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Topics - apparition13

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While reading the thread on magic and the implied D&D setting I came across this post:

Quote from: Blacky the Blackball;778373
When it comes to the overlap of races, I've usually taken the assumption that the relationship between humans and orcs (for example) is like the relationship between Britons and Vikings.

In other words, I don't assume that humans treat the humanoid races as "kill on sight" enemies. The human towns will be aware of the various humanoid tribes that live in the hills and most of the time there will be an uneasy truce between them with a modicum of trade and communication.

There will even be cooperation in the face of an outside threat - although such cooperation can quickly lead to one side taking advantage of the other side.

Of course, raids from both sides against the other (human adventurers raiding the orc lands and orc warbands raiding humand lands) strain such a relationship, sometimes to breaking point, but in my campaigns the default relationship between the competing species is one of tense peace and distrust rather than that of all-genocide-all-the-time.

A bunch of goblins attacking a human town to steal food will be met with a lethal response, but a couple of goblins coming into town to sell some silks or gems of unknown provenance or to buy some barrels of ale will probably treated as suspicious but the odds are someone will be willing to trade with them and they won't be simply chased out of town or killed.

which led to the idea that a band of adventurers (say the PCs) could easily kick off a local war raiding a humanoid settlement, who would then retaliate against the local (demi)human communties.

So the question is, what incidents have you seen that involved the PCs inadvertently setting off a war, whether due to an "adventure" resulting in a punitive raid, or something else entirely?

I just read Melting Stones, which reminded me of a thought I had when reading some of the earlier books in the series (like most of TPs stuff, they are YA, but she doesn't pull any punches because of that). While this series also has serial killers, pirates, and invasions, the antagonists in the books have also included earthquakes, plague, wildfires, and volcanoes.

Now in a novel it isn't that difficult to make a story about a plague or a wildfire compelling. The question is how would you do that in an RPG? Assume you are writing a module for *your favorite rules* in which the primary challenge is going to be dealing with, stopping, and/or preventing a disaster, which means your most important "encounters" are not going to be combat ones. In fact there is no reason you have to have even a single combat encounter in these types of scenarios.

How can you make that compelling and engaging, including engaging with the system?

Help Desk / Gleichman fiasco: keep families out of it.
« on: July 26, 2014, 02:55:35 PM »
So about the recent Gleichman fiasco thread.

Brian says something, people get up in his face, he's getting passive aggressive shit (I'll cop to it, my apologies Brian) and aggressive shit, basically living a world of Amber "bad stuff", and then this happens (sorry about the lack of post links, the thread is locked):

Quote from: The Butcher, post 183
What, gleichman bred?

which cracks the door open.

Brian says this (post 185):
Two, twin boys.

 Both went on to military service with one currently deployed in the Persian Gulf. I now await the wishes that he's killed while in harm's way, for that's just about how you bastards think.

and rather than back off at the "keep my family out of it" hint, inevitably enough this gets posted:
Quote from: Novastar

Quote: Originally Posted by gleichman  
Unlike the common poster at therpgsite, he is neither a child nor suffers emotional damage when told he made an error.

That's not what you just said:
Quote: Does that bother me? Only in the say way that human stupidity always bothers me. It would be a better world if it had better people.

You just inferred he's stupid and a flawed person, because he made a different call than you in an RPG game.
So first things, "it would be a better world if it had better people" was directed at ME, I can deal with it, thank you. But secondly, twisting it into an attack on his own son is textbook taking something out of context and using it to attack someone.

Brian takes some, I'd say legitimate, umbrage at the implication, and we're off, with The Butcher, Novastar again (yes it escalated quickly, but what the hell did you expect when you brought his family into it), Will, Marleycat (indirectly, expressing you might enjoy seeing Gleichman getting attacked through his sons), jeff37923,  and Emperor Norton.

So what do we have here? The current vernacular is online harassment, I'll just call it straight up bullying. You may not agree with Brian, you may not like him, you may enjoy needling him, but you need to keep it to him. As One Horse Town said:

I'm sorry, Brian. A couple of those comments are well out of order and i totally understand your anger on this.

 Jesus people, leave the personal family stuff alone.

Let me repeat that, don't attack people through their families.  

These kinds of comments make a mockery of the ethos of this site. Vigorous argument is one thing, blatant PAs that get community support in some sort of blood in the water feeding frenzy is something else entirely. It holds the whole site up for ridicule. This is exactly the kind of shit Zak got accused of stirring up. You'd think that would make people a little more cognizant of acting like online bullies, but apparently not.  

