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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:48 PM
    Umm, where did the situation come from? Who initiated the situation? Who set the location, the opponents (or allies or whatever is being reacted to)? Now, there are games where the answer to that might be "anyone at the table", but, outside of those games, by and large, it's the GM/DM who is setting the stage so to speak. Sure, the PC's open the door, but, it's the DM who describes what's...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:41 PM
    Yeah, that's a better way of phrasing it. Sure, I'll agree with that.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:10 PM
    I'm with Aldarc here. I don't think the answer is a single general use Urban Fantasy TTRPGing system with theme/premise-neutral mechanics to rule them all (this almost always leads to an overwhelming GM presence in play trajectory to manufacture an experience...typically putting players in a significantly more passive position than in a game like Blades in the Dark). This is precisely why I...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:16 PM
    Ah ok. (I’m asking this out of a position of ignorance) So when someone refers to “Urban Fantasy” in TTRPGing, are they referring to “a malleable game/system without a tight play premise baked in so it can be drifted to (say) the modern focus of ‘paranormal romance’ or something similar?”
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:14 PM
    Well, kinda sorta. Look at that description of the Dursley's above. That's adopting a very specific "voice". It's a sing songy story telling voice because the story is written for 10 year olds. It is a very deliberate choice. Your choice of a conversational tone is deliberate since you don't like a more prose style pattern. But, make no mistake, you are still narrating the scene. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:28 AM
    Sorry, Pemerton, but, I'm really having trouble tracking the changes you are making here. Can you actually write out the paragraph that you think is more conversational? Trying to move back and forth between three different posts and two different pages means I am losing track of what you're trying to say. And, please, tone down the level of grammatical analysis. It's extremely difficult to...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:48 AM
    Something similar to that play anecdote that you're mentioning above happened in my 2nd 4e game that went 1-30. While that was a Bladesinger rather than a Fighter, it was all martial, so its applicable. It was mid-Paragon Tier. While the Druid and Rogue dealt with an endless tide of mooks, the Bladesinger was locked in a duel with the Captain of the Guard (CotG). The player wanted it to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:21 AM
    I can walk into your house and tell you which bedroom is a guest bedroom just by looking (assuming you have one). That's not really a stumbling block to me. But, effectively, pemerton, we're back to vocabulary differences. You're simply using simpler language. So, is it fair to say that the division, for you, between conversational and prose is vocabulary choice? After all, you didn't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:36 AM
    And, something to remember is that the ship is coming sometime. So, making some defensive preparations and then holing up makes sense for the smugglers. They aren't terribly interested in fighting.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 09:34 PM
    Does Blades in the Dark not qualify as Urban Fantasy? Grimdark, cutthroat urban setting (Duskvol) - check Paranormal (overruneth and all kinds) - check Magic - check Factions/tribes embroiled in endless war to ascend hierarchy - check
    50 replies | 1273 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:48 AM
    Ah, now, there, I think is one of the bigger divides that's going on. For me, while dramatic pacing is one thing (I'll let them shank the villain too), but, in general game pacing is something I've very, very conscious of. Gaming, as it is, tends to have a lot of down time and anything I can do to speed things up is good IMO. Which means that things like boxed text, for example, are a huge...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:43 AM
    I'm going to echo the others here. If you're feeling the time pinch, it might be a great idea just to buy a "campaign in a box" sort of module. One of the WotC adventure path offerings or something off the DM's Guild. Something you can basically just run from the book. And, while that's going on, you've bought yourself lots of breathing room for time to spend prepping your next campaign.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:09 AM
    LOL. So, essentially, all Saelorn is seeing of this thread is Bedrockgames talking to himself? Unless Imaro somehow avoided the block hammer. ROTFLMAO. That has to be the WEIRDEST thread to see. :D :lol: Ok, so, yeah, Aldarc and Bedrockgames, I'd put things like diction, organization, that sort of stuff, under the umbrella of "presentation". How you get the information from A to B,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 05:52 AM
    Now, this I can agree with. Unfortunately, in the other thread, I got shouted down for equating prose with presentation. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that how we presented the information isn't the issue, but, rather, it's all about the words. So, you can see why I might be a bit confused. Well, again, I might argue vocabulary is an issue in there. After all, it's not an every...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 02:35 AM
    Wait, what? So, vocabulary IS the important distinction between conversational and prose language? Now I'm really confused. Frankly Aldarc, I'm really having trouble parsing your argument through the snark. Could you please, in simple terms, outline what your argument actually is then? Because, honestly, I wasn't trying to misrepresent anything. I honestly believed that you were...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 01:48 AM
    Wow, you folks are actually engaging SAelorn in his metagaming rabbit hole? You guys are brave.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 01:38 AM
    See, ok, Bedrockgames, but, what you're talking about is vocabulary choice. Fair enough. But, Aldarc has insisted, pretty vehemently, all the way along that vocabulary choice doesn't matter. And, you have never contradicted him. So, are you disagreeing with Aldarc? It appears that you are, but, I want to be very sure. It's not about "blurring dualities". It's that your side of the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:55 AM
    But, that's the problem Bedrockgames. What constitutes "boxed text style" prose and what is just "conversational"? Most of the time, there isn't a hugely detectable difference. Most boxed text is pretty straight forward description - "the room is such and such big, there are so and so doors, the furnishings are this and that and there's a such and such inhabitant in the room that wants to eat...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:44 AM
    Wow. Bitter much? Just because you got spanked once in a thread, you need to carry that baggage over here too? I proved it sufficiently over there as well - the use of words like "wield" are outside of standard conversation simply because standard conversation doesn't use words like that. This isn't opinion, this is actual fact. Sure, "halberd" isn't a standard conversational word either,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:43 AM
    Heh. When the premise of the thread is clearly stated, we actually get to discuss the issue rather than spend 15 pages debating what the conversation is actually about. So, for that, thank you Bedrockgames. :D I'm pretty much in the "it depends on the game" camp. I generally find that word choice is going to be necessary as a DM/GM simply because it's virtually impossible to separate...
    120 replies | 2623 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:47 AM
    Wow. it just never stops does it. A. It doesn't offend me therefore it's not offensive. B. Folks are just looking for something to be offended about so they can feel good about themselves for opposing it. C. People are just too stupid to actually know what's really going on, but, I'm smarter than everyone else, so look at my superiority and be amazed. Did I miss any of the typical...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:19 AM
    Nice Celebrim. Folks that disagree with you are now delusional. Yeah, that's going to go over well. Of course, it's convenient when you ignore 2/3rds of the examples I posted to fixate on the one that maybe you can argue with. That's pretty much par for the course. Look, it's pretty simple. Early D&D draws very heavily from the pulps. Yes? We can agree on that? Genre pulps of the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:04 AM
    It’s not really that hard to find colonialist themes in early dnd. Isle of Dread is a start as is Keep on the Borderlands. The Giants modules aren’t a bad example, nor are the Drow modules. While Saltmarsh isn’t too bad, the later modules are all about the (predominantly white) humans being threatened by the lizard folk and sahuagin. Finding colonialist parallels there isn’t much of a...
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:47 PM
    It's getting better. It's so happy!!!!
