WotC WotC needs an Elon Musk

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Micah Sweet

Legend
Because metaplot has proven that it's definitely bad for TTRPG settings and probably bad for other media.

And metaplot isn't setting. It's sometimes adventures that take place there, but it isn't the setting itself. Metaplot ruins settings. That's not the same thing as being a setting.
Metaplot is the continuing history of the setting, which makes it part of the setting by default.

I was born in 1976. That was the present at the time, when my campaign (so to speak) began. Now it's 2022, my campaign has been running for 46 years (still on my first character!), and all the events between 1976 and now are history.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Horror is horror. You want to remove certain parts for your table go ahead. Its your table. When they make horror movies and series do you think they go through this entire debacle? Fading to black is also an option.
I almost inevitably run horror, to the point I actually have a hard time running non-horror games. It's where my mind just goes naturally. So I can say with some certainty that no, horror is not horror. There are many kinds of horror and differing degrees of horror. There is also (to paraphrase a horror writer I like) the difference between horror and trauma. The game needs to be horrific for the characters, not the players. The players should be having fun while playing.

And as for what you said, the reverse is true. If you want to add rape to your game, go ahead; it's your table. It doesn't need to be in the actual book. And it's makes the game much more accessible to more people--more fun to more people--not to include it in the book.
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
I could not possibly agree more.
Whether or not metaplot is good is a different issue than is it part of the setting.

TSR released three "starter" points for the Ravenloft setting in 2e: two boxed sets and the Domains of Dread hardcover. The setting details for the latter two (and the later 3e version) had advanced due to the metaplot, but all three were the Ravenloft setting as it existed at the time.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Metaplot is the continuing history of the setting, which makes it part of the setting by default.
A part of it, yes. A bad part, even. However, something being a part of a setting doesn't make it be the setting. Or essential to it. Just like something can be a part of the game/its history without being the game. By your logic, the game is THAC0.
I was born in 1976. That was the present at the time, when my campaign (so to speak) began. Now it's 2022, my campaign has been running for 46 years (still on my first character!), and all the events between 1976 and now are history.
Yes, good for you. Enjoy your metaplots at your table. However, don't let them touch mine, the official settings, or my books with a 10 foot pole.
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
A part of it, yes. A bad part, even. However, something being a part of a setting doesn't make it be the setting. Or essential to it. Just like something can be a part of the game/its history without being the game. By your logic, the game is THAC0.

Yes, good for you. Enjoy your metaplots at your table. However, don't let them touch mine, the official settings, or my books with a 10 foot pole.
Mechanics are not part of the setting. They may inform the setting as it is expressed, but they are not people, places or events.  those three things comprise setting.

Again, the value (or lack thereof) of metaplot has nothing to do with it being part of the setting if it exists.
 

I almost inevitably run horror, to the point I actually have a hard time running non-horror games. It's where my mind just goes naturally. So I can say with some certainty that no, horror is not horror. There are many kinds of horror and differing degrees of horror. There is also (to paraphrase a horror writer I like) the difference between horror and trauma. The game needs to be horrific for the characters, not the players. The players should be having fun while playing.

And as for what you said, the reverse is true. If you want to add rape to your game, go ahead; it's your table. It doesn't need to be in the actual book. And it's makes the game much more accessible to more people--more fun to more people--not to include it in the book.
So I'm not very familiar with the Domain you cited but I am aware of the Phantom Lover from the 2e Ravenloft Darklords book I own. If I can recall correctly, he too would rape but the way I envisioned his actions were very much like the visitations of a vampire despite the fact that they would undoubtedly be more sexual in nature than that of a vampire feeding.

If someone at one's table (a player) had active trauma of a RL incident (of that nature) it would obviously be the DM who would need to not include such a common trope (Night Hag, Succubus, Rusulka...etc) in the campaign. As it would for any other story that would negatively affect their player/s.

It's not like we sanitise Greek myths right for those who would be affected by the rapes by Zeus?
 
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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Mechanics are not part of the setting. They may inform the setting as it is expressed, but they are not people, places or events.  those three things comprise setting.
And?
Again, the value (or lack thereof) of metaplot has nothing to do with it being part of the setting if it exists.
Metaplots are the cancer of settings. They grow bigger and bigger over time, slowly killing the setting, and must be completely excised for the health of its host.

Cancer is a part of the body. But one that must be removed for the good of the body.
 

Scribe

Legend
Metaplots are the cancer of settings. They grow bigger and bigger over time, slowly killing the setting, and must be completely excised for the health of its host.

A bit savage, but true in my opinion. I have no issue with history. I have no issue with canon. I have huge issue with progression of the setting via a metaplot that brings about massive changes.
 

