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Author Topic: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?  (Read 5366 times)

Reckall

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2022, 11:01:34 AM »
Hpl wrote a poem called  ''on the creation of ni--ers''.

He owned a black cat named ''ni--er man''.

In ''the rats in the walls'' the character had a cat named that.

He used the term ''negroid' to describe some people in call of cthulhu.

Hpl was a product of his day and his day was full  of casual racism. I do not condemn him  as I understand being a product of your times. (That's why I'm not woke)  But yes,  most people have a sanitized idea of the 20's if any based on hollywood.

I came late to this discussion, but I have a couple of things to say about CoC 7E - as I'm running a campaign using that ruleset. To give context, I worked on the Italian edition of CoC back in the '90s, I wrote some adventures for it and I ran every edition since 5E.

I like 7E a lot. First, it's so compatible with all previous editions that you can run any module from them and change the stats on the fly, while you are gaming - no need for a conversion guideline or for preparing beforehand.

"Base" 7E is as deadly for body and soul as ever. The players have some more options and both the combat and the SAN mechanics are more structured. I liked the changes and all we needed to understand them was a single session (I ran a one-shot and the plot that emerged naturally from the events was so good that we are planning to write a script for a comic book based on it).

There are some holes. The biggest is that the characters can become "seriously wounded", and, while there are rules for recovering that make this condition harder to heal, nowhere one can find how seriously wounded characters are impaired if the have to clench their teeth and forge on. I had to make up some.

I like how you can plug "DLCs" (my players' definition) to the base game, like Pulp Cthulhu and Delta Green. The supporting material is great both in content and art alone (a player bought the Malleus Monstrorum for the art alone).

I don't know if 7E is "woke". I run a realistic "1920s" and my main reference is the amazing French supplement "Les Années Folles" (never translated in English - and I think I bought the last available copy in Paris back in 2016). This reference starts stating that you can run a "idealised" or "realistic" game - and the latter implies racism and stuff. It is up to you and the volume then gives everything needed for a realistic portrayal of the 1920s.

My feeling is that, yes, Chaosium is slowly embracing wokeness, but I see nothing on the likes of "You must play Lovecraft Country!" in their outings - and if you are triggered by pronouns then just ignore the idea. I use stuff from 6E and before anyway.

Regarding Lovecraft himself, the trilogy "His black cat", "The rats in the walls" and, "The Horror at Red Hook" is so tired that it can barely breath. Yes, Lovecraft was a product of his times. Yes, he was also able to grow out of it and actually become a very progressive person. This is not my opinion but that of Israeli intellectuals that studied his works and his life. We talked about this on this very forum, links to these studies included. No, I'll not repost the links: do your homework ("Lovecraft Country", BTW, was accused of anti-semitism; the schadenfreude was strong when that happened).

To sum everything up, I like CoC 7E mechanics and how the art became finally both rich and modern in quality, but I have some qualms with strange holes in the rules - the kind of question that should come up in no more that two sessions of playtesting. But the most interesting thing is that 7E is so compatible with the earlier editions that you can use 7E stuff with them (a "switch-back" basically). I'm really happy to have bought and ran it and now I have basically everything interesting for 7E.
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BoxCrayonTales

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2022, 01:29:51 PM »
Hpl wrote a poem called  ''on the creation of ni--ers''.

He owned a black cat named ''ni--er man''.

In ''the rats in the walls'' the character had a cat named that.

He used the term ''negroid' to describe some people in call of cthulhu.

Hpl was a product of his day and his day was full  of casual racism. I do not condemn him  as I understand being a product of your times. (That's why I'm not woke)  But yes,  most people have a sanitized idea of the 20's if any based on hollywood.

I came late to this discussion, but I have a couple of things to say about CoC 7E - as I'm running a campaign using that ruleset. To give context, I worked on the Italian edition of CoC back in the '90s, I wrote some adventures for it and I ran every edition since 5E.

I like 7E a lot. First, it's so compatible with all previous editions that you can run any module from them and change the stats on the fly, while you are gaming - no need for a conversion guideline or for preparing beforehand.

"Base" 7E is as deadly for body and soul as ever. The players have some more options and both the combat and the SAN mechanics are more structured. I liked the changes and all we needed to understand them was a single session (I ran a one-shot and the plot that emerged naturally from the events was so good that we are planning to write a script for a comic book based on it).

There are some holes. The biggest is that the characters can become "seriously wounded", and, while there are rules for recovering that make this condition harder to heal, nowhere one can find how seriously wounded characters are impaired if the have to clench their teeth and forge on. I had to make up some.

I like how you can plug "DLCs" (my players' definition) to the base game, like Pulp Cthulhu and Delta Green. The supporting material is great both in content and art alone (a player bought the Malleus Monstrorum for the art alone).

