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: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth  (Read 6076 times)

Chris24601

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • C
  • Posts: 1613
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2021, 08:19:55 AM »
I remember some reader letters in White Dwarf in the 80's, where someone complained about using pregens and following a fixed campaign path.
Yup, Narrative railroads go all the way back to 1e.

The DL1 module was the first module for D&D my parents ever bought me (at the long defunct Children’s Palace toy store if I recall correctly). I got the rest of the line almost as quickly as they came out.

The Dragonlance modules and the cartoon are probably the main reasons I’ve always preferred Big Damn Heroes style play (even before it was called that). My default idea of the start of campaign isn’t AD&D 1st level... it’s the pregens from DL1 (who ranged from levels 3-6 if I recall).

Ratman_tf

  • Alt-Reich Shitlord
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5991
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2021, 03:30:14 PM »
   1. A good chunk of the OSR points to Dragonlance as where things went wrong with D&D, as I understand it;
How comes? I ran the Dragonlance campaign twice in the 1980s with two different groups of players, and I wrote the "Legends" campaign by myself for one of them. We had a blast every time.

Thankfully, someone has already done all the typing.

http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2008/04/how-dragonlance-ruined-everything.html

Personally, I am meh about Dragonlance. I know it has a lot of fans, but I'm not one of them. Neither do I think it ruined D&D. I think the direction Dragonlance took the game was going to happen anyway. Kinda like blaming the messenger instead of the message.

My beef with Dragonlance, is that the tail wagged the dog. Dragonlance was all about the pregenerated characters and the predetermined story. You could replace the pregens with different, player generated characters, and open up the story so that the character's actions had more impact, but the modules really didn't support that.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 03:35:26 PM by Ratman_tf »
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
-Haffrung

TJS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • T
  • Posts: 666
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2021, 03:38:45 PM »
   1. A good chunk of the OSR points to Dragonlance as where things went wrong with D&D, as I understand it;
How comes? I ran the Dragonlance campaign twice in the 1980s with two different groups of players, and I wrote the "Legends" campaign by myself for one of them. We had a blast every time.
How Dragonlance ruined everything.
http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2008/04/how-dragonlance-ruined-everything.html
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 03:49:22 PM by TJS »

Wicked Woodpecker of West

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • W
  • Posts: 272
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2021, 05:05:23 PM »
Quote
More crucially, 2E fluff was anemic. I still consider the 3/3.5E's era fluff as the best D&D ever put out and the source of unnumbered ideas for my games. 2E fluff was the pinnacle of meh.

In terms of fluff I have to say both were equally guilty of oversaturating settings with high level NPC.

Quote
My beef with Dragonlance, is that the tail wagged the dog. Dragonlance was all about the pregenerated characters and the predetermined story. You could replace the pregens with different, player generated characters, and open up the story so that the character's actions had more impact, but the modules really didn't support that.

Yeah, while most D&D settings are oversaturated sinkholes without much theme, Dragonlance was always like world for series of novels, where RPG material was totally secondary and scope was limited to beef between two kinda meh pantheons.

Ratman_tf

  • Alt-Reich Shitlord
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5991
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2021, 06:33:47 PM »
Quote
More crucially, 2E fluff was anemic. I still consider the 3/3.5E's era fluff as the best D&D ever put out and the source of unnumbered ideas for my games. 2E fluff was the pinnacle of meh.

In terms of fluff I have to say both were equally guilty of oversaturating settings with high level NPC.

Quote
My beef with Dragonlance, is that the tail wagged the dog. Dragonlance was all about the pregenerated characters and the predetermined story. You could replace the pregens with different, player generated characters, and open up the story so that the character's actions had more impact, but the modules really didn't support that.

Yeah, while most D&D settings are oversaturated sinkholes without much theme, Dragonlance was always like world for series of novels, where RPG material was totally secondary and scope was limited to beef between two kinda meh pantheons.

