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  • Imaro's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 04:11 PM
    Could you better explain what you mean by significant in this case When you say "richer, wider, consequence-laden descriptions of what the PCs do..." are you just speaking to results of an action? Because I don't think establishing the result falls into the same bucket as descriptions of what the PC's do. In your example about winking and melting the woman's heart the I see it as the...
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    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:24 PM
    Yeah but one person can certainly be a catalyst. And that's the last I'll say on it.
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    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 04:16 AM
    I think it was pretty civil until one particular poster showed up and I suspect that's been his purpose since joining the discussion.
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  • Imaro's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 04:11 AM
    I'd answer this if I even vaguely thought you asked in good faith so... Are you going to keep fishing for attention or are you actually going to contribute to the thread? Hey since you prefer a conversational game how about you do something worthwhile and give an example so we can better understand what you actually mean and how it differs from the narrated examples given earlier in the...
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:53 PM
    Can you give an example of this conversational style that accepts the way all people communicate? EDIT: Also what do you do if you have a player who likes evocative narration??
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:39 PM
    It might be because no one has asserted anything is "invalid" or "best" (except for themselves and their group's playstyle).
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  • Imaro's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:28 PM
    Can you post an example of how your games go? This I think is what's missing from the thread. We have multiple examples of the narrative style (whether you use it alot or only rarely) but I've yet to see an example of this totally neutral, non-narrative, no jargon playstyle. I'm actually curious to know at this point what it actually looks/sounds like...
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:58 PM
    Even the order you describe things in as noted by a poster above can influence how the players react to a situation. Could you give an example of one of these totally neutral non-influential descriptions? I mean even your reference to Barakka and Shredder (both evil, aggressive, villains) is going to influence how the players are thinking about the encounter. Uhm... ok
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  • Imaro's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:43 PM
    I just don't think this is a realistic way of looking at communication period. how we say things, word choice, etc are an intrinsic part of communication for good or bad.
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:41 PM
    Emphasis mine... if you are the GM and are the sole source of information for the PC's this is impossible.
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:43 PM
    No it doesnt Now let's clarify something first... I dont like or enjoy narrative prose in my game is a different and much more reasonable argument than... How I present something doesnt matter. One is subjective and much more narrow. The other, IMO, is a much larger claim which IMO is ludicrous. You may not like it but it is what it is. Edit: Also how are Barakka and Shredder not "nerd" or...
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:06 PM
    I disagree with this statement. How you say something, how its presented, how it's interpreted/received can, IMO, be just as important as what you are saying. Edit: To clarify... if your group had no reference point for the two characters you used... you would have to find a different means of presenting in order to convey what your content is correctly.
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Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 08:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    ... a main clause ("rubbish is scattered about") that is, as far as information is concerned, of secondary interest. The clause what was once a fine guest bedroom is the main information-bearing clause from the point of view of describing what's there. The mismatch between syntactic structure and informational structure is a stylistic device. My contrasting formulation - it's a run-down bedroom with rubbish scattered about - aligns the syntax with the information: the syntactically main clause is also the main information-bearing clause, while the bit about rubbish is reduced to an adjectival phrase. It's that, not the extremely modest vocabulary change (ie my example replaces was once fine with is run down and drops the "guest" because I don't see how the past use of a bedroom as a guest bedroom is knowable by mere visual inspection), that makes my reworking less "narrative" and more conversational. The analysis I've just offered might also be relevant to the ongoing exchange between Imaro and Aldarc (? I think, haven't gone back to check) about what a conversational style might actually look like.

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

  • 02:09 AM - Hussar mentioned Imaro in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    LOL. So, essentially, all Saelorn is seeing of this thread is Bedrockgames talking to himself? Unless Imaro somehow avoided the block hammer. ROTFLMAO. That has to be the WEIRDEST thread to see. :D :lol: Ok, so, yeah, Aldarc and Bedrockgames, I'd put things like diction, organization, that sort of stuff, under the umbrella of "presentation". How you get the information from A to B, rather than the content of that information itself. Now, at that point, sure, I can see a more conversational style being one way of doing it. Less formal, less formulaic. And, again, it's going to really, really depend on the game you are playing. Some games will necessitate a more "narrative" style just to evoke particular moods and tones. I just find that when I do that, and don't work from well structured notes (or boxed text) I forget stuff. I miss details. The other issue I have is pacing. Which, honestly, is my own bugaboo. As someone running the game, I want to get as much information into the player's hands as quickly and efficiently as possible. Which means that I need to organize...

