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  • billd91's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:55 PM
    Even better than replying in the same thread, just click the little triangle icon next to the laugh button and report the post as trolling/threadcrapping. That sends it to the mods to decide if they need to do anything about it.
    4 replies | 104 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 08:51 PM
    Running: Weekly Pathfinder, Curse of the Crimson Throne AP Playing: Alternating weeks between 5e game based around some AD&D Zhentil Keep/Myth Drannor materials and 5e game in home-brew setting Also running a backup game to the regular 5e offerings based on Age of Worms
    46 replies | 1263 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 02:05 PM
    J. Michael Straczynski has reported on his Facebook page that Larry Ditillio has passed https://www.facebook.com/officialjmspage/
    80 replies | 3994 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 08:04 PM
    It depends on the type of campaign you want to run. If you like the "cavalcade of weirdos', then go nuts. But if you don't, then the PC with the hideous monster concept is really choosing to deal with the complications of their choices.
    75 replies | 2281 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 01:22 AM
    I don't mind if they squeeze off the occasional fart joke and I prefer dry humor.
    278 replies | 10420 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:22 AM
    According to Stephen Buonocore, who has posted this news to Facebook, Brian "Big Mac" Mccarthy has passed. https://www.facebook.com/brian.mccarthy.73157203
    80 replies | 3994 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:55 AM
    Maybe? But why would they? They may be helping to drive the D&D wave, but they're also riding it. Publishing their own RPG strikes me as a risk of the golden-goose-killing potential if it were successful enough to undermine that wave. Note, of course, that wouldn't apply to them making D&D supplements, which strikes me as a better way to maximize the factors driving their success and the...
    102 replies | 3324 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 06:17 AM
    Yeah, and the US did so with a segregated military. I didn't say that he wasn't a racist because of his opposition to the Nazis - rather that he opposed using the accomplishments of the northern european culture for racist ends as the Nazis did - which suggests, to me, that his goal in writing an alternative mythology based on northern european culture wasn't in pursuit of racist goals even...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 05:53 PM
    Woah, there. Dangerous territory, painting people with the broad brush. Tolkien seems to have been no fan of the British Empire. "I know nothing about British or American imperialism in the Far East that does not fill me with regret and disgust.Ē - a quote that seems to be from a letter in 1945, and it isn't alone. He was no fan of the Commonwealth either, and he wrote in criticism of the racist...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 06:33 AM
    Does it matter? The DM isn't the players' trained monkey - he's not playing for their satisfaction and fun alone, but also for his own. Whether or not he will be dissatisfied should factor into the decision made.
    29 replies | 1416 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 09:28 PM
    Or we can recognize that adult material (in this case prostitution) is something that might realistically appear in a fantasy town, that a few words of description can substantially change the nature of the character encountered, and humor can target adults even in works a 12 year old might read. Aside from the use of description, itís not like the random harlot table runs throughout the book...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 07:56 PM
    Sure, inheritance is a big deal for Lord of the Rings, particularly within and around the character of Aragorn. But to what purpose? You may be looking at it as a source of racial/racist overtones, but that's also a fairly shallow observation. Inheritance is an important aspect of Aragorn because a central theme around him is that Right makes Might. Why is he able to wrest control of the palantir...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 07:28 PM
    I don't think everything needs to be boiled down to the suitability of a 12 year old - whether boy or girl.
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 05:50 PM
    True - but at least that painting doesn't qualify as a worst offender. She may be scantily clad and in trouble, but she's not a passive, shrinking violet either. She's armed and still fighting to that puts it a few steps ahead of some of the other art around in those days. I got really turned off by other art in use by TSR because of passivity added on to cheesecake. Cheesecake may exploit but...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 05:10 PM
    1) It's kind of humorous - that there is a table of random people involved in the prostitution biz - and a little humorous aside in a rulebook is entirely reasonable 2) While injecting that bit of humor - a belabored list of random people in the sex industry - it nevertheless uses a rich vocabulary to succinctly evoke different characters rather than just having a "prostitute" entry on the...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 06:51 AM
    It really is like someone's showcasing their talent in the "More Wes Anderson than Wes Anderson" category. I'm still kind of looking for a Bill Murray role that I must have missed in the background somewhere...
    38 replies | 978 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 04:06 AM
    Maybe, but it seems clear she doesn't need to bargain for her life - she's successfully evaded them and can get the heck out of Dodge if she wants to. The question is - given that expected behavior - would it be in character for her to risk taking another jab at the PCs or just get away?
    29 replies | 1416 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 07:04 PM
    There's nothing wrong with certain amounts of stereotyping. After all, these are supposed to be different cultures/races from our current norms. Without some kind of difference, there's not much point to them being from different cultures and you need some way to communicate how they differ from us as players. All you have to do is say that these things tend to be averages or cultural values -...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 03:24 PM
    I have to agree that "colonialist" smacks of some kind of rhetorical escalation when xenophobic and/or racist will do. I'm not really seeing a subjugational or exploitational subtext to most treatment of orcs. They're definitely "others" and while that may be an important element to justify colonization and domination, it isn't synonymous.
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 07:35 AM
    I'm not too bothered by having a stock pool of bad guys to pull from - particularly when dealing with creatures like orcs. One thing I've always liked about orcs and their literary origin with Tolkien is they derive from elves. Evil can't create very well - just copy or corrupt. Trolls were a bad copy of ents, orcs were corrupted elves. These evil races are dark mirrors or doppelgangers of the...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 05:23 PM
    Looking at the math in 4e without also looking at the target side makes it an incomplete picture. 5e is literally not 4e math in the sense that it isn't built in with the expectation of defenses rising at the same rate to produce a relatively static hit chance. So while +3 weapons might appear on the random treasure tables for a high level character, there's no expectation they will get or, more...
    105 replies | 5353 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 05:42 AM
    Except hit points reflect something a PC might recognize - how beat up/exhausted they are (albeit in a crude and not too precise way). There is no equivalent for an XP scale. A PC at 75% might feel thereís still a lot of fight in him, at 50% maybe thinking of an exit strategy, and at 25% - panting and aching - feel they need to get some rest. Thereís no real feel for being halfway to improving...
