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D&D 5E 5e and the Cheesecake Factory: Explaining Good Enough

Ad hominem attacks are covered as part of middle school and high school level English units on how to present an argument. I think expecting most people to be familiar with material any 9th grader in the United States is expected to learn is a pretty low bar for conversation.
I don't live in the USA. As a UK teacher, I can tell you it isn't in on the UK National Curriculum.
 

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It means, "Against the person," which accurately describes the fallacy.
Really? You think that is how an ancient Roman would interpret it? What against the person? Does is make sense to say "A totalitarian dictatorship is ad hominem"? I don't know, I'm not fluent in Latin, and I doubt many of the people bandying it about are either. Whatever, it was not part of my education.
 

I believe it means something like "the man". Which, taken literally, makes no sense in the context. Used to describe a type of argument, it's jargon.
I don't give a rat's ass what it originally meant and how it was used in context in Classical Latin. In modern English, it's used to describe an argument that attacks the opponent's character while ignoring the actual content of their argument. Newsflash: words can and do change meaning over time, as they enter different contexts, and if they get poached by other languages. To try and dismiss the usage of a word by dissecting the etymology of its original language is either not understanding linguistics or just being a total pedant.

Non-English example: テンション is a Japanese word meaning excitement or hype. In a sentence: 「今日、テンションが高いんだけど、どうしたの?」Translates to "You seem pretty excited today. Whats going on?"

Except that テンション is literally just the English word "tension" transliterated into katakana. Tension in English can be used to describe a heightened emotional state, but in English it usually has a much more negative connotation. Alternatively, it can mean "The condition of being held in a state between two or more forces, which are acting in opposition to each other", or "Force transmitted through a rope, string, cable, or similar object." Not how テンション is used in Japanese at all; the word itself was borrowed from English but its meaning and context changed.

Just one example. There's many more examples, usually either from English borrowing words wholesale from another language, or vice versa; and in both scenarios sometimes the meanings of the word are different between the original language and the language that borrowed it.
 

I don't give a rat's ass what it originally meant and how it was used in context in Classical Latin. In modern English, it's used to describe an argument that attacks the opponent's character while ignoring the actual content of their argument.
I think we have established that that is in AMERICAN English. English as used in other circles can be quite different. That's what makes something jargon. It's language that seems familiar to the people in your usual circle, but might be incomprehensible, or have different meaning entirely, to someone outside of that circle. It is, therefore, the language of elitism and exclusion.

And you haven't established what makes it a fallacy - i.e. not true. I can see what makes an attack against the person wrong, but that is not the same as false. And that wrongness rather fades when the person is long dead.

Do you call it a fallacy simply because you have been taught to call it a fallacy at school?
 

I think we have established that that is in AMERICAN English. English as used in other circles can be quite different. That's what makes something jargon. It's language that seems familiar to the people in your usual circle, but might be incomprehensible, or have different meaning entirely, to someone outside of that circle. It is, therefore, the language of elitism and exclusion.
At this point you aren't even describing jargon but have somehow shifted into complaining about differences in vocabulary between dialects whilst still calling it "jargon". Which, seeing as you're from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, makes your complaints about supposed "elitism" extremely hard to take seriously, given that the English practically invented elitism. Small consolation for me that the sun finally sets on you all. And even then, forgive me if I'm skeptical of the claim that the term ad hominem is incomprehensible and completely foreign to any of the 40-odd dialects of British English.

I have two cousins from Singapore. Their standard English is pretty good, as is their Mandarin, so we can communicate with each other without much issue; but they also speak the local creole, Singlish, which is largely English based but incorporates words from Malay, Mandarin, and Hokkien. When they talk in Singlish, they become completely incomprehensible to my Canadian ears. But for me to accuse them of using the vocabulary and syntax of their native language as "elitist" would be both culturally insensitive and just plain ridiculous.

And you haven't established what makes it a fallacy - i.e. not true. I can see what makes an attack against the person wrong, but that is not the same as false. And that wrongness rather fades when the person is long dead.

Do you call it a fallacy simply because you have been taught to call it a fallacy at school?
A note: fallacies are not "false statements". They are specifically examples of errors in reasoning and logic that render rhetorical statements unpersuasive. Their truth value is independent of their poor construction as arguments, the latter of which is why they are classified as fallacies.

