour, but usually at least the hit bonus and save scores. It's a sort of top-down approach to monster creation where you start with its…
  • A system with less solid fundamentals would not be able to give us the amount of freedom that D&D does in this regard, while retaining a core structure. What's an example of a "a system with less solid fundamentals" "while retaining a core struc…
  • Well yeah, I obviously agree with you about D&D 5e - that thing's basically never going to become a slim, mean combat engine [grin]. The D&D that does that resembles the '74 text much more than the current edition. But it's not taking the D…
  • 2. Exciting, flowing, fast, fluid combat is a great goal! But why in the world would you want to use D&D with that? That is a great question. For me the answer is that rpg systems for master-level play require hellishly complicated cybernetics. …
  • The fundamental mechanical reason for why D&D has an action economy (that is, more actions = more success) is that each action is worth a number of enemy HP in the form of the attack you make. If you want to get rid of the action economy and mak…
  • The fundamental technique (I mean, one that underlies many mechanics) in my experience is to engage the players in a dialogue about the internal lives of their characters. This dialogue will then produce an internal justification for why the charact…
  • I love how a concept-proving thread on what newbie-friendly, easy-access, perennial discussion threads might look like inevitably turns into an advanced GM technique seminar. Very droll. Whatever the conclusion about this particular thread, I'd lik…
  • So yeah, Eluned had a lot of stuff to juggle at this point. She promised to look into the Tomb of Llyr business, and it was indeed talked over by the group, but the overall group consensus was pretty firmly behind the idea of intervening in the war …
  • Session #8: Downtime before the war This campaign has a distinctive rhythm in that often the downtime events in between adventures end up eating up an entire session. Session #8 was like that: we updated the characters to level 4, talked about the …
  • The original characters all exist, and would theoretically act out their own stories if not for the player characters and their inherent need to be in the center spotlight interfering with them. The general tendency is for the player characters to …
  • I'm not very sold on your aiming rule myself; feels too powerful in an arbitrary way to me. Of course, that's such a contextual feeling that I'm sure that this is a good fit for your particular campaign. For me a single-target version would be more…
  • The PCs are original characters, yes. My basic cosmological assumption is that everything in the campaign setting is basically as depicted in the novels, except for the addition of the player characters and whatever their individual backstories impl…
  •   Except, Deithwen Morgan, he turns on his heels and starts running in the opposite direction! You see, princess Eilonwy, whom he met earlier and who was schooled pretty seriously by Achren for helping him, is still in the castle! I made it clear to…
  • We prosecuted the two unrelated minor combats side by side with combined initiative scores. No difficulty in that regard, an easy technique to recommend for similar campaigns. (I got the idea from the flashpoint technique in Spione, of course.) This…
  • So anyway, that was the material I prepared. The actual execution had this interesting detail where one part of the PC party started the adventure in captivity, as presumed in the prep (and the original novel), while the others were free and looking…
  • All right, time to try this again. I should develop a more compact session log format, that might make it more practical to actually get these campaign notes written down. That being said, where was I... Session #7: Escape from the Spiral Castle …
  • That's a nice idea, I think the topic definition is solid: not too wide, not too narrow. I particularly like the expansive definition of "D&D" and the emphasis on local creative responsibility over corporate RAW. Hopefully it'll catch on.
  • The golden ration isn't everything in page design, there are other models to work on. The main text column in your 2 column sample is a tad too wide for your regular type. The outer margin could easily be wider (increase the inner one in proportion…
  • Anyway, writing too much again, using too many analogies, trying to make too many points at once. Gonna stop here. I’m ready to be schooled, but so far I’m not convinced that the reaction was appropriate in severity. I think that this is a pretty co…
  • But doesn't exclusiveness stain the local hobby subculture even if it's not you reading or playing some particular material? I could see people feeling unwelcome and excluded if they saw people playing an offensive game at a convention, for example,…
  • Yes, of course - I didn't intend to argue that this one particular adventure is OK in comparison to other horrendous art. Just putting to words how the intersection of social privilege and horror literature seems to me: horror is inherently, as a ma…
  • Speaking of the literary theory of cosmic horror, I'd suggest that it's not merely the historical genre of Lovecraft etc. that is born of privilege; it seems to me that the creative agenda inherent to horror literature is privileged, as it may be so…
  • For historical context, the concept of "Bang" originates, as do many other practical and theoretical concepts, in the toy chest of Ron Edwards. He conceptualized the idea for his rpg Sorcerer in the early '00s as an answer to a specific technical qu…
  • That's an interesting point. A rather modern marketing idea occurs to me: one could, should the owner be so inclined, develop a dynamic landing page for the forum with newcomers and casual readers in mind. Basically a more content-oriented replaceme…