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 01:21 PM - Aldarc mentioned Imaro 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 conversationa...

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 03:52 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Imaro in post Should I play 4e?
    ...y sacred cows. But, the classes weren't "samey" and some of the differences were in powers vs features. The wizard, in particular, had virtually all it's role support baked into it's powers, it's features were kinda cute, but not all that. The fighters features were potent and combat-oriented with strong role support - it's powers could be pretty cool, but were mostly vehicles for that role support. So, I'm just going to say two things I have noticed, and I hope you take them in the spirit of a good-faith conversation: The first is that I have noticed that you often state your playstyle preferences as if they were fact; which is not conducive to a good conversation! There is a difference between normative (what ought to be) and descriptive (what is). Now, you might have very strong preferences regarding what is, and isn't, good design; I know that we have previously discussed, inter alia, our differences regarding what constitutes "balance" in a game. I think that this is what @Imaro and others are mentioning when they discuss the lack of citation; it is fine to discuss preferences, but it is much harder to discuss a preference when that preference is asserted as a fact. If someone says that they like butter pecan ice cream, and that anyone who enjoys other types of ice cream is just clinging to their sacred cows, that tends to escalate issues, instead of leading to a better understanding of actual differences w/r/t preferences. The second is that when I review the things you write, they don't seem in accord with what I have found from independent research from more neutral sources. For example: A. A common claim I have seen is that Essentials fixes many of the problems people had with 4e; in other words, that had Essentials been released earlier, it would have solved a lot of problems (incl. bugs, math issues, the desire for a simpler class, etc.). Now, as I wrote, this unfortunately happened after 4e was already "dead" as a product, but then you essentially...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 05:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...nied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. That sentence, as written, says that content matters, and wording doesn't matter. I'm not asking you to stand by or renounce that sentence as the sum of your thoughts on form and content; I was challenging Ovinomancer's assertion that no one had said anything along those lines.If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't understand the relevant semantic features of natural language. Hriston literally did not assert that the particular words used by a speaker never matter to the effectiveness of communication. Which is the assertion that you and Imaro appear to be imputing to him. (And if that's not what you're imputing, then why is he turning up at the end of your "gotcha" stick?) when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. Again, this is just false. Hriston wrote some words which, if misinterpreted, are capable of bearing the meaning that you and Imaro attribute to them. But that doesn't mean that Hriston said the thing that you are misinterpreting him as having said. That's what makes your interpretation a misinterpretation. Ovinomancer even pointed this out, after Hriston pointed it out, and yet you persist in attributing your misinterpretation. Why? What's the point? What do you think it's adding to the thread?
  • 05:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I did not miss that. Hriston said what he said, in the words he used. You can stand by your assertion that no one has said any such thing; you can walk it back; or you can deflect, dodge, distract and dissemble.Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: If the literary is unimportant, then why do DMGíd include dungeon dressing sections, most of which has little to no mechanical impact? Because color (dungeon dressing) is content that provides atmosphere when imagined by the participants at the table. The quality of form with which itís expressed isnít whatís important but rather whether the odors, noises, furnishings, and items found in an area suggest a torture chamber, a harem, or a wizardís laboratory. In other words, itís the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said.Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a literary matter simply because it's non-mechanical, and also an apparent implication that the role and significance of dungeon dressing is a matter of evocative words used rather than content conveyed. Is anyone seriously suggesting, on the bas...

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 02:25 PM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...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 by situati...
  • 05:41 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro 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 - fram...

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 02:07 PM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ... eg TS Eliot as a famous example.) But those are hardly typical teaching texts, and my guess is that the number of ESL classes that use this sort of literary criticism to try and teach English is pretty small. lacking any literary effort on the part of the DM, all these things are are bags of game stats. There's nothing distinguishing them. Or, to put it another way, what's the difference between a 5 hp orc and a 5 hp goblin?If I'm using the AD&D MM, one is brown and one is yellow. If I'm using DDG, one worships Gruumsh and one worships Maglubiyet. A person can describe and explain things without aiming at literary beauty. despite REPEATED requests that you clarify what "literary", "literary quality" and "wordcraft" and various other words you've tried to toss into the mix, you've never actually sat down and defined what you mean by these terms in a way that folks in the thread understand what you're on about. Clearly plenty of folks do - everyone but you, Maxperson and Imaro as far as I can tell. And frankly even Imaro seems to understand the point, despite protesting that it's unclear. He just disagrees with it - that is, he thinks that RPGing is a literary endeavour, and would find a game boring in which the GM didn't aim at literary quality in his/her narration. It seems worth mentioning at this point that not all disagreement is a result of unclear usage or uncertainty over definitions. Aesthetic debates aren't much like mathematics, in that respect at least. Anyway, to aim at literary quality is to try and produce pleasing, beautiful, evocative writing. Most poets do this. Most novelists do this. Fewer instructional writers do this - I've read recipe books that seem to aspire to literary quality, but never stereo or furniture assembly instructions. I've read a lot of academic papers over the years - these tend to aim at clarity, but many clearly do not aim at literary quality. Statutes, regulations, contracts and other legal instruments - of whi...