We are supposed to be self policing and better than that, this shows we aren't. So here's what I'm doing, I'm calling The Butcher, Novastar, Will, Marleycat, jeff37923, and Emperor Norton, and anyone I may have missed, out. I don't care if you think what you said was legit, you should have shut it, and you need to apologize for it. Make it flowery, make it a simple "I'm sorry", I don't care. Suck it up, do the right thing, and post an apology here, show we can be better than that.

I'll start:
Brian, I'm sorry. I saw what was happening but didn't say anything, and given the bullying should have known better than to contribute to it with my passive-aggressive BS. I don't always agree with you, but in general I think you have some interesting things to say. I would certainly prefer you continue to contribute here. I'm sorry.

Oh, and just to repeat, keep peoples families out of it.

And in case it needs to be said, this isn't a point at the people I called out and act holier than thou thread either.

Quote from: jgants;304330

The whole "OD&D is cool" bullshit is exactly all about being posers, the big exception of Old Geezer (and perhaps a couple of people similarly situated).  It only started when people didn't like 4e and decided to go "back to the roots". Prior to 4e stuff starting to come out, Old Geezer was the only fucking person on the entire Internet I saw that said he played OD&D.  Now all of a sudden, people want everyone to think its some huge retro-phenomenon.  It's not.

So here's what I've been thinking. jgants is right, in that the whole OD&D et al. revival really seemed to take off with 4th edition. I'd say he is also right in that it is because prior players didn't like the new edition.

I suspect that the retro-gaming movement is a symptom of disaffection with 4e, and its support of a gamestyle people going retro aren't interested in. It doesn't give them what they want from an RPG. I'd further suggest that the reason they are going all the way back rather than to 3.x is that 3.x didn't give them exactly what they wanted either, but was enough in the ballpark that they could put up with it (which also explains why C&C came out, not everyone could put up with it). Not only did 4e not work for them, it also broke 3e's hegemony, and gave people an opportunity to step back and reflect on what it is they actually want from a game, which has led a fair number of folks back to the beginning.

I also think that we will soon see some visions of where OD&D could have gone had it not gone down the path it did, which may give us some alternate evolutionary paths that could be illuminating.

Interesting times, I think.

Or in this case, "chick with grail". Seems like the same thing to me. Some supernatural protector of a country determines who may be King, yet there has been no hue and cry over if like there was over Blue Rose, and I wonder why.

[Disclaimer: I have no particular aversion to the magic deer in Blue Rose. There are other aspects of the setting I don't care for, such as why Jarzon is still so fundamentalist after all this time when Aldis is a buffer between them and Kern. You'd think with time and distance their memory of the threat would have faded. Now if they were the buffer state, the set-up would make a whole lot more sense to me.]

Help Desk / Move thread request...
« on: January 01, 2007, 06:40:51 PM »
This one, I got distracted reading the forum and posted it to RP instead of theory. Could someone move it please?


I'm a bit of an eclectic, which means I seem some value in some of what the forge has been up to, though I'll admit some of the attitude and vocabulary choices are more than a little offputting. That said, allow me to present a situation in which I think Forge type games might prove useful.  

Since dividing the RPG playing population up is a popular pastime, I'll get in on it and point out that among the many ways to do this, there is the rather basic one consisting of two types, GMs and Players.

Imagine the following situation:

You are hanging out with some roleplaying friends, and someone suggests a game. Everyone's up for the idea, so you ask "who wants to GM?" Everyone looks around for a couple of seconds, and then, to everyone elses relief, someone volunteers. The GM suggests CoC, and you're off and running.

Now imagine the same situation, only this time when you ask "who wants to GM?", everyone raises their hand.

Now me, I was never much for playing, I've always preferred GMing. Doing the design work and thinking on my feet, reacting to what the players do, is where the fun is for me. Being a player is frustrating; I have to hold back any ideas I may have about the plot, setting, NPCs, and so forth, because I'm not running the game. Try and get five people like me to play a traditional game, and things probably won't go so well.

Many of the Forge games are all about spreading GM-like powers throughout the group, which seems ideal if you have a group made up of lots of GMs.

So when everyone raises their hand in the second scenario, a suggestion like Universalis might well be the ticket to fun. Everyone can add to the setting, NPCs and plot, everyone can play off each other, and a group of GMs can have fun "Roleplaying" without players.

It shouldn't be that difficult to test the hypothesis. Do a survey at Wizards, and another at the Forge, asking about preferences with regards to playing or GMing traditional games, and if you find significantly more (proportionally) GMs at the Forge, the conclusion that Forge games are designed for groups of GMs to play together, rather than traditional groups made up of one GM and some players, could be justified.


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