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Peter Kisner
Worked at Broad Institute
Attended Albright College
Lives in Boston, MA
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Peter Kisner

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Dr. Wizard and Mr. Fighter. A tense floating transformation. 
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Peter Kisner

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These are sickly dragons who could really use friends, delousing shampoo, and the number of a good psychologist.

I've actually be playing around with different ideas for making iconically powerful monsters weaker.  Too often monster generation focuses on special attacks and resistances; not enough time is spent on weaknesses.
They're also called goblin dragons, or shambledrakes. But they are not drakes (who are mere beasts), they are dragons, and are capable of all that excellent dragon behavior: scheming, hoarding, demanding tribute, learning to...
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First draft of the random table collection for Sellsword. Feedback requested. What tables/items are useful? Which would you remove? What would you add?

It should be quite useable for any fantasy game. My design goals were to not exceed 4 pages (so they could be turned into a rather wide DM screen), to focus on the areas where DMs frequently need good ideas, and to produce results that are as gameable and useful as possible. Many of the tables could be used for more than one thing, or combined with others for exponentially more results.

The tables are fairly generic, since they are pretty setting neutral, and it's intended for new DMs to get them running games quickly.
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This is pure Maslow right here - if you're not having to worry about safety and security, you can create and actualize, which then leads to the major innovations that actually propel society forward. The whole idea of basic income, although socialist, is actually pragmatic and futurist, because when you already have a safety net established and your mind isn't occupied with surviving, it's occupied with thriving.

And as a coincindence WHAT COMES AFTER actually presents Maslow and discusses how it applies to surviving/thriving in a world where everything has gone to hell from a narrative as well as mechanical standpoint.
An anonymous reader cites a story on TI: The chief complaint people lodge at universal basic income -- a form of income distribution that gives people money to cover basic needs regardless of whether they work or not -- is that it'll make them lazy. Sam Altman doesn't buy it. In a recent episode of ...
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I totally favor basic income, in case my comment was ambiguous.

Because the automated future is already a future where a handful of people own all the productive assets, and everyone else is unemployed. It needs to also be a future where high taxes on the owners pays for basic income for everyone else. They'll get it back anyway when we buy their stuff. Plus, we should be able to hum along like that indefinitely.

A future where almost everyone is unemployed AND has no money is bleak, and is probably the prelude to the violent overthrow of the property owners, (or a war between the homeless and the robots?), and I don't know or like what comes after that.
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Peter Kisner

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Testify!
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Peter Kisner

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+Dyson Logos gets a shootout on BoingBoing.
Dyson Logos’s G+ account is an endlessly scrolling inventory of hand-drawn D&D maps, each one cooler than the last.
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+Dyson Logos Finally! Your maps are amazing!
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Peter Kisner

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Back in +Mike Evans original thread† I complained of missing the use of Troupe-style" play in RPGs.

For those not in the know, the "troupe" was a sort of collective of PCs codified in the Ars Magica rules.  Though the exact implementation was up to the GM, the general idea is that each player generates a Magus (powerful magician), a Companion (talented associate) and one or more Grogs (assistants of random or low talent).

As we ran the game players switched between Magus, Companion or Grog between adventures, or upon character death.  It may seem the default would be to always run a Magus or Companion.  But in practice we found the narrow abilities and unique quirks in personality and background of our Grogs made them just as beloved and likely to be played in any given session.

Often when playing an RPG I find myself mildly bored with my character choice after a couple sessions.  Even if the setting and situation is still of interest, the character just isn't inspiring me at the moment, though maybe later they will again.  But while playing Ars Magica, I found character switch-out every few sessions completely alleviated this itch.

Another benefit of troupe style play is character replacement in the event of incapacitation.  The obvious advantage is quickly replacing a character at time of death.  But a subtler benefit is that characters can more realistically (or... what have you) remain injured and recuperating for long periods of time (typically a "season") without disrupting the ongoing flow of events.

I've rarely seen anything like troupe play in other conventional RPGs.  Probably the closest setup would be in 2E Dark Sun, which touted the harsh lethality of its setting so highly that it suggested the use of "Character Trees".  These worked similarly to Ars Magica's troupe, but had somewhat different rules about ability advancement and switching between characters.

All in all a great set of sub-systems I'd frankly like to see more of a nod to in game design.

† -  https://plus.google.com/u/0/104780290634286531079/posts/TZ11wX7QHX4
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Jay Exonauts's profile photoThe Real-ish Greg Gorgonmilk's profile photoPeter Kisner's profile photoAlex Schroeder's profile photo
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+Peter Kisner How do you or your players deal with high mortality? https://campaignwiki.org/wiki/Greyheim/Status shows 12 casualties after 24 sessions, for example. And I'm using the super generous shields shall be splintered and a death and dismemberment table instead of instant death. 
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Peter Kisner

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+Ben Milton's wonderful collection of descriptors and details when you need something on the fly.
 
First draft of the random table collection for Sellsword. Feedback requested. What tables/items are useful? Which would you remove? What would you add?

It should be quite useable for any fantasy game. My design goals were to not exceed 4 pages (so they could be turned into a rather wide DM screen), to focus on the areas where DMs frequently need good ideas, and to produce results that are as gameable and useful as possible. Many of the tables could be used for more than one thing, or combined with others for exponentially more results.

The tables are fairly generic, since they are pretty setting neutral, and it's intended for new DMs to get them running games quickly.
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Some interesting tidbits of D&D history expounded on by +Tim Kask.

(thanks to +The Real-ish Greg Gorgonmilk for pointing them out)
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Peter Kisner

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More grotti byzantine cityscapes.
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Super-monkeys?
Mandrills are super-duper monkeys, then?
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Peter Kisner

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+Chris Tamm pointed out this wonderful semi-manifestation of Gygaxian naturalism.
People who look through D&D monster manuals often say things like 'how would this evolve?' or 'why would something like this even exist?' or 'why are there, like, a hundred slightly different humanoid creatures all competing ...
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Brilliant!
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  • Broad Institute
    Process Development Associate II
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Introduction
Pursuant to avoiding inconvenience to those with a particular interest in mind, I almost never do Public postings.  Instead most posts will be go to one of several Collections:

  • RPG Discussion - Posts of anything even marginally role-playing game related.  Probably gets the most of my attention. (See GM Merit Badges)
  • Passes  For Humor - Random stuff I found amusing.
  • Pictures By Me - Photos I took or art I did myself.
  • Art Stuff - Other folks art.
  • Music & Videos - Just ones I've enjoyed.
  • Beer Impressions - I keep a list to refresh my own poor memory about what new things I've tried and liked.  Shared here since some other folks seem to take an interest.
  • Family & Friends - Stuff probably of less interest to the general public. My kids are great, etc.
  • Policy, Activism, Strong Opinions, Etc. - Politics, religion and the like. If you want to lose the last shred of respect for me read on!**
  • General Interest - Other random stuff that doesn't fit the other categories.
If you are adding me to your circles and I can't remember you (I'm sometimes bad at this) and you haven't posted anything RPG related before, then I won't circle you back.


** - Note:  I typically attempt to practice Christianity in the Roman Catholic tradition.  I also tend to feel that maybe people in general have a responsibility to look out for each other's well being in some ways that good governance might help facilitate.

My highest aspiration is love of God, neighbor and enemy as outlined in Matthew 22:36-40 and its corollary in Matthew 5:43-46, with the ongoing hope to suck a bit less at doing so than I've been doing heretofore.
Education
  • Albright College
    1998
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