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RPG Theory- The Limits of My Language are the Limits of My World

Hilarious. But I don't think we can pretend that some terms, like "railroading" or "agency" are value neutral. There's the established context of their use within the hobby, in online and in person discussions and in game books. So some terms should be used advisedly if the goal is to have a helpful and mutually productive conversation.

But why? If I'm going to critique something....let's say a TV Show like The Sopranos.....I should use the language that suits what I'm trying to say. If I want to say that at times, the pace of the show is glacial, that likely (intentionally!) has negative connotations. It's something I am saying I don't like about the show.

Why shouldn't I be able to use the terms I think are relevant?

If someone disagrees with me, then they can explain why. "The sometimes slow pace of the show is to give us insights into characters that may not seem relevant at the time, but which will pay off later on" or something similar. It may not change my mind about my criticism, but hey, maybe it will. Doesn't change the fact that there's more than one opinion on the matter.

Normative critique strives to be disinterested, that is, be able to make judgments according to objective standards and avoid self-interested statements (like, saying a work of art is beautiful simply because I happen to enjoy its color palette). However, it's very possible to claim a position of neutrality while (consciously or unconsciously) elevating what one personally enjoys to status of objective good. Or, it can easily be perceived that way. Just something to be mindful of, in general.

Sure, but is anyone really striving for normative critique in these discussions? I'd say the majority of what's discussed is undoubtedly subjective.

I think the use of jargon is where this idea may come up; people are always trying to come up with one clear definition for a word or phrase. But that's not always possible. Either people are too married to their idea about the word/phrase, and not willing to all get on the same page, or there are simply too many ways to interpret the word/phrase. This is going to happen. When it does, I think it's best to provide an explanation on the use of the word, and make that clear. "When I say mosaic, what I mean is X" or something like that. Then, the other party has to accept that's the definition. They don't have to accept it forever and in all ways, but they have to accept it within the context of that specific use and that specific discussion.

What we often see is an unwillingness to accept, even temporarily, someone else's definition for a phrase, and so instead of discussion about the ideas behind the words, the idea becomes about the words themselves.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Normative critique strives to be disinterested, that is, be able to make judgments according to objective standards and avoid self-interested statements (like, saying a work of art is beautiful simply because I happen to enjoy its color palette). However, it's very possible to claim a position of neutrality while (consciously or unconsciously) elevating what one personally enjoys to status of objective good. Or, it can easily be perceived that way. Just something to be mindful of, in general.
This is returning to the argument that critique first has to be deferential, and must make statements that validate prior to engaging in critique, and that critique cannot ever violate the deference or statements of validity.

In order to apply a critique on 5e, I have to be mindful that a term used could be viewed negatively by some participants, and adjust my approach so as to not do this. The actual merit of the critique is never reached. This is a version of the heckler's veto, and I don't buy it as intellectually useful.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
But why? If I'm going to critique something....let's say a TV Show like The Sopranos.....I should use the language that suits what I'm trying to say. If I want to say that at times, the pace of the show is glacial, that likely (intentionally!) has negative connotations. It's something I am saying I don't like about the show.

Why shouldn't I be able to use the terms I think are relevant?

If someone disagrees with me, then they can explain why. "The sometimes slow pace of the show is to give us insights into characters that may not seem relevant at the time, but which will pay off later on" or something similar. It may not change my mind about my criticism, but hey, maybe it will. Doesn't change the fact that there's more than one
I don't know about you, but I've seen where that leads 1 too many times. It's never productive. It's what leads to the kinds of repeated arguments we have here and that Snarf has helpfully shown are not actually new.

Because if you get to use the terms you think are relevant than I get to use the terms I think are relevant and in the end it turns into both sides just bad mouthing games/styles they don't like (or arguing about semantics). For my styles I've seen, 'mother may I', 'railroading', 'less agency'. For others styles I think the worst is probably, 'that's not an rpg'. But I'm sure there's many others you can tell me about.

