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Messages - RChandler

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Quote from: Lancer
Hello everyone.


Quote from: Lancer
1)In many online forums, why does there seem to be such a push for the narrative/storytelling RPG as opposed to mainstream RPGs?

Good question! I don't know.

Quote from: Lancer
2)It seems that the Forge almost exclusively makes storytelling (or narrative) games... Why? Why don't they make games that appeal to other gamers too? And why do they seem to have the lion's share of the indi RPG community?

Not sure I agree with your assumptions, compadre. My game was playtested extensively at the Forge, and it's not a story game. Also, given the number of sites out there, I wouldn't say that the Forge features "the lion's share" of the indie community. A good chunk of it, sure.

Quote from: Lancer
4) Is it just me, or are the Indi RPG awards grossly biased towards storytelling games? Again, why does the Forge have so much power?

Might just be you. Nothing personal, I just haven't seen what you're describing. And as the Forge -- well, what do you mean by "power", exactly?

Quote from: Lancer
5) Lastly, if an indi RPG developer decides to design a more traditional (although well-done) mainstream RPG for profit, does he/she already have the odds stacked against him/her?

Nah. My game is independent, but it's not a story game. It's pretty traditional. Roll initiative, roll to hit, roll to dodge, a gun does this much damage, but a sword does that much damage. You're penalized for fighting blind. If you lose enough hit points, you die. Et cetera.

Independent game publication doesn't have anything to do with the type of game that you're making. It just means that instead of submitting your game to someone for consideration, you gambled with your own money and you published the game yourself. Some indie designers produce games that are focused on story, while others produce more traditional games. Some sites focus on one or the other.

If you make a cool game, people will buy it. Might be that you sell enough copies to make a profit (I've done it, it's not that hard).

Somebody asked a similar question a few weeks back, and there were some pretty good reponses. Check it out:

Quote from: Anthrobot
So you've got some players for your horror game. The only drawback is that they are tough enough to bite the head off a rabid bear and openly laugh at anything Lovecraftian.
How would you go about scaring them during your scenario?

That's a damned good question. I run across this problem from time to time. In my experience:

1. Players must want to feel the tension;
2. the apprehension is a result of uncertainty; and
3. utility breeds attachment.

First, if your group doesn't want participate in a horror game, there's not much you can do. They might play the game, but that's not the same as participation. But, if they're on board with a horror game, and they're willing to 'get into it' (by which I mean, they'll play characters that are creeped out or terrified, even if the players themselves aren't), then you can build the tension through uncertainty.

It's a lot easier to build dread when the characters don't know what's going on. In fact, one problem I've had with Call of Cthulhu is that my gaming group were very familiar with Lovecraft's writings, so I wound up inventing all kinds of additions to the Mythos in order to throw them off. By keeping the players guessing, you can build tension. Rather than tell them what they're up against, you can give them small pieces of a puzzle that gradually build up to something more threatening.

Third, I find that utility breeds attachment, and fear can be a result of losing something that one is attached to (a loved one, a body part, one's life). By creating utilitarian NPCs, which are valuable to the group because they represent something good and helpful, you can threaten the group's security by later removing those NPCs at inopportune times. For example, the group is working with an Army captain who accompanies them to the site, and says that he will provide backup. He radios his unit and requests reinforcements and additional weapons. Heavy stuff, like machineguns. However, when the group emerges from the cave, he's been killed and partially eaten. There's no sign of the promised reinforcements, and the jeep is gone.

The same tactic can be employed with assets and resources; if the players manage to get their hands on a book of forbidden knowledge, and attempt to use it in the heat of battle, they may then realize that essential pages are missing. It's particularly useful if there was some clue to this beforehand -- that realization that one has missed some crucial piece of information can be a real blow.

These days, most of the demons in my games are tied to the human condition; they prey on human innocence, or vice; they feed on suffering; they reflect the brutality and degradation that humans inflict on one another. This can also be a useful tool for building horror in your game, provided that it doesn't cross any lines for your group.