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:37 PM
    Maxperson, you realize you have it backwards right? The tournaments came first THEN AD&D. AD&D was an attempt to codify what was happening at tournaments. That's why tournament play is actually mentioned more than a few times in the AD&D DMG. Look, we get it. You played AD&D with 3 people. Great. Can you not understand that that wasn't typical of the time? Tournament tables were MUCH...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 08:38 AM
    Why not? It's not like AD&D had a "core rules" divide. The modules were just as "official rules" as anything else. Now, if most modules were 2-3 PC's, then I might agree with your point. However, most of the modules were of the "6-9" characters variety. Dragonlance baselined with 8 characters. And, I would point out that this is precisely what I was talking about - people's...
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Article that discusses Baldur's Gate 3. Mearls (who still ruins everything) discusses the possibility of a revised Ranger and how we might be seeing a playtest this summer. https://kotaku.com/the-ranger-class-is-getting-some-changes-in-d-d-and-ba-1835659585
    106 replies | 3724 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 06:36 AM
    Yeah, I realized I said PC's and I should have said "characters". There would likely be 3-6 players and a mitt full of NPC's as well. At least, that's what the presumption was. Your the one telling me that the presumption was 4 PC's. That an encounter should have multiple dragons because I have so many PC's. But, that's not true. I had the standard number of characters that was...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:46 AM
    The difference though, I think is that you have a pretty wide variety of modules to choose from. Whether it’s Tomb of Annihilation or Dragon Heist, you do get to see a pretty broad depth. It took a while to get that in the early days.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:43 AM
    But none of this changes the fact that Jayne was untrustworthy.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:29 AM
    Whoops double post. My bad.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:28 AM
    See this is why I have such a hard time taking you seriously Maxperson. You obviously never played adnd. 6-9 pcs was the standard group. Four pcs is a 3e thing.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:22 AM
    Well. That’s fair I suppose. If the group is allowed to execute your character for stepping out of line, then your alignment doesn’t matter too much.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:52 AM
    Meh, the dragon had a non-zero chance of being asleep when you got there. :D And, again, given that level of a party, you've got so much fire protection that the breath weapon is a joke. And, let's not forget, we're cherry picking the biggest non-unique monster in the 1e monster manual here. Most other monsters were nowhere near this dangerous. There's a pile of variables here. My point is,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 09:07 AM
    Heh. As the sort of genesis of this thread, thought I'd pop in. Yeah, I'll agree with pretty much everything said here. On one hand you've got those like me that cut their teeth on D&D modules. I did. I admit it. We were module junkies and most of my formative play years were spent running various modules. OTOH, you've got other folks who never touched one at all who likely have VERY...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:39 AM
    Now, how exactly did you manage to get that couple of tons of treasure out of the lair without fighting the dragon? Again, why did folks avoid combat when the PC's after about 6th level were FAR more powerful than anything they were facing? And Ancient Huge Red Dragon had 92 HP (IIRC). That was about 1 round of damage output for a 9th level party of 6-9 PC's.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 04:49 AM
    B/X - The tight, holistic focus of design around its play paradigm. - The Exploration Turn/Rest > Wandering Monster Clock > Resource Attrition/Risk Reward Cycle Loop. - Monster Reactions/Morale. - Gold for xp. 4e - (Again) The tight, holistic focus of design around its play paradigm.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:04 PM
    Well, kinda sorta. Sure, the total would only be a small percentage of kill xp. Monsters weren't worth that much xp. But, in order to get that other percentage - the GP value - by and large you did it by killing the monster that was guarding it. So, yeah, the percentages were mostly for treasure, I totally agree. But, in order to get that treasure, most of the time, the solution was to beat...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:03 AM
    Ok, ok. I surrender. 1e players were renowned throughout the hobby, throughout all the history of RPG's as the greatest, most wonderful roleplayers of all time who never once picked up a d20 unless they absolutely had to and solved nearly every single encounter through spectacular exposition and wonderous words of wisdom. Now, with the revisionist history out of the way, can we get back to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Like a lot of things AD&D, it was pretty schizophrenic. For example, while you can talk about xp for "tricking" monsters being in the 1e DMG, you also have the training rules. A fighter that didn't fight was actively penalized by being forced to take longer to train and spending far, far more money on training, for example. In 2e, while there were "bonus Xp tables" again, fighters ONLY...
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:38 PM
    Your characterization screams "Dogs in the Vineyard" to me. It's a great game because, despite being about defenders of faith and faithful and containing supernatural evil, it's not a game of "us versus them". You have the rules of faith. Then you get faced with situations that are much more complicated. It's obvious that there is sin, that the demons are at work. But telling the good from...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 10:03 AM
    I disagree. If your character is consistent, reliable, dependable and never impulsive, in what way is that character chaotic? What about any of those descriptors would lead an observer to the conclusion that this character is chaotic? As far as “policing” goes, I’m not really sure where you are getting that. I guess my question to the player would be the same as my question to you - if this...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:19 AM
    I disagree. Observable behaviour is the only determinant of alignment. Intention means nothing in an objective alignment system. People are evil because the DO evil things. I can think nasty thoughts all day long but if I’m outwardly kind to everybody then dnd says I’m good.
    306 replies | 7794 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:45 PM
    Yeah, like I said...I was unable to click on the link to verify. Looks like they are starting up April Fools early this year :p
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:40 PM
    The timing is suspect, too. WoTC and the D&D devs are well known for having fun during April 1st.
    8 replies | 651 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:24 PM
    This is unconfirmed as I have not been able to click on the link to verify the source, but according to the blurb on this article: "Starting in April 2020, the iconic Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) will instead be called Dungeon(s) and/or Dragon(s), abbreviated D&/D." http://www.boardgamelinks.com/links/news_link/133336 Has anyone been able to confirm this? What are your thoughts if it is...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    Ok, so I understand your position. So I guess I just have a few questions/thoughts: 1) Why can’t Aptitude Bias run the other direction (as so many do); overestimating the importance of a honed Skill-set or natural affinity? 2) In the last several years on these boards, we’ve seen a LOT of instances of people who are articulate, well-read, tenured GMs struggle significantly in one or both...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:29 AM
    See, I've never understood this. Like I said, sure, in the early levels, say 1-3, I get it. You want to be pretty careful about not biting off more than you can chew. But, after that? Why would you avoid a fight? You were almost always guaranteed to win. The odds of losing a fight were pretty darn slight. And, even then, by 9th level, you have access to raise dead, so, big deal, you...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:42 AM
    Lanefan, I'm not sure I agree with your premise. AD&D, while lethal at low levels, was not particularly dangerous at higher levels. Granted, save or die effects might have made it more dangerous, but, most save or die effects are not a result of combat - poisons, traps, that sort of thing. By the time the PC's were about 6th or 7th level, they were among the most powerful combatants in the...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 PM
    Citing the above, I want to make sure I've captured your position before I attempt to move the conversation forward. To do so, I'm going to also cite the below from me: Is your position that I (and others) have a blind spot for the gravity of the amplification effect I cite above (or further still, that it is indeed a causal effect) because of natural ability/decades of honing the crafts...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:42 PM
    Heck, when I played a binder, I looked forward to making bad pacts, to the point where I'd just stop rolling and declare that I made bad pacts. It was more fun.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:28 PM
    The former. my color scheme is default text on black background of that helps (I’m computer incompetent so that is the best I got).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    YOU ARE CORRECT SIR Invisible text in other thread and linked thread.
    26 replies | 630 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:09 PM
    The text in the bottom quote is visible to me.
