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Author Topic: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons  (Read 11038 times)

Brooding Paladin

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2022, 11:46:41 AM »
I was thinking about this on my walk this morning.  What's fascinating to me is that what the SJWs usually push have exactly the opposite effect of what they claim they want.  Consider the following:

Once upon a time, you would see necessarily diverse parties built because someone needed to be good at spotting secret doors, someone needed to be good at hiding, someone needed to be good at detecting grades and understanding stonework, etc.  Meaning, invariably, that someone would make sure there was an elf, a halfling, and a dwarf in the party.  Diversity!  Required due to having different things that we were good at and then coming together as a team.

You'd think that would check the boxes for the more honest SJWs.

But no.  Now we are about to have rulesets that say there's no difference between anyone and anyone can have anything and we can call it lineage.  Because eQuaLiTy! (I learned to do that from Effete; thanks Effete!).

So now nothing stops you from having a party of 20 Dragonborn all standing around about to go off adventuring with their various "lineages" making them suited for adventuring.

Are these people just willfully stupid?  (rhetorical)

Zelen

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2022, 01:18:17 PM »
Modern adventuring party


Ruprecht

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2022, 01:21:08 PM »
What annoys me about the comments on the original article is the author mentions off hand that everyone agrees orcs are racially coded or something like that. I didn't finish the comments but nobody challenged that (presumably because its Gizmodo). Really? Everyone agrees to that? Living in a echo chamber of victimhood and hate is not mentally healthy.
Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing. ~Robert E. Howard

Lunamancer

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2022, 01:35:31 PM »
What annoys me about the comments on the original article is the author mentions off hand that everyone agrees orcs are racially coded or something like that. I didn't finish the comments but nobody challenged that (presumably because its Gizmodo). Really? Everyone agrees to that? Living in a echo chamber of victimhood and hate is not mentally healthy.

I didn't read all of the comments, so I didn't see this comment directly, but I did read one that referenced it. It seems like this did get pushback. And it was a black person doing the pushback. The author said in her defense that all of her sources were people of color. But one of those persons of color is actually very very white if you click the bio and see their/his photo. I thought it was really in poor taste to include something like that, someone speaking as a person of color despite passing as white.

Effete

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2022, 03:02:15 PM »
I prefer methods of character creation involve give and take, and that require players come to the table with some flexible ideas. And I like it if the method kicks off with rolling dice to spark ideas so that you don't have to have any idea at all what you want to play when you begin character generation.

Yeah, that's one thing I neglected to mention: I always start with rolling for attributes before anything else. I haven't used the "roll in order" method in a long time, but I'm considering bringing it back for a future game.

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If you have a very specific idea and you can't generate it by this method, it can still be a goal to work towards. Move the cool background event into something that can potentially happen in-game. Move the story into the present tense rather than the past tense. You should be unsatisfied with the character you've created. People who achieve great things do not begin at a point of being satisfied with everything.

This is a very good point. I need to remember this next time I have a player who complains about their character.


Can there be situations where a halfling is as strong as a human? Sure, but those should be rare exceptions discussed with (and approved by) the Game Master, not normal fare. It's the difference between allowing something not expressly supported by the rules, and refusing to allow something that is supported by the rules. It's the difference between saying 'no' to a player and saying 'yes' to them. One clearly builds a more positive experience than the other.

IMHO new players need more "NO" in their lives, and this goes back to their childhood.

Haha! I can't argue with you here. It true!

However, my comment was assuming you AREN'T playing with a bunch of emotionally-stunted children who never heard 'no' in their life, and was about fostering a more positive vibe around the table. If the game uses "built-in" limitations (such as racial requirements/restrictions), then the "no" is already implied without the GM needing to say it. Breaking from the mould and "playing against type" would require GM-approval, so it then becomes a positively-reinforced concept, even if it is mechanically a crutch.

Effete

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2022, 03:21:54 PM »
What annoys me about the comments on the original article is the author mentions off hand that everyone agrees orcs are racially coded or something like that. I didn't finish the comments but nobody challenged that (presumably because its Gizmodo). Really? Everyone agrees to that? Living in a echo chamber of victimhood and hate is not mentally healthy.

I didn't even make it through the article, but I groan audibly when I read that part. These people are literally deranged, by every definition of the word (assuming they don't decide to change it). It's why I always say, you should never get in an argument with them; you'll never win. They will lie and spin facts, or make up their own, and move goal posts CONSTANTLY just to get their way. They should be mocked or ignored (or mocked, then ignored).

