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Zig
12-29-2008, 07:58 AM
Read this pretty cool article and agree with just about everything it says... gives reasons why 90% of the newer games that come out now days will never equal the fun you had with old school games like 1e D&D, includes 4 "zen moments" in gaming that points out exatly what he's talking about (more dice rolling is a bad thing, exacting ballence in a game is a very bad thing, having rules to cover any action is a bad thing, etc etc...)

http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_63/3019000/3019374/1/print/3019374.pdf

If you agree or disagree with this I'd like to know why... I know why I agree with it.

1958Fury
12-29-2008, 11:11 AM
Very entertaining, thank you for posting it! Overall, I'm of two minds on Old School vs Modern. I tend to think of Old School as harder, and while I don't want a cakewalk, I hate frustratingly difficult games. I would rather follow one beloved character through many adventures, than to roll up a new character every three sessions.

I've only gotten to play the older editions once or twice. I did enjoy the creativity, though. I remember once being in a situation where two monsters were charging at me from opposite directions, and I managed to jump up to tree branch to avoid them, causing them to run into each other. That could still happen in a 4e game, but it's not quite as wired for it. The two sessions I've played of 4e so far were fun, but they really did play more like chess than a storytelling game. Sure, we did have story encounters, but the battles were so long and drawn out that the story was less memorable.

However, the 4e games I played were both LFR/RPGA games, where the adventures are less flexible than a normal group. (I'm still trying to get into a real 4e group.) I'd like to think that, without the 4-hour time limits and such, that a good DM could work in a lot of the better stuff from the older editions. Like the "jumping onto the goblin example" in your PDF... in an RPGA game, yeah, they'd be asking you, "What power is that?" But I'm hoping a more "down home" game would allow for such creativity.

The article makes a huge point about player puzzle-solving skills being more important than character puzzle-solving skills. I disagree with that one whole-heartedly. In real life, I can't swing a sword to save my life, but my character can. In real life, I can't jump 10 feet in the air, but my character can. I'm playing characters who are stronger than me, so why can't I play characters who are smarter than me? What if that's my fantasy, to be a genius? This is why we play the game in the first place, because real life sucks! So if I'm playing a brilliant wizard with high ranks in perception-type skills, I see no reason my character shouldn't be able to solve some puzzles that I, the player, can't quite figure out. That is the difference between player knowledge and character knowledge, after all. If the character is exactly as smart as the player, then there's a problem with your roleplaying style.

With the moose head example, I see no reason a 4e DM couldn't require the players to tell them which part of the room they're searching. After the player says, "I search the room," the DM could reply, "Okay, tell me exactly which areas or pieces of furniture you are checking." They only get to roll that search check if they mention searching the moose head.

I really don't think that the modern games discourage creativity. While the modern games have extremely complex combat systems, that is just the combat system. Fewer rules govern roleplay, which is exactly as it should be. 90% of the PHB is dedicated to what ought to be 10% of the game, and that's fine by me.

Anyway, there's a lot of laments in that PDF for things that aren't truly lost. There's a lot of freedom in any system, you just have to figure out how to use it.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-29-2008, 01:42 PM
I'm in agreement... whole-heartedly. This is what i miss with dnd gaming. Oh sure, the gamers that came in later wouldnt understand-and why would they? For dnd has changed so much over time, through its various incarnations into what we have today. Sure, i play all the editions for its the camaraderie that's most important to me, but, i do miss the days of good 'ole dark and gritty gameplaying days with average-if you're were lucky-player characters.

In short: i love the Batmans, not the Supermans. This, no doubt, is what played such a huge role for me with my love for WFRP. Arrows killed, no matter what your level; for to this day, it sickens me when players have not a care in the world about the arrows flying past them. You could be a king in WFRP, and still be killed by an errant arrow... so be sure to use your surroundings to protect yourself from being hit. Where am i going with this? Play smart and live, play stupid, and die.

I will always love the old 0e-1e games, and with houserules i believe them to still be the best. They are truly conducive to colorful and memorable gaming. We got through them, and enjoyed them immensily without the pc-everythings gotta be fair and balanced approach that we are familiar with today.

I also miss the time it took to bring your average character up levels. It really helped players to bond with their character. Now-a-days, players just dont seem to care i their characters die off... they just make another. Oh well, this is what the future gamers want, so this i what they will get.

I wonder what 5e will look like in a couple of years, though i have a pretty good idea. Will i being playing the next edition? Sure, and every edition thereafter, for that matter. I love dnd, in every incarnation, but i will always love the old stuff best. Ive said it before, the best edition per player is usually decided by one of two factors: which ?e did one begin with or which ?e did one like the best.

Great article, thanks for posting.

Webhead
12-29-2008, 01:55 PM
...You could be a king in WFRP, and still be killed by an errant arrow...

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the Legend of the 5 Rings card game (paraphrased):

"In the dark of night, with no one to hear his screams, what is the Emperor but a single man?"

That's actually one of the reasons I tended not to care so much for games with "level-based" hit points as one's hit points tended to quickly outstrip incoming damage. A sword to the chest might kill your character at level 1 but somehow only causes an annoying wound at level 10.

Yes, I'm fully aware that "hit point" systems represent something much more abstract than simple "health and toughness", but there still remained situations that seems unavoidably awkward when your character got critically stabbed in the neck with a dagger and only lost half his hit points. That's where GMs step in and use the Rule of Common Sense. A knife to the spine is a knife to the spine.

Grimwell
12-29-2008, 01:59 PM
I didn't read that to be much of an "article" as much as it's an advertisement for the 0E game system.

The moments of Zen are justification for a lack of a rules system. They are not bright moments that players of modern rules systems can't have. Further, they are not bright moments that modern rules systems can't cover.

They are, however, important moments to have in gaming, for any rules system. The situations they cover are not created at the fault of systems with more rules that can be used; the situations they cover are created by players and GM's evolving in their understanding of what a game is.

The Ming Vase example is a good one. Just because there is no rule about collateral damage in a particular game system (and honestly, this could be GURPS and not D&D and it would still apply) does not mean I can't rule on the fly and use the core D20 mechanic to make this apply to 3E or 4E with ease. Growing as a GM, and having more experience with the game and the game environment are what brings this stuff to mind.

Same for the player jumping down at the goblin. If someone tells me they want to do it, I'm going to find a way to make it possible and reward them for it if it works. Not because I need a rule to tell me to do it, but because it's a cool idea that needs to be allowed (and to fail if it goes that way).

So reading the article as a critique of modern systems that justifies the need for a simpler one... fails as a sales pitch.

Reading the article as a growth opportunity for gamers who can be given insight into some veteran gamer tips is a strong success. Minor changes at the hands of an editor who could shape it into something for the right audience would make this an excellent piece. As written and intended? I see it as a fail.

