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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 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
    Today, 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...
    174 replies | 4731 view(s)
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:11 PM
    So the literary content of the written text (e.g., diction, structure, style, content) was deprecated by the tone and performance? What if the DM had not read the boxed text aloud - a rote performance - but had instead engaged in a more natural style that communicated the message of the boxed text without reading from it? What you say here suggests that something else that has not really been...
    1468 replies | 38615 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    145 replies | 2938 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
    8 replies | 509 view(s)
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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 | 509 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...
    1468 replies | 38615 view(s)
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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.
    77 replies | 2682 view(s)
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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.
    24 replies | 367 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.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:06 PM
    4e had an incredibly refined sense of its own mythos, a dramatic, tension-filled Chaoskampf that permeated its cosmology and every creature, character, location, and often mechanics.
    51 replies | 1432 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:44 PM
    And my point was not about how basketball was being played in different arenas. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:13 PM
    Agreed. 7th Sea 2e felt kinda "meh." My gaming group in Austria loved 7th Sea 1e, but 2e left them feeling flat and uninspired to run it.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:05 PM
    That's probably because the entire basketball analogy was originally framed in terms of greater importance. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:40 PM
    Not so much superfluous as much as less fundamental to the basics. You will naturally develop a style, but the basics of ball-handling, shooting, and play-making are important fundamentals of the game that propel it forward. Many great players of the game typically have both, but we generally expect one over the other. Those who are style without substance are typically overrated players with...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I know, and what I said applies to that.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    This certainly shows you don't watch much basketball. Theatrics are definitely there. It's part of the dunks, the juking, the fade aways, the finishes, and playstyles of many players. Legendary basketball player Julius Erving (Dr. J.) even got his start in a league dedicated to the theatrics of basketball: the Harlem Globetrotters. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    My take on this thread debate using basketball: What's more important in playing basketball, being able to dribble, shoot, and set up plays or developing a theatrical style to your gameplay.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:04 PM
    Pick a system used for Tekumel. Any system. Nope. If you want to navigate the byzantine culture of the Petal Throne, it seems that you must first navigate the byzantine rules that always seem matched to this setting.
    64 replies | 2139 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:10 PM
    Though I love this reference, I do have to quibble. Polyphemos did not hate "Nobody" (Οὖτις) more than Odysseus, because in his escape Odysseus reveals his actual name to Polyphemos, who then prays to Poseidon for vengeance.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:26 AM
    It turns out, according to Paizo, that the opinions expressed on their forums represent a vocal minority. That is one reason why the "paladin" is getting renamed to the Champion in PF2.
    77 replies | 2682 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 | 1760 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 | 1760 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Yeah, I have experienced playing with a number of GMs who were not good at phrasing, narration, or the performative aspects of GMing but excellent with framing scenes, stakes, and pacing.
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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...
    77 replies | 2682 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:09 AM
    Shadow of the Demon Lord: No matter how awesome the rules may be, I can't get past its pessimistic, bleak, grimdark setting.
    64 replies | 2139 view(s)
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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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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:33 PM
    On the whole, most of the lore cohesion that 4e provided and that 5e backtracked on. 1. Primal Power (4E): Druids draw their power not from divine magic of the gods or the arcane magic of the cosmos, but from the primal power of the the material world and the spirits of nature. 2. Monk powers (i.e., ki) are psionic (4E) 3. Diabolic succubi/incubi (4E) 4. Demons as corrupted...
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    9 XP
  • 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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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:38 PM
    Though you may have had this game in mind for your OP, pemerton, Dungeon World is built on what you describe: GM frames the scene - turns to the PC: "What do you do?" - and then the PC narrates how their character develops or responds to the fiction. Depending upon the results triggered by the dice, the GM then may shift the fictional framing of the story and repeat the cycle.
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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 | 466 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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  • 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 | 466 view(s)
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  • 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.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:20 AM
    Your threads suck! And you're terrible! And we hate you! More stuff!
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Fantastic idea. ((heads off to unsubscribe from the thread))
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  • 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. ...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 | 5436 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 10:51 AM
    These paragraphs, especially the bold, lets me know that you missed out on a lot of my past discussion. If you go back to a lengthy reply I made to Sadras fairly recently, I explain that much of what is getting labeled as "literary," including foreshadowing, actually belongs to the broader category of narratology. I regard TTRPGs as narrative endeavors but not literary endeavors. I get the...
