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In The Beginning Was The d20. Daniel is a long-time computing geek who spends his days spreading this good word. Interests include painting, medieval swordsmanship, and every conceivable form of game design.


Aug
28
comment Are 'Mechs included in A Time of War's core book?
@HeyICanChan: That's a little like demanding that all Star Wars games are about Jedi fighter pilots. Sure, they can be, and it's fun if they are, but it's just one tiny fraction of the RP fun to be had in the universe. A SW game that assumed you were all Jedi fighter pilots would be a really bad game design.
Aug
20
comment How can I understand spirits and the shadow world better?
I think "I haven't a clue what I'll do if they try to contact spirits, nor what kind of spirits would know what" really cries out for some specific suggestions. While I agree it's the concepts not the mechanics that matter here, the concepts of spirits in Werewolf are relevant. You could also remove the vague "any number of planes" stuff from the first part, since the astral/ethereal stuff is simply not how the WoD works - stick to the Shadow.
Aug
20
comment How can I understand spirits and the shadow world better?
This answer has potential, but at the moment it's too general. The question is very specific to Werewolf and asks for concrete GMing help. The answer avoids giving that help - "apply mechanics and imagination" is essentially all of GMing. Some concrete examples in this section would do wonders.
Aug
5
comment Why all the dice?
@DaveSherohman: I chose those words carefully. I agree that almost all games use dice conventions that are not represented accurately at 1% resolution. (Even 2d6 isn't.) But I would argue very strongly that no RPG exists where gameplay is harmed by a less-than-1% probability difference. I said that 1% is good enough for gaming purposes. (Is AD&D actually a noticeably different game if your probability of an 18 stat in character creation becomes 1% instead of 0.463%? No. And that's the biggest difference it would make.)
Aug
5
comment Why all the dice?
@DaveMG: Your comment on my answer suggests a second, differently-phrased question - "couldn't an equally efficient dice system be created with only percentile dice" - and it might be useful to separate it out, making this one more answerable. (The answer to the other question is "no" - many existing dice systems are MUCH more efficient in their current form - but we'll need to work up from specific examples to answer that.)
Jun
13
comment Does the taint in my aura from Diablerie ever fade?
Since the question doesn't specify rules-as-written, I'd say this is a solid answer. It's not the book's answer, but it's a useful interpretation for a GM to consider.
Apr
23
comment Alertness feat, Perception and being surprised
This is not an answer, but worth mentioning: you never roll passive Perception. Your passive Perception is just your ordinary perception - with an assumed "take 10" as the die roll. It's noted down precisely to avoid having to make actual die rolls. So anything that boosts the skill boosts the passive as well; there's no difference.
Apr
21
comment How can you model giving skills in Kerberos Club FATE?
Don't be concerned. Fate takes plot changes in stride. "Oh no, I can't shoot fire! Now I feel really motivated to run like hell." Or if the change is coming soon, make the character leave the points "banked" until they get to reallocate them to the new skill. (We're starting to ramble; I'll try to edit all this into the answer later, so we can delete comments.)
Apr
21
comment How can you model giving skills in Kerberos Club FATE?
Yes, give skill points back for reallocation when they lose skills, and charge them when they take new ones.
Apr
21
comment How can you model giving skills in Kerberos Club FATE?
Technically, it's an Extra rather than a custom trapping. But since it's a GM-controlled plot-driving Extra, you don't need to care about the details - just declare that the ability exists. Then go with the first approach. The end of the Christmas special is pretty much the definition of a Major milestone. So let the players reorganise their characters as need be, and your NPC is just the plot-enabling-excuse for being able to rearrange their powers.
Apr
19
comment How can I create more compelling villains?
Not quite a duplicate, but look at this question on fantasy villains.
Apr
19
comment Shapeshifter Villain travelling with Party
Hello, Shifter, and welcome to the site. This is a great first question.
Apr
2
comment Can a bound outsider disobey its orders?
Plane shifting is not a good solution, however. The advantage of using Planar Binding to negotiate with devils is that you only have to negotiate with one at a time.
Apr
2
comment Can a bound outsider disobey its orders?
Surely some archons don't mind being bound in order to help with a good cause. (Especially as the only requirement is for them to adhere to a lawfully negotiated deal.) And according to the Bestiary, devils "willingly serve and bargain with those who conjure them, but always seek to pervert their orders to serve the greater agenda of Hell" - I'd guess that evil, legalistic entities would rather be in the world with opportunities to pervert their orders than locked away in other planes where they can't do anything to procure souls for their infernal masters.
Apr
2
comment Can a bound outsider disobey its orders?
+1 for a wonderful answer. I'd like to add only one point: some outsiders like being summoned and doing deals with mortals - it gets them chances to act on another plane. An outsiders that wants more chances to do this may keep to the spirit of the agreement because it cares about its reputation. (Until the character offends it, and suddenly it becomes the demon of reading-the-fine-print-very-carefully. "I swore to return the lost gem of fire to the McGuffin clan. I never said in what year.")
Mar
19
comment Gumshoe investigative ability pool sizes
I still have a private copy of the sample characters - catch me in chat and I'll send you the saved web page.
Mar
11
comment Why is time-dilated simulspace not an I Win button?
KRyan is correct, Slothman, especially as the brain your alpha fork is running in is probably an even more efficient synthetic brain. It's the signal traffic which will give you away. (P.S. Thanks @Sardathrion; coming from you that's very high praise indeed.)
Mar
8
comment Why is time-dilated simulspace not an I Win button?
@Klaim: I considered saying that, but deliberately rejected it, because I'm not sure it's true for hacking. Yes, a hack is a dialogue - but the limiting factor on the speed of that dialogue is usually the hacker, not the target system. The response time of the target is usually significantly more than 60 times faster than the hacker, if we can use modern intrusion as any kind of example. (Does make social engineering attacks impossible, though. Software exploits only.)
Mar
7
comment Why is time-dilated simulspace not an I Win button?
I think that's a fair assessment of the issue, @Sardathrion. It's certainly the problem I've tried to address in my answer.
Feb
21
comment Exactly, what is an encounter?
@Flamma Exactly so. Anything that would be one scene in a play or film is probably one encounter in a game.