What good does telling my my playstyle is mother may I or me telling you that your not even playing an rpg do? I'd love to know how you forsee that ending productively.

So by all means critique but think about whether a) the critique is going to be producitve and b) whether all the parties involved are even at the place of being able accept critiques to their playstyles. Most people are good to critique other playstyles but don't do so well when their own gets critiqued.

Sure, but is anyone really striving for normative critique in these discussions? I'd say the majority of what's discussed is undoubtedly subjective.
Many claim their subjectiveness is actually objectivity.

I think the use of jargon is where this idea may come up; people are always trying to come up with one clear definition for a word or phrase. But that's not always possible. Either people are too married to their idea about the word/phrase, and not willing to all get on the same page, or there are simply too many ways to interpret the word/phrase. This is going to happen. When it does, I think it's best to provide an explanation on the use of the word, and make that clear. "When I say mosaic, what I mean is X" or something like that. Then, the other party has to accept that's the definition. They don't have to accept it forever and in all ways, but they have to accept it within the context of that specific use and that specific discussion.
Why do you get to define the terms instead of them? If the terms don't matter then why not let them define them all and you just use whatever terms they want to sue? Is this actually a case of language limitations impacting the limits of the thought/discussion. If all the terms support the other sides 'theory' then how can you ever get your idea across to them in a way they can understand and that does justice to your theory. Seems to me like there's potential here for understanding why people care about what often gets called 'semantics' in these discussions.

What we often see is an unwillingness to accept, even temporarily, someone else's definition for a phrase, and so instead of discussion about the ideas behind the words, the idea becomes about the words themselves.
But that goes both ways and it becomes increasingly harder to do the more encompassing your theory is because your ideas about 'X' tie into other parts of your theory, framework and thought processes. At some point it really is like you are speaking a language that has no words for opposing theories concepts, framework and thought processes.
 
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I don't know about you, but I've seen where that leads 1 too many times. It's never productive. It's what leads to the kinds of repeated arguments we have here and that Snarf has helpfully shown are not actually new.

Because if you get to use the terms you think are relevant than I get to use the terms I think are relevant and in the end it turns into both sides just bad mouthing games/styles they don't like. For my styles I've seen, 'mother may I', 'railroading', 'less agency'. For others styles I think the worst is probably, 'that's not an rpg'. But I'm sure there's many others you can tell me about.

What good does telling my my playstyle is mother may I or me telling you that your not even playing an rpg do? I'd love to know how you forsee that ending productively.

Maybe try to stop looking at comments on a specific game or approach to play as being specifically about your playstyle?

If I make a statement about sandbox play, it's about sandbox play. It's not about everyone who plays and enjoys sandbox play. Such folks can and should be free to share their thoughts, which may disagree with mine. That's fine. That's discussion.

I don't think anyone's goal in these discussions is to get everyone to all like the same exact stuff for the same exact reasons.

Many claim their subjectiveness is actually objectivity.


Why do you get to define the terms instead of them? If the terms don't matter then why not let them define them all and you just use whatever terms they want to sue? Is this actually a case of language limitations impacting the limits of the discussion. If all the terms support the other sides 'theory' then how can you ever get your idea across to them in a way they can understand and that does justice to your theory. Seems to me like there's potential here for understanding why people care about what often gets called 'semantics' in these discussions.

Anyone can define the terms theiy're using. It's not about one instead of the other. If I make a comment about sandbox games, I should likely include something like "I mean sandbox in the sense of old school hexcrawls like Isle of Dread" or similar clarifying statement. That means that person is specifically talking about a sandbox in that way. So any response that doesn't engage with that premise but instead starts with "Actually, sandbox play means X because...." is not actually addressing the statement. For the purpose of the conversation, participants should read "sandbox" as "old school heaxcrawls like Isle of Dread". So if you're going to respond to the actual idea that's being put forth, then you should be engaging with old school hexcrawls like Isle of Dread.

