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Why are D&D discussions so angry?

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Hussar

Legend
Fair 'nuff. I disagree with it being a "debate within a debate" though as referenced by Odhanan though. How people post gets to the heart of the issue. I mentioned earlier that there were numerous 4e threads lately that have seen little or no vitriol.

/edit - sorry nothing to see here
 
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Rothe

First Post
Nyaricus said:
..snip...
You need to take a step back from your keyboard. You are painting EN World one colour, withot letting some of the quieter, less *ahem* "hostile" regulars help show EN Worlds true colours. And indeed, there are many in this rainbow. But man, just because your one thread closed down does not give you the right to call out us and give us the impression the regulars here, or a select few therein are a bunch of stalking predators waiting to swoop down on the little guy with the little postcount. We really, in all honestly, are not truely like that, and I can only hope that somewhere, you realise this adn can become a part of the community, rather than picking a fight with us.

Working my way through some coffee and this thread. After my last post, with attention to the fact that tone does not carry over the internet, I want to agree with what Nyaricus said about ENWorld being by and large a place where you can have discussions about "fixing" D&D without fear of rudeness. Although far from a regular by many measures, I've been invovled a bit more than my crash decimated post count lets on and in several threads that might be considered "fixing" discussions with no problems or rudeness. Heck, it's why I tend to come here for D&D related stuff even though I don't run 3.x edition. ;)
 

Storm Raven

First Post
big dummy said:
Read the thread. The vaccines post FOLLOWED somebody else saying that the idea of reform was like walking into a baby ward in a hospital and saying they were all ugly. I responded with the flipside, walking into a baby ward and discussing a polio vaccine or disposable diapers.

By adopting the argument and using it, you made it your own. Whether you started the analogy or not is beside the point: you analogized your contributions here to being a forward thinking smart guy who is just trying to save innocent babies, while tarring everyone else as ignorant luddites irrationally opposing your benevolence.

We were talking about reform, about whether positive change can ever happen. I submit to you that that is inevitable. I'm sorry if it offends you that I say it so definitivley, but it's a fact.

Sure positive change can happen. However, many people disagree as to what a positive change is. Some people want low magic some want more magic, others want more base classes, others want fewer. Some pople hate prestige classes, some people love them. Which change is "positive"? Who is the arbiter of such an evaluation?

And more to the point, if there are already other games systems on the market that do many of these things (providing effective rules to support a low-magic setting, for example), why is it a bad thing to direct those interested in that type of game to those systems? How silly would this be:

Player 1: Chess is poorly designed because it doesn't take into account real estate management. I think we should redesign the game so people buy and sell property and charge rents.

Player 2: How about you try playing Monopoly instead of chess? It deals with real estate stuff already.

Player 1: You are a big meanie! You shouldn't crush my dreams of changing the rules of chess to incorporate real estate deals!

Because I don't see a lot of difference between this and telling people who are dissatisfied with elements of D&D that there are other games that already do the things they want to make D&D do,
 

Hussar

Legend
As to the idea that people sweep down on those who suggest change, I would say that it's simply not accurate. There are two threads right now talking about how easy it is to change advancement rates and how much resistance is there to RAW changes. Neither sees the slightest in snark or vitriol. Granted, they aren't really talking about actually making changes, but rather testing the water to see whether such ideas are actively resisted or not, but, since both are seeing pretty strong support, the notion that EN World is somehow opposed to change is not accurate IMO.

En World is one of the best places to come for discussing the game without getting bogged down in ridiculous flame wars.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Storm Raven said:
Player 1: Chess is poorly designed because it doesn't take into account real estate management. I think we should redesign the game so people buy and sell property and charge rents.

Player 2: How about you try playing Monopoly instead of chess? It deals with real estate stuff already.

Player 1: You are a big meanie! You shouldn't crush my dreams of changing the rules of chess to incorporate real estate deals!

If that was the sum total of the interaction, you would be right. Comically so, actually. :D

However, the way I view it is more like this:

Player 1: They came out with this new edition of chess that doesn't have rooks. I like the rest of the changes, but I really think rooks are essential to how I see chess. Can we make use of the good changes, and incorporate rooks? Do you think maybe we could get rooks included in any new edition.

Player 2: Chess is what it is. If you don't like it, don't play.

Player 3: You could use your rook as a playing piece in Monopoly....

Player 4: Rooks aren't really important in chess, at least not IMHO. You could play chess the old way, though. It still has rooks, and is just as valid.

Player 1: But I like most of the other changes.

Player 2: Why do you keep on about this? Chess is what it is.

Player 3: I'm not sure anyone actually used their rooks anyway.

Player 4: You could add the rules you like to the older edition.

Player 1: Why can't I just re-add rooks to the new edition?

etc.
 