Yes, I'm Mr. Grumpy today.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-29-2008, 02:04 PM
Hey Grimwell, Here's something to cheer up your day: Even though my move was successful to the Bay Area, i still will be visiting down south from time to time. Dont think i forgot about your interest in trying WFRP out. It WILL happen. I will give you a big head's up next time i come into town, and play you through a one-through. Count on it.

As far as being grumpy, it could be worse... you could be sick, like me. Ugh! i'm feeling miserable.

Game on!
--- Merged from Double Post ---

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the Legend of the 5 Rings card game (paraphrased):

"In the dark of night, with no one to hear his screams, what is the Emperor but a single man?"

That's actually one of the reasons I tended not to care so much for games with "level-based" hit points as one's hit points tended to quickly outstrip incoming damage. A sword to the chest might kill your character at level 1 but somehow only causes an annoying wound at level 10.

Yes, I'm fully aware that "hit point" systems represent something much more abstract than simple "health and toughness", but there still remained situations that seems unavoidably awkward when your character got critically stabbed in the neck with a dagger and only lost half his hit points. That's where GMs step in and use the Rule of Common Sense. A knife to the spine is a knife to the spine.
Great line, Webhead. I will have to borrow it in an upcoming campaign.

Webhead
12-29-2008, 02:19 PM
...Same for the player jumping down at the goblin. If someone tells me they want to do it, I'm going to find a way to make it possible and reward them for it if it works. Not because I need a rule to tell me to do it, but because it's a cool idea that needs to be allowed (and to fail if it goes that way)...

I agree with Grimwell's analysis and I think the above statement sits at the heart of it for me. It's not about the system itself so much as how the players choose to wield that system and whether they let the system drive their games or their games drive the system.

That said, system does matter, certainly. One can play the exact same campaign setting using three different systems and you will get three very different experiences. This is because each system rewards certain kinds of play more tangibly than others.

By all accounts, AD&D 2e is not a simple game. Yet, it is the very game that my oldest groups and I got our greatest "old-school" wowie factor...because at the time we were unconcerned with taking the rules verbatim. We ignored entire sections of the rules because there was simply no need or desire to use them in favor of our own judgement. It was more fun to ad-hoc things (like jumping down on a goblin) as we went, and it gave us a more visceral sense of ownership over our game.

I think that is the difference between "old-school" and "new-school" gaming thought...the desire or lack of desire to put the imagination and creative spirits of the players before the rules, whatever those rules may be.

Briski
12-29-2008, 02:39 PM
Thanks Zig, this is a *great* article. I've been getting my grognard on lately, downloading PDFs of free "old school" rulesets (OSRIC, GORE, and now also Swords & Wizardry...)

While I don't agree with everything in the article, I think it nails down a lot of fundamental truths. ... however, "old school" gaming forced a lot of subjective interpretation, which could lead to some big arguments; the downside to "new school" gaming is that it lets the group become more intellectually lazy. To this day, I still find it funny when a new school player in our group yells out "I search for Traps!" ... and the (old school) GM counters with "HOW are you searching?" ... (queue deer-in-the-headlights look). Yeah, I'm easily amused. :)

Webhead
12-29-2008, 03:15 PM
...I've been getting my grognard on lately, downloading PDFs of free "old school" rulesets (OSRIC, GORE, and now also Swords & Wizardry...)

I was turned off by OSRIC for some hard-to-nail-down reason, but I get all giddy when I paw through Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future!


While I don't agree with everything in the article, I think it nails down a lot of fundamental truths. ... however, "old school" gaming forced a lot of subjective interpretation, which could lead to some big arguments; the downside to "new school" gaming is that it lets the group become more intellectually lazy. To this day, I still find it funny when a new school player in our group yells out "I search for Traps!" ... and the (old school) GM counters with "HOW are you searching?" ... (queue deer-in-the-headlights look). Yeah, I'm easily amused. :)

One thing that has gotten to me about some "new-school" mentalities is the way players get offended when something doesn't work "the way the rules say it should", as if they knew the exact circumstances of every scenario.

DM: "And as your magic missiles stream toward your target, they suddenly change course as if caught in an invisible tornado and coalesce into a single sphere of brilliant energy in the evil wizard's hand."

Player: "What? What spell was he using? I don't remember a spell like that in any of the books! Magic Missiles are supposed to automatically hit unless he's using a Shield spell. Is he using Shield? Don't I get a Caster Level check or something?"

There could be a million things going on in the background that give cause for what the player just experienced, but I've seen it become discouragingly frequent that the player more or less demands to understand exactly where the rules justify what happened. I've seen it enough to be annoying and even (once or twice) frequent and persistent enough to grind a game to a halt and even kill a campaign in one fell swoop.

Not that such things didn't and don't happen in "old-school" games as well, it's just that I haven't noticed them occuring as often until about the time the "golden age" of the D20 system hit full stride 6 or 7 years ago.

Etarnon
12-29-2008, 03:21 PM
it's that whole "rule-based gaming", going on. :(

Briski
12-29-2008, 03:57 PM
I've seen it become discouragingly frequent that the player more or less demands to understand exactly where the rules justify what happened. I've seen it enough to be annoying and even (once or twice) frequent and persistent enough to grind a game to a halt and even kill a campaign in one fell swoop.Yikes! That's harsh. RPGA-style thinking-inside-the-box gameplay meets homebrew, creative gameplay. Head-butting mayhem ensues...

As a player, I would've assumed the mage had a "Brooch of Shielding" or some similar magical item... which just means it's time to scrap the Magic Missiles and adopt Plan B (delegate to the Fighter in the group).

Webhead
12-29-2008, 04:43 PM
Yikes! That's harsh. RPGA-style thinking-inside-the-box gameplay meets homebrew, creative gameplay. Head-butting mayhem ensues...

As a player, I would've assumed the mage had a "Brooch of Shielding" or some similar magical item... which just means it's time to scrap the Magic Missiles and adopt Plan B (delegate to the Fighter in the group).

Exactly. The point being that the PCs don't know everything about their world and will occasionally (and should, IMHO, frequently) encounter things that surprise them or catch them off guard.

It's about player-GM trust as well, something that is crucial to a good game and which is often easily discarded in such situations. As my players, you should know me well enough to know that I don't go out of my way to screw or otherwise antagonize the PCs. I'm trying to surprise you, challenge you and make you think creatively, not pull some uber-kewl rules combo to wipe the party. I do not run "Player versus GM" games. I don't see the point. The point is to have fun. As a friend is fond of saying, "Killing [the PCs] is no fun. If you kill them, they stop squirming!".

Consequently, one of the GM tenets that is printed on my "generic" RPG screen is:

"The GM is trying to make the game fun. Trust the GM."

1958Fury
12-29-2008, 05:09 PM
From the article:

It’s also your job to inject events from outside the rules during combat. “You rolled a 1. Your sword goes flying.” “You rolled a 1. You trip and fall.” “You rolled a 1. Your sword sticks into a crack in the floor.”