If you tell me that you think of railroading as X, shouldn't I accept that for the sake of discussion? Even if I have a different idea of what railroading may be? Is it possible that me sharing my definition of railroading may help the conversation? Yes, it's possible. Is it necessary? No, it's not necessary, not for me to understand what you mean, and for me to respond in kind with any thoughts that inspires, whether agreement or disagreement.

But that goes both ways and it becomes increasingly harder to do the more encompassing your theory is because your ideas about 'X' tie into other parts of your theory, framework and thought processes. At some point it really is like you are speaking a language that has no words for opposing theories concepts, framework and thought processes.

Perhaps not. I'm not quite sure what you mean here. If someone is taking the time to explain their theory and how it connects to other ideas and concepts, I'm not really going to worry about how it accounts for my idea. It's their idea, they don't need to consider my thoughts in any way.

That doesn't mean I can't have and share opinions about the idea. But this apparent need for all possible opinions to be considered when a person describes their thoughts on something they like or don't like is a bit bizarre.
 

I think it comes back to this:
What is the purpose of critique?

This can be answered in a broad, general sense, or in a specific sense - if you are here, on this site, giving a critique - what is the purpose of that communication?

What's appropriate for a conversation will depend on prior context, your audience, and what you are hoping to get out of it.

But why? If I'm going to critique something....let's say a TV Show like The Sopranos.....I should use the language that suits what I'm trying to say. If I want to say that at times, the pace of the show is glacial, that likely (intentionally!) has negative connotations. It's something I am saying I don't like about the show.

Why shouldn't I be able to use the terms I think are relevant?
I'm not saying there should be a ban on any words or anything like that. But I think if you were to say the pacing of the Sopranos is objectively glacial, there might be people who disagree, and say, but 'personally I don't find the show to be glacial.' I suppose you could...determine the average length of scenes in the Sopranos vs comparable tv shows, or point to more specific definitions and critical discourse around terms like 'pacing' in TV criticism. There's a time and place for that mode of criticism, but the conversation will become more insular and less generally accessible.

Sure, but is anyone really striving for normative critique in these discussions? I'd say the majority of what's discussed is undoubtedly subjective.
Not sure, but as I said above, I am not. At most, I'm trying to find out what might be enjoyable for my group based on other's recommendations.

This is returning to the argument that critique first has to be deferential, and must make statements that validate prior to engaging in critique, and that critique cannot ever violate the deference or statements of validity.

In order to apply a critique on 5e, I have to be mindful that a term used could be viewed negatively by some participants, and adjust my approach so as to not do this. The actual merit of the critique is never reached. This is a version of the heckler's veto, and I don't buy it as intellectually useful.

Well, the existence of an interlocutor and some bounds on what qualifies as an appropriate communication is what makes this dialogic. There are all sorts of ways we defer in conversations: not interrupting others, being polite, saying things like "I agree with the first part, but...", asking (non-rhetorical) questions to understand someone's point of view. Online discourse is what it is because it is easy to forget that there are actual interlocutors on the other end. I think if we were all together in real life, the conversations would go much differently and be more chill (partly because people would know when to stop. @Snarf Zagyg put it really well: you wouldn't just follow someone around a party continually asking them to justify their position on the best Joker).

(FWIW, to the extent that people try to understand the jargon people are putting forth, follow and read links to blog posts, and engage with play reports whatever their level of knowledge of those games, they are also being deferential.)
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Well, the existence of an interlocutor and some bounds on what qualifies as an appropriate communication is what makes this dialogic. There are all sorts of ways we defer in conversations: not interrupting others, being polite, saying things like "I agree with the first part, but...", asking (non-rhetorical) questions to understand someone's point of view. Online discourse is what it is because it is easy to forget that there are actual interlocutors on the other end. I think if we were all together in real life, the conversations would go much differently and be more chill (partly because people would know when to stop. @Snarf Zagyg put it really well: you wouldn't just follow someone around a party continually asking them to justify their position on the best Joker).

