When did the idea of a fluff (or flavor) vs crunch distinction appear?

I find myself involved in discussions frequently where one person will claim that a piece of text in a rulebook is "just fluff" or "pure flavor" and can be "refluffed" by the players with little or no DM oversight, while others are "mechanics" or "crunch" that requires a house-rule to change.

Specifically, the things cited as "fluff" are those that do not have an attached dice roll or explicit benefit/penalty listed. Things like the descriptions of classes, feats, things like "Druids won’t wear metal armor." On the other hand, "mechanics" or "crunch" includes rule text that has direct, explicit application to the game world, especially when expressed in pseudo-mathematical form (such as dice rolls, damage, or bonuses and penalties).

I know that 4e had a specific rule that said that descriptive text in italics in an ability entry or elsewhere was just an example (ie fluff) and could be changed at will. But I’m pretty sure that this distinction pre-dates 4e–I remember hearing it invoked to justify taking prestige classes (3.5e) completely out of context and apply them without satisfying the "fluff" prerequisites (such as meeting/being trained by someone of the appropriate faction).

I’m interested to know where (and in what context) this distinction first (or dominantly) arose. More than that, I’m interested in finding examples of where this distinction has direct rules support. So far, 4e D&D is the one I know of. Citations to rulebooks would be wonderful. This is not D&D specific, although most of my knowledge is of D&D’s history.

How to manipulate solution outputs that appear in a list?

I have a list {E, {p, ϕ}}, and I need values E, p, and ϕ such that I can later on do operations with them (like ArcCos[p], etc.). I will be repeatedly generating the values in the list, as a list, so doing this by-hand is not an option. How do I get them out of the list?

In this case, the values E, p, and ϕ exist such that they appear as p -> 0.097, ϕ -> 0.03, etc. I need them such that calling, for example, for list = {E, {p, ϕ}}, list[[2,1]] yields 0.097 and not p -> 0.097. This is the issue.

Do Venture-Captain Sayrin Fyrewine or the Gristmill lodge appear in any published Pathfinder adventures?

I’m looking for information about VC Sayrin Fyrewine and her Pathfinder Lodge in Gristmill. I can find cursory mentions of them on the Pathfinder Wiki here and here. Those descriptions seem to be taken from Seekers of Secrets and Guide to the River Kingdoms, but I was hoping for a little more detail. Do they appear in any PFS scenarios or other published adventures?

Fonts appear darker even using the same rgba values

I’m trying to build a layout like google drive, and have managed to get as close as possible. One thing I’ve noticed is, even when I’m using the same font roboto 13px and the same rgba values rgba(0,0,0,0.72): the font on my site appears a bit darker than the one on google’s site. How can this be happening? When looking at the two in Chrome Dev Tools there’s a difference in contrast. How do I set this contrast value? Google’s is 9.29 and mine is 1.42. Can this be causing the difference?

Google’s Image2

My Image

Are there any plant-type creatures that appear mostly human/

To be clear I’m not talking about with the disguise skill, alter self, disguise self, or similar effects. I just want to know if there are any Paizo-approved creatures that appear as a human with plants growing out of them or something of the like – rather than “humanoid-shaped vegetable creatures” like the race creation rules say, which invokes the image of a broccoli man in my head whenever I read it and feels a bit too narrow.

Race creation rules:

Plant (10 RP)

This type encompasses humanoid-shaped vegetable creatures. Note that regular plants, such as those found in ordinary gardens and fields, lack Wisdom and Charisma scores and are not creatures, but objects, even though they are alive.

A plant race has the following features:

  • Plants have the low-light vision racial trait.
  • Plants are immune to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
  • Plants are immune to paralysis, poison,polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning.
  • Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep, unless they want to gain some beneficial effect from this activity. This means that a plant creature can sleep in order to regain spells, but sleep is not required to survive or stay in good health.

Creature types and Subtypes:


This type comprises vegetable creatures. Note that regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores; even though plants are alive, they are objects, not creatures.

A plant creature has the following features.

  • d8 Hit Die. Base attack bonus equal to 3/4 total Hit Dice (medium progression).
  • Good Fortitude saves. Skill points equal to 2 + Int modifier (minimum 1) per Hit Die. Some plant creatures, however, are mindless and gain no skill points or feats. The following are class
  • skills for plants: Perception and Stealth.

Traits: A plant creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Low-light vision.
  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
  • Immunity to paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning.
  • Proficient with its natural weapons only. Not proficient with armor.
  • Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep.

Can a spell Conjure Elemental be used to make an elemental appear on the other side of a closed door?

The spell states :

You call forth an elemental servant. Choose an area of air, earth, fire, or water that fills a 10-foot cube within range. Blockquote

So lets say a party is standing in front of a closed/barred door and there is a group on the other side getting ready and waiting for them. Could a wizard cast Conjure Elemental spell and choose an area where the elemental will appear in the other side of that closed door (Thus in the midst of the enemies preparing themselves for combat) ?