View Profile: J.L. Duncan - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Today, 01:00 PM
    This is probably getting into territory where people really start to disagree (whereas now we've just been arguing about the quality of GM description). I know I am likely an odd man out here but I don't think story is a necessary component of an RPG. Granted it is pretty clear many of us define story differently. But just going back to my point about equivocation: story has several meanings. It...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Today, 11:21 AM
    Okay. Wait, you just said you didn't say this. Just because something is literary doesn't mean it can't be dull. A dull description is a dull description, not a non-narrative literary description. Caring about whether a description is dull, doesn't mean you care about it being a narrative literary description. No, this is just wrong. Something can be of very high literary...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Today, 05:05 AM
    No I didnít agree with what you said. I stated that having literal quality does not mean it isnít dull. Something can be terrible from a literary standard, but engaging and exciting. Something can be of high literary quality and be extremely dull. However my interest is the complication exchange not the quality of the description itself. Literary quality isnít something I think if when GMing
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Today, 04:14 AM
    Except this seems a lot closer to your position to me. Because you are the ones saying GMs must or should be striving for high literary quality description (or at least descriptions of a certain quality), and others here are telling you this isn't how we role play. But you keep insisting it is a necessary part of role-playing. So it is the same kind of argument you see people make about edition...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Today, 04:11 AM
    narrative literary quality does not equal not dull. In fact, something having too much literary quality, in my experience, can add to its dullness. Either way, you are attributing positions to me I haven't taken, because you can't conceive of someone running a game differently than you do. It is about the level of narration. I am not interested in presenting to players as though all my lines are...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:25 PM
    I think this is the part a lot of us disagree with. Obviously at a certain point, it may start to impact play for us. But the whole point of emphasizing conversational GMing is that it is a bit expected players may want or need to ask for clarifications. We are fine with the 'flow' being disrupted because it is a back and forth conversation to help establish things. From my viewpoint, how the GM...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Of course, and depending on what you think RPGs should be like, you are going to either like those things or not like them. But the point is: not every RPG needs to emulate those things. Additional point: things like fate didnít just rip structures and replicate them. They had to find a way to fit them to RPGs. We tried ripping the structures of stories directly in the 90s. And that led to a lot...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:46 PM
    This is a central point for me. I don't really need the GM to do much to get me to imagine things. In fact, I get very quickly frustrated and bored with description. I think some of this may actually be a communication social style issue rather than just purely playstyle. There is an idea in sales that people can be divided into Drivers, Amiables, Expressives and Analyticals. You sculpt your...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:35 PM
    This is not universal though. If you spend any time in OSR discussions, the idea of players who just play themselves comes up a lot, and many people are generally fine with it. The only line of disruption here would be something that breaks immersion. But talking as yourself is something some people are fine with. You can do that and still be playing a roleplaying game. Personally I do like a...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:28 PM
    But can you see how the equivocation matters now. You might have a very broad all encompassing view of literary, but this is an instance where, after that broad view is used to establish that RPGs are a literary Endeavor, Hussar advocates utliizing literary techniques as a GM (techniques that arguably fall into the camp Pemerton and I am emphasizing----the 'especially' part of the literary...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:41 PM
    This is probably a separate discussion, but I would argue these are still very different mediums and that is really important to keep in mind. RPGs do borrow heavily from many entertainments mediums (not just written ones, but also movies, music and theater). I think it can be misleading to see that connection and then try to adopt the structures of those mediums. This is how many people become...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:28 PM
    It may not surprise you to learn I got into a lot of debates with the professors when I had to take courses in these departments in college. I enjoyed these courses but found lots of points like this where I disagreed.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:25 PM
    I am saying this can happen in games. People do this. I am not saying everyone does it. just there isn't some requirement in a roleplaying game that people not break the fourth wall. I've been in games where anachronistic jokes were told in character, where players switched between in character and out of character talk. It happens, yet the game continues on. However my bigger point was just...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:50 AM