    26 replies | 630 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:49 AM
    Shhhh, shhhhh, shhhh, I got pilloried for several pages for suggesting that north is the top of a map. Quiet, quiet. The map police will come and drag you into the most bizarre, meaningless conversations ever. :p
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:48 PM
    "That's my secret captain...I'm always angry." -Bruce Banner/The Hulk
    53 replies | 2002 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:36 PM
    I think the fault line here is going to be if you answer “yes” to the below two questions, and pretty much all iterations possible of good/bad/mediocre on either side of the balance. I would have to answer “yes” to all of them because I neither conceive nor have I experienced anything approximating a tight (or even shabby) coupling between the two. I’m like most people; good at some...
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:14 PM
    I've always been a fan of house-ruling that Berserkers don't feel the effects of exhaustion while raging. Thematically appropriate, and it makes using frenzy a bit more tempting.
    53 replies | 2002 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:05 AM
    I did rather like the cleric spell spheres. It made it pretty easy to make very thematic cleric classes. I MISS the binder. I would love to play that again but, that's more of a mechanics thing. Lorewise? I miss the days when D&D had virtually no lore at all and things were wide open and I didn't have to listen to canon cops bitch and whine about how this or that was changed by this or...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:02 AM
    But of course you’re not victim blaming at all by implying that the folks here were being dishonest in their reactions. :erm: Good grief. You have a very strange definition of cruel if it’s okay in your mind to drive people away from a table because of the content (the best reaction would be to walk away) but apparently not letting someone drive people away in the first place is a bridge...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 11:08 PM
    The truly frustrating thing about these conversations is we have to spend so much time on hypothetical situations that the actual issue never gets dealt with. I mean when some guy can get staggeringly drunk, stalk a woman, assault security staff and we STILL have to debate whether it’s okay to socially sanction him, it just staggers belief. Tell you what. Go into your workplace and begin...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:41 PM
    I feel like there is a teeny tiny excluded middle between MAXIMUM TERSENESS (SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY) and exposition economy (while still managing the key components of dramatic device) :)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:31 PM
    This is so much more entangled than I ontrmdrf. EDIT - (Lol how about INTENDED. My phone autocorrected to ontrmdrf. Makes sense). Ok, let me pose a simple question. Is it possible to be very good at conflict framing (a) and resolution (b) yet be mediocre in words usage on the journey from a to b? Is the inverse possible (poor at framing and resolution but beautiful prose/oratory)?
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:07 PM
    lowkey13 I think you’re more or less saying what I said in my initial post in this thread: Framing and understanding of dramatic device (arc composition and pacing, tropes) are fundamentally tethered. Insofar as they are (and they are), if one wants to fold “understanding and deftness in deployment of dramatic device” into “literary”, then we’re going to have a (self-imposed imo)...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 06:53 PM
    Couple things: 1) In the spirit of this thread, I was trying to demonstrate that the framing of the creature is hierarchically more important than the words used to depict it (though again, they matter...they’re just lower in the hierarchy). 2) If you aren’t thematically framing a “bogeyman” as a bogeyman, then it seems pretty apt to point out that the situation the PCs are confronted with...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:15 PM
    Just want to say a bit of a my bad. I misread part of the blog post about someone trying to gain publicity. My misread. Thanks for correcting me. I’m actually a little disappointed that the person in question would not have been identified by the con. I would think that it’s in public interest to disseminate the fact that someone was banned for bad behaviour so that others can decide if...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    Heh, irony is a wonderful thing. Bedrockgames is complaining that folks are rushing to judgement and we're negatively impacting this guy's life without learning the facts all the while not bothering to actually spend any time learning the facts that are IN THIS THREAD. That's a whole lot of irony right there. So, folks, the moral of the story is, actually do a bit of due diligence before...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:22 PM
    Bedrockgames - did you read the blog posting that was linked? Or did you skip a bunch of pages. Because, I think that you might be missing a LOT of information here.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:21 PM
    Not sure if this can be used or not, but, the 1 million square foot island might be useful: https://www.deviantart.com/zatnikotel/gallery/69418922/Island-One-Million
    7 replies | 627 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:17 PM
    Oh, please. 1. What kind of impact is this having on the life of the GM? He can't run games at conventions? Oh, noes, the horrors and despair. Again, if I was at a job and I screwed up on this kind of level, I'd get fired from my job and I wouldn't be allowed to work at that company any more. Is that "mob mentality"? And, if it's just "Oh, well, he can't run at this con this year, but,...
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    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:07 PM
    Figured I'd start a thread here to try to collect as many GoS resources as I could in one place. Here's a little something I whipped up for your players - it's the region around Saltmarsh (I'm using the default Greyhawk setting). Note, it IS oriented North to the top, which might be disturbing for some viewers. :D
    7 replies | 627 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:55 AM
    No, what you are seeing is folks looking for the "mob mentality" and not seeing any in this case. And other folks defending the GM in question from the hypothetical mob this out to get him.
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:20 AM
    Your threads suck! And you're terrible! And we hate you! More stuff!
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Fantastic idea. ((heads off to unsubscribe from the thread))
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:05 AM
    Let's be fair here. How much effort are you actually going to expend on a news story where a guy gets booted out of a gaming convention? Sure, they may not have the details exactly right, but, by and large, they've got the gist - guy goes way beyond the pale when running a game, players complain on Twitter, guy gets expelled from Con. That's pretty much the long and the short of the story. ...
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 07:16 PM
    No worries. If your saying that conversation with some pals while you're at dinner is different than TTRPG conversation, then sure. TTRPG conversation is structured such that it produces an evolving gamestate and the participant experience that goes with that. The former does have structure, but its more etiquette and cue-driven (so different in some ways, similar in others) and its purpose...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 04:10 PM
    No, but Nic Cage's teeth weren't included on the list. An oversight, methinks...
    33 replies | 1081 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:55 PM
    I haven't been following this thread. I'm assuming the above contrast or dichotomy you're trying to draw is something essential to this thread? But if you're looking for an answer (insofar as I'm even remotely capable of inferring what you're looking for from this scant bit)...how about... Probably both? It seems to me that if a bogeyman creature of folklore with specific thematic...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    So the Qallupilluit is quintessential bogeyman mythology. For bogeyman mythology to be thematically potent, it has to have some way to hook into the PC's childhood or folklore, otherwise, its just another creepy monster. So this is actually the perfect example where a GM's deftness of framing is hierarchically the apex currency in the purchase of a great gaming moment. "Your little...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:54 PM
    "Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children." Eric Draven - The Crow "Childhood ends the moment you know you're gonna die." Top Dollar - The Crow
    71 replies | 5593 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 05:10 AM
    But, at that point, why not just eschew all description? After all, the player has zero idea what a githyanki is, so, Generic Monster X has just as much heft. "You enter a room with monsters" should be just as good as "You enter a room with orcs" since all the background (what I'm lumping into literary anyway) doesn't matter.
