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zslane

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  1. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Reasons to buy into 4th edition?   
    Countless players had little or no issues playing 4e (errata aside) without running to BBSes every session. If you had to do that then you just didn't grok the game system. 90% of the material added to the 5e (and 6e) rulebook was stuff most players I knew had no trouble coming up with on their own using the very same rules framework Steve Long did.
  2. Like
    zslane reacted to Duke Bushido in Reasons to buy into 4th edition?   
    And let's not forget the 4e Trifecta of Cobble:  EDM, Desolidification, and Transformation Attack.
     
    No matter what kind of unusual-- or downright weird!-- notion you had, someone had a way to do it with the Trifecta of Cobble.   
     
     
     
     
    Just to pick a little fun out of this:
     
    Would that indicate that the new volumes are not wordy enough, or that making them more and more wordy isn't actually helpful?
     

     
     
     
     
     
    And there was a relative lack of social media.  Seriously:  don't for a minute think that all of humanity hasn't been subtly changed by that.  All we really had in the early days of 4e were magazines (if you were lucky enough to be near a store that carried them), conventions (if you were lucky enough to have money, time, and one close enough to you that wasn't hosted by a pedophile  DragonCon), and-- if you were really, _really_ lucky, all the hardware and infrastructure that gave you access to a chatroom or two.
     
    The difference?   We couldn't reach out and say "hey!  What does this mean?"! on a whim.  We would study it, interpret it, and keep re-doing those things until we found something that worked _for our groups_ or we tossed it (which also tended to work).  It wasn't really until we had the ability to reach out and question publishers and authors directly that we ever felt we had a _need_ to do that.   Once upon a time, we made it work in a way that made us completely happy.  A few decades later, we have a compulsion to make sure we are doing it exactly like ten thousand people we will never meet.  And better still ( I learned this one the hard way with Red October, way back when): finding out something that you and your groups "made work in a very satisfactory way" and had been doing for several years was actually _not_ what the publisher / authors had in mind, and that what they had in mind was something that your group didn't like at all.
     
    In light of all those things, I have to believe that we tend to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves to attain some point of rules perfection that just flatly doesn't exist.
     

     
    Makes for tons of books to read, though!     
     
     
  3. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Reasons to buy into 4th edition?   
    I agree with Chris to an extent. I always felt that the best edition was 4e with a few of 5e's new ideas sprinkled in. But using 5e or 6e as the foundation is not my preference.
     
    One huge advantage of 4e, in my view, is that it doesn't lure you into thinking you have to search the rulebook for the "official" answer to every tiny piece of minutiae that comes up in play (or during character creation). Quite a bit is left up to you and your players to reasonably extrapolate from what's given. Once you get the hang of that, you'll be using the system as a general framework for playing anything you can think of, and you won't find yourself consulting the rulebook very often. The same can't really be said, IMO, of 5e or 6e, as those editions attempt to encode every little possible contingency into the main rulebook, filling every margin with stuff you will feel compelled to use and adhere to.
  4. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Tech in Reasons to buy into 4th edition?   
    I agree with Chris to an extent. I always felt that the best edition was 4e with a few of 5e's new ideas sprinkled in. But using 5e or 6e as the foundation is not my preference.
     
    One huge advantage of 4e, in my view, is that it doesn't lure you into thinking you have to search the rulebook for the "official" answer to every tiny piece of minutiae that comes up in play (or during character creation). Quite a bit is left up to you and your players to reasonably extrapolate from what's given. Once you get the hang of that, you'll be using the system as a general framework for playing anything you can think of, and you won't find yourself consulting the rulebook very often. The same can't really be said, IMO, of 5e or 6e, as those editions attempt to encode every little possible contingency into the main rulebook, filling every margin with stuff you will feel compelled to use and adhere to.
  5. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Reasons to buy into 4th edition?   
    I agree with Chris to an extent. I always felt that the best edition was 4e with a few of 5e's new ideas sprinkled in. But using 5e or 6e as the foundation is not my preference.
     
    One huge advantage of 4e, in my view, is that it doesn't lure you into thinking you have to search the rulebook for the "official" answer to every tiny piece of minutiae that comes up in play (or during character creation). Quite a bit is left up to you and your players to reasonably extrapolate from what's given. Once you get the hang of that, you'll be using the system as a general framework for playing anything you can think of, and you won't find yourself consulting the rulebook very often. The same can't really be said, IMO, of 5e or 6e, as those editions attempt to encode every little possible contingency into the main rulebook, filling every margin with stuff you will feel compelled to use and adhere to.
  6. Haha
    zslane reacted to Spence in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Looks like DC movies are improving...
  7. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Hero-Champions-RPG Discord Server   
    I support the idea of a Discord for Hero System/Champions players to chat in real-time. These forums are invaluable for long-form discussions where you want the content to be searchable and to endure for years. A Discord is good for casual conversation where anything said doesn't need to last any longer than the few minutes it will remain on screen before getting scrolled off by newer comments.
  8. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Hermit in Rest in peace: Ron Cobb   
    He was an amazing designer. His Semiotic Standard inspired this keycap set that I put together a few years back.
     