    94 replies | 3152 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 05:33 AM
    So why is complexity currently in the doghouse? Itís the swing of the pendulum. Things get more complex, the market saturates, the reaction grows against it. Things get simpler, the market saturates, the reaction grows against it.
    138 replies | 5569 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Moving a token around isn't role playing - getting into the toad's headspace and trying to faithfully play the toad would be a better example of role playing.
    288 replies | 7984 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 05:30 PM
    Well, duh. Hence our problems with metagaming rather than role playing as the toad (or frog or whatever 1hp amphibian we're talking about).
    288 replies | 7984 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 05:13 PM
    No, what isn't plausible is the toad intentionally getting himself "accidentally" killed in order to break the spell. I'd be far more likely to offer inspiration to the player if they successfully negotiate the fight as a frog desperate to survive or maybe continue the fight against his original opponents (which would fit in with his personality, after all, far more than getting himself cacked by...
    288 replies | 7984 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Considering the polymorphed character retains his personality, though with the intelligence of a frog, I'd expect that character to have exhibited an extreme suicidal tendency to deliberately get himself killed since, from the POV of a frog, that's exactly what would be happening. Or maybe a successful Charisma save vs the DC of the spell - and using the frog's Charisma.
    288 replies | 7984 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Iíll take your questions one at a time. Why play older editions instead of 5e? Lots of reasons, generally based on preferences. For example, The 3e family (including Pathfinder) allows for lots of nitty gritty customization of characters. Some people prefer that to 5eís character development. Are there ways 3e is better than 5e? If your preferences and styles are satisfied by 3e more than...
    105 replies | 5353 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Peter Tork, of the Monkees, has passed away at 77.
    80 replies | 3994 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 07:12 AM
    Threads like this have made me more aware of the problems in our gaming subculture. I think as a result of that, I do approach situations with a different perspective and I watch for harassing behavior now more than I would have without the awareness level. I also find I am more likely to speak out rather than let it blow on by. None of that means I always agree on the right approach to something...
    165 replies | 7375 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 06:35 AM
    Editorial? I don't think so. Magical touch attacks are mentioned under Melee Combat in the Player's Handbook on page 104. And the random target issue is under Who Attacks Whom on page 70 of the DMG.
    153 replies | 5372 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 03:57 PM
    This is where I think WotC's response may be a bit on the excessive side. I have grave misgivings about a corporation erasing someone's credit - whether that person is a toad or not - without also removing the impact they've had on the product. But removing all of the consultants? If I had been involved at that level and had a credit removed, I'd be kind of pissed off.
    165 replies | 7375 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 03:42 PM
    Partly because of his blatant misogyny, yes. But heís also the poster kid of the independent comics movement, so I think negotiating licensing and authority control over any product with his IP would be a nightmare.
    57 replies | 1827 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 08:03 AM
    As much as I like Cerebus, mainly the early stories, I wouldn't touch any licensing on that one with a 10 meter pole.
    57 replies | 1827 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 07:53 AM
    All of it as a negative? Definitely not - addressing problems is positive. But I can't say I don't see some negative things going on and maybe there's a little too much absolutism. For example, I can understand the GaryCon boycott pressure over naming Bill Webb and Frank Mentzer guests of honor - and both have had the honorific rescinded. But I still don't get why Tim Kask is named in the boycott...
    165 replies | 7375 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 07:46 AM
    Probably, among other things, because they (Paizo, Frog God, and the victim of the harassment) dealt with the situation at the convention and the immediate aftermath and Webb's been on notice about his behavior enough to keep it under control. That's a pretty stark contrast with Zak S already. There's continuing fallout, but as long as Webb manages to keep his nose clean and pressure stays on him...
    165 replies | 7375 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 04:44 AM
    Regarding Bill Webb, I know of two local but well-regarded conventions that have recinded ďguest of honorĒ-type designations from him. And I expect convention organizers will continue to be pressured to be more circumspect about such honors.
    165 replies | 7375 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 02:41 AM
    What's going on? In some ways, the chickens are coming home to roost. The question might be better posed as "Why is it finally happening now?" And I think you have the broader culture to thank for that. But as far as reacting to allegations - do you really think the preponderance of complaints against Zak S is just "an allegation"? Or did things finally get to the point where people could no...
    165 replies | 7375 view(s)
    11 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:30 AM
    There are roughly a ton more ways to trigger an AoO in PF than in 5e, and a lot more ways to exploit them/modify them. In 5e, you really only provoke one for trying to move out of reach without taking the Disengage action. In PF, you can trigger them by doing quite a few things within the reach of an enemy - cast a spell, make a ranged attack, move out of a location even if not actually trying...
    16 replies | 575 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:12 AM
    Tennant and Smith count as early Doctor Who now?
    43 replies | 1198 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 07:40 AM
    If you have a trust problem with GMs, then that sounds like a you issue to me. It may be safe to say there are some GMs out there who might choose what happens based on what they want to happen - but I also know there are a lot of GMs out there who take the idea that they should be impartial seriously. Frankly, I'm a little more suspicious of the "Say Yes or Roll" mentality than the "Say Yes or...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 06:06 AM
    You got a proper sequel. That you didnít like it doesnít make it an improper sequel.
    180 replies | 4312 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 03:42 AM
    So... itís like ESB. Luke is missing a hand, Han is frozen, and the Republic is on the run. Honestly, the double-standard.
    180 replies | 4312 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 03:23 AM
    There is so much BS in all of this. I just watched TFA again and Rey is not good at everything. Sheís action-movie competent, like every other protagonist in an action movie and not a bit more than Luke and a hell of a lot less than Anakin in Phantom Menace. She gets clobbered by Kylo Ren twice and fights him to a draw AFTER heís already been badly wounded by Chewie and further wounded by Finn. ...
    180 replies | 4312 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 03:16 AM
    If it was a man, heíd be decisive and commanding, not spoiled.
    180 replies | 4312 view(s)
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About billd91