Bending the knee is the first step on a downward spiral.

jhkim

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2022, 07:02:10 PM »
Can there be situations where a halfling is as strong as a human? Sure, but those should be rare exceptions discussed with (and approved by) the Game Master, not normal fare. It's the difference between allowing something not expressly supported by the rules, and refusing to allow something that is supported by the rules. It's the difference between saying 'no' to a player and saying 'yes' to them. One clearly builds a more positive experience than the other.

IMHO new players need more "NO" in their lives, and this goes back to their childhood.

Haha! I can't argue with you here. It true!

However, my comment was assuming you AREN'T playing with a bunch of emotionally-stunted children who never heard 'no' in their life, and was about fostering a more positive vibe around the table. If the game uses "built-in" limitations (such as racial requirements/restrictions), then the "no" is already implied without the GM needing to say it. Breaking from the mould and "playing against type" would require GM-approval, so it then becomes a positively-reinforced concept, even if it is mechanically a crutch.

I can see this is a personal preference. In general, I prefer to trust the players to behave responsibly and say "no" when needed - rather than having a complex set of rules that encodes all possibilities incompletely that I then have to override as GM when they ask.

As an example, I have a character in my current D&D campaign who is a human woman melee fighter. The player wanted something along the lines of Xena, and has an 18 Strength. On the one hand, it's a fantasy setting that takes after Earth, so women in general are less strong than men. On the other hand, it's a somewhat high magic setting - somewhere between Faerun and Eberron, where there are many strange creatures and effects around. I am running that people comment on how strong she is as a woman, but I don't feel like it would have worked better to put in a mechanical Strength limit on women and have her ask to override it.

In D&D, I get bugged by seeing the endless subrace variations that keep showing up in supplements that all need their special rules - starting back in AD&D with wild elves and others.

mightybrain

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2022, 07:32:59 PM »
I think the actual races, sub-races, cultures, etc. should belong to the setting. The rule books only need to supply the framework for creating races and maybe include some examples to start you off. D&D players tend to treat these selections like a menu, which is why most parties (in my experience) resemble muppet shows. For example, the game I'm playing currently is set in the frozen north of Icewind Dale. So I chose a shield dwarf. However, the other players chose a bugbear, a firbolg, a tabaxi, and a gnome. What can you do?

Effete

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2022, 10:41:24 PM »
I can see this is a personal preference. In general, I prefer to trust the players to behave responsibly and say "no" when needed - rather than having a complex set of rules that encodes all possibilities incompletely that I then have to override as GM when they ask.

Except it's not a "complex set of rules that encodes all possibilities incompletely," it's a fairly simple requirement system that reinforces the differences between the playable races. This has been the heart of the conversation this whole time, how the hell did you miss it?

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I am running that people comment on how strong she is as a woman, but I don't feel like it would have worked better to put in a mechanical Strength limit on women and have her ask to override it.

So, hypothetically, what if every player wanted to play a Str 18 women in this world where women are characteristically weaker than men? Which ones do you say no to, and how would you justify that decision if you ARE allowing some women to be as strong as men?

I mean, the example is sort of shifted goal posts since the conversation was centered on differences between races, not human genders, but since you brought it up...

jhkim

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #69 on: September 20, 2022, 11:06:23 PM »
I am running that people comment on how strong she is as a woman, but I don't feel like it would have worked better to put in a mechanical Strength limit on women and have her ask to override it.

So, hypothetically, what if every player wanted to play a Str 18 women in this world where women are characteristically weaker than men? Which ones do you say no to, and how would you justify that decision if you ARE allowing some women to be as strong as men?

I mean, the example is sort of shifted goal posts since the conversation was centered on differences between races, not human genders, but since you brought it up...

If I were running that, I'd probably come up with a common Amazonian backstory for their strength - perhaps something that runs in their family, or perhaps a magic spring they all drank from. PCs often have shared backstory in my games.

But here's the thing - even with required stat minimum/maximums, you could just as easily get unlikely combinations. Players could choose to play all halfling fighters and half-orc wizards - choosing highest Int possible and lowest Str possible for half-orcs, etc. The only way to get PCs to be representative of their races is for strict in-order rolling of attributes and random-roll race.

And there's no reason that PCs should necessarily be representative. I played a half-orc wizard in a recent convention game and it was great fun. He wasn't typical of half-orcs, but no one thought he was.


