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Messages - WillInNewHaven

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My first choice would be Paul Edwin Zimmer's Dark Border series. It's out of print but it is so good.
Then there's the series of books set in Bordertown and the surrounding Borderlands.

I would run either one in my own system:

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / How to Sandbox
« on: August 12, 2017, 09:15:24 pm »
Here is my current sandbox:

I started running my campaign in a small area to the south of here and now I have a couple of continents, a few islands, etc. Most of it isn't as detailed as the above but a large part of it is. If you are in Iron Town and you tell me you want to go x number of blocks in y direction, I will know what neighborhood you are in and have some people for you to meet. However, this is all the result of running the same game-world for decades and it started out as pretty much a railroad, with the characters heading up the Old Northwest Road to see what had happened in the Lake Country since it had become isolated from the rest of the nation.
If you are in the Westwood and you head in x direction for y hours, I have an idea of who you might meet.

About that inn that some GMs are willing to move to wherever the PCs wind up and others aren't, I have the inn at the high point of the pass and several inns in Iron Town Above all set but there ought to be one inn between the high point and Iron Town and I am only roughly ready for the player-characters to go into Iron Town Below. But the main thing I wanted to mention is the Inn of Indeterminate Location that I got out of Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame Series. It's a very nice Dwarf-run inn that has never actually showed up but there's a random chance it will.


Quote from: Omega;982214
Thats the impression I got too.

Its the OPs whole defense of the situation and setting that feels off kilter somehow. Its like he doesnt want advice. He wants some yes-men to say "Yes all is well." But all isnt well because the way he describes the setting makes the situation sound contrived when it very likely isnt.

To the OP: Its your setting and players. And it is up to you to figure out what to do now based on what you know as the DM of the overall situation once the player makes their choice.

Tell the player to make a choice based on the PC's gut feelings at the moment and live with it. Good or bad.

I didn't figure out what to do; I  stopped trying to do anything. The players talked it out in-character, "around the campfire" when the game was not officially in session and I did not participate. The reason I was involved in the first place was because of an absent player and once she could talk for her character I withdrew. I don't know what was said but Hobson is not going on the road with the group on their next trip. He was always a city Hobbit anyway and might have made this decision absent all the angst. He's was still with them Thursday night as they settled up with their employer and made their plans, and fought an avatar of the Dwarf War God, but we won't see him soon again outside of Iron Town. The player has another character ready to go.

Sunspear, who walked the length of Shadows Dance

Quote from: Voros;982183
Of course as you suggest the deaths in GoT are not random at all but carefully built towards and tragic (death of Ned, the Red Wedding) or full of bathos (Robert, Tywin).

You would think that people would learn not to go to weddings.


Quote from: jhkim;982055
WillInNewHaven - Your examples are of medics are in the modern world, which are based on international cooperation like the Geneva Conventions (in the case of war) or an established professional police force.

Historically, these sorts of agreements in war were generally applied among opponents that both respected them. For example, the Germans in WWII generally followed the established rules of war among European countries for the treatment of wounded and prisoners. However, the Japanese in WWII did not respect these conventions, and in response the U.S. gave less respect to Japanese wounded and prisoners than they did to Germans. I could see that there might be such a code among dwarves. If the PCs were overcome by their attackers, might they have been healed, captured, and ransomed? If they weren't, and they expected to be murdered if they fell - then responding in kind would be more the norm.

Likewise, respect for the rights of criminal murderers is a product of having a safe society with constitutional rights and a professional police force. In the absence of these social structures, it's far less likely for there to be a code of treating attacker's wounds. (Also, in practice, cop killers tend to be dealt with particularly harshly.) Medieval societies usually worked around citizen enforcement of laws rather than professional police, and the enforcing citizens were not held to the standards of modern police.

To be fair, the surrounding human societies find Glon' rather odd in this respect. So I guess they are more in line with the thinking on here. However, Glon' is "pseudomedieval fantasy world (nation, really) full of Dwarfs," so I don't see how "back then" arguments apply to it. In some respects, the Dwarfs of Glon' are ahead of their time but basically, the whole world is off the real-world timeline. Has been since 1981.


Quote from: jeff37923;981829
Actually, if you are any kind of gamer, human opponents are more interesting.

I find the AI at the University of Alberta a very interesting opponent at headsup limit holdem. I haven't beaten the damn thing in eight months.

US combat medics always heal enemy wounded. Pacific Island campaign in WWII was an exception where this was not almost universal. An old man in my neighborhood when I was a kid was a medic and was almost attacked by some marines when he was healing a prisoner. He went through with healing him. No one in Vietnam ever objected to healing the NVA. Most of the world's militaries do the same. Almost no police force in the world would allow a criminal to bleed out when treatment was available.
So I don't know why anyone finds this far-fetched.


Quote from: Crimhthan;981712
I agree with both of you, you take death off the table and pull your punches and to me it is like cheating. About the same as the ref using loaded a loaded d20 the only rolls ones when the monsters are attacking.

You can keep death on the table but make it less common by simply playing by softer death rules. Making player-character death impossible, as in the Vampire game the OP alluded to, would ruin a game for me as a player or as a GM. Cheating on die rolls to avoid it is horrible GMing imo. Making healing more powerful and having death less likely doesn't seem like a bad idea to me.

Quote from: Moracai;981629
You forgot to say that you also would like to ride in unicorn rodeos professionally, and get paid for it in blow and hookers.

