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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 05:27 AM
    Can you explain more what you mean about not being sure about incentives? Not sure about incentives interfacing with the decision-tree in a moment of thematic choice? Incentives that push back against the impetus to establish a win condition for a scene/arc or create extra obstacles to that win condition in exchange for advancement? Something else? Paragraph 1 Response: That makes...
    655 replies | 16988 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:30 AM
    So I've skimmed the recent bits of the thread. In a follow-up post, I'm going to relay a recent PC:PC social conflict in Strike (!) and invite folks to chime in on how they perceive this anecdote (a) contrasts with gameplay where social conflict isn't formalized and (b) there are neither mechanical feedbacks nor PC build components involved. But first, I want to post some text from Strike (!)...
    655 replies | 16988 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    The original Terminator (i.e. the T-800 that was destroyed in Terminator), or an aged model of the original Terminator? Maybe the person the T-800 was modeled after? Curious how they are going to explain this. Was it stated that John Connor was dead?
    36 replies | 824 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:28 PM
    I run two versions of D&D; 4e and Moldvay Basic. So the answer is while D&D 4e can scratch an itch similar to Mouse Guard, Cortex+ , Dungeon World, and Mouse Guard, it and Moldvay Basic can't reproduce Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, Dread, Blades in the Dark, Torchbearer, My Life With Master, Sorcerer, and Star Wars like Strike (!) and Scum and Villainy. Because system matters.
    85 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Ultima 1 got me into CRPG's...I played all of the Ultimas religiously. To me, the best was Ultima 7/ 7.5...a wonderful story, open world, and a game I can play over and over again. I absolutely loved the original D&D gold box Pool of Radiance. I also remember it was effing HARD!!
    8 replies | 273 view(s)
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:41 PM
    I think the question is strange. It treats D&D as some kind of default, as if one needed a reason to play something different. For me, D&D was just one of the games I tried; neither the first nor the best one. In general, I prefer varied experiences. I switch between games to do something different. Sometimes, we play series of one-shots, jumping between games. At other times, we play...
    85 replies | 2777 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:07 PM
    I recently watched KickBoxer (Jean-Claude Van Damme) on Netflix...I think that it may be the most 80's movie in existence. Training montage, sad JCVD roaming through the streets being sad...slow-mo action scenes with him making funny faces. The Running Man comes a close second.
    32 replies | 919 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 06:52 PM
    This is where these conversations get so unwieldy. I mean...how is this question even conceived? OF COURSE THEY DO. If the point of play is (a) competitive integrity and (b) autonomy and expression of agency in decision points (and it is in this case; Gamism)...well, in any_activity where these things are the apex play priority, the legitimacy of (a) and (b) utterly depends upon win/loss...
    148 replies | 10213 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 06:27 PM
    It was a fun movie, but there were some plot holes that were large enough to drive semi-trucks through. All-in-all, though...I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the return of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jamison.
    9 replies | 409 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 01:40 AM
    Only very, very tacitly following this thread, but this caught my eye in a "what in the world...?" sort of way. I think this may in fact be a source of dissonance that you and I have in some of these conversations, particularly where it pertains to The Forge and, more specifically, "system matters." The most fundamental core mechanic of VtM and White Wolf games is "The Golden Rule" or...
    148 replies | 10213 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:16 PM
    You young whippersnappers don't understand the concept of core classes. Back in my day, we walked to school uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes on, and we only had 3 core classes (fighting-man, magic-user, and cleric), and we were HAPPY to have them! Now get off my lawn!!!!
    60 replies | 1890 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:12 PM
    Stupid double post! It's those youngsters, I tell ya!!!!!
    60 replies | 1890 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 03:55 AM
    Good post. I think one of the big problems we have in this sort of discussion relates to your first paragraph. There is a common refrain shared by a lot of TTRPG players that people (in this case their PCs) possess a level of cognitive continuity and coherency, or a lack of disunity among the various mental states and hardware that we all inhabit/deploy simultaneously, the sum of which...
    655 replies | 16988 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Any game that encourages the GM (myself) to covertly or overtly subordinate player decision-points or action resolution mechanics (and through it the integrity of player decision points) to their personal conception of what play trajectory should look like. So much of late 80s through mid 90s TTRPG design. Iíve run many of these games or sat in on them, so itís probably too late for that.
    111 replies | 8230 view(s)
    2 XP
  • steenan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:51 PM
