It is a serious inconvenience to have to deal with the situation if you have any investment in the game at all. I am willing to deal with that inconvenience for a good reason. "I didn't get my way so I'm leaving" is not sufficient reason for one person to inconvenience the whole table.
Again, these are social mores that no doubt have fallen into disuse and neglect, but that's the way I was raised.
In the OP's situation as described I would have made the best of it for the sake of the other players.
Because I was raised that way.
Rynjin, it is rare that I find myself in a situation playing D&D where one player leaving in the middle of combat (or even not in combat) would not create serious difficulties for the rest of the players at the table who have coordinated their strategy and tactics around the group and suddenly no longer have a tank, or a blaster or a healer.
Your analogy would be more appropriate if you used a baseball game and the only kid who could pitch worth a damn walked out because he thought he had thrown a strike and the umpire called it a ball.
Mark, I've got bins full of cast but unassembled Hirst blocks, a cavern complete with underground lake and various and sundry bridges, towers, rooms, etc. done in Hirst blocks.
It's become a hobby all its own. In spite of my great enjoyment of making stuff out of them I have come to realize that a little bit of it goes a long, long way during an actual game. It can be a real pain to try to assemble a table-sized dungeon out of those blocks.
I'm in the midst of buying a new house. For that past decade all of my gaming has been at other people's houses or gaming stores because I live deep in the mountains and it wasn't practical to have people drive out here. With the new house in town I hope to be able to incorporate much more of my terrain since I won't have to break it down and haul it halfway across the state to play.
Let me use an analogy.
I am in the process of buying a house. This is an expensive and life-altering decision, not merely of what house to buy, but what neighborhood to look in, what schools and public facilities are nearby, what the crime rate has been, what the political environment is....
It's a complex multi-tiered decision that has a near infinite number of moving variables compounded by daily changes to my own financial and emotional state which means that what looked good to me today might not look as good tomorrow.
But in the end I picked a house. It was the "best house" available for the situation I was in. But of course I only knew things about the house that I could see from a quick walkthrough. But once you pick the house and put it under contract, you've pretty much set the events in action that will end up with moving into the new house.
Then you get the inspection report with details about problems the house has that your untrained eye did not detect.
Is it still the "best house"? Well, at this point you are invested in the house, but you can still ask for some fixes before you move in.
And that continues even after you move in. Rooms that you originally thought were perfect for your needs turn out to be cramped, or drafty or the lighting isn't right during the winter...
So you gripe about those things, even though if it really, REALLY bothered you, you'd just move. But moving is a very difficult decision and there is no guarantee that you'll end up in a better house after all. So you gripe. It's cheaper.
Grey Lensman" wrote:
When I play a witch, I tend to keep the spells in reserve for things that the hexes cannot affect, or for spells that might not always be useful, but are devastating when the situation arrives
Funny, I use exactly the same tactic when playing any spellcaster, except replace "things that hexes cannot affect" with "situations that overwhelm the party's mundane abilities".
I love witches. I think they are the best non-core class from pretty much any perspective. They are powerful, versatile, flavorful and unique.
Too bad they get "slumber" hex which I see so many players turn into a spam-key every encounter.
Well, Kmal2t already did a fine job of explaining the hyperbolic strawman in your argument here Rynjin so I won't belabor that point. I had previously stated that there were limits to what is acceptable or tolerable in ANY social activity, and that walking out on a social activity of any sort (D&D, dinner and a movie, casual lunch, poker night, etc.) is an activity that will be viewed by those you are with as either appropriate or inappropriate based on their interpretation of the severity of the situation at the time.
"I'm not having fun so I'm leaving" as described by the OP and as defended by several posters on this thread is boorish behavior. It's "I'm taking my ball and going home."
In fact that sort of attitude is so universally recognized as immature and selfish that I find it remarkable not only that you defend it, but that people mark your defense as "favorites". Oh well, I frequently find myself amazed at which posts are marked as "favorites" on these boards. Nothing new there.
Sure, if the GM throws a glass of soda in your face, walk out. Agreeing to play by certain rules and then not liking the fact that the rules don't favor you the way you hoped they would is not appropriate for walking out and ruining the game for everyone else.
Or at least it didn't used to be, back when I was learning how to interact with other people in social situations.
Times change apparently.
I used to create reams of highly detailed maps, first drawn by hand, then when computers became commonplace, using computer graphics programs (going all the way back to the original "MacPaint" in fact...)
