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Brian Stanfield

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  1. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Khas in What’s Going On With Steve Long?   
    @Steve Long Maybe you should consider setting up a Patreon campaign or something like that. There are enough people here who I’d imagine would throw in a little cash on a regular basis to help support the Q&A forum. 
  2. Haha
    Brian Stanfield reacted to archer in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    The answer to that question is always "yes".
     
    Like when a demon asks you if you are a god.
  3. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Amorkca in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    Aaaannnnnnnd just like that, I came home from chemotherapy on Thursday and found myself eating crackers in bed . . . .
     
     
  4. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    Aaaannnnnnnd just like that, I came home from chemotherapy on Thursday and found myself eating crackers in bed . . . .
     
     
  5. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to ghost my own topic. I had to start chemotherapy again with very short notice and my time and energy has been taken up with that.
     
    I always forget about the list of pre-rolled results made by the players themselves. That seems like an obvious solution to the mechanical problems I was having a hard time with. Lots of good input on when to do it as well. Thanks for the suggestions!
  6. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Ninja-Bear in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to ghost my own topic. I had to start chemotherapy again with very short notice and my time and energy has been taken up with that.
     
    I always forget about the list of pre-rolled results made by the players themselves. That seems like an obvious solution to the mechanical problems I was having a hard time with. Lots of good input on when to do it as well. Thanks for the suggestions!
  7. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Hugh Neilson in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    I'd like to attach a rider to that Bill!  This approach can also really help out the good player.  The one who might be thinking "it feels like I have been pretty lucky so far, and my character is pretty cautious - maybe he should stop and check around.  Or am I only thinking that because I rolled that 15 - my character does not know he rolled a 15."  Since the player does not know he rolled a 15, he is not forced to second-guess whether he really is playing the character, or is being influenced by metagame considerations and player knowledge.
  8. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Ninja-Bear in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    Speaking of hidden rolls, my older son ran a short Basic Fantasy Dungeon crawl. And I saw somewhere that back in the day the DM would roll the thief’s skill on the account that you would think you disabled the trap but that may not be the case.  Anyways since I was running a thief I said let’s try it this way. Well it was fun and I even survived falling in the pit trap! 😂 I called that character the bungler instead of burglar. 
  9. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Spence in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    Players make their rolls and the GM makes their rolls.
     
    When I GM, if we have new players at the table, either new to roleplaying or new to the game system, then I usually have all rolls made on the table with each person rolling, including myself, explaining the roll and how I, or they, calculated it. 
     
    If I am playing with experienced players or players that have gotten the hang of things, then I only ask the players for the results and as GM I do a lot of hidden rolls.  I run a LOT of games that have mystery/investigative themes which means that there are events/rolls that the players cannot know about if those plots are to be preserved and lead on to the big reveals.  A whodunit is not a whodunit if you read the last page first.
     
    For the die rolls themselves.
     
    If a player is actually cheating as in they are not making a mistake or misunderstood some game mechanic, but are actually rolling one thing and claiming another.   Then why am i bothering to play with them?  I'll be courteous,  but once you have cheated in my game, I'll never invite you back.  And if the rest of the table insists, I will just walk away from the game all together.  I've done it in the past and do not see myself changing in the future.
     
    If a player distrusts me enough that they cannot trust me to roll a set of dice or run a game even evenhandedly, then they don't trust me.  Since they don't trust me, why are they in my game?  I am up front in the kind of games I run and what the intended feel and rule restrictions the game will have.  You have a choice, play or sit this one out.   If not enough players like what I have planned, I am more than glad to be a player instead.  If no one else is ready to run I have no problem building a different adventure.  
     
    But an RPG game is a game not a forced participation with guards. 
    You don't like the way I run, don't play.  It really isn't going to darken my world.
     
    I love to create stories that allow the players to solve mysteries, resolve ancient curses and be heroic.  If you know the answer from the beginning it is not a mystery. 
    I tend to use die rolls for NPC decisions, will they A or will they B.
    I have loose event flow charts that incorporate some random results such as "how long until the Thieves Guild becomes aware of X?" 
    These are secret rolls that can directly impact the entire game and no, I am not going to trash an entire plot line because one player had a crappy GM in the past. I have had hundreds of very crappy players in the last 30 years and I don't treat every player at my table as crap because of that. 
    RPG's are game and you play or run them as a choice for entertainment. 
     
    If you don't like the way I run my games, then don't play them.  I mean seriously why would anyone subject themselves to that?  Playing something they don't like. 
     
    I have a friend that is a seriously good GM, but I do not play in his games and vice versa.  Why?  While we can talk for hours about gaming and have a lot of common beliefs, his games have a lot of PvP intrigue and backstabbing.  He and his players love the White Wolf betray everyone games.  I don't.  I love games that actually have good guys.  But I am straying from point.
     
