This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane  (Read 6945 times)

Claudius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1970
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2007, 04:21:46 pm »
Quote from: Thanatos02
One big problem with this dialogue is that, essentially, some people really have it in their heads that there's a real Us. vs. Them fight going on. You're either with them or against them. And you, being associated with Them (the Forge), no matter what capacity, are the enemy. Nothing you say can be right. You either have to confess and repent, or you're the enemy. It's almost fucking religious with them.

Quoted for truth.
Grając zaś w grę komputerową, być może zdarzyło się wam zapragnąć zejść z wyznaczonej przez autorów ścieżki i, miast zabić smoka i ożenić się z księżniczką, zabić księżniczkę i ożenić się ze smokiem.

Nihil sine magno labore vita dedit mortalibus.

And by your sword shall you live and serve thy brother, and it shall come to pass when you have dominion, you will break Jacob’s yoke from your neck.

Dios, que buen vasallo, si tuviese buen señor!

TonyLB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • T
  • Posts: 2274
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2007, 05:48:06 pm »
Quote from: Alnag
If you want to have you Q&A thread, you might have one... ;)
Honestly, I'd love one, for a couple of reasons.

One, I'm a confessed and unrepentant attention whore. :D

Two, I think it'd be interesting for people to see that Luke's opinions are his own, and my opinions are my own, and they are in many (important) ways different.  I think it might make a pretty serious dent in any (hypothetical) plan to extract "The Forge Truth" by questioning Luke, or any other individual.  The truth is, the Forge is a community, and people within it approach things in many different ways.

But mostly the first thing :D

EDIT:  I typed "extra" in the main paragraph where I meant to type "extract."  Fixed it.
Superheroes with heart:  Capes!

Abyssal Maw

  • some random jerk!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5624
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2007, 06:02:06 pm »
If that were true, Tony, then most of the questions Luke purposely avoided would have been answered.

Hint: certain questions I asked were there to give Luke a chance to differentiate himself from the forgies. This is, in fact, one of the things I wanted to know the most. He chose not to answer them, or danced around them.
Download Secret Santicore! (10MB). I painted the cover :)

TonyLB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • T
  • Posts: 2274
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2007, 06:02:26 pm »
Quote from: James J Skach
So why come in here and rain on it? Is it just because Sett decided to draw the conclusion that he did? Why, really?
Aw man ... I don't want to admit it, but you're totally right.

I posted because I miss the positive energy that was bubbling out at the start of this thread, where folks were all like "Wow, I'm finding everyone involved to be doing a good job in X, Y and Z way."

I like that buzz, I like the feel of it, and I feel like many recent posts here have been much more negative ... much more about the ways that people are supposedly misunderstanding or evading or whatever than about the solid ways that they're succeeding at the point of the Q&A thread.  I miss the positive stuff, and I want it back.

But James, you are 110% right that I posted in a negative way too.  That ain't gonna help, and I feel stupid for doing it.

Let me beg folks' pardon and try again:

I am still fascinated to see the main thread evolving, and I find it very impressive that even as topics move into areas where there clearly is some serious disagreement on what's what and how RPGs work, there's still a good solid core of desire to understand each other.  I sure hope that other people see that, and are impressed by it too.

It's all too easy to get caught up in stuff that tweaks you the wrong way, and get blinded to the good stuff, to your own detriment.  Take it from me :(
Superheroes with heart:  Capes!

James J Skach

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5007
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2007, 06:44:13 pm »
Quote from: TonyLB
I am still fascinated to see the main thread evolving, and I find it very impressive that even as topics move into areas where there clearly is some serious disagreement on what's what and how RPGs work, there's still a good solid core of desire to understand each other.  I sure hope that other people see that, and are impressed by it too.

Yeah, I think my biggest obstacle right now is that Luke is not you.  That is, you and I have worked out a kind of understanding that keeps us from assuming the other, in most cases, means the worst.  Luke, I think, assumes I'm trying to trip him up; when in fact what I'm doing is asking questions with a two-pronged goal.
  • Get an understanding of how he interprets information in a way different from me.
  • Help him understand where the logic leads me that seems to differ from where it leads him.