I don't know if 7E is "woke". I run a realistic "1920s" and my main reference is the amazing French supplement "Les Années Folles" (never translated in English - and I think I bought the last available copy in Paris back in 2016). This reference starts stating that you can run a "idealised" or "realistic" game - and the latter implies racism and stuff. It is up to you and the volume then gives everything needed for a realistic portrayal of the 1920s.

My feeling is that, yes, Chaosium is slowly embracing wokeness, but I see nothing on the likes of "You must play Lovecraft Country!" in their outings - and if you are triggered by pronouns then just ignore the idea. I use stuff from 6E and before anyway.

Regarding Lovecraft himself, the trilogy "His black cat", "The rats in the walls" and, "The Horror at Red Hook" is so tired that it can barely breath. Yes, Lovecraft was a product of his times. Yes, he was also able to grow out of it and actually become a very progressive person. This is not my opinion but that of Israeli intellectuals that studied his works and his life. We talked about this on this very forum, links to these studies included. No, I'll not repost the links: do your homework ("Lovecraft Country", BTW, was accused of anti-semitism; the schadenfreude was strong when that happened).

To sum everything up, I like CoC 7E mechanics and how the art became finally both rich and modern in quality, but I have some qualms with strange holes in the rules - the kind of question that should come up in no more that two sessions of playtesting. But the most interesting thing is that 7E is so compatible with the earlier editions that you can use 7E stuff with them (a "switch-back" basically). I'm really happy to have bought and ran it and now I have basically everything interesting for 7E.
BRP and GURPS and so on are designed in such a way that it's extremely easy to convert between different editions because the changes are relatively minor and they're also designed to be modular. The task resolution is the same, the way PCs and NPCs are structured is the same, etc.

Mark Caliber

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #77 on: July 01, 2022, 12:16:17 PM »
Why did the Coke company mess with its formula, producing 'New Coke'?

Well . . . since you asked.

With the "Pepsi challenge" (blind taste test between Pepsi Cola and Coke-a-Cola) people began realizing that they actually DID prefer the sweeter more sugary tasting Pepsi cola!

Coke, realizing that they were losing customers to the sweeter tasting Pepsi, reformulated a sweeter tasting cola and voila: "New" Coke!

And in spite of the fact that most people who took subsequent blind taste test actually preferred the taste of New Coke over the original formula AND Pepsi, the problem was that millions of people around the world had acclimated their taste buds to the caramelized battery acid taste of original Coke!

Those millions rose up in rebellion against "Big Sugar" and demanded their original product!

Note that no one ever did a blind taste test with 7-Up the "un" cola because it was clear. Kinda hard not to realize THAT's 7-Up unless you're blind folded!  But 7-Up also proves that sweetened battery acid doesn't have to be brown if you don't caramelize it.

(Authors note:  While my carbonized beverage of choice has been Mt Dew for many years, I'm currently sipping on a Coke as I write and post this message.  Mmmm, the original caramelized battery acid flavor drink of choice)!

I know.  More than you ever wanted to know about the cola wars.

And no.  I have no knowledge nor opinion about the CoC system.  So no comment about that from me.  Back to your regularly scheduled rant!
« Last Edit: July 01, 2022, 12:18:04 PM by Mark Caliber »
No Signature as of yet.  Pending inspiration.

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #78 on: July 01, 2022, 02:37:08 PM »
And in spite of the fact that most people who took subsequent blind taste test actually preferred the taste of New Coke over the original formula AND Pepsi, the problem was that millions of people around the world had acclimated their taste buds to the caramelized battery acid taste of original Coke!
That's hilarious. Also depressing.

A lot of consumers irrationally hate change on general principle, even if they like the change while blindfolded.

Pat

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #79 on: July 01, 2022, 03:57:58 PM »
And in spite of the fact that most people who took subsequent blind taste test actually preferred the taste of New Coke over the original formula AND Pepsi, the problem was that millions of people around the world had acclimated their taste buds to the caramelized battery acid taste of original Coke!
That's hilarious. Also depressing.

A lot of consumers irrationally hate change on general principle, even if they like the change while blindfolded.
It's amazing how many theories are based on the idea that people are stupid and don't know what they want.

Here's a simpler answer. It's true that people preferred Pepsi and New Coke over Classic Coke in the taste tests, but a taste test is a highly artificial environment. Participants are given two drinks, which they drink quickly and judge based on first impression. Naturally, crisper and sweeter tends to stand out.

But in more natural environments, people drink more slowly, over a longer period of time. Turns out a product that's too sweet isn't what most people prefer in those circumstances.

Same applies to games. There are a lot of games that look exciting and may be fun to play over a couple sessions, which don't really have legs. Conversely, there are games that look uglier and are harder to get into, which are really good for long campaigns.