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Monday, 18th February, 2019


Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 11:15 AM - Sadras mentioned billd91 in post Introducing Complications Without Forcing Players to Play the "Mother May I?" Game
    To me that just suggests bad mechanics! I don't see how. Ah yes. The Mother-May-I One-True Wayist manifesto. I'm not the one ascribing another style with a pejorative but hey we all see what we want to. Can a player use any skill check/ability to get the shard back? If not, why not? I have bolded the bits which, to me, suggest that the player's success in persuading the giant to return the shard was conditional on the GM's opinion about what makes for good or bad fiction (here expressed in terms of reasonable cause of action for the frost giant). You're suggesting it is better that the GM cannot roleplay the NPCs he/she introduces into the game world, and when I mean roleplay, I mean free of any mechanics (i.e. die rolls). I admit I find that odd. Could the FG in your game talk the PC out of wanting the shard returned i.e. the FG makes a diplomacy/persuade roll? Also like @billd91 mentioned in the other thread, isn't the DM ascribing a lower or higher DC to a roll reflecting his/her opinion on what makes good or bad fiction? EDIT: MMI kicks in if there is 0% or less chance of success on the player's action declaration, but 1% possible success or higher is ok? I think that is the sort of thing the OP is trying to avoid when using the phrase "without forcing players to play the "Mother may I" game". Ah, you mean without forcing players to provide further details for their action declarations so as DMs we can adjudicate the likely chance of success. Such Bad DMs. :) Eric: I try get my shard back from the Frost Giant without starting a fight. DM: How do you go about that, she has already placed it back in her hair? Eric: I use diplomacy, I'm proficient. DM: Cool, what do you say to her? Eric: Well, I ask nicely, smile a lot and bow often? DM: Is there something specific that you say? Eric: Nah, I have a +7 on my Diplomacy roll. My character is rea...

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Ralif Redhammer mentioned billd91 in post Would you invite this player?
    Iíve learned the hard way that good friends donít always make for good people to game with. I put up with a lot of nonsense from friends at the gaming table, until I didnít. But I suppose it depends on how much youíre willing to manage the potential difficulties. A lot of what you described could in theory be easily resolved. Stuff like, if he tries to steal from other PCS, ďIím sorry, but PCs arenít allowed to steal from the party and other PCs in my games;Ē and, for the spotlight hogging ďOkay, weíll get to you when your turn comes around, but PC#2 is currently doing something.Ē It is a gamble, but as billd91 said, we all had to start somewhere as players, probably somewhere near the bottom. (and good friend)

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

  • 09:28 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I have found the opposite to be true, actually. Rerolling initiative every round has generally been to the party's benefit, despite some "exciting" moments. It creates unpredictability, which the player characters (being more versatile) can take advantage of better than typical NPCs. This has been true of a party level 5 - 7, and a party 11 - 13. I might be the case that rerolling init made the lowest levels more difficult, I haven't tried that. As billd91 said, anything that increases randomness benefits the DM's side of the equation. The players have to get lucky every time. The monsters only have to get lucky once. Sure, it might benefit the PC's and it likely will. But, when it helps the other side, which should also happen fairly frequently, it can radically up the difficulty of an encounter. As far as realism goes, well, that's not a consideration for me. I accept that D&D combat is largely abstract, so, trying to make it more realistic is, to me, just not something I really want to deal with. If I did, I'd wind up rewriting the entire combat section to the point where I might as well play a game that actually has realistic combat. :D

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:51 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    ...than a +1. If you need a 2 you have a 95% to succeed normally, and 95% + 5% * 95% = 99.75%, agains slightly less than +1. This is the minimum. If you need an 11, you have a 50% normally, and a 50% + 50% * 50% = 75% with advantage. That's the equivalent of +5. This is the maximum. Your +/-6 to +/-7 is outside the range of what is possible. That mean it is likely not the average. You may want to double check you math. One common mistake I've seen is working out to roll 2d20 and subtract the higher fromt he lower. That's really comparing advantage (best for 2d20) with disadvantage (worst of 2d20). It's clear if you work it out as percentages what it can be for every target. Man, these arguments hurt me because there's this weird thing where everyone tries to map a normal distribution onto a flat distribution via +/-. It's wrong in a technical way. But, I'm an engineer, so that's probably just my bag. That said, the above is the right wrong way to do it Retreater, billd91. The "bonus" that advantage applies differs depending on what the target number on the d20 is for success. It's greatest in the middle, where it increases the chance of success by 25%, and weaker on the ends where it's bit less than a 5% bump. If you need to roll a 20, advantage helps by almost doubling your chances from 1/20 to 19/400, but if you need an 11, advantage increases your chances from 10/20 to 15/20. If you need a 2, advantage bumps you from a 19/20 to 399/400.

