Profile

Cover photo
Richard L
Worked at Unzen City Board of Education
23 followers|5,234 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideosReviews

Stream

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Are we specifying that it has to be Greek mythology? Because if you're willing to range further afield, I'm sure there's something Nordic, Celtic, Slavic, African etc. that will match the gestalt more or less.
1
John Arendt's profile photo
 
+Richard L +Lon Varnadore Ideally I'm looking to shoe horn the Drow into near eastern mythology or Greek myth, but the Celts exist at this time, anything in Celtic myth and fey themes is fair game.  I'm also thinking the natural world has two opposed forces when seen through a Greek myth lense - Artemis representing nature and order, and Pan representing nature, chaos, and the overthrow of civilization.

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
On the one hand, I always make sure that the obvious potential TPKs in a dungeon or wilderness setting are well-telegraphed, so that players can avoid them, or approach when they feel they're well-prepared. On the other, if the PCs are picking fights with random strangers, then it's on their own heads if one of the strangers just happens to be able to wipe the floor with them.
Encounters in published adventures tend to be scaled to the level of the characters the adventure was created for. If it’s an adventure for levels 1-3 you would typically not expect to encounter 10th level monsters, as there ...
1

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
"I am studying for the JLPT N3 for December 2015... I originally intended to take the N3 in December 2014, but I forgot to register in the (short) window in which registration is open. It's very frustrating."

Isn't the JLPT also offered in June? Or is it biannual only in Japan, or just only annual where you are?

In either case, good luck, and have fun!  日本語は難しいけど、面白い言語です。  8^)
 ·  Translate
1

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
First, let me say that this is an interesting idea, very thought-provoking. I recommend actually using it, too – practice always, always trumps theory, and a play-test will tell you so much more than sitting back in one's armchair and going “I feel that....” After all, the bottom line for house rules is that if it works for you, then it's a valid part of your arsenal.

That said, on the theoretical level I'm inclined to raise objections.

1. I like combat that allows for both sides to miss. Done right, it can build tension nicely. Perhaps the major factor that makes a difference here is how long a “round” is for you – verisimilitude allows more hitless six-second rounds than minute-long rounds.

2. I  <i>really</i> like combat that allows for both parties to hit. It's something that happens all the time in real combat, for one thing. In game terms it increases your dramatic options and adds a little tension and variability that are lost in a winner-take-all setup.

In fact, this is one of the biggest downsides of the system you propose: in winner-take-all, whoever has the higher CR is even safer than they would be under standard rules, and almost guaranteed to win a fight. (This only gets worse if you use the “seizing momentum” rule!) Elements of chance, and hit point totals, also come into play of course... but all other things being equal you're creating a system that statistically encourages PCs to bully the weak (boring) and refuse to ever engage the strong (also boring). Gone is the ability of a party of first-level characters to gang up on a Minotaur and overwhelm it with numbers.

It's also worth pointing out that you threw in several tactical options that allow both sides to hit and damage, or both sides to do nothing. To me this says that you felt the lack of each potential outcome and tried to find a way to put them back in... but in the end, I suspect that this is a net increase in complexity. It doesn't seem worth it to me to make the players memorize a bunch of little situational rules just to speed up combat by one roll per round.

3. You comment about a fighter being able to hold off a monster that s/he can't hurt. There are plenty of other rules that give this ability in a more beneficial way, though: a full-defense action or the Combat Expertise feat in 3.x-style combat, for example. It's easy to see why a defensive option that increases your defense in some way is better than a “defensive” option that consists of counting on a string of useless wins.

4. I <i> agree</i> that dynamic, skill-based offense against static, equipment-based defense is problematic. However, there are other ways to deal with this that doesn't involve collapsing all combat into a single roll. For example, making defense into a skill check. You could even go the GURPS route and give players the choice of defending with a Dodge, Parry, or Block roll, with various upsides and downsides to each choice.

5. The averaging-out of damage from multiple monster attacks seems pointless: it loses the “flavor” of bites being different from tail slaps (for example), and you always had the option of a monster simply choosing before rolls are made who to target with what attack.

So that's my two cents. I recommend play-testing this style of combat to see how it feels. But it strikes me as a less-than-ideal solution to certain problems, and an unnecessary “solution” to several situations that aren't problems at all. Keep up the brainstorming, and good luck!
1

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Awesome. I prefer hand-drawn maps, but if I wanted to make one on the computer I'd definitely keep this tutorial in mind.  8^)
A few weeks back, I made it to the finals of the "So You Want to be an OSR Superstar" contest at Tenkar's Tavern, and was faced with the task of completing a map.  Normally I draw my maps by hand, with pencil and graph paper,...
1

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Counterpoint: visually-oriented people who are inspired by monster pictures in ways that mere text, or perhaps even silhouettes, would not.

Possible solution: multiple artists's interpretations of the same creature being accessible - maybe not going out of your way, in a published book, to have five different versions of each beast; that could get prohibitive... but online somewhere?
We live in a visual age. The advent of photography and cinematography plus earlier advances in the reproduction of images followed by the invention of the world wide web have resulted in a culture where we share images with one another constantly. As a result, some guy in LA can immediately ...
1

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
An interesting idea that seems designed to make players move strongly toward ambushes and quick escapes rather than duking it out - guerrilla tactics over tanking. Probably on of those things that could make some players really unhappy if everyone's not on the same page before it's implemented.

