Thursday, June 23, 2016

Person of Interest

"You are being watched.”

I don't recall how I got started on PoI. Most likely, we were looking for something new to watch, someone mentioned it, and I figured might as well give it a shot. Hell, we watch Blue Bloods and it's not all that good. And this looked like it was in the same niche as The Equalizer and Burn Notice, using modern surveillance fears as the launching point. Right from the start, I enjoyed the fight choreography. It was stellar, especially for a CBS show and their older demographic. And it was decent. As with many shows, the weekly victim/criminal of the week was nothing exceptional. But the characters held my attention and the seasonal arc was okay.

Little did I know at that point that what I was watching was the beginning of one of the more intelligently conceived and executed television shows on the air. Because who would’ve thought that this simple pseudo-extra-legal vigilante program on a channel that mostly caters to an older demographic would go on to address the creation of artificial life and the responsibilities that come with it? I certainly never expected it to actually address the core gimmick, The Machine, the surveillance state that we find growing more pervasive every day. I sure didn’t expect the show to be one in which we find the heroes and everyone else living in a modern techno-dystopia. I never expected the show to actually address the sacrifice of freedom for security. I didn’t expect the heroes to be soldiers in a war between two human-made gods. A war between machines for the very essence of humanity.

No, all I expected was a pretty basic helping people in need program, with typical TV resolutions and clich├ęs. But they gave me genuine, flawed, no, broken characters. Characters that you would expect to be fixed eventually. And while they changed, shifted, and got better, I think it’s fair to say that at the end, those remaining were still broken. But they were better people than they had been.

I didn’t expect much from this show. I did not expect thoughtfulness, care, depth, and brilliance. But that’s what they gave us. Thank you for that.

If you haven't watched Person of Interest, do yourself a favor and give it a shot. 

“The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people. The Government considers these people ‘irrelevant’. We don't. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You'll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number's up... we'll find you."

Friday, June 10, 2016

6-10-16 Game Forum Answer Bag

PC Red Flags (OP by candidgamera)
What player character traits immediately set your GM's mind on high alert?
I've got two that popped into my head while I was pondering the subject.

1.) Pacifism in a game that includes combat. And I don't mean technical pacifism where they only fight to knock someone out, or pacifism in a game that runs 90% on social interactions ... I mean a Dungeons and Dragons, or Star Wars typical adventure campaign wherein a character will not swing or fire a weapon at enemies even if he or his party members are in danger. Had this one crop up twice (though both times, the character ended up breaking the pacifist vow when the player got pissed off about something, so it was poor roleplaying on a couple of levels).

2.) Serious mental illnesses, particularly in systems that have no way to model them. I seriously knew a dude in a D&D 4E game who decided his character was Claustrophobic and addicted to drugs. Nevermind that it's called DUNGEONS and Dragons. Nevermind that, as of the start of the game, our characters had been slaves for months, with no access to drugs. He was still going to be addicted, damn it, and he was still going to curl up into a ball in any underground space when he failed one of his self-imposed will saves.

Eh, a pacifist character can work in just about any game, including the kind of pacifist that will not attack under any circumstances. And such a character breaking and attacking isn’t necessarily poor roleplaying. In fact, depending on the circumstances, it could be great roleplaying.  As for #2, that can also work in a lot of games. It’s all dependent on the player and the GM.

By Godfatherbrak:
I had a new player tell me, "my character is an orphan loner."
Me: "No he's not."

Then you maybe shouldn’t try to GM.

By Blackwingedheaven
Kender. Always kender.

Kender aren’t a problem. Shitty players allowed to play Kender are a problem. I’ve never had any problems running or playing one.

By LeighTheDwarf
I've never been a GM before,

Shut the fuck up then.

By EvilSchemer
I had a player one time make a character who was severely allergic to air. In concept, it was kind of neat. He had to wear an oxygen mask to breathe. In play, he got really pissy whenever it became an actual liability.

That’s actually pretty decent. Hell, it’s a requirement for a couple of species in Battlelords. But yeah, the player shouldn’t get pissy when it’s an actual hindrance.

By jerandall
Player: 'My character has [socially unacceptable beliefs such as virulent racism or sexism] but it fits his culture because [he's an Orc / Klingon / whatever].'
Me (GM): 'Nope.'

Then perhaps you should not be a GM also. Because that’s pretty easy to work with and can generate some tremendous roleplaying.

By thorya
For me it's "I'm going to multi-class."
For new players that means I want to do all the roles and I will be upset when I do none of them well. For experienced players it usually means, I found a loophole I am going to exploit.

Then you’ve got shitty players and should find a new group.

By Devil’s Avocado
Amnesia. It almost always means "I want the GM to write my background for me but will complain if there's anything I don't like in it".

If they complain, tell them to shut the fuck up. Taking amnesia is shorthand for “Gamemaster, do whatever the fuck you want to do with my background and origin!”

Yeah the pacifism one on Dungeons & Dragons is a real irritant. So you get a share of our XP and treasure... but refuse to do anything at all to help earn it? (this was AD&D when most XP was from killing monsters or the amount of treasure you collected from killing said monsters).

If you think that the only way the character can help is by taking up arms against an enemy, then you’re a fucking moron. That’s a problem with you, not the other character or the game.

By sulldawga
The player who wants to play the same character concept, regardless of the rules or setting.

Especially when you're running a gritty realistic sandbox D&D game and the guy still wants to play his female 12 year old mage. So she's smart enough to cast spells before puberty but dumb enough to think dungeon delving with a bunch of inexperienced murderhobo-wannabes is a promising career path?

You should get a better grasp on the difference between Intelligence and Wisdom.

Most of the remainder of the thread is bickering about the “red flags” already discussed. Essentially, it’s a thread by people who should either not run games, or should find new players.

GMing advice--reconciling players who have different political opinions? (OP by MistahJ)
I need advice about something very specific that's happened with a gaming group of mine.

Okay, so normally politics don't come up with my gaming groups. Ever. And normally I have a rule that says "leave that at the door, this is about elfgames, please." Usually there are no problems.

But I've run into one problem with one particular group lately. I tend to try to be inclusive with my content if people request stuff they want. One player has requested something--it's nothing major--it's just that one of my players (we'll call him Z) wanted his barbarian hero to save a Prince rather than a Princess, with a romantic plot there. Not a big deal to me, and my group never spends any significant screentime on romances anyway. I thought it was a very minor thing. It's arguably the tiniest piece of LGBT content I could include. It would just be for this part of the plot; Z said he doesn't want to make it a huge focus or anything.

One of my players (we'll call him R) is very upset. R doesn't like this being included. He's ridiculously upset and says that if I allow this as a GM, I am violating my rule about leaving politics at the door. I was floored. R and I have never argued over anything; he's typically been one of my most exemplary players (always on time, never misses a session, pays for snacks if I'm hosting, has often helped new people to the group adjust or learn). But Z is also just as exemplary a player.

“R, shut the fuck up and play the game. Bitch about it if, at some point, your character is required to engage in homosexual sex. Until then, hush. If it’s so bothersome to you that you can’t play, we’ll enjoy having you back for the next game, gimme a call.”

Bam! Problem solved.

By Godfatherbrak
He would never call saving a Princess and having a romantic subplot political. His prejudices are making something political that is supposed to be romantic.

Yeah, pretty much.

By damiller
I'll probably regret this but...

Then maybe you should rethink how you’re going to say it . . .

I don't think R is out of order for letting you know that a topic in the game is making him uncomfortable. I don't care what the topic is. If it were about rape or racism no one would be upset at R, in fact he might be applauded. The fact that R seems to have views that are not currently acceptable is besides the point.

Awesome. You just compared a same-sex romantic sub-plot with rape and racism. No wonder you knew you might regret your post. You were aware beforehand that you were going to be a dumb fuck.

I am not a therapist, I am not gaming to change or challenge anyone's views. And presumably no one is there for the that reason.

No, you’re not a therapist. You’re also not a thinker, from the sound of it.

For me in this game as a GM if Z wanted to save the prince great, but there would be no mention at all of any romance. I'd say, great you saved him, fade out, next player.

Because you suck.

By the OP
Very hard to try to find balance with this. I feel like he's entitled to his beliefs and opinions--it's just a matter of what degree do I feel comfortable letting those beliefs influence my group's game.

Of course R is entitled to his beliefs, even if they’re stupid. R is not entitled to screw over the game because of them, and his or her misguided notions of what is political. As was said above, if it were male/female, R wouldn’t have a problem. That makes this R’s burden to carry, not yours, not the other players. This would be different if R’s objection were to any romantic sub-plot, but that’s not the case according to what you’ve said thus far.

By Michael Brazier
Let me take a different angle on this: have you considered the political effects within your game's setting of a homosexual Prince?

Let’s not, since that’s not important to the topic at hand.

By baakyocalder
Me, I'd be more willing to side with R since the 'saved the royal, get a romantic relationship' meme is stale.

Then I’m comfortable determining that you’re
A. An asshole
B. Don’t actually understand what’s being discussed and should shut the fuck up and pay attention.

By RavenMM
Maybe it's a non-american thing, but I can't understand this divide between non-political and political some people express here.

Some are arguing that having homosexual relationships are not political because they exist in real life (which of course they do). Well, COmmunism, Liberalism, Mocharchism, Sexism and a whole other bunch of different -isms also exist in our world - yet they seemed to be banned by the gms "no politics" rule.
I say you should have a talk with your players what they think your no-politics rule mean and then decide a common interpretation, so that nobody is blindsided by a topic they thought would not come up in play.

That is not a “non-american thing”, it’s you being stupid. A homosexual relationship isn’t anywhere near the same as Communism, Liberalism, and what not.

No, this is a "you’re stupid" thing.

By the OP
Okay, so I met R and Z for breakfast to talk; R specifically asked for Z in his message.
It was a weird talk.
R let me ask him questions, and it turns out that yes, there was something going on in his life that makes him not want to see a gay couple in a RP.

R's brother came out as gay less than a month ago, and there was a really bad break with the family. R's brother left and refuses to speak to R's family any more. Religion was the big starting point of how it all blew up for R's family, too. R is still feeling hurt. He also said he's been clinging pretty hard to his religion because he picked the rest of his family and religion over his brother, which has him a lot more 'militant' than he really is. He conceded he was venting too many RL frustrations into the group.

Man, that’s rough for R’s brother. R can go fuck right off though.

Z surprised me by being really sensitive about this; I thought Z wasn't going to compromise at all (and I didn't necessarily see a need for Z himself to compromise--plus, Z had been super angry during the initial disagreement when his character romance was first broached), but Z thought about it and asked R there was anything that might make this a more tolerable subject for him. R explained he was frustrated because LGBT content is being allowed, but my "no politics" rule has kind of barred some of his favorite topics from the group, so that was another reason he was getting frustrated. Z apparently knows some of R's favorite tabletop games, and asked R if the compromise could be that Z's character can have the barbarian/Prince relationship, but...the group would play Dark Ages: Inquisitor after this campaign, which Z knows R really likes.