Good luck!

A question about the PDFs -- I read a few RPGNow reviews that indicated that the PDFs weren't scans of the classic books, but were actually OCRs. This struck me as odd; after all, if you can scan the book and have the scanner 'read' the text and convert it to a text file, why not just scan the page as a PDF?

At any rate, the reviews indicate that the OCR scan mis-read a few words, resulting in some confusing typos that weren't caught by the editor(s).

Can anyone verify any of this? I'd like to pick these manuals up, but only if I'm getting actual scans of the actual book.

Quote from: walkerp
Yes, I think you may be onto something there.  Can this condition arise in people who aren't actually senior in years?

Unfortunately, early-onset BSR can strike at any age.

Quote from: B.T.
Do we even know what Pundit is angry about anymore?

The Pundit may be suffering from a condition known as Bewildered Senior Fury (BSR). If you've ever talked to a confused and angry old person, then you know what I'm talking about. Some senior citizens are happy and fun, others are senile, and still others are really really irate about pretty much everything. They start sentences with, "Back in my day..." and they complain bitterly about the rising cost of X, the way that Y is destroying the country, and the absolute failure of Z to live up to expectations.

As far as the Bewildered Senior is concerned, everything is going to hell, and it's THEIR fault (insert group of choice -- could be special-interest groups, or video games, or minorities, or the Illuminati, or Republicans, or Democrats, or Demogorgon). Those who suffer from BSR aren't interested in trivial details like facts, figures, or specific and quantifiable data. It's easier to point the finger at groups, and to paint with broad strokes (no pun intended).

The most tragic aspect of BSR is that it results in a complete and utter atrophy of the part of the brain which controls humor. As a consequence, Bewildered Seniors are all but incapable of jokes, jests, gags, quips, puns, or wisecracks. They are serious, grouchy, and crotchety to the core. They sweat the small stuff, in other words.

This is not to say that they're completely worthless -- Bewildered Seniors are capable of presenting some interesting arguments from time to time, but these are often accompanied by a great deal of vitriol, which can dampen one's enthusiasm for discourse.

In the video game industry, 'story' is a word that can mean a number of things. It can elicit a lot of feelings, some of them quite negative.

I tend to use the word 'context' when describing the progression of events. But 'narrative' also works pretty well.


Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. My hat is off to you. I really hope it results in an increase in sales -- and given how solid your game is, I believe that this will be the case.

Will this PDF feature direct links to the Lulu version? That is, while browsing the document, will I see a link that I can click on to go directly to the purchase page? Also, will this just be on the first page, or would you consider placing the link in the header or footer as well?

-- Rafael

I agree that the 'brain damage' quote was very confusing and troubling. I still haven't read the whole article-blog-thing (I have zero interest in game theory, so my eyes tend to glaze over when I'm reading about it). One of these days I'm going to get around to it, though.

I also agree that no matter which board you frequent, you are bound to find acolytes-in-waiting, eager for a leader who can point them in the right direction. It's always disappointing.

And, since I'm feeling agreeable, I will also say that I agree with the idea that this is a board where you can say whatever you like. The Forge is an excellent resource for some things (the aforementioned publishing discussions, for instance), but you can't just post your thoughts and talk about gaming -- that's not what the site is there for. This is one of the reasons why I like theRPGsite. It's fun to talk about games and gaming with other people who also enjoy the hobby.

Quote from: Settembrini
I won´t be adopting, until someone else convinces me via actual play. That is, I was totally responsible for over thirty people getting into 3.5. I DMed and explained and everybody adopted and had a good time, some people started DMing with groups of their own, even though they had never played RPGs before.

I'm seeing this a lot. I happen to feel the same way, in point of fact. It's not out yet, but once I start seeing some reports, I'll know whether it's a game worth picking up.

