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Red Dragon

Auxmaulous's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,933 posts (3,022 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 21 aliases.


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I haven't put in the work yet but I have always had this as a default consideration for the Lonely Coast/Lost Lands. To me the Lonely Coast has a very early to mid-80's AD&D feel, while the LL going back a little further. I would personally love to see a RS/FGG cross-over product.

My intention was to use the Lonely Coast as as fill-in part of more civilized, yet still remote parts of the Lost Lands. Sort of good close up look at specific Borderlands villages and hamlets in somewhat safer territories. Excellent for low-level play, some intrigue, encroaching evil and a less metropolitan base for forays into more dangerous and high level sites.

I think you are on to something and I don't think it would be too hard to pull off. I wish I had more to offer atm, but I haven't run PF/AD&D in awhile. When I do it will be a LC/LL combo as both of them fill different aspects of that old school feel.

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Well, that was painful. Added in another 54.00 of stuff that was missing from the first backer kit.

Still may add in the Players Handbook.

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Qu0zl wrote:
That I would definitely buy!

I have the PF hardback and the original Tsar installment files and I too would pick this up! This is great news.

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

Look, I get it. There's some kind of positive emotion component to joining a game "at level 1", on the ground floor, at the beginning, etc. But how long has it been since the release of 3E? 16 years? come on, at this point, a lot of us have seen and felt that level 1 feel by now, countless times.

Plus, you have to remember that Paizo has a module line too, and that there are homecampaigns out there.

Honestly, I think the average AP subscriber would be ready for something new in terms of format. But I get it, there's a strong sentiment towards keeping the format the same, etc. Lots of people want that level 1 feel etc.

Personally, as a GM, I find it so freaggin' easy to run a level 1 game and pull a few low level monsters out of the books when I need them. The intro of characters, the hardship event that bonded them all together, etc. Where I'd get the most bang for my bucks would be high level adventure design, as this would take a lot of my personal time to do. Statting high level monsters and NPCs is where it starts feeling like a job for me, so I'd love it if Paizo would do more of that for me.

I'm 100% behind a level 20 hard mode AP, btw. Not a level 1-20 AP. Some of us can't clear our calendars for that long; many groups tend not to see these long ass APs to their end...

They could do both actually.

A large-sized format module that runs from level 1-4/5 that can serve as a stand alone adventure, but also key's into an associated AP that starts at 4th (1st part) and runs to 18th level (6th part).

Purist can run the prologue module as a sort of 7 part AP, while those who want to start higher - or more importantly want it to end higher get what they want (and skip the low level prologue).

It would play a little havoc with the release schedule, but it would allow for some more connectivity from start to finish overall since more time is spent on the source material (and supporting products) for the theme/region of the AP.

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
That said, I also suspect that the PF people can do Cosmic Horror, if only because they're pretty good at that sort of thing in general.
No, they are not. I can't think of a standout horror adventure from Paizo that was actually good.

Hangman's Noose, by Nick Logue.

Hook Mountain Massacre can also be run very well as horror, though it's more on the gross-out/black humor side.

Doug M.

Neither one of those modules were PF (pathfinder) they were for 3.5 and that was a long time ago.

The closest thing that would qualify in recent years would be Carrion Hill and the Carrion Crown AP - which had some great writers but who I feel were constrained by the Paizo module format re: limited (difficulty, offensive content, CR based encounters, overall limiting AP format, etc).

If they produced a list of writers for SA that included Vaughan, Pett and Logue and avoid some of the other house regulars I may consider - with a caveat included that A) This will be more difficult, B) This will be disturbing C) This may not be winnable, at least without some sacrifice, D) The writers will not be constrained by the usual AP nonsense.

Otherwise it will follow the same tired and old PF AP formula (ok opening mods, filler middle and not very good final mod).

Do I think that Paizo wants to write a good horror mod, or cosmic horror - I'm sure they do - can they with the gloves on following the PF/AP standard. No, they cannot.

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What lore are you looking at?

Serpent Folk are derivative of Serpent Men - a creator race of snake humanoids of evil intent, part of which have degenerated over the years since the dawn of time. They were created by Robert E Howard (Conan, et al) going bact to the 1920's and 30's.

