Why are we okay with violence in RPGs? - Page 14
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  1. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    I'm not @Lanefan, but the obvious limitation is that it removes XPs as Reward. Milestone seems to negate individual creative/smart efforts by characters, moving from individual level progression to a party-progression paradigm.

    Milestone certainly has its uses. Personally I would use that style of progression in more linear/railroad-y games which have a strong storyline buy-in.
    Individual level advancement started to be seriously problematic with 3e. In AD&D, advancement was less regular in general for things like the to-hit tables and saves, plus monster vs party balancing was less granular. The game tolerated having PCs at varying levels in the same party better.

    3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in this factor). Characters who lagged more than about a level were put, relatively speaking, at more of a disadvantage. Ultimately, the tighter the design, the more it makes sense to advance them all as a group than as individuals.
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  2. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Individual level advancement started to be seriously problematic with 3e. In AD&D, advancement was less regular in general for things like the to-hit tables and saves, plus monster vs party balancing was less granular. The game tolerated having PCs at varying levels in the same party better.

    3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in this factor). Characters who lagged more than about a level were put, relatively speaking, at more of a disadvantage. Ultimately, the tighter the design, the more it makes sense to advance them all as a group than as individuals.
    Good point! Never thought about it before from this perspective. Thanks.

  3. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    3e and 4e both regularized advancement and had more precision in encounter design (4e more than 3e, in this factor). Characters who lagged more than about a level were put, relatively speaking, at more of a disadvantage. Ultimately, the tighter the design, the more it makes sense to advance them all as a group than as individuals.
    One thing I really appreciate in games is the extent to which they support/tolerate mixed levels.

  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    The scientific community recognizes "good" and "evil" as human concepts, not natural states of the universe
    Absolutely; but the theological community tends to believe they are natural states. I was drawing a parallel between the theological community's age-old search for an answer to the theological question "is humanity naturally good/evil?" with the scientific question posed by this thread. In general using theology to inform science works poorly, so I definitely wasn't suggesting that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    There's a problem with discussing our "default state" ... There are no humans in the "wild" state - where "wild" is "without human influence". We are social animals, so our natural state is *with* human influence. Our "default" is "adapted to live within a community of other humans".
    I am not sure why you conclude that there is a problem -- in fact, on the face if it, you seem to be supporting my conjecture. I stated that research indicates that humanity is innately social -- and you confirm that "Our default is adapted to live within a community". Isn't that the same thing -- or at least close enough for internet conversation?

    Your statement equating "wild" as "without human influence" seems a rather odd statement. Would you consider ants as not being "wild" as they are rarely found "without ant influence"? Or are you asserting that the default state of a species is that state when they are not in contact with humanity, specifically -- so that, by definition, humanity cannot be in a default state?

    If the latter, then we can bypass that objection by looking at research on "wild" apes, specifically chimpanzees, which have murder rates closer to humanity than to the average mammal. They, like us exhibit both social and territorial aspects. I cannot find a good paper on the subject, but investigations into the causes of ape murder seem rare ...

  5. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    The scientific community recognizes "good" and "evil" as human concepts, not natural states of the universe. The question of whether we are born good or evil makes little sense, when we *define* good and evil only after we are born!
    Ethics: What is good and bad?
    Meta-Ethics: What are good and bad?
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  6. #136
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    Tangentially I wonder how normal play is differentiated from irregular play in various systems. We can ask if certain play styles become more prevalent in chat or PbP games. And I wonder if there is any meaningful way to play solo other than as a murderhobo (maybe as a novelist, I suppose).

  7. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWills View Post
    I am not sure why you conclude that there is a problem -- in fact, on the face if it, you seem to be supporting my conjecture. I stated that research indicates that humanity is innately social -- and you confirm that "Our default is adapted to live within a community". Isn't that the same thing -- or at least close enough for internet conversation?
    You aren't the only one in the thread that has tried to refer to something like the human "natural state". I was speaking to the entire concept with your post as merely a jumping off point, as it was the most recent to use the concept.

    Your statement equating "wild" as "without human influence" seems a rather odd statement. Would you consider ants as not being "wild" as they are rarely found "without ant influence"?
    No. Just as a wild cat is not "without cat influence". Wild is variously, "in a natural environment" or "undomesticated" - which I restated as 'without human influence" (which isn't the entirety of it, but was enough for my point). Ants living in a human building are not in a natural environment, so may not behave or develop in ways other members of the species that are in natural environments do.

    I'm basically suggesting that all humans are, for our purposes, domesticated.

    If the latter, then we can bypass that objection by looking at research on "wild" apes, specifically chimpanzees, which have murder rates closer to humanity than to the average mammal. They, like us exhibit both social and territorial aspects. I cannot find a good paper on the subject, but investigations into the causes of ape murder seem rare ...
    Well, that'd be cherry picking.

    Researchers complied data from some 426 combined years of observation of chimpanzees, across 18 different chimp communities - a total of 152 killings were reported.

    When the did the same for bonobos, a combined 92 years of observations - just a single suspected killing.

    Similar behavior is not generally seen in gorillas, unless they are forced into large groups with 3+ potential breeding males, not the natural state for the animals.

    So, chimpanzees murder at human rates. Bonobos and gorillas don't. From this larger view, violent behavior does not seem that great apes, in general, are particularly violent. Jumping to the conclusion based on chimpanzees alone seems questionable in the larger context.

  8. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    I'm basically suggesting that all humans are, for our purposes, domesticated
    I guess that if you define "humans living with other humans" as not in a natural state, then, yes, you come to the conclusion that humans do not have a natural state. It seems a bit extreme to me, honestly, but OK.

  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWills View Post
    I guess that if you define "humans living with other humans" as not in a natural state, then, yes, you come to the conclusion that humans do not have a natural state. It seems a bit extreme to me, honestly, but OK.
    I think you are missing the point a bit.

    Folks are asking whether "violent" is the "natural state" for humans. They then have to turn and look for what the "natural state" for humans actually is... and wind up reaching for straws, because they want to find the thing analogous to the feral cat, when no such thing exists.

    Basically, "natural" human behavior is everything we already see. There is no *other* natural state to look for. All the wide variability we see in human behavior is, in effect, natural for us. Some of us are violent. Others of us aren't. Whether you call humanity a violent species perhaps depends more on what the threshold you set for being a violent species - and thus says more about the person setting the threshold than anything else.
    Last edited by Umbran; Friday, 14th June, 2019 at 08:44 PM.

  10. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaodi View Post
    Ethics: What is good and bad?
    Meta-Ethics: What are good and bad?
    Metagame-Ethics: How can I exploit the alignment system out-of-character to win the game?
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