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hong

WotC's bitch
The problem is that people just want different things out of their cliches. I want to use cliches involving foodstuffs. You want to use cliches involving mental pursuits. Both metaphors are fine on their own, but not when you mix them up. Then I get mental pursuits in my foodstuffs and you get foodstuffs in your mental pursuits. D&D is like a mixed metaphor right now, with foodstuffs in mental pursuits and mental pursuits in foodstuffs.
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
big dummy said:
I've been coming here on and off for about 7 years. Used to be a supporter. I lost my account passwords and stuff after Katrina, and then again after the recent system crash.

7 years? Oh, yeah. It's 2006, so I guess it's coming up on 7 years for me, too, given that Eric started his 3e site in 99. Oddly, and I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't remember you. Have you kept the same screen name?

big dummy said:
Ok so can you remember some fairly recent threads on reforming D&D in any way that did not get really nasty and / or derailed?

It's always easier to remember the ones that get one's goat, so no, I can't cite specific examples. But I know such threads exist. You're exaggerating.
 

Storm Raven

First Post
Raven Crowking said:
Player 1: They came out with this new edition of chess that doesn't have rooks. I like the rest of the changes, but I really think rooks are essential to how I see chess. Can we make use of the good changes, and incorporate rooks? Do you think maybe we could get rooks included in any new edition.

Player 2: Chess is what it is. If you don't like it, don't play.

Player 3: You could use your rook as a playing piece in Monopoly....

Player 4: Rooks aren't really important in chess, at least not IMHO. You could play chess the old way, though. It still has rooks, and is just as valid.

Player 1: But I like most of the other changes.

Player 2: Why do you keep on about this? Chess is what it is.

Player 3: I'm not sure anyone actually used their rooks anyway.

Player 4: You could add the rules you like to the older edition.

Player 1: Why can't I just re-add rooks to the new edition?

And most of the time, minor changes like the existence or nonexistence of rooks are met with a big "sure, if that's what you want". But that's not what we are talking about here. The suggestion raised is specifically how to "reform" D&D, a major overhaul. I'm saying that once you get to the point where you are making wholesale changes that require dozens or more pages of revisions, you've moved beyond the "minor changes" stage into the "maybe another game better suits your desires" stage.

So far as I can tell, most people who want to make massive changes to D&D to get some sort of different feel would be better off playing a different game, a game more suited to what they are looking for. But suggesting that usually draws angry responses along the lines of "don't tell me what to play". Which is unfortunate, because most people who want a low-magic (or rules light, or superhero, or space opera) game would probably actually be happier playing one of the many low magic (or rules light, superhero, or space opera) games that are out there. If you want to try flying, it is easier to use an airplane than to try to put wings on a bus.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
ColonelHardisson said:
It's always easier to remember the ones that get one's goat, so no, I can't cite specific examples. But I know such threads exist. You're exaggerating.

I can't remember one, but I only started with the lurking a few years ago...and that wasn't a whole lot of lurking at the time.

It's sort of like the threads Hussar points out, to me. If you say "Do you change the RAW at your table?" no one gets all that heated. If you say, "Should the RAW change?" tempers flare.

Of course, it is also true that something might seem funny to you when you're typing it, and not seem funny to people who are reading it, even if you use emoticons. :p
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Piratecat said:
Making millions from his DM-for-pay Ponzi schemes!

Actually, I'm in loose touch with Bugaboo, who I really like; we trade emails about once a year.

Really? Bugaboo trolled me mercilessly once upon a time, when I was new to the internet and didn't have the acumen to let his nonsense roll like water off a duck's back. I also swear I remember him having a flame-out (here or at an earlier incarnation of Nutkinland), ironically enough, where he petulantly related how he just couldn't take all the meanies who couldn't take a joke. May have been another of his trolls, but it seemed genuine at the time, and I haven't seen him back since.
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Raven Crowking said:
I can't remember one, but I only started with the lurking a few years ago...and that wasn't a whole lot of lurking at the time.

Yeah, but really, there are tons of them. No, I can't quantify that statement, but come on...every such thread results in a flamewar? I wouldn't have stuck with EN World as long as I did if thatw as true. It's just the threads that result in a flamewar that are negatively memorable.
 

Thornir Alekeg

Albatross!
Coming back to the original question, this particular forum is all about D&D. The people who come here generally like the game. If they didn't they probably wouldn't hang out here.

I have seen discussions about changing the game, some of them can be long and thoughtful. There may well be people who come in and attack people who post, the original person or others. But why do those people need to be attacked back? That's where the problems come.

I'm not perfect when it comes to this, but usually after making one or two less than constructive comments, I realize the way the thread may go if I continue that way and either try and refocus my own thoughts, or stop posting altogether.

In the end each of us is responsible for our own behavior. If you don't want a thread to degenerate into flames, don't respond aggressively to attacks. If an arguement starts, kindly ask people to keep things on track and constructive. If others are doing it on the side while good discussion continues, report it and when you do request to the mods to let the thread live but maybe edit flame posts and advise people to keep on track.