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 01:36 PM - Sadras mentioned Imaro 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.

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 08:58 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Once you have the very basics, every things else is optional. I hate to snip so much of your interesting post....but I think I agree with most of it, and it can be boiled down to this bit above. What are the basics? Are there any that would apply to all of the myriad games you cited? Or most? Most is probably the best that can be hoped for. I think this is what Imaro and Aldarc have touched on. You had mentioned imagination, and I'd agree. I added buy in or willingness. What else can we list as core to the RPG experience?
  • 03:49 PM - Aldarc mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Cant this be claimed for almost anything .. case in point... I dont think character relevant/specific content (mainly the type pemerton puts forth earlier in the thread) is necessary for the rpg medium (andmight run counter to certain styles of GMing and play, such as beer & pretzels or games where exploration of the world is the focus). Edit: in other words rpg's are so varied, playstyles are so varied and DM styles are so varied is there anything specific that can be applied to all??I'm not sure if I could answer, but your question, Imaro, is definitely a question worth asking. But we can also find tremendous diversity in video games, film/television, and other media as well. Presumably it's the experience of participatory roleplay conjoined with mechanical processes to create shared fiction that binds everything together. Everything else are probably bells and whistles. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 05:43 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro 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. But as I posted upthread in reply to A...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 04:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    tell us about how you see RPGs working. For instance, what do you see as the role of situation in RPGing. Why do you think the narratie crat with which a situation is presented is so important?What is it that you think we've been doing this whole time? It's not engaging in playstyle wars or pushing a playstyle agenda.To elaborate on my question, then: upthread Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree? What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to which players and/or PCs will engage with them. Do you agree? Upthread Hussar has complained about players who just want the GM to "roll up the plot wagon". What do you think the players have a duty to bring to the table? For instance, do you think the players have a duty to be enthusiastic about the situation the GM presents? Not at all far upthread Bedrockgame posited a contrast between GM as storyteller/entertainer and GM as facilitator/adjudicator. Do you think this is a useful contrast? If so, which side of it do you favour? If not, why not? Upthread - both a long way upthread, and in my past few posts - I've made some comments a...
  • 03:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ... I already posted why crafted narration and conveying a situation that draws in the players might come into conflict. The first benefits from preparation (and the resulting opportunity to test, edit, etc). Whereas the second - like conversation, which has been my reiterated comparitor - benefits from spontaneous engagement within the back-and-forth at the table. EDIT: The description isn't what makes a situation in an RPG interesting: the situation is what makes interesting because it is interacting and part of a back and forth conversation. I honestly don't care if the GM is stumbling over words, uses the same adjective twice in a row for no reason, uses a ten dollar word that somewhat misses the mark, when a more precise 1 dollar word would do....those are all things I care about when I am reading quality books. When I am playing a game I am engaged with another human being and through them, a situation as my character.This is as good an account of the OP claim as any other. Imaro, Maxperson - you may disagree that what Bedrockgames describes here, and what I describe in the OP, is a good account of RPGing. That's fine and (it goes without saying) your prerogative. But I don't see why the discussion about this raises any issues about the meaning of words. I don't see how it helps the discussio by trying to argue that I, or Bedrockgames, is engaged in self-contradiction. Instead: tell us about how you see RPGs working. For instance, what do you see as the role of situation in RPGing. Why do you think the narratie crat with which a situation is presented is so important?

