Unfortunately, Dytrrnikl, not all are as lucky or as strong as you.
I survived clinical depression and addictions without treatment, and for the longest time couldn't understand those that couldn't lick either of those situations all by themselves like I did. It took a wise friend to point out that not all brains (and spines... and skin) are created the same. Yes, some just play the victim role - and beg for attention. However, some truly are victims.
I'm not saying that you are totally incorrect - just that you are painting with too broad a brush.
Your wizard's robe is MUCH cooler than mine. Mine just has some bangles and a couple of rabbit's feet sewn into it. You robe could eat my robe I think.
Sascha, you make several salient points. I am inclined to disagree about a thick skin being a band-aid solution if it's the only solution. In my experiences I've found it to be the best solution, but that's me.
Malruhn, I WAS one of those kids that was constantly told that I was worthless and an accident, and much more. All it did was make me angry. That anger shaped itself into me having a 'thick skin', teaching me that I am the only one who can determine if I am worthless, weak, stupid, unwanted, and so forth. I had a childhood that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, however, I am grateful that I went through the trials that I experienced. Funny thing is, I am closer to my family now, than I ever was as a child. I do have a certain bent on some things, like not understanding how people can get allow themselves to get debilitated or become a 'twisty ball of self-loathing', but but only because I made different choices on how to handle my own trials.
Malchi57... My wizard’s robe is crafted from a blend of adamantite and mithril fibers, steeped in the blood of an ancient wyrm Gold Dragon, freely volunteered. The adamantite thread was fashioned during the winter solstice, while the mithril thread was fashioned during the summer solstice. Then woven together to form a seamless cloth over the course of 12 months of craftsmanship. I would say mine is cooler.
While I agree with you on one hand, there is another hand in play here. For young children, if they are told constantly - by the people that are supposed to love and support them - that they are worthless and weak and stupid and a mistake - eventually, the words stick. Words CAN hurt. You may be a special sort of person that was able to rise above it - but there are many that are unable to do so. And then, when they see no way out of it, they think of ending the pain once and for all.
All we want in life - as smelly human beings - is power. We want to have at LEAST the power of self-determination. If our entire existence is based on other peoples' power, then we have none - and the only way we DO have power is to take if for ourselves. Enter Columbine... enter the recent spate of suicides...
Not all are as strong as you... or me. I was bullied and hounded and teased. I endured but couldn't just shake it off - and it took me until I was nearly 30 years old to realize that I could survive it.
Yes, I will agree that many parents attempt to shield their babies too much, to the detriment of the child, but there is a gray line out there that has, "It's character building," on one side and, "It's debilitating," on the other side. The problem is that everybody places that line differently for themselves... and most of the time you can't see where it is until it's too late - they either have survived or lashed out.
That's a damned poor time to find out.
(EDITED TO ADD)
It wasn't until after I had pulled my head out of my rectum before I realized just how messed up I was. Sure - I faked it GREAT for everyone that knew me... but inside I was a twisty ball of self-loathing.
Sticks and stones CAN break my bones... and if the words don't hurt me, they didn't use the right ones, because EVERYONE has buttons that can be pushed. Bullies thrive on finding those buttons. And if you think that words can never hurt, you've never seen someone pushed to tears just from words.
And I find that hard to believe. (/EDIT)
First, I want to put in my terms the difference between debate and arguing. In my world, debate is countering facts with facts and/or discrediting otherís facts. Arguing is verbal sparring and/or trying to debate based on emotions.
Debate: I only debate on topics I know and care about to which I donít do the emotion thing either way. The other qualification is that my opponent must be intelligent and knowledgeable enough to debate with.
Arguing: Very, very rarely will I argue but when I do, it is a means to an end. In other words, I ask myself ďWhat is my goal and can I achieve it?Ē For instance, at conventions when I have shared a hotel room, I spell out the rules and payment information in a clear email (no smoking, keep things fairly clean and no strays). Other folks were afraid to say something to the violators, not me. I was called names to which I responded in kind and resolved the situation to my satisfaction in less than five minutes. If someone is acting like a jerk by insulting me and my friends, yes I respond if it will put them in their place. Iíve had several times where folks clapped. Sometimes my only goal is emotional satisfaction.