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:49 AM
    But, that's the point. All the "literary" work has already been done for you so you can shorthand "zombie". But, as soon as you get outside of common genre stuff, you're back to having to describe it. A qallupilluit is an absolutely terrifying monster from Inuit folklore - a kind of hag that lives under the pack ice. If you drop that into your horror game for the first time, I don't think "a...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:46 AM
    Ah, oops. Missed that part. Then fair enough, the jargon would be perfectly understandable. Like I said, two baseball fans can slide into incomprehensibility pretty quickly. OTOH, though, those two mechanics are not going to use other language (excluding jargon) to talk about the cars when plain conversation language will do. It's doubtful that "scintillating" will be used instead of "nice...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:42 AM
    Hrm, so, exactly how much evidence is needed here? We have one of the players directly contradicting the GM's story. The Con says that it investigated and found evidence of wrong doing as well as evidence that a game company might have had a hand in what was going on in order to drive publicity for their game. So, at what point is is acceptable for cons to say, "Hey, we don't want this guy...
    419 replies | 18119 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:37 AM
    Canaydia. They're from Canaydia. Get it right. :D
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:30 AM
    Having run The World's Largest Dungeon, I would love to say that all my descriptions were there first type, but, frankly, I probably mix it up. There's times when the second description comes out. But, generally, that's because there's nothing in the room and I just want the party to move on, or, I'm tired (which happens) or my brain just decides to phone it in. :D Which also happens more...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:19 AM
    The question I guess would be, "why"? Psychic in an X-Men game of course would be common, as it would likely be a game defined term. Like "to-hit" or "githyanki" or "humanoid" really. But, where Aldarc gets it wrong, is that we're talking about situational language that makes sense in context. Obviously there are going to be all sorts of jargon terms in any specialized and stylized...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:10 AM
    This is why I don't think we're as far apart as it might appear. I look at words like "intricately" and I think "literary" not "conversation" because the words "intricately carved" would almost never appear in a conversation. Aldarc above talks about a mechanic using technical language. Thing is, that's not really a conversation either. That's a mechanic imparting information to the...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 08:03 AM
    Sorry, you're right, they aren't unknown. But, my point being, they aren't what you'd use in conversation either. Would you actually use the words "wield" or "gaunt" in a conversation? "A gaunt man wielding a gun robbed a liquor store" is not something you will ever hear in a conversation. You certainly might hear "A thin man armed with a gun" or "carrying a gun", but "wielding"? That's...
    1473 replies | 42166 view(s)
    1 XP
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Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 01:54 AM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    ... It's not about "blurring dualities". It's that your side of the argument isn't quite as clear as you might think. It's confusing. You're saying that vocabulary matters. Aldarc is very strongly saying that vocabulary doesn't. So, which is it? Now, me, I think I agree with you - vocabulary matters. Now, you don't think there's much value in using an extended vocabulary - that you "don't use big adjectives". Fair enough. That's where you and I disagree. I think that most DM's actually do slip into "big adjectives", mostly subconsciously, depending on what game you happen to be playing. But, Aldarc would say that we're both wrong and that "big adjectives" ISN'T what delineates conversation from boxed text. And, frankly, if vocabulary isn't the delineating element, I'm at a loss as to what is. What separates conversational language from prose language if it's not vocabulary choice? Is it false starts and repetition (both hallmarks of conversation vs reading)? What? Hussar, I would strongly appreciate it if you would stop constructing strawman arguments with my name attached and insisting that I am strongly saying anything that we both know you can't back up with evidence. It's rude and you're being a dick. Thankfully, I'm confident that Bedrockgames will exercise more sense than to bite at your misrepresentations of what I have said.

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 01:42 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    I grew up in a very, very religious community. I think delusional is a strong word but I do think Celebrim is hitting on something that is real. There does seem to be a religious like impulse in the chasing of perfection here. And there is an ultimate evil that we are trying to purge (even when, as you yourself point out, it isn't fully evil itself, it is just imperfect---referring to your Tolkien example). And it does seem like the moment people disagree they start getting viewed as if they are the evil itself as well. Yep. As soon as I pointed out that Hussar is jumping at shadows, he demonized me and then left the thread to get away from "Satan."
  • 01:21 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I'm pretty much in the "it depends on the game" camp. I generally find that word choice is going to be necessary as a DM/GM simply because it's virtually impossible to separate running a game from any level of performance. We always choose specific language to fit the game, genre, mood and whatnot, which is, IMO, going to nudge things away from the conversational and towards the prose. This came up in the other thread where words like "wield" were used. That's a deliberate word choice for a fantasy RPG. You'd never use it in an SF RPG, for example. Han Solo wields his blaster? I don't think so. If we're playing a fantasy RPG, we're going to draw on fantasy language, probably subconsciously. If we play a modern RPG, our language is going to change.Just like in the other thread, you continually failed (miserably) to demonstrate that words like "wield" are non-conversational or "a deliberate word choice for a fantasy RPG." IMO, the phrase "wielding a gun", for example, is conversational...

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 03:45 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hussar in post On the Inscrutability of AD&D and Ye Olde Styles of Play
    So, a recent comment in a thread had me thinking to myself, "Self, why do people say that all of AD&D was a certain way? Is this like a comedy routine? You know, 'Grognards be doin' it this way, and People that need to get off my lawn be doin' that way.'" Anyway, the specific thread/comment that had me thinking about this again is here- https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659985-Why-are-we-okay-with-violence-in-RPGs/page18&p=7621612&viewfull=1#post7621612 And this is the excerpt: This shouldn't be terribly contentious. This is D&D after all. Y'know, back to the dungeon, the mega dungeon, dungeon crawling, that sort of thing? I mean, good grief, look at most modules published up until about 1982, which is a pile of them - they're pretty much nothing but hack fest dungeon crawls. (h/t Hussar ) So, I was thinking about this, and I thought that it was both accurate in some ways, but also ... well, it was also contentious. And the reason why boils down to what I would call the essential inscrutability of OD&D / AD&D / B/X . And since I have been ruminating over this for a while, I thought I would break out my thoughts on the issue, and why it's much harder to make general statements about how people played at that time than it is, say, to make statements regarding 5e. So, here goes! I'm sure this will go well ..... ;) 1. History of the World, Part I. "The Lord has given unto you these fifteen .... Oy, ten! TEN Commandments! For all to obey!" So, history is hard. And while some of us might discuss the release of the Efreeti-covered DMG at our local Waldenbooks like it was yesterday, others might reasonably point out that it happened 40 years ago. And a lot has changed in 40 years. It is easy to characterize and stereotype an era; when a blockbuster movie (like, say, Captain...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 05:31 AM - Hriston mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I was speaking to the genesis of the tangent... but not sure how this changes what you said. What I said was in the context of Hussar’s question about dungeon dressing, which relates directly back to the OP by equating dungeon dressing with “the literary”, not the context of your tangent, which really does seem to miss the point because no one is saying the players are going to be interested in elements of dungeon dressing no matter how poorly they’re described.
  • 02:48 AM - Hriston mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Really?? Because I literally brought up this idea that how content was presented could in fact determine whether a group would be interested in the content earlier in the thread (and one of the reasons I thought of it as core to the game) and these were the replies... Emphasis mine. I don't know about @pemerton’s post, but that post of mine you quoted was not made in reply to you or anything you said. I made it in response to @Hussar’s post which directly preceded mine and which asked why dungeon dressing appears in most editions of the DMG.

