Options

Into the Odd [Tabletop Roleplaying] Appreciation Zone

1457910100

Posts

  • Options
    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Okay, Monte Cook.

    He recently re-released the monster Ptolus book for 5e and Cypher. Ptolus city is a cool setting with guards polymorphed into trolls, firearms, chaos science, and a bunch of interesting locations and personalities around.

    The book is notable for being capable of running a party from 1st to 20th level, with several fully detailed endgame dungeons.

    These dungeons are the most tedious, annoying role-playing experiences I've ever had because Cook basically decided that every room should have traps capable of killing 20th level characters, monsters essentially immune to spells, and a corruption mechanic that will turn PCs into NPC villains if they don't do the dungeon fast enough.

    Spoiler for end game
    My tiefling sorcerer/rogue/rifle fighter got corrupted so I came in with her dad, using a similar build. He died several times because there was a stairwell where a symbol of death was drawn on EVERY STEP.

    Anyway we made it to the endgame where each of us had to succeed in a challenge to make it to the endgame, but there was no indication of how to win the challenge (found out later you could cast a 6th level spell, win a DC 30 social check, or win a wrestling match). Since we had no way of knowing, our ranger/cleric, invoker, and necromancer couldn't even go to the final battle, leaving our minotaur barbarian, druid, and myself to face a corrupted solar in a pocket dimension.

    The casters didn't really want to sit out the final battle of the campaign, so they devised a plan to plane shift into the pocket dimension.

    Of course, Monte Cook wrote into the adventure that anyone who gets into the pocket dimension through any means except for the trial immediately turns Chaotic Evil and tries to kill the other PCs.

    Now, we did manage to win because the necromancer Finger of Deathed the invoker, and I broke his staff of power in a retributive strike that sealed the evil and killed almost everybody, including me, though I was, one round away from turning evil myself and it was probably for the best.

    The ranger/cleric and necromancer, both insane and evil, survived to probably become villains of another campaign.

    The fact that Monte made that encounter in such a way that creativity was actively punished made me disinterested in going down that road with him ever again.

  • Options
    GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    The closest I recall to Monte being "bad as a person" was that thing like sliders in a fantasy setting where settings had a % of the apparent people who were actually like capable of agency. That was written into the game and the settings with the lowest % were all exactly that settings you'd expect a person who grew up amidst European ethnocentrism and never questioned it would assign. It is also likely good old fashioned ignorance rather than any kind of hate. It also wasn't his game, he just published it and I believe they admitted they screwed up.

    On the other hand Monte is a shit game designer with some fun setting ideas. It very much feels like he comes from that age where you didn't actually playtest stuff. You maybe drew up some plans on a whiteboard, slapped some numbers in that looked like they were "right" and then sent it off to the printers. To be fair, in his prime that was every RPG he just completely missed the boat on the sea change in the industry.

    Edit: The game was The Strange, a setting for Cypher published with Bruce Cordell. Also Monte cowrote it from what I've just found.

    Yeah, Monte Cook hasn't really been exposed as a monstrous or manipulative individual; most of his shittiness is just the background-radiation shittiness of an unexamined life.

    He's just a bad game designer, and the particular way in which he is bad is that d20-heyday sort of badness where you refuse to acknowledge any connection at all between the rules to the game and the thing the game is about or the way the game is run. A game about exploration and discovery where 90% of the rules are about combat? Just leave it to the GM to figure out how to actually make it about exploration and discovery!

    And, if you were a d20-era GM and you suffered through doing that, or if you were a shitty d20-era GM and you told your players you were doing that but just kind of put on a glassy-eyed grin when they tried to explore or discover something, you'll have no problem dealing with his games.

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited July 2022

    Darmak wrote: »
    huh all of those are interesting and cool!