I've seen some critical fumble systems that I liked, but the examples given in the article seem a bit too silly for a 1-in-20 chance. A trained fighter should be able to swing his sword more than 20 times in a row without dropping it or getting it stuck in something.

darthseb
12-30-2008, 12:21 AM
Now-a-days, players just dont seem to care i their characters die off... they just make another. Oh well, this is what the future gamers want, so this i what they will get.

You've probably played 4E a lot more than I have, but nearly all the people who played in the one game I was in, and this includes myself, actually wanted to role-play. We just had a passive DM and a damned adamant roll-player who wanted nothing to do with role-play. Maybe we're exceptions to the rule, and I have heard on multiple occasions that the new RPGA is full of strict roll-players, but I'm just adding my two cents.

Banshee
12-30-2008, 12:27 AM
:lol: WOW! Did I write that??? You listed all of the things I've said to my players at one time or another.

In my early days of D&D, I thought every session had to be a nonstop hack and slash bloodbath, chock full of monsters for the PCs to fight. While that was fun back when I was a kid, this "arcade style" of D&D got old quickly.

As I matured as a gamer, I decided my games should be styled more like an action-adventure television series with a good helping of comedy. It became important for the players (and for me) to be able to laugh and joke about what was happening, all the while doing things they certainly wouldn't or couldn't do in real life. I found it was difficult to play a role while being interrupted with an hour-long dice rolling frenzy just to resolve a simple conflict. Good players (and DMs) should understand, like you said, that the point of the game is to have fun, and not necessarily to "win" the game- if winning is all one desires in a game, one should leave RPGs and focus on video games.

gdmcbride
12-30-2008, 03:01 AM
I liked the article. I don't think it failed. It held my attention sufficiently to read the whole thing. That must count for something.

But I do disagree with one central point.

The writer commits the classic logical error of the straw man -- the so-called modern gamers always bland and lifeless; the old school gamers always involved and interestings. The writer concludes its the older, more rules light systems he loves that caused all that excitement.

The logical fallacy is this -- this is not necessarily a property of the old or the modern school. Modern games can be interesting, interactive and exciting regardless of system. Old school can be boring and lifeless. Modern games can be rules light, heroic and emphasize player skill. Old school games can be rules heavy and so forth (Champions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champions_(role-playing_game)) was first published in 1981 -- only seven years after the birth of D&D!). Some of the earliest RPGs were replete with arcane, redundant and often ludicrous charts.

The writer even admits his fallacy on page two.


"The modern-style GM in these examples is a pretty boring guy when it comes
to adding flavor into his game. This isnít done to make modern-style gaming look
bad: we assume most people reading this booklet regularly play modern-style games
and know that they arenít this boring. Itís done to highlight when and how rules
are used in modern gaming, as opposed to when and how they arenít used in oldstyle
gaming. So the modern-style GM talks his way through all the rules heís
using, which isnít how a good modern-style GM usually runs his game."

This admission doesn't cause the writer to stop framing the modern GM as a bland milk-toast who is completely enslaved by the rules and dares not make a ruling.

This is my disagreement. The rules don't force a bland style of play. For example, in the first example -- the pit trap -- if a D&D 4ED rogue poured water on an area he suspected of concealing a pit trap, a good DM could give him a bonus to his perception check and describe the water draining away in a way that would perhaps cause him to search further (potentially stacking up further bonuses). The system allows this (and in the DMG even encourages this).

Competent GMs (whether modern or old-school) often put in puzzles and fights that if you just charge in blind and head-long, you are simply doomed. Players have to figure out what is the dragon's weakness, how the magical altars work, what the lost seeing stones are really for, who the princess really loves, etc. etc. etc.

The article is full of good advice. The writer is clearly passionate about his preferred style of play and tries to convince others of its value. Nothing wrong with that.

But good gaming is where you find it. Good game mastering is not the province of a single system or any particular era of gaming and for me is what makes this hobby so damn exciting.

Gary

tesral
12-30-2008, 11:07 AM
I think that is the difference between "old-school" and "new-school" gaming thought...the desire or lack of desire to put the imagination and creative spirits of the players before the rules, whatever those rules may be.

Instant Authoritive Answer. The Old School DMs stock in trade. I"ve had modern players contused because they see the lack of things like feats as a limitation. The only limitation is you imagination. You don't need a feat to try something. Try. Frankly it takes more player skill to play an Old School game well because you have to think of things yourself, you don't have a list of things you can do.

Webhead
12-30-2008, 11:27 AM
Instant Authoritive Answer. The Old School DMs stock in trade. I"ve had modern players contused because they see the lack of things like feats as a limitation. The only limitation is you imagination. You don't need a feat to try something. Try. Frankly it takes more player skill to play an Old School game well because you have to think of things yourself, you don't have a list of things you can do.

Precisely. The game should serve to inspire creative thought, not do the creative thinking for you. Certainly, there are "old-school" and "new-school" games that strive for one or the other. Sometimes (in my book) less is more.

It saddens me when players don't want to think beyond their character sheet/rule book. The kinds of players who see something happen and immediately hunt for a rules-answer to comfort them. That falls in line with one of my other GM tenets that appears on my "generic" GM screen:

"Your character is not his or her stats/items/spells/etc."

akela122301
12-30-2008, 11:30 AM
Unfortunately, thanks in large part to television, creative minds are starting to slip away. I mean, yeah sometimes tv can give us ideas for a new campaign, but...

tesral
12-30-2008, 01:21 PM
TV is not the problem per say. It is an entire culture that discourages independent thought. School teaches the test, it does not teach the process of thinking. Toys do the imagining for you. Video games have the story built in, you just run through it. TV is a problem when it is used as a babysitter instead of stimulating the child with other activities.

I grew up with too little money and all the books I could lay my hands on. As a result I made toys and imagined things. No wonder I turned into a Role-player. I have been doing it forever, I just never stopped.

I do not buy children video games or videos. When I buy toys it is Lego, or Kentects or some such toy that stimulates the imagination. A box of building blocks for goodness sake. The mind is a use it or lose it proposition. Get them early and TV will not be a brain sucker.

What is killing out kids is the Smothering Instinct. (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/Politicks/smother.html) The media and government shouting FEAR FEAR to the point that people think a molester is around every corner. Truth? Attacks on children are lower than when I was a kid, and we ran everywhere.

Sigh. Enough rant. Old School gaming good.

Webhead
12-30-2008, 01:57 PM
...I grew up with too little money and all the books I could lay my hands on. As a result I made toys and imagined things. No wonder I turned into a Role-player. I have been doing it forever, I just never stopped...

Sticks were our guns, rocks were our grenades and trees were our bunkers. We made all our own sound effects, dialog and story development. We would play outside until it was too dark to see clearly. Yeah, those were the days.