R was surprised at the suggested compromise and asked if Z would even be comfortable playing that game because of the blatant Christianity themes and had assumed Z wouldn't play it. Z pointed out that there was room for nuance in that sort of game, and so long as R didn't demand he play a "perfect Catholic," they could probably enjoy the game and all its political nuance. He also said it was a game where it would be fun to have characters have religious and philosophical disagreement and that Dark Ages: Inquisitor's appeal for Z was precisely in that sort of thing. R and Z both agreed playing that particular tabletop might be cathartic for them both, and they both conceded that they might fight IC, but they'll stop fighting OOC. They'll let the dice decide what happens if they disagree and asked if I'd allow PvP. It'll be our "heavy game" after this light-hearted hack n' slash elfgame.

It’s nice that you all worked things out, but you’ll notice R is still being an ignorant douche, so you’ll want to keep an eye on that.

Splitting the party? (By Seiberwing)
There's a single person in a few groups I've run with who always plays the mysterious rogue-type character (which is fine), and in the games I've been in with her always seems to find a reason to be away from the rest of the party for long spans of time (less fine). I'm told she does it a lot.

In one of the two games I've been in with her she spent most of it somewhere else. I've also been in games where the party seemed to split apart often and for long periods, meaning that there were long spans where the rest of us just went out to 7-11 or lounged on the couch doing nothing. I don't entirely understand the appeal of breaking up when it means folks have to wait for the spotlight to get back to them, but no one else seems to have a problem with it. Possibly it's IC, but it's not bringing the fun. The one time we made it work out was when the GM swapped back and forth between us, giving a few minutes to each group (for those in combat, a full round before moving to the ones fleeing the area for a few minutes), which made it less excruciatingly dull for me.

What are your experiences with this issue?

What issue? Splitting the party? That’s not an issue. It’s something that happens. You go back and forth if each group is engaged in something, or, if they are not, you tell the players with the unengaged characters “Hey, run and get me a soda pop please and thanks”.

That was what tended to happen with the mysterious rogue person, which they seemed to be totally okay with. Which confused me, as mentioned. Why would you not want to be doing more actual playing?

Doesn’t matter, because it’s not your concern, and your understanding isn’t required.

So, a PC dies… (By Caplin)
I was playing Horror on the Orient Express, and sacrificed myself to blow up a bunch of cultists. This effectively ended my participation in the session for the evening, though I wondered if I might end up playing an NPC at some point.

Has anybody come up with innovative approaches to solving the PC death problem?

Well, first you would have to define the problem. I don’t see one in your post. Your character died. In a CoC game. It happens. You move one.

Oh, you mean what will you do while the rest of them forget to mourn? Right. You start pondering your next character and how to integrate them into the game. The GM might give you an NPC to run for the rest of the session. It really depends on what’s going on in the game at the time.

The rest of this is mostly some not great ideas and the on-going “Well I don’t allow death in my game unless the player wants it” which is stupid, since the OP said they sacrificed themselves, which means they wanted it, so shut the fuck up.

[DnD5e] My best player is a Gamergater....what do? (By TheDiceMustRoll)
So then he asked me to add him on facebook, and his profile picture is Vivian James. His wall is filled to the brim with tons of links from KotakuinAction, most of which is having a tantrum over a woman saying...something or a person getting screamed at(BTFO, apparantly) by random nobodies on twitter.

I broached the topic with him and he got pretty defensive. I didn't want to start a fight in front of everyone but he talked about it a bit and he does unfortunately live in a fantasy world where 'SJWS' are trying to ruin just about everything good in the world. He even opened the player's handbook and pointed at the little blurb about gender stuff on the character creation front page and cited it as an example of "SJW Cancer".

So I'm at something of an impasse here. He's actually until recently come off as a really cool dude, and like, my other players are good at playing their classes, but they dont know the setting like he does and they probably wont enjoy playing without him due to him sort of uh, elevating the style of game.

So should I kick him out and go back to just running more traditional quests? It's guaranteed to be less fulfilling for me. But....he's from fucking gamergate........

What do?

This is pretty simple:
Are you comfortable with this person playing so long as they keep their vile beliefs and views out of the gaming space?
If Yes, then continue to play until they actively make the space unpleasant or toxic
If No, then you tell them thanks, but their presence is no longer required.

By JetstreamGW
Just in case it isn't: Y'all have been playing together for how long? It didn't come up before, just don't discuss that sort of thing. Who cares about someone's political views, if you don't discuss politics?

Indeed. I mean, who cares if JoeBob is a Klansman if we don’t talk about race? Because some people need to be excluded. Period. Some views are so vile that simple ongoing association effectively validates them. If you don’t hold that position, fine, but don’t act like it’s some fucking mysterious thing you don’t understand.

By neowolf
It's all down to what you can tolerate. If your personal ethics makes associating with him intolerable, well then, that's it. You've answered your question. If not, then the suggestions as to how to just avoid the topic like it's the plague are your best approach. If he's perfectly agreeable in every other way, and you're comfortable doing so, compartmentalize him to just a gaming friend and leave it at that.

As a side note, if this is a make it or break it issue for you, while it's certainly sad, it's not something you can help. It's nothing for you to feel guilty over.

Well, darn, I should have just waited and quoted this person for truth.

By ClassDunce (a known asswipe)
Oh yeah. It sounds like he's a total piece of shit. He showed up to the game actively helped everyone enjoy it more and kept any and all personal toxic opinions to himself. Until he was asked. What a piece of shit.

By Blackwingedheaven in response to ClassDunce
Strangely enough, a person can be a lot of fun to hang out with and still hold beliefs that make him a total piece of shit. The two things aren't mutually exclusive. If you find out someone is a member of a hate group, it's important to evaluate how much you value "having a good time" versus "not dealing with people who are in a hate group."

There’s not anything I can add to that.

By Sunsword
I would unfollow him on Facebook. But if it doesn't come up in your games, and he isn't a distracting player, your essentially booting him because you disagree on an issue.

No, the person would be getting the boot for being a misogynistic shit stain who endorses swatting, doxxing, and rape and death threats. Because vidya games!!!

Don’t be a fucking moron.

By Moonmover
I don't see what his political* affiliations have to do with your D&D game. If everyone at the table is having a good time and he isn't offending any of you, then why are YOU the one bringing politics into this?

You clearly lack an understanding of what Gamergate is. It’s not “political affiliations”, it’s a mother fucking hate group.

By conduit (member for 2 months with 22 posts at the time of this posting)
Let him stay. If for no other reason, being in an RPG group is an exercise in empathy. Players, and their characters, have to try to see things from the other point of view, and learn to think critically about motivations. It could be good for him.

I've been gaming with many of the same people for a decade. I've seen people change for the better, over time. I'm not saying that a game group is a panacea for every ill, but I really think that positive interactions with good people in a creative environment fosters mental health.

For all anyone knows, this could just be an embarrassing phase. Maybe he doubled down because he got called out and became over-defensive. Maybe he's in a bad place right now, and is grasping at straws for some kind of thing to hold on to. If there's a chance this dude is redeemable, you oughta try.

Fuck you. It’s not the OP’s job to try and make the gater a better person, and especially not during their happy fun hobby time.

By Black Vulmea (often wrong on things)
Shunning doesn't redeem pariahs; it breeds them.


By TheMouse
I think that the nicest I'd have been able to pull off in response to the, "SJW cancer," comment would have been, "And I'm the Social Justice gods damned Game Master, and if any more of that bullshit sticks its nose so much as a quarter inch into my game in the future, you're out."

I'm plenty willing to give people some slack when it comes to accidentally saying something offensive or not having thought through a particular perspective. But GG is a hate group. They make bomb threats and shit. The degree to which I'm willing to extend slack toward such individuals if very, very limited. And I value all of the trans, gay, female, etc gamers who might potentially join a gaming group too much to give a GGer any leeway.

Fucking right.

By Gilda (3 months as a poster at this time)
It's up to you if you're willing to play with someone of a different tribe than yourself.
I'll just say that as a Christian, I don't kick people out of groups I'm in for Christian-bashing on Facebook.

Christian-bashing isn’t really the same as belonging to a hate group that has literally attempted to use terror as a weapon. As in, the fucking definition of terrorist.

Lot of hate group apologists in this thread.

By Jigawatts
Being unable to game or be friends with someone who has differing political viewpoints is myopic and small minded. Dont be that guy. If he is respecting everyone while at the table, thats all that matters. And sounds like he is an awesome roleplayer anyway.

Lot of GamerGate apologists in this thread also. Interesting how many people keep trying to classify this as a political difference. Doing so either requires no knowledge of GamerGate, in which case, they need to shut the fuck up, or a deliberate attempt to excise from discussion the truth of GG.

Disclaimer: I think Gamergate is stupid, I think complaining about boob armor/sexy attire is stupid, I think complaining over the new Ghostbusters movie is stupid, I think complaining about Black Widows characterization/role is stupid. The rage/trigger/pile-on culture that has risen in the last decade is ridiculous and silly. People take entertainment far too seriously.

Awwwww, someone thinks they’re edgy and cool and above the concerns of the too-sensitive internet people. In other words, Jigawatts is a fuckhead. Oh look, they’re not done:

I'll be honest, I dont know much about Gamergate, I thought it was more of a conservative/liberal standoff type thing. I remember the original accusation levied was that some girl had slept with a journalist in order to get a good review on her game, with the opposing side saying that had not taken place. I had also heard there were some extremists, some on the one side who were threatening violence and rape, but I also remember hearing a story on the other side threatening violence in that they were going to find someone and literally castrate them. Seems like both sides have some issues. Honestly I tend not to waste personal time or brain space on these things.

So Jigawatts decided, with no actual knowledge of the subject, to come in and tell everyone that they’re wrong, myopic, and small-minded. Man, living in righteous ignorance must be fucking nice. Also with a nice helping of “BOTH SIDES!!!!!”

I will say this akajdrakeh, my personal policy is to treat everyone I meet with respect, and to continue doing so until their actions dictate otherwise. Using politcal stances as an example, I have friends that are both super liberal and super conservative, their political viewpoints have zero impact on my ability to call them a friend. My initial response to this thread was based on the information the OP shared in his first post, and what I saw described was a person whos actions hadnt dictated anything to constitute his removal. If this person has personally threatened people (or taken other such deplorable actions) then that would indeed change things, but everyone should be judged solely based on their personal actions.

This is bullshit. Which Jigawatts would know if they weren’t such a stupid mother fucker.  Fucker’s trying to vaguely walk back their position. But only vaguely, enough to hope they don’t get jumped on anymore. Fucking chickenshit.

From shosai (joined same month as this post, 3 posts at this time)
I think you need to first determine if he actually harbors the toxic views that we're projecting onto him. Since he's open about his opinions, instead of speculating about how he feels about women and minorities in games, maybe just ask him? From his play sessions, it sounds like he's gotten along with female players fine, but you know him better than we do. Has he ever encouraged or aided in threats against other people? What about his facebook posts? If he just dislikes Anita Sarkeesian or twitter e-celebs its one thing, but if he's ever actually hurt people then he needs to go.