    There's 20 detailed planar locations in here (they get stuff like lore, quests, NPCs, encounter tables, specific locations inside the plane with a map, some combination of the above, etc.) 20 more places with only a few details (only 1-4 paragraphs of lore, maybe some NPCs, maybe ideas for quests), and then 8 microplanes that can be inserted into other planes or between them or whatever (1-4 paragraphs of lore like the previous planes, but with less details and ideas). Here's the names of a few places mentioned in the book:

    Pig Skin Farm
    Sisyphus Mountain
    Worm Rat Lair
    Glaund, the Perfect Physicality
    Citadel of the Fate Eater
    Sanguine
    Wreck of the Unimaginable
    Savtua, the Swampy Mindscape
    Grove of Crows
    Erewhon

    A lot of these places are real fuckin weird

    Way back when I was young and hot I used to go to raves and I think I’ve been to all of these places.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • Options
    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    ok so Monte Cook, bad game designer, ok otherwise and has interesting setting ideas sometimes? That's acceptable, I can call that Planebreaker setting book cool.

    BahamutZERO.gif
  • Options
    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    ok so Monte Cook, bad game designer, ok otherwise and has interesting setting ideas sometimes? That's acceptable, I can call that Planebreaker setting book cool.

    Yeah, his creativity is great. The chaos technology stuff from Ptolus was really interesting. I also liked his d20 World of Darkness, though I never got to play it.

    But he very much comes from the Gygax school of DM vs. Players where the relationship is antagonistic rather than cooperative. I put my Starfinder players through the ringer every session, but at the end of the day they know well that I'm not trying to "beat" them and we're all in it for what makes the best story.

  • Options
    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Hmm, is Monte Cook maligned? I feel like I remember him being maligned for some reason

    He's kind of just widely mocked. During the brief period when he was the lead designer of 5E he had a column where he wrote about game design and had some hits like "trap feats (like Toughness) are good, actually" and a few columns where he "invented" mechanics that existed in 4E. Notably skill challenges IIRC. Numenera is generally regarded as a middling RPG with some cool ideas that someone manages to make spellcasting even more dominant than it is in D&D. And then there's this which I don't really have an opinion on, but it's definitely the kind of thing that will generate thoughts.

    But he's not a chud or a shitter. Just kinda mediocre. I know Cypher System is pretty well-regarded.

    I'd believe the argument that some of the bad feats in 3.5 were intentional "trap feats" if there were more actually good feats, entire feat lines wern't trash, and the fighter and their feat economy were more well designed.

    I just don't think the game that has the fighter run out of good feats around level 7(at core) when that is their only class feature is well designed enough to even consider if "trap feats" are good.

    it's not an argument (at least about 3.0; I don't remember to what extent he was involved in 3.5) - Monte Cook freely admitted that he based some of 3rd edition's design philosophy on how the Magic developers had built things like Timmy Cards and trap options that sounded cool on paper but were deliberately suboptimal, to reward system mastery.

    E.g., the Toughness feat (+3 hit points) was designed as an intentionally crappy feat that sounds like a decent bonus at low levels (and might be useful to, ferinstance, a low-Con Elf wizard in a one-shot, but I have my doubts) but which is completely wasted at high levels.

  • Options
    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    So ive been enchanted and my character is currently 23ft tall and is doing 3d weapon damage. Whats funny is between feats and gear i still have advantage on stealth. I really hope i get to crit on something while in this form.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Ah, I see, the imaginary CGI team don’t have the budget to film you in anything but an unlit cloud of dust.

  • Options
    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    My players came upon two campers on the road. The one tending the fire was a young woman of about 25 with flowers growing intertwined with her hair.

    Player 1, immediately: "Why are there flowers growing out of your skull."
    Player 1's pixie: "Oh my GOD, you don't ask a woman about the size of her flowers, you dolt!"

    And that's how these hick teenagers from a backwoods village learned about the Floran lineage.

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
  • Options
    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    gavindel wrote: »
    My players came upon two campers on the road. The one tending the fire was a young woman of about 25 with flowers growing intertwined with her hair.

    Player 1, immediately: "Why are there flowers growing out of your skull."
    Player 1's pixie: "Oh my GOD, you don't ask a woman about the size of her flowers, you dolt!"

    And that's how these hick teenagers from a backwoods village learned about the Floran lineage.

    Makes me think of Starbound. God I loved that game

    JtgVX0H.png
  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I think the next Blades heist I'm going to offer is going to be acquiring a rare animal that someone wants as a pet

    I've already seeded that the circus is going to be in town soon, plus they've got the usual sources of robbing rich people or other criminals who might have their own illicit uses for a rare animal

    But the real question here is what's the likelihood that they actually deliver the job and don't just keep the animal for themselves (obviously I'll have some cohort stats ready to go for this option)

  • Options
    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    edited July 2022
    This last session my sorcerer was waiting up at the top of a ledge (because she can teleport) while the other two were climbing up after. Suddenly a pack of Bulettes bursts out of the ground, two on me and one on them. They go before me on initiative so I get grabbed by both of them, which could get me dragged down to their kill pit next turn if i'm unlucky.