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 12:41 AM - hawkeyefan mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ... I using evocative language for? Without evocative language my players wont be engaged with the situation or scenario. If pressed I jot down situation or scenario notes with what I call keywords and improvise description with said keywords. That’s understandable. I’m trying not to assume that there are only two views or that anyone is speaking for anyone else because I think that’s led to a lot of confusion throughout. Let me ask a question to pemerton, Hawkeye, Bedrockgames and Aldarc. Would you use the same words/language/etc. to describe a remote village in the mountains for say a Ravenloft campaign vs a Four color superhero game like Icons? let's assume good faith in that the Icons village isn't supposed to be haunted or anything tht would make it more Ravenloft-esque.... EDIT: Meant hawkeyefan ... That’s a good question. Honestly, I think it depends on the situation and what you’re trying to do. I think that some variation of word choice is certain, as Hussar and I have recently discussed. I think with any of those examples, I’d likely try to establish the tone early on. I think the genre or content will do a lot of the heavy lifting in that regard, but I’d likely try to describe things in a way that would reinforce the desired tone. But I think that would be very front-loaded for me. Probably at each level of the game....campaign level, and then again at the session or scene level. But I think that my goal as a GM is to convey the ideas as quickly and clearly as possible. I’m not going to spend 25 words to describe the monster approaching the party when “zombie” will do. So I want to get to that place where it all happens quickly and we proceed. I will be descriptive as needed, but I don’t really want to linger on narration once we’re past the scene-setting point.

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 02:25 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...pper style)Popper has a (controversial) theory of what makes a claim, or perhaps a collection of claims, scientific. I'm not making a scientific claim. I'm making an aesthetic claim. So Popperian falsifiability has nothing to do with it. My claim is about the point of RPGing, what makes it a distinctive and worthwhile creative endeavour. Not far upthread Aldarc has given a pretty good account of my claim, so I'll add a few glosses to that. I am saying that entertainment in virtue of quality narration and performance is not what makes RPGing a distinctive and worthwhile creative endeavour. Rather, it's situation and resulting inhabitation and protagonism. I've said why I think this: because quality narration and performance are the weakest elements of the typical RPG experience (given the ready availability to most RPGers of genuinely quality narrations and performances), whereas protagonism in the context of engaging situation is the distinct thing that RPGs offer. When Hussar and Imaro say that they would quit games with ordinary-language descriptions because they'd find them too boring, my thought in response is that those games must have weak situations, or GMs who don't facilitiate protagonism. After all, both experience and reading lead me to think there's plenty of that going around. To elaborate on that last point: Hussar has tended to equate situation with content referring eg to boring content. But as I've indicated in and since the OP, good situation isn't about non-boring content. It's about the call to action, the invitation to protagonism. As far as I can tell those sorts of notions play little or no role in Hussar's conception of RPGing - if they do, he hasn't said anything about them in this thread as best I can recall. Lanefan, too, has quite recently posted that a GM should use language to make situation "more interesting", and has said that "situation is always going to be there no matter what". But this second claim isn't true if ...
  • 05:41 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    But I’m beginning to see why we’re all having a hard time coming to a consensus....it’s because we actually seem to have one, it’s just that what I see as pretty basic communication, you’re viewing as carefully wrought wordplay.I don't agree that there's a consensus: I can't really tell what Maxperson thinks, but Imaro and Hussar have made claims about the need for entertaining/evocative narration that I think clearly contradict the position I asserted in the OP. But one complicating fact pertains to vocabularly: eg I wouldn't regard cadaverous as a word to describe a Githyanki as especially remarkable or a-conversational, but Hussar probably would, and maybe Bedrockgames also. What counts as every day vocabularly among a group of RPGers is pretty highly variable and contingent on a range of factors (social background/status, educational levels, occupation, etc). I'm a humanities/social sciene academic (philosophy and law) and many of the people I talk to on a regular basis (ie the people I work with, my students, etc) are lilkewise, or are aspiring to be. So I think my every day vocaublary is probably richer than the New York Times. This is why I have brought it back to what are we aiming for? What counts as success, as good RPGing? What should a GM focus on? And I'm saying situation - framing, action...
  • 05:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I’m sure mine and pemerton’s ideas don’t exactly match, no. But that’s fine. I don’t entirely agree with his premise, but I understand it, and I think he has a point. But I’m only speaking for myself. I would tend to think of "rictus grin" as falling on the literary side of things, as does Hussar. As I've posted, it does no harm if it doesn't impede (what I regard as) the real point of play. It has a face like a skull might do just as well. I personally can't remember how I've described githyanki in the past - I suspect I'm more likely to have shown a picture, such as the one on the front of the Fiend Folio. More generally, and feeding this into the current Maxperson - Ovinomancer interaction, I think that the role of description in RPGing is easily overestimated. It prioritises immersive imagination orver protagonistic inhabitation. Whereas the latter is the distinctive virtue of RPGs as games that are about producing a shared fiction. All this said, I think you've fully understood my points in this thread, seem to agree at least to some extent, and have made many helpful posts into it for which I thank you.

Saturday, 8th June, 2019

  • 09:29 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    So is Alcatraz, but like your example it doesn't answer the question where they are. It could be an answer to how do you get to the elevator, though. For example, if I ask you where Los Angeles is, telling me to join the wagon train going west does not tell me where Los Angeles is. Telling me to get on that airplane over there does not tell me where Los Angeles is. I didn't ask you how to get there. I feel perhaps this is a bit pedantic. “Where are the elevators?” - “Follow these guys.” It answers the question. The extras. Describing the grin as rictus, the sword as shining in the near darkness. Holding a silvery greasword is enough. Yellow skin is enough. Adding in leathery is a nice extra touch. To me, this is a very low bar then, and I doubt it’s what was in mind with the OP. I feel like including a few adjectives isn’t what we’re talking about. That’s why I asked Hussar for an example of what he had in mind after providing my some of my own.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 01:36 PM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think that you underestimate, if not vastly exaggerate, the problem of communicating the basic ideas of the game. And we usually have a basic awareness of some cognitive contexts that our gaming group will likely have experienced. I could perhaps agree with you that there is some exaggeration from the other side, but I also feel you vastly reduce the importance of the language used within RPGs. @Hussar touched on this upthread, but I feel it requires to be reiterated - we have literally volumes of D&D supplements, magazines, books and fan-created material on settings, monsters, characters and the like. All that literal endeavour is not just to communicate the context and stakes in which their actions take place. Fluff is important for many gamers. I also agree with @Imaro in that if the DM is using conversational language to the point you seem to indicate in these posts (which I'm pretty sure you do not), I would quickly excuse myself from that table. As an aside, I have even used/stolen lines from fantasy novels, whether it be cool dialogue or an evocative description of something/someone, for my RP games. Words matter. I keep my 2e-4e MM not just for the mechanics, but also for the fluff. EDIT: Evocative words help fuel the players' imagination / immersive experience.
  • 10:13 AM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Or, Hussar, you can just tell players what the monster or thing is. It's not like evocative language is required for saying "Oh, Thor? You know that he is the god of storms in this land." Or "a githyanki is a race that lives in the astral sea that looks like this [shows picture]." If players want more detail, they can ask and initiate a conversation. I don't know why you present this as either evocative language or nothing.

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 02:57 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...finished speaking) a passive audience member to whatever I am narrating.I don't think this is true. I don't intend what follows to be triggering for anyone, and apologise if it is - I couldn't come up with a completely safe example. But, that said, and continuing on: If I relate to you the information that a bomb is about to go off in your building, I don't think you would be a passive audience. I think you would engage with what I'm saying in many quite active ways. Including, perhaps, certain sorts of interruptions, but not limited to those. EDIT: I think this post from Campbell, not far upthread, presents an idea of players as something different from a passive audience: What is fundamental to me is that we are all involved in the process as creative peers and everyone's contributions are valued equally. Also that everyone is expected to contribute. Also that contributions move play forward and demand action from other players (GM included). Conversely, a way upthread Hussar talked about a GM "rolling up the plot wagon". To me at least, that suggests a situation in which the players are something of a passive audience.