(FWIW, to the extent that people try to understand the jargon people are putting forth, follow and read links to blog posts, and engage with play reports whatever their level of knowledge of those games, they are also being deferential.)
Sorry, but this is sophistic. You've clearly built a strawman of how I was using deferential to make it seem like it's being polite or engaging with arguments rather than the clear point that 5e cannot be criticized without an appropriately statement that it is a great game and so forth. One must be deferential to the subject of the criticism is not at all the same as saying that it could be considered deferential to actually engage with an argument made by another. A use I struggle to actually parse, by the way, as it's stretched to the breaking point.

The opening statement is mush. It's a bunch of big words strung together to say that there being other people put limits on how you can engage in order to have a conversation. This is attempts to create a space were agreement that there are "some" limits to discussion like not screaming in faces or using vile insults or punching people is the same as the limit you're trying to enforce - that terminology be acceptable to everyone prior to the commencement of criticism. It's a bunk concept, regardless of the morass of large words used to disguise it.

And your use of @Snarf's quote goes equally well towards not following someone around at a party continually asking them to justify their use of a term in their criticism. In other words, it's not doing the work here you expect it to.
 

I

We tend to be overly touchy regarding our preferences about games (myself included), but we don't really need to be. Honestly, I think everyone not taking such great offense at the use of a word or phrase that may have negative connotations would be a huge help. Ultimately, if we just change the words we're using, we're not really changing what we're trying to say. So I think being clear is important, and people just not getting worked up is the bigger deal. Though I realize that can be difficult on things we're al passionate about, I think it's something we should all be striving for.

While you're not wrong, I think expecting semantic loading not to effect people is a lost cause; as long as communication is a multi-level process (and it absolutely is) expecting most people to be able to get around it on any regular basis is not a useful expectation.
 

Yea. Moving back a little closer to the thread premise, it's kind of like the Hatfields and Mccoys, this fued has been going on so long that no one knows who or what event actually started it. I mean one of this threads premises is that there's history of how none of these arguments and perceptions are actually 'new'. So to some extent, the well has been poisoned for both perspectives. That's a difficult place to move forward from.

I mention this a lot, but it has relevance here: people carry scar tissue. Anyone participating in discussion about RPG subjects for any length of time, whether in fora, in person, on Discord or whatever, will likely have had at least some bad experiences with some people on some topics. It doesn't take too many repeats of that before the topic, effectively, already starts with warning bells going off in their head, some of which they may not ever realize consciously. This means that its very easy for the heat level of the discussion to rise even if everyone is using a good faith attempt to keep it useful and non-confrontational.

(I don't have much of a solution for this problem, but I've sometimes found it a useful concept to keep in mind when someone seems to be taking something I say as much more negative than I intend; sometimes their reaction isn't entirely about the actual current discussion).
 

What's appropriate for a conversation will depend on prior context, your audience, and what you are hoping to get out of it.

Sure, absolutely!

I'm not saying there should be a ban on any words or anything like that. But I think if you were to say the pacing of the Sopranos is objectively glacial, there might be people who disagree, and say, but 'personally I don't find the show to be glacial.' I suppose you could...determine the average length of scenes in the Sopranos vs comparable tv shows, or point to more specific definitions and critical discourse around terms like 'pacing' in TV criticism. There's a time and place for that mode of criticism, but the conversation will become more insular and less generally accessible.

But are most people entering into these discussions with objective claims? I realize that they do come up from time to time, but most often what we're talking about is preference, and clearly so.

Not sure, but as I said above, I am not. At most, I'm trying to find out what might be enjoyable for my group based on other's recommendations.

Sure, that's largely what my goal has been at most times. I think I also view from the lens of someone who may be reading but not engaging in the discussion. But generally speaking, I'm not trying to change the minds of those I'm speaking with. Perhaps to explain my view or to better understand theirs, but in most cases I realize changing someone's mind is not likely, and is something for that person to decide or not.
 

While you're not wrong, I think expecting semantic loading not to effect people is a lost cause; as long as communication is a multi-level process (and it absolutely is) expecting most people to be able to get around it on any regular basis is not a useful expectation.