...Sigh. Enough rant. Old School gaming good.

You make me want to start a game of Labyrinth Lord with my group. Just a matter of convincing them to give up their precious feats. Oh well, I've got a few other games in mind that I'm sure will be just as good. :)

shoonvii
12-30-2008, 03:57 PM
Exactly. The point being that the PCs don't know everything about their world and will occasionally (and should, IMHO, frequently) encounter things that surprise them or catch them off guard.

It's about player-GM trust as well, something that is crucial to a good game and which is often easily discarded in such situations. As my players, you should know me well enough to know that I don't go out of my way to screw or otherwise antagonize the PCs. I'm trying to surprise you, challenge you and make you think creatively, not pull some uber-kewl rules combo to wipe the party. I do not run "Player versus GM" games. I don't see the point. The point is to have fun. As a friend is fond of saying, "Killing [the PCs] is no fun. If you kill them, they stop squirming!".

Consequently, one of the GM tenets that is printed on my "generic" RPG screen is:

"The GM is trying to make the game fun. Trust the GM."

Haha, perfect post. I agree 100%. Rules-lawyering gets really old, really quick. I always tell my players that this a cooperative game, not me against them.

Banshee
12-31-2008, 12:50 AM
Man, you hit the nail on the head with that post! Back in the day, being a kid was a fun experience fueled both by imagination and cameraderie. We were able to ride bikes without helmets, skin our knees without incurring lawsuits, and get into a fistfight without violating federal statutes. We played outside and got dirty- really dirty, and we used our imagination at play. When it was crappy outside, we found a place (someone's basement, dining room or even an apartment building hallway) in which to play an RPG. In short, we were able to be kids.

I think the new style, where kids are coated in bubble wrap, medicated for being creative or energetic, and chastised for being independent, is ultimately going to be the death of the pen and paper RPG. Of course I have not done research on this, but I would say that less kids today know of or have played a live RPG versus those who know of or who have played a video game. With today's emphasis on instant gratification by exerting as little effort as possible, I think the live RPG is doomed. I hope I'm wrong.

Inquisitor Tremayne
12-31-2008, 09:45 AM
I didn't read the article, I am just posting an anecdote that I read in GameInformer over the summer.

It talked about the new direction storytelling in games was headed and how game designed has changed since the 80s. It used to be games were almost impossibly hard, where if your character wasn't dying every level, you weren't throwing the controller across the room, or crying that the game was impossible, then there was something wrong with the game. Now days most new games are being designed with the intent that you should finish the game, sometimes in one sitting and a matter of a few hours. The focus has shifted to telling a compelling story and keep the story moving as opposed to making incredibly difficult levels simply to present the illusion of a challenge and prolong the game.

The thing I find most fascinating is that this philosophy has crossed genres, from video games to pnp RPGs to board games. Its cool to think that our gaming community has expanded to include ALL games, not just pnp RPGs.

And obviously the most glaring example of this move is D&D 4th Edition. It encourages PCs making it from 1st to 30th level, and while the game can still be challenging (I almost had a TPK a couple of weeks ago) it very much encourages moving the story along at the expense of making the game incredibly difficult. Gone is the feeling 3.5 has where at 1st level if a cat scratched you your PC would die or one failed roll meant instant death.

Anyway, just a bit of rambling. Take from that what you will.

gdmcbride
12-31-2008, 11:00 AM
As a father of a two year old, I have to say kids are still getting outside, getting dirty and hurting themselves. I see it all the time in my little girl and her myriad friends at daycare. People have been trying to impose order and 'smother' children for a long time.

"Then, as we were saying in the beginning, our youth must join in the more law-abiding play, since, if play grows lawless and the children likewise, it is impossible that they should grow up to be men of serious temper and lawful spirit." -- Plato, The Republic

Yes, my child has an animatronic triceratops that responds to voices and petting and that she can ride. She doesn't have to imagine a dinosaur, she has one (well...sorta).

But my girl wasn't content to leave it merely a dinosaur. Now she dresses it up and has tea with Tizzy the Triceratops. Tizzy is tolerant of the whole process, complaining only occassionally and patiently chewing through his leaves and D-cells.

Childhood remains.

Gary

InvestFDC
12-31-2008, 11:25 AM
I think a mojor point that was missed was the economics of producing a product that generates the most revenue. Bigger is not always better for the consumer. Just look at all the supplemental products for D&D 3.5 versus basic edition D&D. I've been critical of D&D 3.5 (my favorite so far) because I felt much of the new material was largely filler to sell books.

Sure you can say, as a DM, what rules you allow and disallow but once it's written in an apporved sourcebook it's very hard for players to accept why certain rules are allowed and other disallowed.

I think one way to look at the article is as a warning not to fall into the lazy trap by letting the game run itlsef, which is very easy to do. The moral of the story, for me anyways, is to be aware when I have an opportunity to make the game experience better and seize it. Don't let the plethora of rules lull you into thinking the game runs itself.

Grimwell
12-31-2008, 02:19 PM
The moral of the story, for me anyways, is to be aware when I have an opportunity to make the game experience better and seize it. Don't let the plethora of rules lull you into thinking the game runs itself.

Well said! I don't believe that the writer of the article understands that this is his universal message, as he was definitely trying to prove the value of his unique system over other "modern" systems; but you have the true value that I saw in it.

These games are what we make of them, and each table is unique. That's the biggest slice of awesome that they bring!

tesral
12-31-2008, 04:56 PM
As a father of a two year old, I have to say kids are still getting outside, getting dirty and hurting themselves. I see it all the time in my little girl and her myriad friends at daycare. People have been trying to impose order and 'smother' children for a long time.

Yours are and I applaud that. I live across the street from a school and I don't see that. Morning noon and afternoon there is a line of SUVs as long as the block to pick up and drop off the precious snowflakes. On both sides of the block. I plan around the school drop off and pickup times. It's impossible to get in and out of my own driveway.

When I was a kid (Uphill, both ways yadda yadda) I walked to school, home for lunch, and back to school. It was ten blocks. (Flat BTW) But that was all year. We had rain gear and heavy coats. All that walking kept me pretty fit.

Kids are born with Imagination and creative ability. It takes a lot of work on the part of the school systems and heavily educated parents to kill that spark, but by jimminy, they have learned to do it.

Etarnon
12-31-2008, 06:54 PM
The biggest deal with 3.5 in my mind was right in the text it said "Don't bother to remember all the rules. Just look it up, when you need it."

Right there:

- Rules lawyering
- Books are additions to the system, not flavor
- Since looking it up if unsure is the paradign, players can do it.
- If players can do it, and are encouraged to, then
a) no need for a DM
b) If said dM exists, what's he here for, since we got the rules right here, all we got to do is argue till we find them.
- Since not all books were written by the same people, synergy errors crop up.
- Due to the nature of rules lawyers anyhow, the more voluminous the rules, the more angles of the argument.