    My turn I cast quick action Sorcerer's Shield to give +1 AC and PD, with a 10 damage when attacked component. Move action used for quick action Fire Shield for another +2 AC and a 17 damage when attacked component. Standard action Elemental Form to turn into fire, 10 damage to anyone engaged with me at the start of my turn and +5 damage to any spells that do fire damage.

    Their next turn the dumb things attack me again (2x each) both taking 76 damage, and both missing everything because of my AC now being ridic. Add in a direct damage fire spell my next turn, which does a counterattack if they attack me with the same unmodified roll result. (Which one did.) They were both dead by round three.

    I think the other two party members were glad they were down at the bottom of the ledge. It was very very warm up top.

    Aistan on
  • Options
    nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Hmm, is Monte Cook maligned? I feel like I remember him being maligned for some reason

    He's kind of just widely mocked. During the brief period when he was the lead designer of 5E he had a column where he wrote about game design and had some hits like "trap feats (like Toughness) are good, actually" and a few columns where he "invented" mechanics that existed in 4E. Notably skill challenges IIRC. Numenera is generally regarded as a middling RPG with some cool ideas that someone manages to make spellcasting even more dominant than it is in D&D. And then there's this which I don't really have an opinion on, but it's definitely the kind of thing that will generate thoughts.

    But he's not a chud or a shitter. Just kinda mediocre. I know Cypher System is pretty well-regarded.

    I'd believe the argument that some of the bad feats in 3.5 were intentional "trap feats" if there were more actually good feats, entire feat lines wern't trash, and the fighter and their feat economy were more well designed.

    I just don't think the game that has the fighter run out of good feats around level 7(at core) when that is their only class feature is well designed enough to even consider if "trap feats" are good.

    it's not an argument (at least about 3.0; I don't remember to what extent he was involved in 3.5) - Monte Cook freely admitted that he based some of 3rd edition's design philosophy on how the Magic developers had built things like Timmy Cards and trap options that sounded cool on paper but were deliberately suboptimal, to reward system mastery.

    He just also is not very ept at game design so lots of the other options sucked or were easily broken/exploited as well.

    But in a perfect world where he could execute 100% flawlessly on his plans, he still wanted to make a game where the dude who pored over the rulebook with a calculator would always make a better character than the person of average intelligence who just wanted to make a competent fighter.

    That's what he says but I don't know that I believe him because
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Hmm, is Monte Cook maligned? I feel like I remember him being maligned for some reason

    He's kind of just widely mocked. During the brief period when he was the lead designer of 5E he had a column where he wrote about game design and had some hits like "trap feats (like Toughness) are good, actually" and a few columns where he "invented" mechanics that existed in 4E. Notably skill challenges IIRC. Numenera is generally regarded as a middling RPG with some cool ideas that someone manages to make spellcasting even more dominant than it is in D&D. And then there's this which I don't really have an opinion on, but it's definitely the kind of thing that will generate thoughts.

    But he's not a chud or a shitter. Just kinda mediocre. I know Cypher System is pretty well-regarded.

    I'd believe the argument that some of the bad feats in 3.5 were intentional "trap feats" if there were more actually good feats, entire feat lines wern't trash, and the fighter and their feat economy were more well designed.

    I just don't think the game that has the fighter run out of good feats around level 7(at core) when that is their only class feature is well designed enough to even consider if "trap feats" are good.

    it's not an argument (at least about 3.0; I don't remember to what extent he was involved in 3.5) - Monte Cook freely admitted that he based some of 3rd edition's design philosophy on how the Magic developers had built things like Timmy Cards and trap options that sounded cool on paper but were deliberately suboptimal, to reward system mastery.

    E.g., the Toughness feat (+3 hit points) was designed as an intentionally crappy feat that sounds like a decent bonus at low levels (and might be useful to, ferinstance, a low-Con Elf wizard in a one-shot, but I have my doubts) but which is completely wasted at high levels.