I think the whole thing was really meh. Raistlin was the only really interesting character, and they drove him into the ground, like any standout, fan favorite character.
The rest is a mush of fantasy D&D tropes and really tame, vanilla writing.
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
-Haffrung

Pat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • P
  • Posts: 2426
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2021, 06:43:19 PM »
I think the whole thing was really meh. Raistlin was the only really interesting character, and they drove him into the ground, like any standout, fan favorite character.
The rest is a mush of fantasy D&D tropes and really tame, vanilla writing.
Tanis had a beard. A (half-)elf wuth a beard. That was original and deep characterization!

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14673
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2021, 06:53:40 PM »
Of course Pundit ignores the little fact that even before publication the D&D players were playing everything from a Balrog to a Vampire and all sort of other critters that various "purity" snobs conveniently ignore. The game allowed you to do about anything as long as the DM was on board for it.

Players playing weird races today? Thats so 70s.

Aglondir

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1102
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2021, 08:11:14 PM »
Of course Pundit ignores the little fact that even before publication the D&D players were playing everything from a Balrog to a Vampire and all sort of other critters that various "purity" snobs conveniently ignore. The game allowed you to do about anything as long as the DM was on board for it.

Players playing weird races today? Thats so 70s.

It's past time that we call bullshit on this. Was there a game in the 70s Lake Geneva where someone played a balrog once? Sure, ok. And yes, someone back then played Lord Fang and Gygax loved it so much he tried to kill the character, or invented turning undead, or something.

But to claim that this was representative of anything is nonsense. No one played PC monsters in any of the groups I was in. You choose a race from the option in the PHB, and if you tried any of that garbage no one would game with you.

YMMV, I guess?
And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Eirikrautha

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 257
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2021, 09:09:17 PM »
Of course Pundit ignores the little fact that even before publication the D&D players were playing everything from a Balrog to a Vampire and all sort of other critters that various "purity" snobs conveniently ignore. The game allowed you to do about anything as long as the DM was on board for it.

Players playing weird races today? Thats so 70s.

It's past time that we call bullshit on this. Was there a game in the 70s Lake Geneva where someone played a balrog once? Sure, ok. And yes, someone back then played Lord Fang and Gygax loved it so much he tried to kill the character, or invented turning undead, or something.

But to claim that this was representative of anything is nonsense. No one played PC monsters in any of the groups I was in. You choose a race from the option in the PHB, and if you tried any of that garbage no one would game with you.

YMMV, I guess?
Truth. If I had asked any group I played with to play a Balrog, I'd have been laughed out of the room.  That's not to say we didn't pull some real shady stuff with high level spells and their vague descriptions (Magic Jar, you magnificent bastard!), but that was at very high levels, where everything was gonzo...

Ratman_tf

  • Alt-Reich Shitlord
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5991
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2021, 09:22:15 PM »
Of course Pundit ignores the little fact that even before publication the D&D players were playing everything from a Balrog to a Vampire and all sort of other critters that various "purity" snobs conveniently ignore. The game allowed you to do about anything as long as the DM was on board for it.

Players playing weird races today? Thats so 70s.

It's past time that we call bullshit on this. Was there a game in the 70s Lake Geneva where someone played a balrog once? Sure, ok. And yes, someone back then played Lord Fang and Gygax loved it so much he tried to kill the character, or invented turning undead, or something.

But to claim that this was representative of anything is nonsense. No one played PC monsters in any of the groups I was in. You choose a race from the option in the PHB, and if you tried any of that garbage no one would game with you.

YMMV, I guess?

YMMV indeed. I've mentioned it before. We played with the conversion rules and put Gamma World, Boot Hill, Marvel Superheroes in our AD&D games. It was nuts and gonzo and really fun for the stage we were at with our gaming.
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
-Haffrung

Aglondir

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1102
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2021, 12:45:40 AM »
YMMV indeed. I've mentioned it before. We played with the conversion rules and put Gamma World, Boot Hill, Marvel Superheroes in our AD&D games. It was nuts and gonzo and really fun for the stage we were at with our gaming.

Our D&D parties looked basically looked like LOTR, with the occasional gnome and half-orc. Someone wanted to play a Lizard Man once, and the DM said "No, that's a monster, people will you." We all agreed on that call. Another time a player wanted to play an elf with wings and it was a "No, that's ridiculous."