Lovecraft adapted them for his mythos (he was Howard's friend and they often shared concepts) where they were masters of illusions, deception & manipulation and ultra-powerful sorcerers. They have plots that transcend human generations and even their own deaths.

They don't get controlled, they control you.

You have to go beyond the very brief lore of the Paizo Bestiaries on this one.

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Upped mine by another $42 bringing it up to $209 - glad I started working again!

Hope we can soon get the The Tome of Blighted Horrors out into the night.


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Skeeter Green wrote:

It needes more....

"send ...more... adventurers...."

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Number 83 -backed as Veteran + the two modules, will probably add in the decks and guides later, oh and the map, and, and....we'll just have to see if this one goes far enough or even too far.

"....you're a naughty one Bloody Jack!"

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Currently use vertical because they are fill-in/replaceable screens and I also need it for a d100 chart (easier to format than horizontal panels). I am beta testing a game right now and the rules change frequently and I am not 100% in my memory.

Side note: best part of making your own game is when you read a rule and say "who wrote this crap"?

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Drunk Gaming History?

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Like those who have posted here outraged at the potential presence of accurately-depicted mental illnesses, the recourse of these victims is to play an RPG with a different focus, or play a Pathfinder campaign that depicts violence more realistically as a temporary solution rather than as The solution.

So your advice to people who suffered from RL violence, or just offended by it is to play and RPG with a different focus ...why again wouldn't this apply to people who have or are sensitive to mental illness issues?

Why is the latter group more exclusive or need to be accommodated with a change or revision?

EDIT: This gem needed attention

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
There are far fewer misconceptions about violence than there are about mental illness—save for the misconception that mentally ill people are inherently violent, naturally. Please cite specific cases if you wish to draw parallels between use of deceptive interpretations of actual mental disorders and the tendency of this game to feature violence against demons and gibbering mouthers as the sole solution.

How naive.

Because PCs never kill humanoids or other humans or in turn have violence visited upon them by the same NPCs? Riiight!

What about actual physical effects of violence vs. deceptive gamist application and handling of violence of RPGS? Violence isn't being falsely framed or depicted? Sanitized for mass consumption?

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Irontruth wrote:
Also, if you don't know who I am, why are you making assumptions about me? It's insulting.

You should take your own advice. You are making assumptions about me and who I am or what challenges I face in relation to this issue. Don't do it.

Just because I hold the opinion that it's a non-issue in RPGs that doesn't mean that I am not close to the issue or that it doesn't play a role in my daily life.

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Just got my call I was waiting for, backer #567 Complete GM book set.

Hey, better late then never.

Dark Archive

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Irontruth wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
No, this is just a SJW looking to make inroads in gaming to gain a foothold and influence. Same old same old. Telling people to feel bad, what they are doing wrong, etc.

So, it's your opinion that if it's culturally acceptable to be mean to people, others aren't allowed to point it out?

For example, I see someone yelling at a small child (not their own), saying rude comments and generally being mean... I'd be a SJW for telling them to stop? Cause that's what you're saying. I understand you don't think you're saying that, but you are.

No, false equivalancy and poor comparison.

RPGs for purchase with potentially disagreeable content =/= yelling at a child on the street.

Get your priorities straight.

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Irontruth wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Sounds great, but if more subsistence farmers and small peasants are driven off of their lands because of increased concentration of industrial agribusiness...

I don't know. Sounds more and more like a situation comparable to the original Luddites.

But, whatever. God knows I ingest enough toxic shiznit on a daily basis, what do I care?

Bring on the Frankenfoods!

Yup. And the solution isn't banning GMOs, it's a workers revolution that includes farmers.

Oh come on IT, that's Anklebiter's solution to EVERYTHING.

Income equality? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

Inflation? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

Political corruption? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

Pizza late? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

He ran out of doobie? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

Pet stains on the carpet? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

Writing stealing your soul? International Socialist Worker's Revolution.

No, sometimes his solution is to have sex with it.

In the street!

Ok, going back to fake ignore.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Tabletop RPGs aren't just a game.

They're also a media form. And, therefore, an art form. People who design mechanics are practicing a form of media and making deliberate choices. The same is true for video games, of course. That's why, say, racist first-person shooter video games have the potential to be problematic—yes, these games are "just for fun", but they're also media, and media carries influence—and tells people who is and isn't welcome within that mediasphere.