When it comes to managing at work, a rewards system works best but if it is necessary to discipline, one presents opportunities for improvement. First, you cite the good and positive. Next, you present documented instances of the mistakes with ways to correct them. Then you end with positive followed by written documentation of the above.
Hopefully, this presents a clear picture of how I think. You will NEVER catch me on Springer.
For the record, children are a different matter. Comments and verbal insults coming from adults is Mental Abuse and those matters should be dealt with.
Dealing with a small amount of insults from peers is typical childhood experiences, and yes sadly necessary to build a thick skin and just part of growing up. It teaches us as adults to take criticism and continue forward. Otherwise, an artist would never paint again no matter how much encouragement they got because one critic was harsh.
Again, there is such thing as too much.
Firstly, no one on this site knows anyone else as well as they think they could or should. So making statements like "you need a thicker skin" is negligent to the fact that /you/ may be the socially unskilled individual in the conversation, not vice versa. I don't know if you are, and I'm not saying that you are, which is the whole point. Why get worked up about what other people say on the internet? Is it true? Are older gamers that out of touch with the here and now? Are younger gamers just that coddled that they couldn't cope with their character dying? Are labels helping anyone at this point, and should we even care if someone does label us? I would say though, that Gamers in general have thicker skins than most, based solely on the fact that if everyone played games, there wouldn't be a geek subcultiure. But here we are, all proud in our geekdom, yet unable to realize that we're eating our own by trying to make one class of gamer superior to another.
Secondly, if you're asking for people to have a thicker skin, turn that microscope around a little bit and see if you do the same. This may be directed at BGG more than any other comments in this post, but if someone says something derogatory toward you, does it really deserve a response? If you're not what they say you are, is it worth your time to belittle them back or try and verbally spar with someone you obviously know to be misled in their dealings with people? If we're all truly the adults we say we are (and I have no way to know this as I only know people by their screen names and how they present themselves on the site) shouldn't we be above all this and not worry about who has hurt feelings or who needs to be right?
I can see both sides of this argument, and I can see why both sides would want to make a case, but I have a feeling that, much like the adults of today (not the children) with sports, politics, etc.; once a side has been picked there is no middle ground from which to compromise on. I hope I'm wrong and we can all move past this and get back to the important stuff. Like whether or not my wizard has a cooler robe than your wizard!
It's an issue of communication, specifically the signal-to-noise concept. Divisive statements, insulting remarks are noise; if there's any substance to the message, they can interfere with communication. If they *are* the message, they serve no purpose *but* to interfere. Wading through the noise to get to the signal is tiring, especially when it's the same noise ad nauseam. (Doubly so when the statements are challenged, yet repeated; proof by assertion does not equal a won debate.)
Also, I too see a frustrating culture of entitlement, only it's one of absolute expression: Yes, you have the right to your opinion. But there's an ocean of difference between expressing that opinion as part of civil discourse, and expressing it in a manner that attacks someone or instigates conflict. It's distracting at the very least, and downright hostile at worst; not something that you want in a community-building site such as this.
What happened to having thick skin? It's a band-aid solution, if it's your *only* solution. Despite the adage, words *do* have consequences, and it's long past time to realize this. Placing the responsibility on the listener ignores the speaker's role in communication, and is absolution for whatever negative consequences follow any given message. Not acting to lessen or eliminate undesirable behavior is implicit support for such behavior.
BBG - You know, I've never really listened to Carlos Mencia. I'm going to need to remedy that now. Also, no, you're not the only one who looks at an insult as an invitation for verbal sparring. There is nothing more entertaining than responding to an insult with a sharp quip, especially when, as you've said, it results in speechless derailment of the insulter. Incidentally, I'm close friends with a woman who happens to have bleach blonde hair, AND she has delivered some of the best silencers I've ever heard.
Bloodtide - Another symptom of that bubble, is a frustrating (at least from my point of view) sense of entitlement. The bubble need to burst, just like the housing market. As for that Rec center issue, I can forgive it, IF the kids are under the age of 5. Even I want the kids to first learn to have fun as well as get a foundation for basic skills. But after the age of 5, all leagues in my community actually keep score and records of wins/losses...and I LOVE it.