And if your post is misinterpreted by others because what you wrote wasn't clear (or maybe even incorrect), don't be afraid to apologize and clarify. I've done that a few times, it really confuses people. ;)
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Storm Raven said:
And most of the time, minor changes like the existence or nonexistence of rooks are met with a big "sure, if that's what you want". But that's not what we are talking about here. The suggestion raised is specifically how to "reform" D&D, a major overhaul.

But for a lot of people, taking rooks out of chess is a major overhaul. And that some of this is changing chess to a game without rooks, then complaining that adding rooks back in, is sort of the point I was trying to make.

Each edition has been a major overhaul of the game (although what constitutes a major overhaul has changed with time). Moving from the blue box to AD&D seemed like a big change. Changing from 1st Ed to 2nd Ed seemed like a big change. The change from 2nd Ed to 3rd was an even bigger change. It follows that the change from 3rd to 4th will be palpable, if not as great as that from 2nd to 3rd.

As far as low magic goes, any edition can handle a low magic campaign. It was just easier in earlier editions because there was no mythical dime's-edge that the game balanced on. For some of us who enjoy low-magic games, it's like going to the airport and discovering they only do flights to half the destinations they did a year ago.

And, yes, it might be that there will never be official flights to service those destinations, but that doesn't mean that people cannot or should not say that they want to fly to Virginia.

EDIT: Of course, it does sometimes seem as though folks are worried that flights to Virginia mean a cut to flights to Los Angeles, or that the extended service means that their fares will go up. :lol:
 
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FireLance

Legend
Raven Crowking said:
As far as low magic goes, any edition can handle a low magic campaign. It was just easier in earlier editions because there was no mythical dime's-edge that the game balanced on.
I have a slightly different perspective: it seemed easier in earlier editions because each DM had his own way of balancing (or not balancing) his game, and there was no objective standard to compare to. Now that there is a standard, some players may feel that they enjoy games that adhere to the standard more than games that do not. I don't think it's any more difficult to run a low-magic game in 3e than in any previous edition because the DM has to do the same eyeballing of inter-PC effectiveness and PC vs monster balance without reference to standard wealth levels or CR, just as he would have done in previous editions. However, low-magic games may no longer be as popular because players' tastes and expectations have changed.
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
*hands Ny a baby wipe* There you are and if you say one more thing bad about Scarred Lands I will open up your skull like Mark Chance suggested. Or at least semi-suggested. :p :)

*isn't angry and angsty* At least not right now. Friday I will be with an exam. :p :)
 

diaglo

Adventurer
ColonelHardisson said:
Yeah, but really, there are tons of them. No, I can't quantify that statement, but come on...every such thread results in a flamewar? I wouldn't have stuck with EN World as long as I did if thatw as true. It's just the threads that result in a flamewar that are negatively memorable.


i know of very few that don't end in flamewars.

heck, just simple questions here sometimes flame out.

like asking about pens. or paying your DM. or creating a halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf.
 

iwatt

First Post
diaglo said:
i know of very few that don't end in flamewars.

heck, just simple questions here sometimes flame out.

like asking about pens. or paying your DM. or creating a halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf.


Or about creating Level 100 epic character's

and it's:

creating a halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf ninja
 

Lots of good stuff in this thread, and..interestingly enough.. lots of examples of what to do and what *not* to do regarding maintaining a polite and productive discourse.

I failed my will save. I was going to simply avoid the rest of the subject.. after 3 pages of constructive advise on why threads degenerate into hostility, with an oft mentioned point of avoiding assumptions..comes this quote from the OP.
big dummy said:
We were talking about reform, about whether positive change can ever happen. I submit to you that that is inevitable. I'm sorry if it offends you that I say it so definitivley, but it's a fact.

Check.... What is positive change to you may not be positive change to me. As a matter of fact, your positive change may be the one key element of the game that keeps me playing DnD instead of {insert RPG here}. Defining your opinion as fact, as you have in the quote above, leads to pointless debates.

Other point, being offended when {insert RPG here} is recommended when a poster submits a suggegtion for reform {reform being used here as major changes to the basic structure of the RAW}. Its like the following conversation:
1 - I want a game that does X and Y. I can change DnD to do this by altering F, G, H, I, and Z
2 - Y'know, game S handles that pretty well
...
How to respond? either
- politely with a 'I have checked that out and it doesn't fit' or 'Hey, cool I will look at that..but still want to see how my reform works out'

- or you can go the road of pointless debates and vitrolic nonsense.


Take the time to examine your perceptions and assumptions...
 

JustaPlayer

First Post
iwatt said:
Or about creating Level 100 epic character's

and it's:

creating a halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf ninja

Or is it simply creating a Level 100 halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf ninja?
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
diaglo said:
i know of very few that don't end in flamewars.

I have to say I simply don't see it. Yeah, there are plenty of flamewars. Don't get me wrong, I see that. But most end in flamewars? I disagree. But I guess some see it differently. :shrug: (it's too bad the shrug smiley isn't here, by the way. Love that potato-looking thing).
 

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