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Over the years I've collected a fair number of dinosaur miniatures from dollar stores. Some of them are really close to the right scale for 28mm, but you have to keep your eye out for them. I also have some smaller ones that I use as "young" template dinosaurs for certain purposes and I've Frankensteined a lot of miniatures using odd sized bits and pieces of dinosaurs. One of my favorite custom bosses was made by grafting a stegosaurus head on a giant snake and then gluing on a bunch of octopus tentacles... Creepy for sure...
Asakura, I'm not attempting to rebut the advice you've been given about not starting with your own campaign world. It is a lot of work and if you don't have a ton of free time you will probably end up with some large gaps in your campaign.
But having said that, I was running my own campaigns in my own campaign world within a few weeks of being introduced to the game, and I'm still running campaigns in that same world today, using many of the same maps and content.
It can be done, it just requires a certain sort of compulsive dedication to doing it, and the time available to spend on it. I used to work as a night drive up teller and would draw maps and write up campaign notes as I was between customers.
Or maybe it was a shot as seen through Kili's eyes, where she was glowing radiantly in his mind..
As I said Viv, when you are desperately searching for misogyny under every rock, you'll find it even where it doesn't exist.
As I also said, this sort of thing is a deadly insult, the sort of personal accusation that generally reflects more on the accuser than the accused.
I always try to be polite and rational in my discussions on these boards and try my best to keep things from being personal
But you are an unmitigated ass.
One of my constant pet peeves is the Hollywood idea of a "pile of treasure."
It's not just in this movie, although this was one of the most egregious, it's in pretty much any movie with a "pile of treasure" including National Treasure or Indiana Jones or even The Mummy.
Most people don't realize that all the gold ever mined in the history of the human race would more or less fit in an Olympic sized swimming pool.
That's ALL the gold, not just the gold in a single treasure pile.
And before someone says "well, Middle Earth isn't our earth," go check your Tolkien quotes, because he asserts very much that it is.
The movie was absolutely atrocious. Save your money and see something better. The only redeeming quality in the whole movie was Benedict Cumberbatch's voice acting as Smaug
Wow Kestrel, can you provide some details about WHAT was so atrocious (without spoilers)? I mean nothing's perfect and there are always flaws in any movie, but "absolutely atrocious?" That seems harsh.
LOL Jaelithe, when you call "sentient irredeemable" an oxymoron, what am I supposed to conclude other than that you have an inability to imagine it? It's NOT an oxymoron to me because I CAN imagine it.
And the 8 years thing... LOL, I just said that it's fascinating to watch Vivianne, not that my analysis was clinical. I stand by that analysis anyway because I'm not delving into motivations or morality, I'm just pointing out what is being done right there in public.
The bottom line is that it is you and Vivianne who are passing judgment on people for playing a game where you fight sentient irredeemable monsters, because you simply can't accept that sentient irredeemable monsters can exist anywhere. You've both said it enough times that I hardly think calling that an inability to imagine is an indefensible position.
But it's time to let this rest.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
It's your naked willingness to shout your beliefs from the mountaintop and accuse those who run afoul of your prejudices and biases of horrible crimes that is the problem Vivianne.
Go ahead and believe what you want. But it would be nice if you didn't let that lead to you publicly calling people names and questioning their moral character.
Believe me, I have lots of biases and prejudices that I could turn into accusations and zealotry if I wanted to myself.
The difference between us isn't that I don't have those biases and prejudices, it's that I don't let them overrule my common sense and humility.
I used to play in a group where the player who played the party battle cleric liked to assert that his character was the most powerful character in the party. We had some good-natured discussions about whether his cleric or my druid would win in a PvP duel.
Neither of our characters would ever do PvP, so we just sort of kept ribbing each other about it.
Until the GM handed me a note out of the blue that said "You believe your allies are your enemies".
After the dust had been settled, half the party was dead, the battle cleric and the party rogue together, between them, managed to finally subdue my druid.
So there are ways to do "PvP" without true conflict in the party.
My druid would have wiped out the entire party too, if that dang cleric hadn't rolled a lucky save on a very high fort DC...
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
You don't even know what you are asserting.
What you are asserting is that YOU are the judge of what IS valid.
Jaelithe, your inability to imagine "sentient irredeemable" monsters is not my problem.
Your insistence (and Vivianne's) that since YOU can't do it, it can't be done, is my problem.