No, games are just that - games. I am currently designing a game, I am not an artist - I am an amateur (until I publish) game designer. That's it.

Is gaming a form of communication, yes - so it qualifies as media. The thing I vehemently disagree with you on is that media = art. A McDonald's commercial advertising the new and improved McRibb is just that, it's a form of media - specifically a commercial advertising food. Let me graph it for you: McRibb Commercial = media =/= art.

Racist first person shooters are not made by large game companies but by extremest to spread the word of hate and to find kindered spirits. Something like Ethnic Cleansing put out by the National Alliance - also a form of media because it's propaganda, but that crap is not art.
Ethnic Cleansing = propaganda = media =/= art.

RPG Games = Media =/= Art

Not saying that rpgs cannot be perceived as art (by an individual) or be artistic in nature and style - but an rpg, a functional rpg - is first and foremost a game or it isn't an rpg and is something else.

-----------

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
stuff about mental illness in movies and TV

I think you are being bit oversensitive and looking for bogymen/windmills/crusade like the tumblr writer of that terrible article that you cited.

Mental illness in movies/tv - aka "he was crazy" is just lazy writing. On top of all of that most mental illnesses portrayed by villains are either criminal sociopath-personality disorders or someone who has become obsessed/fixated on a specific goal/person that they commit a crime. That's it.

They don't say it because of: ignorance, lazy, too much detail for a show that runs 48 minutes. Most all mental illnesses depicted in modern crime/investigation shows sociopathic behavior. Not anxiety disorders, not depression (psychotic or otherwise) or OCD or anything else most people struggle with on a day-to-day basis.

Some of the more serious shows do bring up more varied mental illnesses in a more accurate or at least debatable accurate way (L&O:SVU) so they steer away from the "he was insane" simple explanation because the show's function to depict more realistic examples of mental illness.

------

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Either do it right or don't do it. It's not "just a game", "just a book", or "just a movie". It's all still media. And all media, including, believe it or not, tabletop RPGs, does carry influence.

No, they are just games - if they hold greater value to you then that's your responsibility/problem/POV.

If rpg content offends you you need to either: not buy it/support it or "buck up".
If a piece of trash video game like Ethnic Cleansing gets you to start a one-man race war you were probably going to go on that rampage no matter what (say if you were shorted one McRibb in the drive through). These things are only that influential to the incredible stupid.

And where is your outrage at the media format of RPGs in general and how they promote so much violence?

Violence and more violence - products that help you play a character with more and more tools to kill your foes? When your run your games KC, how many creatures die?

Hypocrisy - you're worried how rpgs handle a corner case (but rw subject) like mental illness when the premise of most games is kill your opponents and take their stuff while gaining more power.
What happens when PCs sometime accidentally kill things or kill things due to miscommunication or circumstance (neutral guards doing their job)? This is something that is ingrained in gaming, desensitizing players and GMs to violence because violence is done while "role-playing" a character.

Utter crap.

-----

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
This is not something we should brush off as "a non-issue", or "looking for windmills". This is something that needs to be carefully discussed.

No, this is just a SJW looking to make inroads in gaming to gain a foothold and influence. Same old same old. Telling people to feel bad, what they are doing wrong, etc.

If rpgs (as you state) are a form of art - shouldn't they be above social influence/pressure/conventions?

I think that accurately written mental illness in a game works if it works for the game. That's it. I don't think that a rush to make changes to current games should be made or that older systems should be shamed because they don't fall in line with the SJW outrage du jur.

TBH, my first exposure to various mental illnesses was when I was a little kid reading the 1st ed DMG. This subject was not taught in school, and it helped my interest on the matter - even if the content and implementation was not accurate and very gamist. I'm glad that list existed, even if it was flawed.

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HeHateMe wrote:
Threads like this are why I would never play a paladin.

For me it's just a lesson/reminder to minimize my posting here.


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Sarcasm Dragon wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
I'm actually devils advocating here -
..play devil’s advocate for...

Well, without someone at least attempting a devils advocate this thread just becomes another liberal circle jerk...and we can't have that.

You guys really like reading each clones posts that much?

Wait, don't answer that.

