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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:47 PM
    It's getting better. It's so happy!!!!
    76 replies | 1879 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:59 PM
    That's a helluva a lot of damage reduction, especially against a Tier 1 party. I don't think that's a game design issue, but, rather, a GM encounter design one. Both of which seem like an adventure design issues. Which is naturally a problem. Characters should also start play with cyphers. Maybe. There are other Cypher System games also produced by MCG that marginalize the need for...
    8 replies | 396 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(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
    76 replies | 1879 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:09 PM
    How about word count in system dedicated to explaining grappling as one axis?
    51 replies | 1536 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:10 PM
    I have variously encountered this issue as well, depending on party composition. One potential quick work around is to remove static damage and replace it with variable die damage. So Light weapons do d4; Medium weapons do d6; and Heavy weapons do d8. Or knock them up a die. See what works best for your group. This gives a bit more chance that some weapons can exceed typical damage reduction. The...
    8 replies | 396 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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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 itís 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.
    17 replies | 741 view(s)
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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.
    232 replies | 5478 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:29 AM
    Whoops double post. My bad.
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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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.
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:22 AM
    Well. Thatís fair I suppose. If the group is allowed to execute your character for stepping out of line, then your alignment doesnít matter too much.
    232 replies | 5478 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 02:57 PM
    4e: * The WARLORD * Power Sources and Class Roles: This led to 4e having the gumption and vision to pull the trigger on something that not even 2e could commit to doing : removing all divine magic classes from Dark Sun. * Class parity and balance * Scene/narrative-based mechanics (AEDU) * Martial classes had interesting and thematic tactical choices that were typically privileged to...
    36 replies | 1245 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 02:39 PM
    I seem to recall that a lot of people also use Mythras, which derives from BRP, as a more generic Homeric fantasy sort of game.
    19 replies | 737 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 02:27 PM
    Sure, but it does inform how I contextualize the conversation of this thread. I don't necessarily think, for example, in terms of a personal preference for "conversational" vs. "literary" narration, but, instead, in terms of communicating what's important in the game fiction for players to engage the scene. The stylistic aesthetic is of lesser importance than the pragmatics. This matter can...
    24 replies | 778 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:46 PM
    I feel like the actual discussion in that thread was about the primary GM role that new gamemasters should focus on learning: scene-framing for player agency or literary performance. The whole conversational vs. literary narration bit was a red herring conversation that we unwittingly got roped into when literary performance camp asked us to conceive of GMing as a conversation without the...
    24 replies | 778 view(s)
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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,...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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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...
    17 replies | 741 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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.
    323 replies | 8673 view(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.
    36 replies | 1245 view(s)
    5 XP
  • 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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...
    22 replies | 550 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 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...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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 ďpolicingĒ goes, Iím 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...
    232 replies | 5478 view(s)
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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 Iím outwardly kind to everybody then dnd says Iím good.
    232 replies | 5478 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 | 599 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 | 599 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    8 replies | 599 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 canít 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, weíve seen a LOT of instances of people who are articulate, well-read, tenured GMs struggle significantly in one or both...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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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...
    323 replies | 8673 view(s)
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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...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 2793 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 (Iím computer incompetent so that is the best I got).
    26 replies | 527 view(s)
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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 | 527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:09 PM
    The text in the bottom quote is visible to me.
    26 replies | 527 view(s)
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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.
    64 replies | 1935 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:44 PM
    And my point was not about how basketball was being played in different arenas. ;)
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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.
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
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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. ;)
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I know, and what I said applies to that.
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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. ;)
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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.
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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.
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 2793 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
    7 replies | 535 view(s)
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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 | 1865 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 ďyesĒ 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 ďyesĒ to all of them because I neither conceive nor have I experienced anything approximating a tight (or even shabby) coupling between the two. Iím like most people; good at some...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 1865 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    1470 replies | 40473 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...
    77 replies | 2793 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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.
    87 replies | 3413 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:02 AM
    But of course youíre 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 itís 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...
    419 replies | 17226 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 itís okay to socially sanction him, it just staggers belief. Tell you what. Go into your workplace and begin...
    419 replies | 17226 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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) :)
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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)?
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:07 PM
    lowkey13 I think youíre 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 ďunderstanding and deftness in deployment of dramatic deviceĒ into ďliteraryĒ, then weíre going to have a (self-imposed imo)...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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...theyíre just lower in the hierarchy). 2) If you arenít thematically framing a ďbogeymanĒ as a bogeyman, then it seems pretty apt to point out that the situation the PCs are confronted with...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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. Iím actually a little disappointed that the person in question would not have been identified by the con. I would think that itís in public interest to disseminate the fact that someone was banned for bad behaviour so that others can decide if...