With that in mind, argumentum ad hominem is a subset of the fallacy of irrelevance, an argument that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, failing to refute the opposing argument by completely missing the point. Unlike a formal fallacy, a statement which is fallacious because the internal logic of the statement does not follow rendering the whole statement non sequitur, ad hominem is a type of informal fallacy, which are errors in reasoning rather than logic; the statement is logically consistent, but it mishandles or even ignores the content of the debate, and thus is unpersuasive. An ad hominem statement is fallacious, despite being logically consistent with itself, because it does not refute the opposing argument but instead serves to divert and mislead the audience's attention by attacking the opponent's character, creating the perception that the contents of the opposing argument are erroneous due to their association with the opponent's character, despite never actually refuting the argument itself.
 
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At this point you aren't even describing jargon but have somehow shifted into complaining about differences in vocabulary between dialects whilst still calling it "jargon". Which, seeing as you're from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, makes your complaints about supposed "elitism" extremely hard to take seriously, given that the English practically invented elitism.
Sure, it's a big problem here. That's why I call it out.

NB: I'm Scottish, not English.

creating the perception that the contents of the opposing argument are erroneous due to their association with the opponent's character, despite never actually refuting the argument itself
I have no interest in the argument - I don't even know what it is - something about celestials on the head of a pin? I just think people should give more consideration to whom they choose to cite.

You don't get clean water from a dirty pipe.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Really? You think that is how an ancient Roman would interpret it? What against the person? Does is make sense to say "A totalitarian dictatorship is ad hominem"? I don't know, I'm not fluent in Latin, and I doubt many of the people bandying it about are either. Whatever, it was not part of my education.
Yes, that how it would be interpreted. The full term in latin is argumentun ad hominiem, or argument against the the person.

I believe that your education probably didn't cover it, but that's not a good reason to insist on remaining ignorant, is it? "I wasn't taught that in school," just doesn't seem a great argument. Nor does labeling something your ignorant of as jargon actually make it jargon. I mean, this is a board about something you weren't taught in school and that is actually full of real jargon, so, under these arguments, is it time to abandon RPGs?
 

Yes, that how it would be interpreted. The full term in latin is argumentun ad hominiem, or argument against the the person.
Thank you for the full and proper transition. That's what I mean - in it's shortened form, and attached to the word "fallacy" it becomes a jargon - something that is trotted out on the assumption that everyone understands what you are talking about.
I believe that your education probably didn't cover it, but that's not a good reason to insist on remaining ignorant, is it?
I'm not insisting on remaining ignorant, I'm asking people to explain what they mean using language I understand.
"I wasn't taught that in school," just doesn't seem a great argument. Nor does labeling something your ignorant of as jargon actually make it jargon. I mean, this is a board about something you weren't taught in school and that is actually full of real jargon, so, under these arguments, is it time to abandon RPGs?
RPGs are certainly full of jargon, it's important we frequently check ourselves and make sure we explain the terminology we use.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think we have established that that is in AMERICAN English. English as used in other circles can be quite different. That's what makes something jargon. It's language that seems familiar to the people in your usual circle, but might be incomprehensible, or have different meaning entirely, to someone outside of that circle. It is, therefore, the language of elitism and exclusion.

And you haven't established what makes it a fallacy - i.e. not true. I can see what makes an attack against the person wrong, but that is not the same as false. And that wrongness rather fades when the person is long dead.

Do you call it a fallacy simply because you have been taught to call it a fallacy at school?
It's not. It's a perfectly cromulent and commonly used phrase describing a well-known logical fallacy. The fact that you personally haven't heard of it doesn't change that.
 



Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I tell you, this thread really is like taking everyone to the Cheesecake Factory!

It all starts with the group getting along, enjoying their dishes.

But the, about two hours in, the volume is noticeably louder, and you notice Derek isn't wearing pants, and it's all downhill from there.

The lesson? They need to build more; after all, they can only kick Derek out of one at a time.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
When people say D&D is the most popular because it’s all they know (or have been brainwashed) then I get uncomfortable. I dislike snide arguments that rely on the assumption that the population is dumber than they are, and can’t make decisions ‘correctly’ and doesn’t know what they want.
First, I agree with you. Second I will provide a counter example, myself.