I'm not necessarily expecting people to abandon those urges, or to get around it, but instead to address the actual point. If I level a criticism of some sort at a game or movie or whatever, and someone disagrees, I'd prefer they explain why they think I'm wrong, or why their contra opinion is valid.

Look at the Martin Scorsese/Marvel comments. I love Marvel. Doesn't mean Scorsese didn't have some valid points. It's an interesting topic to me with valid criticism on each side.

If you look around, you can see a lot of meaningful discussion about the topic. Many of the actors from the Marvel films shared their thoughts about the matter. They addressed the criticism with counter points and new thoughts. That's useful discussion.

What's not useful, in my opinion, is the Marvel fans who instead said things like "Oh yea what does he know" or "Avengers made more then The Irishman" or "Marvel is the bestest!!!!"

I'd rather see people engage with a criticism rather than dismiss it. Dismissing it is easy if you really want....you can simply ignore the post. But if you're going to take time to disagree, I think it makes sense to give some thought as to why. That defensive impulse to simply disagree but not to elaborate on why is what I'd like to see people move past.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I'm not necessarily expecting people to abandon those urges, or to get around it, but instead to address the actual point. If I level a criticism of some sort at a game or movie or whatever, and someone disagrees, I'd prefer they explain why they think I'm wrong, or why their contra opinion is valid.

Look at the Martin Scorsese/Marvel comments. I love Marvel. Doesn't mean Scorsese didn't have some valid points. It's an interesting topic to me with valid criticism on each side.

If you look around, you can see a lot of meaningful discussion about the topic. Many of the actors from the Marvel films shared their thoughts about the matter. They addressed the criticism with counter points and new thoughts. That's useful discussion.

What's not useful, in my opinion, is the Marvel fans who instead said things like "Oh yea what does he know" or "Avengers made more then The Irishman" or "Marvel is the bestest!!!!"

I'd rather see people engage with a criticism rather than dismiss it. Dismissing it is easy if you really want....you can simply ignore the post. But if you're going to take time to disagree, I think it makes sense to give some thought as to why. That defensive impulse to simply disagree but not to elaborate on why is what I'd like to see people move past.
I think we can look at how differently criticism is engaged depending on what's being criticized. If it's 5e, there's a huge amount of the kind of pushback you're describing here -- defensive and dismissive and that doesn't engage the criticism. On the other hand, if it's other games, like say Blades, then criticism is deployed and any response to that criticism that shows disagreement is what's treated in a defensive and dismissive manner. Like how social mechanics in a game like Blades are consistently misrepresented in criticism but any attempt to show why it is incorrect is met with dismissal and claims of "that just how I look at it." This exposes that the criticism isn't because it's not at all interested in getting into how play works but rather labelling it for easy dismissal.

I'm fairly guilty of the things being argued here. I deploy terms like "Force" to describe play that often occurs in 5e. I use words like Participationism or passive play to describe certain approaches to play, often associated with 5e. I also define these, and explain what I mean and why I use those terms. I almost never get any response to the explanations or the critique behind those, but I definitely get raked for suggesting "passive" as a term. Even by people that then go one to describe their play exactly as I presented it in my explanation. But they deny it because of the term. I offer to use a different term, but the term is still the point of discussion. The actual critique never seems to get to the forefront. And, I've done it the other way -- avoided the term or used a value neutral term for the same thing, but the arguments are still almost always about the form of the argument, not the substance. There isn't a magic bullet of using acceptable to all terms because whatever term is settled on as a euphemism will just be attacked the same way. It's actually bunk to claim that arguments would go better if you used different words.
 

rather than the clear point that 5e cannot be criticized without an appropriately statement that it is a great game and so forth.
This has not been the context of any recent posts in response to @Umbran. The most proximate context is the example of "sandbox" vs "railroad," which could describes styles of play within a 5e game. Using that example, if someone comes and says they run a "sandbox" game, I would try to respect their own description and experience (it is, after all, their game), even if parts of their description struck me as not a sandbox by my definition.