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  • 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.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:00 AM
    If a gazebo was charging at my character with a knife, I would definitely have questions as a player.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:40 AM
    It's not necessarily the literary work that has been done, but, rather, the cognitive ques are likely already present for "zombie" as part of the player's Euro-American culture. Zombie films, IME, probably have a greater mass cultural impact than zombies in literature. You are correct that a "qallupilluit" will likely be unfamiliar to those same players. Where I think you are mistaken,...
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  • 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...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:47 AM
    The thing is, Hussar, you're assuming a lot about the nature of the conversation and inserting things into my text that was not necessarily there, aren't you? In literature, we refer to that as "eisegesis," and that is fairly typically frowned upon. Nowhere did I establish, for example, that the automechanic is talking to a customer. The automechanic may be talking to a friend, a family member,...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:37 AM
    Canaydia. They're from Canaydia. Get it right. :D
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Nope.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Except that isn't what it amounted to at all, Max. The point is that the discourse of conversations are contextualized based upon the interlocutors. So I would suggest that you learn to read and accept the fact that you goofed.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    This is hardly a gotcha moment you imagine. And I apologize now that someone had to explain to you how the conjunction "but" can work in your own native language at this late of a stage in your life. Grammar is boring, but it's necessary. The conjunction "but" does not " what came before by carving out an exception to explain why what came before is wrong." Here's one example. In the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:50 PM
    Except I would say that they are still speaking conversational English, but the conversation will also be contextualized for the various interlocutors.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:30 PM
    Okay. Good for you, I guess. But even if pemerton never addressed the question explicitly, it does not seem all that difficult with a modicum of effort to piece together pemerton's answers within the page frame of 1 and 119. I also feel that it's important to point out, since you had mentioned it earlier, that Karl Popper's falsification testing (1) is not necessarily applicable outside of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:29 PM
    I would also like to repudiate the fallacy of equating vocabulary size with conversational or non-literary narration because this seems to be surfacing in various forms over the past few pages. This is because we can see literary quality, attention to stylistic features of word composition, and word-sculpting within the framework of a smaller than average English vocabulary, particularly in...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:35 AM
    Considering your emphasis on interactionism as an integral part of the RPG process, where an important part of the gameplay is PCs interacting with the gameworld, I have been somewhat surprised by your position in this thread. From what I can tell, pemerton, is offering an incredibly pragmatic sense for the purpose of GM narration that is focused on aiding the player agency and decision-making...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:15 AM
    An automechanic will have a range of vocabulary that "falls outside of normal, everyday conversation," but I don't think that we would credibly accuse them for using the technical jargon of their field as part of their conversation as speaking with "literary language." That would be ridiculous. This is because we can recognize that they are not speaking with any sense of sculpted prose or word...
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  • 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...
    1468 replies | 38615 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:44 AM
    Not really. If you are using language that is above and beyond every day speech, then it's not really a conversation anymore. Not when you are specifically CHOOSING those words. Sure, Githyanki is a neologism and obviously is outside the realm of standard conversation. But, note, your description doesn't actually use that word. My point is, the words you used are very far outside the realm...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:34 AM
    I would argue that it's "many players that I play with" than "players". And, frankly, taking you at your word, that you use nothing but bog standard colloquial English, unadorned, sounds really sad and boring. I'd much rather just play a board game if we're not going to actually make any effort to inject any attempt to use anything other than every day language. I'm sure it works for you,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:21 AM
    What are you talking about? I'm talking about what actually happened. GM at a con went totally off the rails and got fired from being a GM at the con. Sorry if that wasn't clear enough.
    419 replies | 16618 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 04:18 AM
    This needs to be read by everyone and disseminated as widely as possible. This is 100% how a con should react and deal with this sort of situation. Well done them.
    419 replies | 16618 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:28 AM
    But, by the same token BRG, would you be surprised to see such a description in a module? Would it be terribly unusual? And, would you not at least agree that using a word like "rictus grin" is more evocative than "scary smile"? Look, I get that you don't want a lot of "flowery" language in your games, but, I imagine that if I were to actually tape your sessions, you would find a lot more...
    1468 replies | 38615 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:19 AM
    Actually, if you don't mind, I'm going to stick with the Githyanki example because it hits pretty much exactly the point I'm trying to make. Remember, the basic point is we're comparing "literary" (for a given value of literary) to conversation . Which, that allows for a more objective comparison because we know, or at least have a pretty good idea, of what is considered conversational...