I am currently getting into VTT from zero, And I am on Roll20. I have read that there are other better, cheaper, VTT, but of the two I tried (the other was Fantasy Grounds) Roll20 was easier to get into. And that is what I am doing right now, getting into VTT. So I am an example of what you're disliking - but I also show a way out. Becasue once I have become familiar with the concepts of VTT, I may move on. Or I may not. I still use an iPhone tough there is serious competition today; I never bothered to check them out because iPhone is good enough. Maybe Roll20 will be good enough. * Shrugs * Or maybe I just can't stop writing useless posts.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
First, I agree with you. Second I will provide a counter example, myself.

I am currently getting into VTT from zero, And I am on Roll20. I have read that there are other better, cheaper, VTT, but of the two I tried (the other was Fantasy Grounds) Roll20 was easier to get into. And that is what I am doing right now, getting into VTT. So I am an example of what you're disliking - but I also show a way out. Becasue once I have become familiar with the concepts of VTT, I may move on. Or I may not. I still use an iPhone tough there is serious competition today; I never bothered to check them out because iPhone is good enough. Maybe Roll20 will be good enough. * Shrugs * Or maybe I just can't stop writing useless posts.
Aha. That’s fair.

I started in the same place as you almost exactly the same as you. New to VTT

Everyone told me how amazing Foundry was so I paid by $50 and then started to play. Liked a lot of the features (like player openable doors and transition lighting). Then found when I did a trial run with players that I couldn’t just give them a password to access the system online - I don’t believe this was clear in the product description when I bought it. Or if it did, it made it look trivially easy to fix.

I spent 3 hours looking at YouTube videos trying to make it work. The instructions were described by someone comfortable modding and working with computers clearly (that’s not me). Eventually I downloaded a freeware product to open my PC up as a server, but other players had to download the same too. It all looked a bit dodgy, I didn’t like the idea of asking my friends to download freeware if never heard of based on a YouTube recommendation. We gave it a go anyway... I couldn’t get it to work.

So I paid for a subscription to Forge - a foundry add on. Bearing in mind I’ve now paid a large up front fee and a subscription and not player a session on it now. We got to do our trial session. It took about an hour to sort out the Forge you tube videos and another 30 mins to upload everything I had done on Foundry for the first game. My players logged in. Two managed it but the third just got a blank tabletop screen and couldn’t see any maps, tokens or anything in the compendium.

Now I’m not being funny, but at several points during this experience I would happily have given up. I persevered though mainly on the recommendation of people who seemed to really know what they were talking about... dare I say experts.

I think people tend to overlook obstacles they have already overcome as if they were trivial. Now I like transition lighting, and I like player controlled doors. The question I have to ask myself is, had I known what a ball ache it was going to be, would I have bothered. I suspect not.

So I went back to Roll20 for D&D and use the Dynamic Lighting panel to control when doors are opened. That in some regards let’s me match the flow of visual information to my descriptions. It takes a few seconds more but it’s far more user friendly for me and my players. Ultimately that counts more for me that knobs and whistles.

I reckon there’s a sweet spot between the simplicity of Owlbear Rodeo and The Foundry. Roll20 seems to fit that sweet spot for me. No doubt someone could suggest an alternative sweet spot, but the phrase once bitten twice shy springs to mind. I’ll stick to what I know. The risk that people have over estimated benefits and underestimated hurdles is too great.
 
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fearsomepirate

Adventurer
Roll20's interface sucks for open-world-ish campaigns, but it works reliably and is free. Pretty sure it's the top VTT right now at 5 million users. I use Fantasy Grounds, but it can be kind of janky. A while back, it decided that nobody was going to get maps, just a gray screen. Then, a few weeks ago, it let my players see maps again!
 

Starfox

Adventurer
Roll20's ... works reliably and is free...
We use a few pieces of code - the standard roll we use is one exploding d6 minus another exploding d6. That far, it is free. But rolls where both dice show the same result can have special significance, and we use some code to notify us when that happens. That requires us to pay a monthly fee. Its small things that make a difference! Anyway, to us it is worth it and the cost is much less than what we save by not ordering pizza like we used to when we were all here. A worse problem is that I pay rent for my gaming room, which is about 1/3 of my apartment that now barely sees any use. In fact until very recently the gaming table still had things on it from out last face-to-face session, before Corona. :eek:
 

fearsomepirate

Adventurer
Fantasy Grounds somehow does not have basic things like Fighters' Second Wind and Rogue's Sneak Attack coded into it. You have to manually add all that kind of crap. You also need to use a 3rd-party mod for a Ring of Protection to actually give +1 bonuses. There's no good reason for this.
 

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