I liked the days of 1e.

I knew the whole book, cover to cover. As DM, I made rulings, not interpretations.

New books with new rules didn't come out once a month or so, thus all you needed to play was the big 3.

Yeah, wotc needed to make money. The hell of it is, they took the line and made it into a big encyclopedia, that near the end, nobody used, because it was too big. Same deal will happen with 4e, no matter what they say, because all along they said no, no 4e is in the works.. to stretch out that dollar that the 3rd ed fans were coughing up.

Shame.

Back to 2e, and Also Traveller I went when wotc effectively kicked the old veteran players from the forums over there.

my .02 credits

1958Fury
12-31-2008, 08:27 PM
New books with new rules didn't come out once a month or so, thus all you needed to play was the big 3.

Just because more books are released, doesn't mean you need them. You can still run a perfectly fun 3.5 game using only the big 3.

InvestFDC
12-31-2008, 10:24 PM
Just because more books are released, doesn't mean you need them. You can still run a perfectly fun 3.5 game using only the big 3.

Try getting 5 players and one DM to agree to that!!!:lol:

Banshee
01-01-2009, 02:24 AM
Etarnon, agreed, mostly.

I liked the number of books produced under the 3.5 label, and I own most of them. I found that the core books were the most important to know for genereal play, but that the others provided ideas and possibilities. Some of the rules were complex, and, yes, there was a small degree of conflicting rules accounting due to different authors. Perhaps because my group has been playing together since 1e, we had few real arguments over the rules. Basically, whoever was the DM had the final say, and that was that.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I was disappointed by WoTC when they put out 4e. I hoped to get several more years and even more supplemental material oout of 3.5e before they eventually had to appease the financial gods nad spit out the next edition. I think in doing so, they turned off some veteran players. Really, I have most of the 3.5e books, and my group is comfortable with the system. Neither I nor they have plans to switch over to 4e. WoTC lost the potential money from us that they would have earned in the production of still more 3.5e material.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Tizzy the Triceratops... man, I'm so tired right now, and that seems so hilarious to me! I know it probably will be worthy of a smirk instead of a gut busting laugh after I've had some sleep, but right now all I can think of doing is making some sort of semi-intelligent clockwork triceratops NPC named Tizzy for my next game!

I will sleep now. Thank you.

Grimwell
01-01-2009, 03:09 AM
Try getting 5 players and one DM to agree to that!!!:lol:

I did, every time I ran. The extra books weren't welcome in my 3.0 or 3.5 games. Nor were they welcome in my 2E games.

I think a lot of people tend to forget that pushing out too many suppliments has been a part of the game since TSR and 2E were the mainstay. In 1E D&D had an incredible amount of material put out there, but it was more in the way of adventure content instead of character options.

That was good for the DM because there was plenty of meat to have your players chew on. That was bad for TSR because only one person had to buy the module.

In 2E they tested and proved that putting out "Complete" handbooks would sell more copies than one per group, and it became the plan.

For me, in every edition, the first few books are welcome and interesting, and then I hit a saturation point where I can't keep up and sort out the drivel (poorly balanced additions) from the good stuff. So I toss it all and put anything outside the core books as optional and pending my approval. Not approval by book either, but approval by element taken from said book.

Since more people want to play than DM, I've never found being restrictive and clear about what I wanted to use to be a problem. People still play.

[Edited because spelling is hard sometimes]

Zig
01-01-2009, 05:35 AM
wow, wasn't expecting this much of a response in one day... guess people feel passionately about this subject (like I do)

I agree with many of the posts about how the new systems do not need to be so restricting as long as the GM knows when to actively ignore the rules... but there are some big problems with this approach...

first off, what the players can expect.

As stated in the PDF, any game that allows your character passive checks for perception/lie/magic detection etc you eliminate massive amounts of suspense.

IE: The bad guy goes to the party in disguise and pretends to be a wounded traveler that needs the players help. A party of five characters of varying skill roll dice and even though your villain is a good liar and the story he made up is flawless, chances are one of the heroes will spot the lie or have a slight chance of ruining the encounter you planned.

now you could choose to ignore this rule (as any good DM would) but then you got more problems...

1) your messing with the entire skill system. (why would a player pay good character points for a skill that will never be used, is only used when its not important, or when it strikes the DM's fancy to let you use the stated skill regardless of how well it fits the situation?)

2) your also messing with the way the players see their characters, and any actions they may want to take (hey, I passed through that room eight times and my magical elf has a boosted passive notice skill of 18. I should have found any traps/hidden treasure, if I knew you were going to ignore my skill I would have searched more, and I know you didn't actually roll any dice! this sucks! ) etc.

3) the very fact that you had the characters roll their skills, or that you started making secrete rolls right after the villain is done with his performance will tip them off that something is suspicious and they will act accordingly. If you don't make those rolls the players will feel shorted and taken advantage of (having spent points on the skills you just ignored).

4) players will assume if you twist and ignore one rule you will twist and ignore others, meaning their accomplishments are not as deserved, their risks are not as great, and their losses are more because of your rule twists than their abilities as players.

If you do this to them... every time you do it... your proving "the DM is not your friend, and not to be trusted" and basically encouraging each of your players to become a rules lawyer to stop you from "shorting" them in the future and inviting huge dissent and arguments in games to come.

Eventually you'll have no choice but to say "if you want me to be the DM then this is what happens, regardless of the rules... end of argument!" which makes you out to be an RPG terrorist... "agree with me, against your better judgement, or I blow up this game." they might back down... but they wont be happy about it no matter how much free loot you give them.

In any game with a "bluff" skill your also eliminating drama, I remember a 2e game where two mid level thieves got suited up, gathered all their daggers, ropes, and grappling hooks etc, and hopped the wall to the noble section of a large human city. the DM didn't want them sneaking into the house (as it would ruin some plot elements) so he stationed a guard near the cracked wall they hopped over (side note: a passive perception check might have alerted them of the hiding guard and ruined the plot as well)

when they got over the wall the guard came over to the two heavily armed ninja looking players and asked just what they thought were doing... the player blurted out "were on our way to a big costume party!!" (we all still laugh our asses off about this) the player had a high level of "fast talk" and a very good charisma, lying to a guard was covered in the rules, and telling a nearly impossible to believe lie was also listed as a difficulty number, what the character was trying to do was directly covered by the printed official rules. If he spent his fate point (house rule) he had about a 20% chance of pulling it off... but the DM wouldn't give it to him, he simply said "there is no way that any guard would EVER believe that lie." It pissed off the player (who was looking forward to using his new skill from the complete thieves guide) but it saved the plot device for the DM.