Read the thread. Including the VERY FIRST POST that establishes that the person in question does harbor these views. Fuckwit.

From Nahash (3 posts in 4 years)
I feel that this is very much a case of missing the nuance in the potential views of someone else, and believing that they are extreme in some fashion that they may not be. Not everything is black and white, not everything needs to be full of hate and opposition. People can hold moderate or even contradictory viewpoints. People who believe in different things can still be friends. That's my feeling.

Yeah, OP! How can you miss the nuance in supporting the terrorization of people because of them being women who dare to have opinions on things?!?!?!?

The rest of the person’s post is more apologist, tone-policing, tolerate intolerance bullshit.

And hey look! Coincidentally, with all these new and/or low-count posters showing up to defend the continued presence of the GG in the game, we find that this thread is linked to in one the main places on the internet where GGs like to socialize with each other. I am shocked and amazed at this development.

I hate half races (By Death; join May2016, first post) (note the the OP on the thread is also all in bold text)
I just want to say, half races are lame. How do you cross an elf that lives thousands of years with a human that lives 100 years? Or an orc with a human. Just because its DnD and there is magic dosent mean that science still doesn't exist. Genes and stuff. Different races have completely different genes & different creators.
Its kind of like mating a male lion with a female tiger, you have offspring, but it can't reproduce.

I just think the world should know how much I hate this half race bologna . I flip threw DnD Players guide, Human, Dwarf, half elf, half orc, half halphling, half gnome, gnome, Dragonborne. wtf.

o by the way hi I'm Death

That’s nice, now go fuck off and try to come up with an original thought, or at least a more original argument for your position. Also, you’re not Death, you’re a fucking sockpuppet, and I’ll put money on that.

Huh. 173 posts in the thread, and we have yet to hear back from the OP . . .

It's 2016. Can we please get rid of the girl gamer/PC stereotype? (By Lemue, one month on the forums)
When I started gaming and DMing, back in 1979 girl gamers were a rarity. I've absolutely no clue why, unless it may have been in that timey old time, boy gamers might have felt nervous inviting us girls into the game.

There isn't much more creepy than guys thinking that because you're a girl gamer you are a) single (often not true) b) looking for a date (often not true). No. We are girl gamers looking for a good game.

And then even creepier is guys who want to play girls who want to be ninja strippers. Ugh. But even that I can deal with if they focus on RP.

Meanwhile 30+ years have passed, and many of us have taught our DAUGHTERS to play these games.

Maybe a little respect, decency and less of the "I want to play uncle creepy" madness

Yeah, you know some people are working on that, but they’re outnumbered by the assholes. And here is the very first response:

By RogerBW (5 years on, all of 42 posts)
I've not witnessed the problems you describe. I think the male gamers I know have tended if anything to be slightly over-deferential to female gamers, on the basis that they probably have more social opportunities than we do and we'd like them to come back.

Oh. Well, fuck, go home, everyone! Roger hasn’t seen it, so it’s not a problem or a thing that happens.

Stupid mother fucker, that’s what RogerBW is.

By IanTheMoxious
I've only witnessed poor treatment of female gamers at one shop that is now closed. My personal group is usually 50 to 75% female. As somebody said above, I generally see female players treated with more respect than males.

Seriously, go home everyone. Ian agrees with Roger that there is no poor treatment of women in gaming, because the behavior at the one place (because Ian, though they don’t mention it, has been at every gaming table during every game ever), so clearly this is not an actual problem.

By Churchill
Not this thread again...

Someone call the cops! Someone’s got a gun to Churchill’s head and is making them read a thread that they don’t want to read about a subject they don’t want to read about!!

By DavetheLost
I guess I have been lucky.

Yes, you have, by being a male and therefore not really subject to the sexism that the OP is talking about, you stupid fuck.

Then the thread devolves into an argument about what does and doesn’t qualify as roleplaying, with a dose of VictorVonDoom talking about how the subject clearly isn’t a problem since he’s never seen it in his vast expanse of gaming experience. A position that he ends up tripling down on.

By DeathbyDoughnut
. . . I do find it unfair that threads like this pop up again, and again and again all over the internet, preaching about breaking stereotypes against women while simultaneously reinforcing stereotypes against men.

Right on! How dare the people subjected to this behavior in far, far greater numbers and an even greater percentage or players not talk about the menz with equal time?

By Michael K (one year, 73 posts)
I feel uncomfortable continuing this discussion because I feel that I cannot say where the boundaries of in-thread behavior exist. As a final word, I would not deny the experiences of female posters.

Except that you’ve been doing that. That’s why you feel you can’t continue within the rules the mod just reminded everyone about.

By Got no guts (one month, 83 posts)
With the fear I will suddenly for some reason be cut off by red text for some reason:

If you think that’s going to happen, that means you know you’re about to post some bullshit and are grabbing at pre-victim status.

As a just post adolescent guy I guess I can answer to that question on behalf of some of them;
A) No, we/they don't believe that you are single. or B) looking for a date.
It does mean that (In the opinion of an awkward gamer) You are pretty smart. And probably nerdy. And that you have atleast something in common with the really socialy awkward adolescent gamer. And whats the harm in asking if you are single, right?

Because they’re there to play a fucking game and not get hit on by dipshits like you?

By Nibbler
I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I think the social awkwardness in RPGs comes from both sides.

If a girl shows up to a con, just like if a guy does, a good chance exists that she's gonna be socially awkward and not have a good understanding of social cues.

In fact, anecdotally, when I think back on this MOST of the girls at cons are pretty weird... along, of course, with most of the guys.

So this creates a ton of misfired social situations on either side.

I think, really, both parties in these situations are often 'Strangers in a Strange Land'... guys, sitting at a con table with the rare girl (in my neck of the woods, it's still roughly 3/1 ratio, and back in the 80s it was more 10/1)... and girls, sitting at a con table with a bunch of guys.

We're all pretty nerdy folks.

No, we’re not all pretty fucking nerdy, dipshit. And hey, anecdotally, you can’t speak to MOST of the girls at cons because you haven’t interacted with anything approaching a significant percentage of them.

Then there’s a significant derail about sea-lioning and the comic it comes from (look it up).  Also, by the time VictorVonDoom picks up the thread ban, you get the impression that he’s a GG apologist and sexism denier, but is relatively good about staying just inside the rules.

Well, that's all for now. Maybe next time there will be better questions and fewer shit stains. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Castle: Thanks

I gave Castle a shot purely on the casting of Nathan Fillion, the ever-lovable Mal Reynolds. And I enjoyed it, even though it was another murder mystery of the week. But it truly locked me down with season 2, episode 6, "Vampire Weekend". Why? Because of this exchange between Castle and his daughter:

Alexis Castle: What exactly are you supposed to be?
Richard Castle: Space cowboy.
Alexis Castle: Ok, A: there are no cows in space. B: didn't you wear that like five years ago?
Richard Castle: So?
Alexis Castle: So, don't you think you should move on?
Richard Castle: I like it.

Everyone involved in making the show was well-aware that a chunk of their viewers came from Firefly, and they weren't afraid to play on that a bit. But Castle stood on its own. It gave us a typical precocious child, but she wasn't immediately hated, and grew into her part fairly well. And it gave us underling cops who didn't actually need the star to do every little thing for them. Ryan and Esposito were tremendously competent. And funny. The actors Huertas and Dever have some of the best on-screen chemistry I've ever seen. So much that I would happily watch a spinoff starring them.

Sure, the murder mysteries of the week weren't terribly interesting (you often knew who was guilty by looking at the guest starring credits for names you recognized), and frankly, their long arcs weren't very compelling either. But I kept coming back because all of the actors did a hell of a job at keeping me interested in them.

Did they stumble along the way? Sure. What show hasn’t? And yes, the quality dropped off in season 8 (the LokSat arc was mind-numbingly dull and required prodigious use of the idiot ball), especially in casting the charisma sink of a performer, Toks Olagundoye (two expressions: confused and constipated), but the primaries were still fun to watch.

Apparently, it’s cancelled now, I imagine largely due to the loss of Stana Katic. And I’m okay with that. Ultimately, they gave us 8 years of some pretty fun television. Everyone involved should be proud of the work they did.

Thanks, people.

In the Shitter

Golly, I know it’s probably slipped under your highly tuned radar, but lately, people sure do give a shit about who is taking shits and where they’re doing it.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the sudden surge in attempts by lawmakers to stop trans men and women from using the bathrooms appropriate to their actual gender, forcing them into bathrooms based on the genitalia they were born with.

This has been an issue for a while now, but seems to have really hit the public’s collective, myopic eye with North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which also stomped all over local ordinances (so much for small government). But people have been pushing these bills in some states since at least 2015.

It was inevitable that once the issue jabbed in the public eye, we’d see bigots, hate-mongers, and the purely ignorant from all walks of life throwing their two cents like rice at a wedding. and I mean from every walk of life, from the lowliest peasant like me, to politicians and actors.

Some of what we’re seeing is pure hatred, often Biblically-inspired (because God hates a lot of people apparently, which makes one wonder why it made them). Common with this type is the idea that transgender is bullshit because “God doesn’t make mistakes”. Which, frankly, hurts my brain a little when I see it. Because if you ask them “What about kids born with pretty severe birth defects?”, they’re still all “God doesn’t make mistakes.” Everything that happens is God’s plan, except for the stuff they don’t understand or agree with (if a kid is born with no legs, that’s God’s plan, but if you’re gay, you hate God or some such BS).

A lot of it is pure ignorance along the lines of “Why are they letting men use the women’s bathrooms?”  Some of this I at least understand. It’s a confusing subject that many people have never, ever thought about. Much of the ignorance is because many people, when they hear “transgender”, think “cross-dresser” or “transvestite”. You, brilliant reader, and I know these are not the same things, but I don’t think the average man or woman on the street is aware of that.

When you try to explain it to them, you can occasionally see that, yes, they do see the difference. But many don’t, can’t, or won’t. Some people can’t conceptualize the idea that there could be a physical, demonstrable difference between the gender the brain says it is and the sexual organs the body was born with. It’s like trying to conceptualize a hundred million billion trillion, it just isn’t going to happen with some people. The best you can do with them is try to get them, not to understand fully, but to accept that it is, despite their lack of understanding, and that these are still just people trying to piss like everyone else.

The most common argument (that I see anyway) against trans men and women using the appropriate bathroom seems to be some variation of “Well now men are going to dress like women and assault women in children in the public bathrooms!!” The problem with this is that, wait for it, people were assaulting kids and women in bathrooms, dressed as women and not, for a long god damned time before anyone gave any thought to trans bathroom use.