    419 replies | 17226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    77 replies | 2793 view(s)
    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...
    419 replies | 17226 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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.
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    419 replies | 17226 view(s)
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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 | 535 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,...
    419 replies | 17226 view(s)
    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 | 535 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 | 17226 view(s)
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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!
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Fantastic idea. ((heads off to unsubscribe from the thread))
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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. ...
    419 replies | 17226 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...
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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...
    33 replies | 1023 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...
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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...
    1470 replies | 40473 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 | 5534 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...
    1470 replies | 40473 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.
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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.
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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,...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    2 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...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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,...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
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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...
    1470 replies | 40473 view(s)
    1 XP
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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 Hussarís question about dungeon dressing, which relates directly back to the OP by equating dungeon dressing with ďthe literaryĒ, 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 theyíre 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 @pemertonís 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 @Hussarís 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. Thatís understandable. Iím trying not to assume that there are only two views or that anyone is speaking for anyone else because I think thatís 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 ... Thatís a good question. Honestly, I think it depends on the situation and what youíre 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, Iíd 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 Iíd 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. Iím not going to spend 25 words to describe the monster approaching the party when ďzombieĒ 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 donít really want to linger on narration once weíre 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 Iím beginning to see why weíre all having a hard time coming to a consensus....itís because we actually seem to have one, itís just that what I see as pretty basic communication, youíre 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?
    Iím sure mine and pemertonís ideas donít exactly match, no. But thatís fine. I donít entirely agree with his premise, but I understand it, and I think he has a point. But Iím 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. ďWhere are the elevators?Ē - ďFollow these guys.Ē 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 itís what was in mind with the OP. I feel like including a few adjectives isnít what weíre talking about. Thatís 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...


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Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 01:44 PM - lowkey13 quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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 larger than that. Heck, my home game was anywhere from 6-13 players for many, many years. You'd think that if most of the games were only 3 players, then they'd market the modules for 3 players. Seems kind of strange to baseline the game at 3 players and then produce absolutely nothing for that baseline. Counter-counterpoint. Typical play for AD&D was whatever I was playing. Atypical play for AD&D was whatever you were playing. -From personal experience, I would say that the game was marketed for 3 or more; the modules would often say anywhere from 4 to 10 players, as they were often, or usually, designed for, or out of, competition or conventions early on. My experience was that many games were 3-5 players, and that many more than that would get unwieldy and lead to a split (due to scheduling, personalities, etc.), but that could just be ...
  • 01:43 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    @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 larger than that. Heck, my home game was anywhere from 6-13 players for many, many years. You'd think that if most of the games were only 3 players, then they'd market the modules for 3 players. Seems kind of strange to baseline the game at 3 players and then produce absolutely nothing for that baseline. Hey. If you wanted to house rule the game based on modules(not rules) and ignore the actual rules(3 plus players = ideal), that was your call. The rules were there to serve you, not the other way around.
  • 01:09 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Why not? It's not like AD&D had a "core rules" divide. The modules were just as "official rules" as anything else. They were not rules at all. They were adventures. And, I would point out that this is precisely what I was talking about - people's experiences with AD&D vary really wildly depending on whether you were a module junkie like me or not. Again, it also points to the schizophrenic nature of AD&D. If 2-3 players (plus a DM) was expected, why the need for a "caller"? The example of play in the DMG includes 5 PC's plus a thief NPC. I'm thinking that a DM plus 2 PC's was probably not the presumption of the game. The game itself says it is, though. Iideal begins at 3 total players, so that number has to be part of the presumption or it is not ideal.

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 06:18 PM - coolAlias quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Well. Thatís fair I suppose. If the group is allowed to execute your character for stepping out of line, then your alignment doesnít matter too much. It's not a matter of being allowed or not - every action has consequences, and in a world like D&D being killed for one's actions is always one of the possible consequences. Even in the real world, the ultimate consequence for non-compliance with the law is death, though it doesn't usually escalate to that. In the Abyss, whatever your immediate superior says IS the law, and death as a consequence is highly likely. As for adventuring groups, how many characters have been killed in D&D history for stealing from the party? Definitely more than a few. Death is an extreme example, and in my opinion even the most Chaotic of characters would not need such a strong deterrent to dissuade them from doing a lot of the whacky shenanigans they tend to get up to in D&D except for one small detail: usually the other players at the table do not have their c...