  • 10:03 AM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hussar's post reminded me of another thread many of us engaged in, I'm a little lazy now to go searching for a link but it was the thread about the blocked texts in published modules. It would be interesting to see which of us valued the blocked texts (even as a starting point) with those of us which strongly lean on wordcrafting being of significant importance in RPGing.

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 10:01 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...red eating pepperoni. That said, I am certain that if anyone who preferred pepperoni salami pizza genuinely believed that they were being unfairly excluded from a group ordering a cheese pizza when there are people with vegetarian, halal, or kosher diets present, then that person is probably a rude, self-centered dick who should be excluded though for reasons other than their pizza preferences. LMAO... you're really equating preference of little to no wordcraft with having life threatening allergies, religious belief systems and so on... this is really getting absurd... and I'm the one creating fallacies?? Here is what you said: Now, here is what pemerton actually wrote: His position was NOT that you can have narrative without wordcraft or that wordcraft isn't necessary, but that "the literary quality of that narration is [not] important." And I said as much when I summarized his OP. See and this is where it gets silly because "quality" as used here is never defined. Again as @Hussar said earlier if we are talking Shakespearean prose then we're all in agreement... but then it begs the question why start a thread about something so obvious and well uninteresting? What's the point if this is what you meant and why not just state it as such without all the back and forth. EDIT: On another note can anyone link a definition of literary quality that is objectively measurable, from a reputable source and widely accepted?

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 01:39 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...gement of the situation on the part of the PCs, that at its heart the issue is not performance but framing situations that invite protagonism.What darkbard says is correct, with one caveat that perhaps gets closer to the heart of Sadras's concern: I think that the invitation to action often requires spontaneity or real-time judgement in tthe back-and-forth; whereas wordcraft tends to benefit from reflection and editing. So I think there can be a degree of tension between the two. So there is a second claim, on top of the claim that literary quality is not core to RPGing. It is that, while everything else being equal literary quality (and the resulting entertainment) can be a good thing, everything else may often not be equal. I have tried to highlight the history of why this thread was created.And as I've already pointed out, you're wrong about this. As the OP says, it was prompted by multiple threads. Not just the boxed text thread; also the action declaration thread, in which Hussar was criticising some other posters for insisting on "talky talky" as key to action declaration, and they were trying to articulate a contrast between effective description for RPGing purposes and what I would call descriptions having literary merit. Hussar was sceptical of that distinction being drawn in that thread, so it doesn't surprise me too much that he's sceptical of such distinctions being drawin in this thread. What has surprised me, though, is that in that thread Hussar was against such descriptions and in favour of "I roll a climb check: 16", whereas in this thread he wants the players to bring the evocative descriptions. I'm not saying that Hussar is inconsistent, just that he's drawing his boundaries of desirability in a different place from what I had anticipated.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 03:57 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You are correct that @lowkey13 keeps asserting this. But you are both wrong in your characterization of @pemerton's position. Many times now he has articulated that all things being equal, literary presentation can improve the quality of a game, but that caveat requires that the core activity of TRPGing be not in the presentation itself but in the invitation to meaningful engagement of the situation on the part of the PCs, that at its heart the issue is not performance but framing situations that invite protagonism. I'm sure pemerton will correct me if I have inadvertendly mischaracterized his position. I would love to agree with you, but I have tried to highlight the history of why this thread was created. Then I left for a while, and I see that we are not only no closer to a resolution, but that when @Hussar tried to reach common ground with @pemerton, such attempt was rejected. So ... yeah, it is what it is. Personally, I don't care how permerton plays, or how you play, or how people want to define (and re-define) terms in order to keep this argument going ... But I'm just pointing out that this thread was created to advance an argument, wait ... let me quote again ... about where the aesthetic merit and aeshetic power of RPGIng lies, and therefore a view about what the point of RPGing ultimately is. To the extent someone is telling me what the REAL POINT of RPGing is ... well, they can pound sand. And I would expect them to say the same to me if I told them they were playing it wrong, because I knew "what the point of RPGing ultimately is."(tm). EDIT- And if you look back, you will see that way back when, I said that I have said that repeatedly- here: But to make this clear, again: Your opinions are fine. I think that you {the OP} often have a habit of universalizing your expe...
  • 12:02 PM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    It seems like they are narrative endeavors or storytelling endeavors. I don't necessarily think that the word "literary" applies when we are talking more about story-craft or fiction-craft than the crafting of literature, even if we apply the technical sense of pertaining to written words. Ok you are making a distinction between story/narrative and literary. As a layman, I have to ask, is the crafting of a good story not part of crafting great literature? What are the differences? I can also understand @Hussar's frustration. See below. I thought it might be a discussion about whether or not wordcraft is a principal or essential means of evoking emotional responses in a RPG. The point of my OP is to deny such a claim. On the other hand, I believe that @Hussar affirms such a claim, as does @Imaro. I'm frankly not sure what @Maxperson thinks about it. @Aldarc, the bolded section (emphasis mine) could be utilised in any of the crafts you mentioned above. @pemerton here IS equating wordcraft with literary endeavours as he refers back to his OP, thereby introducing a new term and opening up the door to more rebuttle and confusion (hence the accusation of goal post shifts). For me wordcraft is important when attempting to convey certain images and framing particular scenarios to players to evoke certain emotions as reflected on my post using CR/Mercer as an example. The result being wordcrafting is important in RPGs, therefore literary endeavours are important to RPGs.
  • 05:43 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    So let's focus on what the actual lines of dispute are, rather than fight endlessly over the definition of literary.Yeah, I didn't expect this thread to be a debate about the meaning and scope of the term "literary". I thought it might be a discussion about whether or not wordcraft is a principal or essential means of evoking emotional responses in a RPG. The point of my OP is to deny such a claim. On the other hand, I believe that Hussar affirms such a claim, as does Imaro. I'm frankly not sure what Maxperson thinks about it. Everyone agrees with you @pemerton.This isn't true at all. Unless you've changed your mind, upthread you asserted that the use of wordcraft and associated performance is a key means of promoting emotional responses in RPGing. Which is what I am disagreeing with. ************************ On the issue of "playstyle arguments/agendas", which has been flagged by Bedrockgames and darkbard: I think (and hope) it's obvious that my OP is putting forward a view about where the aesthetic merit and aeshetic power of RPGIng lies, and therefore a view about what the point of RPGing ultimately is. I recognise that others will disagree. That's not uncommon in critical discussions. I'm not 100% sure that I agree with Eagleton that these "deep structures" of aesthetic evaluation correlate to, or express, social power relations and any resultant ideologies. That's a further, and harder, question. Bu...


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Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 12:22 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    Umm, where did the situation come from? Who initiated the situation? Who set the location, the opponents (or allies or whatever is being reacted to)? . Even if it is all me, which it usually isn't, there is a very big difference in my mind between a scene and a situation. A scene to me suggests I have something I want to present to the group, as well as a strong sense of where it should go. A situation is something where I the GM can be just as surprised as the players by where things go. Generally the starting point of the campaign, obviously I as the GM have a strong hand in establishing (this is the system, this is the setting, etc). But the players make their characters and connect them to the setting. And once their feet hit the ground, they do what they want, which helps develop and prompt new situations. It isn't just about opening doors. It is about what the players are trying to do. I can introduce a local bully if i want, but the situation develops very differently if the play...