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 10:06 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...is is insistent on the point doesn't answer the point. The idea of the DL-style game is that at least the players provide a bit of colour and a few minor decision points. But if the GM is also establishing the most important bits of PC colour, telling me what decisions are and are not appropriate for a worshipper of XYZ, etc - well, what's left for the player to do? ut no one's offered a reason why a player playing a cleric or warlock whose god/patron is happy with what s/he does, or playing a motorcycle-riding vampire, would wreck the game.I was under the impression the god/patron was not happy (being played by the DM).But that's exactly my point. If the player's preference that the whole god/patron thing be "backgrounded" was respected then the god/patron would be happy. But for whatever reason the GM is inserting his/her own preference to decide that the god/patron is not happy. For what reason? If the GM thinks the player is just a wrecker - which eg was the implication of billd91's reference upthread to "murder-hoboing" - then as Aldarc has said, that's a social problem that can be resolved by a sensible conversation among participants. It's not an aspect of game play at all. But if the issue is not that the PC is wrecking things - eg if the PC was playing a wizard or a fighter or whatever no one would have any issues - then why is the GM needing to insert his/her conception of what the patron/god wants in favour of the player's conception of the same? How is that improving the experience? Telling me that we're not talking about story-now play doesn't help - even within the follow-the-GM's-trail paradigm, I dont understand what this is supposed to be adding to the play experience. In fact when the PC played a warlock in my game and chose a darker patron, I asked him what he wanted me to explore, how much had he developed the patron and how much input he wanted from me.That seems to imply that you are interested in identifying and respecting the player's ...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 05:26 AM - Maxperson mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But, who's forcing the DM to do anything here? If anything, I'm giving less work for the DM. The DM no longer has to worry about what to do, if anything, with this patron. The player is not interested in playing that out. Why would you, as a DM, knowing that the player isn't interested, bring it into the game? Again, who is it for? It's not for the player. It's not for the other players. So, the only person it's for is you, the DM. You want to bring it into the game purely for your own enjoyment, knowing that the player doesn't want it. Are you deliberately misunderstanding billd91, or do you genuinely not understand that if the DM wants a game where he controls the NPCs, he's forced to play a game he doesn't want to play if players can force him not to play the patron? We're talking about one small change to one character that isn't going to affect ANYTHING. If it's not going to affect anything, the player shouldn't have a problem with the DM playing the patron.
  • 04:26 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...t of play) and those orc children escaped. And, after the third, fourth, tenth time, most groups are just going to take it as read anyway. This is the point I keep coming back to. We already Background tons of stuff in play because it's not terribly interesting. How many groups actually, consistently, track spell components? How many groups worry about paying the monthly living expenses? So on and so forth. Sure, you might do it from time to time, but, realistically, it just fades back and becomes a non-issue. Do you seriously destroy a wizard's spell book every time he falls in water? Or gets fireballed or whatnot? Naw, you just take it as read and move on because it's too much of a PITA. Here, we have examples that only really affect one player and the DM. The rest of the group couldn't likely give a toss about it. Do you seriously care how we hide the Druid's animal companion every single time? The funny thing about this conversation is that some posters, like billd91 and 5ekyu are framing it as a powergaming thing. But, look at that warlock's patron. There's two sides to that. Sure, if you have an active patron, then the patron might ask the PC to do something. But, it also works the other way. There's times when the PC can and should be able to call upon his or her patron for help - be it information, or contacting other NPC's or whatnot. By backgrounding, the player loses that side of things as well. Sure, the DM can't force behavior from the player, but, by the same token, the player cannot expect to get anything as well.
  • 12:25 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    At this point its pretty obvious you just want to keep inventing things to claim others have said... as i have never said anything that the GM can "force" your character to take certain actions. this was explained in great detail one or more times since you keep mixing and mashing the Gm and the patron. Nor have i said anything about forcing the paladin to take certain actions. That you choose to keep trying to portray it that way is very highly illustrative - so, thanks. wow, you agree with billd91 in the post before this, but, tell me I'm inventing things. :erm: What exactly, then, do you mean that I must accept the consequences of choosing a class if you aren't going to force anything?

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 06:52 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    It's much more than 10 outcomes! Say there are 5 people, we need a contest between each, first, and then... the pain begins... Say this is what happens A beats B A beats C A loses to D A loses to E Seems like A is in the middle of the pack, but... D loses to C E loses to B No idea where this is going, but now we need to resolve... everyone against everyone...I think the assumption that billd91 has made is probably the same as the one that Hriston has made explicit: each participant makes only one check, which is compared vs the check of all the other participants. So if A beats B but loses to E, that means that E beats B, which precludes the contradictory situation you are concerned about. The thing I don't get in this discussion is: how do you and Maxperson handle an attempt by three people to be the first to grab the ring? You couldn't do it the way you've described (independent binary checks) because of the risk of contradiction. So presumably you'd do it . . . just the same as initiative is done! (Except for having some differerent approach to handlling ties.)

