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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.


Feb
2
comment GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?
Good point @SevenSidedDie; it's implicit but not explicit in my answer. You want to edit that in, or shall I?
Feb
2
comment GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?
Hmmm... That's an excellent alternative approach to the same basic situation. "Make them show you" is exactly what I was trying to get at. +1.
Jan
29
comment How to build a Secret Base without killing the builders
Regardless of the physical headquarters, this is an important approach. +1 for defence in depth.
Jan
26
comment Dresden RPG - How easy is it to avoid First Law violations?
@psr: The penalty for breaking the First Law is: there's a +1 bonus to all skill rolls that would break it in the future. (This is a stunt, so you're forced to pay its 1 refresh cost.) It's brilliant. A temptation to do it again in future that tempts the player, not just the character, while giving you less fate to avoid compels and tricky situations.
Jan
25
comment How do you make the PC scream: “I wish we had a mage!”?
I agree with @TimothyAWiseman, except for one key point: do not drop an NPC comment even vaguely similar to "oh yeah, you needed a mage". If you've set up the mage-would-really-help challenge right, they'll spot the obvious value without prompting. If you haven't, the argument won't be convincing just because you had an NPC say it. Definitely a case of show, don't tell. Still, good answer. +1.
Jan
25
comment Dresden RPG - How easy is it to avoid First Law violations?
Ooh, good question. (Side note: the rules penalty for violating the First Law is one of the cleverest bits of game design I've seen in a long time.)
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
Oooh, good idea. I'll try this out next time I run Dresden.
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
@SevenSidedDie: It's possible you read in the 90 seconds between when I posted and when I realised I'd missed that out and edited it in. I'm guessing that you read just fine, and also quickly. ;)
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
@BESW: I have some reassuring words on that subject, but we should take this to chat, because it's no longer a direct answer to the question.
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
Understood, @SevenSidedDie, but I'm standing by the answer as is. My experience of running Dresden is that it's just not that difficult to remember most Aspects during play, since most are created and then tagged immediately. A couple of index cards is quite sufficient to track the long-term ones. NPC aspects should already be in your adventure notes; created ones are usually short-term, so I just put out a card with the ones they've found by Assessment.
Jan
14
comment Where does the stereotype that wizards can't wear armor come from?
+1 for a thorough answer. I'd contest the description of Gandalf, though - while it's true that "his power was in other things than physical combat", he's also an effective swordsman, especially during The Hobbit. The gist of your answer is correct, though, as he's not an armoured warrior.
Jan
13
comment Is that blackguard riding a dragon? Nope, but their pony sure looks evil
In the last D&D campaign I was in the Paladin rode a Pegasus. Since the plot involved a war, the value of her aerial scouting was enormous, besides the sheer cool factor. The GM imposed a limit - the Paladin had to wait enough extra levels for her mount to account for the ECL difference between horse and pegasus - and I strongly recommend a similar rule for any group.
Jan
10
comment When GMing in a high-tech game world how do you handle potentially disruptive tech?
This is an excellent and thorough answer, and goes better to the heart of the problem. (Some of the suggestions in other answers would work for most games but lose plausibility fast in outer systems Eclipse Phase, where the production tech is so thoroughly democratized.)
Jan
10
comment When GMing in a high-tech game world how do you handle potentially disruptive tech?
@ErikSchmidt: If you really want to see the game world adjust to cope with the nasty powerful kit... give the exact same item to the bad guys. Watch the players scramble to find excuses why it's less capable than they thought. Then copy their counterstrategies, or let them inspire you to new ones. The enemy learns too... and in Eclipse Phase, the public is always watching, if it cares to.
Jan
6
comment How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?
Hello and welcome to the site, Ice Mask.
Jan
4
comment Are there any stat-boosting backgrounds?
Hello Vi; welcome to the site. It might help if you edit the question to describe the character you want to play and explain why they need more Con; that way, even if there isn't a feat that does what you wanted, someone might suggest another way to make that character work.
Dec
30
comment Tips on playing a character whose goals run contrary to his outward actions (to the other PCs)
Also take a look at this question on in-party intrigue. It's from a GM point of view, but it's the same problem: how to have two different sets of goals in one party.
Dec
30
comment Tips on playing a character whose goals run contrary to his outward actions (to the other PCs)
+1 because I decided not to answer when I realised this already said almost everything I meant to.
Dec
26
comment Would flying monsters ever land during combat?
@Dakeyras has it. The predator a dragon is worried about defending its treasure from is a bigger dragon. Leaving your hoard out in the open is like leaving your wallet in the street.
Dec
25
comment How do significantly differing male and female lifespans change my setting?
A good answer. You should also consider the reverse of the first paragraph: Males are frequently adventurers (as they're both young and risking comparatively little), whereas the females are more risk-averse - they've got centuries of lifespan to protect and reasons to take the long view.