EDITED TO ADD: In general, I don't think the racial attribute adjustments have all that big a practical effect on games. If that elf had a 16 Dex instead of a 17 Dex, it is a slight adjustment - but for the most part, I think the game would go almost exactly the same. What I like about it is that it cuts down on the urge among many players to min-max - i.e. "I'm a half-orc fighter because I want that +2 Str."  I haven't played with minima and maxima that much, but I don't think it would also change that much - especially if the DM is often willing to make exceptions if asked.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 11:16:56 PM by jhkim »

Effete

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2022, 12:19:04 AM »
So, hypothetically, what if every player wanted to play a Str 18 women in this world where women are characteristically weaker than men? Which ones do you say no to, and how would you justify that decision if you ARE allowing some women to be as strong as men?

If I were running that, I'd probably come up with a common Amazonian backstory for their strength - perhaps something that runs in their family, or perhaps a magic spring they all drank from. PCs often have shared backstory in my games.

Okay, but that doesn't answer the question. If not all of the players want Amazonian blood or want to drink from the same magic spring, you're going to either accept all their characters or say no to some of them.

But I made my point, which was to get you to admit that exceptional situations require exceptional justifications within the setting. Bringing this back to the main issue, racial differences (and gender differences too, if that's pertinent to the setting) matter.

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But here's the thing - even with required stat minimum/maximums, you could just as easily get unlikely combinations. Players could choose to play all halfling fighters and half-orc wizards - choosing highest Int possible and lowest Str possible for half-orcs, etc. The only way to get PCs to be representative of their races is for strict in-order rolling of attributes and random-roll race.

I think you failed to realize that those characters would STILL be within the prescribed parameters of the setting. I'm unsure of your point since having a party of all average half-orcs doesn't track with the example of having all exceptional, beefcake women (in a setting you admit has sexual dimorphism).

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And there's no reason that PCs should necessarily be representative. I played a half-orc wizard in a recent convention game and it was great fun. He wasn't typical of half-orcs, but no one thought he was.

It's almost like you don't read a single thing I write... or choose to ignore it when you think you can score a point. I never said characters couldn't be the exception to the norm. What I DID say was that it should be a negotiation with the GM.

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EDITED TO ADD: In general, I don't think the racial attribute adjustments have all that big a practical effect on games. If that elf had a 16 Dex instead of a 17 Dex, it is a slight adjustment - but for the most part, I think the game would go almost exactly the same. What I like about it is that it cuts down on the urge among many players to min-max - i.e. "I'm a half-orc fighter because I want that +2 Str."

Now I know you're clowning. I've seen plenty of builds throughout my time with 3e, and more recently with 5e, that place the highest score to stack with the racial bonus, and sometimes then give the character a Feat to push it higher (usually to hit that coveted score of 20). Racial ability adjustments ABSOLUTELY encourage min-maxing. Just because you've been lucky enough to play in groups that don't, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Zelen

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2022, 01:14:12 AM »
Minmaxing is a universal constant, the only question is how much do the rules reward it.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2022, 12:21:08 PM »
What annoys me about the comments on the original article is the author mentions off hand that everyone agrees orcs are racially coded or something like that. I didn't finish the comments but nobody challenged that (presumably because its Gizmodo). Really? Everyone agrees to that? Living in a echo chamber of victimhood and hate is not mentally healthy.

I didn't read all of the comments, so I didn't see this comment directly, but I did read one that referenced it. It seems like this did get pushback. And it was a black person doing the pushback. The author said in her defense that all of her sources were people of color. But one of those persons of color is actually very very white if you click the bio and see their/his photo. I thought it was really in poor taste to include something like that, someone speaking as a person of color despite passing as white.
I do think that the depiction of orcs and other humanoids in earlier editions of D&D when it was more obviously influenced by westerns and pulp fiction did have roots in Old West propaganda against native americans. That said, I don't think anybody sane will use the depictions of frontier settings in speculative fiction to argue that what happened to native americans was remotely moral. People can distinguish reality from fiction. I think most people can agree that fictional frontiers make excellent adventuring settings. I'm sure everybody knows the real frontier was a horrible campaign of genocide against innocent ill-equipped native tribes that could hardly advocate for themselves against our evil racist white ancestors.

tenbones

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2022, 12:37:39 PM »
You should read Empire of the Summer Moon.
 


BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Another hit piece against Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2022, 12:49:11 PM »
You should read Empire of the Summer Moon.
It would make an interesting inspiration for an rpg setting.