  • 12:19 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    The range isn't narrative vs conversational, it's prose vs conversational. An important distinction I think. I'd be tempted to describe it in terms of formal vs informal style. Ultimately, that's really a cosmetic difference, not one in essence. Whether formal or informal, it's narration if you're laying it out for your players. Like billd91 said, the distinction is formal vs informal style. But, you're still narrating no matter what you do. There is also, of course the fact that prose is typically used to mean plain or natural writing, as opposed to poetic writing. Except here, of course, where it is being used to mean something along the lines of, "of literary worth" and "something that non-nerds would not use."I'm not too fussed what terms are used to draw the distinction that's at issue in this thread. I've been trying to follow the usage that seems to have been established. Hussar told me to use prose vs conversational, so I did. If I'm now meant to use formal vs informal, that's fine. Whatever terminology is used, I think there is a reasonably clear contrast between (i) the Saltmarsh text, which describes a room by leading with a main clause that refers to rubbish and uses the phrase "there is evidence of rodent infestation", and (ii) a less formal/more conversational description, which uses the main clause to present the main information, and talks directly about seeing rats or mouse droppings.

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 06:06 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    Well, kinda sorta. Look at that description of the Dursley's above. That's adopting a very specific "voice". It's a sing songy story telling voice because the story is written for 10 year olds. It is a very deliberate choice. Your choice of a conversational tone is deliberate since you don't like a more prose style pattern. But, make no mistake, you are still narrating the scene. There's no way to play an RPG without someone narrating the scene. Whether it's "rubbish is scattered around what was once a fine guest bedroom" or "it's a run-down bedroom with rubbish scattered about.", those are deliberate choices and both of those choices are setting the scene for the players. The range isn't narrative vs conversational, it's prose vs conversational. An important distinction I think. I am reacting to a situation, not narrating a scene. There is a HUGE difference
  • 03:59 PM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    The range isn't narrative vs conversational, it's prose vs conversational. An important distinction I think. Maybe - but I'd be tempted to describe it in terms of formal vs informal style. Ultimately, that's really a cosmetic difference, not one in essence. Whether formal or informal, it's narration if you're laying it out for your players. Conversation, as far as I'm concerned, would be defining it through back-and-forth discussion with players contributing elements - and even that would be started by GM narration.
  • 03:58 PM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    But, hey, what do I know. Apparently selflessness is evil, chaotics can act 100% reliable all the time and this makes sense to some people. For the record, while I don't really care about the topic, I do agree with you that CN characters are not reliable. Although, I think the actual argument you are in is over what is meant by "reliable". I concur with some of the other posters in the discussion that Chaotic characters can form friendships and have commitments and emotional bonds to other people, and that these feelings will make them somewhat trustworthy with respect to those people. I'm just not sure that this makes them "'reliable" in the usual sense of the word. It more means that you can be assured that some CN values you enough, that they would not sell you out cheaply. For example, Malcolm can rely on Jayne to the extent that as their relationship progresses, he knows Jayne will value it more and more highly because Jayne recognizes the benefit of the relationship and t...
  • 03:56 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Or its a case of a character shifting alignment. would not be the first time in Wheedonverse shows. We won't ever know because the show got cancelled. Character growth arcs often involve shifting priorities. Insofar as D&D has a personality stat, this could well be indicated by an alignment shift. Umm, yes it does? Caring about people is the definition of good? If you actually care about people, that makes you good. Now, caring about this group of people once probably doesn't make you good, but, it makes you a bit leaning in that direction. Repeatedly caring about other people does show a pretty strong leaning towards good. Sure, and one interpretation someone else suggested was essentially a notion of how large the circle of caring was. And, @Celebrim, LG being the most good has always been the standard in D&D. I'm surprised you'd argue otherwise. There's a reason paladins were restricted to LG, once upon a time. And, every archetype for LG is among the most good of char...
  • 02:29 PM - Aldarc quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I can walk into your house and tell you which bedroom is a guest bedroom just by looking (assuming you have one). That's not really a stumbling block to me. But, effectively, pemerton, we're back to vocabulary differences. You're simply using simpler language. So, is it fair to say that the division, for you, between conversational and prose is vocabulary choice? After all, you didn't change any word order. So, is it down to vocabulary, yes or no?He's using simpler language, but I don't think he is necessarily using simpler vocabulary. There is not much difference of vocabulary between "rubbish is scattered around what was once a fine guest bedroom" and "it's a run-down bedroom with rubbish scattered about." And we could hardly say that those differences amount to any notions of higher vocabulary: e.g., fine, guest, once, what, was. Stylistically, however, the former does appear more elevated than the latter. The analysis I've just offered might also be relevant to the ongoing ex...
  • 01:53 PM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    I actually thought that was a typo until I read the rest of the post. I'll give you this much. When I try to explain this sort of thing, I run short of English vocabulary. "Selflessness" has several different definitions, one of which contains only emphasis on a lack of self concern, and one of which contrasts the lack of self concern with a deep concern for others. Selflessness as characterized by deep concern for the well-being of others I don't disagree is good, and in fact if you closely read my post you'll find I say so (in apparent contradiction) at one point. However, be clear that by "selflessness" I mean exactly what I said in the post - utter disregard for the value of self. The selflessness that I'm holding up as bad is not the one that for example causes a police officer to trade his life for something of equal or greater value - the lives of the people he's sworn to protect, for example. Recognizing the value of others equals ones self value is fully laudable even to a...
  • 01:47 PM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    The only one I even questioned was Han Solo and I'd point out that I wasn't the only one. And, really, why would you consider CN Han to be reliable? He leaves his wife after all. Sure he comes back agains the Death Star, but, most people point to that as an example where he shifts to CG. Jayne was reliable? The guy who, if he hadn't been caught, would have betrayed the entire crew and gotten half of them killed, all for a big payout. You have a really different definition of reliable than I do. It's not like he stepped back from betraying them. The only reason he didn't betray the crew is because he got caught. The other example brought up was Conan. And, again, I'll ask the same question. Would you loan him 20 bucks? WOuld you give him the keys to your car? Would you entrust your daughter to him? Q was brought up. Ummmm, that's what you consider reliable? Sure, folks, keep bringing up examples. But, I'm still looking for one that you can convincingly say is relia...
  • 08:52 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I can walk into your house and tell you which bedroom is a guest bedroom just by looking (assuming you have one). That's not really a stumbling block to me.But isn't that because the guest bedroom will look different from a currently occupied one. How can you tell that it was once a guest bedroom - rather than, say, an abandoned main bedroom? (I'm putting to one side the anachronism of projecting relatively modern architectural conceptions back into a house in the Greyhawk setting.) you didn't change any word order Its narrative style in my view. I'd focus on phrases like "rubbish is scattered around what was once a fine guest bedroom" rather than, say, it's a run-down bedroom with rubbish scattered about; there is evidence of rodent infestation ratjher than, say, you can see rats or you can see mouse-droppings everywhere; "its woodwork is worm-ridden" rather than, say, there seem to be termites in the timber; the curtains that once screened the bed are torn and stained rather than, sa...