Imaginary worlds can be whatever the imaginer wants them to be. Even if that means things are possible there, that aren't possible HERE.
Vivianne, reading your posts is a fascinating exercise in practical psychoanalysis.
The assumptions you make. The motivations you accuse. The grand sweeping generalizations you apply. All in the service of biases and prejudices that you wear on your sleeve like a neon tattoo... It's really stunning sometimes.
You continue to assert that your interpretation of things is the only valid one, and that you are the only one who can judge the morals of the people you view.
I've said it before, but it is a quite stunning performance of self-actualized judgment of others based on a remarkably narrow and focused world view.
Nobody has said that they want to build worlds where horrible actions are "the virtuous choice".
The ONLY thing anyone has said here is that it is possible to imagine and therefore play in a world where there are sentient irredeemable monsters, and that doing so allows players to engage in combat simulations without getting tied up in moral knots.
Everything else you have asserted is some sort of weird compulsive perception that you insist on applying on other people based on your own biases and prejudices.
"Hey, I know, let's play a game where we get to be heroes who protect the world from rampaging goblins!"
"You genocidal bastards!"
It's absolutely fascinating to see.
Oh, and I do think your example is probably pretty common in the overall community Vivianne, so yeah, I think it's a pretty poor idea to make judgments of people's moral character based on their current role playing situation. For anyone. It is simply too easy to let our own biases and prejudices get in the way of our objectivity. As has been demonstrated here I think.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Edementine Dregon, so you agree that people's beliefs about the real world affect what kind of roleplaying they engage in? You agree that certain kinds of roleplaying should be judged? Is the point of contention just that you don't trust me personally to make any judgements?
Well, maybe if you didn't call me "misogynist" with the slightest of pretexts, I might find your judgment to be a little more reliable.
See Vivianne calling someone "misogynist" is a deadly insult, one that should be leveled only with the most careful of consideration of a preponderance of evidence, not based on one casual use of a common phrase in a manner that is completely consistent with the current discussion.
But you just go there. Blithely, confidently, boldly.
So yeah, I definitely question your personal judgment. Hard.
I didn't think she was addressing anyone directly, but instead speaking in general—that though some behaviors are innoucuous, others are, indeed, indicators of our essential selves.
And people spend 8 years in school, with years of clinical study to be able to make a wild guess at which is which in pathologically disturbed people.
To think a typical gamer is able to discern motivations of other gamers is, well, a pretty monstrous conceit.
Quite judgmental. It sets you up to be judge and jury of people based on your own prejudices and biases. Based on an innocent statement I made about women and children being flagged as 'misogynistic' I'm pretty sure your reaction to other things is just as questionable and will result in other accusations against other innocents.
But hey, it makes you feel superior, and that's what counts.
Not sure what your intentions are here, but my personal experience with large-scale battles in D&D/Pathfinder is that there are better game systems for doing that, and they can actually be combined with the RPG rules fairly easily. If you really want to do a large scale battle.
I once wrote my own wargame because we had some largescale battles going on in D&D and I didn't like the results.
But since then I've mostly stuck to the basic rules and set up specific encounters that had some outcome that would affect the larger battle. Take out the wizard raining death from his tower, or kidnap the enemy general, etc.
more than one, really:
There were so many of my favorite scenes from the book left out, including a couple with Smaug. The one I really was hoping to see with Smaug was when Smaug decided it was time to plug up that little hole on the side of the mountain and rained fiery death and destruction, essentially smashing the mountainside into rubble, forcing the dwarves to hide inside the tunnel as Smaug destroyed the door, trapping them, which is why they finally followed Bilbo.
Would you petition the DM for permission for (further) player vs. player if such occurred, AD?
It would be a character based decision. I haven't actually even played a rogue in Pathfinder, all of my rogues were played back in 3.5 and earlier versions. If it was one of my truly evil rogues who had a chip on their shoulder, ESPECIALLY when it comes to magic users, then yeah, I'd probably petition the GM to allow my rogue to teach the witch a lesson. Maybe a permanent lesson. It would depend on how embarrassing the situation was when the rogue was hexed.
It has been my experience so far that the desire to PvP is generally expressed much more strongly by one player at the table than the rest. That alone is a potential problem.
If everyone at the table wants to do it and can deal with the consequences, then fine. It just has rarely, rarely been my experience that everyone at the table wants to do it and can deal with the consequences.