    While I like many systems, I put Fate at the top of my list 1. Aspects and fate point economy. A beautiful way of making various facts of the fiction tangible and meaningful. Compels help in introducing complications that the players are interested in. 2. Concessions and stress-out. Making failure and loss interesting instead of game-ending, thus incentivizing players to embrace troubles...
    47 replies | 3222 view(s)
    3 XP
  • steenan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:44 PM
    Exalted. I fell in love with the setting, but the system was awful - overwhelmingly complicated and completely unbalanced. I tried several different rulesets instead. Ended up running a very satisfying campaign with a Fate-based system. Cthulhutech. The concept is inspiring, but both the rules and the setting details are bad. I'm still looking for a game that would give me the kind of...
    111 replies | 8230 view(s)
    0 XP
  • steenan's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:42 PM
    Isn't this what the IIEE framework for resolution is about? There are two separate but connected parts of an action a player declares. What the character does (in a "thin" sense) and what the player wants to achieve. Action description is necessary to give it a solid form in the fiction. Intent is necessary because that's what gets resolved. As soon s the action and intent are known it's...
    655 replies | 16988 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:36 PM
    Might even make Drizzt somewhat palatable... Ooooo!!! And his teeth could play Gwenwyvhar!
    56 replies | 2192 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Danny DeVito
    56 replies | 2192 view(s)
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 09:18 AM
    Our long campaigns last for 20-30 sessions, 4-6 hours each. It translates to 1-2 IRL years. We have also played a few short (5-10 sessions) campaigns and a big number of single adventures (1-3 sessions). The campaigns generally last until they get an appropriate closure. None of our campaigns in the last 10 years fizzled and were abandoned halfway.
    47 replies | 2127 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 04:25 AM
    What do we call it when the GM subordinates the players' decision-points and/or the resolution mechanics' attendant outcomes to said GM's preconceived metaplot? And that's fine. But call it what it is. In fact, if you and your players are looking for that play experience, then being honest about what it is, openly analyzing the machinery of it, and getting better at deploying it should be a...
    59 replies | 2536 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 05:35 PM
    Look, Keanu is already a superhero. The only logical Marvel character that Keanu could ever play is... Keanu Reeves! Look, he's like a younger, better, more awesome Chuck Norris. He deserves his own Comic book franchise.
    24 replies | 926 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:35 AM
    Let me start with: "I don't have much interest, if any at all, in this conversation...so I'm not particularly interested in getting drawn back in." However, I think I have some virtual ink to spill on the internet on this one. For my money, the two have significant differences in TTRPGs. In TTRPGs, I associate "scene" with "a discrete unit of play, whereby situational framing >...
    181 replies | 5673 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    I'm with Aldarc here. I don't think the answer is a single general use Urban Fantasy TTRPGing system with theme/premise-neutral mechanics to rule them all (this almost always leads to an overwhelming GM presence in play trajectory to manufacture an experience...typically putting players in a significantly more passive position than in a game like Blades in the Dark). This is precisely why I...
    101 replies | 5029 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 03:16 PM
    Ah ok. (Iím asking this out of a position of ignorance) So when someone refers to ďUrban FantasyĒ in TTRPGing, are they referring to ďa malleable game/system without a tight play premise baked in so it can be drifted to (say) the modern focus of Ďparanormal romanceí or something similar?Ē
    101 replies | 5029 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    Something similar to that play anecdote that you're mentioning above happened in my 2nd 4e game that went 1-30. While that was a Bladesinger rather than a Fighter, it was all martial, so its applicable. It was mid-Paragon Tier. While the Druid and Rogue dealt with an endless tide of mooks, the Bladesinger was locked in a duel with the Captain of the Guard (CotG). The player wanted it to...
    11 replies | 690 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 09:34 PM
    Does Blades in the Dark not qualify as Urban Fantasy? Grimdark, cutthroat urban setting (Duskvol) - check Paranormal (overruneth and all kinds) - check Magic - check Factions/tribes embroiled in endless war to ascend hierarchy - check
    101 replies | 5029 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:47 PM
    It's getting better. It's so happy!!!!
    106 replies | 4970 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Article that discusses Baldur's Gate 3. Mearls (who still ruins everything) discusses the possibility of a revised Ranger and how we might be seeing a playtest this summer. https://kotaku.com/the-ranger-class-is-getting-some-changes-in-d-d-and-ba-1835659585
    106 replies | 4970 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    52 replies | 2722 view(s)
    5 XP
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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 11:24 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    Hussar, Lanefan - if narrowing of possible resolutions = the GM being bound by the results of checks, than sure, any system other than "GM decides" will have that consequence. But unless the dice are rigged then fails are possible, in which case fail scenarios are possible resolutions, and there is no narrowing of the range of possible resolution.