    You make a very strong argument for something, but not for games being literary. Just because there is this concept in gaming of playing a character in a setting, where your character doesn't know thing you know, that doesn't make it a literary endeavor. Maybe an acting endeavor, but even then I don't think so because you can still just be playing yourself, you can be playing with the character...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:47 PM
    I am not saying it isn't the case. I am just saying, I don't want to contribute to it being the case.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:36 PM
    I do think people often judge by how we converse...but I don't think it is a good way to judge a person. So often how we talk is a product of class and other things beyond people's control. We often attribute things to styles of speaking (like intellect for example) that really are more about how people you grew up with spoke. And just on a moral level, that isn't how I want to judge people. I...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:51 PM
    If that is how you talk, that is how you talk. But this is not how many people engage the world. I don't particularly worry about this. At the end of the day, if I am not good enough for people, I am not good enough for them. I don't need to do a dance or perform to bridge a gap. This actually makes me a little mad to read. Why would you judge someone just by the way they speak? That is...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Plenty of people. I can add words to a description because I want to convey more information, knowing I am detracting from the literary quality of it. I do that all the time. Even when I am not GMing but writing an RPG. My concern is never the literary quality, I am much more interested in conveying the information I want and the style of gaming I want.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:42 PM
    A conversation can be literary: if it is a discussion about literature or if it is crafted by an author. A discussion on the street isn't literature. It just isn't. And I don't think anyone on this thread, if they are honest with themselves with really believe that. As to 1 & 2, that is definitely a subjective judgement call. I personally find 2 to be much less conversational than 1, and I...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:31 PM
    No, I am not ignoring definitions: you are. You are cherry picking parts of definitions to suit your argument, ignoring key points of definitions like Ďespeciallyí then making those key points relevant when it suits you. I am looking at the full definition, abiding by key nuances within definitions honestly and trying to make good faith arguments. This is why I keep mentioning equivocation....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:25 PM
    Max I am sorry but this argument makes very little sense and has no real utility except to aid equivocation. And this goes beyond gaming: I just canít buy a definition of literary that is anything involving written or spoken words. and I am assume gestured communication is also literary? When someone gives you the middle finger is that too a form of literature? It just stretches the term so that...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:05 PM
    No you are just making an assertion. Look, you are essentially saying everything is literary (when I take all your posts together). That is an absurdly broad useage, especially in a thread like this where what an RPG is being established to say how RPGs should be written and run. Again see my posts about equivocation.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:16 PM
    Did you read the last paragraph of that? Edit: Also, this doesn't respond to the point I made in post at all. This is just another argument on top of your previous one. If you want me to continue engaging a silly discussion about how everything under the sun is literary, including conversations in grocery stores, than you should respond to the actual points I made in my post.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:14 PM
    Asserting that doesn't make it so. And saying they are literary because they have words and people speak words when they play them, isn't a good reason to ask people to accept other elements of literature (that have nothing to do with those facts) as part of RPGs.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:03 PM
    Um, yes they have. Repeatedly. I believe you have as well. Read the thread. People do keep making claims about how games ought to be designed and packaged, and how GMs should engage their players. You can deny it but I keep getting into arguments with people who thing the game should be run differently than I think it should be. Here is just one example taken from the last page of the thread...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:01 PM
    Both me and Pemerton have addressed this point. I think we made the point somewhat differently but essentially described it more as inhabiting the character than as performing. There can be performative aspects to it, but I don't worry so much about them. This is particularly the case on the player end. As far as I am concerned what matters is the first person, not that the player portray a...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:54 PM
    But now you are equivocating again. Definition 1 is literary. Definition 2 is not literary. There is nothing literary about two people having a conversation in real life. There is something literary about me writing a scene where two characters talk. If you really want to press this point we can continue going back and forth, and eventually I may slip and you may find some kind of rhetorical...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:48 PM