Its for this reason, and others that I'm considering getting rid of any "bluff" and "common knowledge" type rolls in games that I may run in the future. A good argument can be made that "hey my character is a better liar/smarter person than I am!" but I don't care. The mechanic as it stands hurts the game, creates assumptions, and limits the ability of the DM to make the game more enjoyable for all. No DM should ever have to bend or eliminate rules the players expect to be able to count on to do that.

In the past we had a completely different rule we used... it was called "roll really high" roll a 20 on a d20 and ta-dah you just did the impossible (though I've only ever seen it happen once, and was great fun when it happened) if ya rolled a 16-19 and you had good stats/argument etc the DM might let you get away with whatever you were trying to do, or at least acquire some level of success (like not being arrested). it wasn't dependant on a skill, your class, your characters level, etc and there was no need for confusing target numbers, adjustments or lengthy special rules. it was pure "ruling" instead of "official rule"

Side note on your character being smarter or dumber than yourself... generally speaking its fairly easy to role play a stupid character, but role playing a smarter or more skilled character than yourself can be more difficult. In that sense the article brings up a good point... that being "player skill."

Your character will have skills and talents any good DM should remember and use. "your character would know a magic sword made of Rediculum looks like..." etc but if you can't get over the need for passive rolls and specific knowledge (like pouring the water to detect a pit trap etc.) then I would say your skills as a player need improvement, and until you have built that skill by playing with other more skilled role players you should make the choice to stick with playing easier more simplistic type characters ( IE: no Mages or Rogues or specialist characters who must fulfill specialist roles with specialist knowledge) I truly believe role playing is a skill and a specific knowledge that each player must build, practice, and learn, to become considered "a good player".

just about all other points in the article/advertisement I also agree with...

perfectly balancing every encounter the players run into eliminates the possibility of them surprising you (beating a much higher level monster etc) or being foiled by their own arrogance (a lesson every player should learn) and lures them into believing they can handle any situation with a sword or special ability. That destroys any worry that they might not be able to take out the monster in the next room, again eliminating suspense. The DM should be acting more as a "referee" and not so much censor who always makes sure the players are "safe"

Games in which the players have little or no chance of being killed eliminates the "danger" of combat and feelings of success and accomplishment in a game. I cant stand it when a DM stops somebody from dieing by some random miracle just because he didn't want to disappoint the player. it has always been one of my biggest pet peeves.

heroic vs super heroic should be clear to anyone. if your player starts out with 10th level hit points, 10th level combat abilities, and 10th level inherent daily spell like abilities... they cant really fulfill the hero's quest of starting as a young ignorant pup and advancing through great danger (the deaths of many companions) and struggle to become a possible world savior.... their already super powerful in comparison to the normals around them, nobody ever dies, and you've eliminated even more feelings of accomplishment they could have earned.

my name is ZIG Obama... and I support this PDF

Grimwell
01-01-2009, 12:51 PM
I think I see one element you are hung up on that might be the keystone for your entire perspective.

You see these skills as an either/or situation. Either you allow people to get a "fair" roll on the passive ability as the rules suggest and kill DM incentives, or you deny them the roll when it makes sense for DM purposes and kill the benefits a player might be leaning on. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's a fair summary?

I think it's entirely possible to have a "both" situation. I don't think the passive rolls are quite as powerful as you are insinuating. While the DMG does state that most of the time the DM will use passive scores to detect things, when you look at the suggested DC levels for the skills, the things passive checks are going to pick up on with ease are fairly simple and easy things. The more complex things require an active roll.

That is the jist of how I use the passive checks, and I try to make that clear to anyone who comes to my table. Have you ever known anyone with glasses? Have you ever been around them on a day when they ask "Has anyone seen my glasses?" and they are up on their head? (I've been guilty of that. ;P ) Passive checks allow the person to feel them up on their head before they ask if anyone has seen them. Active checks allow them to find their glasses case after it has fallen on top of the wastebasket (a place that isn't so obvious).

I've had good success with the checks having them work that way, you might give it a try and let your players know and adjust before you start if they want to restat their skills. At the end of the day the entire game is up to the GM's interpretation and every player knows that going in. As long as you are consistent and clear it's all good.

Your 2E example where the GM didn't let the thief try his lie, that's not a flaw in the rules themselves (as you noted it was all by the rules) but a flaw with the GM. That's the negative side of it being the GM's interpretation at the end of the day, but once you know you can adjust. There have been many times where I've had to quell my response when a GM got the rules wrong, flatly, and didn't care because that was how they saw the game. I quelled my response because I was a guest at their table and they had final authority over the rules in their game. After I learned where those rules deviated into house rule land, I could make adjustments and still have plenty of fun.

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-01-2009, 11:42 PM
Passive perception checks are a tool to allow the PCs to notice things they wouldn't have other wise.

Example, the PCs enter the room, a Perception check DC 20 is needed to noticed mis-colored stone tiles denoting a trigger plate for a trap. Any character with a Passive check of 20 is going to notice that right off the bat.

My argument is, if you, the GM/DM, are going to put something in that room that you KNOW at least one of the PCs is going to notice, why even bother setting a DC? Why not just tell them that they see that when they enter the room?

Generally I give away information to my players all the time, and I think they have figured out that they can ask as many questions as they like about their situation. The only time they need to roll is when some actual effort is needed to notice something. Personally, noticing mis-colored tiles is something that should be rolled for.

Otherwise I feel super detailed descriptions of rooms are now in order, for 4e, especially with a group that has a 2nd level PC with a passive score of 20. And that would get boring and tiresome quickly if there is like a half of a page long description of a room. If the PCs enter a room they are going to see those mis-colored tiles no matter what. It should be the more perceptive ones who make their perception check to notice that there might be more to those tiles than meets the eye.

I feel passive perception checks were a good idea poorly implemented. Instead of passive checks there should simply be a passage that says, "Hey DM! Use some dang common sense, if the PCs walk into a room, point out all the details they would casually notice. If they start asking more specific questions, have them roll or take 10!"

Oh man! I just thought of the flip side! What happens if you have a party with no one trained in Perception and the highest modifier is +4 (at low levels or 1st level)!!?? By that rule NONE of them are going to notice casual things that they should be otherwise noticing! Again, all the more reason for the DM to give away the information in the first place instead of having to rely on a set number.

Sorry for derailing the thread, to talk more about passive perception checks you can go to the thread I started about them.
:focus:

Banshee
01-02-2009, 01:42 AM
There definitely has to be at least some chance that a player's character can die during the course of any good game. Sure, there's no "winning" an RPG, but really, what is the point of even playing something in which there is no challenge or risk.

Back in the day, when one of our characters died, we (in my group) almost mourned them. Years later, we still occasionally bring up good times we had in games playing these 'deceased' characters. Yeah I know it probably sounds corny, but it's good to remember great times had in the various games we've enjoyed together.