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 05:45 AM - Hussar mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Honestly, I think two things are very true in this thread. 1. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant. Literary or performance simply means HOW the material is presented in the game, either in written form or in oral during a session. Literary carries additional connotations of utilizing various literary devices. Did you use pathetic fallacy during the session? Did you use foreshadowing? Did you engage various tropes of the genre? Then you are using literary devices. 2. Essentially this argument is as old as gaming. Which is more important, fluff or crunch? Some folks think that crunch (@Pemerton refers to task resolution) as all important and fluff (or flavor, or performance, or whatever you want to call it), while perhaps interesting, is largely unimportant. Others, like myself and I believe Imaro, think that flavor and crunch are both equally important and equally needed in an RPG. That an RPG without flavor is, well, pretty much that randomly generated adventure dungeon I posted a couple of pages ago.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 11:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    So, in your mind, an RPG is akin to technical writing? No emotion whatsoever. Not at all. Imaro is the person who introduced clarity as a desideratum. My point was that clarity is not really connected to literary quality, and pointed to instructions as an example. If you agree that instructions don't typically display literary quality, then I think you should agree that - to the extent that clarity matters in RPGing - then that doesn't really bear on the issues raised in the OP. The comparisons that I have made to the sort of communication that takes place in RPGing are other forms of more-or-less intimate communications where artifice and literary quality are not pre-eminent concerns, such as conversation and letters. These don't evoke emotions because of their literary qualities. They invoke emotions because they pertain to things the interlocutor cares about. In conversations and letters, the caring is about actual things that matter to the interlocutor. In RPGing, the caring is the result of the player wanting to play his/her PC - because that's the point of the game - ...

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 12:13 AM - Hussar mentioned Imaro in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I honestly am not sure what you are saying Just to add to what Imaro said, and hopefully clarify the point of this thread. At least, to the point to which I understand it anyway (which, given previous history, might not be understanding what's going on at all... :p) From what I understand, we are positing that there are two main elements of an RPG - what I've termed content and what I've termed performance. I define content, in the context of this thread, to mean all the stuff that goes into playing an RPG. Laying out a scenario, building a scene with the players and the DM creating a back and forth conversation which resolves the scenario, rolling dice, that sort of thing. All the stuff that's, more or less, specifically called out by the rules of whatever RPG you're playing. IOW, content=stuff that you need to play the game. You cannot play an RPG without content, well, unless your RPG is akin to Godot: The Waitening. :D Performance, on the other hand, isn't really defined by the rules of an RPG. It might be referenced, but, it's gene...

Sunday, 10th February, 2019

  • 11:34 PM - pemerton mentioned Imaro in post Introducing Complications Without Forcing Players to Play the "Mother May I?" Game
    Imaro - you seem obsessed by 1% chances. I posted guidelines and rules from mulitple systems upthread (Prince Valiant, Classic Traveller, 4e D&D, and maybe BW as well but I can't remember that one exactly), and talked about the odds that they establish, and I even made the point that Admin in Classic Traveller, with its base 1 in 6 chance for untrained and 5 in 6 chance for trained is probably sailing pretty close to meaningful limits here. when you give the DM the ability to determine DC's using his own judgement (which both 4e and Traveler do, not sure about BW) you are in fact, for all intents and purposes, giving him the power to decide unilaterally whether something is possible or notYou seem to be assuming here that the GM will ignore the rules for setting difficulties, and/or will apply them in arbitrary ways that depart from the system rules and guidelines. I don't think it's in dispute that a GM who ignores the system principles may produce a bad play experience - or, in othe...
  • 04:10 PM - darkbard mentioned Imaro in post Introducing Complications Without Forcing Players to Play the "Mother May I?" Game
    You keep failing to engage the question of degrees. [...] Note: We are not speaking to how you in particular run a game...we are speaking to what the rules of said game allow. You keep making this point about 4e but if I assume as has been argued by many of it's proponents that we use the challenge to set DC's and the DM has unilateral control over what challenges are presented to the players... how do the mechanics of 4e not allow for the situation posted above (mainly an impossible DC or a DC so trivially easy you can;t help but pass)? Imaro, you claim this, but pemerton has engaged this directly upthread: From the 4e Rules Compendium (pp 126-27): The following definitions help the Dungeon Master determine which of the three DCs is appropriate for a particular check. The goal is to pick a DC that is an appropriate challenge for a particular scenario or encounter. Easy: An easy DC is a reasonable challenge for creatures that do not have training in a particular skill. Such creatures have about a 65 percent chance of meeting an easy DC of their level. An easy DC is a minimal challenge for a creature that has training in the skill, and it is almost a guaranteed success for one that also has a high bonus with the skill. In group checks (page 128) or when every adventurer in a party is expected to attempt a given skill check, particularly when no one necessarily has training, an easy DC is the standard choice for the scenario. Moderate: A moderate DC is a reasonable challenge for creatures that have training in ...