I did this with a drive-by alias.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Poorly Researched Tumblr Rant wrote:

Sometime in the ‘80s, if not the ‘70s, someone was working on a rulebook for an RPG, and decided that if there’s rules for everything else, there should really be rules for going insane. So this person sat down, and either looked up, or more likely just went off the cuff, describing every mental illness they could think of, with the accuracy of someone who clearly has no formal education in the field. This person then added a list of die ranges to the side, and stuck it in their book.

Odds are better than average that this book was some D&D supplement, but whatever the source, it was popular enough to quickly spread to more or less every RPG out there, largely unchanged, and usually stuck in the core rulebook under a heading simply reading “Insanity,” or possibly “Sanity.”

Historically incorrect and looking for windmills to tilt.

Painful read.
Could you clarify? The practice of "insanity tables" is a common one in RPGs. Do you know the actual source?

Odds are better than average that this book was some D&D supplement. The 70's-80's book refers she refers to is the 1st ed DMG.

...quickly spread to more or less every RPG out there, largely unchanged
The only other major contemporary game (circa 81) that had a large list of a variety of insanity for characters was Call of Cthulhu - which had rules for indefinite insanity and phobias related to or derived from the source that caused the insanity. It wasn't a random list, the phobias were researched and for an early era in gaming, were executed well in implementation (as compared to the 1st ed DMG).

My big gripes with this poorly written and researched tumblr entry (not worthy of being called an article):
1st ed DMG Insanity list - not ported over to CoC (fact)...
-or-
If the two big games of the times were "not really the games I was talking about" in the article, then list the actual games/editions you are referencing so they can be fact checked..
-or-
If you don't really know what you are talking about, don't make falsehoods in an effort to start up something to get attention from others on the internet.

I stand by my initial assessment - poorly written and researched.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Auxmalous wrote:
Don't know if any of it is true (should be easy to check) and this article could just be part of the RW conspiracy/Conservative Bizarro world that has taken over these gaming forums.
Considering the article is from a pro-fracking blog that lists Hare as a sinister "lead author" of sections of reports he's 6th on a list of 8 authors for... I'd say there's more than a small amount of spin going on there.

No, I don't care about the content or even the source - it took me 5 seconds to find an article with names.

Checked the names - they are connected to both Greenpeace and IPCC (Rajendra Pachauri, Richard Klein).

I don't care about this fight...but before someone makes a politically dismissive statement at least make an effort to verify.

Dark Archive

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Poorly Researched Tumblr Rant wrote:

Sometime in the ‘80s, if not the ‘70s, someone was working on a rulebook for an RPG, and decided that if there’s rules for everything else, there should really be rules for going insane. So this person sat down, and either looked up, or more likely just went off the cuff, describing every mental illness they could think of, with the accuracy of someone who clearly has no formal education in the field. This person then added a list of die ranges to the side, and stuck it in their book.

Odds are better than average that this book was some D&D supplement, but whatever the source, it was popular enough to quickly spread to more or less every RPG out there, largely unchanged, and usually stuck in the core rulebook under a heading simply reading “Insanity,” or possibly “Sanity.”

Historically incorrect and looking for windmills to tilt.

Painful read.

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Question for GMs who are having disappointing sessions:

How much prep work are you putting into your sessions?

To clarify: Prior to your actual sessions how much time do you go through walk-throughs, self questions about "this is how I am going to run this part" or "this is how I am going to describe this monster"?

The reason why I ask is this. I sort of ran an experiment recently with my own created Post Holocaust game. Prior to running any of the sessions I already had a module around half-way written. 16 typed pages of encounters, new creatures, npcs....pretty good PA exploration material.

While I have been running the game I am simultaneously writing out the rest of the module (I am following my own outline) but I am also running into the issue of writing and re-writing the core game system we are using and testing. The current page count in small font is 26 pages. At close it should be around 36 or 42 pages long.

The game writing has taken up so much time that I am barely ahead of my players in detailed module write-up and I hardly spend any time going through the nights potential encounters and staging them in my GM mind's eye like a director setting the stage.