...And on that note, how'd it work for you?
YOUR PLAYERS WILL LOVE THIS Instead of giving XP for fighting monsters, GIVE THEM NEGATIVE XP FOR IT. What I mean is, for every point of hp they lose, THEY ALSO LOSE 1 XP. So, if the cleric loses 3, the thief 2, and the fig...
1
Daniel Davis's profile photo
 
Haven't used it yet, unfortunately. And my group is about to switch off GMs; so it might be a few weeks before I get to treat my players to this.
Have him in circles
23 people
Jen Liddle's profile photo
Michelle L's profile photo
Bjørn Havgaard's profile photo
James Raggi's profile photo
Peter Williams's profile photo
Tiffany Lowe's profile photo
Michael Lutz's profile photo
Holly S's profile photo
Josh Kaushansky's profile photo

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
This is straight-up a good and helpful review. Thorough, specific, rational, doesn't get bogged down in ad hominem attacks against the writers over the negative aspects, and includes examples from play. I'm not shopping for any new game systems right now, but I'll have to keep this in mind if I ever decide to review something.  8^)  Thanks!
2
Michael Prescott's profile photo
 
Hey, thanks for the kind words.

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
I've never had the murderhobo problem with my players, to be honest, but it seems like you've barely tapped the vein of in-world repercussions. If players are going around murdering enough innocents to switch their alignment, then they're likely making people angry too. Perhaps angry enough to trigger paladin raids on their base, or a price on their heads set by some lord trying to keep public order. All sorts of adventures you can get out of a bounty on the party.
Recently I’ve seen a few discussions about Murderhobo players, and thought about ways to bring a bit more balance to the mayhem and encourage players to run characters a bit more in balance with regular people in the game wor...
1

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
I really like this idea, at least in outline. Any move away from "kill everything you meet to maximize XP" is a good move. The specifics seems a little wonky, though; too literal, perhaps. If I were working this out I'd try to figure out fundamental things that make each class tick, and reward them. So gathering spells for a wizard is Very Yes (although the exact reward size can be tinkered with), but a ranger gathering a small band of followers? Maybe not so much.
This is me playing around with AD&D level perks - instead of getting the perk as a result of collecting XP, you have to adventure to get the perk yourself, and you get XP as a result. For example, in AD&D, a 9th level cleric ...
1
Michael Prescott's profile photo
 
Yes, you're quite right that it's too literal. The wizard's spell-finding is definitely the best of the lot.

The nod-and-wink of all this is that there are RPGs that work a lot like this already. I think one of the tricks is making the rewards juicy enough that they affect behavior, but making them mutually compatible that they don't pull the party apart with unrelated incentives.  BW does it with player-set goals (which keeps them cohesive), and many AW-based games have XP moves, but these typically are a fairly small % of PCs' overall xp intake and are meant for flavor rather than high-level drivers of play.

Anyways, I think it's a fun idea to play with.

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Well said! I started following you for the adventure maps, and seeing this kind of useful theorizing is just icing on the cake. (Or cake under the icing? Take your pick?)

One counter-point: while I don't think many people, if any, will argue that randomly-generated dungeon features are more "interesting" than painstakingly hand-crafted ones, random generation has a couple of features that make it attractive nonetheless.

First, it's faster; you can roll a handful of dice and a given encounter, room, or location is ready to go.

Second, it allows the DM to be surprised by the landscape just as much as the players are. A good combination of random tables can yield unexpected results and force the DM to interpret them creatively.

I suppose the best of both worlds would be a system where you base your random tables logically on what the local emitters would be expected to leave? This might be even less work to set up than a truly random table, since deciding a "theme" beforehand will suggest a set of reasonable options to stock the table with.
A question I see from time to time in various forms is, "How do I make dungeon descriptions interesting?" One possible answer looks like this: Random Dungeon Details (d1000) 01-03  Bad smell (d6: 1-2 sulphur, 3-4 decay, 5-6 m...
2
Michael Prescott's profile photo
 
I'm in complete agreement, +Richard L - random content is a great way to add variety you'd never have thought of yourself.  I'm downplaying that, only because I'm focusing on the idea of making investigation worthwhile.

Actually,  you've read my mind on your final point - I have something baking in the oven along these exact lines for wilderness happenings and encounters.

Richard L

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Whatever makes you happy, but I assume even with the final option you're still willing to give PCs a surprise round to attack first in if they manage to pull off an ambush or surprise attack!
PCs always go on the initiative count equal to their dexterity score plus any modifiers to that score they may pick up, say, from class features (not including the Dex mod).  So a PC with 17 dex goes on count 17.  Tied creatu...
1
Daniel Davis's profile photo
 
Yep. Surprise rounds are fine by me. 
People
Have him in circles
23 people
Jen Liddle's profile photo
Michelle L's profile photo
Bjørn Havgaard's profile photo
James Raggi's profile photo
Peter Williams's profile photo
Tiffany Lowe's profile photo
Michael Lutz's profile photo
Holly S's profile photo
Josh Kaushansky's profile photo
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Freelance translator, Japanese > English
Employment
  • Unzen City Board of Education
    2005 - 2010
Links
YouTube
Contributor to
A cheap (105yen for most of the plates) and popular kaiten-zushi establishment. The setup is good, with wasabi and other flavorings available at each table. The selection is also nice; the lineup that varies with the seasons but always features standards like salmon. The facility itself is clean, well-lit, and (importantly, for me) non-smoking. Its distinctive feature is a little Shinkansen train for bringing your orders to you! Conveniently close to Isahaya station. It's gourmet cuisine, but it's mighty fine "rotating sushi."
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
1 review
Map
Map
Map