137ben, I have not once suggested it was the default. In fact I have come right out and said I HOPE it's an uncommon, or even rare way to play.
I'm just saying it's a perfectly legitimate way to play and if people want to take a few hours from their week and whale away on "monsters" to blow off steam and ignore the moral implications for an afternoon...
I'm fine with that. I've done it myself. "Hey, goblins, get ready to fight!"
Nothing "wrong" with it. Sure I generally appreciate a more nuanced form of role playing, but I normally DO a more nuanced form of role playing.
If that is how that world works, BNW, yes, you absolutely can. This is yet another example of "they aren't monsters, they are misguided."
The whole argument boils down to "there's no such thing as sentient monsters."
Jaelithe, a couple of points.
1. Whether YOU have "free will" is still an open debate among philosophers and scientists, so building a world where sentient creatures lack free will is no problem at all.
2. You are asserting things as absolute facts that are nothing but your opinion.
3. Even if there is "free will" it is still possible for a world builder to create creatures that always use their will to choose evil.
4. If you want to try to pull "facts" into the discusion, the fact of the game is that the GM controls the choices of every single NPC or monster. There is no "free will" involved.
5. Whether you would find such a game to be fun or not is not the question. The question is whether it is "murder" to kill monsters. Again, "monsters", not differently colored human being analogs.
I really think that the fundamental problem some people have is the possibility of the existence of "monsters" in the first place. Every argument I see boils down to "they aren't monsters, they are just misguided."
In my world probably the closest thing to a truly irredeemable sentient species is my version of the ilithids. They eat living sentient brains to survive. I've never yet put a baby ilithid in my game, but if I did and a PC killed it, I wouldn't turn that into an alignment threatening activity. Killing something that has to eat living sentient brains to live seems to me to be a pretty defensible action.
I agree with theJeff above, and think that most of the time if the party encounters baby goblins, it is usually an attempt to force some sort of moral quandary on the party.
To me the game can be played on different levels, with different goals. I see nothing wrong with playing the game as a pure problem-solving and battle tactics simulator if that's what the group wants to do that day. In those situations throwing a moral conundrum at the party is sort of a jerk move. Giving the players a supply of legitimate targets to fight is just a way to let them blow off steam.
Another level of the game is to introduce concepts that are important in the real world, concepts like diversity, moral quandaries, etc. In those situations the RPG world is a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to concepts that they may not have really encountered in life, and that can produce some really useful life lessons.
And there are more levels than that. The game works on all of them. The trick as the GM is to figure out what level is appropriate for the players right now at this time in these circumstances. I can tell when my players are just exhausted from work, fed up with something at home, or otherwise just want to whack some monsters to blow off steam.
I am pretty careful about introducing the more complex themes to the game, but I do introduce them. I find that a little of that goes a long way though.
For the most part the best way to avoid this whole problem is to not throw a party that is in a "blow off steam" mode into a room full of baby goblins.
Mikaze, you SAY that you understand the concept, but your arguments prove otherwise. You have said that you CANNOT ACCEPT that such a condition could exist in ANYONE's games.
Are those beings sentient? I still reject it.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Heh, the pregnant woman thing is relevant because most people would consider killing a pregnant woman to be similar to killing a newborn baby Viv. In fact our own legal system can charge you with TWO murders if you kill a pregnant woman.
I rather intensely dislike PvP situations. The number of times it has happened and not devolved into personal disputes in real life have been so few as to be not worth discussing. Even when the players pretend to be OK with it at the table, I almost always start getting offline messages about how the game isn't fun anymore from one or the other, if not both.
So I discourage it very strongly in my games.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Ah, so now you come right out and say it. So don't pretend anymore that you aren't judging people who play differently Viv, you just judged them all as morally bankrupt.
Just my own personal opinion, but if someone wants to run a game where the players can confidently expect that every monster they run into is a legitimate target just because that group enjoys the concept of battle tactics, I'm not going to call them morally bankrupt because they just don't want to turn this game into a morality simulation. They just want to have some fun killing monsters.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Only for those who look for misogynists under every rock Viv.
Perhaps I should have described the monsters as asexual, the point of including women was that women are usually the ones having babies, and sometimes they tend to be pregnant.
Mikaze, so it's OK for you to present your opinion, but if I rebut it, that's beyond the pale?