Ruprecht

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #80 on: July 01, 2022, 04:17:52 PM »
Why did the Coke company mess with its formula, producing 'New Coke'?

They took a PR hit for being fools, then looked like heroes for bringing back what folks loved but...  I'd always felt the move was really intended to hide their switch from actual sugar to corn syrup or whatever other artificial sweetener they decided to use. By the time coke classic was back on shelves there was really no easy way to do a taste test with the pre-new coke version. Otherwise they would have brought out New Coke side-by-side with coke classic and dominated the market. Of course that's just a feeling, I could be wrong.
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Battlemaster

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #81 on: July 01, 2022, 09:26:29 PM »
I drink RC and it's fine.
Fuck the fascist right and the fascist left.

KindaMeh

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #82 on: July 01, 2022, 10:40:31 PM »
I drink RC and it's fine.

There's something to be said for RC Cola and other sodas being a decent substitute for Coke. The less we buy into the most popular brands simply because they are popular and recognizable, the less power they have to exploit consumers on the basis of brand, or do crazy stuff due to demand inelasticity. Way to do your part in stopping companies like Wizards from forming in sectors like the soda industry and holding a brand/cultural monopoly. (I am admittedly something of a slave to brand, whether it be McDonald's or Coke I have an irrational emotional attachment that transcends the actual products on offer. So still working on that.)

Battlemaster

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #83 on: July 01, 2022, 10:56:00 PM »
You think McDonald's has good burgers?  Oh, my friend, get thee to a dairy queen and feast 'pon their cheeseburgers. You'll never be interested in a mcburger again!
Fuck the fascist right and the fascist left.

KindaMeh

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #84 on: July 01, 2022, 11:07:03 PM »
You think McDonald's has good burgers?  Oh, my friend, get thee to a dairy queen and feast 'pon their cheeseburgers. You'll never be interested in a mcburger again!

Will have  to try it. I do like their frozen treats, but hadn't yet attempted their warmer offerings.

But yeah, I sometimes blame substandard releases and products on the fact that companies know people will buy, and not solely on the basis of the product itself, but because they liked prior products. Or it's part of their identity now. Or they trust the brand more than they should. Or whatever.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 12:14:49 AM by KindaMeh »

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #85 on: July 02, 2022, 11:48:08 AM »
Overcoming brand loyalty is like waking up in the Matrix. It’s a good thing, but it feels like hell

jeff37923

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #86 on: July 02, 2022, 11:54:32 AM »
Overcoming brand loyalty is like waking up in the Matrix. It’s a good thing, but it feels like hell

Now apply this to every weenie who is convinced that D&D 5e is Tha Bestest Game Evar.....
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BoxCrayonTales

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #87 on: July 02, 2022, 12:21:36 PM »
I genuinely think Spheres of Power & Might is the best model so far for designing fantasy character classes under level-based rules. I think the OSR could hugely benefit from it.

Xanadu

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #88 on: October 18, 2022, 03:41:16 AM »
It's a weird kind of intellectual bankruptcy to be so myopically focused on the particulars of word choice of a genius author from a century ago. If every single artist has to pass this same kind of purity test, there isn't much left in any intellectual field whatsoever. Virtually every man of note in the history of humankind had views that would be unacceptable.
No, H.P. Lovecraft is a bit of an extreme case. Even accounting for his time.

To clarify this and note it isn't an opinion but a fact, Lovecraft's Jewish wife went on record to note his extreme antisemitism and the fact he became almost livid with rage when having to mix with people from other races on the streets of New York. Furthermore this was corroborated by some of his friends.

Seems like he likely suffered from an incredibly sheltered upbringing with extreme paranoia, xenophobia, and a highly misanthropic outlook on the world. The racism is a consequence amplified by the current zeitgeist. If he was alive today he'd be ranting about how Trump / Biden / Covid / whatever boogieman is gonna get us all killed.

My issue isn't mentioning his racism when it's relevant, but rather shoehorning in a glib dissertation about the simple fact that racism is in fact bad, into nearly every mainstream product that borrows from his work.

Jam The MF

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Re: why do companies insist on fucking up perfectly good systems?
« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2022, 05:02:59 AM »
Why did the Coke company mess with its formula, producing 'New Coke'?

They took a PR hit for being fools, then looked like heroes for bringing back what folks loved but...  I'd always felt the move was really intended to hide their switch from actual sugar to corn syrup or whatever other artificial sweetener they decided to use. By the time coke classic was back on shelves there was really no easy way to do a taste test with the pre-new coke version. Otherwise they would have brought out New Coke side-by-side with coke classic and dominated the market. Of course that's just a feeling, I could be wrong.

You are right on the money.  They hid the switch to high fructose corn syrup.
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