    Those are important distinctions and in this conversation, distinction A is being used to persuade us that RPGS are literary, however distinction B is being brought in once we accept that to make an argument for what RPGs and GMs should do. That is the definition of equivocation. Equivocation relies on words carrying multiple meanings and having those kinds of distinctions.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:47 PM
    Go back and re-read the definition of dialogue yourself posted. That definition doesn't extend to the real world. It is about content generated by an author. I don't want to be harsh, but this is a really bad argument you are making right now.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:45 PM
    I don't find that description very conversational at all. I don't have a single friend who talks that way. I do have plenty of friends who say things like "Have you seen X movie? It is a bit like the creature in the final scene".
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:44 PM
    I prefer first person actually. I have no problem with GMs who speak in first person as NPCs (though I don't think it is a requirement of play because I know lots of people who don't like to speak in first person in games and get by just fine). In terms of voices, I tend to find them off putting unless the GM in question has enough charm and charisma to pull them off (not acting chops, but just...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:40 PM
    This is a really bizarre argument. I am not a character in a book. I honestly don't know how to respond to this post. Are you really serious?
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:38 PM
    Then your definition story is so broad it is as useless and as subject to equivocation as the definition of literary we have been using in this thread. If story always happens no matter what, then I guess you got me. But we all know perfectly well that there is more to stories than descriptions and using language. And we know that around the bend from that assertion are more assertions about how...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:35 PM
    It isn't about making them jump through hoops. I just don't worry that every single detail in my head like that is automatically conveyed. I assume the players are there interacting with the world and in life you can miss those kinds of obviously details sometimes. The asking part is a bit like the players looking more closely at certain details. I get that you don't enjoy doing things like I do....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:31 PM
    You are twisting my argument using sophistry though. My argument is I don't want to describe things in a literary style. You are now making the argument that word choice matters in a literary style and becasuse I objected to the addition of certain words, it proves your point. You are suggesting with that post that this concern is in fact a literary consideration of sorts. I will admit, I am...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:23 PM
    Yes, I think there is definitely more focus, and obviously a supermarket chat could be less durable. My point was really that I just speak in the same manner. When I am talking to a friend at the supermarket, I am not trying to impress them with my words (though I will admit to occasionally trying to impress with the content). Same with gaming. I am not putting on a show or speaking in a way...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:21 PM
    I am seeing posts by other Americans suggesting they were given a 3-8 sentence guideline in school. I never encountered this so I don't know its purpose. America varies tremendously from state to state and from school district to school district so it may just be a regional thing. One thing I noticed for example living on different coasts was there were strikingly different attitudes on things...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:17 PM
    I agree with most of these. I just don't agree with the story teller part. I cut my teeth at the height of GM as story teller in the 90s. Played that way for a long time and realized it wasn't for me at all. I am not there to tell the players a story. I am there to facilitate a campaign.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:15 PM
    That is a complete misreading of what I said.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:13 PM
    The 'especially' means that is the more common use of the word. It does allow for crappy literature. But that means the word effectively has two meanings that form a venn diagram. And those two meanings are what keeps producing the equivocation in the argument about what RPGs should be doing.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:11 PM
    And this is why the equivocation point I made is so important. It carries both meaning, but particularly means the more selective application. However, arguments are being made that rely on both meanings. And the broader meaning is the one first used to get literary in the door, then when it is convenient to what people want from play, the part of the definition about quality is used. It is a...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:06 PM
    It is about what people want from play though. You want a more literary experience...that is fine. I simply don't want that. I don't find enjoyment in that kind of play.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 03:14 AM
    Of course not. Look we have different approaches to play. No need to get snarky about it. I donít particilsrky care if I nail the description first time out because I view it as a conversation. And I like the back and forth where players ask questions. Not your cup of tea. That is fine.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:54 AM
    You are more concerned with the timing than I am. I am fine with a game where the players ask Ďdoes it have s discernible odorí and the GM then mentioning the blood and carrion.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:50 AM