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    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 01:16 AM
    I would call that a literary description. You are certainly using several words that would almost never appear in conversation - "gaunt" "rictus", "scans about" "wields". I mean, "rictus", as far as I an tell, doesn't even appear in the top 10000 of most common English words. Nor does "gaunt". These are quite obviously words that would only appear in writing (or close enough to only that it...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 01:09 AM
    Oh, FFS, after all the criticisms of "equivocation" we have one of the biggest waffles of all. Good grief, pemerton. "Oh, RPG language doesn't aspire to be good enough to be reviewed in the New Yorker", sure, great, I agree. "Oh, no, not everything in the New Yorker is literary that gets reviewed." Round and round and round. Total and complete baloney. Yeah, what a freaking waste of time....
    1468 replies | 38615 view(s)
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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...

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 10:27 AM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hussar, you should consider reading before you jump into responding because my above post does address (fairly directly) many of your questions and issues. As it stands, you are the one who is talking past me. That's only true if we're using the broader definition. And, well, I do think it's a complete dodge to say, "Well, pacing exists in other media, so, it's not literary". That's not true.I do wish that you and Max would stop rudely repeating this strawman argument. Hussar, you are better than this. Cut it out. I also have explained myself about this as well in the above post. To repeat: Sigh. Just because it exists in film, does not suddenly make it "not literary". This is not my argument. So where did you get this argument from?
  • 10:03 AM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Sigh. Just because it exists in film, does not suddenly make it "not literary". Hmmmm... I was not aware that I was arguing this position, Hussar. So where did you get this from? :confused: Where do you think film gets it from?::Looks at my post several posts before yours, quoted below for your convenience:: The main reason why these media are discussed as "text" is because literary criticism is far more advanced chronologically than other burgeoning forms. Literary criticism dictated the terms of conversation, and many of the earliest film studies academics came out literary studies or imported their terms from literary studies. Film studies was largely discussed through literary criticism until the discipline began establishing for itself its own identity, idioms, and issues as a field. We probably should not claim that films are literature simply as a result of this historical accident. So no, Hussar, I clearly have no idea where film gets it from. But the point is not where film gets "it" from but the fact that we cannot say that RPGs or film are literature just because they both have "it." :p Normally, we s...

Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 04:02 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Description one is excessive and, I think, not what Hussar or Maxperson are pushing for (it is way too long). I can't speak for Hussar, but it's certainly not what I'm pushing for. But it is an example of the downside of a literary focus because I have had GMs attempt this kind of narration and I view it as a product of thinking in terms of boxed text or novel prose. I don't accept this "downside" argument as a reason not to do or like something. I mean, cheating is a downside of playing a game. Just because there are some DMs out there who will write excessive descriptions does not make literary descriptions bad, just like there being some players out there who cheat does not make playing games bad. These are examples of bad DMs and bad players, not bad writing styles or bad games. I wouldn't object to a bit of this. A bit is all that's really needed. Where it goes off the rails for me is giving me every single detail. But the worst part is it assumes PC actions in the inn. It just glosses over so many places where a p...

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 05:02 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    so where is the line? At what point do you cross from regular description/presentation/performance into whatever it is pemerton is talking about? Well it's different for everyone, I would think. Would you agree that it's a scale? Personally, I like to use evocative description when it's called for. Usually at the start of a new scene....I'll deliver a few lines to try and set the scene. If there's a particular mood I'm going for, I'll try and tailor what I'm saying to reinforce that mood. But this isn't something I always do. Sometimes, I'll just go with basic description in order to make sure things are clear. Sometimes, I don't want to convey a specific mood right away. It really varies a lot for me. I'm also in no way against leaning on visual media when it helps. Describing whatever creature Hussar mentioned a few pages ago as the bug at the end of Men in Black works for me. I usually provide an actor in association with my important NPCs to help my players picture what I'm going for. To my mind, that's not a literary technique by any reasonable stretch....it facilitates understanding at the table to say "the captain of the guard is a bit of a brutish man, like Herc from the Wire". But if I was writing fiction, I'd never do that. So for me, sure, sometimes my word choice is meant to be evocative in the same way an author of literature woudl attempt to be evocative. But other times, I just want to facilitate play by making sure my players understand the situation and the scene. So in that sense, the importance of using evocative language is simply not as important to me as the situation itself. Then he really shouldn't have proclaimed it as not core... I think that ill choice of wording is to blame for alot of the back and forth. You make a statement like that and y...