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Lanefan, billd91 - Tony Vargas's reply makes the point that needs to be made aboout "realism" in a hit point paradigm. As far as narration of hp loss and zero hp is concerned - if you're narrating hp loss, and dropping to zero hp, in surgical detail, and then having your suspension of disbelief disrupted by the recovery that the game rules provide for, well, I would suggest changing your narration! As I posted upthread, as a former RM player/GM, and someone who was pretty familiar with the drfit from AD&D to RM, RQ etc in the 80s/early 90s, it remains very strange to see posters arguing for AC-&-hp combat on "realism" grounds, and to be distinguishing AD&D or 3E from 4e on that basis. Also, someone upthread (maybe Sadras) mentioned tinkering - the most trivial tinkering possible to a RPG is to change the short and extended rest durations in 4e or 5e. (I don't know how common it is with 5e; based on dicsussions on teese boards it was extremely common with 4e.)

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 09:31 AM - Lanefan mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    (1) It's not "more reallistic". It's different, but it's not realistic. billd91 already covered this one, so...what he said. (2) What makes you think a 4e PC who swoons in combat, and then recovers to fight on, has "had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her"? Maybe you're into nonsense narration, but I'm not. Even in the most gamist and-or disconnected versions of what hit points represent in any edition that I've seen posted in those arguments, a common theme is that going to (or below, pre-4e) 0 h.p. means you've taken enough of a beating that if left untended you're quite possibly going to die. The rules of all editions also have it that going to or below 0 is auto-death (0e), is auto-death* if not treated or cured quite soon (1e-2e-3e), or presents a significant risk of death if not treated or cured quite soon (4e-5e). These deaths aren't being caused by fainting. So to suggest someone repeatedly going to or below 0 within a short time "has had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her" is "nonsense narration" falls well below your usual standard, sir; and...

Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 01:42 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I don't think its the minis themselves so much as a heavy rule dependence on the spatial reality of the game. The early edition rules about space and positioning were easily handwaved. Not so much with 3e or 4e.That's what I said! But the biggest thing requiring almost pinpoint positioning of melee combatants was weapon reach - could you reach your intended foe or not? Not everyone cared too much about this, but in 1e RAW it's a thing.Rounds in AD&D are 1 minute, movement rates as 10s of feet per minute, and there are no rules for actually positioning in melee - only for getting cut down when you try to disengage from it! So while weapon reach can matter (eg in establishing first strike in a charging situation; for establishing how many soldiers can work together or fight one another in a confined space; etc) I don't actually see how you need minis/tokesn to track the ways in which it matters. (And I see that billd91 has made much the same point.)

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 11:18 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    If we are also using the dice to make the decisions, then why are we bothering to include players?Casting lots to resolve a disagreement among a group is not a thing that I or my group (or Luke Crane) invented. And using dice to establish parameters for choice, as part of playing a game, is not a new thing either. And in the context of RPGing, it's actually pretty standard. I know you're not talking only about this particular aspect of social mechanics, but that was the context in which Hussar made his post that you responded to. it looks like windmills and not real positions you're tilting againstYou must have missed billd91's 5-point reiteration of his reasons for agreeing with Lanefan that the technique I described is "worse than awful". And Lanefan's reiteration of his contention about the technique I described, although on different grounds from billd91's.

Tuesday, 1st May, 2018

  • 01:35 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    I think you're arguing against something no one is claiming, though. Is there a specific post or poster you had in mind? I may have missed it.Yes there is. I posted some examples - reported by others (Luke Crane) and reported by me, from the play of my own campaigns - where social resolution mechanics were used to settle disputes between players (and thus PCs) about what to do next. Lanefan and billd91 posted saying that what I described was awful - Lanefan doesn't like using mechanics to settle an argument at the table; and billd91 claimed it was a signficant abridgement of player agency. My view is that players agreeing to toss a coin doesn't abridge their agency; and that - by pretty strict analogy - players agreeing to be bound by the outcome of a resolution process doesn't either. The difference is that one requires specific roleplaying, the other does not. I can react to an in-game coin flip however I choose. (Anger, reneging on the agreement, relief, etc.) But apparently there are restrictions on how I am supposed to react to somebody else's Persuade roll. "You can react however you want, as long as you are persuaded."I'm not 100% sure what you have in mind here. I was replying to a post by billd91, which was in turn a response to a particular post of mine, about using a mechanical system to resolve an argument between players about what to do next. Here is a re...

Thursday, 26th April, 2018

  • 05:50 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned billd91 in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    ...at bias, they just should be do so judiciously or rarely.) On both sides, this really is irrelevant as to who's rolling - the player or the NPC. However, for Camp 1, NPCs rolling checks against PCs tends to be viewed as irrelevant or unwanted. This is because the player can still do whatever they want, so the die roll is largely meaningless in regards to player decisions. Therefore, Camp 1 tends to adopt playstyles where NPCs don't initiate rolls against players but instead use their skills as challenge difficult benchmarks against player declared actions. Camp 2, however, seeing the information imparted by the rolls as binding, sees NPC initiated rolls as just another method for rolls to bind players and so doesn't draw a distinction between NPC initiated or player initiated rolls. But, the real core difference here isn't if NPCs checks can bind PCs, but how the results of a check are viewed -- is the result of a check informational or binding? Clearly, myself and iserith, billd91, and other are in Camp 1 -- checks are informational. Tony's and others are Camp 2. One camp or the other aren't better, but this explains the core philosophical issue that divides this discussion (I believe, at least). So, looking to other areas of the game beside social checks, does this continue to play out? Well, we'll have to divide checks into two categories: informational checks (which I'm discussing above) and those checks used to accomplish a task (like lockpicking). As for what constitutes the difference between a task resolution and an informational check, I going with whether or not you'd describe the result as something the PC knows or thinks is informational, if you instead describe a change to something outside of the PC that's task resolution. Firstly, for task resolution checks, I think both Camps engage the game the same way -- a success means the task is accomplished. There are other considerations for failed checks that I'm not going to go into in this po...