    So you left out something you considered vital in option 1. If it is duper important I would mention it. But I would probably mention something like that before the players see it
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:59 PM
    But words on paper is kind of meaningless in terms of this discusdiin. My issue is words on paper is being used in order to get toward much bigger statements about how RPGs should be like literature. If the argument was just RPGs should have words on paper, I wouldnít be disagreeing so much
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:40 PM
    Pemerton, that post was an error. I got my posts mixed up and thought I was responding to a poster assertion that paragraphs are in fact 5 paragraphs long. The point I was making was none of my teachers ever said paragraphs had to be 4 sentences long. Sorry for the confusion. There is absolutely no 5 sentence doctrine in America.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:38 PM
    And I have to admit, I love long sentence paragraphs like that because I used to read a lot of turn of the century books when I was younger. So I just admire the style. In gaming however, I am definitely more focused on talking in my normal style. I Gm the way I would talk with a friend I bumped into at the supermarket. I don't consider that conversation particularly literary, even if it...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:31 PM
    Just to be clear here, I wasn't establishing a numeric breaking point. I was going by the overall impression of the two examples. The first one essentially just says one thing. The second says many things the reader/listener must piece together. The first one isn't particularly like a novel description, the second one is. I prefer the first. Of course, how I describe something will always be...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:29 PM
    I have never attempted to quantify and average paragraphs. It is possible you are correct. I don't know what the current typical number of sentences are in a paragraph. That doesn't make example 2 not a paragraph. Because paragraphs don't have to have the typical number of sentences to still be paragraphs. And your assertion was a paragraph is 5 sentences long (then 3-8 sentences). In your...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:27 PM
    Edit: Ooops, wrong post quote
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:25 PM
    Regardless of word count, one of those entries (number 2) reads much more like a prose paragraph to me), and the first is essentially just saying it is like the creature from men in black. In the second, listening to every word is important. In the first, there is one thing you need to know.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:23 PM
    This simply isn't true. Paragraphs don't have to be 3-8 sentences.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:09 PM
    You do not need five sentences for a paragraph
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:31 PM
    No it is not centered around a weakness because I became quite good at providing those kinds of descriptions. I just realized a lot of players are not as into that stuff. And there are medium issues that make the examples somewhat unrealistic. Most players are less impressed by your ability to talk like HP Lovecraft than they are with your ability to communicate conversationally as a GM (at least...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:25 PM
    My point with option one is it just an easier way to convey details by drawing on movie references than by providing a literary style description. Generally when it comes to monster descriptions, I am fine hashing out the details. I donít want a full paragraph of description like option 2. I am also not terribly worried about whether the players are imagining the illustration in the book. Still...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:11 PM
    Honestly, I think the description that compares to a creature they already have an image of in their head works better so I would go with option 1. Option one is definitely less literary, it generally would be less effective in a book. But in a conversation at the table it can provide a clearer image. You donít need the words to look good on a page when you are talking to players. Honestly this...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:47 AM
    I run sandboxes as well. My approach is I want players to be both active and reactive. But I generally agree. And I don't expect you to share my view on this. If you think the GM should be a mix of storyteller and adjudicator, that is totally fine. I just hope you can understand, I genuinely do not see myself as a storyteller. We all had very different paths to where we are. One thing...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    I would argue that dancing is what they are doing. It primarily comes from my sense of what the kobolds are all about, what they are doing, what they are like as characters....and I would file that under content. Saying they are dancing is the most barebones and efficient way for me to convey that. Am I describing what they are doing? Yes. But what they are doing wasn't arrived at by description....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:33 AM
    You describe it. I don't think anyone is saying you don't describe things or that you can't describe things better or worse. We are just saying we not striving for a description that meets literary standards of excellence, nor are we trying to sound like we are the author of a novel. We are also not too hung up on the descriptive aspect. I will attempt a description. If the players don't get it,...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:24 AM
    Also not sure why my posts keep including that quote