It's not like we santise Greek myths right for those who would be affected by the rapes by Zeus?
We do that all the time? Not even small stuff. One of the best games in the last few years, Hades, is a key example

Mind, Greek myths were very much not a set canon and we can actively track the development of some of them over time and how they're adjusted for the audience. Aphrodite Areia literately got toned down because Athens couldn't handle a goddess of love and war at the same time
 

We do that all the time? Not even small stuff. One of the best games in the last few years, Hades, is a key example

Mind, Greek myths were very much not a set canon and we can actively track the development of some of them over time and how they're adjusted for the audience. Aphrodite Areia literately got toned down because Athens couldn't handle a goddess of love and war at the same time
The rapes by Zeus and the abduction of Persephone are not removed from mythos, they are there for everyone to read about them. One can choose not to read them as a DM can choose not to include the Phantom Lover at their table.
 

The rapes by Zeus and the abduction of Persephone are not removed from mythos, they are there for everyone to read about them. One can choose not to read them as a DM can choose not to include the Phantom Lover at their table.
But they do tend to be heavily toned down if not entirely excluded from more modern retellings and reimaginings.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
So I'm not very familiar with the Domain you cited but I am aware of the Phantom Lover from the 2e Ravenloft Darklords book I own. If I can recall, he too would rape but the way I envisioned his actions were very much like the visitations of a vampire despite the fact that they would undoubtedly be more sexual in nature than that of a vampire feeding.

If someone at one's table (a player) had active trauma of a RL incident (of that nature) it would obviously be the DM who would need to not include such a common trope (Night Hag, Succubus, Rusulka...etc) in the campaign. As it would for any other story that would negatively affect their player/s.

It's not like we sanitise Greek myths right for those who would be affected by the rapes by Zeus?
The Phantom Lover was a plot device; there was almost no reason to actually bring him into your game. He was basically there to explain how Garbielle Aderre suddenly had a fully grown child.

Dementlieu (pre-revolution Paris) was ruled by Dominc d'Honaire, who had total mind control powers. He was a Parisian-style nobleman who was desperate for love, but any woman he loved would see him as hideous. He was also written, IMO, as the type of person who didn't have problems having sex with someone who didn't love him (he was in a political marriage) and would undoubtedly use his powers to get any woman he wanted to "agree" to sleep with him.

We often do sanitize Greek myths, and even when we don't, we don't bother to tell them from the point of view of the rape victims. It's just "there goes Zeus; wonder who he's going to rape again." It's almost a joke. It's certainly not treated seriously.

But this is a game. It's not supposed to be ancient myth; it's something that was effectively written and run now, not thousands of years ago and barely explored. In a game, the actual books shouldn't include NPCs that are likely to target my character not as a foe to be killed but as a woman to be raped. Even if the DM has no plans on ever including such a thing in their game, that sort of stuff has no place in a book being sold by a major company to an all-ages demographic.

Also, real people get raped and abused. Real people don't get attacked by evil fae or eaten by ghouls. Most people don't get involved in actual demon-cults. There are plenty of ways to do horror without resorting to things that hurt people in real life.
 

The rapes by Zeus and the abduction of Persephone are not removed from mythos, they are there for everyone to read about them. One can choose not to read them as a DM can choose not to include the Phantom Lover at their table.
The Abduction of Persephone is a regionalised retelling of a far more ancient story. Hades doesn't even exist in the earliest ones. Heck, one ancient version involves Horse-Poseidon chasing Horse-Demeter and Horse-Persephone (probably. Its a mystery cult, you know how their jam be) being born as a result. Hades himself doesn't even exist in the oldest versions and he just seems to be a split-off of the original Myceanan Poseidon, who was their king of the underworld

Mind, this is absolutely ancient stuff
 

The Abduction of Persephone is a regionalised retelling of a far more ancient story. Hades doesn't even exist in the earliest ones. Heck, one ancient version involves Horse-Poseidon chasing Horse-Demeter and Horse-Persephone (probably. Its a mystery cult, you know how their jam be) being born as a result. Hades himself doesn't even exist in the oldest versions and he just seems to be a split-off of the original Myceanan Poseidon, who was their king of the underworld

Mind, this is absolutely ancient stuff
I admit I have not delved so deeply into the origins of Greek mythology
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
The Abduction of Persephone is a regionalised retelling of a far more ancient story. Hades doesn't even exist in the earliest ones. Heck, one ancient version involves Horse-Poseidon chasing Horse-Demeter and Horse-Persephone (probably. Its a mystery cult, you know how their jam be) being born as a result. Hades himself doesn't even exist in the oldest versions and he just seems to be a split-off of the original Myceanan Poseidon, who was their king of the underworld

Mind, this is absolutely ancient stuff
Is that myth connected to Arion, or was Poseidon just fond of turning into horses and having children with Demeter?
 


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