    Yeah but I'm saying I don't necessarily believe that they were intentionally bad when so many feats are bad and the entire feat system is so poorly thought out.

    I suspect that Cook when confronted with the fact that a lot of the game design of 3rd edition was somewhat bad tried to justify it with "oh we meant to do that".

    Quire.jpg
  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    What do you mean when you say the entire feat system was poorly thought out?

    Like, I'll agree that it had its problems, but I don't think that's inherently a fault of the system (which I think is at least conceptually very good)

  • Options
    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Of course I'd get this after the alignment conversation ended but I just saw a meme alignment chart for various billionaires and they were all Lawful Evil and the rational was that because they can just do whatever they want and get away with it or at most pay a negligible fine they are above the law and therefore LE

    And I disagree with that. Thinking you're above the law is more Neutral Evil in my opinion. It's all about self-service. If the law helps then you like that law; if it doesn't you don't. If it neither helps nor hinders you but hinders those you don't like, you also tend to like that law, and vice versa.

    Anyway yeah

    Tox on
    Twitter! | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • Options
    MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    Laws don't exist for rich people

  • Options
    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Or sometimes the law is specifically for them.

    (As in they had someone make a law specifically to benefit them).

  • Options
    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    “Lawful” has very little to do with “legal.”

  • Options
    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Yeah it's a good joke but the concept of Lawful/Chaotic has to imply some amount of willingness to accept limits on your behavior that come from external power -- government, religion, etc -- rather than from your own internal rules, which define Good/Evil.

    Billionaires don't accept any limits on their behavior. The fact that the consequences have no effect on them isn't relevant.

    admanb on
  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    Straightzi on
  • Options
    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Maddoc wrote: »
    Laws don't exist for rich people

    A fine is just a price.

  • Options
    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    … with the understanding, of course, that as creatures of the Prime Material, there’s always going to be some Chaos in our Law, and some Law in our Chaos.

    And back on Monte Cook: you can read his own words about “trap options”, etc., here: https://web.archive.org/web/20080221174425/http://www.montecook.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?mc_los_142

    You’ll note that he has pulled back a bit by this point on letting players / DMs figure out the interplay of the rules themselves, but only sometimes.

  • Options
    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    It's Community versus Individual. That's the law/chaos axis that makes any sense at all. Laws are alignment "Lawful" in so much as they're the group guidelines that folks have 'agreed' to. The real bonus is in an oppressive feudal society that makes even less sense than now!

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
  • Options
    nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    What do you mean when you say the entire feat system was poorly thought out?

    Like, I'll agree that it had its problems, but I don't think that's inherently a fault of the system (which I think is at least conceptually very good)

    I like feats as a concept but the way they are implemented is very bad imo. The fighter is more or less built entirely on feats and if we're looking at core feats only what are our options? A human fighter will have 8 feats by level 7 so here's a reasonable list of fears.

    Power Attack
    Cleave
    Great Cleave
    Weapon Focus(say, greatsword)
    Weapon Specialization
    And then....
    What? Weapon focus/specialization are both pretty trash as are their "great" variants. Love that by 12th level I can spend 4 total feats to gain +2 attack and +4 damage with ONE weapon. Seems like a trap feat to me. Specialization is supposed be the fighters special feat.

    We can go a few other ways with this but not so many. Toughness is the archetypical trap feat. We want to build off what we are already doing. If we grab weapon focus in another weapon, or get two-weapon fighting feats, or bow feats than we stop being better at the thing we put a lot of time on and get to be mediocre at another thing. Not great, those are all out.

    Dodge is also famously trash. I think if a webcomic has made an entire page to discuss how shitty a feat is I'm comfortable discarding it as an option. Spring attack seems like it could be fine but am I really sinking three feats(the feat itself, dodge, and the equally meh mobility) for that effect?

    Combat reflexes? Maybe if we happen to have good dexterity but if we're playing a heavily armed and armored two weapon fighter I don't expect to have more that +1 dex anyway. So that's out.