Sorry, but this is sophistic. You've clearly built a strawman of how I was using deferential to make it seem like it's being polite or engaging with arguments rather than the clear point that 5e cannot be criticized without an appropriately statement that it is a great game and so forth.

The opening statement is mush. It's a bunch of big words strung together to say that there being other people put limits on how you can engage in order to have a conversation. This is attempts to create a space were agreement that there are "some" limits to discussion like not screaming in faces or using vile insults or punching people is the same as the limit you're trying to enforce - that terminology be acceptable to everyone prior to the commencement of criticism. It's a bunk concept, regardless of the morass of large words used to disguise it.
Did you interpret my response to you above as very negative? That was not the intent. But even so, this seems to me to be an escalation of hostility. What do you hope to get out of a conversation when you describe the other person's statements as "mush," "bunk" or as merely a "morass of large words used to disguise [something]"? This small exchange demonstrates the thing this thread is trying to talk about, the way here that casual conversation turns into scathing commentary on my intellectual capability and writing style. smh.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
This has not been the context of any recent posts in response to @Umbran. The most proximate context is the example of "sandbox" vs "railroad," which could describes styles of play within a 5e game. Using that example, if someone comes and says they run a "sandbox" game, I would try to respect their own description and experience (it is, after all, their game), even if parts of their description struck me as not a sandbox by my definition.
This feels a complete non-sequitur. I wasn't engaging with things @Umbran said. I was making my own point. If your statements are solely limited to things Umbran said, then okay, I withdraw them because Umbran didn't really say anything on the nature of allowable criticism, just some platitudes about self-reflection that amount to preaching rather than assisting the conversation. However, if your statements are only limited to this, I don't really care about the craft of deploying platitudes to seem wise.

I was speaking to how criticism works on these boards. If I want to criticize 5e, I have to constantly make deferential statements to the 5e fanbase about how much I like 5e and that it is a good game. This I have to do just to get the criticism in the door without the "5e hater" tag being applied to anything I say and the criticism dismissed. Doing thing, though, only gets me past that first hurdle, and then only slightly better than half the time as it's still deployed with depressing regularity. That's just dealing with the easiest form of dismissal. And this is obvious because the easiest way to criticize 5e is ask how 5e can be modified to fix whatever it is I'm talking about. This is the acceptable way to criticism 5e, because it's properly deferential to 5e as just being the bestest.
Did you interpret my response to you above as very negative? That was not the intent. But even so, this seems to me to be an escalation of hostility. What do you hope to get out of a conversation when you describe the other person's statements as "mush," "bunk" or as merely a "morass of large words used to disguise [something]"? This small exchange demonstrates the thing this thread is trying to talk about, the way here that casual conversation turns into scathing commentary on my intellectual capability and writing style. smh.
Negative to me? No. I viewed it as mostly empty, though. You didn't say anything to the points I was making and instead tried to establish a false equivalency with other things, such as comparing my claim that deference to the in-group is required prior to criticism to both general limits on behavior for conversation or that deference is also the same thing as just engaging with others' statements. This is badly flawed.

As for your style and word choice, I have zero problems with big words or an intellectual style. I very much enjoy @pemerton's writing and @Manbearcat, both of whom are regularly attacked for being too intellectual in posting habits. No, rather my point was that you turned up the style and went to larger words to hide that that what you were saying was establishing some false equivalences to what I said in order to try and knock their stuffing out. You amped up the intellectual style at the same time you engaged in rhetorical tricks.
 

pemerton

Legend
this fued has been going on so long that no one knows who or what event actually started it.
What feud?

I've certainly read plenty of posts about dissociated mechanics, Schroedinger's <whatever>, shouting arms back on, etc. I ignore some I think are wrong, I reply to some I think are wrong. Occasionally the result is a productive exchange. Sometimes it's not. I don't see that there is any feud!