This is pointless speculation, but I'm wondering how many other people out there, who ordinarily possess that oh-so-crucial 'zeal for conversion', are deciding to wait and see what happens. In the absence of clearly-delineated metrics, there's no way to know how much of the game's audience fulfills this role, but I think that 4e is going to need evangelists to overcome the following obstacles:

Internal competition. In 2000, 3E faced a different playing field. For one thing, there was no d20 system to provide internal competition. 4E is being released at a time when there are myriad D&D/d20-compatible sourcebooks already on the market. One wonders if 4E will have enough momentum to vault over all the 3.0 and 3.5 material on the average gamer's shelf.

World of Warcraft. In a recent interview, I was asked about the effect that video games have on tabletop game sales. Though I don't have any figures, I do believe that there isn't much direct competition -- they provide completely different experiences, and satisfy different entertainment needs. In other words, MMOs compete with each other, and tabletop games compete with one another. But Rifts (250,000 copies sold) is not going to compete with WoW (ten million users). No one is going to choose between the two, any more than you would choose between the DMG and a new George R. R. Martin hardcover. In general, if you're looking for a novel, you go look for a novel.

However, it seems that the developers of 4E are trying to accentuate the similarities between their game and MMOs: the monthly subcription fee for D&D Insider, the online Gaming Table, the database that allows "patching" (digital errata delivery). This is a curious strategy, as it seems to be an attempt to place 4E in direct competition with WoW.

Word of mouth. When 3E was released in 2000, there were plenty of sites and newsgroups and mailing lists. But over the past eight years, the numbers have increased exponentially. I'm a hardcore gamer, and I was working at a video game studio (surrounded by hardcore gamers), and we were only vaguely aware of what 3E would be like. Now, I have access to a great deal of information about 4E. This makes it a lot easier to evaluate the game before its release.

Quote from: Settembrini
BTW, the covers, they are full of suck!

Yes, they truly are. It's kind of sad, really. I don't know why they couldn't come up with something more compelling.

Quote from: Anthrobot
This isn't the Forge where we have to accept every view from "The Ronitor" uncritically.

This is demonstrably incorrect.

I wrote and published a game that indie gamers have described as traditional and simulationist. I like illusionism and GM fiat (so long as you've got a competent GM). I like the idea of immersionism (to a point -- as a few people have noted, it's not like I actually think I'm another person, but yeah, I get into character).

I've been posting at the Forge for six years. I do not accept anyone's views uncritically. Ron has never been anything but respectful. He is mature enough to agree to disagree. No one at the Forge has ever said anything to me about my stance, though I've made it no secret (hell, I published a game that includes explicit rules about GM fiat, immersion, and so forth). No one has ever tried to correct me.

Quote from: RPGPundit
I haven't dragged Gary Gygax into anything: his own words supported everything I've been saying about what RPGs are all about all the way back to the 1e AD&D books, which I've quoted in threads here for ages, since long before his death.


I agree with the quote. I think it's great that you agree with it as well.

However, "A Damning Rebuke of Anti-"immersionists" From Beyond the Grave" is -- simply put -- crass. He wasn't rebuking anyone. He had nothing against these faceless entities you're always railing against. To use his words in such a way is beneath you. If you want to agree with him, do so. But it's reprehensible to twist his words to make it seem like he suffers from the same need for pointless antagonism that appears to drive you.

Sorry if this seems a little harsh, but the man died yesterday. You know better than this.

Quote from: James McMurray

Agreed. Whether you're right or wrong, Pundit, it's shameful to cringe behind someone else's words, and it's worse to drag Gygax into your spiteful silliness. Stick to your garden-variety rants.

Media and Inspiration / RPG.NET moderators are fucktards
« on: March 04, 2008, 12:12:44 am »
Quote from: walkerp
But a good one.  I meant that rimshot in a positive way.  I mean what are we doing here if not stretching things out to their logical and humous extremes?

Interesting. You mean the entire site, then? I hadn't quite looked at it like that.

Someone should make a sticky.

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