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Author Topic: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth  (Read 6074 times)

Chris24601

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2021, 08:20:38 AM »
Since I left D&D early for Palladium (by way of Robotech; where 50’ giants were playable) and moved on to Rifts c. 30 years ago (where DRAGONS and later godlings and cosmoknights were playable alongside human vagabonds), my concept of acceptable for a PC is “will it add something to our campaign?”

I’ve also developed the opinion over the years that, unless you’re actually running your campaign in Middle Earth, then using only the LotR races is depressingly derivative and uninspired. It’s kinda like the Millennials who can’t reference a damn bit of literature outside of Harry Potter and/or Twilight so base all their own writings on basically HP/Twilight knock-offs.

I’d take 4E’s default setting where Humans, Dragonborn and Tieflings (descendants of a human empire who made a deal with the devils because they were losing a war to the Dragonborn empire that resulted in both empires being destroyed and becoming refugees in the human lands) are the dominant species in terms of setting history than any of the hundreds of elf/dwarf/human triads (invariably with ancient elf/dwarf animosity and humans as the young race on the rise).

Basically, I’ll give a lot more of a pass to a setting that isn’t just another Tolkien rip-off and definitely respect ones that have decided to be human only so that the focus can be on the different human cultures in the setting.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2021, 08:30:01 AM »
I hope Maliszewski's gotten over his fart-sniffing addiction, because that rant about Dragonlance was about as convincing as Paris Hilton insisting 'I'm a real gamer too!'.

He complains about how 'story' became more important and how 'modules' were deemphasized. Well, excuse me, I'm so terribly sorry I expressed interest in having a game with more plot depth than a parking lot puddle.

If he had complained about the actual plot arcs in DL (especially War of the Lance), then sure, I can admit the worldbuilding and plotline could use some tightening up. But crying about 'how dare people want more than just dice rolls and stats' is just plain stupid.

And my favorite character was Flint. Fight me.

Eirikrautha

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2021, 09:24:43 AM »
Was there even a balrog in D&D?

... but I joined D&D in 3,5 era...

Oh, look, another Millennial that doesn't know what they are talking about, but expects their opinion to matter.

Our "anecdotal" evidence happens to be based on our experience from when the game was much smaller, and the internet didn't exist.  So there is no other kind of evidence available, with the exception of what showed up in fan magazines, Dragon, and in the rulebooks themselves (Gary had a bit to say about playstyles in the 1e DMG).  I played with people that gamed up-and-down the East Coast.  Can I say what every group in the US was doing?  Nope.  But I can tell you what the consensus of the people I knew was.  Which is a hell of a lot more than you know about it.

Eirikrautha

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2021, 09:31:37 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.
Well, see, that's the thing.  My groups played all kinds of weird characters, too... in other games.  When TMNT came out in '85 (looking up at my 1st printing book on the bookshelf above my computer right now), we played all kinds of gonzo craziness.  But that never bled over to D&D.  When we went looking for off-the-wall characters, we played them in different games.  So I don't think the fact that other games had weird archetypes does anything for the argument that D&D was played with a similar weirdness.  When we wanted weird, we switched games.  Not everyone might have, but I can only speak to what I observed...

Pat

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2021, 10:08:35 AM »
Was there even a balrog in D&D?
Yes.
Quote from: OD&D wood-grained box, Men & Magic
There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a player wishing to be a Balrog would have to begin as let us say, a "young" one and progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign referee.
Later printings replaced balrog with dragon in the above sentence, as they purged all explicit Tolkien references from OD&D. Similarly, the balrog monster got changed into the type VI demon. I believe Mike Mornard (Gronan) has said he played a balrog in Greyhawk. There's also a similar quote about balrog characters in at least one early printing of the Holmes' blue box Basic Set.

Zalman

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2021, 10:09:57 AM »
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?
Yeah, my mileage didn't vary. Even half-orcs were met with nothing but utter disdain at every single table I played at prior to at least 1990. Between '77 and '90, I estimate the myriad D&D groups I played in consisted of 80% human characters, 10% halflings, 7% elves, and 3% dwarves.

It doesn't surprise me too much that folks who started playing D&D post -1990 have a different perception. But just because people played 1st and 2nd editions of D&D a certain way post-1990 , doesn't mean that any significant sector played D&D like that prior to 1990.

(At what point does mounting "anecdotal" evidence become statistical?)
Zal

Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School"

sureshot

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2021, 10:16:19 AM »
When it cam to D&D we pretty much stuck with core though removed the level restrictions for Demi-Humans. The whole "if we don't screw over Demi-Humans no one will bother taking humans". How about not making humans boring beyond no level limits they really are and were in older editions. We ended up giving humans an extra weapon and non-weapon to compensate for it if I remember correctly. If the levels were enforced then we played human and only human because why limit the character if race XYZ only allows level 5 Cleric.

In any case I don't see an issue with playing with other races beyond the core as long as it's not too game breaking say a Balrog. Otherwise it's not my damn business or anyone else to tell other gamers they are doing it wrong or how and what to play at their tables. I also don't care how long a person has been in the hobby as it it gives no one in any way shape or form how people should be having fun in the hobby. Absolutely non-negotiable or up for any form of debate. Before some tries to call me some kind of millennial or other similar bullshit I started playing mid to late 1980s. Neither side young or old should be telling each other they are doing it wrong.