    And this is turning into a huge essay and the fighter is just an example anyway. There are some other core fighter feats that are worth considering and also some non-fighter specific feats that could fill some spots but the over-all points I'm trying to make are

    1). There are a massive amount of so-called "trap feats". Argueably there are more bad than good in the corset.
    2) The Martial feats in particular are underwhelming. This is all the fighter gets and it's mostly just vertical progression and the amount of vertical progression is pretty bad anyway.
    3) The fighter feats don't seem that be built practically in such a way that neat tricks or abilities become available to the fighter and pushes them to eventually take "trap feats" or feats of minimum effectiveness for your specific build for want of options.

    To me this adds up to a sense that feats were just plain not well designed. That they were designed somewhat haphazardly and not well developed. The massive power gulf between different feats suggest to me that some feats weren't built to be weaker. If they were putting so much thought into them surely they would have noticed that more than half feats were similarly terrible and that the class based on feat progression didn't really work.

    Quire.jpg
  • Options
    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Lawful is about adherence to a code provided by a society or text.

    Chaotic is about adherence to the moment and yourself.

    Is always how I’ve played it.

  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    It's Community versus Individual. That's the law/chaos axis that makes any sense at all. Laws are alignment "Lawful" in so much as they're the group guidelines that folks have 'agreed' to. The real bonus is in an oppressive feudal society that makes even less sense than now!

    With every definition for lawful vs chaotic I put it through the Robin Hood test (the figure I would generally consider the paragon of chaotic good), and I don't think this passes. He's incredibly community oriented, both in the form of building his own community of like-minded people and in the form of general class consciousness. Yes, that's not conforming to the societal feudalism, but it's certainly not individualist either.

  • Options
    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Hmm, is Monte Cook maligned? I feel like I remember him being maligned for some reason

    He's kind of just widely mocked. During the brief period when he was the lead designer of 5E he had a column where he wrote about game design and had some hits like "trap feats (like Toughness) are good, actually" and a few columns where he "invented" mechanics that existed in 4E. Notably skill challenges IIRC. Numenera is generally regarded as a middling RPG with some cool ideas that someone manages to make spellcasting even more dominant than it is in D&D. And then there's this which I don't really have an opinion on, but it's definitely the kind of thing that will generate thoughts.

    But he's not a chud or a shitter. Just kinda mediocre. I know Cypher System is pretty well-regarded.

    I'd believe the argument that some of the bad feats in 3.5 were intentional "trap feats" if there were more actually good feats, entire feat lines wern't trash, and the fighter and their feat economy were more well designed.

    I just don't think the game that has the fighter run out of good feats around level 7(at core) when that is their only class feature is well designed enough to even consider if "trap feats" are good.

    it's not an argument (at least about 3.0; I don't remember to what extent he was involved in 3.5) - Monte Cook freely admitted that he based some of 3rd edition's design philosophy on how the Magic developers had built things like Timmy Cards and trap options that sounded cool on paper but were deliberately suboptimal, to reward system mastery.

    He just also is not very ept at game design so lots of the other options sucked or were easily broken/exploited as well.

    But in a perfect world where he could execute 100% flawlessly on his plans, he still wanted to make a game where the dude who pored over the rulebook with a calculator would always make a better character than the person of average intelligence who just wanted to make a competent fighter.

    That fundamentally misses the point of Timmy cards, frankly. They're generally bad because they out too slow to impact a competitive game (and/or too easily answered with much cheaper effects), but deliberately underpowered isn't the point. The point is that there's people who just want to do big stupid effects. Barbarians are a Timmy class. But so are wizards (because things like fireball are also for Timmy).

    And as an aside... a lot of Timmy cards are actually good in draft/sealed formats where removal is at a premium - when people can't run optimized sets of answers, the big dumb creature is very much "find an answer or lose".

    Steam: Polaritie
    3DS: 0473-8507-2652
    Switch: SW-5185-4991-5118
    PSN: AbEntropy
  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Straightzi wrote: »
    What do you mean when you say the entire feat system was poorly thought out?

    Like, I'll agree that it had its problems, but I don't think that's inherently a fault of the system (which I think is at least conceptually very good)

    I like feats as a concept but the way they are implemented is very bad imo. The fighter is more or less built entirely on feats and if we're looking at core feats only what are our options? A human fighter will have 8 feats by level 7 so here's a reasonable list of fears.