    Yes, as GM I frequently make hidden rolls especially if the die roll could reveal something that is hidden.  I never put in a threat of obstacle that is beyond the players abilities.  There is always a way.  I tell new players that at the beginning, there will always be a way.  Just because you cant knock it down by force doesn't mean there isn't a way around.  I also do not make people roll for every skill.   Just asking the question is enough for me to reveal a clue, especially one that the PC would know.  The player may not have that knowledge, but the PC they are playing does.
     
    But a player having an issue with me making hidden die rolls in a game that I am running?  That is not my problem, it is theirs. 
    If that means that particular game doesn't happen, well that is life.
  10. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Barton in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    When face to face just roll behind the screen.
    When on line I just roll real dice, and in both cases try not to let the players see the rolls.
  11. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Ockham's Spoon in Does anyone use hidden die rolls?   
    For some rolls, like Stealth rolls, what you really have is a skill roll contest, so the player makes a Stealth roll and the GM makes a PER roll for whomever they are trying to sneak past.  If they roll really well, they know they probably won the contest, but they are never quite sure.  Plus, I think the character would have some idea of how well they did (they can hear their own footsteps after all).
     
    For rolls that need to be secret, I will sometimes roll those myself.  Mostly my players are okay with that.  But I have also had players make a bunch of rolls and write down the results ahead of time.  I will then use those rolls for whatever action they are doing that needs to be secret.  Once I use a roll, I cross it off, and then go to the next one.  I always start with a random spot in the list so they don't try to figure out if a good roll is coming up or not.  This system lets the players make all their rolls, but keeps them from knowing the exact results of any given action.
  12. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    Welcome back, Brian!
     
    It's _glorious_ to see you out and about again! 
     
    There's a big laugh coming your way, as soon as my buttons are recharged again. 
     
     
  13. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Chris Goodwin in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    I would totally agree here, except that I once saw Ernie solve the problem of "not eating crackers in your bed" by eating crackers in Bert's bed instead. Some crackers (albeit very few) really do matter to some beds.
     
    But in the spirit of your overall message, we do in fact tend to take ourselves waaaaay to seriously in these discussions, and probably do deserve to sleep in the beds we make for ourselves, crackers or no. 
  14. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    I would totally agree here, except that I once saw Ernie solve the problem of "not eating crackers in your bed" by eating crackers in Bert's bed instead. Some crackers (albeit very few) really do matter to some beds.
     
    But in the spirit of your overall message, we do in fact tend to take ourselves waaaaay to seriously in these discussions, and probably do deserve to sleep in the beds we make for ourselves, crackers or no. 
  15. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Spence in Western Hero 6th edition   
    Yosemite Sam? I mean, c'mon, he's the rootin'est, tootin'est, gosh-darn shootin'est . . . .
  16. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Christopher R Taylor in Western Hero 6th edition   
    Yosemite Sam? I mean, c'mon, he's the rootin'est, tootin'est, gosh-darn shootin'est . . . .
  17. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Hugh Neilson in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    Indeed, therein lies the challenge.  And I got Brian for you as well (that's one of two he deserves, though).
  18. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Hugh Neilson in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    I would totally agree here, except that I once saw Ernie solve the problem of "not eating crackers in your bed" by eating crackers in Bert's bed instead. Some crackers (albeit very few) really do matter to some beds.
     
    But in the spirit of your overall message, we do in fact tend to take ourselves waaaaay to seriously in these discussions, and probably do deserve to sleep in the beds we make for ourselves, crackers or no. 
  19. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Sicarius in Western Hero 6th edition   
    Yosemite Sam? I mean, c'mon, he's the rootin'est, tootin'est, gosh-darn shootin'est . . . .
  20. Like
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Barton in Western Hero 6th edition   
    Yosemite Sam? I mean, c'mon, he's the rootin'est, tootin'est, gosh-darn shootin'est . . . .
  21. Thanks
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Simon in Fonts?   
    Yes (though there are ways around it). I truly dislike folks changing fonts.
  22. Like
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    You don't, at least not as part of a convenient dashboard (which I take as more proof that whoever set up these fora initially-- presumably Dan, but I don't know) didn't find upvote / downvote ratings any more important than I do).  The only reason I happened to notice is because of this very thread.  Up above, I wasn't kidding when I said the ratings thing doesn't matter to me: I know who I have fun discussing X with, and who I enjoy discussing Y with, and have a rough idea what things are which persons "buttons" and I _try_ to not push them.
     