My first dungeon had an entire loose-leaf binder dedicated just to my maps alone. I still have them, and I frequently find them useful even today.
Probably the zenith of my mapping activity was about ten years ago when I mapped out every single square foot of a massive goblin lair, printed the maps on 8.5x11 paper and taped them all together into a single super-map that was much too big to fit on our gaming table, so it had to hang off the edge. I covered the entire thing with clear contact paper to waterproof and strengthen it, then covered it with masking tape to hide the details until the party explored an area.
It was epic. My gaming group loved it. The final result was about six feet by nine feet, and literally every inch of it was part of the lair.
However it was a logistical and creative nightmare, and I eventually had the pages printed at a Kinkos because I was using up so much printer ink it was costing me a fortune. After that I built a digital gaming table so that I could create virtual maps and just display them on the digital display built into the table. That was (and is) also awesome. I used Dundjinni and MapTools as my primary mapping software.
But lately I've started making 3D terrain out of Hirst Arts plaster casting molds, which is not merely more gritty and detailed, but allows for highly specific three-dimensional modeling of castles, turrets, bridges, etc.
At some point I think I may discover that I have a problem...
My advice to you is get some basic white board, draw your 1" grid in indelible marker ink and use dry erase markers to draw your maps as you go. Seriously, it will save you a fortune in equipment, furniture and luggage, not to mention years of your life you'll have to actually play the game.
I play a witch. When I looked up the witch class and came upon "slumber hex" my immediate reaction was "wow, what a crazy overpowered thing that is. I'll never use it."
And I think that reaction has been vindicated many, many times in game play and in commentary I've seen here and other places.
Slumber hex is witch easy mode. Period. Without slumber witches are a versatile and powerful class already. With slumber hex witches are walking coup de grace machines.
Etymology is a funny thing. Words take sometimes tortuous paths to their current usage. While the word "geek" may well have been used in the early 20th century to describe carnival sideshow performers, that does not mean that the word "geek" used to describe a highly technical person was derived from the prior use of the word "geek". Sometimes words are just made up. "Nerd" was supposedly made up on the spot by Dr. Seuss. Using "geek" to mean a highly technical person may also have been spontaneously coined by someone who had no knowledge of the word's archaic usage.
The earliest documented use of "geek" used to mean a highly technical person appears to have been in the 1970s. Based on the context it was used, it appears to have been already in general use in that regard by the book's author. There is no indication that it has any connection in that use to the prior use of the word.
My guess is that "geek" as it is used today was coined spontaneously early in the high-tech revolution of the late 60s, early 70s and has no connection whatsoever to biting the heads off chickens.
Brian E. Harris wrote:
The campaign to properly define "geek" vs "nerd" is still in its early stages Brian.
Let's check back again in five years and see where we stand. :)
I will point out that Best Buy no doubt put a lot of money into testing "geek squad" vs "nerd squad" and you can see what they ended up with.
Sometimes following the money gets you to the right destination.
My Toyota Yaris has 200,000 miles on it and has not broken down once. That's part of why I think it's a high quality automobile.
I don't ignore connotations of the word "quality" I simply assert that connotations don't matter when the attribute is unmeasurable. Then it just becomes word games.
Hmmm... back that up and strike it out.
I concur with your comment about connotation vs denotation. And I even agree that in the main the connotations of the word "quality" are fairly commonly applied.
You still can't measure it though.
Brian E. Harris wrote:
Yes Brian, that's how languages evolve.
I don't mind doing my bit to make language evolve the way I think it should. I admit I lost that battle back in the 90s with "hacker" but I'm an optimist and think my preferred definitions of "geek" and "nerd" will become the standard within a few years. They are definitely progressing in that direction.
Hama, I am a word person. I love the subtle differences in connotations that different words apply.
In general use the connotations of "nerd" are almost wholly negative, while the connotations of "geek" are a mix of negative and positive. Since I appreciate the importance of connotation, I try to guide people to use the words appropriately so that those connotations can be reinforced and eventually embedded in their definitions. This is important because the world NEEDS a way to distinguish between actual accomplished individuals (geeks) and poseurs and incompetents (nerds) when discussing those of us with out-of-the-mainstream hobbies and interests.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Interestingly, in many of the philosophical dissertations on the subject of "quality" as a fundamental concept, they reach the same conclusion for ALL uses of "quality". In the end "quality" is ineffable. It means nothing in general since you can't get everyone to agree what the appropriate measures are.