If you're so unattached to your character that all you want to do is 'make another' when that one dies, then I think you might be missing the point of the game. Sure, life goes on (well, except for the dead character!) but if you don't form at least some attachment to the character you're playing, then you're not getting the full experience of the game- you're missing out. If it's that you just don't care, and instead just want to 'win', perhaps the world of video gaming would better suit you.

Zig
01-02-2009, 06:52 AM
Personally I'm not running a 4e game, and I'm not exactly sure what the rules are for them (I don't own a 4e Dmg) but the article and my view is about the generalities of new games using official passive skill rules. The main problems I see with these rules isn't in the implementation of them... its in the official definition. If your players believe every time the enter a room with something hidden in it they each have a 5% chance of detecting it (roll of a 20 on a d20, over all a 1 in 4 chance of detecting anything hidden counting all five of the party members) and assuming that's the official rule, then any deviation from that leads to the problems mentioned above.

Now passive and active checks have always been in games (we used to call them intelligence or perception checks when there were no rules for them etc) but the main issue was... the characters had no access to any kind of official rule, and had no expectation of their characters ability to actively or passively detect anything. If you choose to give them a check they were happy because they got something they didn't expect, if you didn't give them a check then had no reason to complain. Thats totally 100% different than choosing NOT to give them a check they feel they should rightly be entitled to, and in essence my main problem with any of those types of rules.

Grim your right that I see it as an either/or situation. Either your using the official rules as written and as the players are expecting, or your not and shorting them on the points they may have spent on those skills. I don't see how there can be a "both" if the characters are in a situation that the skill as written specifically covers, and you as a DM are choosing to either ignore or twist that rule. That gets especially annoying when the characters reach much higher levels and can now succeed at seemingly impossible tasks often... such as seeing through the disguise of a 30th level master assassin attempting to kill a noble and its imperative to the plot that this happen etc.

I do agree that the players should be made aware that you wont be following the passive skill check rules exactly as written, saying that is about the only way I can see to keep passive/active detects in the game without throwing them out entirely. lol and even though I may tell my players "there are no passive skills for detecting anything in my game" I'll still use them... I just wont lead the players to believe they can count on them, and it will stop them from blowing points on something they can't depend on, and generally wont work regardless of their skill level when something important to the plot is going on. ;-)

In the situation with the thieves jumping the wall... what if the character had said "Actually Officer Observant, your really a saint bernard asleep on your master's kitchen floor just having a particularly vivid paw twitching dream about being a guard..." the rules in this situation are exactly the same... the character should have NO chance of getting the guard to believe that. He can lie but he's not using some stupefying mind control power forcing the NPC to accept his story, and certainly shouldn't have anything close to a 20% chance of success regardless of whatever the rules say. In that sense I think the GM was absolutely correct in his choice to disallow any roll or use of the skill, and its entirely the fault of a poorly written rule... the impossible should still be impossible in this situation.IMHO

Inquisitor I think you were spot on in the topic and I agree one of the biggest problems I have with these kinds of rules is that often there is no allowance for common sense, or DM intervention other than that afforded by mentioning the DM is always right and the rules are nothing but a guide... and again if you often fall back on that as an excuse to alter what your players expect after having read the rules, it leads to problems, arguments, distrust, rules lawyering, hurtful looks and annoyed groans.

oh and Banchee... I care about my characters but I dont really care if my characters die, I really enjoy creating and playing new characters. I especially dont mind them dieing if they are trying to do something thats entirely within character... such as a not so bright overconfident theif trying to steal from a dragon with true sight etc, or a paladin who sacrafices himself to save the party etc. when that happens I take it as a point of pride, careing more about staying in character, than saving the life of a character etc...

Etarnon
01-02-2009, 07:01 AM
If you're so unattached to your character that all you want to do is 'make another' when that one dies, then I think you might be missing the point of the game. Sure, life goes on (well, except for the dead character!) but if you don't form at least some attachment to the character you're playing, then you're not getting the full experience of the game- you're missing out. If it's that you just don't care, and instead just want to 'win', perhaps the world of video gaming would better suit you.

I disagree, but that doesn't mean I think you are wrong.

To me the point of it isn't "Miss your dead character." To me, it is "enjoy the one you got while playing."

I don't form attachments to the character, because the character doesn't exist, other than numbers, and letters on a sheet of paper.

I enjoy the imagined experience, of being in a film-like improvisational theater situation, with a twisting plot, where as players, we make decisions for our characters, the DM makes decisions for the world, and the game "Story" changes.

Not just the roleplaying, per se, but also the shared storytelling.

As a player (or DM), When a character "Dies" in the story, I get a new one, take on a new role, and play it out.

Some characters will not last longer than a few scenarios. Some will last for the series. I enjoy playing both types, but I don't "Miss" the roles, all that much, when they are over, because I know something interesting is gonna happen with the next one.

Sure, I'll remember "We did X." But, it's not much more than that, not USUALLY. unless the story that the group worked out was very good, or a long running series, which to me is like a favorite TV show, starring "The Group of players."

I particularly like games like Everway, that are lots of flavor detail, imagination, improv, and shared storytelling.

Or something license based, like Star Wars, or Star Trek, where the group, and the scenarios they've done, add to my perception of the overall genre / setting.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Either your using the official rules as written and as the players are expecting, or your not and shorting them on the points they may have spent on those skills.

I see that this applies to any rules in any game, and even to the point of interpretations of the rules.

I recently participated in a thread on WOTC forums regarding the 3.5 Duskblade, and how poorly written the Rules as Written were, leading to all sorts of interpretations...and arguments in the thread.

For me, as long as the DM stays consistent, or having found an inconsistency, goes to a consistent position, I'll deal.

But in reference to the quote above, I don't mind spending points on skills that might never get used.. because to me, that's the character, it's complete, and the outward situation might change.

If I got a PC that has swimming skills in the desert, fine. When we leave the desert, he might go swimming. He might talk about swimming, when visiting a small desert pool. He might not ever get a chance to go swimming again. Doesn't matter to me.

1958Fury
01-02-2009, 09:12 AM
I disagree, but that doesn't mean I think you are wrong.

To me the point of it isn't "Miss your dead character." To me, it is "enjoy the one you got while playing."

I don't form attachments to the character, because the character doesn't exist, other than numbers, and letters on a sheet of paper.

Wow... Please don't take this as a personal affront, but I can't go along with that at all.

When you create a character to play in a game, you are assisting in a collaborative work of fiction, and the goal of everyone at the table is to tell a compelling story. This is strictly my opinion, but if you don't get attached to the characters, then it's not a good story. (I'll try to be vague due to spoilers, but...) When a certain death happened near the end of the movie Serenity, half of Joss Whedon's fans wanted to lynch him. When a certain tragedy occurred halfway through Final Fantasy VII, it became one of the most memorable moments in video game history. I actually cried.