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Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 10:29 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    In a game where you GET EXPERIENCE FOR KILLING THINGS, combat is pretty much expected no? When you get REWARDED FOR MURDER, then violence is expected in the game, no? I would LOVE to see these mythical AD&D tables where even 40% of encounters were not resolved by combat.That 60% or 80% or even 99.5% of encounters were/are resolved by combat is not the point, at least not the one I'm getting at. My point is that in 1e by RAW all that combat would still, in a typical published module* and given typical play, only represent about [20%? 30%?] of the x.p. you'd usually earn for the adventure; with a very small percentage coming from non-combat encounters and the vast majority (i.e. all the rest) coming from treasure. * - possible exceptions being the G1-2-3 series; 1e Giants absolutely bleed x.p.
  • 10:27 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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 reality where D&D=hack and slash was pretty much common knowledge, even back in the day. I mean, good grief, look at the flack Dragonlance gets for trying to inject a story into the game. Heck, among the AD&D crowd, storygame is a four letter word. It constantly baffles and befuddles just how far people will go to try to present D&D as the epitome of roleplaying with no drawbacks and all criticism must be folks just doing it wrong. Sheesh. In a game where you GET EXPERIENCE FOR KILLING THINGS, combat is pretty much expected no? When you get REWARDED FOR MURDER, then violence is expected in the ga...
  • 09:04 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    But, reasking the question. If there is functionally no difference between LG and CN, what's the point of alignment? It's not even descriptive at that point because the descriptors are meaningless if opposite descriptors can apply to the same thing. Where I do find it interesting is in alignment archetypes. Wolverine makes a pretty good CG archetype, I think we'd agree. But, what's a chaotic neutral archetype? The only one I could think of was Q from Star Trek. And, well, everyone keeps telling me that CN is totally reliable and completely okay with working with groups, so, Q obviously isn't CN by that standard. So, what character would you see as being typical of a CN alignment?"If there is functionally no difference between LG and CN, what's the point of alignment?" Is anyone here other than you claiming there is no functional difference between LG and CN? So, going with one of your recent cases - on watch - itsbperfdftly gone for a CN to be very reliable on watch duty, if that is...
  • 08:28 AM - Charlaquin quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    But, reasking the question. If there is functionally no difference between LG and CN, what's the point of alignment? It's not even descriptive at that point because the descriptors are meaningless if opposite descriptors can apply to the same thing. Where I do find it interesting is in alignment archetypes. Wolverine makes a pretty good CG archetype, I think we'd agree. But, what's a chaotic neutral archetype? The only one I could think of was Q from Star Trek. And, well, everyone keeps telling me that CN is totally reliable and completely okay with working with groups, so, Q obviously isn't CN by that standard. So, what character would you see as being typical of a CN alignment? I mean, when push came to shove, Q worked with the enterprise crew and helped them save that one planet from the asteroid. Once working with a group was in his own self-interest, he did it. It's not that CN is necessarily reliable, it's just that nothing prevents CN from being reliable, if that's what suits t...
  • 06:39 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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 gained bonus xp for killing stuff. You focus on tricking monsters, but ignore that it talks about avoiding/disarming traps as well. There are no monsters(typically) involved with traps, and yet the DM is supposed to come up with an encounter level for them in order to assign non-combat XP. Add to that the published modules of the day, which again, leads to a VERY schizophrenic experience of 1e where the DMG advocates one thing and the modules pretty much entirely ignore the DMG, and it's very easy to see why murderhobo play was pretty common. Modules are a different beast. In order to appeal to the wid...
  • 06:17 AM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    It was pretty clear the implication that combat was pretty strongly expected. I notice it doesn’t say anything about seeking out combat. What you highlighted could easily be expected behavior at the point combat has been rendered unavoidable. IOW, all that stuff that isn't killing and looting is "conducive to non-game boredom". Or, you know, the stuff that isn’t adventuring (which includes other stuff like doping out riddles and traps, exploring, etc. You’re way too hung up on “killing and looting”. You should get that looked at...
