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Author Topic: From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer  (Read 2538 times)

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« on: August 31, 2006, 06:23:33 PM »
One poster has commented that in Blue Rose, unless you're actually running a campaign to kill the monarch or overthrow the government, it really shouldn't matter about the Magic Deer and the utopian-fascist nanny-state.  He went on to argue that you could even play a noble that doesn't entirely trust the magic deer, and could try to encourage people toward a more representative system of government where the monarch's power was reduced.
 
Except in Blue Rose, your noble that doesn't trust the Magic Deer is wrong. The book says so. The Deer is the embodiment of all that is good, and good being defined as a kind of pagan feminist collectivism, and its "goodness" is absolute.
 
Not to mention that in the end it really wouldn't matter, because if said nobleman was really really successful, and the people clamoured for an end to the deerocracy, the deer would just go on, pick the next monarch and give a good head-hoofing to whoever disagrees. The book says so, you can't beat the deer without changing the setting.
 
People have also suggested that the alignment rules are also more stringent in regular D&D than in Blue Rose, and that if you wanted to interpret a Paladin as "evil" in D&D for engaging in religious genocide against Orcs, you wouldn't be allowed to do so by the rules.
 
To this I say sure you do see the difference between on the one hand CHOOSING to play a paladin who ends up having to follow severe moral restrictions of some kind or another, and follows a particular deity's interpretation and regulations of good; and on the other hand being told that your hardworking noble businessman would be "evil" for not wanting to pay his anti-sugar tax (because, too much sugar is bad for you so we have to regulate it); or that to distrust the magic deer would be evil or at the very best misguided?
 
And yes, in other games there are deities that are defined as being definitively good but:
1. they usually aren't so blatantly tied to modern day socio-political concepts that not all gamers would consider their definition of "good", making the game an insult to people who believe in free enterprise, christianity, libertarianism, free thought or hell, just plain democracy.
2. They usually don't actually and actively determine the ruler and aristocracy of the main kingdom that the game presumes your characters are playing in; and make it ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to be overthrown or resisted by the magic of deus ex machina.
3. If they do, then those settings suck too.
 
Yes, my opponent might say, but why does it matter if you play someone who is a rogue-ish type but doesn't want to overthrow the system? You can play a merchant or mercenary who's in it for himself, and it doesn't change anything. It doesn't matter, he would say.
 
And yet, I think it does matter. It matters if you roleplay, in the sense of immersing in your character. It makes a world of difference to me if I know, based on the setting, that deep down my merchant businessman or self-interested rogue or wizard out for revenge or enlightened freethinker are fundamentally wrong. It would ruin the enjoyment of playing them to me, or if I did play them it would have to be for other reasons.. in Blue Rose such a character could only be run as a desperate attempt for redemption or a slippery-slope to total corruption.
Its like if you were to say, play a character in a modern game: a pagan, or a buddhist, a secular humanist or a biology teacher or whatever, but the DM tells you at the last minute "oh by the way, IN THIS WORLD calvinist fundamentalist christian theology is RIGHT; and your character is predestined to HELL for who they are.. its not just a belief, IN THIS GAME its absolutely true. Just so you know; it shouldn't really change how you run the character, but he is going to go to hell after he dies.  Oh, and everyone around you knows and believes you're going to hell too, because in this game the nation you're playing in is a calvinist theocracy; so they all at the very least disapprove of you and your lifestyle intensely.  And no, its not possible they're wrong. They're totally right, the literal interpretation of the Bible is true and your character is going to hell. It really wouldn't do you much good to try to convince them otherwise, because they actually are right, and the government is really good and pure and kind and christian so most people are really happy about it and wouldn't be willing to listen to you.  And even if a couple did, they'd actually be wrong like you, and you'd just be leading them to evil too. But hey, don't let that change how you run your character.. "
 
Its ludicrous to think that it wouldn't change it... that it wouldn't in fact ruin the entire experience for you to know that in that universe, in an absolute sense, your character is WRONG.
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 04:19:20 AM »
Why cant you play in Blue Rose with the Magic deer with the assumption that the deer is evil, and it is the long term goal to overthrow that feministic attitude?
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2006, 06:25:29 AM »
Incidentally do you have similar problems with Ars Magica, Tekemel, Werewolf, oMage or Orpheus? (and those are just off the top of my head)

All of those have a fairly rigidly-defined metaphysics and playing a character who believes something that's contrary to those metaphysics will cause problems
 

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2006, 12:55:44 PM »
Quote from: Lawbag
Why cant you play in Blue Rose with the Magic deer with the assumption that the deer is evil, and it is the long term goal to overthrow that feministic attitude?


Well, you can.. hell, it would probably be the only tolerable way to play the Aldis setting. But it would not be "by the book". My complaint is only significant if you are considering the setting "by the book".

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2006, 12:56:27 PM »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
Incidentally do you have similar problems with Ars Magica, Tekemel, Werewolf, oMage or Orpheus? (and those are just off the top of my head)

All of those have a fairly rigidly-defined metaphysics and playing a character who believes something that's contrary to those metaphysics will cause problems


Out of all of these the only one I can even marginally stand is Ars Magica.

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2006, 04:40:24 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit
Out of all of these the only one I can even marginally stand is Ars Magica.


Toon?
 

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2006, 08:25:53 AM »
I want to fuck the magic deer.
Do I have to wear a dress?
You are posting in a troll thread.

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2006, 12:19:35 PM »
Quote from: Aos
I want to fuck the magic deer.
Do I have to wear a dress?