Now, if you make a totally generic Fighter, with a standard personality, and play him like a game piece, then sure. But to me, a character not worth mourning is a character not worth playing.

Sethannon
01-02-2009, 09:39 AM
I actually would totally agree with you there. During one of the games I DM'ed, at the end of one story arc an NPC of the game died. The players (incuding friends that were not playing, but just observing) were so emotionally invested in all their characters/NPCs that they cried and yelled at me for about an hour.

Even now, when they hear the song that we had in the background (go flair!) they still get a little choked up and this was years ago!

I understand the concept of not being one of those people that throws a fit when your character dies, I would like to think that you are putting as much time/effort/energy/emotion into the game that I am.

Just my random opinion on the matter.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
01-02-2009, 11:06 AM
I actually would totally agree with you there. During one of the games I DM'ed, at the end of one story arc an NPC of the game died. The players (incuding friends that were not playing, but just observing) were so emotionally invested in all their characters/NPCs that they cried and yelled at me for about an hour.

Even now, when they hear the song that we had in the background (go flair!) they still get a little choked up and this was years ago!

I understand the concept of not being one of those people that throws a fit when your character dies, I would like to think that you are putting as much time/effort/energy/emotion into the game that I am.

Just my random opinion on the matter.
These emotions were pretty common in 1e or before, and i remember them fondly. Now-a-days, i just dont see it anymore. Ah well, what ya gonna do?

Webhead
01-02-2009, 11:12 AM
Wow... Please don't take this as a personal affront, but I can't go along with that at all.

When you create a character to play in a game, you are assisting in a collaborative work of fiction, and the goal of everyone at the table is to tell a compelling story. This is strictly my opinion, but if you don't get attached to the characters, then it's not a good story. (I'll try to be vague due to spoilers, but...) When a certain death happened near the end of the movie Serenity, half of Joss Whedon's fans wanted to lynch him. When a certain tragedy occurred halfway through Final Fantasy VII, it became one of the most memorable moments in video game history. I actually cried.

Now, if you make a totally generic Fighter, with a standard personality, and play him like a game piece, then sure. But to me, a character not worth mourning is a character not worth playing.

I agree with this. While I don't think its necessary or perhaps appropriate to have a sobbing fit upon character death, I believe character attachment is important.

No, the character isn't real, but in the same way I like to cheer for characters in a good novel, TV show or movie, I want to feel involved in the goings-on of my RPG characters. When the heroes are triumphant, you cheer. When the villains get the leg up, you boo. When a long-standing NPC is badly wounded, you get nervous, wondering what is going to happen next.

I don't play numbers on a page, I play a character. The numbers just help me and the GM determine the percentage chance that a course of action will succeed or fail to keep things fair, impartial and unpredictable.

Often, even (or especially) the most statistically awkward or inept characters turn out to be some of the most fun...because for them, even everyday events that more gifted characters take for granted prove delicate and challenging...which makes trumph all the sweeter!

Etarnon
01-02-2009, 06:23 PM
I'm not insulted, and I don't take comments like that as an insult.

It's just that I've been doing this for some 32 years, and If I lost it every time a character died, I'd have lost it a hundred times already, since I tend to run and play:

hard core military style modern
future sci fi
permadeath, no rez, no raise D&D.

Plus I have done voice acting, in unpaid positions. So to me, it's all a role, do the best I can do, and add what I can to the game / Film / Production, and move on.

Death of a character to me is like.. again, numbers on a sheet of paper, after the scene is done. If it were anything else, I wouldn't be able to play.

I go in to a game knowing my PC will likely die, be it of adventures, disease, traps, or old age, and prepare accordingly.

It doesn't mean I play the role less, but I realize, I am playing a role, the role will end, and so be it, gimme another one.

Banshee
01-02-2009, 10:27 PM
oh and Banchee... I care about my characters but I dont really care if my characters die, I really enjoy creating and playing new characters. I especially dont mind them dieing if they are trying to do something thats entirely within character... such as a not so bright overconfident theif trying to steal from a dragon with true sight etc, or a paladin who sacrafices himself to save the party etc. when that happens I take it as a point of pride, careing more about staying in character, than saving the life of a character etc...

Ok, so a character dies and we make new ones. That's the way it is. Sure, a character is no more than ink and paper, but if it's being played correctly, then one should probably be at least a little bit disappointed that the much loved character died. No, we shouldn't go and jump off a bridge because our favorite rogue fell into that spike-pit trap, but I think at least a sad sigh is in order... then we make a new character. :D

joshbot
01-02-2009, 10:40 PM
hiya im new and looking for a game to join , I prefer 4e but,3.5 would be nice also give me a pm ill respond as soon as i remember =D

Webhead
01-02-2009, 10:45 PM
...I go in to a game knowing my PC will likely die, be it of adventures, disease, traps, or old age, and prepare accordingly.

It doesn't mean I play the role less, but I realize, I am playing a role, the role will end, and so be it, gimme another one.

Sure. Enjoy what you have while it lasts. When its over, reflect upon what made it special and how it can influence your future decisions, then move forward carrying that knowledge with you.

You don't have to trap yourself in the past to appreciate attachment to a character. I've never cried (or even wallowed) when I had a character die. That's part of the experience to me. Afterall, where is the fun if you know your character will never die? But part of playing a role is recognizing emotional significance in something symbolic. Essentially, inventing emotion where there is none. Thus, I will acknowledge the tragedy of a character death (diagetically) and try to let that play out in the game as best I can and feel inspired that the character was involved in such a dramatic story.

As a GM, I want my players to create emotion within the game. Otherwise I'm just playing Yahtzee which, while a very fun game, is not what I'm looking for when I reach for an RPG. I'm not asking them for anything profound and mood-changing, just that they allow themselves to pretend that they have the hopes, fears, desires and hesitations of whoever it is that they are trying to portray.

Banshee
01-06-2009, 12:47 AM
Sure. Enjoy what you have while it lasts. When its over, reflect upon what made it special and how it can influence your future decisions, then move forward carrying that knowledge with you.

You don't have to trap yourself in the past to appreciate attachment to a character. I've never cried (or even wallowed) when I had a character die. That's part of the experience to me. Afterall, where is the fun if you know your character will never die? But part of playing a role is recognizing emotional significance in something symbolic. Essentially, inventing emotion where there is none. Thus, I will acknowledge the tragedy of a character death (diagetically) and try to let that play out in the game as best I can and feel inspired that the character was involved in such a dramatic story.

As a GM, I want my players to create emotion within the game. Otherwise I'm just playing Yahtzee which, while a very fun game, is not what I'm looking for when I reach for an RPG. I'm not asking them for anything profound and mood-changing, just that they allow themselves to pretend that they have the hopes, fears, desires and hesitations of whoever it is that they are trying to portray.

Well said.