This sort of thing happens to me a lot. I can't help but try to get to the core of an issue and get it exposed so it can be addressed.
That's why on the "murderhobo" thread I'm pretty much arguing the exact opposite position that I'm taking here. On that thread I am pointing out that the vast majority of gamers don't go around slaughtering babies because they are green. On this thread I am pointing out that a logical world could be constructed where doing so is actually plausible.
I don't tend to play that way, but I've played with perfectly normal, morally upright people who have played that way. They view monsters as monsters and it is just a different level of game abstraction to play that way.
Again, what if you create worlds where the unrepentant, irredeemable monsters erupt out of pods fully adult? Is that a world that would be acceptable to kill the monsters on sight?
It is one thing to "outright reject that" in your own game design. It is quite another to assert that other people's worlds can't work that way. That's not "different strokes" that's "my way is the only way."
I had once thought that a core principle of this hobby was that people could play it as they like without being accused of "badwrongfun" so long as everyone at the table is OK with it.
Except for this, I suppose.
For what it is worth, before you begin to heap piles of condescending moral judgment on me, I don't run games like that. Just because I defend a logical position doesn't mean I agree with it. I can just make the argument dispassionately without resorting to accusations of moral turpitude or badwrongfun.
I wonder how many people noticed in the LotR movies when the orcs were being "born" at Isengard, they were being born adult and already monsters? Did you realize as you were watching that scene that it was a deliberate means of avoiding the "what about killing baby orcs?" issue?
So Viv and Mik and the rest of you recoiling in abject moral disgust, what about a world where there are no helpless women or baby goblins or orcs? Is it OK then to have orcs or goblins be "unrepentant, irredeemable monsters" because then you don't have to deal with the repugnant idea of cutting down cute little green babies?
It is clear to me that many people simply cannot accept or understand the notion of "unrepentant, irredeemable monsters."
Because the first thing that people say is "well, if you raise the babies right, you can redeem them. So killing them is murder."
This is a definitional problem. The DEFINITION in play is that the babies are irredeemable.
When you argue that those irredeemable babies can be redeemed, you are arguing that the concept of "unrepentant, irredeemable monster" is impossible.
It is not impossible. It is a game design decision. If someone wants to create a world with monsters who cannot be redeemed, then that's their prerogative. To then say, "well, it's still murder because there is some possibility that SOME of those monsters could be redeemed" is to essentially say "I know how your world works better than you do."
However, it is clear that the folks who have not understood this concept until now are not likely to do so in the future, so I'll just hope that the majority of lurkers reading this understand the concept of "unrepentant, irredeemable monsters" and recognize that if someone wants to run their world that way, well, it's their world.
And yes, it is also fine to create a world and define certain races that way JUST TO ALLOW players to have targets they can kill without remorse or moral quandary. Because it's a GAME that is fundamentally designed to allow just that.
If it would be murder to kill a human in the same circumstance, it's murder to kill an orc/goblin/drow/naga/etc.
This is only true if the world that you are playing in is one where orc/goblin/drow/naga/etc. are not unrepentant, irredeemable monsters. In worlds where they are unrepentant, irredeemable monsters, killing them on sight is pure and simple self-defense, just as it would be to kill a rabid dog.
How people choose to play dictates what is and isn't murder. Asserting that there is only one way to see this is asserting there is only one way to play the game.
Just saw it myself and on its own as a fantasy movie with dragons, elves, dwarves and monsters, it was an excellent movie, well paced, well acted (mostly) and wonderful costumes and special effects.
Smaug himself was.... truly the chief of calamities.
But it really wasn't "The Hobbit" in content or feel. After watching two Hobbit movies by Peter Jackson, I feel sad that I haven't actually seen one Hobbit movie yet.
But the movie itself was a great movie. And if he had filmed "The Hobbit" maybe it wouldn't have translated well to the big screen. The chief joy I get out of reading the Hobbit is the charm that is located in the parts Jackson left out of the movie.
Heh, totally off-topic of course... but as a Denver area resident, I watched Shanahan win two Super Bowls with the team that Wade Phillips built, then saw him screw up every draft and get snookered on the majority of his free agent deals. The exact same thing is happening in DC. Shanahan may be a great play designer and caller (although I would challenge even that) but he is unquestionably a horrible personnel and talent evaluater. If he insists again on full control in those areas, he may not get hired anywhere.