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:23 AM
    That they are dancing is more about content than description. The thing that makes the scene more interesting is that the kobolds are dancing for some reason, not how the GM describes the dance
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:37 AM
    But no more than my natural talking style in everyday speech. I keep my games very conversational. I am not interested in stylizing my narration or consciously narrating a scene. I just converse with the players and don't think much about the words I use. People keep saying this, then they also keep saying how important quality in the description is. And what is the purpose of...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:30 AM
    To me that is just coloring unless the bloodshot ideas lead somewhere else. When think of a situation like that as a GM my fist thought isn't about description: it is about background (why are the kobolds on the hill? What did they just do? Where are they going? etc). Any details I provide, it is more about those kinds of things than caring about whether I describe them in a sufficiently literary...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:59 AM
    Sorry but I am not convinced. Just because I am talking well with my players, that doesnít mean I am engaged in a literary activity or that the concern is providing literary quality description. I am talking, not writing. It is a different medium.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:57 AM
    Except exceptionally is super important here because it is the pivot point where equivocation occurs. You even do it yourself in the same paragraph (where you first deny the second half of the definition before embracing it when it comes to GM descriptions being attempts at higher quality literature. And this is the key aspect turning off posters like myself to your argument. If you want me to...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:49 AM
    I donít know that this is as true for me as it is for you. Like I said, people are assuming what they find interesting or engaging is the same for them as other people. I donít find GM narration or description especially interesting. I am saying it never matters to me. Just it isnít where I find my excitement or interest. I see the GM much more as an adjudicator than As a master narrator or...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:09 AM
    I would suggest reading through those replies again
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:27 AM
    Also to those getting angry, please consider that at the very worst you are getting angry because people are asserting descriptions are not all that important to them in an RPG. Even if they are wrong, just being stubborn and closed minded, this is a fairly narrow slice of life to get heated over. Even within gaming it is a fairly specific thing to get emotional about.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:24 AM
    Again you want more literary description than I do. Or st least more description in the style of a novel. Three foot dog men is fine by me provided there isnít any pertinent and significant content being left out. Describing the drip of saliva or the aroma of their soiled clothes, doesnít really add a whole lot for me unless it is relevant or part of the questions and answers. This is my issue:...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:20 AM
    I feel I should respond to defend myself. I can understand you think I am wrong about Pemerton in this instance. It is possible I am. What bothers me is questioning my sincerity: assuming I felt one way because he disagreed with me, then another when we were in agreement. What also bothers me is the level of hostility I am getting hit dimply thinking he is making a sensible point. EDIT: also I...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:03 PM
    I think of all people on this thread, I have the most reason to be wary of Pemerton's posts (if you think that thread was bad, read the racist colonialist orcs thread). When I saw the OP I initially read it in a negative light. But I made a point of re-reading to see if I was reading my own feelings into it. I reached the conclusions this was very different from our previous discussion. Also, in...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:36 PM
    You might not be intending it, but can you please stop with the condescension? I am not trying to be difficult but it is difficult to communicate with you calmly when your posts begin or end with these kinds of sentiments. We have been over this before. I sincerely have a different reading of what you OP is saying than you. Especially in light of the OP's later clarifications (where...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 08:04 PM
    Presentation isn't a word people objected to, and no one has said presentation isn't used or present. People have disagreed over how important performance and literary techniques are. Yes, a roleplaying game can use some of the techniques you find in a horror novel, but it doesn't mean those techniques translate as well or as commonly into an RPG. Something that is required to make a horror novel...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:20 PM
    There are way too many questions to answer here. I will try to give a general response instead. With games like Cthulu, or say Ravenloft (which I just ran more often so am more familiar with), I think stuff like narrating evocatively, adhering to good rules of writing while talking, etc are not that important. I used to feel that way. I followed that horror gaming advice to the letter. But I...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:09 PM
    You can't safely drive without headlights at night. They are essential to driving if you want to drive safely. I can easily run a campaign without using literary level descriptions of things and instead just having a basic conversation with my players.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:07 PM
