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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.


Nov
10
comment An in-print superhero game system which is descriptor-based?
@thefinalson: As the name implies, Gumshoe is heavily designed around procedural and investigative play. The mechanics essentially guarantee that any clue necessary to the plot will be discovered, while giving players a limited pool of investigative skill points to spend to discover additional information. (Non-investigative skills work on a conventional skill + die roll vs difficulty.) (I'll stop there; more would be off-topic.)
Nov
1
comment Is there a way to use the higher of your wits or dexterity to determine base defense?
Hello, Phillip, and welcome to the site.
Oct
27
comment How to ease down the munchkin factor?
Hello, Victoria, and welcome to the site. This is an interesting suggestion; +1 to you.
Oct
17
comment What to do when a great idea comes too soon?
My Star Wars campaign started, in the first adventure, with the players imprisoned on a Star Destroyer in battle, sabotaging and destroying it from the inside before escaping the wreck. It's pretty rare for an epic universe to fail because the heroes were too awesome.
Oct
3
comment What skill to oppose undodgeable energy weapons attack rolls?
@STTLCU: You don't prevent repeated justifications like "I take cover behind rocks". That's reasonable narrative under the circumstances; firing from cover at the enemy is exactly the right response to undodgeable plasma fire. You're already trying to rule out the Matrix/Feng Shui "acrobatics" solution... if you rule out "take cover" as well, you'll be left with "stand still and pray hard". (Remember that they'll have to generate some new aspects if they want free invokes, though.)
Sep
25
comment How can I Help a New GM Get Started?
Is this the original World-of-Darkness Changeling ("The Dreaming"), or the new World of Darkness version ("The Lost")? I presume the new one, but it will make a difference to some answers.
Sep
10
comment How Fate games could go wrong and how to prevent that
@JohnRobertson: You were aware that most RPGs don't, in fact, simulate the real difficulties of sniper fire, right? (Although if it's important to your game that you do... those +2 tag bonuses can just as easily be "Training From A Master", "Scope HUD Predicts The Path" and "Target Standing Still".)
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.