It’s a bullshit argument used by the ignorant (see above) and the deceitful trying to provoke the ignorant. And the people that use this argument get really mad when you point out that statistically, they are a far greater threat to people in bathrooms than any trans man or woman. And it blows their minds when you point out that it’s entirely possible they, their sisters, moms, wives, and daughters have quite possibly already used the bathroom with a trans woman, and hey, they weren’t beaten, kidnapped, raped, or killed. Let alone that when it comes to bathroom assaults, trans men and women are victims, not perpetrators. Sometimes, you can get through to these people, but not often.

Something here that I find very telling is that the conversation is almost always about what will happen to people in the women’s bathroom. It’s further evidence to support the idea that men and women, as a group, think men are fucking animals just waiting for the opportunity to savage any vulnerable prey if out of sight of polite society.

Touching on that is that more than one prominent male has said (paraphrasing) that if they had been able to say “I feel like a girl today” they totes would have gone into the girl’s locker rooms and showers lol. So basically, we’ve got people like Mike Fucking Huckabee and Louis Waste of DNA Gohmert admitting that they would be sexual predators if they had the opportunity.  And that’s a part of the problem. A lot of the male resistance to this comes from the fact that a lot of men would be sexual predators if they thought they could get away with it. So maybe there is something to the idea that men are fucking wolves in sheep’s clothing. An awful lot of guys sure seem to think they are.

But I digress.

One reason we’re seeing this is because it’s far less socially acceptable to hate and discriminate against people based on their skin color.  Due to some hard fought recent battles, it’s far less socially acceptable to discriminate against gay people. But we’re people, and importantly, we’re in an election cycle, so we have to be able to discriminate against someone. Especially if you’re a politician on the right (fear- and hate-mongering is a common right-wing tool). Yeah, you can use unauthorized immigrants and Muslims, but doing that still gets a lot of pushback. So you can stir up hate for them, but only to a point, because, oh, right, they still vote in sizable numbers.

But trans men and women? Eh, no one care about them, so we can discriminate, slander and libel them all we want. Hell, tv shows and movies still make “tranny” jokes with almost no repercussions, right?

But the truth is that a major push for these and other hateful, discriminatory laws is coming from a single source: Mathew Staver and his Liberty Counsel legal organization. Note that the Liberty Counsel is a hate group according to the SPLC.

The Liberty Counsel has done everything from waging a legal war on abortion to endorsing the criminalization of homosexual sodomy to supporting that stupid clerk in Kentucky who wouldn’t issue marriage licenses to gay couples because God.

And if you look, you’ll find it’s the Liberty Counsel who is drafting a lot of the out-of-the-blue anti-trans bathroom laws. Because the Liberty Counsel is only about the liberty of Christians to hold power and screw over anyone they hate or disagree with.

And people are easily manipulated and directed.

So if you’re trying to explain to someone why these anti-trans laws are discriminatory bullshit, feel free to mention that they come from a hate group that’s still pissy about SCOTUS and marriage equality.

If you’re all up in arms about men dressed as women in the women’s bathrooms, take a moment to reflect that not only are you being an ignorant bigot, you’re also being used as a blunt object by a hate group that doesn’t give one single shit about you, regardless of which bathroom that shit is taken in.

Fight the power however you can, brothers and sisters.


5-24-16 Game Forum Answer Bag

What Broke 4E (OP by Zardnaar)
The following is my opinion on the main reasons why 4E broke.

What follows is a tremendous amount of bullshit. Pretty much like every post Zardnaar has made. What’s sad is that this thread has 2,712 fucking posts in it!!!

[Any] How is D&D tacitly unrealistic (e.g. breaks the laws of physics)? (OP by Seroster)

PC's plan is awesome but stupid - should I let it succeed? (OP by EvilSchemer)
The plan requires several things to happen in order:

Doesn’t matter what the plan requires, and you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not up to you, as GM, to let the plan succeed or not. It’s up to you to adjudicate the rules required and let the plan unfold as it unfolds. If it works, yay for the players. If it doesn’t, that’s how it goes sometimes.

My dilemma as DM now is this: Should I allow the plan to mostly succeed?

As I said, that’s not up to you. And if you think it is, you need to step back and ponder if you should be running games or writing stories.

Let me be more clear - would you make the PC roll to succeed/fail - thus possibly discouraging out-of-the-box planning in the future? Or would you hand-wave and let it ride because it's a wacky plan?

Yes, I’d make them roll. If I were running a game that used rolls for those things. If you don’t want to leave it up to the dice, don’t use a game that leaves shit like that up to the fucking dice. I don’t understand why this is so hard for some people to get. But more importantly, if having to make the necessary checks to see if it works discourages your players from out-of-the-box planning, YOU NEED BETTER PLAYERS.

This case is especially tricky because:

No, it really, really isn’t.

Reply by Swamplor:
Only read the thread title.
Answer: Yes.

Fuck off.

This is where people's feedback is helping me plan. My natural tendency is to make some die rolls magically "succeed" in order to allow a crazy plan to succeed.

Then what you need isn’t feedback from the forums; it’s to stop, stand back and examine your flaws as a GM.

G1? Best module ever? Whaaaa? (OP by GamrGirlSue*)
Oldest? Sure. Classic. Yes, definitely. Best? You gotta be kidding me.

Oh my gosh, people have different opinions about things?!?!?!
*I’m still uncertain, based on GGS’ 38 posts, whether or not they are a gamer, a girl, or a Sue. Because most of their posts are pretty mellow but blatant trolling.

How do you want the forthcoming Middle Earth D&D rules handled? (OP by vivsavage)
Huh. I didn’t even know this was a thing. As for the question, I have no idea.

I need help killing a vampie party member D&D (OP by DerpyTurtle)
So, there is a vampire that had joined our group after I bought him as a slave. He later then turned me into his own vampire slave. And then another party member knocked out the vampire and ripped a chunk of him out so that I could drink his blood to become free of his control.

Fastforward and I started creating a city. My old slave/master then asks for a huge fancy building to be built in my city eevn though he had done nothing for me but turn me to his slave. He had even called ME his right hand man! Evn though I wanted nothing to do with him. Because he had drained me of my blood and that we had to force him to let me free of his control. Also, our DM had said that while he dosnt have control of me that he can still controll my vampire slaves which can be a huge problem since vampires will be the majority of my city.

So I want to kill him for turning me, disobeying his slave master because he sucked my blood, for sayying that I was his right hand man, that he deserved a spectacular house in my city, and that he can cause choas if he told my vampires the right things.

Anyway, he dosnt know that I had made a wish for me and my vampires to be able to enter any buildings since vampires normally need permission and since im a thief. He made a wish for when he dies that he dosnt need a coffin to regenerate back to life. So I was planning on having either me or a vampire slave stab him in the heart with a wooden steak in his sleep but im not entirly sure how I could lure him to his second home and kill him, any ideas or help you guys can provide? Any other murder attempt ideas? Btw because of dm trying to make vampires just fair somewhat, light dosnt kill, garlic has no effect, we cant cross flowing streams, no stat bonuses and I beilieve thats all. Thanks! (Sorry if that was long) (We use a mix of editions)

Nope. You’re on your own for this one.

[5E] Ammo (OP by Norrec)
Once he realized the flaw in his build the player decided he'd just buy bucket loads of ammo. They're fairly cheap and don't weigh much.

This made me realize... well the systems not really worth it, is it? If you've got three spears that you throw tracking them makes sense. If you have 200 arrows tracking them suddenly seems pointless. However I don't want to toss ammo out the window completely. It's likely at points in this campaign the party will be in 'survival mode', meaning no easy access to shops and blacksmiths. Food/water I don't bother with because if food/water is a problem then it's because it's a Serious Problem. Serious enough that saying you have a Food Ration isn't enough to solve it ("Ok, that gets you past breakfast. Now it's dinnertime. And what about the next month?"). I'm really hesitant to give up ammo completely.

I’d say either track the ammo specifically or don’t track it at all. I’m not a fan of the assorted roll a die, ix x then you’re out. That’s not how people track their ammo.  But since you specifically call out that they will be in “survival mode”, then IMO you should absolutely track ammo down to the last bolt, and that includes trying to reclaim used bolts and everything.

Ammo is a balance to being able to kill things from a distance.

By Vaalingrade:
My problem with tracking ammo is the fact that it penalizes ranged builds. No one runs out of sword and in 5e, you don't run out of magic either, so ranged builds are the only ones who can be rendered useless by means of logistics.

It’s almost like ammo is a trade off in that you don’t have to run up to the creature to kill it . . .

By Deliverator:
The problem with that argument, Sensei, is the third category: casters. They can both stay at range and never run out of ammo (cantrips).

Sounds like the problem there is with casters, not ammo.

From Arilou:
D&D's hit points system really breaks down when it comes to ranged weapons, honestly. You can kind of argue about hit points representing stamina, etc. for melee combat, but when it comes to ranged combat it gets... weird. "Well, I miss him 9 times but the 10th exhausts his reserves and he dies" just feels weird. Melee-wise you can fluff it as parrying, feinting, etc. but with ranged weapons taht either means you really only fire very rarely or you miss a lot.

Once again, as with every time, your lack of comprehension and imagination isn’t a problem with the fucking game.

[Savage Worlds] [Rifts] Savage Rifts!
Every single thing I’ve read about this so far tells me that, for all of the many, many issues I have with the Palladium system, I’d hate this one even more. 

Juicers, by their very nature, are the candles that burn twice as bright, but half as long. This wasn't addressed mechanically in the original game,

Uh, yeah, it was. In more than one place. With surprisingly extensive rules. If you’re that ignorant of the source material, you should probably hush about this subject.

I hope that people have fun with this, but from everything available so far, this conversion fails to capture Rifts on all levels.

How stressful is GMing for you? (OP by hyphz)
Not very. And if someone finds it to be particularly stressful, I’d recommend that they step back and take a break. Hobbies shouldn’t stress you out.

Why not simply copy a tattoo map? (OP by jasin)
Someone more practical asked why not simply copy the map.

So what are some fun, engaging, weird reasons why that's not feasible, or in any case less feasible than having along a recent enemy/untrustworthy ally?

I wouldn’t bother to come up with a reason. I’d think copying it was a great idea. And then someone else might use the map on the character to seek out the treasure/object/etc. If you don’t want anyone else getting their hands on the map, well, there are solutions . . .

It has come up, naturally, but we're largely trying to play the heroes here

Well, so much for some of those solutions . . .

More prosaically - the person in question flat out refuses to let you copy the map and insists on going to the destination with the party.
If the party aren't evil they should hopefully respect this and not just knock her out and copy it anyway.

What if they’re neutral?

I'm uncomfortable with how many replies in this thread deal with this character like property, and assume the party will do so unless they have ample reason to.

That’s nice.

Right. Especially in light of the threads about sexism in gaming, I'm really uncomfortable with the idea that people would sit there and roleplay either murdering and skinning, or forcibly stripping and fully shaving, a prisoner. The OP specified that the group are at least trying to be heroes - which I would have hoped would be sufficient indication to subsequent posters that these kinds of abuses would be out of character - but in any case, I would quit any group which was OK with going through with such a scenario.