    I don't think the literary quality matters all that much at all. Certainly not enough for me to lose sleep over if someone thinks my descriptions, my writing, or my speaking style isn't sufficiently literary. And certainly not enough for me to label a core feature of play. As a player I am not looking for literary stylings either. It can be a part of play. Doesn't have to be. I think the...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:03 PM
    And again this is key. The reason books as a medium have a higher standard than talking face to face, or at least one important reason, is the writer only has one shot to convey what he or she means, because a novel is a one-way form of communication (you can't ask the author for clarification while you are reading unless you have them there). Roleplaying games are a totally different medium,...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:56 PM
    Of course, but I don't think the literary quality matters as much as the GM fairly trying to communicate with the players and the players making a solid effort to engage with the GM. I really think, if you observe how most groups interact, you hear a conversation.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:50 PM
    I read primary genre stuff these days. While some genre works rise to the level of literature, there is also a lot of schlock. Just being a genre trope doesn't make it part of a literary endeavor, just as if I write a pulp novel about sexy vampires solving murder mysteries in Detroit, that doesn't mean it is literature. It certainly could be. If I were talented enough to elevate that premise and...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:45 PM
    More than that, I think the questioning the GM about details like that is part of the game. This is why having a human mind there is superior to a video game. Asking questions is part of getting the GM to hammer down the details. Those kinds of details are often not thought of in advance. I try to think of everything I can about places and characters before hand. But if the setting is to feel...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:40 PM
    This is a very important point. The description isn't what makes a situation in an RPG interesting: the situation is what makes interesting because it is interacting and part of a back and forth conversation. I honestly don't care if the GM is stumbling over words, uses the same adjective twice in a row for no reason, uses a ten dollar word that somewhat misses the mark, when a more precise 1...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:32 PM
    No, that isnít literary. Hack novels use descriptions. Doesnít make them literary novels. And further when the focus isnít on higher quality narration, a higher purpose or using a plethora or literary techniques to make it feel Ďliteraryí, it is not literary. That was the point made in the OP and it comes closest to any meaningful use of Ďliteraryí that isnít absurdly broad for the purposes of...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:37 PM
    Being present in many modules doesn't make something core or essential. Also, the techniques you are discussing are techniques a lot of GMs don't use. I'd say there is a pretty big stylistic divide around many of those. Not saying they are bad, or not fun. Just things like flashbacks are definitely not for everyone. Starting in medias res, is not for everyone. I come from a much more traditional...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:26 PM
    Not all people care about genre. I care about genre. So I would consider genre when such a character was present. But I know plenty of GMs who don't and the thing they would consider, rather than genre, is the setting and whether your character makes sense. Genre emulation is great. Not everyone is into it.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:23 PM
    I consider genre fiction and literature two very different things. And once again, even if I didn't make that distinction. The fact that other mediums are present doesn't make RPG those things. RPGs borrow from movies all the time too. That doesn't make RPGs a cinematic endeavor. Now if you want your RPGs to be cinematic, great! Go for it. But don't tell other people their RPGs have to be...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:38 PM
    I know we disagree on the particular way this is utilized, but definitely agree with this point. When I talk about feeling strongly in character, like I am there and fully immersed, it is because I have the ability to say to the GM "I want to try to do X" (and that could be virtually anything) and the GM responds and reacts. What words the GM uses to respond is not as important as the fact that...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:00 PM
    Didnít realize I had to do so. I am not the one presenting a core idea of RPGs. My approach to that would be reluctant. I think it is too easy to define away approaches and play styles I donít engage in. I would prefer a broad approach based on common use age of what it means to play an RPG, rather than an essential or core approach.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:41 PM
    Not what I am arguing
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:37 PM
    I definitely use genre tropes. Tropes are not literary techniques like foreshadowing, which is what I had in mind. But again just because something in literature is used, that doesnít make RPGs literary endeavors. There is a lot more to literature than tropes. And literature isnít the only thing that has tropes. also just to make a more general point. RPGs by their nature tend to employ a lot...
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About J.L. Duncan