And its suffered. The players are having a blast - but IDK, something is off. There are not as many detailed encounters with interesting descriptions because I am spending more time on rules writing and system testing than I am on the test scenario. My players know that the core game is more important than the scenario since I want to eventually publish the system, so they are being good sports when I eat up an hour pre-game spending going over the rules ideas, changes to skills, mutations, etc. I still want a good adventure though, and for the most part I have delivered - I have just noticed a correlation between me putting less attention on the adventure in the more recent sessions.

-----

In the past when would I read and then re-read a module (published) or went over one of my modules in a sort of pre-session prep - the outcome in quality of GMing, play and increase in player enjoyment was noticeable.

I don't know how many other GMs do the exercise a day or two before actual game day.

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Nice preview - I will have to pick this up...somehow.

To me when I think of the Blight (using the beautiful Styes as a point of mood reference) I think of Lustmord, Godflesh (Pure II - the last track), and Samhain's "The Hungry End" in particular. Just to name a few.

I would implore that Mr. Pett go too far vs. not far enough. This is going to one for the rpg history books.


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I hope we get a Jack the Ripper like character wandering the Blight...and if not that, then at least a whole cult comprised of them.

---------
I do need to work on my understanding of the phrase "and if not that..."

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1st Gamma World 3rd ed (1985)
2nd Chill 2nd ed.

I have a very strong affinity for Chill, but tbh - the research I put into writing the material (cults, RL murders, conspiracies, etc) is just too much, I can only do it a little at a time or it starts to get to me.

My go to fantasy game is AD&D 2nd ed. PF is currently not a consideration for me to run.

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Trogdar wrote:
I don't really think niche protection is the way to go.

There isn't a singular problem - hence my comment about it being "too much work". Niche protection (or that lack thereof) is part of the problem. When you can sub out core class abilities with secondary magic items and spells - its a big system problem.

It isn't one problem, it's several. Currently the DC system (as a tool vs. threats) is primarily a Caster tool. That's a major problem.

Trogdar wrote:
If anything, I would like to add a social level track to all classes that was interchangeable, further blending classes into modular combat and social pools.

And adding something like that isn't exclusive to adding in class related system tracks (for martials, revised invested skill system, etc). So having other system changes doesn't mean you can't add in a social level track with some other function - they are not mutually exclusive.

Another very unpopular change I would advocate - and this goes to the problem of Martials/Skill based classes not being able to do enough - is that the caster classes can do too much.

Scaling back spell function and power is very unpopular around here when presented as a fix, unfortunately that is probably the biggest change (and the mutable DC system) that need to be changed. Once you touch that or try to - out come the torches.

Again, nice for people to try an make the changes to fix the problem. For me the amount of work needed to be put in it isn't worth it. I just wanted to chime back in because I feel that the micro approach (+X to this, or +Y skill points) is a band aid on a system that doesn't work well for anyone but casters.
IMO system overhaul or don't waste your time.

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Trogdar wrote:
Balancing fundamental qualities of the dnd math is important, no doubt, but the class features still have to have relative parity at the end of the day. Otherwise your just choosing one kind of disparity over another.

You're not (and most everyone posting in this thread) getting the bigger picture. Not trying to disparage you or any other posters, just an observation on this thread and the solutions presented.

It isn't simple a math change that's required but a total design change. No matter how many bonuses you give to Rogues to do their tricks, their tricks (skill system) become invalidated as the game assumes mid and higher levels. This has nothing to do with adding in +X to skills or saves.

D20 is a binary system (success/fail) with the ability for some classes to affect change to that system far easier than others or inversely raise the difficulty (DCs of spells) and affect character success. These flaws (yes, they are flaws) go beyond adding in a few extra points on saves for a fix - it doesn't make a difference when the premise of some classes usefulness lies on a system that gets jettisoned once you reach mid levels in the game.

Just as an example.

----
Samples:

A path to consider - if one were to really pursue this - a new Class Skill feature system (which rewards class skills and skill points vs. +X in skill derived from item A, spell B, circumstance C). Class feature protectionism. So a move away from d20/+X and a move towards you need Y number of ranks in this class skill to try this or this.

Second - combat needs to be reworked in a fashion that benefits those with high BAB and attack rolls. A change to attacks that have a high BAB with hits that have detrimental/specialized (and free for the attacker - no Feat Tax or Feat Law) effect.
A non-spellcasting critical high attack system. Need to be a full BAB character to participate and have enough BAB/Class levels in specific second tier fighters (rogue) BAB +3 = X menu effect on an 18 or higher, BAB +6, Y menu effect on 17 or higher.