    That's about it.  If you've ever noticed, when you're out here reading and posting, you can't even see your own numbers.  (Right now, I can see Tribble's and Scott's above me, but not mine).  You can log out, find a post by you, and see them that way, or you can go to your profile  and see them (and really, I rarely go to my profile, what with all those handy buttons at the top of the page to go directly to where I want to go on the board).
     
    _However_, for the sake of this conversation and an answer I gave earlier, up above, I _did_ open my profile to check my numbers, partly because the question made me curious, and partly because I was really expecting a way-lower number, and I had hoped that I could use that information and my continued enjoyment of discussing things with you folks as a reassurance to the original poster that "crackers don't matter."  I had a bug-eye moment when I saw what the total was.
     
     
    Anyway, when someone reacts to one of your posts, or quotes your posts, or does one of those "at so-and-so" thingies, you get a little pop-up (and kudos to whoever designed that: it's the first non-obtrusive, easy-to-ignore pop-up I have ever seen on a forum.  Good work; have and Attaboy as a sign of appreciation     ) if you're currently on the board, or, if you're just logging in, you get a different notification message--
     
    anyway: when that get happens, I do get curious-- not about the vote itself, as I _genuinely_ do not care if someone who doesn't actually know me has decided to dedicate himself to absolutely _vilifying_ me to entire world: For one, he's not bothering some other person who I may actually like or someone whose skin may be a lot thinner than mine. For another, there is no better "reward" for that kind of pettiness than getting yourself worked into a tizzy so powerful that you are willing to waste time-- even one precious second of the only life you will live on earth-- being 'that kind of guy.'  All in all, I find it to be quite balancing, and sort of a proof that your own existence isn't that important to you, either.  So if you're not important to _you_, who the Hell do you think you should be to _me_?         
     
    Gah--!
     
    I'm sorry, N-B: when something is really funny, it's easier for me to get side-tracked into enjoying it.  My apologies.      Back on track:
     
    Just a day or two ago, I had looked at my actual whatever-it-is-you-call-that-green-number-under-your-avatar.  Last night, as I was cruising the board before I logged in, I noticed that number had gone up by 1.  I found a thread I wanted to reply to and logged in, at which time I got a notification that I had three notifications.  I clicked the little bell at the top of the screen and got the notifications:  three different people had reacted to three different posts.  As my little green number had gone up by 1, clearly there had been two positives (a "thank you" or a "like" or a "laugh" or anything that was not a "sad" or a "downvote," both of which deduct from that number) and one negative.
     
    I also noticed that one of the replies was both in one of the MHI threads-- about the book itself, not the game-- _and_ was by someone I had never heard of.   Since the entire "it was a hoax / it was a travesty / it was a fraud / it was real / it was the people proving what they want / your-nonsense-here situation that invariably becomes the focus of any thread dealing with the author of that book brings out the pettiness of people unable to accept that time moves forward without cessation, and the person posting the reaction was someone I had never heard of, it was really to determine both where the downvote was _and_ just how many craps I gave. 
     
    The other two were Lord Liaden and Spence, both in current threads that I was still participating in, so I opened both of those threads in the hopes that they had posted and added someone to the conversation.   .   Why?  Why, when I claim that crackers don't matter?!   Well, it's true: crackers _don't_ matter.  However, those are both people I enjoy conversing with, and the _silent_ notification you can pull from the written one is "someone whose opinion, even when different from yours, usually proves quite insightful is currently interested in and may have added to a conversation that you are currently enjoying."
     
    What's not to love?!      Honestly, that's the part of the ratings  / voting system that _is_ important to me!    
     
     
     
    Hugh, this is one of those times when I am in _total_ agreement with you, Sir!
     
    it didn't take long, way back when, to realize that you only get-- I don't know: let's say ten (see my comments on this up above) or so of these every 24 hours. I started to get _stingy_ with them!  "Oh, these things are important!  Super important!"
     
    Then two things happened:
     
    We had a couple of people who were- to be generous-- potentially bipolar, who would swing from participating in every conversation to just attacking and downvoting every post that disagreed with their own.
     
    That was Thing One, and I confess, those couple of guys were the only people I ever wasted a slot on-- not for me, mind you: I can't over-stress how much I am not bothered by "this guy doesn't like me!"  I've got twelve younger siblings, for Pete's sake!  I don't have any feelings left!  They were burned out _decades_ ago!  But Thing One did lead me to use downvotes on occasions when one of these two guys would just tear into someone else without any provocation.  I think I'd passed out about 4 downvotes when I thought "this is stupid.  If they don't bother me-- a typically upbeat, social, outgoing and well-adjusted person, why do I think someone who clearly has a legitimate psychological problem is going to be bothered?  And whatever kind of thing might be helpful to such a person, _this_ isn't it!  I mean this _really_ isn't it!"
     
