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Author Topic: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes  (Read 253160 times)

Kagus

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6705 on: February 11, 2019, 11:29:04 am »

Heh, if only Numenera had blindness mechanics... Or exhaustion levels.

Or damage dice.

Know how I can tell you've never read the book?

Because you consider the wound tiers to be close enough to exhaustion levels to make the comparison?


Oh, wait, Discovery added an ability that seems to define what blindness is. So I guess it does actually have blindness mechanics.

Egan_BW

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6706 on: February 11, 2019, 01:56:53 pm »

4. DO NOT MESS WITH TIME. You appear and steal the Existence Knife out of your own hands before vanishing. That was a close one. You will regain the knife only when you reach this part of your repaired future.

Hehe. Coincidentally my latest session of DnD involved my character doing some timey-whimey shit. I reappeared at a critical moment to shoot at an enemy before he could break an important thing. Unfortunately I chose to use ammo with an explosive radius, which destroyed the thing I was trying to protect. Fortunately that explosion actually caused a time anomaly which sent me back in time to just before I shot, allowing me to quickly change the magazine (of the gun that my earlier time-traveler self was holding) to a more normal ammo type, resulting in the enemy being hit by ice bullets before getting a chance to break the control panel.

This resulted in us being able to destroy the ancient dwarven facility cleanly rather than merely damaging it, which would allow infernal forces to eventually harness the power of the engine and take over the world. As a side effect now two additional time traveler copies of me exist in the world. Though the current version of me doesn't remember the whole time traveling thing and hasn't encountered the two extra copies because they managed to escape the facility unnoticed before we destroyed it.

As an additional side effect there are also two extra time copies of the "blood lotus" artifact that I was carrying in this timeline. Which could have implications because the blood lotus is important or something.


Anyway being a Chaotic Neutral Wild Magic Sorcerer is fun. Sure, most of my kit is only really applicable to blowing things up, but wild magic is theoretically capable of anything! Especially when standing next to an astoundingly powerful chaotic magic power source.
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Mephisto

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6707 on: February 12, 2019, 12:36:04 pm »

I hate this industry. Adding another name to the short(er than it should be) list of people who may be finally getting what's coming, Zak S. The S stands for Smith or Sabbath depending on how he's feeling at any point in time.

Be careful if you resort to Googling his name - Zak Sabbath was his porn name and you probably don't want that popping up while you're at work or in front of family or something. Searching on RPG sites should result in this particular news item quickly revealing itself.

I'm not sure if bigger industries just cover this shit up super well or if assholes like that flock to RPGs because (massive generalization) we're all socially inept and don't know how/when to call people out.
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Kagus

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6708 on: February 12, 2019, 01:14:23 pm »

Had no idea who the guy was, did a quick search, kinda wish I hadn't.

Huzzah for even more famous, influential people being absolutely detestable scum!


And the bigger industries really are just better at covering shit up and making things disappear. R. Kelly and Chris Brown are both still active and worshiped, off the top of my head.

scriver

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6709 on: February 12, 2019, 02:27:01 pm »

You sound as if you expect everyone to already know about it. What happened?
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Mephisto

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6710 on: February 12, 2019, 02:39:05 pm »

You sound as if you expect everyone to already know about it.

Given my warnings about Googling his name and how to find more info, no, I really didn't. What I expected was for people to do their own research. Because I can't say anything about him in an unbiased manner.

Quote
What happened?

People thought he was "just" a massive asshole online. Impersonated the previous owner of RPG.net on Reddit, had a trained attack group on Twitter (post a link to someone and the word "destroy", they go do their thing).

Turns out he's an even more massive asshole once you get to know him. Actually, massive asshole is putting it lightly.

https://rpggeek.com/thread/2148913/zak-s-accused-some-really-foul-behaviour-ex

And an answer for the implicit "who is he" question: He's the guy who ran the "Playing D&D with Porn Stars" podcast/stream/whatever. He's written several well-received (if a bit skeevy) supplements for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, itself slightly skeevy and well-received.
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6711 on: February 12, 2019, 06:19:32 pm »

LotFP is a bit more than slightly skeevy. The owner got called out for being friendly with probable-murderer, possible-church burner, and definite neo-nazi Varg Vikernes when he was trying to make his very own neo-nazi RPG setting, and said owner's response were that people were censoring him by being upset that he'd work with this guy.

When I joke about ridiculously minimalist RPGs made on neo-Nazi discord severs, that's what I'm referencing.
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NullForceOmega

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6712 on: February 13, 2019, 01:00:12 am »

So, I'm not sure exactly how I want to handle this, considering how the last time it blew up a bit.

I sort of feel the above conversation is a bit outside of the thread's scope, and while it isn't version comparison or anything else I've straight up said isn't okay, I feel like it might be skirting that same territory of inflammatory things that are only tangentially related to PnP games.

If people are generally okay and don't make big multi-page discussions I'll just back down on these kinds of things, but I just wanted to try to let you guys know how I feel about these sort-of-PnP-but-not-really things.

Please, no one jump down anyone's throat, I'm only trying to feel out where the line between too harsh and just enough is.  And maybe my definition of tangentially related is wrong here, so let me know where you think this stands.
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Jimmy

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6713 on: February 13, 2019, 04:21:37 am »

I for one find this background info on the various authors of RPG content relevant and informative. After all, if you apply the techniques of critical literature analysis, it's necessary to acknowledge and interpret a written work through the lens of the author and their background when trying to understand the structure, narrative, and inherent value of the work.