Tuesday, 17th October, 2017

  • 10:22 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    I'd like to stress that when playing a 'grittier' RPG system, you have less freedom, in a way: Since combat is lethal, it's something that must be avoided at all cost. Players _must_ come up with ways to overcome their opposition by means other than open combat, otherwise your campaign is going to be short-lived.For me, this illustrates the point I've been making upthread, to Saelorn, Shasarak and billd91. In a genuinely grim & gritty RPG, ambushing someone with a sword, or a crossbow, should be (more-or-less) as dangerous as dropping a rock on them. It's purely an artefact of D&D's mechanics, which rates a sword at d8 or d10 but leaves the rating of a boulder to the GM, that results in a fighter being unable to kill someone in a weapon ambush but able- at least at the tables of those GMs mentioned - to kill someone with a boulder ambush. Which once again relates back to Aenghus's point, that the effectiveness of the boulder vs the sword turns primarily on end-running around the damage rules. It's entirely an artefact of mechanics, not of "narrative first". In a "narrative first" game involving people of "flesh and bone" (to quote Saelorn), an ambush with a sword or bow should be capable of lethality. (And in games like RuneQuest, Rolemaster, Burning Wheel, etc - ie with broadly simulationist action resolution mechanics - it is.) But D&D chooses to subordinate lethality and gri...

Thursday, 5th October, 2017

  • 02:56 PM - Coroc mentioned billd91 in post Charisma- Good ability ... or OMNIVOROUS DESTROYER OF D&D?
    billd91 do not get me wrong, i do not want to downvalue Cha to the 1st/2nd ed uselessness. I like how 5e gives every stat a purpose, but otoh i would have sometimes prefered the 3 saving throws of 3e because these add much more to believabilty and causality and make powerbuilds more interesting (E.g. resilience feat to get a powerbuild which is strong in all saves). If you view it the way -- oh a very charismatic Person (political leader / beautiful Lady e.g.) and you want to charm them, you canthink that they are eventually very used to people trying to get their favor, so even with to magical attempt they are more resistant -- and all makes sense again.

Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017


Tuesday, 25th July, 2017

  • 08:40 AM - Sadras mentioned billd91 in post Do you miss attribute minimums/maximums?
    Thanks @billd91. Something to watch out for then if and when I implement the change. Just regarding the two abilities you spoke of: Our table plays with encumbrance, so carrying capacity/movement is something the players do consider. We currently have travel movement and combat movement on the character sheets. Combat movement is only used when they drop their backpack with items. The party consists of a Sorcerer, Cleric, 2 x Wizard and a Fighter/Wizard. 4 out of the 5 classes have low STR. With regards to Leadership - I would also add the 5e Attunement rule. PCs would be deciding against number of attuned items vs bonuses to their social skills.


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Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 03:10 AM - Morrus quoted billd91 in post Could Critical Role launch their own RPG?
    Maybe? But why would they? They may be helping to drive the D&D wave, but they're also riding it. Publishing their own RPG strikes me as a risk of the golden-goose-killing potential if it were successful enough to undermine that wave. Sure. New ventures entail risk. An RPG rulebook isnít *that* much of a risk, though. Especially if it was a Kickstarter stretch goal. Much easier to produce than an animated show!

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 08:37 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    he's substantially more complicated than your statistical estimation of himThis is true of nearly everyone. which suggests, to me, that his goal in writing an alternative mythology based on northern european culture wasn't in pursuit of racist goalsAnd no one has suggested otherwise in this thread. I certainly have not said anything about JRRT's intentions except that I'm indifferent to them. I did conjecture some beliefs/attitudes that JRRT likely held, given his social, historical, cultural etc context. I didn't and don't conjecture that these shaped his intentions in writing his book. I did and continue to conjecture that these are likely to help explain his use of racist tropes to help present orcs, southerners etc as evil.
  • 08:17 AM - Ash Mantle quoted billd91 in post Big Changes in ICv2's RPG Industry Charts, as Pathfinder Drops Off Before 2E's Release!
    It may be a fairly popular opinion around the fanbase of 5e, but I doubt it's a popular opinion around Paizo. The last time they were too closely aligned with D&D, WotC almost killed them with the 4e project (not renewing the magazine licenses and then releasing a fairly hostile 3pp license). I don't think Lisa is going to put the company in the same position again if she can help it. While this is certainly true, a lot of other gaming companies were also closely aligned with D&D - though not to the extent of managing affiliated magazine responsibilities, managed to weather the storm of transitioning editions, and are doing fine in 5e. Paizo managed to market the best and were able to find their market gold. In the current market however, and with Pathfinder 2.0 being met with only cautious optimism at best, Paizo really need to consider an alternative model, especially if Pathfinder 2.0 proves to fall out of popularity quickly and/or initially finds a really lukewarm reception. Time will...
  • 07:48 AM - Zardnaar quoted billd91 in post Big Changes in ICv2's RPG Industry Charts, as Pathfinder Drops Off Before 2E's Release!
    It may be a fairly popular opinion around the fanbase of 5e, but I doubt it's a popular opinion around Paizo. The last time they were too closely aligned with D&D, WotC almost killed them with the 4e project (not renewing the magazine licenses and then releasing a fairly hostile 3pp license). I don't think Lisa is going to put the company in the same position again if she can help it. They could probably do both though or use kickstarter. Inner Sea World Guide requires very little conversion.