Sunday, 30th June, 2019

  • 01:31 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    ...g to PF fans, some of which haven't even played 5E and thus can't see that you CAN design a fun game where martials and casters feel familiar yet different. (That is, what 4E couldn't offer)How dare Paizo listen to their playerbase and fans?! That's preposterous! You don't listen to your fans who play the game. You are supposed to listen to a singular doomsayer who doesn't play PF1 and who demands that Paizo makes his custom dream product based off a competitor's system and who also never participated in the playtest or shows any actual engagement or familiarity with the contents of PF2! :mad: I would have felt a lot less nervous if Paizo had exhibited clear tendencies to look at 5E and learn from it. Yet, most PF2 chatter I hear are about PF1 and 4E - two of the *least* appropriate games to build your future on in my opinion.Except when you combine them together, you essentially get 5e, and that is precisely what WotC did, Oh He of Short-Term Memory. As either Tony Vargas or Hussar has said - I can't remember which off the top of my head - the greatest trick that WotC did for 5E was in convincing people to play 4E in a game that looks more like 3E and Pathfinder.

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

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

Friday, 21st June, 2019

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

Monday, 17th June, 2019

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

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 05:31 AM - Hriston mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I was speaking to the genesis of the tangent... but not sure how this changes what you said. What I said was in the context of 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...


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Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 06:16 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    it appears that Pemerton want's failure to always be some sort of success (fail forward) at all times.I have neither said nor implied this. All I said was that Lanefan's example, in which the PC doesn't achieve what the player hoped for, is not a success and hence might be a feasible failure narration.

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 10:04 AM - GreenTengu quoted Hussar in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    There is far too much truthiness in this post. :D But, the point about the Star Wars Cantina is well made. And it's funny because if you actually play Star Wars, no one plays aliens that are just humans with funny ears. No one plays a Wookie and doesn't play up that fact. Or a whatever race. Star Trek as well. You don't see Vulcan characters that are just identical to the humans. People play Vulcans because they want to play VULCANS, not just a really smart human. As soon as the D&D books come out though, all that goes out the window and far, far too many players are playing whatever race happens to fit their power gaming needs. Like others above, I'd far rather just use Variant Humans than the constant nails on the chalkboard of having yet another human that can see in the dark with pointy ears. :( I can hardly disagree more about the point regarding Star Wars. Pretty much any Twi'lek or Rodian or Zabrak or Chiss or Cathar or Tagrata character, outside of a minor note here or ther...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 07:11 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    This isn't about my dislike for Planescape. This is about my dislike of Planescape grognards constandly bitching and whining about how WotC just doesn't get tieflings. Hrm, tieflings have gone from a tiny niche race that only a small handful of tables ever actually saw to one of the most popular races in the game. Yeah, I guess WotC has no idea what they are doing and everyone else is just completely out of touch. They became popular because they were included in the FR book, which gave them a lot more exposure, and then in 4e as a main race. They did not become popular because of the relatively minor changes made to them. EVERY SINGLE TIME any conversation about Tieflings comes up, we have to listen to the same tired old song and dance. You don't like 5e tielflings. Fantastic. No problems. There's NOTHING forcing you to play them. Not a single damn thing. Instead we have to listen to warmed over edition war garbage, yet again, for the TEN THOUSANTH time, because, well, we have t...
  • 04:37 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Huh. I guess I imagined this: 107531 WHich isn't trying to tell anyone that they're doing things wrong. No, not at all. Nope its art expressing a dislike for something or is that not allowed now?? EIGHT freaking years we've had to listen to a group of edition warriors bitch and whine about how they don't like the new Tieflings. Funny thing is, Tieflings are now, apparently, one of the most popular races after the big three (human, elf, dwarf). In fact, the only race more popular is ANOTHER 4e race - dragonborn. So dont read it. DISCUSSION forum means you dont get to dictate only one view can be expressed. This isn't about my dislike for Planescape. This is about my dislike of Planescape grognards constandly bitching and whining about how WotC just doesn't get tieflings. Hrm, tieflings have gone from a tiny niche race that only a small handful of tables ever actually saw to one of the most popular races in the game. Yeah, I guess WotC has no idea what they are doing ...
  • 02:08 AM - Azzy quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Gimme a break. No one is telling you to conform. You are being asked to not fling poo every single time the issue comes up. Heís got a point. There is NOTHING stopping you from having 2e style tieflings in your game. Zero. Zip. Nada. So why are you trying to force everyone else to adhere to your tastes? I don't see anyone forcing anyone to adhere to 2e-style tieflings. I see people that don't like the new versionóthen here you are trying to shout us down for not liking youre preference and PointsofInspiration saying that that don't to adhere to his tastes are categorically wrong.
  • 01:53 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Gimme a break. No one is telling you to conform. You are being asked to not fling poo every single time the issue comes up. Heís got a point. There is NOTHING stopping you from having 2e style tieflings in your game. Zero. Zip. Nada. So why are you trying to force everyone else to adhere to your tastes? How about you give us a break... we know you have a personal hate on for all things Planescape... But were is anyone trying to force anything... it's a thread about tieflings and opinions on which ones various posters liked were given. This tangent/ argument only started because someone tried to use fan art as a basis of proof/ to insinuate that the majority (Instead of just themselves) preferred the 4e/5e phb tieflings.