And for you, also, that’s nice. Some people aren’t meant for some tables. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

4-12-16 Game Forum Answer Bag

This one catches up the backlog of posts . . . 

Making ranged and melee coexist.
So, I guess my question is - what have you all done to help alleviate some of this? What have you done to allow a longbowman to sit at most of his range and still be challenged and excited rather than "i shoot an arrow"? what have you done to keep the lethality in some game's ranged weapons, let make melee actually work well. And I'm talking about something relatively tactical, not all Fate or my beloved Cortex where all that gets really handwaved.

Golly, it took you a long time to get to the actual question.  As to an answer, what I do is this:
1. I make sure the game has rules for melee combat
2. I make sure the game has rules for ranged combat
3. I revise the rules to better achieve my goals for the game. This could be increasing bullet damage, giving bows a realistic rate of fire based on historical information, or making them super awesome. Depends on the game.
4. Arrange terrain and opponents as necessary for the needs of the adventure, be it a wide open field, rugged bould-filled hills, or crowded city blocks.
5. Run the game

You’ll note none of those include anything to allow a longbowman to sit at most of his range and still be challenged and excited. Why?

A. If someone is playing a longbowman or a Force Recon sniper or whatever, then unless they say otherwise, it’s safe to assume that they want to be able to kill at a long range. You know, where it’s safe and shit. When I play such a character, I’m not interested in the GM making things exciting for me, I’m interested in killing bad guys before they even know I’m there.
B. “I shoot an arrow” is on the player, not the GM.

In short, there is no making ranged and melee coexist. If you haven’t seen them coexist very well, that’s on you or the people running the games you’ve been in.

DM rolling player dice: old school?
One of my group finally decided to run 5e, which is great. But he claims to be "old school" and he's doing some stuff I think is weird.
1. He rolls all player checks, except attacks/damage.
2. He has players roll for the monsters picking which is rolls against each other. Too date my only crits have been against my fellow players.
3. When a character dies, the new PC comes in a level lower, at minimum xp for the level.
4. You must play at least one session at each level, including 1st.
5. Sneak attack doesn't work on oozes, undead, plants, constructs, etc. This was not made clear to wife (who is playing the rogue) until level 3, after she attack our first undead.
6. Identify doesn't work on uncommon or rarer magic items.

So, is this just "old school" and I need to "toughen up", as has been said by DM? Or is this just weird?

1. That’s not old school.
2. That’s not old school, but it can be acceptable at some tables.
3. Yeah, that’s pretty old school for a lot of people.
4. I don’t know if that’s old school, but I find it to be pretty reasonable.
5. I can’t comment on this one. That’s how it’s always worked in my games, but I have no practical knowledge of 5E, so no idea.
6. Not particularly old school, and again, I have no idea how it’s supposed to work in 5E.

So, to answer your final question, some of it is “old school”. Some of it is you needing to “toughen up”, and some of it may be just poorly explained house rules, or misunderstanding of the rules.

And I've tried talking to the guy about this, explaining that I like rolling my own checks, but he wasn't very amendable to changes. It was either "his way or the highway." Which might have been one of the reasons I wrote this, as I was angry. That and my bard was petrified by a medusa at level 3 and I had to roll a new character. Using 3d6 down the line. In 5e. My stats were...not great. Strike that, they were terrible. My high was a 12 and my low is a 4.

Well, he’s not wrong. It’s his way or no way. Unless the players quit. But if they don’t have enough of a problem with the rules to quit, then its 100% on you to decide if you want to keep playing under that person as GM.  As for 3d6 down the line, wah. You can always say NO.

Frankly I'm just about done with this game, but I can't just leave, as I host the group and this DM only DMs half the time. My wife is also a player in this game and has less of a problem than me (probably because said DM lets her get away with murder). So I'm not sure what to do.

You may host the game at your house, but that doesn’t mean you have to play. So far, nothing has removed your agency in this matter. You’re just whining. That said, the person sounds like a shitty GM, and I would remove myself from the game. Or simply take on only the task of rolling for monsters if the GM’s down with that (I’ve done that before, had a blast doing so. Literally, I ran a red dragon against my former party members, fucked them all up).

Also, primarch has good advice. If you don’t like it, you tell the GM to run the game at his house. If that’s acceptable with your significant other. Sounds like there’s some adult conversation about all of this that needs to be had.

i feel like an axe is over my head for things said in the past
i feel like an axe is over my head for things said in the past
i was banned back about 10 yares ago form a game store
yaers later i found out it was because i asked the owners wife if she was pregnate( i thought i herd her say she was)
and every other stores in the area ( only3) and all the rpg players know it not a big town
i allways feel like the gm,s in pathfinder are keeping an eye on me that the store( not the one i was banned from) owner and his lackey are keeping an ear out
for me to say something inappropriate. some said something dirty about my bard who is romatnic that changes his lovers like every other day that was nasty and i got blamed for it( was some time ago ). I cant take the stress of living in fear that my past stupidness will get me banned
again. i have mild Aspergers so some times i say things that are fucked up but what was said done 10 yaers ago should not be
held aginst me

A. Don’t be an asshole. And don’t let Asperger’s be a cover for being an asshole
B. It may just be that people don’t like you.
C. Come back when you’re sober.

True story, I once told a friend of a friend to stop whining about being pregnant (I was making a joke that the friend got, but the target didn’t appreciate). She picked up a butterknife from the table as stabbed me in the stomach as hard as she could. Luckily, she wasn’t very strong.

Moral of this story? If you don’t know the woman well or at all, shut the fuck up about their pregnancy.  Even if it’s asking if they are (someone asked my mom once if she was pregnant; she wasn’t, and the asking genuinely hurt her feelings pretty bad).

Petrification in games: Has anyone ever enjoyed being frozen in carbonite?
Has anyone ever enjoyed it? Dunno. There’s 7 billion+ people on the planet. That’s a big ass survey. Did I even whine or cry that being petrified wasn’t fun? No, because I’m not a fucking child. Not everything involving me has to be fun.

Eh.....back in the day we just considered it a hazard of adventuring

Yeah, pretty much.

In short, don’t be a child.

[5E] Leomund's Tiny Hut Too Powerful?
OK, so one of my players is a wizard (surprisingly, we almost didn't have one at all in a group of 7) and he has Leomund's Tiny Hut. I am finding that spell to be too powerful and seriously ruining my, err.... the fun of nighttime encounters.

How powerful does something have to be for me to say, "sorry, but your 3rd level spell doesn't work on keeping the (ancient dragon/diety/demon-devil lord) out"? Sure, I have figured out a couple of ways for the hut to not be handy, but I cannot use them everytime I want an actual night encounter, it would get stupid real fast.

At the very least, I feel it should be a 5th level spell, and/or not a ritual which allows them to have it every night without taking up a spell slot.

Anyone else feel this way? Am I being too mean/harsh/vicious in wanting the nighttime to be actually scary? (Especially since they have been stranded on the Isle of Dread?!?)

If you don’t like the spell, remove it. If you think it should be a 5th level spell, make it a god damned 5th level spell. This shit’s not rocket science, people.  If you aren’t willing to do those things, then shut the fuck up and accept that you’re not the only one at the table, that the players have a tool you didn’t count on, and that you’ll have to challenge them in a different fucking way.

d20 Modern reprint?
Hey all,
I've always been a big fan of the d20 modern and am saddened by the lack of extensive material for it.

As a game publisher, I am curious to find out, would a reprint of the d20 modern rules be something people here would be interested in? For instance if I were to put them up for sale as POD on DTRPG or Lulu would people like to be able to buy the rules again instead of printing them off on a standard printer? I'd be putting it into distribution as well, so you'd be able to order them from your game store.

How much change to the core would you want to see? Or would keeping the game close to the core be what you would want?

Thanks for the input!

Personally, no, I wouldn’t be. Why? Because I have the books, I have the entire SRD, I have my own tweaked version.  And there’s literally nothing to make me think you would improve the rules.

See, this is something that should have been an easy topic, but douchebag Airos had to come in with

Because I'll be bluntly honest, I find retail copies of an otherwise free resource to be tacky at the best of times.

No one fucking cares what you think, you ignorant twit.

Is the OGL still in effect? Because I'm not entirely certain that flat out printing the SRD and selling it is legal anymore. At the very least, WotC might frown on it.

Uh, yeah, it is. For now and ever until their lawyers find a way to make it not.

Any interest in a D&D / WOD crossover? (op by timothyhimes)
I am actually working on this now, having started just a few days ago. And no, I am not going to use another system, not exalted, not mage, not high fantasy yadda yadda.... I have been online many times looking for this and everyone wants to redirect, trying something else, use something else published.. no thank you.

I started doing Storytelling Dungeons & Dragons and that is exactly what i am doing. I created an entirely new setting with a "Bring them in storyline" designed to help new and old players adapt to a new system of doing things.

Has anyone else been working on this? DO you have anything done in writing that you want to share?

Why, yes, I have worked on something like this, and no, I wouldn’t share it with you. Because you seem like a douche in your first post.

I went back and actually took a look through the book... then after seeing a hell of a LOT of similar things that I was working on.. I promptly took the work I did, deleted it and then cleaned the garbage bin...

days of work, useless. Gone.. and not being done anymore now... I give up.

Oh, gee, I wonder what direction this thread is headed in. . .

End Transmission made this post (#21):
What I am immediately reminded of is Dungeons: The Dragoning.

Because apparently, reading the first seven (7) posts of the thread was too much fucking work (post #7 being
“You might want to check out Dungeon: the Dragoning. Maybe it can save you some work, or offer inspiration?”)

For fuck’s sake, read more than the title, dipshits.

But wait! A reversal by timothyhimes!!
So, I was going through that Dungeon The Dragoning and you know what? I was completely wrong. It does have a few things that are similar but ultimately it is NOT what i was actually working on. No, my project was literally "Storytelling Dungeons & Dragons" as in NWOD system (few hacks, added templates, etc) and a complete setting. So after reviewing that work, and then looking at other threads and what not, I am BACK ON TRACK and RE-WRITING what I was working on.


I have decided to go with a Dark Fantasy feel, rated heavy R. Inspired by Game of Thrones, Black Sails, Spartacus, Walking Dead, Vikings, and that like. Nudity, graphic violence, adult content, the works. All contained within the context of story.

Uh oh, watch out, people! Someone’s getting edgy!!!

From Numanoid:
I think part of the problem is that you're trying to staple together an old version of D&D to an old version of the Storyteller system in TYOOL 2015. This is reading like a textbook "fantasy heartbreaker". Game design has made some pretty significant leaps and bounds since then. (Like not making separate entries between "Health" and "Fitness", because who really needs that?)

No, that’s actually not the problem. Because there’s nothing wrong with trying to mesh old ideas. Newer isn’t necessarily better.

Then a long-winded explanation by timothyhimes of why he is doing this. A totally unnecessary one.  Then there’s a post by Marc17. Doesn’t really add anything to the thread. I just mention it because he used to hang out a bit in my local scene.