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 06:52 PM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    his strident opposition to the NazisAustralia went to war against the Nazis while fiercely maintaing the White Australia Policy. Churchill went to war against the Nazis while resolutely desiring to maintain the British Empire. Opposed/fought the Nazis doesn't show that someone, or some political outlook, isn't racist.
  • 08:08 AM - Riley37 quoted billd91 in post Gut-Checking to My Jerk-DM Level (ToA Spoilers)
    Whether or not he will be dissatisfied should factor into the decision made. Indeed it should! If a path which satisfies both sides of the table is readily available, then that's a good path. If not, then it's time to negotiate. It might well be time to go meta - "of course your characters want to maximize their chances of victory; but do you, the players, want a situation which makes that easy?" If not, then maybe tell them that the hags ARE part of the endgame, and that they've already crossed a Point of No Return. And *then* tell them the in-game situation: that door is closed.

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 02:19 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Or we can recognize that adult material (in this case prostitution) is something that might realistically appear in a fantasy town, that a few words of description can substantially change the nature of the character encountered, and humor can target adults even in works a 12 year old might read. Aside from the use of description, itís not like the random harlot table runs throughout the book like slavery and southern apologetics do in Gone with the Wind When my sister was 12 she was reading those 'teen' magazines - with vastly more explicit sexual content than even the most lurid of pulps, never mind the 1e DMG! I think that what we dads are comfy with is more the issue.I think it's not just comfort of dads. There are things to be said about teen magazines (is it still Dolly?), but they're different from the harlot table. Is it humorous to distignuish Saucy Tarts from Wanton Wenches from Brazen Strumpets from Slovenly Trolls? And who's in on the joke, and who's being made fun of? This...

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 09:43 PM - S'mon quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Double
  • 09:37 PM - S'mon quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    I don't think everything needs to be boiled down to the suitability of a 12 year old - whether boy or girl. When my sister was 12 she was reading those 'teen' magazines - with vastly more explicit sexual content than even the most lurid of pulps, never mind the 1e DMG! I think that what we dads are comfy with is more the issue.
  • 08:03 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    I don't think everything needs to be boiled down to the suitability of a 12 year old - whether boy or girl. So, the argument is that it was cool language, so we should forgive the fact that it would add to the unfortunate sexual objectifying of women that thousands of 12 years olds were exposed to? And how about the women well over 12, for whom that was just one more element of objectification that kept them out of an awesome hobby? For whom it added to the cultural bias of gamers against women? You want to tell them "You aren't 12, so all the talk of prostitutes in the game is something you should ignore, 'cause the language is neat-o!" 'Cause Gygax couldn't have put his cool language into *something else*? There is a larger question at hand here - what to do with problematic works of the past. Stepping past gaming for just a second, we can look at Gone With the Wind as an example of a formative work of literature that has deeply problematic elements to it. For sake of und...
  • 06:13 PM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    1) It's kind of humorous - that there is a table of random people involved in the prostitution biz - and a little humorous aside in a rulebook is entirely reasonable 2) While injecting that bit of humor - a belabored list of random people in the sex industry - it nevertheless uses a rich vocabulary to succinctly evoke different characters rather than just having a "prostitute" entry on the random table. This is why the random prostitute table is such a fun find in the DMG.I first read the DMG as a 12 year old boy. Is the random harlot table really going to be a "fun find" for my 12 year old daughter? I'm not sure about that.
  • 05:21 PM - lowkey13 quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    1) It's kind of humorous - that there is a table of random people involved in the prostitution biz - and a little humorous aside in a rulebook is entirely reasonable 2) While injecting that bit of humor - a belabored list of random people in the sex industry - it nevertheless uses a rich vocabulary to succinctly evoke different characters rather than just having a "prostitute" entry on the random table. This is why the random prostitute table is such a fun find in the DMG. Awesom-est synonyms ever. Possibly the most Gygax-ian table ever (as in ... why do you need to roll to determine the difference in random streetwalkers). I think people forget that it was part of a grungy urban encounter table tucked into an index, along with drunks and press gangs and ruffians. And the primary purpose wasn't their services- it was because they often had information. Contra what pemerton what, I always viewed the overall AD&D / D&D games as relatively chaste, especially given how violent and adu...
  • 03:17 PM - lowkey13 quoted billd91 in post Umbrella Academy - Not bad, not great
    It really is like someone's showcasing their talent in the "More Wes Anderson than Wes Anderson" category. I'm still kind of looking for a Bill Murray role that I must have missed in the background somewhere... Heh. Whether you love this show or not depends a lot on your expectations. If you go in hoping for a "Daredevil" or a "Arrow" type show, you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you like Wes Anderson / Coen Bros. / more experimental TV (like Legion), this show may very well appeal to you. For example, my S.O. doesn't like much of the superhero TV stuff I enjoy (except, for example, Legion) but we both loved this show. It's more a show that happens to have people with superpowers than a superhero show.
  • 04:31 AM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post Gut-Checking to My Jerk-DM Level (ToA Spoilers)
    Maybe, but it seems clear she doesn't need to bargain for her life - she's successfully evaded them and can get the heck out of Dodge if she wants to. The question is - given that expected behavior - would it be in character for her to risk taking another jab at the PCs or just get away?You decide her in-character and since you have already decided to remove the de facto, no it's more de jure, "only need to beat two to get help" part from the scenario, I would say its entirely on you to make that call without needing our blessings or a "forum guys agreed it was ok" excuse once she locks them into the situation and your players react. I mean, it's not like there is an object in the vicinity that can give the PCs ethereal access to go after her if she doesn't run when she can, right? EDIT Change references from "you" to "the gm" as i thought references about what the creatures can do or has done were being made by them.