  • 02:41 AM - Oofta quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    For one, following the laws of the land is not what lawful good is about. Lawful Neutral? Maybe. But, the good aspect of LG means judging laws based on morality and acting accordingly. What about LG would imply that they have to follow all the laws? I was responding to MaxPerson who was stating that a LG person would not free slaves if slavery was the law of the land. He stated that made them chaotic for ignoring a law. At the same time ignoring a law that said it was illegal to worship their deity could somehow be ignored. I disagree with that sentiment, that's all. LG doesn't mean you obey all laws if you believe the law is significantly immoral or unjust.
  • 02:05 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Honestly, that's how I view it. @Lanefan's "breaking in period" makes sense to me. Yes, I would view it that way. Chaotic good gets the pass because, well, being good, the character still values the life and well being of others. Think Wolverine from the X-men. Disobeys orders, often goes off on his own and is frankly a menace to the team, but, generally well intentioned and often acts in other character's best interests. A Chaotic Neutral? Why on earth would I want that on the team? The alignment is diametrically opposed to everything that a team represents. For one, following the laws of the land is not what lawful good is about. Lawful Neutral? Maybe. But, the good aspect of LG means judging laws based on morality and acting accordingly. What about LG would imply that they have to follow all the laws? ---- And, @5ekyu's idea of whims. You own definition states that whims are illogical - they cannot be explained. ---- Lastly, it's this whole "well chaotic can be just...
  • 01:57 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    How does unreliable = lunacy? Lots and LOTS of people are unreliable. That doesn't make them crazy. I've been accused several times here of going to extremes, but, all I've said is that a CN character is unreliable. That's pretty much, AFAIC, the defining trait of a CN character - that they will follow their whims, not the wishes of the group. That doesn't make someone insane. Just selfish and unreliable. Again, if your character is 100% reliable, never acts impulsively and is 100% worthy of trust, how is this character CN? What about this character makes him or her CN? To me, the hallmark of chaotics is that they are unreliable. That's what chaotic MEANS. You are literally the only person imagining an argument involving someone that is “100% reliable”, etc.
  • 01:46 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Honestly, that's how I view it. Lanefan's "breaking in period" makes sense to me. Yes, I would view it that way. Chaotic good gets the pass because, well, being good, the character still values the life and well being of others. Think Wolverine from the X-men. Disobeys orders, often goes off on his own and is frankly a menace to the team, but, generally well intentioned and often acts in other character's best interests. A Chaotic Neutral? Why on earth would I want that on the team? The alignment is diametrically opposed to everything that a team represents. For one, following the laws of the land is not what lawful good is about. Lawful Neutral? Maybe. But, the good aspect of LG means judging laws based on morality and acting accordingly. What about LG would imply that they have to follow all the laws? ---- And, 5ekyu's idea of whims. You own definition states that whims are illogical - they cannot be explained. ---- Lastly, it's this whole "well chaotic can be just ...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 08:06 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    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 character never does anything that would be described as chaotic, then how is this character chaotic? If the chaotic character acts exactly the same as the lawful character then why bother with the distinction?"- if this character never does anything that would be described as chaotic, then how is this character chaotic?" Just to be clear - has anyone but you posted the notion of a character claiming chaotic that NEVER foes snything chaotic? It seems like there is some leap from over a wide gulf of "mostly".
  • 08:02 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Freedom and personal freedom are not the same thing. I was speaking of acting on whims. Whims, by definition, are illogical and often unreliable. If you never actually act on whims, you aren't really driven by whims which means you aren't chaotic. No, I'd call him mistaken. But following laws isn't the definition of lawful."Whims, by definition, are illogical and often unreliable." No, not really... "a sudden desire or change of mind, especially one that is unusual or unexplained." Nothing about illogical or unreliable there. Even capricious isnt requiring illogic. Why did you buy it? I liked it. But its green. You usually hate green. Yeah but it struck my fancy. But the key is, eith alignment edspecially, you are not required to be 100% chaotic in every aspect of your life. I can be reliable and non-whimsical about say "saving lives" or "keeping my word (when given)" and still be quite whimsical at many many other times. I mean, whimsical and chaotic isnt some compulsion ...
  • 05:13 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    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 character never does anything that would be described as chaotic, then how is this character chaotic? If the chaotic character acts exactly the same as the lawful character then why bother with the distinction? you seem to think that the chaotic alignment imposes severe mental instability on a character. That is not the case. It’s as simple as that, really. You also continue to invent arguments to refute, instead of addressing what I and others are actually putting in our posts. That isn’t useful. A chaotic character can work as part of a team, because a chaotic character isn’t some sort of comic...