And back to timothyhimes:
Your work sounds like a more worthwhile effort than my own... hell, I cant even get anyone on board with my broken "fantasy heartbreaker" idea.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, stop being a fucking crybaby.  One might begin to think that you’re not posting in good faith. . . Apparently, timothy had some issues logging in, and so then logged in under  the name baldurkhan. Interesting. The timothyhimes account has a listed join date of November, 2009, with 132 posts at the beginning of this thread. baldurkhan has a join date of June 2013, with  a post count of 108. This thread was started 9-9-15. I’m not saying timothy is up to anything shady, I just find this interesting . . .

Anyway, what follows is a long ass description of his setting, The Conquering of Krynn . . .

Nope, wait, apparently he’s giving up again:
Never mind. I am stopping this project because of an e-mail that I just received from someone that I thought was going to be helpful and or supportive... Again, files are all deleted, all work and wasted time gone.. poof.. done. I quit.

Then he posts the email he received. It’s harsh. . . and suspicious in its phrasing . . .

Nope, wait, he’s giving it another go, dropping the Krynn angle . . .

Honestly, this is an interesting thread. Almost every post made by the OP that isn’t detailing information about his game reads as a troll thread. But if so, timothyhimes put a fuckload of work into it. So it’s really hard for me to determine if this is all one big, elaborate troll, or if timothyhimes is just a whiny fuck.

[Star Wars PT neutral-ish] "The Intricacies of Intergalactic Trade Law" (OP is LibraryLass)
There are many, many valid complaints about the PT. But this is one I really don't care for. (And it's almost always that exact phrase that gets trotted out, too.) What fucking intricacies? Trade Federation don't wanna pay a tariff, take Naboo hostage as a showy form of protest, Sidious stalls for them because it gives him an in to become chancellor. That's basically all that's said about it in the movie, and even if it wasn't it's about all you need for the villains' plot to (more or less) make sense. It's not exactly complicated.


Reply by awesomeocalypse:
I think its more a snide comment on how incredibly lame everything involving the Trade Federation (and really, the overall plot of TPM) is. A bunch of quasi-asian fishmen throwing a fit over trade tariffs just doesn't feel nearly epic enough for Star Wars. Its like a crappy Star Trek episode with lightsabers thrown in

Reply by LibraryLass:
No one ever claims a tax protest getting out of hand is an insufficiently epic cause for the American Revolutionary War.

Heh heh.

The rest of it is just whiny people arguing about the ways in which TPM sucks. I just found the initial stages of the thread to be amusing.

Tom Clancy vs the Zombie Apocalypse
I’m pretty sure the zombies would get Clancy pretty quick.

Oh, there’s more than just the thread title . . .

How about two great tastes that taste great together?

I think "real-world" zombie apocalypse scenarios are a little implausible because a modern military force (with enough time to mobilize) could probably wipe out thousands of zombies per day with bombs, tanks, flamethrowers, and whatnot.

This would be assuming there's adequate military/scientific intelligence (to interpret the threat in time) and political leadership (say, under President John "Jack" Ryan) who would activate National Guards and military units in time and make tough calls like bombing New York City, say.

Of course, in Tom Clancy's 'verse, our skilled, dedicated military professionals will use America's finest weapons on earth to defeat any enemy, foreign, domestic or UNDEAD.

So say zombies are popping up all over in an explosive growth scenario... military and police units (who also have serious weapons and equipment) are scrambling in Day 1.


I’m not real clear on what the OP wants discussed here.  Pretty sure this would turn out much like Shaun of the Dead, but not nearly as funny.  Then the thread breaks down into another one of any number of discussions about a “realistic” zombie apocalypse. Strawmen, false equivalencies, flat-out ignoring what others are saying, yada bing fang foom.

Like any of these discussions, it’s all masturbation until the ground rules of the zombies are set. Only then can you explain what would work, what wouldn’t work, what is still plausible, etc. And just think, you could be using that time to watch Z Nation.

I only read RPGs (OP by johnnype)
In part because I don't have time to actually play them but for a number of other reasons as well.

Whoop-de-fucking-doo for you?

I saw someone say something similar on a thread recently and it occurred to me that this must be incredibly common. After all, a "proper" RPG session runs about 4 hours at least and who has that kind of time? Not to mention the fact that you need on average something like 4 other people to play with and coordinate schedules and locations etc, etc. That's not easy, especially if you have a family.

Personalities are also a consideration as I refuse to sit down next to a guy who hasn't showered recently (seriously, why does this still happen?). New rules to learn, new minis to's a miracle anyone plays at all. Maybe I'm the anomaly and most people have plenty of time.

Stop projecting. Don’t assume other people aren’t playing just because no one wants to play with you.

The rest of the thread is a bunch of people projecting their amazingly narrow, insignificant experiences as universal truths.

And for the record, I’ve never bought an RPG that I didn’t plan on trying to run or incorporate into a game I was going to run.

God skills (Perception) (OP by AlexanderAvery)
For all the flaws 3e had, and it had more than a few, but splitting hide, and move silent; and spot, listen, and search were a good idea. Does anyone else out there agree, or have any other issues with some skills being just considerably more useful than others?

I absolutely agree with this split. Why? Because I’m 5’8”, 260 pounds and can’t hide for shit. But you know what I can do? Walk softly. My Spot is also better than my Listen. But – BUT – such a split is probably not appropriate for all games. It’s really something that depends on what the game is designed to emulate or achieve and what the table thinks is best.

Response by eeldip:
"are these cave features volcanic in origin or formed through sedimentation? is that boxite?"

"you are a barbarian, its all rocks to you, just a bunch of rocks!".

no need for a roll.

That would require Knowledge checks, not perception checks, and if, for some reason, the barbarian has the appropriate skills (which if he does, it because you selected a system that allows that), then yes, you damn well better have a fucking roll.

Personally, not only do I like the skill splits, but I’m also fond of linking them with different attributes, depending on the specific task at hand, as opposed to having them linked to a single ability score.

Reply by cryptc:
I find having Perception be an attribute is preferable to having it be something you can train (does it make sense to become an expert in Perception by training it?)

Perception should be an ability score in many games. And you should still be able to train the skills, because, duh, yes you can train them.

Dumb ass.

Reply by Vree:
I don't see how Perception is even a skill, personally. Like, you train yourself to look at things...wut?

One thing gaming forums do is dispel the myth of gamers being more intelligent or educated than average.


Someone points this out to Vree, Vree responds with

^That does not justify a skill IMHO. First of all, basic all-purpose knowledge is usually merged into the Attributes. Yes, you can improve your heavy lifting ability if you know HOW to lift. Does not mean Strenght needs a supporting skill.
Yes, you can improve your intelligence, your social skills, you can work out etc. etc. but you don't need to reflect every crappy little thing in an RPG. Especially because RPG sklills usually represent entire brances of knowledge "Science" "Athletics" "Hand-to-hand" etc.), not single tricks. If I really REALLY wanted to put trained observation in an RPG it would probably be a minor specialty/merit/perk/feat/(pick the name your system uses).

Vree’s opinion is fucking stupid. And yes, in some games, knowing how to properly apply physical strength to certain tasks should be a fucking skill.

And again, eeldip puts their two cents in:
sometimes, skills like perception tempts people to take away from some fun aspect of the game. example: GM designs a trap, designs clues for its operation etc., essentially creates a puzzle. If perception is a skill in the game, the player will probably argue that with a good roll they should be able to figure the trap out. but the GM will want the players to unlock the puzzle as designed, because that is its whole point. so what do you do? you can force them to figure out the puzzle manually, but then what good is the perception skill? or you can give a bunch of hints to your puzzle, but then it diminishes the fun of the puzzle in the first place.

Hey chucklefuck, think about what you’re saying. If having those skills in the game interferes with your precious puzzle, what does that tell you about what the designer of the game thinks about your precious puzzle? The presence of those skills in such a game isn’t a problem with the game, it’s a problem with you using a hammer to screw in a screw. Wrong tool for the job, Bubba.

eeldip continues:
but my point above still stands: if you are giving out a bunch of clues, it makes the game less fun. so perhaps limit it to making the party impossible to surprise, etc, things that don't mess up puzzles

No, your point DOES NOT STAND because you’re projecting what you enjoy as universal “fun”, and that’s just ignorant.  So, stop being ignorant. And maybe do some thinking about your fucking puzzle fetish.

The problem of Intimidate as a skill (OP by FamousWerewolf)
-No two systems can agree on what stat it should be tied to – if it's based on your social ability, then big, tough, gruff characters can't be scary. If it's based on strength, then no one who isn't a brick can be scary. Neither makes any sense.

I wouldn’t expect two different systems to agree on this. They’re two different systems . . .

-Player threats are often backed up by both the capacity and the will to follow them through – in real life, if someone tries to scare you by pointing a gun in your face, chances are really they don't want to have to shoot. Unless someone's a sadist, they don't actually want to torture anyone else. PCs are far more capable of sociopathy, and often exist in worlds where violence is more commonplace and easier to get away with. If the players say "Do what we want or we'll kill you", they actually can and will – so even on a failed Intimidate roll, an NPC would often be suicidal to refuse.

Your logic is quite flawed here. How does the NPC know that the PCs are likely to kill them, but in real life, a person wouldn’t? Especially since in real life, a lot of mother fuckers will. This complaint of yours assumes metaknowledge on the part of the intimidated NPC, and a lack of understanding of actual human psychology and experience.

-By the same token, the ability to intimidate someone with a credible threat seems like it should be a very different skill to being to intimidate someone without one, by being either an inherently unnerving person, a good liar, or very good at persuading people that events won't work out well for them if they don't cooperate. Letting people use equivalent lying or persuasion skills in these instances feels like encroaching on Intimidate's niche.

That’s why you don’t just have one skill, and you don’t just tie it to one thing.

-Pass/fail feels oddly binary for attempting to scare someone, and when you do fail, it often feels very disempowering or unrealistic – my character is scary, why is this person randomly not scared of him?

Maybe your character isn’t as scary as you think it is. Maybe your character’s having a bad day. Maybe you’re using the wrong system for your goals in a game.

Still by FamousWerewolf:
What I meant was that if you've built a scary character, and you're trying to scare an NPC, it can feel disempowering or unrealistic for their reaction to be determined by the roll of a dice.

If you don’t want such a thing determined by the roll of the dice, again the problem isn’t the game; it’s you using the wrong fucking game.

By Pyromancer:
Intimidation is a social activity. A strong person isn't automatically intimidating, and if you look at the fiction, it often isn't the big, strong person who does the intimidating, but the clever, social person who has a few big, strong persons at his command. The strong persons are tools that help intimidating, like a gun to the head. They should give a bonus, like a good set of lockpicks should give a bonus to opening locked doors, or a high-end cyber matrix should give a bonus to hacking.

Another thing that should give a bonus to intimidation is your reputation. If the person you are talking to knows (or even have seen) that you casually blow off the heads of those that oppose you, that should help a lot.