----

These two things I mention above are examples of exclusive systems (casters - Stay Out) that run parallel to existing salvageable systems. The above are just placeholder ideas as an example to illustrate that a possible fix should not focus on math but extra, supplemental or replacement systems attached to character tropes (sneaky guy, fighting guy, etc).

Currently, multiple systems in 3/X need an overhaul/rewrite and maybe a few added in so each role type has its own (protected) system of game interaction and operation.

Personally I don't think it's salvageable/worth the time or effort and should just be torn down and rebuilt from scratch - my opinion of course. On top of adding in parallel systems, the DC manipulation and "all items are spells" (lazy/boring) systems need to be addressed.

Too much work for this GM.

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mechaPoet wrote:
I love when we get to the part where people get mad at me for insinuating that biology as a humanly constructed field of science has human social influences, and then also argue what words mean with dictionary definitions.

Who is getting mad at you? At what point did you think that I or anyone else who has been responding to you is angry or may at you?

Also this might help: When you listed your 1st bullet point you should have made a distinction between Physical Biology and the study or science of Biology.

Because if a given society could by their own action (will, rituals, chants or even....sacrifices) change physical biology - point them out to me so I can....investigate them.

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mechaPoet wrote:


1 Biology is socially influenced.
2 If you go any further than the most basic biology, it quickly becomes clear that the gender binary is not supported by the physical facts of biology, just the way that it's presented by and to humans.
3 Prevalent isn't the same as "normal"
4 I am not abnormal.

1 No, physical biology is not socially influenced. Though the scientific method can and has been influenced by beliefs or society.

2 This is a numbers game, not a conspiracy. People shift towards "normal" descriptors to have an idea about a common, or a control - to contrast variances vs. that common or control.

3 Prevalent - widespread in a particular area at a particular time. Synonymous with Common. Normal is more loaded than common, but these again are based on demographics and frequency and less on a conspiracy or social construct designed to marginalize. Marginalization occurs as a bi-product of a Majority/Minority paradigm and happens in almost any power struggle or Us vs. Them scenarios. Welcome to the world.

4 This a social construct that you are dealing with.
If telling yourself that your specific gender identification is not abnormal due to the negative connotations associated with that term, by my all means do so. If you are saying that you identify with a gender or sexuality that is not found in any kind of high numbers out of a given population number and then are trying to convince me of the math otherwise, then yeah - there is a major disconnect.

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mechaPoet wrote:

Checklist of things (not people!) to smash, in no particular order after capitalism:
Capitalism
Patriarchy
White supremacy
Heteronormativity / homophobia / biphobia / acephobia / etc.
Cisnormativity / transphobia
Whorephobia
Ableism (mental and physical)

But these things are comprised by people...people who are part of (institutionally) or believe in this a valued societal norms (an a willing part of that society that holds those values).

Let me know how smashing all those people works out for you.

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mechaPoet wrote:
The common enemy is rich white guys and unchecked capitalism btw.

That's funny, usually the evil secret conspiracy isn't revealed until the third act?

---------------------------------------------------

So once your common enemy is eliminated, who becomes the new enemy?

Middle class white guys?
Mixed race rich guys?
Rich white women?
Unchecked socialism-lite?

What is the stack ranking for those with the most privilege and down to the sorriest SOB?

This sounds like an interesting project for the Ahnenerbe (Aka the OG stack rankers).

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KingOfAnything wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
It isn't an insult. It's asking for you to self-examine your circumstances and experiences in an attempt to get you to empathize with the other disadvantaged groups.

Its not working. Ditch it.

How on earth does asking someone to examine their own circumstances help you empathize with something that you by definition have not experienced? You need to look for something you have in COMMON, not get their hackles up with a tangental (at best) term that denies anything you may have gone through.

If Person A and Person B both come from a poor background, why is so big a jump to ask Person A to consider how much more difficult their life would have been if they had also been gay like Person B? Or poor and non-white? Or poor and flagged as non-Christian? Sure, Person A may not know or understand all the additional difficulties Person B has experienced, but both being poor is the bridge.