  • 04:14 PM - coolAlias quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    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? I think this all boils down to a fundamental disagreement over what the word Chaotic means in terms of alignment. You seem to be of the opinion that being Chaotic is like being a kleptomaniac - both require the character to follow their impulses with little regard for the consequences. Myself and others are of the opinion that Chaotic is NOT like being a kleptomaniac - one is basic motivation that can easily be overridden by other factors such as maintaining friendships, fear of punishment, etc., while one is basically a mental disorder. Neither opinion is factually wrong - this is a game of make-believe, after all - but can you see how our interpretation might make the Chaotic alignments a little more acceptable as part of an adventuring group? Because you'...
  • 03:48 PM - Oofta quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    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? Being consistent has nothing to do with alignment. A chaotic person may live by their own rules and have a complete disregard for authority while still acknowledging that they have to follow the laws of the land or suffer the consequences. My character can be impulsive without being disruptive, reliable without being lawful. What is it about alignment that makes you think they can't make friendships and long lasting bonds? That they can't accept that they're better off working with a group instead of as a lone wolf? Chaotic does not mean mentally unstable. As far as what outside observers see, I don't see why it matters. Let's take a scenario where the group is in a kingdom run by orcs and the group has discovered the orcs have a large number of hum...
  • 06:43 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Freedom and personal freedom are not the same thing. I was speaking of acting on whims. Whims, by definition, are illogical and often unreliable. If you never actually act on whims, you aren't really driven by whims which means you aren't chaotic. No, whim is not being used that way in the PHB. We can safely conclude that, in part because if it isn’t the case then “chaotic” in 5e dnd is a wholly useless and nonsensical concept, that can only be applied to people that classically would be called “insane”, or some synonym thereof. Instead, we must conclude that “whim” means “one’s own personal desires and internal decision making process, irrespective of external expectations, norms, or rules. Chaotic characters can be consistent. Also, more importantly, why are you trying to police anyone’s alignment? Why are players having to justify their alignment to you, ever?

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 11:09 PM - Bobble quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    I disagree. Observable behaviour is the only determinant of alignment. Intention means nothing in an objective alignment system. So, if a lawful person thought the law said X and so DID X when the law was really Y, you'd call him NOT Lawful because YOU could only observe unlawful actions. Mkay.
  • 06:59 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    But, if you ALWAYS do what you agree to do, that makes you lawful. If your whims are to always be trustworthy, then, well, that's not chaotic anymore. That's lawful. While, sure, you can do one or the other from time to time, my point is, if you follow your whims and your personal freedom is paramount to you, is the highest priority to you, then you are inherently untrustworthy. Freedom doesn't mean not acting in the best interest of the group of people who you directly rely upon and are relied upon by. It means that the group isn't going to be able to pressure you into doing what you don't want to do/don't think is right, that when you are willing to fight for something it's more likely to be for the right of an individual (yourself or otherwise) to act of their own accord and live by their own Will than most other potential motivations, and that you aren't going to try to impose what you want on others (unless you're chaotic evil). Chaotic doesn't mean in DnD what it means in eve...
  • 06:22 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    But, if you ALWAYS do what you agree to do, that makes you lawful. If your whims are to always be trustworthy, then, well, that's not chaotic anymore. That's lawful. While, sure, you can do one or the other from time to time, my point is, if you follow your whims and your personal freedom is paramount to you, is the highest priority to you, then you are inherently untrustworthy. Freedom doesn't mean not acting in the best interest of the group of people who you directly rely upon and are relied upon by. It means that the group isn't going to be able to pressure you into doing what you don't want to do/don't think is right, that when you are willing to fight for something it's more likely to be for the right of an individual (yourself or otherwise) to act of their own accord and live by their own Will than most other potential motivations, and that you aren't going to try to impose what you want on others (unless you're chaotic evil). Chaotic doesn't mean in DnD what it means in eve...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 08:54 PM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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 game. By double digit levels, they were competently taking on unique monsters. My experience shows the kill rate to be more or less the same across the levels (except 1st level, which is higher); the difference is that higher-level types can either afford revival spells or have them available within the party, meaning that while the kill rate is the same there's much less actual character turnover. The cause of death changes - less come from direct combat, more from save-or-die effects and spells - but it's still deadly, and survival remains a key goal. And, really, to me, the shift from 1e to 2e ...


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