In Aldis, the Magic Deers fuck you! :spank:
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2006, 08:21:37 AM »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
Incidentally do you have similar problems with Ars Magica, Tekemel, Werewolf, oMage or Orpheus? (and those are just off the top of my head)

All of those have a fairly rigidly-defined metaphysics and playing a character who believes something that's contrary to those metaphysics will cause problems


Don't know about the others, but in Ars Magica and the original World of Darkness how things work on the existential level depends upon belief. So long as people believe things work a certain way, then things work that way. Change beliefs and the way things work change.

In Blue Rose things are as they are. You can believe what you want, it doesn't change a thing. You could persuade everybody in the setting the magic deer is evil, and nothing would change in any substantial way.

Making matters even worse is the fact the morality is black and white. No shades of grey. No way to adapt to circumstances. The morality in Ars Magica is black and white, but one can hold to an alternate belief where the pattern of good and evil is different. In addition one can change another's belief. One could, for example, with lots of hard work and dedication convince The Church that magic is of God, and being of God is therefor good and a right and proper tool to be used for the betterment of Mankind and the discomfiting of Satan. You can't do anything like that in Blue Rose.
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2006, 12:32:16 PM »
Quote from: mythusmage
Don't know about the others, but in Ars Magica and the original World of Darkness how things work on the existential level depends upon belief. So long as people believe things work a certain way, then things work that way. Change beliefs and the way things work change.


And playing a character who believes that things are the way they are based on certain underlying rules that can be determined through observation, experimentation and thought would result in?
 

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2006, 05:15:45 AM »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
And playing a character who believes that things are the way they are based on certain underlying rules that can be determined through observation, experimentation and thought would result in?


Not a damn thing. In such a universe individuals don't matter, what matters is the consensus. You need to persuade enough people there could be something to what you say, before you'll see a change.

That's the trick to consensus reality, there has to be a consensus. A large enough consensus to overrule those who disagree. And for it to be a true consensus it has to be something people agree to willingly.
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2006, 01:38:23 PM »
Quote from: mythusmage
Not a damn thing.


Exactly

You try playing a Mage game with a character who doesn't believe in magic (and bogs the game down with looking for the trick when someone performs some) or a Werewolf game with a character who doesn't have a problem with urban development or an Orpheus character who doesn't believe in ghosts or (worse) thinks that Oblivion sounds like a pretty good idea then not just the setting, but the actual rules of the game say that this character is wrong

Just like Blue Rose
 

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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2006, 03:04:44 PM »
Quote from: Hastur T. Fannon
Exactly

You try playing a Mage game with a character who doesn't believe in magic (and bogs the game down with looking for the trick when someone performs some) or a Werewolf game with a character who doesn't have a problem with urban development or an Orpheus character who doesn't believe in ghosts or (worse) thinks that Oblivion sounds like a pretty good idea then not just the setting, but the actual rules of the game say that this character is wrong

Just like Blue Rose


Ah, but in the oWOD enough people could change how the world worked. As a matter of fact, how the world worked depended on which game you were dealing with, for within each community there was enough people to dictate how things worked in that circle. Perception made flesh.

You mention Mage. You say, "You try playing a Mage game with a character who doesn't believe in magic..." Doesn't the non-believer fit the spirit of the game? Isn't it the goal of every mage to make his magic seem ordinary, coincidence or a trick lest he be overcome by paradox?

The World of Darkness is based on subjective truth. The idea that truth is malleable and can be altered by altering beliefs. Blue Rose is based on a nasty, narrow objective truth. The magic deer is always right, and you can't change it.

You can disagree with the majority on how the world is in WOD, and be right. Disagree with The Deer in BR, and you are wrong. That sir, is the difference between a consensus reality as in the World of Darkness, and a dictated reality as in Blue Rose.
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2006, 03:41:30 PM »
Quote from: mythusmage
You say, "You try playing a Mage game with a character who doesn't believe in magic..." Doesn't the non-believer fit the spirit of the game?
But of course, since after all there's always the Technocracy. A character's view of the world by no means has to involve magic: a PC might believe his unusual abilities to be a bizarre experiment conducted by aliens from outer space, and that would be every bit as acceptable as the paradigms of the Verbena or the Void Engineers.

Still, the existence of the Consensus cannot be affected by the Consensus itself, and in Mage the consensual state of reality remains an objective fact even if no one on Earth believes in it at all. There's a solid structure underlying the universe; at its most fundamental level, it consists of Quintessence being shaped into Patterns by Avatars. Will and belief can't change that.
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From the RPGPundit's Blog: More on The Magic Deer
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2006, 04:12:40 AM »
Quote from: mythusmage
The World of Darkness is based on subjective truth. The idea that truth is malleable and can be altered by altering beliefs.


Which in itself is an objective truth

and then there's this:

Quote from: GrimGent
There's a solid structure underlying the universe; at its most fundamental level, it consists of Quintessence being shaped into Patterns by Avatars. Will and belief can't change that.



Thinking about it, the nWoD games are worse.  If your character has a sense of morality that's different to the standard Vampire/Werewolf/Mage/human then they are wrong.  The rules say so.  If you don't follow the standard of behaviour as set out in then your character will go insane and have other bad things happen to him/her.  It's not like oWoD where humanity only mattered for humans and vampires and you could find a Path of Enlightenment that more suited your character.  Have a different standard of morality and you are badevilwrong

At least Blue Rose doesn't give you dice penalties for not believing in the Magic Deer (please tell me that's true)