  9. Like
    zslane reacted to archer in Supergirl   
    I KNEW they shouldn't have changed the costume.
     
     
  10. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Mecha   
    Big thumbs up to the work Chris is doing converting BT to RW/Hero. A very worthy effort!
  11. Thanks
    zslane reacted to Chris Goodwin in Robot Warriors to HERO System Current Editions now available at DriveThruRPG!   
    This work started it in the early 1990’s with the goal of using Robot Warriors mecha construction and combat rules with 4th edition Champions and the HERO System Rulesbook. It has been updated and enhanced to help you do the same—with any current edition of HERO!
    Convert Robot Warriors characters to the 4th, 5th, or 6th editions of the HERO System! Use Robot Warriors robot writeups—as is—in current editions! Build new robots using the old rules and take advantage of new rules! Convert robots from Robot Warriors to the Vehicle rules of the HERO edition of your choice!  
    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/327714/Robot-Warriors-to-HERO-System-Current-Editions
     
    Now available as Pay What You Want through DriveThruRPG!
  12. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    Writers usually get themselves out of such binds pretty regularly in the comics. Bad writers do a bad job of it, but Marvel's writers have been better than most in the superhero cinema space. I have faith in Feige and Co. that they will figure out a way (acceptable to fans) to move forward with the Black Panther franchise, without Boseman and without the magical herb.
  13. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Lord Liaden in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Actually, that movie was more of an allegory for the American exercise of power and its penchant to act unilaterally (and potentially irresponsibly) outside its own borders, all in the name of saving others. Without the legal MacGuffin of the Sokovian Accords there is no "civil war". So it really all comes down to what those accords are attempting to do, which is to place operational constraints on the Avengers and put a multi-national committee in charge of them. It had nothing to do with heroism or justice, but international arms control. The reason this put Tony at odds with Steve is because the idea of external restraint (even if that meant sacrificing freedom at the altar of security) aligned with Tony's all-consuming guilt. Tony and Steve did not disagree about heroism or what needed to be done in a crisis. They disagreed over who should have control over their powers.
  14. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Starlord in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Actually, that movie was more of an allegory for the American exercise of power and its penchant to act unilaterally (and potentially irresponsibly) outside its own borders, all in the name of saving others. Without the legal MacGuffin of the Sokovian Accords there is no "civil war". So it really all comes down to what those accords are attempting to do, which is to place operational constraints on the Avengers and put a multi-national committee in charge of them. It had nothing to do with heroism or justice, but international arms control. The reason this put Tony at odds with Steve is because the idea of external restraint (even if that meant sacrificing freedom at the altar of security) aligned with Tony's all-consuming guilt. Tony and Steve did not disagree about heroism or what needed to be done in a crisis. They disagreed over who should have control over their powers.
  15. Like
    zslane got a reaction from pinecone in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Sure, but someone had to try it first. It could have been DC instead of Marvel, having a potential jumping off point with the success of the Nolan movies. But it turns out that it was Marvel who had the right people with the talent and vision to see the possibilities, and the patience to let a long game unspool as Feige saw fit. DC had none of that, and still has none to this day.
  16. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    I feel like that is a false dichotomy. DC could have used Nolan's Gotham City as the basis for a shared universe even without Nolan directing beyond his three Batman films. It would have required a producer like Feige at the helm over at Warner Brothers with the vision to do that and with the mojo to secure Bale as Batman going forward, but they didn't.
  17. Like
    zslane got a reaction from aylwin13 in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Wonder Woman is the only DCEU movie I would watch again. It is the only DCEU movie I own on physical media. It is the only DCEU movie worth watching more than once, IMO.
  18. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Sure, but this whiplash-like variation in his characterization is a relatively modern phenomenon, representing in my judgment an inability on the part of DC to maintain readership without constantly thrusting out a new hot take on the character every few months. More gimmick than organic character development, these takes on the character feel more like random experiments than natural progressions of the original character concept to me.
     
    In part this is a natural consequence of having so many writers put in charge of writing stories involving the Joker. However, the fact that the Joker has virtually no core identity anymore, apart from his name and arch-nemesis status to Batman, is a failure of editorial leadership over at DC in the last couple of decades, in my view. Much like there has been zero leadership taking charge of the DCEU, and look at the hot mess that turned out to be.
  19. Downvote
    zslane got a reaction from Scott Ruggels in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Oh, I definitely agree. Metagame knowledge should not be permitted to affect the game.
     