Unfortunately, it comes across as a kind of 'gotcha' series of questions.  It's a shame. so I'm trying to make it clear I'm not trying to be confrontational - but that's difficult in this medium...
The rules are my slave, not my master. - Old Geezer

The RPG Haven - Talking About RPGs

-E.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 1198
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2007, 06:54:36 pm »
Quote from: luke

Also, let's toss some terms out the window: Fun and story. They're useless. E's little logic train about DnD and fun is meaningless. Fun is utterly subjective and it's not a measure of anything objective. And objectivity seems to be something you all crave.


Objectivity is appreciated when one is making diagnosis (e.g. Vampire causes Brain Damage) or developing a predictive model (E.g. GNS-Incoherence most-likely results in on-going power struggle).

I certainly haven't asked anyone for an objective definition of "fun" (maybe someone else has?) -- but that's not where *my* logic train goes.

My guess would be you're not quite getting my position so let me try again (tell me where you disagree).

1. D&D is the most popular game out there in terms of what sells.
2. D&D is *also* (and this is important) the most-played game
3. Playing D&D is what would be considered a "leisure activity" (as opposed, say, to study or work or biological maintenance like eating or sleeping)
4. People generally undertake leisure activities to experience "fun" (which, obviously, can vary from person to person)

If you disagree with any of these statements, we can discuss that, but if you accept them then your default position should be that most people who play D&D regularly do so because they enjoy it.

This is what's known as "ockham's razor" -- a logical point of view I assume you subscribe to?

And I hope it's clear that this logic-train doesn't require any kind objective or even "common" definition of fun, right? We don't have to measure their fun or even understand it. We just have to accept that they find it fun.

Yeah?

Sure there might be other explanations for the overwhelming popularity of D&D -- maybe Government Mind Control Rays or Alien Parasites... or even great masses of deluded gamers seeking bizarre and kinky power relationships with their "Dungeon Masters"

But absence some kind of reliable evidence, I can't think of any reason not to apply ockham's razor... can you? Your anecdotal evidence? Well, surely you're not surprised to hear that *my* anecdotal evidence contradicts yours, yeah?

And surely you can understand how reaching unsupported and negative conclusions about the games and gamers is kind of offensive?

But if you're going to address anything I've said, I'd like to hear about the Brain Damage; it'd be nice to have a clear answer on that one.

Cheers,
-E.
 

James J Skach

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5007
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2007, 07:04:03 pm »
Luke, you kind of wrote this to everyone; but I'm going to answer just for me - I dont' speak for anyone else here, so...
Quote from: luke
Ok. I understand that you don't trust me, you don't believe me and you don't like me. None of this bothers me.

Ok, we got off to a bad start in that old thread about the issues with a con.  I admit that, given that past, I was not going to give you the benefit of the doubt.  But not like you, believe you, or trust you? I think you might be stretching things a bit (for me, anyway).

Quote from: luke
But the continued accusations of evasiveness in this context are false. That accusation that I'm not answering questions seems to hint at two things:

1) You're not listening.

The skill of listening entails the receiver to be able to hear and understand what the speaker said, even if he disagrees with it.

2) You have an agenda that you simply want me to cop to.

I wear my stripes proudly. I'm not going change what I believe or preach to satisfy the answers to your questions.


3) we're not asking and you're not answering the "right" question.

I might think I'm asking one question, and when you answer with something that seems evasive, it might be because I didn't ask the question properly.

4) you're being evasive.

There it is.  You might not think you are; you might not be doing it purposefully or intentionally. But just like you might think I (we) are biased, so might you be.

Quote from: luke
Check this out: I'm not lying or being evasive.

I'm glad you've made this statement. I'll try to ask the questions better and to listen as best I can.

Quote from: luke
I'm also extremely well-informed on the subject at hand. No one has all of the answers, and I certainly don't, but I've been steeped in the gaming culture and industry for 5 years. It's possible that I know what I'm talking about.

I'd say it's proabable that most of us are grasping at straws, at best. I've been playing on and of for...jesus...thirty years now.  Can you see why when my anecdotal experience and yours differs, it can be confusing? Can you understand why your interpretation seems alien to me given my differing experience? I'm not saying yours is right or wrong, nor is mine.  I'm just trying to understand how you reach your conclusions.

Quote from: luke
Also, let's toss some terms out the window: Fun and story. They're useless. E's little logic train about DnD and fun is meaningless. Fun is utterly subjective and it's not a measure of anything objective. And objectivity seems to be something you all crave.

I'm going to focus on fun because story...yeah..well...