On the bigger issue of critique, negative connotations, etc - no one has told me what the negative connotations of "backstory first" or "situation first" are. They describe approaches to play. I certainly read plenty of posts where RPGs say that what they enjoy, as players is discovering the GM's world - which is to say, enjoy learning fiction that the GM has created. I don't see that there are any negative connotations in noting that this is a different play preference from my own general inclinations. Likewise, if someone tells me that RPGing can be located on a railroad-sandbox "spectrum" than I can infer that they are probably not familiar with the approaches to RPGing that are not on that "spectrum" because situation-first rather than backstory-first.

Some posters give me the impression - I'm sure it's not deliberate, and is perhaps a misperception on my part - that they both have very strong playstyle preferences and want to insist that no who has different preferences is having a different experience from them. Why I assume such an impression is not being deliberately conveyed is that it seems almost incoherent, that two things could at the same time both be importantly different yet not different at all.
 
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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Personally I don't really think people on this board are hostile to criticism of 5e on these boards. Loads of people criticize the game without getting raked over the coals. Many fans of the game still get caught in the crossfire for liking it for the wrong reasons.

What I have personally experienced is that these boards are firmly entrenched in the playstyle advocated by the folks at White Wolf magazine and people like John Wick. Even if you are fan of 5e if you are not a fan of GM as Storyteller no matter how respectful you are you are in the outgroup. You can enjoy pretty much every other way under the sun to enjoy playing roleplaying games (as I pretty much do). You can like 5e or not like 5e. If you acknowledge other ways of playing the game, view the game as a game, or suggest that there are other ways to enjoy the unfolding narrative of the game (even if you ground it as personal to you) you are in the out group.

Look at what happened in the recent Apocalypse World thread on these boards. The game was basically raked over the coals for not being congruent with traditional GM as Storyteller presenting a mystery players are expected to work together to solve play. Attempts to clarify that the game handles mysteries just fine, but not GM defined ones players are duty bound to solve only resulted in more consternation.

In this and other threads there has even been hostility towards what I call Critical Role kids - people my age and younger who are fans of Critical Role and expect a deeply collaborative play experience. The GM Authority thread in particular seemed to want to not acknowledge that play culture.
 


Aldarc

Legend
Personally I don't really think people on this board are hostile to criticism of 5e on these boards. Loads of people criticize the game without getting raked over the coals. Many fans of the game still get caught in the crossfire for liking it for the wrong reasons.

What I have personally experienced is that these boards are firmly entrenched in the playstyle advocated by the folks at White Wolf magazine and people like John Wick. Even if you are fan of 5e if you are not a fan of GM as Storyteller no matter how respectful you are you are in the outgroup. You can enjoy pretty much every other way under the sun to enjoy playing roleplaying games (as I pretty much do). You can like 5e or not like 5e. If you acknowledge other ways of playing the game, view the game as a game, or suggest that there are other ways to enjoy the unfolding narrative of the game (even if you ground it as personal to you) you are in the out group.

Look at what happened in the recent Apocalypse World thread on these boards. The game was basically raked over the coals for not being congruent with traditional GM as Storyteller presenting a mystery players are expected to work together to solve play. Attempts to clarify that the game handles mysteries just fine, but not GM defined ones players are duty bound to solve only resulted in more consternation.

In this and other threads there has even been hostility towards what I call Critical Role kids - people my age and younger who are fans of Critical Role and expect a deeply collaborative play experience. The GM Authority thread in particular seemed to want to not acknowledge that play culture.
I love getting accused of trying to push bespoke indie games or non-traditional games. Have you seen my posting history? Here is my list of fairly traditional games that I have lavished over (e.g., True 20) and here are the ones that I still play and recommend (e.g., Fantasy/Modern AGE, Cypher, 5e D&D, ICRPG, SotDL, Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures, Black Hack, etc.) as well as others that I want to play (e.g., Ryuutama, Pathfinder 2, The One Ring 2e, etc.). How are people getting the impression that I only play more narrative-focused indie games? And I'm still not loving 5e in the correct way?
 

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