  • 07:27 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Or its a case of a character shifting alignment. would not be the first time in Wheedonverse shows. We won't ever know because the show got cancelled. No, it’s just nuance in characters. Umm, yes it does? Caring about people is the definition of good? If you actually care about people, that makes you good. Now, caring about this group of people once probably doesn't make you good, but, it makes you a bit leaning in that direction. Repeatedly caring about other people does show a pretty strong leaning towards good. Nope. Even evil characters and people can care about others. Perhaps you misread my statement, but “care about people” isn’t the same thing as “being an altruistic and empathetic person”. All alignments can form genuine attachments and care deeply about the well being of one or more people, a people group, etc. also, your idea that Chaotic is selfish is nonsensical, and without any particular obvious merit. Perhaps you can defend it, but as a flat statement by its...
  • 02:31 AM - Oofta quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    The truly funny thing is, twenty pages or so ago, I asked for an example of a reliable CN character. Twenty pages later, I'm still waiting. If CN is so reliable and trustworthy, surely there must be hundreds of examples. After all, I can give you a shopping list of LG characters that are reliable and trustworthy. What's the hold up? Why so shy? You've been given examples, you just ignore them or disagree. I think even Jayne from Firefly was reliable ... to those that he valued and considered friends such as Mal. As far as other examples, I can't point out any (i.e. Han Solo) because you'll just say he wasn't CN. Unlike my own personal characters, some of whom were CN and reliable to those he knew, we don't know the alignment of fictional characters.
  • 02:01 AM - Oofta quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Or its a case of a character shifting alignment. would not be the first time in Wheedonverse shows. We won't ever know because the show got cancelled. Umm, yes it does? Caring about people is the definition of good? If you actually care about people, that makes you good. Now, caring about this group of people once probably doesn't make you good, but, it makes you a bit leaning in that direction. Repeatedly caring about other people does show a pretty strong leaning towards good. But, yeah, not caring about other people? That's pretty much the heart of what it means to be evil. ----- And, @Celebrim, LG being the most good has always been the standard in D&D. I'm surprised you'd argue otherwise. There's a reason paladins were restricted to LG, once upon a time. And, every archetype for LG is among the most good of characters - Superman, King Arthur, Gawain, that sort of thing. Chaotic is selfish it its heart. It's all about the self. You can't be as good as the selfless (Law...
  • 02:00 AM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    And, Celebrim, LG being the most good has always been the standard in D&D. I'm surprised you'd argue otherwise. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that. If you mean that that fallacy was at times exhibited by Gygax and has been repeated ever since, then I agree. If you mean it's surprising that I'd argue against such rank stupidity, then well, no, it's obviously stupid - of course I will argue against it. Before going into a deep argument why it is wrong, there is a fairly easy structural proof. By definition - including Gygax's definition - Neutral Good means a pure philosophy of good unmingled by other considerations. Thus, you could equally call Neutral Good "True Good", in the same sense that Neutrality is "True Nuetral". Lawful Good, by definition, is a mixture of the philosophy of Good with that of Lawful, and so there must always be a situation where the Lawful Good must depart from a pure Good perspective in order to accommodate lawfulness. Now, I'm not sayin...
  • 01:34 AM - Psyzhran2357 quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    The truly funny thing is, twenty pages or so ago, I asked for an example of a reliable CN character. Twenty pages later, I'm still waiting. If CN is so reliable and trustworthy, surely there must be hundreds of examples. After all, I can give you a shopping list of LG characters that are reliable and trustworthy. What's the hold up? Why so shy? What's the point? You're just gonna argue that "they aren't actually reliable" or "they're actually True Neutral / Chaotic Good / some other alignment".
  • 01:18 AM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Umm, yes it does? Caring about people is the definition of good? If you actually care about people, that makes you good. Now, caring about this group of people once probably doesn't make you good, but, it makes you a bit leaning in that direction. Repeatedly caring about other people does show a pretty strong leaning towards good. But, yeah, not caring about other people? That's pretty much the heart of what it means to be evil. Too broad. Too absolute. It’s not that evil characters cannot care about other people. They may well care deeply about a select few. LE mobsters may care deeply about their families... but, overall, their behavior in society in general is too violent and predatory to be anything but LE. Neutral characters may care for a small circle of friends, family, and neighbors and stick up for them. But that would be because they have a close connection. They generally wouldn’t stick their necks out for people they don’t know, not without additional inducement. The...
  • 12:44 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I use boxed text, like this one from the recent Saltmarsh module: That, coupled with the fact that I run over virtual tabletop meaning they have an actual map to look at as they explore, gets all the pertinent information into the player's hands and nicely evokes the tone of a scary, haunted house. Would we agree that the boxed text I quoted is narrative style, rather than conversational?Its narrative style in my view. I'd focus on phrases like "rubbish is scattered around what was once a fine guest bedroom" rather than, say, it's a run-down bedroom with rubbish scattered about; there is evidence of rodent infestation ratjher than, say, you can see rats or you can see mouse-droppings everywhere; "its woodwork is worm-ridden" rather than, say, there seem to be termites in the timber; the curtains that once screened the bed are torn and stained rather than, say, the bed has torn, dirty curtains. Also, how by mere visual inspection can one tell that it was once a guest bedroom?

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

  • 02:39 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    LOL. So, essentially, all Saelorn is seeing of this thread is @Bedrockgames talking to himself? Unless @Imaro somehow avoided the block hammer. ROTFLMAO. That has to be the WEIRDEST thread to see. :D :lol: I don't know. Lol. I have a couple of people who have blocked me as well (which is their right if they don't like my posts). But it creates some strange effects like the post counts being different (which led to some serious misunderstanding in a previous thread when one poster tried directing me to a particular number post---which was different for me than him).
  • 02:36 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    I just find that when I do that, and don't work from well structured notes (or boxed text) I forget stuff. I miss details. The other issue I have is pacing. Which, honestly, is my own bugaboo. As someone running the game, I want to get as much information into the player's hands as quickly and efficiently as possible. Which means that I need to organize narration to avoid questions from the players. If I get all the information to them, they won't need to ask many questions, which bogs the game down. Pacing is something I don't even care about as a GM. I should say, dramatic pacing. I don't care for doing dramatic pacing. Obviously if everyone is twiddling their thumbs, I will try to keep the game moving. But I don't worry about pacing in terms of the flow of combat (i.e. getting the right level of rising action and a sense of things building). If the players shank the villain when he turns to open a desk drawer, and that legitimately gives them the win, then I go with it, even if it ...
  • 02:33 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    Sure, I can just say, "Yes, you enter the room, there's a bed, a desk and a chest at the foot of the bed". That certainly fits a "conversational" style no? But, IME, that just means that I have to spend the next several minutes detailing each element because it's not enough information for the players to make any sort of informed decision about. So, I use boxed text, like this one from the recent Saltmarsh module: That, coupled with the fact that I run over virtual tabletop meaning they have an actual map to look at as they explore, gets all the pertinent information into the player's hands and nicely evokes the tone of a scary, haunted house. Would we agree that the boxed text I quoted is narrative style, rather than conversational? yes, I would agree that is more narrative in style, and it is the thing I tend to avoid. My notes are never in boxed text form. I have notes on what is there, who is there, what people want, and I have connective tissue between those elements and other el...


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