As long as one is having fun and everyone else is let others enjoy the hobby. Pundit keeps getting worse and worse and seems to be as bad as the SJws he claims to despise as he keeps seeming enemies and something to be offended at in every and any area of the hobby. 

RandyB

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2021, 10:19:36 AM »
It's all in the difference between "gonzo" and "snowflake". BITD, it was gonzo. These days, it's snowflakes, with the emphasis on "flakes".

sureshot

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2021, 10:29:22 AM »
Wanting to play non-core is not being a snowflake most of the time it's wanting to play something different.

If a DM has set the rules on what races are allowed and a player insists on wanting to play something different than accuses the DM and/or the rest of the group as being gatekeepers and restricting his "creative freedom" then I would say a snowflake. Wanting to play something different does not automatically make one a snwoflake. If I am in the mood for vegetarian pizza once in awhile and everyone else meat lovers I'm a snowflake give me a fucking a break.

Eirikrautha

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2021, 10:40:54 AM »
When it cam to D&D we pretty much stuck with core though removed the level restrictions for Demi-Humans. The whole "if we don't screw over Demi-Humans no one will bother taking humans". How about not making humans boring beyond no level limits they really are and were in older editions. We ended up giving humans an extra weapon and non-weapon to compensate for it if I remember correctly. If the levels were enforced then we played human and only human because why limit the character if race XYZ only allows level 5 Cleric.

In any case I don't see an issue with playing with other races beyond the core as long as it's not too game breaking say a Balrog. Otherwise it's not my damn business or anyone else to tell other gamers they are doing it wrong or how and what to play at their tables. I also don't care how long a person has been in the hobby as it it gives no one in any way shape or form how people should be having fun in the hobby. Absolutely non-negotiable or up for any form of debate. Before some tries to call me some kind of millennial or other similar bullshit I started playing mid to late 1980s. Neither side young or old should be telling each other they are doing it wrong.

As long as one is having fun and everyone else is let others enjoy the hobby. Pundit keeps getting worse and worse and seems to be as bad as the SJws he claims to despise as he keeps seeming enemies and something to be offended at in every and any area of the hobby.
Show one quote from this thread where anyone (other than maybe Woodpecker) is telling anyone that they are playing "wrong."  Just one.

So get off your high horse.  We are telling those who weren't there how we played.  As opposed to how people seem to think we played.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2021, 10:48:14 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.

"Group of weirdos" is different when its your group of weirdos.  No really, not in an hypocritical way but in actual play at the table.  Some weirdos fit and some don't.  I had one case where we were definitely playing a group of weirdos--with the lone human stranger than most.  A new player suggested some character ideas and the group collectively said "No!" on one of them before I could even chime in. In isolation it wasn't "too weird" for that group by some external measurement of strange , but it was a bad fit.

Ducks in RQ are a good example of that.  Are you playing a RQ campaign that doesn't ban ducks?  OK, then here is an acceptable way for you to play a weirdo.   Sometimes in D&D the weirdo is a paladin played straight.  Sometimes, that's too strange.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2021, 11:32:07 AM »
If you want a real freakshow, then read the travelogues of Mandeville. They make D&D’s bazillion snowflake races look downright unremarkable.

Chris24601

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2021, 12:14:50 PM »
(At what point does mounting "anecdotal" evidence become statistical?)
When you conduct an actual study that doesn't involve a self-reporting sample population. Particularly a self-reporting sample population on a board that skews heavily OSR.

As the famous political quote goes “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” - Pauline Kael, New Yorker film critic

If you asked my circles you would find almost no one who played in the manner you described... so my anecdotal compilation of dozens of players would be that playing just humans, elves, dwarves and halflings is a bizarre anomaly.

Half a dozen posters on an OSR-fan board doesn't prove anything other than half-a-dozen OSR fans who post here prefer the default OSR options.

Wicked Woodpecker of West

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2021, 12:59:06 PM »
Quote
Basically, I’ll give a lot more of a pass to a setting that isn’t just another Tolkien rip-off and definitely respect ones that have decided to be human only so that the focus can be on the different human cultures in the setting.

I'd agree, but then I'm still waiting for a D&D variant where dwarves are based on Semitic civilisations like in Tolkien, not on Scottish Miners like in all RPGs around ;)
(That's why in my last effort to forge D&D setting I gave Dwarves Int bonus. ;)


Eirikrautha

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Re: Self-Involved Narcissism vs Myth
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2021, 01:01:37 PM »
(At what point does mounting "anecdotal" evidence become statistical?)
When you conduct an actual study that doesn't involve a self-reporting sample population. Particularly a self-reporting sample population on a board that skews heavily OSR.

As the famous political quote goes “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” - Pauline Kael, New Yorker film critic

If you asked my circles you would find almost no one who played in the manner you described... so my anecdotal compilation of dozens of players would be that playing just humans, elves, dwarves and halflings is a bizarre anomaly.

Half a dozen posters on an OSR-fan board doesn't prove anything other than half-a-dozen OSR fans who post here prefer the default OSR options.
Totally incorrect.  Anecdotal evidence is perfectly fine to refute a categorical statement.  And that is how it was used above.  People keep asserting that D&D was frequently played with large numbers of exotic races, even from the beginning.  Many of us, some who had a pretty large circle of gaming friends and/or a frequent presence at conventions, never observed this.  So the categorical is called into question by the observations of those people.