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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.


May
17
comment Is making a skill check in place of another check still considered the original skill?
Hello, Ephiral, welcome to the site, and +1 for a solid initial answer. It would be improved slightly if you edited in the relevant text from the talent and Star Wars FAQ. (On which subject, our FAQ is here if you'd like to check it out.)
May
5
comment Incentivizing Player Betrayal?
I wish I had a second +1 for link Press and Dyson anyway; that paper is one of those revelatory "why did I never think to do that?" moments in mathematics.
Apr
18
comment Running a game of Microscope that isn't totally insane?
+1 for as usual, Brian beats me to it by 10 mins. Especially the theme. Theme is everything when setting the tone. (I've run a game that ended with a slave rebellion by intelligent sheep ninja wielding doomsday weapons... but the tone stayed serious because it was played completely straight. Because the game had started out with simple, serious bronze age politics and exploration, and we'd hung on to that as the end approached.) Pick a theme that encourages serious - Dune, not Star Wars. Global Frequency, not Justice League.
Apr
17
comment Should long Aspects be split?
+1 Strong answer. A High Concept should sum up the whole character; it's OK for it to imply a lot of things. Other aspects that don't seem to work should usually be rephrased rather than split; instead of describing the character (So in this case, the High Concept would be "Gnome Illusionist On The Make" or "Lord Of Illusion (In Training)". If it's not a high concept aspect, try rephrasing away from skills entirely - leave the illusion in stunts and take aspects like "I Can Do Great Things" or "My Teacher Said I Would Be The Best".)
Apr
8
comment Character generation for the dresden files “case file” adventures
+1 for that last paragraph. Fill in a couple of aspects each, then leave the others blank and let them emerge during play.
Apr
1
comment How can I replace a player character with an impostor without alerting the group?
Completely correct. Oddly, The less opportunity you create specially for the master spy, the more plausible the switch will be. (The last time a group PC became a traitor was in my Star Wars game, and the group were going through customs at the time. All I did was roleplay mini-incidents for two other PCs in the group, thereby establishing that stuff happened without drawing any attention to the switch.)
Apr
1
comment How can I include Dresden-Files-style vampires in my Pathfinder game?
I'd recommend adding NPC levels. The powers of older Dresden vampires are depicted as being quite variable and individual... The Red King's an evil priest, Mavra's a wizard, Lara's a warrior / noble, and most tellingly, Ortega's a warrior but his wife's a wizard.
Mar
12
comment What are the main factors to consider when a PC gains a major airport in V:tM?
@Bob. Wow. Talk about debts that come back to bite you... the day he becomes unconvinced that it was worth it should be interesting. (This is the same problem that makes RL airport security mostly useless. Cost to player of preventing Obf/Dom attacks on complex: huge, lasting, possibly terminal. Cost to attacker of using different plan involving Celerity/Obtenebration/Thaumaturgy/Presence: probably not noticeable. Heck, I can think of two entirely off-site Dominate plans offhand.)
Mar
11
comment What are the main factors to consider when a PC gains a major airport in V:tM?
@JamesBroyles: Your comment suggests an additional issue immediately: during a Blood Hunt, your PC is responsible for making sure the target cannot escape by air. That should give them a whole heap of extra security problems. (Given no more than the usual TSA and a couple of ghouls in strategic places, how do you secure an airport against someone with Obfuscate or Dominate?)
Mar
9
comment What happens to rez points when you merge (alpha) forks?
+1 for good grief, how did I not ask this already? An interesting and important mechanical question.
Mar
6
comment In the Dresden Files RPG, does an Evocation shield have a reactive utility to it?
Welcome to the site, Elly. +1 as I agree with you. The question isn't "is there any place in the books where Harry shields against a surprise attack". You can still win initiative when surprised. The question is "does Harry ever fail to shield because he's surprised", and the answer is yes, that happens a lot. What's more, when he's going to suddenly shield against melee charge, he's always depicted as shaking out his shield bracelet, holding his arm out and getting his will ready - in game terms, readying the block.
Mar
3
comment Responding to players paying exclusively with gold coins
@Drew: It's worth bearing in mind that "tax collector" could mean something very different historically. In late-14th-century England, for example, property taxes were generally paid by entire villages, leaving it to local officials to sort out with the tax collectors who paid how much of the total assessment. There's plenty of room for fun with corruption here too.
Feb
28
comment What's a good mechanic for rewarding players for keeping their characters happy?
This is a brilliant question; I'm looking forward to the answers. (Ever noticed that adventurers that own entire kingdoms still eat standard packed trail rations?)
Feb
22
comment What is a good mechanic for a test of will power?
@DerekTomes: What you say is completely true, but there's a difference between favouring skill and favouring natural ability. LARP fighting favours those who train, but anyone can practice and get better, and you stand a small chance even against a stronger opponent. Beware of contests which don't have that much variation, because then in a match between the same two players the same one will always win - which is probably not the game design you wanted.
Feb
22
comment How do I help my players get past an obstacle I didn't intend?
@leokhorn is completely right. Make sure there's some other limit on the power of the well, and let the players know it! Once they realise they can get one NPC to wish, they'll realise they can get one hundred NPCs to wish...
Feb
19
comment What is a good mechanic for a test of will power?
@DerekTomes: ...as an asthmatic who prefers to play wizards, I don't. A physical contest system needs to take into account that some people are inherently unable to compete on even terms. (Tests requiring colour-recognition have the same problem - a small percentage of your players just can't do it.) Of course, if you have a small group it may be that it's not a problem for any of your players. In which case go right ahead.
Feb
6
comment GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?
Wow. A beautiful answer, neatly encapsulating what's different about Dungeon World. (Notice that my entire answer fits inside case 2, with room to spare!) +1 for you.
Feb
5
comment Should I read the Dresden Files fiction before I get the RPG?
A perfect summary; +1. If you only care about the Fate rules, then DF YS is the best book to read until FATE core comes out. If you care about running games in Dresden's world, the books are not completely necessary - but they'll be a huge help.
Feb
4
comment How does a skill modify another skill?
DFRPG still uses restrict and complement, but they're relegated to a sidebar of useful terms - it's on YS p214.
Feb
3
comment What is an example of a “Pure” Simulationist system?
An excellent analysis of why there are so few simulationist games. +1.