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 10:30 PM - Psyzhran2357 quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Well, considering in the pic you posted, the horns are almost as long as his head, I'd say they are pretty big. And the color thing, well, whatever to be honest. The tiefling in the PHB isn't that far from a dark blue. Let's not forget, THIS was a 2e Tiefling: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/baldursgategame/images/4/4f/Haer%27Dalis_NHAER_Portrait_BG2.png/revision/latest?cb=20180925155705 Just as much as any Di Terlizzi art. I thought the above image was just an elf picture they reused because they didn't have any Tiefling assets loaded into the game for some reason?
  • 06:30 PM - gyor quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Well, considering in the pic you posted, the horns are almost as long as his head, I'd say they are pretty big. And the color thing, well, whatever to be honest. The tiefling in the PHB isn't that far from a dark blue. Let's not forget, THIS was a 2e Tiefling: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/baldursgategame/images/4/4f/Haer%27Dalis_NHAER_Portrait_BG2.png/revision/latest?cb=20180925155705 Just as much as any Di Terlizzi art. He seriously, looks more like an elf then a Tiefling.

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 03:57 AM - Henry quoted Hussar in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    Which is different from my experience. We rotated DMing duties right from the get go. The notion of a single DM group never actually occurred to us until I got into 2e era. I wish more players would actually step up into the DMing role. Makes for MUCH better players. I agree - Iím also of the opinion that, just as every DM owes it to themselves to be a player at some point, each player should try DMing at least once or twice, because it does give greater appreciation for both sides of the table in my experience.
  • 01:26 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Thatís your definition of small? Ok. I can see why you think the way you do. Even with that... absence of tail, blue skin... EDIT: Also what do you mean you can see why I think the way I do... EDIT 2: These, IMO are large horns... https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjc9I2_k67jAhVHaM0KHVFwCLQQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdnd4.fandom.com%2Fwiki%2FTiefling&psig=AOvVaw1KtL0MjkN3FGxmRyJ0BGu_&ust=1562978691612525https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT6teXYrFwdpBA7fKsEo8iTJsHsnSwYip-iY9q0GELfxpHtPsub
  • 12:41 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Huh. Big, back sweeping horns, blue skin. How is this not the default 5e tiefling? No tail I suppose. :erm: Small upright horns, no tail...and blue skin are all traits inconsistent with 5e phb tieflings...
  • 12:40 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Huh. Big, back sweeping horns, blue skin. How is this not the default 5e tiefling? No tail I suppose. :erm: Small upright horns, no tail...and blue skin is not a trait of 5e phb tieflings...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - Aldarc quoted Hussar in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    You're assuming alot without much to back it up. I find your assertions interesting when contrasted with the fact that WotC has at this point published 10 subraces of Tieflings (plus the PHB main race) to date... The first of which in Sword Coast was basically an addendum to the Tiefling race stating that they didn't have to be of the blood of Asmodeus or look like the Tieflings in the PHB (Even if they have the PHB abilities)... if there was widespread preference for the monolithic Tiefling why expend the resources, page count and time to expand te race like this?What do the prevailing narrative elements of the tieflings in 5e entail? Are tieflings descended from yugoloths or demons in SCAG or other publications? Are they plane-touched anymore? How do they look in subsequent 5e publications? How do the subraces in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes alter the appearance of the tieflings? What's the cultural impact of these "popular" alternate tiefling options from SCAG in the current Zeitgeist? Do w...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 06:51 PM - S'mon quoted Hussar in post Gamer Stats From White Dwarf in the 80s
    I really think it was the latter. The notion of bringing "thespianism" to use a phrase, largely starts with Vampire. At least, that's around the time where a lot of that sort of "improv theater" approach to gaming started really rolling. ((Yes, I KNOW I'm painting with a really, really broad brush there. Not making a judgement, but, just a sort of general thought)) Wow, I had no idea that single sex schooling was so popular in English speaking countries. I honestly didn't know. I mean, in the US and Canada, single sex schools are pretty rare and have been since before I was born (in the 70's for anyone keeping score). I really had no idea. My son is at a single sex Comprehensive right now!