I think part of the problem with the discourse, and why so much hostility has come to the fore, is the subjectivity of fun has been mixed up with the objectivity of "better."  I think if we could navigate our way through that, clearing up the differences, it could go a long way towards a better dialog.

And for reference, I don't crave objectivity.  I merely want it to be applied in the right places and subjectivity to applied in it's appropriate places.
The rules are my slave, not my master. - Old Geezer

The RPG Haven - Talking About RPGs

J Arcane

  • Esquire
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7790
    • View Profile
    • http://www.bedroomwallpress.com
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2007, 07:15:33 pm »
Quote
I certainly haven't asked anyone for an objective definition of "fun" (maybe someone else has?) -- but that's not where *my* logic train goes.


My whole bloody point was, in fact, that there is no objective standard of "fun", and that he seemed to be mistaking his subjective experience for an objective observation.

But rather than acknowledge that, he instead switched to snark.

I wasn't terribly interested in the thrad to begin with, but I went into it with somewhat elevated hopes, simply because I've been intrigued by Burning Wheel, in particular because of Pseudoephedrine's recommendation, as well as my intrigue at the collaporative world building aspect.

So to be honest, if I came into it with any expectations, it was actually far higher than what Luke would like to believe.  I expected better from someone who seemed to at least have done some interesting things.

Instead, this thread, and Luke's rote recitations of Forge dogma and illogic has only served to remind me of why I took such a distaste for the Forge all those years ago when it began it's great exodus and invaded RPGnet in droves, even going so far as to thread crap in the video game discussions with rambling GNS diatribes.  

My memory had clouded, my judgement softened, and thus while I might've been primed to reconsider my judgement, instead, this utter failure of any kind of logical, rational thought just disappointed me, and reinforced what I'd long ago concluded but forgotten why.
Bedroom Wall Press - Games that make you feel like a kid again.

Arcana Rising - An Urban Fantasy Roleplaying Game, powered by Hulks and Horrors.
Hulks and Horrors - A Sci-Fi Roleplaying game of Exploration and Dungeon Adventure
Heaven's Shadow - A Roleplaying Game of Faith and Assassination

TonyLB

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • T
  • Posts: 2274
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2007, 08:07:06 pm »
Quote from: James J Skach
I think part of the problem with the discourse, and why so much hostility has come to the fore, is the subjectivity of fun has been mixed up with the objectivity of "better."  I think if we could navigate our way through that, clearing up the differences, it could go a long way towards a better dialog.
If I may suggest:  I don't see any way to have a sensible statement about "better" without an attached question "better for what?"

For objective questions one can have objective answers:  If you ask "Which game does a better job of providing character-types that can equally contribute to the main mechanical tasks presented by the rules?" and your options are "Rifts" and "Feng Shui" then I can say with a fair amount of objectivity "Neither is as good as I'd like to see on this measure, but Feng Shui is the stronger of the two.  Yeah, the Killer archetype has a fair leg up on the Karate Cop in most mechanical tasks, but it's nothing compared with the vast gulf in power between a Glitter Boy and a Rogue Scholar."

For subjective questions one can only have subjective answers:  If you ask "Which game does a better job of providing fun?" then I can only answer by referring to what I, personally, find fun.

When folks (Luke or otherwise) talk about D&D3.x being a "better" game than AD&D2, because it better encapsulates the core of what D&D is ... well, I always wonder whether they're talking about something objective ("3.x does a better job of balance, such that multiple builds and strategies are sufficiently close in power level that there is no clear 'One True Build' for strategy, which is the core of D&D") or something subjective ("3.x makes me feel more heroic when I play it, which is the core of D&D").

Anyway, that's my read on the subject.  I hope it's helpful.
Superheroes with heart:  Capes!

Jared A. Sorensen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
    • http://www.memento-mori.com
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2007, 08:14:09 pm »
*raises hand*

What's a Nubian?

Anon Adderlan

  • Shit Just Got Emu!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1395
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2007, 10:49:51 am »
Oh My Zod.

Watching Luke answer Master Degree's questions is like watching someone argue with the Time Cube guy. And the questions are so littered with preconceived assumptions that it sounds more like a witch trial or a search for communism than a game designer Q&A.

Me, I just have some general yes or no questions for anyone who wants to answer:

  • Do you believe that an RPG can be objectively good or bad?
  • Do you believe that designing new RPGs is harmful to the hobby?
  • Do you believe larger companies like WotC and WW change their gamelines less often and in less extreme ways than smaller companies?
  • Is it important for people to have an opinion about the people who design the games they play?