We were running the classic modules: Against the Giants, Demonweb Pits, Temple of Elemental Evil, etc. Also some homebrew campaigns that were mashups of the fantasy novels of the time: Tolkien, Thomas Covenant, Belgariad, Earthsea, etc. Nothing gonzo.
And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes: one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Ratman_tf

  • Alt-Reich Shitlord
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5991
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2021, 01:38:42 AM »
YMMV indeed. I've mentioned it before. We played with the conversion rules and put Gamma World, Boot Hill, Marvel Superheroes in our AD&D games. It was nuts and gonzo and really fun for the stage we were at with our gaming.

Our D&D parties looked basically looked like LOTR, with the occasional gnome and half-orc. Someone wanted to play a Lizard Man once, and the DM said "No, that's a monster, people will you." We all agreed on that call. Another time a player wanted to play an elf with wings and it was a "No, that's ridiculous."

We were running the classic modules: Against the Giants, Demonweb Pits, Temple of Elemental Evil, etc. Also some homebrew campaigns that were mashups of the fantasy novels of the time: Tolkien, Thomas Covenant, Belgariad, Earthsea, etc. Nothing gonzo.

Well, I don't agree that an elf with wings is ridiculous or playing a lizard man is so far off the beam for a game about wizards and dragons.
My concern nowadays is, does the character fit the world? Does it break the tone of the setting? That kind of stuff.
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
-Haffrung

Pat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • P
  • Posts: 2426
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2021, 01:48:02 AM »
Well, I don't agree that an elf with wings is ridiculous or playing a lizard man is so far off the beam for a game about wizards and dragons.
Gulth appreciates your tolerance.

Spinachcat

  • Toxic SocioCat
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • S
  • Posts: 14069
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2021, 04:11:54 AM »
I am mixed on the "group of weirdos" trope in gaming groups.

In the 80s, we had RuneQuest where you could be a duck or a troll, Palladium Fantasy 1e where you could be a Wolfman, Orc, or Giant, and Tunnels & Trolls had a supplement all about monsters as PCs. I'd argue that PF1e's success was heavily based on that you had many more PC choices than AD&D.

However, the "humans are boring" issue usually happens due to humans being sub-optimal as a race choice in that edition.


Wicked Woodpecker of West

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • W
  • Posts: 272
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2021, 07:14:09 AM »
Quote
It's past time that we call bullshit on this. Was there a game in the 70s Lake Geneva where someone played a balrog once? Sure, ok. And yes, someone back then played Lord Fang and Gygax loved it so much he tried to kill the character, or invented turning undead, or something.

But to claim that this was representative of anything is nonsense. No one played PC monsters in any of the groups I was in. You choose a race from the option in the PHB, and if you tried any of that garbage no one would game with you.

Ah yes glorious anecdotal arguments against MORE anecdotal arguments!

Quote
Truth. If I had asked any group I played with to play a Balrog, I'd have been laughed out of the room.  That's not to say we didn't pull some real shady stuff with high level spells and their vague descriptions (Magic Jar, you magnificent bastard!), but that was at very high levels, where everything was gonzo...

Was there even a balrog in D&D?


Quote
Well, I don't agree that an elf with wings is ridiculous or playing a lizard man is so far off the beam for a game about wizards and dragons.
My concern nowadays is, does the character fit the world? Does it break the tone of the setting? That kind of stuff.

THIS.

Quote
I am mixed on the "group of weirdos" trope in gaming groups.

TBH bunch of weirdoes was my default D&D but I joined D&D in 3,5 era, in university group made mostly of biology students, and let's say jokes about dead fetus dressed as clown in microwave are considered tame in this society. So my first campaign - which died out because there was just too many people - was Far Realms based Lovecraftian nightmare and PC's were weretigers, illithids, drows, three-krins, sentient constructs, tieflings, warlocks, fallen aasimars and so on. Also it was mostly solving puzzles made by DM and PVP mode ;)