    I just think that when it comes to intellectual and social abilities, this cuts both ways to an extent. Yes, we are playing characters who are not (usually) copies of ourselves, with abilities we don't necessarily possess. But RPGs are like boardgames where players have the unique opportunity to "play out" social interactions verbally, and to work out mysteries and find creative solutions to problems themselves. They should be availing themselves of these opportunities rather than sloffing off those responsibilities exclusively to dice rolls. Whenever someone uses dice to resolve a roleplaying opportunity they are, by its very definition, roll playing rather than role playing. Obviously any group is free to allow that if they wish; I'm just saying that it's like buying a boat but never taking it out onto the water. Might as well just buy a picture or model of a boat instead.
  20. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Ragitsu in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    If you're not doing at least a little bit of acting when playing an RPG you're basically just moving a piece around a theater-of-the-mind boardgame (I think the word "theater" is quite appropriate here). Doing that makes D&D not much different from Chainmail (with the fantasy supplement), which is not an RPG. A lot of people have grown up believing, thanks to video games, that any game which tracks the progress of a character over time is an RPG. And maybe that's all it takes for a video game to be a "video game RPG", but that's not what a TTRPG is. And you don't have to be an accomplished (or aspiring) stage actor to "play act" a character, or to engage your brain in solving the GM's puzzles and mysteries.
     
    Yes, there are definitely areas in which heavy game abstraction is a practical necessity. Combat and most physical activities, for instance. When you don't want to abstract those things, you go LARPing. But mental and social activities do not require much abstraction (sometimes none at all). And the fact that mental/social actions involve the least abstraction possible is what separates an RPG from a boardgame.
     
  21. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Ragitsu in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Oh, I definitely agree. Metagame knowledge should not be permitted to affect the game.
     
    I just think that when it comes to intellectual and social abilities, this cuts both ways to an extent. Yes, we are playing characters who are not (usually) copies of ourselves, with abilities we don't necessarily possess. But RPGs are like boardgames where players have the unique opportunity to "play out" social interactions verbally, and to work out mysteries and find creative solutions to problems themselves. They should be availing themselves of these opportunities rather than sloffing off those responsibilities exclusively to dice rolls. Whenever someone uses dice to resolve a roleplaying opportunity they are, by its very definition, roll playing rather than role playing. Obviously any group is free to allow that if they wish; I'm just saying that it's like buying a boat but never taking it out onto the water. Might as well just buy a picture or model of a boat instead.
  22. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    To my mind this is the Roll Playing vs. Role Playing debate, and while I fall somewhere in the middle on that, my old school gaming background pulls me closer to the role playing camp than to the roll playing camp. When it comes to mental and social activities in the game, I want the players to do most of the work themselves, and not rely on dice rolls. My rule of thumb is simple: if you aren't comfortable portraying a character with high mental and/or social abilities, then don't make one. Turning everything you do into a dice rolling exercise places too much emphasis on the Game and takes too much focus away from the Role Playing. Combat is different, of course, because the usual flow of play is suspended while everyone plays a skirmish-level wargame for a couple of hours.
  23. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Well, to be fair, in The Hobbit the DM had the charitable sense to give the hapless 3rd level Halfling Rogue an enchanted short sword and a mythril mail shirt, and to make a Ring of Invisibility available during the quest, knowing full well that the climax of the campaign was going to be an encounter with an ancient red dragon and a large-scale battle involving five armies and a huge werebear. And yet despite all that wonderful gear, said Halfling Rogue talked his way out of his encounter with the dragon rather than trying to fight his way out of it. And in an Old School game, this would be resolved through in-character conversation between player and DM, not a "skill roll".
  24. Downvote
    zslane got a reaction from Gnome BODY (important!) in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    Oh, I definitely agree. Metagame knowledge should not be permitted to affect the game.
     
    I just think that when it comes to intellectual and social abilities, this cuts both ways to an extent. Yes, we are playing characters who are not (usually) copies of ourselves, with abilities we don't necessarily possess. But RPGs are like boardgames where players have the unique opportunity to "play out" social interactions verbally, and to work out mysteries and find creative solutions to problems themselves. They should be availing themselves of these opportunities rather than sloffing off those responsibilities exclusively to dice rolls. Whenever someone uses dice to resolve a roleplaying opportunity they are, by its very definition, roll playing rather than role playing. Obviously any group is free to allow that if they wish; I'm just saying that it's like buying a boat but never taking it out onto the water. Might as well just buy a picture or model of a boat instead.
  25. Downvote
    zslane got a reaction from Gnome BODY (important!) in Puffin Forest’s In Depth Review of Pathfinder 2e   
    To my mind this is the Roll Playing vs. Role Playing debate, and while I fall somewhere in the middle on that, my old school gaming background pulls me closer to the role playing camp than to the roll playing camp. When it comes to mental and social activities in the game, I want the players to do most of the work themselves, and not rely on dice rolls. My rule of thumb is simple: if you aren't comfortable portraying a character with high mental and/or social abilities, then don't make one. Turning everything you do into a dice rolling exercise places too much emphasis on the Game and takes too much focus away from the Role Playing. Combat is different, of course, because the usual flow of play is suspended while everyone plays a skirmish-level wargame for a couple of hours.
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