Pyromancer nails it pretty solidly here.

By Dweller in Darkness:
I prefer to work in systems that don't use static skills for just this reason -

Well, look at that. Someone who understands right tool for the task they want to accomplish.

By braincraft:
This is a problem with simple social task resolution in general.

No, it isn’t. But thanks for the One True Wayism and your ongoing lack of actual contribution. Which is impressive, given that braincraft has maintained such over a 14 year period.

By FamousWerewolf:
I'm not necessarily talking about systems where a 1 is an automatic failure – I happen to dislike that mechanic myself too. All that my example required was the possibility of failure - which, if you're rolling the dice at all, presumably exists. e.g. Say the ogre is rolling a d12 with +4 to the roll, and will succeed on a result of 6 or more - the only dice roll he can fail on is a 1.

That’s the 64th post in the thread.  A thread in which many people have pointed out that if you don’t like that possibility, don’t roll the dice, or don’t use a system that allows it. Gee, I’m starting to think that FamousWerewolf isn’t interested in a discussion, but in getting people to simply agree with them.

How does alignment not get out of hand when you have an evil party member? (OP by Supercredit)
like. If the group is just some neutral to good people, just kind of adventuring, how does it work when one guy is inherently evil.

Let's take it in star wars terms because that's like my zone. In a group with a jedi, smuggler, commando, and bounty would a random dark side user even fit in to the party? Like...wouldn't that player kind of fuck up things everyone's trying to do?

To the bolded – no. Glad I was able to clear that up for you.

By The Human Target:
It really is hard and doesn't make much sense when you think about it.

If you lack the basic imagination required to figure this one out, roleplaying games might not be the hobby for you.

Let me see if I can explain this:

The evil character is still a person. People are complex and contradictory. There. The only times this can’t work is when one or more of the players is a childish jackass, or a narrow-minded jackass.  If the evil character is one-dimensional, then there will probably be some issues. But then, that will likely be the case if the good characters are also one-dimensional (for example, see almost every thread about paladins ever).

Now that doesn’t mean evil characters should be allowed at every table. Any given table may just be uncomfortable with it, and that’s fine. But acting like you just don’t understand how it could work only says something about you.

Basically, don’t play one-dimension characters.

I disagree with most of this thread. It treats evil more like Neutral.

No, Target, it doesn’t. You just don’t like that it’s not conforming to your specific, myopic, ignorant view of things.

The rest of this thread is about what you’d expect and have seen before in countless alignment and evil party member threads.

How might a character originally from Athas develop divine power? (OP by 1000thSon)
I've put together a character I like, but I still haven't resolved this sticking point. He's a mul who becomes a paladin (after escaping servitude in Athas), in a campaign set outside of Athas, and I'm trying to figure out a way that might have happened. He respects power and as the gods are the most powerful beings, I don't think I'll have an issue explaining why he would gravitate towards worshiping the god who matches his beliefs once he's outside of Athas, but could his divine powers just start appearing then? When do paladin divine abilities normally start manifesting?

I also have to figure out how he even heard about the gods, which (in my current draft) is what prompted him to travel to another plane where he can commune with them.

I'm trying to work it into his escape and travel as much as I can without just have the story as 'he left athas and then later became a paladin'.

Sorry, bruh, but you’re gonna have to work with your GM on this one, and maybe do a lot more research on Dark Sun.

Let`s talk Alignment... Good, Bad or Unneessary? (OP by Ninjazombie42)
Alignments, do we need them? ....

Need? Depends on the game and the table.

What, am I beating a dead horse? Is this getting old?

Yes, and I’m reasonably sure that you know it.

Ok then, the question is more like, should we use them and, if so, how?

Should? Depends on the game and the table. How? Depends on the game and the table.

See a trend here?

The rest of the thread is the typical One True Wayism bullshit, with very little acknowledgement that, hey, IT DEPENDS ON THE FUCKING GAME AND THE FUCKING TABLE.

Why would a government want to control the people? (OP by briansommers)
. . . Is this a serious question? No, really, is this a serious question? If you can’t grok the basics of this, you need to spend your time reading history, sociology and psychology books, not working on a roleplaying game. That’s all I’m going to say in reply to this . . . question.

BRP quantum leap (OP by clarence redd)
I took a step back mentally today to ponder the changes currently happening to BRP, my rule system of choice. What I realized was that BRP is going through a massive quantum leap at the moment. A lot of stuff is happening at the same time, on several levels: with the actual rules, settings, game companies involved & the community.*

First reply is by Chaot:
There's a lot less Scott Bakula in this thread than I was expecting.

Yeah, pretty much. This thread isn’t even remotely about doing QL with the BRP system. Disappointing. I was looking forward to those arguments.

Suggestions needed for R Rated movie for a bunch of 13 year old boys (OP by Reynard)
To the parents of OM:

My son is having a sleep over with a few of his friends for his birthday and he is begging to be allowed to watch an R rated movie. My wife and I are ok with it, but we want to ease the kid in. We would rather aim for a few f-bombs and maybe some boobs rather than gory violence. Basically, we want him to be able to feel like he got to see a grownup movie without scarring the poor kid.

We aren't religious and we are not especially conservative. We do have a bias against violence, especially realistic violence, related to real world horror we experienced as a family.

if you have kids in the tween/early teen age group and let them see R rated movies, how'd that go? Any suggestions? Are there modern day equivalents of Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Revenge of the Nerds?

Uh, the first thing I would do is make sure the parents of the other kids are okay with their kids watching an R-rated movie. Well, okay, that’s not 100% accurate. I would let my SO find that out, because I wouldn’t actually give a damn what they thought.

Beyond that, hell if I know. I’m not up on the modern R-rated comedy type things. Different replies by people:

How about the 1992 Coppola version Dracula, in the classic tradition of kids staying up late to watch the Hammer movies?

How about just an old Hammer film? Why would you want to bore the hell out of them with Coppola’s Dracula?

Blade Runner would be another possibility.

Yes. Again, if you want to bore the shit out of them. Sorry, but BR just isn’t a very good movie. Pretty, yes.  Important, yes. Good? More like average.

When I was a boy, movies in the 80s were written for 13 year old boys:
Alien and Aliens

Uh, you just read the title of the thread, and not the actual post, didn’t you?

Would Tremors or Arachnophobia work?

Is Tremors rated R? If so, that’s a pretty good suggestion. Fun movie.

My mom, thinking it was a rock-and-roll romantic comedy, once rented Sid and Nancy for our neighbor's daughter's 16th birthday party. Luckily the girls did not get around to watching the movie and we watched it that night, much to my mom's shock. My 16-year-old ass was sent to my room after the first ten minutes.

Wow, really? At 16, she made you stop watching Sid & Nancy? Was this before or after the evening’s breast feeding?

By Reynard:
Great suggestions, everyone. My wife is dead set on having it be something contemporary, so the good old stuff is out.

Well, shoot. That rules out a lot of good stuff. And that post is followed by a whole bunch of posts by people who didn’t read the OP’s update. Actually, almost the entire remainder of the thread is people suggesting old movies.

Dealing with racism and classism in fantasy games (and novels etc) (OP by Ozreth)
I was recently reading a 10 year old thread on a different forum about the existence of racism and classism in Brian Jacques Redwall series. The books are sometimes criticized for the hard line of good and evil drawn between the races. The mice, moles, badgers, hares etc. are always good. The rats, weasels, ferrets etc are always bad. Those good creatures living in the abbey are educated and articulate, while those living in the wilderness and who are typically evil are presented as uneducated, stupid, ignorant etc. In all of the books he wrote there is only one instance of one of the vermin showing a good side, and even then he was still not permitted to live with the good animals. Some people say this is a bad setup for children's books, but most argue that children only need broad strokes of good and evil and don't consider things on the same level that adults do, and if the books were written with adult thought in mind they would be horrible books for children. Some people extended this to Tolkien's writing as well.

That being said, I tend to be in the camp that thinks it's ok for children and that they don't generally think beyond broad strokes, and that the divides between those races in the Redwall books will not inform their decisions in the real world as they grow older. However, as an adult I am very aware of racism and classism and and completely against the reinforcing of such hierarchies. So what if we were to extend this to Dungeons & Dragons? How do we account for saying that Dark Elves, orcs, ogres, trolls etc are always the evil ones? Why has this stereotype barely been broken since Tolkien? Of course we get exceptions here and there, but they are exceptions.

Does anybody address this in their games? Does anybody think it's time to see a shift in this? I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, but I do think I would like to try and break the mold in my games.

I keep trying to read this OP, but I get bored with it by the time I get to the word Redwall. But I’ll try . .  .

Yep, still bored, but I did make it to this:
How do we account for saying that Dark Elves, orcs, ogres, trolls etc are always the evil ones?

Which is pretty easy to answer: I don’t always have those things be evil. And I don’t just mean on the individual level. I have their societies as varied as ours, within parameters (for example, if my hobgoblin society is based on Ancient Rome or whatever).

But what I do at my table doesn’t mean much. I assume you’re asking about these things on the larger scale, and all we can do with regards to that is address concerns to the people making the materials that may be problematic, and/or get our own stuff out there.

Then follows a couple pages of two posters being deliberately obtuse. Which is apparently freely allowed now.  One of which, after combining a strawman with a slippery slope, tries to use “English is not my first language” as an excuse, even though it’s painfully obvious that they’re well-versed in English. To the point where I actually believe they’re lying about being ESL.

And now that person (Sidney) has a threadban. Thread pretty much dies shortly after that.

Very Random Superhero Comics (and movies, tv, and prose) Thoughts (OP by Khyron)
If Absorbing Man is wearing underpants and trousers, why isn't he cloth strength and textured all the time? If he punches Hulk or Thor when he's metal or rock strength and textured, shouldn't he instantly go from metal or rock to Hulk flesh or Asgardian flesh strength and texture? Is that an upgrade or downgrade?

You’re trying to be clever and failing at it.

Why does anybody ever bother trying to shoot a guy like Hulk or Thing with any kind of gun, even an artillery piece, years after their careers have started and their fame has spread?

Because you’ve got the ammo, so why not? Besides, you might get lucky.

It's one thing to hear about the Man of Steel. It's another to actually witness it happening in person. It's like thinking you're finally gonna be the guy who takes down Batman because of your six-month Krav Maga course.


Heroes Reborn (no, not that one) (OP by King Snarf)
NBC, in their continued quest to be cutting edge and failing, have announced Heroes Reborn, a mini-series relaunch of a show that had one good season and then lumbered on in mediocrity for another 3 years before mercifully being put down.

On the plus side, my expectations for this are so low, that even if it's subpar, it will be a vast improvement.

That’s how low my expectations were, and it still managed to be worse than the worst the original run had to offer. Largely because of Judi Shekoni. My god, what a terrible, terrible actor.

if you could rebuild a game system (OP by zebaroth)
if you could rebuild a game from the ground up wiche one would pick what would change about it and why

Too much to address in this small blog entry
Because I don’t like it the way it stands and it’s one I’ve tinkered with on and off for . . . 20 someodd years now.