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 08:00 PM - Aldarc quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    I'm not too bothered by having a stock pool of bad guys to pull from - particularly when dealing with creatures like orcs. One thing I've always liked about orcs and their literary origin with Tolkien is they derive from elves. Evil can't create very well - just copy or corrupt. Trolls were a bad copy of ents, orcs were corrupted elves. These evil races are dark mirrors or doppelgangers of the decent folk in the stories. It seems a fitting opposition.From what I vaguely recall reading, even Tolkien in his later life began backing away from his own depiction that orcs were inherently evil creatures. The moral quality of it increasingly grew at odds with his Roman Catholic faith that redemption and goodness was possible for everyone. Though this says nothing about whether Tolkien employed, whether intentionally or not, casual racism in his depiction of the orcs, only that he recognized that one aspect of his depiction of orcs was morally problematic.
  • 03:44 PM - Doug McCrae quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    I have to agree that "colonialist" smacks of some kind of rhetorical escalation when xenophobic and/or racist will do. I'm not really seeing a subjugational or exploitational subtext to most treatment of orcs. They're definitely "others" and while that may be an important element to justify colonization and domination, it isn't synonymous. What about the idea in early editions of D&D that the PCs would clear the wilderness of monsters and build a stronghold there?
  • 09:27 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    I'm not too bothered by having a stock pool of bad guys to pull from - particularly when dealing with creatures like orcs. One thing I've always liked about orcs and their literary origin with Tolkien is they derive from elves. Evil can't create very well - just copy or corrupt. Trolls were a bad copy of ents, orcs were corrupted elves. These evil races are dark mirrors or doppelgangers of the decent folk in the stories. It seems a fitting opposition. Yeah, but, that line "dark mirrors" kinda is the problem, no? The purely good white, shining race is corrupted and becomes dark, brutish and evil. It's not a totally out there interpretation to see issues here. Particularly when that sort of thing is so ingrained in English speaking speculative fiction. It's just something to keep an eye on and understand that while you (or I for that matter) don't really have an issue with it, other people might not see it that way and they're not just pulling interpretations out of thin air.

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 11:25 PM - Arma virumque quoted billd91 in post Momo is Still Not Real (But Memes Are)
    Why don't you explain your points that you made earlier? I looked back, and this was it: "I thought it was obvious that you weren't arguing for the correctness of the 1980s moral panic, but rather for some level of understanding of (and sympathy for) the people involved." Let me be clear- I have no sympathy for the people who perpetuated the 1980s moral panics. There are a lot of innocent people who went to jail because power-hungry idiots propagated false beliefs about satanic worship. A lot of people, and a lot of families, were hurt. As opposed to some yahoos who continued on their lives as normal. So ... screw 'em. Speaking as a parent of two kids who are involved in gaming, I have absolutely no more forgiving of the situation than I did in the 1980s. In fact, I think my attitude has hardened over the years because the people involved in the moral panic took an easy, lazy path toward ignorant condemnation rather than taking a nuanced and reasoned approach based on knowle...
  • 10:31 PM - lowkey13 quoted billd91 in post Momo is Still Not Real (But Memes Are)
    While I may have empathy for Pat Pulling over her son Irving's suicide, I have none for her over her response in forming BADD and spreading disinformation about gaming I think there are different ways to look at this. I think anyone can feel empathy toward someone who has lost a child. That is the type of serious pain that can destroy someone. And there is a certain level of tolerance for someone who has lost a child then acting out. ...but as you note, that tolerance and that empathy for the driving cause has to end when a person twists it and uses it to justify actions that begin to hurt other people. From the beginning (claiming that there was an actual curse put on her son) to the lawsuits to spearheading a group that knowingly peddled false information ... Not to mention she (who had NO QUALIFICATIONS) distributed materials to police departments that furthered the overall satanic panic. I wish I was making this up; in hindsight, it seems unbelievable because it s...
  • 08:17 PM - lowkey13 quoted billd91 in post Momo is Still Not Real (But Memes Are)
    Honestly, I doubt a more nuanced treatment of religions and demons would have mattered much. Any form of witchcraft or magic would probably have been enough to provoke a response once D&D got popular enough with kids. Just look at the anti-Harry Potter hysteria. The stories incorporate some strong and positive moral messages, yet they are the object of a senseless moral panic among some groups because of their inclusion of magic. I think some people here forget just how bad and stupid and unsupported the 80s moral panicS (notice the plural) were. And the whole, "Once you're a parent, you'll understand why you might be stupid" shouldn't cut it. If you lived through it (as I did) it should make you more cognizant of not repeating those mistakes, not more empathetic.


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