  • 06:01 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    See, I'm a little confused. We all agree that Jayne is chaotic neutral because he betrays the group. Yes? Does anyone disagree with that? Would anyone put Jayne's alignment as something else? So, what about Han Solo says Chaotic Neutral? He doesn't betray anyone. He's self interested, sure, but, that's just neutral. He doesn't do anything on a whim that I can think of. I can at least present pretty solid evidence for my alignment interpretation. Other than, "Cos I said so" I'm not seeing much reasoning going on here."We all agree that Jayne is chaotic neutral because he betrays the group. Yes? Does anyone disagree with that?" I do. Jayne is chaotic neutral for a lot of reasons - alignment is not determined by a singular act. Betraying your party to the authorities could be a lawful act or a good act as well - depending on the particulars. As for Han Solo, like most characters over long periods (here spread over multiple movies over like 40 years) his character does not seem to...
  • 05:40 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    But none of this changes the fact that Jayne was untrustworthy.If you take the term "untrusteorthy" to the extreme of anyone who ever messes up etc, then yup. But that makes everyone untrustworthy snd do the term becomes meaningless. Moreover, here us the rub, it also tends to blow any claim linking reliability and any relationship to lawful vs chaos. If falling asleep on watch means unreliable - there is nothing about lawful that says you dont fall asleep or fo so less than others. If turning on comrades in certain circumstances means unreliable, well, a lawful type might well do so if his teammates are going severely unlawful, in directions they oppose - and turn them in. The Jayne calling the cops to turn them in for bounty could have played out just fine if Jayne had been a lawful type and the trigger was revelation if River and Doc as wanted criminals with now system wide alerts and high threat notice etc. The further you choose to step to the edges the less foundation you stand o...
  • 01:27 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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 expected by the game. 4 PC's as a group wasn't a standard presumption until 3e. Sure, I played with less than that many characters too. But, we're talking about the game, not the game you played at your table or the game I played at my table. Below is the presumption from 1e. You guys are looking at modules, often created for tournament or convention play, where you had more players than normal. From page 7 of the 1e PHB: "The game is ideally for three or more adult players: one player must serve as the Dungeon Master, the shaper of the fantasy milieu, the "world" in which all action will take place." That's it. That's the presumption. Three or more. And if the minimum three still qualifies "ideal," then encounters would have to be based around that number or close to it. Four ...
  • 07:01 AM - Charlaquin quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    See, I'm a little confused. We all agree that Jayne is chaotic neutral because he betrays the group. Yes? Does anyone disagree with that? Would anyone put Jayne's alignment as something else? So, what about Han Solo says Chaotic Neutral? He doesn't betray anyone. He's self interested, sure, but, that's just neutral. He doesn't do anything on a whim that I can think of. This, in my view is one of the major problems with the 9-alignment system as traditionally presented in D&D. The difference between Chaotic and Neutral with respect to Law and Chaos is simply a matter of degree, and the line between them is not particularly bright. Sure, we can probably all agree that betraying oneís allies falls on the Chaotic side of the line, but does one betrayal make a self-interest les character Chaotic Neutral? Can a character be considered Chaotic Neutral if they havenít betrayed their allies? And while weíre at it, isnít self interest a characteristic of evil too? What can a self-interested charac...
  • 06:52 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Well. Thatís fair I suppose. If the group is allowed to execute your character for stepping out of line, then your alignment doesnít matter too much. Do you really have to jump to these absolutely wild hyperbolic versions of folks arguments in order to formulate a response?
  • 06:46 AM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    So, those would be my reasons for making Conan CN. What are yours? I will let GentleGamer do the talking for me: Conan's Morality
  • 06:43 AM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    See, I'm a little confused. We all agree that Jayne is chaotic neutral because he betrays the group. Yes? Does anyone disagree with that? Would anyone put Jayne's alignment as something else? So, what about Han Solo says Chaotic Neutral? He doesn't betray anyone. He's self interested, sure, but, that's just neutral. He doesn't do anything on a whim that I can think of. I can at least present pretty solid evidence for my alignment interpretation. Other than, "Cos I said so" I'm not seeing much reasoning going on here. No, Jayne isn't CN because he betrays the group. If he had been an Alliance agent in deep cover who betrayed the group, he could easily be LN rather than CN. It's not that he betrayed the group - it's because of his motivations in betraying the group. He does what he wants and is fairly mean about it. He's motivated just by cash, not friendship or personal bonds of respect (unlike someone like Conan, who would also likely be CN). Han's probably more CG than C...
  • 06:02 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    See, I'm a little confused. We all agree that Jayne is chaotic neutral because he betrays the group. Yes? Does anyone disagree with that? Would anyone put Jayne's alignment as something else? So, what about Han Solo says Chaotic Neutral? He doesn't betray anyone. He's self interested, sure, but, that's just neutral. He doesn't do anything on a whim that I can think of. I can at least present pretty solid evidence for my alignment interpretation. Other than, "Cos I said so" I'm not seeing much reasoning going on here. I see Han as solidly neutral. No law, chaos, good or evil there.
