Showing posts from September, 2020

You're Not Really Playing D&D

Now hear me out! I've spent some time thinking about this: what exactly IS Dungeons and Dragons? The disparaging remark that is often raised to voice dissent toward groups playing in a way someone doesn't like is "that's not real D&D." The rebuttal will either simply be a personal attack or a platitude somewhere along the lines of "there's no such thing as 'real D&D.'" Now, if you know my moniker, you understand that I'm a bit of a pedant. I like to use precise language with agreed upon definitions when having a debate because it's necessary for us to find our way to the truth. So let's try to define this shit. I'll put forth some definitions I've heard and I'll say my peace on them. D&D is what happens when you roleplay at a table with your friends. CoC, WoD, it's all basically D&D. Okay, this one is kind of a joke, but I've heard it said at my table before unironically. If I had to

Knowledge Checks Tend To Suck

Does your character know that trolls are weak to fire? Does the player have a chance to roll to see if their character knows something the player themselves doesn't know? These are the principles I go by on this issue, and I'll expand on why I see it the way that I do. 1. If the player knows, the character can act on it. Call it intuition if you must. But the player shouldn't give the information to other players. 2. If the character knows it, the DM should let the player know what their character knows. 3. If the character might know it, do a roll, with modifiers as necessary to get the appropriate probability based on what upbringing the character should have had, how obscure the knowledge is, etc.. In 5e, this is approximated through skill checks, with advantage/disadvantage used to alter probabilities. 4. If the character has no reason to know it and the player doesn't know it, it remains unknown unless the knowledge is obtained through experience. This

What Makes Magic Items Interesting

 THE QUESTION HATH BEEN RAISED!  The answer shall be found.  Hopefully. As anyone familiar with my blogging, my tweets, or my videos will know: I am mostly an amalgamation of a ton of incomplete thoughts.  Occasionally, those thoughts find something that makes sense, then they spit it out for others to see it and revise as needed.  Here's what I've got for magic items right now. 1. Risk vs. Reward This should be no surprise, especially to fans of old school gaming.  One of the things that really lights our fire for gaming is the desire to have to make difficult choices, and to see the ramifications of those choices.  This is the essence of role-playing (as opposed to telling a story/acting).  Here's your situation, what do you do?  Magic items have the capacity to introduce risk vs. reward in two ways.  Earning the magic item can be an exercise in risk vs. reward, and using the magic item can be an exercise in risk vs. reward. Perhaps the characters are delving into the tom