This is the modern world. So many people that have had very sheltered childhoods, are now adults. Yet, they have no experience with anything outside thier personal bubble.
If your a parent, you have seen tons of this stuff. The local Rec center Football games give each scored point to both teams(so that every game is automatically a tie). You are also not allowed to cheer or jeer during the game.
And this is found in Role-playing. Especially after 2000 and 3E D&D. Everything has to be fair and balanced. Players can sit back and not worry, as they know each encounter is balanced and fair to do no harm to their characters.
And a lot of role-players are in a bubble. They game with five GM's each with the same houserule, and some how think it's an official part of the game. After all, as far as they see 'everyone' does it.
THANK YOU! Carlos Mencia, comedian, often asks the same thing. Yes, there are times that someone should step in because name calling goes over the top and something should be done but I am NOT condoning name calling or bullying. Nowadays, things have to be so politically correct that everyone gets hyper-sensative about everything. Whatever happened to growing a pair?
Am I the only one who looks at an insult (when given to me because I only instigate when someone REALLY has it coming) as an invitation to spar with words? No, I don't return the insult with prejudicial remarks but instead with intellectual insults intended to render my opponent speechless as they ponder the meaning of my verbal jab. The insults I have endured are: dumb blond, typical female ones, gamer and southern hick.
An alternate Endurance/Concentration check would be to base the cumulative +1 modifier for all previously cast spells tracked through out a 24 hour in-game period rather than by encounter.
I wonder where the draining magic comes in?
So your saying a 5th level 18 con wizard can cast 8 fireballs per encounter? 3-5 encounters a day is 24-40 fireballs a day. Sounds like a lot of fireballs?
Should not everyone use Constitution? Why other abilities? And why a non class ability? Sure A cleric will put some points in Charisma, but Constitution is not a high arcane stat.
I forgot to mention, I will also cover 0th level spells.
Bloodtide, I agree with you. I do not want to nerf mages or any other magic-using class to the point that no one wishes to play them, particularly since the power of higher levels is the reward for being so studious, introspective, or devout, compared to the other more physically oreinted classes. However, there does come a point at higher levels, where the physical classes just can't seem to measure up to magic-using classes.
Here is a teaser for what I've come up with, hopefully it's an original approach, but I did away with the so many spells of each level per day format in favor of a so many spells per encounter format (I'm don't play 4E, but it did have some ideas that I thought were a novel approach).
Draining magic is always a fun idea. The trick is to not nerf mages too much. For example, leave common magic alone. A mage should be able to shoot three fireballs and not worry they will get into trouble.
Magic drain works great for powerful and/or exotic spells. But to have a mage take like -3 Con every time they cast Magic Missie is a bit too much. And even cululative is too much, you don't want to say a mage can only cast two spells an hour, or risk a bad effect.
Great article. I'm totally immersed in the game I'm running right now, but avoiding burnout is a big priority of mine. I'll definitely have to try and mix things up from time to time.
good info. I played 2E way back when and still have the old books, but I was too young at the time to understand the mechanics. So I would identify more with the newer generation. This has given me a little better insight to what was going on back then. Great job Dytrrnikl!
I went through the same thing awhile back, and I think you are on the right track by mixing things up with a different setting and system. There are plenty out there, and I agree with you about Alpha Omega.
I have had burnout before. What we did was to play a different type of game, be it board games or miniatures for a period of time until I refreshed my batteries. I find for myself, when I get burned out I also write things for the systems that we are not playing at the time. This also brought me out of any funk I might have.
Runequest was bad because the GM was attempting a game for immersion where everyone kept track of their High Holy Days on their own calendar - I hated that immediately, as I don't like that kind of requirement. I don't like that sort of simulationism, tracking ammo and that sort of accounting and unnecessary piffle that completely does the opposite, removes any semblance of immersiveness by requiring you to do bookkeeping instead of roleplaying.