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Date of Birth
August 7, 1978 (40)
About J.L. Duncan
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Chillicothe, MO
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I love RPGs! All Kinds, and writing reviews, helps me supplement my RPG habit.

My reviews are published here on EN World. I'm honored and think it's pretty awesome, that EN World is paying for site content.

I also write reviews, the occasional magic item, and dungeon trap for Knights of the Dinner Table (KoDT) magazine, as well as maintain a RPG review and news blog...

I'm involved in two RPG groups that run bi-weekly; D&D Basic & Savage Rifts.
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Town:
Chillicothe
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Missouri
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USA
Game Details:
I love RPGs! All Kinds, and writing reviews, helps me supplement my RPG habit.

My reviews are published here on EN World. I'm honored and think it's pretty awesome, that EN World is paying for site content.

I also write reviews, the occasional magic item, and dungeon trap for Knights of the Dinner Table (KoDT) magazine, as well as maintain a RPG review and news blog...

I'm involved in two RPG groups that run bi-weekly; D&D Basic & Savage Rifts.
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Pax Morrgrin, Operator Dwarf
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Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 11:06 PM - TheSalemLord quoted J.L. Duncan in post Reload The Savage World Of Deadlands
    Nope I meant what I said... As in it didn't excite anyone in my group to play it. They weren't confused (or nonplussed) about what the game was... Just not enthused to play it. Been there...Still there. My groups are still sticking to D&D. Not that is wrong, but it saddens me that they didn't want to try something different or new :yawn:... So, we keep playing D&D. I really want to try Deadlands, the setting is awesome. I've tried with the 3.0 D20 Edition version of Deadlands with other group for the familiarity with the D20 rules...worked..fine, but wasn't good at all. I really want to try SW rules set.

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 04:21 PM - choam10191 quoted J.L. Duncan in post Reload The Savage World Of Deadlands
    Nope I meant what I said... As in it didn't excite anyone in my group to play it. They weren't confused (or nonplussed) about what the game was... Just not enthused to play it. Non-pulsed isn't actually a word. And if you were to construct a neologism meaning what you claim to have meant, it would be more like "low-pulsed" or "min-pulsed"; the only logical interpretation of "non-pulsed" is DEAD, as in "not living". Wraith Form was giving you the benefit of the doubt in assuming you inadvertently used a malapropism. And, yes, the North American usage of "nonplussed" meaning "unimpressed" would've been closer to your intention: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nonplussed

Friday, 2nd March, 2018

  • 04:08 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted J.L. Duncan in post Palladium Announces Collapse of Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter
    Yes, backers can contact the AG of Michigan, but unless those backers reside in Michigan that AG won't listen to them. Each backer will be encouraged to contact the AG of whichever state they live in.Not true. Look up what's going on with Ken Whitman, perhaps the most notorious gaming industry crowdfunding fraudster there is. Out-of-state complaints are being accepted by the AG of the state where Ken lives. IIRC, they are looking at him for possible wire fraud charges.

Thursday, 1st March, 2018

  • 04:32 PM - kenmarable quoted J.L. Duncan in post Palladium Announces Collapse of Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter
    The lawsuit will not go anywhere if things continue as is over on that Facebook page. Apparently, the lawyer (a sister of one of the backers) that was contacted wrote up a threat of legal action and sent that letter to Palladium siting KS ToS; which a judge wouldn't move a finger on and has no legal standing. i didn't understand this (than to suspect it wasn't a real lawyer) as anyone putting forth a letter should be directly siting Law (and how it was violated) not KS' ToS. The only thing which is relevant, which is what you note, is whether Palladium can account for everything and can prove they've not committed fraud. If there is a question on that and it's brought to court a judge might order them to open and account for their books. Will this happen? Who knows. It might, if those backers get a real lawyer. And most likely have a backer who is in the state of Michigan head the effort... Otherwise they should all be contacting the FTC... I mean I feel for those folks but if they want to...