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 11:47 AM - gyor quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    This is the probably the last time I'll reply to you on this because you don't seem to get it. There are two axis that I find the 4e and 5e Tieflings not to my liking... The first is the standardized appearance most epitomized in 4e but also a part of 5e... however with SCAG and that small sidebar you mentioned the freedom for Tieflings to have a non-unified look was opened up... were there a ton of examples given? Nope but the point is the option was given... and the precedence was set for it to be expanded on by DM's either in home campaigns or through DM's Guild. The second is the imposition of a monolithic and singular background...either they are all descendants of the nobles of a single civilization/culture/etc. mostly epitomized in 4e by all of them being part of the corrupted nobles of the Bael Turath civilization or we have the all Asmodeus narrative in 5e... it amounts to the same thing a narrowing of the possibilities in origin and background of Tieflings that I don't th...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 07:25 PM - Aldarc quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Lol...but WotC offered non 4e/Asmodeus variants... in the first supplement they produced for 5e... so no one is saying they dont know what they are doing.(1) These tieflings are still all infernal-based, if anything 5e SCAG made tieflings far more Asmodeus-only than 4e actually did (see below). ;) (2) The actual 4e lore was that the human nobles who would become tieflings made pacts with the devils of the Nine Hells. We are never told that it was with Asmodeus or that tieflings were an Asmodeus-only thing. Far from it. 4e Tiefling book, p. 4: Long ago, so long that none but immortals can remember it, a human kingdom called Bael Turath expanded into a grand empire. As with all great empires, Bael Turath built itself up on the prostrate backs of conquered kingdoms. Assuredly, some conquests were just, and the world was better off without Bael Turathís enemies. Of course, the people of the growing empire also fought and died in many wars for less than noble reasons. Also as with all g...
  • 09:53 AM - Aldarc quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Is this a statement about what players of 5e prefer... is fan art being used as support for said statement??It's a statement that the game's visions for certain monsters evolves and occasionally becomes more solidified through editions. Like, how many pick tiefling and base their look off some Blizzard fan art of a draenai? I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a few of them.At least one of my friends did.
  • 08:21 AM - Hussar quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Nope its art expressing a dislike for something or is that not allowed now?? /snip "I'm with stupid" and a picture of a 4e tiefling that looks like it's just whaled a bag full of weed is "expressing a dislike"? Your protestations would ring a lot less hollow if you actually made even the slightest effort to be objective. But, the fact that not only does that image get a pass, but, it actually gets approved by you pretty much says it all. I mean, seriously, if you replaced that 4e tiefling with some sad, fat neckbeard in a I Heart Gygax t-shirt, you'd blow a gasket about how insulting that is. But, this? Oh, this is just "expressing a dislike". Just sad. But, yeah, Maxperson, you're 100% right. The best way to deal with this sort of thing is just to refuse to respond to it.
  • 07:50 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Yep just like 4e didn't change the cosmology of other D&D settings when it introduced the World Axis... If youíre referencing what I think, thatís a really sad straw man attempt connected to a different thread that has no relevance to this one.
  • 04:39 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    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. You've invented that insinuation.
  • 03:44 AM - Hussar quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    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. Huh. I guess I imagined this: 107531 WHich isn't trying to tell anyone that they're doing things wrong. No, not at all. 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. This isn't about my dislike for Planescape. This is about my dislike of Planescape grognards constandly bitching and ...

Sunday, 14th July, 2019

  • 09:00 PM - dave2008 quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    The fact that WotC created them in 5e to meet ( I would assume, as you are assuming fan art correlates with the origin or appearance people want to/or are actually playing when choosing tieflings in 5e) some sort of demand... Yes and again I agree (as I thought I stated in the original post). The post I was responding to insinuated that people were demanding Teiflings of a different appearance