    Power Attack
    Cleave
    Great Cleave
    Weapon Focus(say, greatsword)
    Weapon Specialization
    And then....
    What? Weapon focus/specialization are both pretty trash as are their "great" variants. Love that by 12th level I can spend 4 total feats to gain +2 attack and +4 damage with ONE weapon. Seems like a trap feat to me. Specialization is supposed be the fighters special feat.

    We can go a few other ways with this but not so many. Toughness is the archetypical trap feat. We want to build off what we are already doing. If we grab weapon focus in another weapon, or get two-weapon fighting feats, or bow feats than we stop being better at the thing we put a lot of time on and get to be mediocre at another thing. Not great, those are all out.

    Dodge is also famously trash. I think if a webcomic has made an entire page to discuss how shitty a feat is I'm comfortable discarding it as an option. Spring attack seems like it could be fine but am I really sinking three feats(the feat itself, dodge, and the equally meh mobility) for that effect?

    Combat reflexes? Maybe if we happen to have good dexterity but if we're playing a heavily armed and armored two weapon fighter I don't expect to have more that +1 dex anyway. So that's out.

    And this is turning into a huge essay and the fighter is just an example anyway. There are some other core fighter feats that are worth considering and also some non-fighter specific feats that could fill some spots but the over-all points I'm trying to make are

    1). There are a massive amount of so-called "trap feats". Argueably there are more bad than good in the corset.
    2) The Martial feats in particular are underwhelming. This is all the fighter gets and it's mostly just vertical progression and the amount of vertical progression is pretty bad anyway.
    3) The fighter feats don't seem that be built practically in such a way that neat tricks or abilities become available to the fighter and pushes them to eventually take "trap feats" or feats of minimum effectiveness for your specific build for want of options.

    To me this adds up to a sense that feats were just plain not well designed. That they were designed somewhat haphazardly and not well developed. The massive power gulf between different feats suggest to me that some feats weren't built to be weaker. If they were putting so much thought into them surely they would have noticed that more than half feats were similarly terrible and that the class based on feat progression didn't really work.

    I'm gonna be honest, I always needed to spend a half dozen feats on getting small bonuses to all of my esoteric skill checks because of the way I play D&D, so I never had a problem with running out of feats to take. And that's a situation that I know a lot of people will call effectively a trap feat, but if you play in heavily skill reliant games, it's a whole lot more important than +1 to damage or whatever.

    The interesting thing I see here is your dismissal of something like combat reflexes, which to me is exactly what I consider so good about the feat system. Like, if I'm playing a 3.0 fighter, there's a roughly 1% chance that I'm going for heavy armor and a great sword. More likely I'm going to play a fighter with unusually high intelligence or dexterity, and the feat system is how that sort of behavior gets supported. Not well supported, of course, but it's a system that allows and even encourages me to make the sort of idiosyncratic characters that I prefer to play.

    I do think overall the fighter is a weak class in 3rd edition, but I guess my point is that I don't see that as entirely being the fault of the feat system, which for me is a way to make characters that have an unusual niche and are still largely effective.

    Straightzi on
  • Options
    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Okay so even though it's part of a special event, and you have to click over a few times to see it, my first game is technically on the front page of DTRPG!
    yno3oyr0ikaf.jpg

    Technically this is all very exciting! This game originally started as a sort of light D&D clone, but trying to fit that into 20 pages was impossible for me, so it ultimately ended up being something very different. But I'm still very happy with it! I'll probably try to run a PbP of it here if anyone is interested.

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    That’s radical.

  • Options
    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    It's Community versus Individual. That's the law/chaos axis that makes any sense at all. Laws are alignment "Lawful" in so much as they're the group guidelines that folks have 'agreed' to. The real bonus is in an oppressive feudal society that makes even less sense than now!

    This would mean that literal Anarchists (specifically social anarchists) are Lawful.

    I'm not sure that works. :P

  • Options
    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Also I'm not sure I like the Robin Hood example because there are a lot of versions of Robin Hood, and some (like the Disney one) actually are Lawful, because they're King Richard loyalists in rebellion against an un-lawful tyrant.

    I would propose instead the Fast and Furious crew, who are definitely not Lawful but are 100% community oriented.