Friday, 27th October, 2017


Saturday, 21st October, 2017

  • 03:11 AM - Egg Embry quoted J.L. Duncan in post Gaming At The Kid's Table With The Pip System
    Hey Egg, I'm curious, with the modified (simpler) system, are players splitting the difference between the pools? Or perhaps rolling less dice and just tallying results such as: 1-3 as unsuccessful; 4-6 as a success? I haven't had the time to give Eloy's pip system a look, but I did like the original Mermaid Adventures. RPG's THE Jeff Duncan - Excellent question! The simplified system has two major changes: 1) Replace the skills system with straight attributes. 2) Qualities are no longer purchased using Build Points, instead each player should write down the qualities that they want and add +1 white d6 for each one that applies. Simple and well thought out streamlines for a streamlined system. Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer

Saturday, 22nd July, 2017

  • 01:30 PM - VengerSatanis quoted J.L. Duncan in post Win $500 - adventure writing contest
    Hello Venger, How many entries do you anticipate... And are you judging them yourself or are you considering a panel? I'm not sure how many to anticipate, anywhere from 5 to 25... possibly. I'll be judging them myself, though if I do this again maybe a panel of judges would be easier on me. Thanks for the questions. VS

Sunday, 25th June, 2017

  • 10:06 PM - Egg Embry quoted J.L. Duncan in post Gaming At The Kid's Table: Mouse Tails
    +Egg Embry I'm just happy that given the choice (of an internet troll, or a wanna-lancer) you've made the right choice. Just a word of advice: quoting Boromir is easy to do but it is hard to live... And prepare yourself. Hobbylancing takes a level of commitment not common of mortal men. Me? I'm 3/4 elf, 1/16 dwarf & 2/3 halfling so I get by (and all that)... And you needn't worry about conquering the world. All you have to do is write and self-publish an RPG, which you will automatically be the master of (ah, ya-know cause you wrote it!)... You've taken all the right steps... But remember, "only you can prevent forest fires." And if that was a bit vague (or off topic)... What I mean to say is, you're on the right track. :p J.L. Duncan- In-game, I rarely prevent forest fires. On the contrary, 99.9% of fires in RPGs can be traced back to Egg (and a few other players). ;-) Seriously, thanks for the kind words and advice. It's been helpful. ;) Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer Check out EN World Gaming at the Kidsí Table posts to read reviews of The FirstFable RPG and Monster Slayers

Saturday, 24th June, 2017

  • 08:13 PM - Egg Embry quoted J.L. Duncan in post Gaming At The Kid's Table: Mouse Tails
    Egg... At what point does a Wanna-Lancer become an Actual-Lancer? Nice review. And it seems your rackin' up the creds! J.L. Duncan - There is a much-studied progression from wanna-lancer to actual-lancer. As Boromir stated, "One does not simply ." The progress starts as fan, moves to armchair game designer, and either deviates to internet troll or to a wanna-lancer. Following the wanna-lancer wing, you strive to reach hobbylancer status (Ben McFarland has spoken about hobbylancing) before graduating to be a freelancer and a life of leisure. Oh, and conquering the world is in there somewhere... :p Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer Check out EN World Gaming at the Kidsí Table posts to read reviews of The FirstFable RPG and [B]Monster Slayers

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

  • 08:05 AM - Jhaelen quoted J.L. Duncan in post Playing With Savage Rifts
    Just FYI: For sure, you need the Savage Worlds main book (I have deluxe) to run Savage Rifts. Just wanted to make sure you know that. Ah thanks, I hadn't been aware of that!

Sunday, 2nd October, 2016


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