Obviously this subject fascinates me. It was a prominent element in the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." Many, if not most, of the great philosophers eventually delved into the question of what constitutes "quality", and in the end nothing has ever really been settled. It remains in the realm of "I know it when I see it, but I can't really define it" and is different for everyone.
For example, I consider my Toyota Yaris to be an extremely high quality automobile. I base that on the fact that it does the job I need from it with less time and money invested into accomplishing that goal than just about any other vehicle on earth. In that sense I take a John Stuart Mill approach to "quality". Other people might take a more Platonic view, where "quality" is some mystical attribute that truly exists within the item being examined, even if there is no current means to measure it.
Heh... probably lost the rest of the audience. But I enjoyed it.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
But we DO have another means to validate the "quality" of a sit-com, and that is "how well does it allow advertisers to reach their target demographics?"
And in that measure, TBBT is a very, very high quality sit-com indeed.
Kirth, if my Timex loses accuracy, I can reset it to the correct time. If that takes me a minute to do once per month, then for a 12 minute investment in time I get the same practical accuracy from my $5 Timex as Van Snobhead does from his $50K Rolex.
That's actually part of the quality discusion. Unless your time is worth $250,000 an hour, then you're wasting money on the Rolex, which is a low-quality decision.
The only time the improved accuracy of a Rolex would actually come into play is for someone who has no other means to validate and reset their time, and NEEDS TO do so. Right now I would say that describes exactly ZERO PERCENT of the human population.
Back to sit-coms, we've already decided that "quality" is subjective in that realm. In terms of taste, I know what I like, and I like TBBT. Which is more or less the beginning and end of discussing how "good" the show is, if you aren't going to accept general popular acclaim.
Kirth, while I concur that "quality" in the performing arts is pretty much by definition a subjective measure, the philosophical inquiry into the concept of "quality" tends to end up with the conclusion that "quality" is purely subjective in EVERY instance.
Sticking with Rolex watches as an example...
There are fundamental design limitations to the Rolex watch that restrict accuracy to a measurable quantity. That accuracy is not nearly sufficient for any truly scientific purpose, where accuracy to micro, pico or even femto seconds are required. From that perspective as a time-measuring device a Rolex watch is like a stone club compared to a jewelers hammer. It's rather humorous to even consider a Rolex watch to be a device that would be used to measure time.
However, in the sense of normal human time needs, Rolex watches do provide accuracy that is more than sufficient to allow for day-to-day activities. But so does that $5 Timex I can pick up at Wal-Mart. The difference in accuracy between a $5 digital Timex and a $50,000 precision Rolex is generally well below any margin of error needed by human schedules.
In other words, it's a level of "accuracy" that is unnecessary. Or to use another word, it is a level of accuracy that is wasted. And not merely wasted in comparison to other watches, but wasted at GREAT expense. So when you measure "quality" as pure accuracy, perhaps (and I stress the "perhaps") a Rolex is a smidgeon better than a dime-store Timex, but if you measure "quality" as "performs the service needed at the least investment of resources" then that Timex is light-years ahead of the Rolex in terms of actual quality.
There is a reason that engineers coined the term "over-engineering." In the end the goal is to provide the necessary functionality at the most reasonable cost, and in general that is a better measure of "quality" than focusing purely on how well the functionality is achieved. Over-engineering is a bad thing because it wastes time and resources which could be better utilized improving "quality" of life somewhere else.
Now, if you instead measure the "quality" of a watch by how much it makes people recognize how elite and wealthy you are, then that Rolex is definitely the highest "quality" watch on the planet.
It's all in what you decide "quality" means.
Kirth, "quality" is a very ambiguous term. There have been many, many deep philosophical treatises written on what "quality" means. Henri Poincare spent a lot of time on this.
In the main the general, popularly accepted understanding of what "quality" means could be written as "performs its intended function."
If the goal of the show is to appeal to a mass audience, then its "quality" is self-evident.
To address your Rolex analogy. Rolex watches are an over-engineered product that relies on marketing and elite appeal for its sales, not its "quality." I've seen many comparisons of relatively cheap watches that are every bit as accurate and rugged as Rolex watches. I would suggest that spending that much money on such a trivial purpose is an exercise in elitism, not "quality."
The only thing I can say is that there is a reason the show remains at the top of the ratings year after year.