    (I don't mean any of this particularly seriously.)

    admanb on
  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Through virtue of being in rebellion (and particularly rebellion rather than revolution or reform) I think you're ending up in chaotic territory

    Like I agree that there is some problems there if you have a version of Robin who slaps his hands together and says his work here is done as soon as Richard returns

    But also I feel like if you are in a situation where a tyrant takes over the political system and your response is to start robbing his tax collectors at swordpoint instead of exercising what demonstrable legal power you have to change the situation for the better, you're probably actually more on the chaos side of the scale

    Regardless, yes, the version of Robin Hood that I am primarily using to test this is that of Howard Pyle's The Adventures of Robin Hood, as opposed to the earlier myths and ballads (which tend much less good) or the versions that hinge on Robin's loyalty to the crown

    Straightzi on
  • Options
    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The only real versions of Robin Hood are animated fox, animated duck, or Cary Elwes. For the opposition, I'll only accept animated wolf, Roger Rees, or Alan Rickman.

  • Options
    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    It's Community versus Individual. That's the law/chaos axis that makes any sense at all. Laws are alignment "Lawful" in so much as they're the group guidelines that folks have 'agreed' to. The real bonus is in an oppressive feudal society that makes even less sense than now!

    This would mean that literal Anarchists (specifically social anarchists) are Lawful.

    I'm not sure that works. :P

    Anarchists are chaotic because their reason for obeying mask mandates is individual approval of science and the collective version is being told by government/seeing all your friends do it.

  • Options
    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2022
    admanb wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    It's Community versus Individual. That's the law/chaos axis that makes any sense at all. Laws are alignment "Lawful" in so much as they're the group guidelines that folks have 'agreed' to. The real bonus is in an oppressive feudal society that makes even less sense than now!

    This would mean that literal Anarchists (specifically social anarchists) are Lawful.

    I'm not sure that works. :P

    Anarchists are chaotic because their reason for obeying mask mandates is individual approval of science and the collective version is being told by government/seeing all your friends do it.

    No... "individual approval of science" doesn't have anything to do with why they make that decision. Individualist anarchists wear masks because they accept the science and know the best way to protect themselves is by wearing a mask. Social anarchists wear a mask because they accept the science and know the best way to protect themselves and their community is by wearing a mask.

    Both forms of anarchists could accept or not accept the science and make different decisions. An individualist anarchist could accept the science, but believe themselves unlikely to get seriously sick and not wear a mask, while a social anarchist would wear a mask regardless of what they believed about their own risk.

    admanb on
  • Options
    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I don't entirely buy that because I think that feels too internal

    Chaotic isn't just not accepting the rule of law (or other institutions) for yourself, but rather believing that institutions have no such right to hold such power in the first place, and lawful is believing that such institutions should exist and should hold such power

    It's Community versus Individual. That's the law/chaos axis that makes any sense at all. Laws are alignment "Lawful" in so much as they're the group guidelines that folks have 'agreed' to. The real bonus is in an oppressive feudal society that makes even less sense than now!

    This would mean that literal Anarchists (specifically social anarchists) are Lawful.

    I'm not sure that works. :P

    Anarchists are chaotic because their reason for obeying mask mandates is individual approval of science and the collective version is being told by government/seeing all your friends do it.

    No... "individual approval of science" doesn't have anything to do with why they make that decision. Individualist anarchists wear masks because they accept the science and know the best way to protect themselves is by wearing a mask. Social anarchists wear a mask because they accept the science and know the best way to protect themselves and their community is by wearing a mask.

    Both forms of anarchists could accept or not accept the science and make different decisions. An individualist anarchist could accept the science, but believe themselves unlikely to get seriously sick and not wear a mask, while a social anarchist would wear a mask regardless of what they believed about their own risk.

    I mean, I don't disagree.

    My point was that you can still have anarchists do a communal thing without it being collectivist.

    Like you can have all the fake, magical ancaps in a room and they're all chaotic neutral but don't self poison by going out to a plague in this contrived political/RPG crossover.

  • Options
    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Yah, but social anarchists are explicitly communal, so if you define Lawful/Chaotic as community vs. individual, then a social anarchist would be Lawful while an ancap would be Chaotic even if both groups wear a mask.

  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Hey whoa there

    Let's not talk about ancaps in the same breath

  • Options
    MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    The real rub is when you try to meaningfully differentiate Chaotic from Neutral

This discussion has been closed.