I think so long as people are expressing their feelings about the author's work, not just venting hate at the author, it should be fine.

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NullForceOmega

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6714 on: February 13, 2019, 04:29:33 am »

Uhh, Jimmy, this thread isn't about literature and its interpretations, it's about cutting orcs to pieces with axes and figuring out the mechanics of letting players do that.

If people want to do the comparative lit stuff I'm not completely opposed, but that stuff can pretty easily veer into version comparison argument and the like.  I agree that if people aren't turning  such discussions into hate parades it's not problematic on it's own.

I just worry about letting things wander too far afield, I've seen and experienced some pretty apocalyptic arguments over what seems pretty innocuous at the table, including death threats from people holding knives.  That obviously colors my perception tho' and that's why I'm asking what people think.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 04:31:23 am by NullForceOmega »
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Grey morality is for people who wish to avoid retribution for misdeeds.

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Jimmy

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6715 on: February 13, 2019, 05:01:18 am »

RPGs don't exist in a vacuum. They're actually great mediums to explore the same themes and concepts that shape the greatest of our literature. In fact, they're a treasure trove of platonic ideals, with a heavy mix of historical, modern and post-modern constructive filters.

To take your example of cutting orcs to pieces, we delve into the ideals of heroism versus violence, a struggle of good versus evil compared to divinely mandated genocide. The players get to collaboratively create their own narrative around this within the framework of the game's setting. Yet it also delivers opportunity to deconstruct that narrative. What if one of the players is an orc? What happens when the fighting orcs are dead and there's only baby orcs, elderly orcs and pregnant female orcs left?

I find it fascinating as a concept when you realize that RPG systems are not only stories in themselves, with all the lore and mechanics they contain, but also the belletristic womb that births stories for the players at the table, no two of which mature into the same organism even from the same basic genetic material. It's a living, breathing example of the core dichotomy existing within the transmission of meaning between author and reader.

I'd go so far as to argue that without the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy of rules and literary constructs, an RPG is simply a math system for use with random number generators. The mechanics aren't nearly as important as the people sitting at the table and the stories they create. That's not to say I don't love crunchy rules systems, but definitely give me one that also allows for the creation of a compelling narrative as well.
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Kagus

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6716 on: February 13, 2019, 05:04:22 am »

RPGs don't exist in a vacuum.
Uhh, Spelljammer?

Jimmy

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6717 on: February 13, 2019, 05:16:07 am »

RPGs don't exist in a vacuum.
Uhh, Spelljammer?
Not so! There are mentions of Spelljammer ports in Planescape AD&D materials. I see your spaceships from my multidimensional not!Victorian London.
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NullForceOmega

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6718 on: February 13, 2019, 05:19:09 am »

Jimmy, that some very expressive waxing on the subject, but again, this thread isn't really about the esoterics (unless people really think that's fine, right now I only have your opinion and mine on the subject), it's about methodology and the player/DM stories themselves.

I mean, what good does thematic dissection of the setting and methodology of storytelling used to portray it serve when the point isn't how the original writer conceived of the concepts but what you do with the provided material?

The argument certainly exists that creator intentions inform DM and player interpretation, and that argument has definite merit, however how does that factor into situation where the DM has radically restructured core setting elements and is only utilizing the mathematical framework as an interactive structure for their own distinct storytelling?  ( I do this a lot, like, a whole lot, I know that I am a relative minority in PnP in doing so.)

I get that allowing some level of that discussion can be beneficial, but where is the cutoff?  Do I allow discussion of the work itself and ask that outside factors be left out?  Do I allow authorial intent to be brought up and discussion of their personal motivations and beliefs?

I'm trying to figure out where the line should be to keep the thread from turning into a completely meandering mess, and I also know that what would be meandering to me might not be adequate exploration of the subject to someone else, so I'm looking for a tolerable medium based on people's perception of how far it should be allowed to stray.

So we can put Jimmy down as a solid "let the discussions of expanded matters run mostly free."

(edited for a little clarity)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 05:25:22 am by NullForceOmega »
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Grey morality is for people who wish to avoid retribution for misdeeds.

NullForceOmega is an immortal neanderthal who has been an amnesiac for the past 5000 years.

Jimmy

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6719 on: February 13, 2019, 05:39:10 am »

I agree! I'm running a radically restructured core setting game myself in my weekly Pathfinder Guards game. I take the official publications on the setting, in this case primarily the Guide to Absalom by Owen K.C. Stephens, but within this narrative framework I restructure the material to suit my table's needs.

Getting back to the original topic, I support commentary on author quality, since I personally have some favorites myself, and a good author can make all the difference when you're selecting a pregenerated campaign or even an entirely new game system.

For example, within the Pathfinder system, one of their freelance writers Thurston Hillman consistently outputs great quality modules. I make a point of picking his material when I have a choice of running one-shots or structured games compared to homebrew settings. He blogs on the subject of campaign writing, which I find useful for my own work as well.

I think the reputation of the author whose work you use in your games is important. Just like any good book, it's worth paying attention to the name on the cover!
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