I used to run a magazine and we would get letters from our subscribers. After reading through reams and reams of commentary about our product, my main QA person and I came up with a mantra that went something like this:
"There is nothing so good that someone, somewhere won't think our magazine is better.
"There is nothing so bad that someone, somewhere won't think our magazine is worse."
Individual reaction is merely anecdote. Validation of the quality of mass-marketed products is generally affirmed through overall popular reaction.
As it should be.
TBBT is a sit-com. It is a half-hour show that derives its profitability on its ability to attract and retain a large enough audience to convince advertisers to pay for commercial time between show segments.
That's all it is. No more. No less.
Sit-coms in general have severe limitations around character development, plot intricacy, sophistication and targets of humor.
Most sit-coms are built around the premise of a group of individuals who share some particular trait or circumstance and how that plays off against the rest of the sit-com's "world."
The vast, vast majority of sit-coms are vapid, mindless, predictable, formulaic regurgitations of previously successful sit-coms.
Every now and then, usually about once or twice a decade, a sit-com will transcend these limitations and become something unique and memorable. Usually that is entirely due to the characters in the show and their interactions which the audience finds engaging and inviting.
The Big Bang Theory is successful because it has clever writing, a unique "hook", some of the best acting in sit-coms in decades and a genuine sense of goodwill among the leading characters.
Sheldon Cooper is perhaps the single most compelling sit-com character to emerge on the scene since Barney Fife. The overriding achievement of the show is how it has managed to turn such an unlikeable personality into an extremely sympathetic character portrait. Again, much like Barney Fife. There is a pronounced lack of opportunity for subtlety in the sit-com format, but the show manages to exhibit a great deal of subtlety in most, if not all, of the relationships involved.
The fact that the show remains fresh and funny to this day instead of devolving into misplaced attempts to become social commentary is one of its greatest sources of appeal to me. The vast, vast majority of sit-coms from Hollywood get a fatal case of self-importance if they do well enough to get renewed for more than a few years. Then every other episode becomes a "special episode" where the writers attempt (usually very badly) to deal with some supposedly compelling social issue by twisting the story, plot and characterization of the show's characters around to provide some sort of social commentary that is believed by the writers and their Hollywood sycophants to "validate" the purpose of the show.
As long as TBBT continues to stay true to its concept and allow its characters to develop naturally, it will probably remain fresh and funny. When they start using their "platform" to promote the writers' and producers' personal ideological pet projects, it will fall apart like most other sit-coms do.
So far they have managed to avoid that. And that's a major reason I still watch the show.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Is arguing over the definitions of specific epithets geeky or nerdy?
If the arguments presented are rational, factual and presented in a consistent, coherent and convincing manner, then geeky.
If the arguments presented are irrational, emotional, opinions presented as facts and accompanied by appeals to unrecognized authority, then nerdy.
Reading through the posts on this subject is a continual source of "OMG" moments for me in how people seem to interpret what is, and is not, socially appropriate behavior.
Perhaps it is best that I find myself gaming with people who seem to share my ideas of how to behave in public, with friends, after making commitments about what I would be willing to do.
I am amazed by how many people think "I'm not having fun" is a perfectly acceptable excuse for being a boor.
And the answer to that is that Hollywood as an industry has largely run completely out of ideas and is desperate to get ANYTHING that they can mine for SOMETHING that might spark an original thought.
This is an industry that has thrown four versions of Superman, three versions of Spiderman, remakes of every moderately successful adventure, sci-fi or fantasy vehicle in the history of filmdom and has been so desperate that they have turned marginally humorous Saturday Night Live character sketches into full-length feature films.
Hollywood is out of ideas. Has been for years. Running on empty and getting nowhere.
TBBT plays stereotypes for laughs because that's what sitcoms do. That's pretty much the fundamental coinage of sitcomery.
By and large the geek jokes presented on that show are presented in a manner that does not "mock" the geek culture. The show's writers are remarkably good at "getting geek right" imho. One of my favorite moments of the show is when Leonard is presenting a paper and wants to lead in with a joke and comes up with a joke about a physicist helping a chicken farmer by redesigning the farm's systems. The punch line is "of course this assumes spherical chickens in a vacuum."
That is, in fact, a brilliant physics geek joke. One that any physics or serious engineering student would immediately get but which the vast majority of the population would say "huh?" If the show's writers didn't "get" geek, that joke would never have been written, much less delivered and kept in the script.