Abyssal Maw

  • some random jerk!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5624
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2007, 11:02:57 am »
This isn't the Q&A thread, this is the commentary thread.

Which is why I can tell you that your second question is kinda stupid.
Download Secret Santicore! (10MB). I painted the cover :)

James J Skach

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5007
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #57 on: July 30, 2007, 11:14:20 am »
Quote from: Abyssal Maw
This isn't the Q&A thread, this is the commentary thread.

Which is why I can tell you that your second question is kinda stupid.

Be nice, AM.  It's an attempt at a straw man.  Let's not get too nasty with things like "stupid."
The rules are my slave, not my master. - Old Geezer

The RPG Haven - Talking About RPGs

Abyssal Maw

  • some random jerk!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5624
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #58 on: July 30, 2007, 11:18:57 am »
Fair enough but come on!

"Do you believe that designing new RPGs is harmful to the hobby?"

Of course it isn't, and nobody thinks it is. It's a position you want to imagine the other guy to have so you can pretend to oppose it.
Download Secret Santicore! (10MB). I painted the cover :)

Warthur

  • No longer here.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • W
  • Posts: 4572
    • View Profile
Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #59 on: July 30, 2007, 11:36:59 am »
OK, I'll bite - I want to see where this is going.

Quote from: chaosvoyager
Do you believe that an RPG can be objectively good or bad?


Objectively bad games exist. FATAL, for example, is poor both in terms of the bigoted attitude of the author, the uninspiring and ridiculously convoluted mechanics - (4d100/2)-1 repeated over a dozen times for attribute rolls, WTF? - the limp nature of the prose, everything about it is mediocre at best, bigoted and nasty at worst, and simply rubbish the rest of the time. Pretty much everyone who looks at it hates it, aside from the original author and his buddies. That's as close to objectively bad as any creative product gets.

That doesn't mean that there is such a thing as an objectively good RPG - it all hinges on your definition of "objectively good". There's no such thing as an RPG that everyone likes - give me any game, and I can find you a gamer who will look at it and say "Meh. It kinda sucks."

On the other hand, if you work on another definition of "good" then you might be able to find some objectively good RPGs. If, statistically speaking, more people like a game than dislike it, you might be able to say it's objectively good (although that does a disservice to love-it-or-hate it games that appeal very strongly to a certain niche). Similarly, if you can point to an innovative game mechanic in an RPG and show how that game mechanic has been widely used in later games, you could make a case for that RPG having a greater than usual influence over the gaming scene. But it all comes down to your definitions.

Quote
Do you believe that designing new RPGs is harmful to the hobby?


Not by default. The only way I can see a new RPG hurting the hobby is if its content was especially objectionable and drew the wrath of the general public. There is such a thing as bad PR.

That said, very few small press RPGs are ever likely to get much attention from the mass media. Maybe if someone put out a D20 supplement promoting holocaust denial it would cause damage - I can see how the media might not differentiate between a D20 supplement made by a third party and an official D&D supplement - but that's about it.

Quote
Do you believe larger companies like WotC and WW change their gamelines less often and in less extreme ways than smaller companies?


Less often? Most certainly. It doesn't make economic sense for them to change their lines frequently.

Less extreme? No way! Compare and contrast your D&D 3.X and your AD&D 2nd Edition Player's Handbooks: that's an incredibly extreme change right there. And what about White Wolf destroying the oWoD - a setting which was arguably the main draw for WW's audience - and starting all over again from scratch?

Quote
Is it important for people to have an opinion about the people who design the games they play?


It is important that people are free to form an opinion. Personally, I'll buy any well-designed game unless the designer or publisher were actually shown to be white supremacists or some other kind of bigot; there is a point where I will boycott a product because I don't want to give money to the people behind it. I'm not aware of any RPG designer who's reached that point with me yet (aside from the jerks behind FATAL and RaHoWa).

So, chaosvoyager, exactly where are we going with this?
I am no longer posting here or reading this forum because Pundit has regularly claimed credit for keeping this community active. I am sick of his bullshit for reasons I explain here and I don't want to contribute to anything he considers to be a personal success on his part.

I recommend The RPG Pub as a friendly place where RPGs can be discussed and where the guiding principles of moderation are "be kind to each other" and "no politics". It's pretty chill so far.