An Observation on The Walking Dead (OP by AegonTheUnready)
I just finished watching "Here's not Here"*, and this thought struck me....
How many millions of lives would be saved if people just wore denim jackets?


Then the zombies just beat you death and rip you pieces. Denim might stop a bite, but it's not going to stop grappling.

So, in a zombie apocalypse, I assume you’re just going to lay down and die, Xeno?

Why does almost every RPG have humans heroes physically superior to giant monsters? (OP by wisdomknight)
First I understand that the PC heroes need to be able to overcome large beasts and monstrosities and hordes of smaller creatures.
But why do most mechanics make humans have higher dmaage and HP/Health than creatures realisticaly that should be far stronger and more durable?

Why can't RPG systems focus on skills sets and feats/stunts (maybe with criticals) that can give experienced PCs the victory over massive giant monsters and against overwhelming odds?

Its just does not sit right with me that humans have physical stats better that what should be way overpowerings being.

Anyone else feel this way about RPGs?

Huh. Someone should probably read more than one or two rpgs before trying to proclaim truths about them.

I was hopeing for some RPG suggestions that are simple like DW but a bit more realistic that didnt have Godlike PCs.

Huh. You probably should have mentioned that at some point then.

Reply by Roadie:
I think the obvious answer here is to have a D&D setting where level corresponds to height increases.

Hit level 10 and you're basically guaranteed to look like an overidealized comic book character, closer to seven feet than six and a picture of perfect muscular-athletic humanity.

After that things start to get... weird. Warriors start to grow iron plates out of their skin. Paladins become God-Emperor style shining exemplars cast at multiples of human scale. Sorcerers start getting itchy urges to collect treasure.

That’s . . . actually a pretty nifty idea and a setting I’d be interested in playing in.

The thread then develops an odd tangent about lamp oil, kerosene and napalm . . .

Gaming Confessions (OP by CoreyHaim8myDog)
What do you have to confess? What unorthodox view do you take? What do you hate that others love?

For example:

I think vampires are silly and emo.

I don’t have anything to confess. Confession implies shame. And vampires are only silly and emo if someone runs them that way, so your “confession” is myopic and stupid.

The rest of the thread is stupid whining about shit. Which, in the OP’s defense, I think was the goal. So congratulations, OP.

[A bit ranty] Non-violent RPGs (OP by Frecus)
So, what other RPGs actually are out there that aren't centered on beating the bad guys? Why don't I see them discussed here?

I don’t know, and if I had to guess, because the people playing them aren’t discussing them here. Honestly, that second question is kinda dumb.

By temnix:
You are a woman, right?

Well, that’s an out of the blue, unsupported assumption based on absolutely nothing.

Continuing with temnix (join date November 2015, 32 posts at this point):
Also in defense of D&D I have to say that it doesn't have to be violent. You are coming to it, Frecus, in an era when it's all about combat and numbers to show who's stronger. It wasn't always this way. D&D in its early days and AD&D allowed a lot of space for exploration, dialogue, just wondering at magical and beautiful places. Monstrous Manuals had sections devoted to ecology and habitat/society of various creatures and races. How you played depended very much on the Dungeon Master and the group. Are you familiar with Planescape? It's an AD&D setting about the multiverse, with outer and inner planes, palaces of the gods, an Infinite Staircase... Still adventuresome, not homey, but come on, girls like that too.  Oh, and I thought and still think you are a woman because you have a woman's head up there.

Gee, I have some suspicions concerning someone’s goals here . . .

By Elfaun:
About the cats thing... I am not sure how a game about sociopaths of which every appendage save the tail ends in something pointy and stabby would realistically not be violent...

Indeed, Elfaun, indeed. A game about cats is bound to be pretty violent.

By Sensei:
Well, no; your avatar is obviously female. It wasn't an assumption tenmix made so much as basic deduction, I tend to believe. That's not relevant to whether anything is sexist at all.

The OP’s avatar is of a cartoon character, possibly but not obviously female. I don’t see Sensie saying that a basic deduction is that the OP is a cartoon. Fucking moron.

And there’s temnix’s thread ban . . .

Dancing with excitement at some ideas in old issues of the Dragon (OP by temnix)
Blah blah blah

I don't want to end the post sadly, but if an original magazine article strikes as a revelation, that must be because the landscape is so very bleak. The reasons - they are all too clear.

And again, blah blah blah.

Does anyone keep monster STATS secret from your players? (OP by wisdomknight)
Im wondering if anyone does this (assuming theyre not reading monster manuals and such)?

How about the more narrative games like Dungeon World and FATE?
Wouldnt keeping stats only to the GM be even more effective for making the fiction even more real?

Im curious to hear how well it worked for any of you.

Nope. Not one single person on the planet does this. . .

Is it insensitive to play characters of another ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion etc. than yourself? (OP by Ninjazombie42)
We play elves, dwarves, orcs, aliens and robots, maybe even talking animals and the occasional brain in a jar.
That is all good, RPGs are an escape from reality and we like to play interesting and often weird characters that are far removed from ourselves and the world we live in.
But what about characters of this world, that are very different from ourselves, not just in personality, but in culture and way of life.
Is it ok to take on the role of a halfling, but not a real world minority that you don`t belong to, because it is just to close? Or is it all good if handled right?

I have , once or twice, played female characters, I`m male, and different nationalities myself and I am fine with it, but I haven`t yet played different skin colors and sexualities.
Well real world skin colors that is (Wait, I actually played a half indian/half norwegian guy in a power rangers oneshot).
A (white) friend of mine played a japanese outsider character who hated the chinese, in a Deadlands campaign I was in, that didn`t come off as insulting either and was a good fit for the setting.
I guess chinese and native american and all sorts of nationalities is common in that game.

What do you think? I guess I can see both sides of the arguement. And I didn`t really put up that much of a fight when a GM I`m going to play under soon, told me he wouldn`t let us play gay or female characters in his upcomming Star Wars game.
I have another GM I know would be just fine with it and would maybe even incourage it, I know I am fine with it as a gm too and like my players to take on roleplaying challenges, as long as they take the role seriously and don`t play it as a joke or an insult(not that characters can`t be funny or silly of course, but THAT shouldn`t be the joke).

Want to share your thoughts?

My thoughts are No, it’s not. Unless you’re being a douchebag about it. As TheMouse says:
It's insensitive if you do it insensitively. Otherwise you're good.

Exactly, and yet somehow, that wasn’t the end of the thread. In fact, it goes on for another 68 posts or so . . .

Reply from Flibbertigibbet:
Playing a Black Gang Member from Compton, for example, is probably needlessly difficult.

No, not really.

Supergirl: Why are we Grateful Instead of Thankful? (OP by ntharotep)
Note: ntharotep is both stupid, and a troll, so keep that in mind.

So in the last episode of the series which I am still on the fence about all tings considered - when they had Thanksgiving with Kara, her adopted mom, sister, and her poor friend who wants to be more than friends it was all about being "grateful" instead of "thankful".
I'm not a big stickler for wording (unless its blatantly lacking any relation to the language its supposed to be in) but this one grated on me. I probably wouldn't have even noticed, or only said "hmm" and moved on but it was used a number of times in the same scene so it struck me as odd.
I can't understand the rewording of a family tradition that takes place in a lot of households.
I can't imagine it being a "religious thing" because I've seen this tradition in a lot of non-religious households, I could see it as an alien thing where Kara fell back to her alien roots where a similar tradition was grateful instead of thankful, but then why the entire group using the grateful line?
I am mainly wondering if I'm missing something and if anyone else even noticed.
Sometimes I like to overthink my entertainment

Stop being a dipshit, dipshit.

Horror vs Grimdark (OP by Killer300)
There is no versus.

The rest of the thread is people arguing about what is and is not grimdark. Because it’s a useless fucking word at this point.

Don't tell me what my imagination must be like (OP by temnix)
Here is a mental experiment. Suppose you have a vivid imagination and like to invent characters and wonderful places, link them up into adventures, come up with cosmic laws and quaint little details. Some of these you've picked up from history books. And you want to share all those ideas - exchange those ideas - with other people, get them in a game as players or be a player yourself. And this thing is called Role-Playing Games. So you go online. And you look for a site where lots of players and referees gather. Not some obscure corner of the Web, some half-private board that gets a dozen visitors in total. You want some kind of RPG Central. Because in a place like that there are bound to be enough people like yourselves. Not everybody, but a noticeable portion.

Well, what would be the address for a site like that? RPG... something dot something. Com? No. Org? Getting closer... Net? Must be right,! Your notes tucked under your arm, you browse giddily to this place and prepare to discuss plots, invent personalities, suggest answers to people's questions, ask your own. The ideas you will hear! You are pretty sure that you will be humbled before long. You have fairly high expectations.

Then the golden gates open, and you are, like,

What the F...!?

1/10. You troll like a 1st grader discovering their genitals.

Don't presume to tell me what my imagination must be like.

Good thing no one is doing that, shit troll.

Third post in the thread is a mod closing the thread.

I'm not the least bit interested in the new Star War movie. (OP by Cthulhucollector)
Not sure if it is just me getting old or what but I seem to no desire to see The Force Awakens. I saw the original trilogy in the theater and own many copies of it. Anyone else kinda just meh about it. I keep wondering if the prequels left such a bad impression that they sucked the joy out if Star Wars for me. Does anyone else feel the same?

Goodie for you? Hate to tell you, but no one gives a fuck if you’re interested in it or not. Not even you.

Robert E. Howard and the Vale of Lost Women (OP by YojimboC)
We revisit the Lovecraft = racist well very often. I think it's Howard's turn.

I finally picked up the first of the Del Rey omnibuses, and I'm reading Conan stories I've never read before. One of those is "The Vale of Lost Women" which is the (so far) most abominable thing I've read by Howard. The racist caricatures are one thing - they've appeared before, and reflect the general racism of the early 20th century - and while they're bothersome even for a white person like me, they're not the worst thing that happens.

But I found Conan's own thoroughly 20th century racism rather jarring. He massacres an entire village, breaking a treaty in doing so, in order to save one white woman from being raped by black men. The sexual politics here are pretty gross too, as initially Conan trades the woman's virtue for her rescue, but because he's a decent fellow (unlike those blacks, you see), he decides to just do the right thing and rescue her and send her back to her people untouched. But that's after murdering an entire village of men, women and presumably children. Also after saying that, even if the woman was old and ugly, he'd still kill the whole village to keep her out of the hands of black people because of the color of her skin.

I'm usually pretty good at trying not to judge an author for the prevailing attitudes, prejudices, and failings of their time, but this one really bothered me.

Is this the worse that Howard gets?


The rest of the thread is pretty much Arilou, a douchbag, being a douchebag, and ignoring everything everyone else is saying because it’s counter to Arilou’s precious narrative.

Is no intitiative roll/no turns combat feasible in D&D? (OP by RobertF)
Sure. For some tables.