Jp, I will have to disagree with you on that. The tracking ammo and such I agree but if you are playing followers of a religion and are actively participating in the rp of such, knowing what your holy days are should be and what is required for participation. These activities also tend to promote new adventures for the characters and allow for interaction with NPC's of the world.
First, I'd like to address this to this site and users itself, and I have to say I'm impressed with some of the thoughtfulness I've seen in the blog section. I never really paid much attention or did much blogging myself until this last couple years when I started my own on my own site, and I saw some here but they were pretty much the usual you would expect, but occasionally I would see something out of the ordinary like this, and I began to think, hmm, well, maybe... and I've put up a few myself, and got some good replies, and I've read back some, and there really are some intellectual, good observations on gaming itself, insight into some obscure dynamics in a number of directions.
I've been pleasantly surprised, compared to what I had initially thought what popped up on here most of the time, and even a lot of the things I thought were "meh" and "same old same old", I've re-read and realized addressed issues differently or included more topics than I assumed, so kudos to everyone, and certainly the author of this entry as well.
Disclaimer: this is *not* intended to be an anti-D20 comment, but since that was, for me, where my experience happened, that can easily be the appearance, so for those sensitive to this issue, you have been warned.
I've posted elsewhere my experiences, but long and short, I've found D20 is not a good fit for me in any form and I've known that since 3.5 was replacing 3.0. As I was playing, I realized it was becoming a chore, it was a resented obligation to show up and play through the session, I was getting headaches and was depressed and stressed out, I hated the way the system worked, I could go into specifics, and most certainly have, but the bottom line is that it did not meet my criteria for what I enjoy in a game. I just quit and told the others they could game at the building but I wasn't going to continue. They quit too, as they were driving in 45 minutes, so while I felt bad and was why I had gone so long already, it wasn't worth it to me - if it wasn't fun, it wasn't a game.
I've thought about it; I started with redbox or BECMI or whatever, and AD&D2E but had moved to other games, and only when we tried Stargate were we forced back into D&D because you needed the PHB to make characters, so we decided to try D&D to get used to the system and maybe everybody just decided to play D&D instead of Stargate or what. I don't know if I had an unconscious resentment that we didn't play Stargate or what, but it eventually wouldn't have mattered because I just don't like the way the system works and I don't understand how people are satisfied with it and play it religiously and especially do like the OP and translate other games to it.
BUT - now off that track. I've had similar experiences, as burnout doesn't pick certain systems, and it does indeed depend on your obsessive adherence. We played Call of Cthulhu (BRP) super-regularly for about a year and it eventually started to wear me down; I don't know if it was the darkness of it, the gritty Lovecraftian antagonists, cannibals, etc., the liberal character death, the broad spread of percentile skill ratings and relative long time to raise them, the 1920's setting that I couldn't ever identify with very well... I don't know, but it became a similar chore, plus it was always so serious - we joked some but there was never any real levity for any amount of time - it's a depressing game, overall, and when you're someone who already has chronic depression... yeah. Same with Warhammer FRP 1 and 2E, besides it being like CoC in a lot of ways (to me anyway), it is just "thick" in a lot of ways, lot of careers to dig through, skills and talents kinda scattered, the setting is pretty "clingy", I don't know how to describe it, that's just the way it always felt to me, plus again, similar to CoC, the potential lethality of it keeps it tense in any sort of situation with physical danger. Runequest was bad because the GM was attempting a game for immersion where everyone kept track of their High Holy Days on their own calendar - I hated that immediately, as I don't like that kind of requirement. I don't like that sort of simulationism, tracking ammo and that sort of accounting and unnecessary piffle that completely does the opposite, removes any semblance of immersiveness by requiring you to do bookkeeping instead of roleplaying.
I've now got a good variety of games I've looked at and like, though my group has dissolved - I still like WFRP2, CoC and then Feng Shui, but also I think I like Savage Worlds, D6 seems ok, etc. I'd recommend you try some "lite" games, even try Wushu, or look at it, by Daniel Bayn. I myself now lean toward rules-medium to lite games, action movie stuff, high cinematics, solid but simple rules, competent to awesome characters, low-detail-oriented stuff so the narration and gameplay itself is the primary focus.