Since everyone wants to do that it would be redundant to say it.


Player character death is pretty rare in my campaigns also. Character creation in our system results in a very detailed character and losing one is usually not fun. So the rules allow for a lot of very effective healing and the chance of survival below zero and then being healed is high. This high-casualty/low-fatality system results in a meat-grinder, as you say, with very rare character death. When it does happen, it is a significant event. No one has thrown hands or broken up a friendship about it, though.


Quote from: jhkim;981541
So from what I'm understanding, it isn't just the character's personal convictions that are at issue. He wants to be a good citizen, and apparently this killing was a crime according to dwarf society.

What is the law in this case? i.e. If he was being a good citizen, what does the law expect citizens to do with downed attackers? Are they expected to heal them, take them prisoner, and bring them in to the police for trial? Or are they expected to let them go?

The law says to bring him in for trial. Letting him go would also be an offence; he's a criminal. Killing him as he did, if all were revealed and believed before the court, would not be premeditated murder, probably what we would call manslaughter. The whole thing occurred in the Westwood. The Kingdom claims the Westwood but almost no one in the area are citizens, most of them are Elves, so things like this would not come to the attention of the authorities. However, Buttons is a citizen and the two Dwarfs in the party are citizens and Buttons was going to have them turn him in. I believe that they talked him out of it. The rivalry between the two Factions and the influence of the attackers' faction on the courts is another factor.


Two factors that added to Buttons' problem:
1: The effectiveness of magical and clerical healing in this high casualty/low fatality campaign. If there are people around with healing powers, wound trauma isn't going to kill anyone who is still breathing and the guy was still breathing, and there were two healers in the group. So this wasn't exactly a mercy-killing.
2: The extremely lawful nature of Glon' Dwarf society and the fact that HB's background and experience makes him really want to be a good citizen.


Quote from: fearsomepirate;981475
The funny thing about all this, and I say this as someone who did not even know "Story Games" were a thing until a couple months ago, and who only had a vague notion that the "OSR" was anything more than "old versions of D&D tarted up with better-organized manuals," is that these pretentious blowhards are making it sound like "the industry" has left D&D behind when in fact D&D and Pathfinder together comprise the lion's share of this teeny, tiny, $35m industry in terms of sales. Add in the various 3rd-party supplements, toss in the similar-but-not-quite D&D games like 13th Age, and you've got all these story games fighting over something like $5m in revenue, maybe less.

To the extent that they are fighting over revenue, they are trying to get a bigger share of the industry. That is the motivation for discounting the trad games. Of course, they can argue that the art form has left traditional games behind and no one can really refute them because that is a matter of definitions and movable goal-posts.

Before I retired, I was in marketing and our discussions would sometimes touch on making the pie bigger but usually we talked about getting a bigger slice, even though we were the industry leader. Now I am marketing a crunchy trad RPG and expect to become a dozenairre soon.


Quote from: Black Vulmea;981422
Perhaps there's a tiny glimmer of hope after all.

Here's why this is important to me: for me,* roleplaying is an exercise in thinking as my character. That can be in moments as superficial as deciding on which trail to take at a fork, or as involved as reacting to the character's evolving morality.

Eladio is my longest-played character in our Boot Hill campaign, and the only one of the original three characters still alive, and he's progressed from a somewhat reserved cowhand to a steely-eyed gunfighter and gambler to a fledgling cattle baron, and I've done my best to roleplay changes in my conception of who Eladio is, of who Eladio sees himself to be, and where his moral and ethical limits lie. That process happens in-game, in actual play, through interactions with other characters, player and non-, such as a local priest who's become his 'spiritual advisor' - Padre Tomás' advice has been invaluable in shaping how I perceive Eladio's actions and the choices he's made, and it's been one of the more consistently entertaining on-going roleplaying interactions in the campaign.

Just bullshitting about it out-of-game wouldn't be the same to me* - like playing tennis with the net down.

* Hey haters, "for me" and "to me" means exactly that, for me and not necessarily for thee, so if you're going to take this as an opportunity to chew on my ass about 'badwrongfun' or some other nonsense, well, fuck straight off.

† Ask me about the 'Pope-O-Matic!'

Actually, I  agree with you. I don't know if they are through talking about it now and I don't mind being out of the loop. Willa's usual player is talking to him in character, or was, and I will see whatever decisions he and the rest of them reach on Thursday. She wasn't available immediately after the end of play, so he messaged me to ask what Willa would say.

"Have faith in the Yankees, my son and remember the great DiMaggio" Ernest Hemingway "The Old Man and the Sea"

Quote from: Black Vulmea;981364
Tell him or her to put on big boy pants and make a fucking decision, ie, roleplay the gawdamn character.

What kind of mewling asshole needs help with this shit?

Addendum: And why the fuck is this being handled out-of-character? Why isn't the character talking with the other adventurers? With a priest? With a lawyer? In-fucking-character?

He was and is talking to the other characters. The Human and the Elf think he did the right thing. The Dwarfs are still talking to him about it. One of them is temporarily an NPC because her player can't play on Thursday nights. The characters talk "around the campfire" between gaming sessions. I handed my part of the conversation off to Willa's player this evening because she has time to talk to him. I will be interested to see the result.

Murder is too strong a term, even under Glon' law. The Dwarfs are very legalistic and the lesser charge would be very serious.


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