    So I quit.  This was actually hard to do.  Obviously, none of you were part of my youth.  It's a pity, because we'd have had _so_ much time to game together!   
     
    I used to get in _lots_ of trouble at school as a kid.  I got in my first fight in third grade, and by the time I got out of high school-- well, I couldn't tell you how many there were, but Sam (yeah: I was in front of the principal often enough that he got tired of me calling him Mr. K__ and we moved to that first-name relationship) showed me my "discipline file."  It was impressively thick-- nearly two inches.   We had a long talk that particular afternoon, because he wanted to know how I could end up in so many fights and not actually _start_ any of them. The only reason I hadn't been expelled was because _no one_ had ever seen me start a fight. 
     
    It's pretty simple.  I'm an anti-bully.  The high school councilor tried to use the phrase "hero complex," so I spent days in the library looking into that (because I have that problem, too), and proved to him that he was completely wrong.  I have no need to be a hero or to be acknowledge or anything like that.  What I have is a complete unwillingness to let someone attack someone else.  Maybe it's because I've been a de facto parent my entire life, and just in the habit of looking out for those I consider to be close to me or under-defended against an attacker; I don't know.  But seeing someone else get attacked for no reason (seriously:  if you're getting your butt kicked because of something that you did, I don't care if you're Steve Buscemi and the guy jumping you is Mike Tyson, you had it coming) just flips a switch in me, and that made it really hard to swear off the downvotes.  What finally did it was the realization that the guy (well "guys;" at the time there were two of them) I was pegging with downvotes really did show evidence of actual _problems_.  Downvotes weren't going to do anything to stop the behavior, and the implied insult of them might make it worse.  (for what it's worth, I haven't see one in _years_, and the other in months.  I hope they got help, or at least found healthier places to hang out.  I've read that online social media can lead to and worsen depression and other problems in some sorts of people.)
     
     
    Hell, there's a still a few semi-regulars-- folks that drop in, make a big splash, then disappear for a while-- that trigger me.  I got one of my [gothic voice] Permanent Demerits[/gothic voice] for refusing to be insulted by one known to bully those whose opinions differ from his own.   Oddly, he's got an extremely high green number.  Given the backhanded insults-to-posts ratio, he's also the greatest proof on this board that crackers absolutely do _not_ matter.   
     
     It's not a hero complex; it's an anti-bully complex.      Remember, kids: bullying is wrong, and you will be punished for refusing to allow it to continue (I know: I've been in trouble for standing up to it my whole life).   Now go out there and write those articles and blog posts and news stories complaining that we don't understand why it continues even to this most-enlightened of all days.   
     
     
     
     
     
     
    I didn't, either!  
     
    Then, the same time I realized that downvotes had only two outcomes:  worsening someone who might actually need help, or as a tool to spread animosity (or a tool of actual bullying), I also realized that a limited number of votes of any kind imbued them with a special property.  Think about it with a comic book example (this should be awesome, considering that the majority of things I know about comics came from spectating conversations on these boards   )
     
    In all the universe, there are like eight people who can use Thor's hammer (apparently.  Unless it's ten thousand.  or Two.  Or whatever the story needs at that moment.)  There are ten (maybe) votes I can spend in a day.
     
    I opted to use them as a means of saying "This content is worthy."
     
    I also use them as "thanks for participating in something we are all enjoying," but I make it a point to spend _all_ my allotted points.  Those that don't go as "I really appreciate this" go to posts specifically to say "This is worthy.  Please keep doing this.  Be a solid example."
     
     
    That's why I don't have them on tap all the time:
     
    So many worthy people here.
     

     
     
     
     
  23. Haha
    Brian Stanfield got a reaction from Duke Bushido in Western Hero 6th edition   
    Yosemite Sam? I mean, c'mon, he's the rootin'est, tootin'est, gosh-darn shootin'est . . . .
  24. Haha
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Lord Liaden in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    My sister-in-law has a knack for distorting common expressions, but in a way where you can see the logic in how she got there. My favorites:
     
    "Shoot Bill" instead of "fire at will."
     
    "Hindsight is 50-50."
     
    and
     
    "It ain't over 'til the fat lady's dead."
  25. Haha
    Brian Stanfield reacted to Duke Bushido in Hey "Forum" why so stingy with the Up-Votes?!?   
    I tend to get mine from people who don't like it when I find a trending negativity to be hilariously petty instead of "the right thing to do, dammit!" 
     
     
    Indeed!  Great minds think alike!  
     
    of course, soft minds run together......
     
    We should be careful.   
     
    There was a misquote I heard some years ago that I absolutely love:  "Great minds like a think."
     
    It's right up there with Pinkard and Bowden's "Hey, won't you play another somebody done somebody's song wrong."
     
    Humor that I can really get behind.   
     
     
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