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 12:32 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post No Magic Shops!
    Not sure I buy that @Maxperson, since the last two modules I bought - Dragon Heist and Ghosts of Saltmarsh include rather lengthy rules additions. Right. Some modules explicitly add some rules. THOSE are rules, but the rest of the story is just adventure creation per the DMG. GoS contains all the rules needed for running naval combat, for example. So, it's not like modules are not a source of mechanics. Traditionally, as well, in D&D, modules have often served as the source for new mechanics or for adjustments of existing mechanics. Sure, in highly limited amounts. The inclusion of naval combat rules doesn't suddenly mean that just because the module including(making this up since I've never seen it) 2 ogres, that the rules of D&D is now that 2 ogres have to be in adventures as a rule. But, it does kinda fly in the face of "D&D doesn't have magic shops" when several D&D modules published by WotC HAS magic shops. And, let's not forget, that buying magic items is now a downtime ac...

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 05:30 PM - MichaelSomething quoted Hussar in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    It's not like you're suddenly going to venture off into starting a business and the mechanics of running a company in CoC. Which you certainly could do in any version of D&D. If there aren't skill feats for legendary level shop keeps, I'll be sorely disappointed...
  • 10:57 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post Gamer Stats From White Dwarf in the 80s
    Huh. Wonder why Canada went with the American model. It's not like we left early. :DMy guess for part of it is that in the early pre-confederation days there just weren't enough kids in a lot of the small towns (i.e. anywhere not named Montreal, Quebec City, or Toronto) to support a school for each gender, so they all went to one school instead and thus mixed schools just became part of life.
  • 04:55 AM - Garthanos quoted Hussar in post No Magic Shops!
    Funny how experiences differ. My 4e rogue believed that he was touched by a god (Kord) and that he was a prophet of Kord. He had a life stealing dagger (granted you x temp hp if you killed a target) and he consecrated all his kills to Kord. :D He wasn't really running on all 8 cylinders. :D "Souls for Kord" was a great line. But, that dagger became a major focus point (as well as a faintly magic spoon that the character claimed Kord used to eat the mushroom soup where he had met the god) of the character. In our 4e Dark Sun game, the Crown of ((Forgetting the name)) was a major factor in the character's life. Searching for it took up like 10 levels. It was great. To me, it's all in what you make of it. Story is hugiferous and kind of external to the system too in most cases. I do remember item-sets that came along later in the game but I haven't used one of those yet, but its interesting mechanically too.
  • 04:52 AM - Zardnaar quoted Hussar in post Gamer Stats From White Dwarf in the 80s
    Huh. Wonder why Canada went with the American model. It's not like we left early. :D I kind of look at Canada as absorbing the best aspects of the UK/USA/the colonies. Geography, history, culture etc.
  • 04:22 AM - S'mon quoted Hussar in post Gamer Stats From White Dwarf in the 80s
    S'okay. I believe that S'mon was making a joke. And a good one at that. At least, that's how I take it. Not a worry. Yeah I was joking of course! We all know it's really all the fsult of that other guy. You know. Him.


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