  • 05:09 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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. Well darn. I guess I need to call up my 3 gaming buddies and tell them that all those years of playing 1e and 2e didn't count, because we didn't do it your way.
  • 04:48 AM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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. AD&D for us back in the 80's was 3-6 players. Though most modules were written for 6-10 PC. We just never had that many people to play.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 06:55 PM - GrahamWills quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    I would LOVE to see these mythical AD&D tables where even 40% of encounters were not resolved by combat. I ran an AD&D campaign recently, using a modern dungeon, and although I had to terminate it early, my players consistently avoided combat. Some of the combats they were clearly outgunned, but even when they were not, they much preferred to talk, find out information and trade, if possible. Looking back, I think the design of the adventure facilitated this, specifically: Encounters are not guaranteed to be "level-appropriate". If you know you always can fight, then quite often you do. If you know that sometimes the enemy will insta-squish you, you tend to hide and observe at the very least before attacking Denizens have agendas and needs. If players are used to finding possible people/monsters that want things, then they start thinking "maybe I can make more profit fulfilling their wants than by killing them". This also means they do not auto-kill things they can, because maybe that g...
  • 03:28 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    Who said anything about "intentionally"? The character is unreliable. Falling asleep on watch is pretty much textbook unreliable. You literally repeatedly described a character deciding to sleep instead of keeping watch. Not trying but failing to stay awake, you explicitly described a decision.
  • 02:32 PM - Oofta quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    So, to amend my question slightly: Can you come up with an example of a chaotic neutral character that is trustworthy and responsible? So far, the examples have been Q from Star Trek and Jayne from Firefly. Neither would be described as trustworthy or responsible I think. If CN is entirely plausible to be trustworthy and responsible, then there should be many examples we can point to where obviously CN characters are trustworthy and responsible. Seems a fairly easy task given how everyone keeps telling me how it's perfectly normal for CN characters to be trustworthy and responsible. I'll be over here at the bar waiting if you need me. I take it my PC, Ulkar the Barbarian doesn't count? I'm also assuming you'll just say "Han Solo wasn't really CN". Which is the problem. We don't always know what motivates fictional characters, and you've decided that CN means someone who is irresponsible, unreliable, lazy, has no friends or loved ones they'd sacrifice for, etc. So there's no poin...
  • 02:25 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    The problem is, we're not mind readers. We don't know why this character did X. All we know is that he did X. And, really, while there might be all sorts of reasons, reliability isn't one of them. :D Ok, now, let's use Jayne. Would you consider Jayne to be reliable? Is loyal, reliable, or anything similar be a proper descriptor of that character? I'd probably put Han Solo as just neutral. He's not actively opposing the empire, after all. He might not like it, but, he's also not going to do anything about it. That's about as neutral as it gets.Would I consider Jayne to be reliable? Yes. Is he perfect? No. He makes mistakes and sometimes gets stupid but if you look at the series and movie on the whole he was there for them, alongside them, doing his job even whrn it sucked the vast majority of the time. "He did his job almost always" would be considered reliable by most. Did he sometimes give in to his own desires and ideas - sure - went after River himself, tried to sell the...
  • 01:30 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    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. And worth nowhere as much XP. I went with ancient red dragon to illustrate just how piddly combat XP was. Especially vs. XP from treasure. My point is, by and large, most groups are going to steamroll most encounters. Why did people feel the need to avoid combat? You played with a generous DM, or perhaps one who didn't know how to run monsters. If the DM wasn't worried about killing you and used tactics that many of the monsters would know and use, combats were not easy, especially when you factored in save or die and energy drains. I dunno, then again, we left AD&D as soon as 2e came out and 2e was even worse - fighters really were dam...
  • 01:25 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Why are we okay with violence in RPGs?
    Now, how exactly did you manage to get that couple of tons of treasure out of the lair without fighting the dragon? A bag of holding or four. It's not as if most of that didn't come from gems, jewelry and platinum anyway. One of the largest bags of holding could hold 150k of the 250k with 1000 pounds left over. Again, why did folks avoid combat when the PC's after about 6th level were FAR more powerful than anything they were facing? Death? Energy Drain? Save or die sucked and was all over the place with poison, and energy drain was hell. It had no save and you never got back all of your experience, even if you were lucky enough to be drained within a day of someone who could cast restoration. And you started encountering a lot of energy drain undead well before the party could cast restoration itself, assuming your cleric wasn't also drained. 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. Sure, if it just...


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