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 09:21 AM - Hussar quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    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 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.
  • 01:55 AM - Aldarc quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Seriously?? I'm not going to break down what each of the 10 subraces are, what they look like count artwork pieces in various WotC books or anything else you're asking for here. I'm sorry. You said that I was basing my argument on assumptions, which certainly led me to assume that you had not. So let me help summarize some of what I found. MToF: These eight tiefling subraces do not affect or mention any unique appearance of the tieflings. The subraces affect the secondary ability modifier and the tiefling bonus spells. All tieflings presented here have infernal ancestry. The art consisting of two tieflings is consistent with their art in 4-5e. The writers though do not spend much time (or page count) talking about tieflings in this book, as this section is predominately about Devils, Demons, and the Blood War. Dwarves, elves, halflings, gnomes, and gith get more discussion in this book. SCAG: Gives the option for variant tieflings in a sidebar. There are four mechanical options. Th...
  • 01:10 AM - Hussar quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Small upright horns, no tail...and blue skin are all traits inconsistent with 5e phb tieflings... Thatís your definition of small? Ok. I can see why you think the way you do.
  • 12:47 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Wait... didn't 4e introduce changes to the FR, Dark Sun and Eberron? But changing a single deity is off the table in 4e's setting? Why? This makes it look like you didnít read what you were quoting. 4e didnít change anything to fit a common unified cosmology. The worlds were still separate. Youíve completely misread or ignored what I said. Why aren't you searching for 5e Tieflings and looking at the art that pops up which is probably more representative of both the edition we are talking about as well as the race? . I literally told you that I did so. Seriously read posts before replying to them.
  • 12:23 AM - Hussar quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    /snip https://i.redd.it/g7zgspt3f2wz.png Huh. Big, back sweeping horns, blue skin. How is this not the default 5e tiefling? No tail I suppose. :erm: /snip From an anecdotal perspective, I usually have one tiefling per group in 5e. Heh. Fair enough. As I said, I've never actually seen one in play.

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - Aldarc quoted Imaro 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 ...
  • 11:05 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    (and yes that includes Nentir Vale)Just a quibble: Nentir Vale was just a place, a pretty small place, really, that could be dropped in many a generic fantasy world. Not a setting in the sense of Planescape or Greyhawk or anything like that.
  • 11:03 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Hasn't this been (in a broad sense) the canon for every edition of D&D since 1e (excluding 4e)? I mean Eberron just like Dark Sun and Ravenloft are variant settings why would any of their cosmologies be the canon for D&D (and yes that includes Nentir Vale) and why would you expect there not to be changes to accommodate them? It has never been canon in a way that required changing settings that were canonically disconnected from other worlds. Expecting a situation like Nentir Vale having to make the Raven Queen not have killed Nerule because he's alive in Greyhawk is both new, and completely bonkers. Funny when I googled 5e Tiefling this is the 2nd fan art piece I got... It looks nothing like the default... More importantly when I look at the art being used to represent tiefling characters on websites, blogs, twitter, etc. they seem to be be pulled from a wide range of Tiefling interpretations. Why are we only looking at fan art as a metric vs. what those playing tieflings in 5e are u...
  • 10:20 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Imaro 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? The design team loves planescape. like, a lot. To the point where they decided, without any survey data to back it up, to make planescape the canon of all 5e dnd. Even to the point where they had to come up with a weird explanation for why the cosmology and history of certain races are different in Eberron. It's a mind boggling decision, IMO, but that ship has sailed into the space between crystal spheres. Apperently, we're su...
  • 08:51 PM - Aldarc quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Possibly but in general Druids being in the PHB means they are more than likely, from exposure alone, going to be more popular than a class regulated to a single campaign setting which is what Tieflings were in 2e or a splat book which is where they were found in 3e...But not always. I seem to recall from D&D Next polls that some of the PHB classes included in 5e were actually beaten in popularity by some of the classes that didn't. (Sadly most of the articles from this time were taken down.) The same is also true now when looking at PF2. There are classes that will be in the PF2 PHB1 that were out-stripped in popularity by later introduced classes of PF1 (e.g., Witch, Oracle, etc.).
  • 08:08 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Imaro in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Or it might have been that they were (finally) put in the core rulebooks, you know the books that the majority of people playing the game actually buy and use... just saying. Druids are in the PHB, and yet they're pretty low on the list of most played classes. PHB status doesn't explain it by itself.
  • 12:48 AM - Scrivener of Doom quoted Imaro in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    You're assuming the issue is that DM'ing 5e is hard when there may be a simpler answer... more people just want to play than DM. If that is the case no amount of making DM'ing easy is going to entice them. I have players in my group like this, it's not that DM'ing is too hard it's that they just want to play. (snip) People are fundamentally lazy so playing is the easy way out. By contrast, DMing requires effort and accepting responsibility: That clashes with the innate laziness of most of us. (snip) EDIT: IMO 5e is the easiest edition of D&D to DM, especially when using something like the Starter Set or Essentials Kit as a jumping off point. If anything it may be that 5e is just a victim of its overwhelming success and that player growth has just outpaced DM growth for now since I would assume most people get into rpg's by first playing. Honestly, I don't think 5E is as easy to DM as 4E. With 4E, everything is there on the stat block. With 5E you still have to look things up. And th...


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