As far as last night's episode goes, I was pleased with the portrayal of D&D and in fact remarked to my wife that it was one of the most accurate portrayals of the games I've been in that I've ever seen on TV, with the sole exception of the geeks objecting when Penny wanted to roll the dice. That bugged me, but didn't ruin the setup. All in all I found the portrayal of D&D in the episode to be reasonably accurate, generally positive and frequently funny.
The problem with virtually all of the analysis in this thread is the bare assumption that the movie is expected to target actual D&D players, and so needs to somehow be true to the D&D experience.
If I know my Hollywood (and I think I do) the first person in the creative group who says "That's not how D&D works!" will be immediately kicked out the door with a "We aren't looking to sell tickets to grimy socially inept teenagers who live in their parents' basements."
Because that's how Hollywood views gamers.
So they will target a mass audience and as such will pretty much ignore what actual D&D players want to see.
The only advice I have for a player who wants to play an illusionist is to take your GM out to lunch and tell him/her that the purpose is to get on the same page with how illusions work.
Too many times I've seen games become arguments between a player and a GM and how they interpret illusion effectiveness.
Nope, never walked out on a game. Never had anyone walk out on me as GM either.
Such behavior goes beyond "game behavior" and enters the "socially appropriate behavior" realm. I would only walk out on a group of people I had agreed to participate in an event if something seriously personally insulting or threatening occurred.
It's just a game.
Marthkus, if you think we can "explain" the "thermodynamics" of, say, a steam engine, you are fooling yourself.
It is not required to have a doctoral dissertation on the thermodynamics of magic missile to have a consistent, predictable, rational world for your PCs Marthkus.
Unless you accept "Because it's magic" when you ask your level one wizard player how their unique custom-researched spell has slain your CR 30 huge, ancient red dragon in one round, don't waste my time lecturing me how "because magic" allows anything to happen in fantasy.
Some GMs find it important to have their worlds behave in rational, predictable, consistent ways as opposed to a Harry Potter world where "it's magic" allows for just about any arbitrary thing to happen just because "it's cool."
A GM who takes the time and effort to work out and keep consistent the actual in game effects of spells, even non-combat spells, is indeed a "special kind" of GM Marthkus, but you and I have completely different ideas of how that GM is "special."
Yeah, I know, that's why I won't play with any GM who won't let me defeat a dragon by grabbing onto his nose hairs to keep him from breathing on me.
Stupid meany GMs...
Jumping further down into the rabbit hole...
At a molecular level there is a ton of "space" between each molecule, so if we are truly only interested in the volume of the material, then the molecular volume of most solids is much less than the spatial volume, by a huge margin.
But when you go to nuclear scales, it gets even crazier. A typical atom is 99.999999% purely empty space all by itself!.
So if we're going to talk about TRUE volume of material being affected by this spell, since a typical mountain will compress down into less than a teaspoonful of neutron star matter (and we're not even talking about quarks and gluons yet) then this spell could conceivably shrink down an entire planet if you TRULY want to calculate out MATERIAL VOLUME.
I like Marshall_Jansen's approach and that's how we rule in our games.
But to answer your question Marshall, the way you calculate the volume of all those complex and changing shapes is "calculus."
The assertion that a "strong voice" is equivalent to the sounds of battle is pretty much laughable.
But it's still a "strong voice", not a "whisper."
So, yes, you do have to make allowances for how far your voice might carry inside a quiet dungeon if you are going to buff without detection. There are ways to do it though, including using metamagic rods or feats, or simply utilizing areas of silence.
One of the best ways to do this is for your spellcasters to make potions of common buff spells and have everyone just drink the potion before going into battle. For spells that can't be made into potions some can be cast silently using wondrous items or other magic items.
Of course that all presupposes that the PCs plan their tactics, which I know is generally frowned upon by many vociferous posters on these boards.
Harumph. Adventurers who go from door to door without scouting ahead AT ALL, EVER, would not last long in my dungeons.
That's because my NPCs and monsters are not passively waiting to be slaughtered by roaming murder hobos. My NPCs and monsters actually act as though they have a lick of sense.
If the OP was unwilling to play in a game where the GM rolled his stats, he was free to say so and decline the invitation on those grounds.
To accept that the GM would roll stats and then stomp out the door when the GM rolled poorly for him is not a game issue. It's a personal responsibility and accountability issue.
I have a rule in life. I never trust anyone who cheats at golf.