Because when life is kicking you in the head - or someone is you know, actually physically kicking you in the head... and then someone from a lofty perceptive perch yells out to you -

"hey, at least you are still white (or X)" it doesn't help.

It doesn't help at all.

It could be worse. They could be wearing steel-toed boots.

Speaking from experience - those hurt.

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
It isn't an insult. It's asking for you to self-examine your circumstances and experiences in an attempt to get you to empathize with the other disadvantaged groups.

Its not working. Ditch it.

How on earth does asking someone to examine their own circumstances help you empathize with something that you by definition have not experienced? You need to look for something you have in COMMON, not get their hackles up with a tangental (at best) term that denies anything you may have gone through.

If Person A and Person B both come from a poor background, why is so big a jump to ask Person A to consider how much more difficult their life would have been if they had also been gay like Person B? Or poor and non-white? Or poor and flagged as non-Christian? Sure, Person A may not know or understand all the additional difficulties Person B has experienced, but both being poor is the bridge.

Because when life is kicking you in the head - or someone is you know, actually physically kicking you in the head... and then someone from a lofty perceptive perch yells out to you -

"hey, at least you are still white (or X)" it doesn't help.

It doesn't help at all.

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thejeff wrote:
It's not an attack on you. It's not an accusation. That's a good part of the reason "privilege" is better to talk about than "discrimination", because privilege is just something that happens to you and around you without you doing anything to cause it, while discrimination is something active. Discrimination actually is an accusation, while privilege really isn't. Or at least doesn't have to be.

No, it is an accusation. It is a valuation and assessment of an individual on face value. How are you making an assessment that someone has privilege in the first place. How? Why? Their perceived race, their perceived gender? Or how it appears to the one calling privilege?

This is bias and prejudice dressed up in another word.

Edit: I got to get back to Shark Island, I have a module to work on for tonight's game.

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Steel_Wind wrote:
It appears that you want it all Black and White;

No, I just want truth and consistency.

Seems to be asking too much around here.

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thejeff wrote:
And would likely question where Anne's father was in all this, since he should be deciding such matters - with proper ceremonies and arrangements for the care of the inevitable children.

I don't think its very fair of you to bring up Anne's father who is situated on another moral quandary/metric test called Shark Island.

Right now they are currently debating if he should cut off part of his left hand, use his son's (Joe) leg or Anne's dead mother's body (Mabel) as bait to throw in the water for the sharks while other swims out to the adjoining island to use the pay phone that is located right in the middle of the island (surrounded by palm trees).
So what is it - Hand? A Leg? Or the remains of their beloved wife/mother who demanded a traditional funeral before she died?

Personally I think their whole stupid family should invest in some tools and learn how to build a damn boat.

That's probably just my privilege speaking..er typing.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
I think the violence part. One guy breaks off his relations with his GF(?), the other guy comes and beats him up for it. There is nothing here that warrants violence.
That's a very modern viewpoint, though, and by no means universal.

Its obvious that it isn't universal, that's the point of the exercise.

For me though being told to inflict physical violence and acting out that violence =/= breaking off a relationship on the morality metric.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
So, Ann goes to his neighbour, Eric, tells him her story, and asks him to beat up Bob for her. He does so.

Let's look at Eric, another universally reviled figure. We can easily say, "He thuggishly beats up people for no good reason!" and condemn him. Or we can phrase it, "He selflessly champions a wronged woman's cause through strength of arms," and by Arthurian standards, he's a paladin.

They can't both be right, can they? How do you decide which interpretation trumps the other?

I think the violence part.

One guy breaks off his relations with his GF(?), the other guy comes and beats him up for it. There is nothing here that warrants violence. If Bob beat up Ann then he should rightly get trounced Eric.

That isn't what happened though.

* and I wouldn't say Eric was universally reviled, I had him ranked second best after Dave who wasn't a real character (vaporNPC). He's just a tool that beat someone up because someone else told him to do so.

As an exercise it would probably would be best to not read anything extra into the puzzle/problem.

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Steel_Wind wrote:
Am I the only person who sees this? I can't believe that, yet, nobody else is complaining.

You are not the only one who sees this, though bringing it up won't get you any invites to the cool kids club.

I stopped buying APs some time back due to the declining quality in writing, overall challenge of the adventures combined with the increasing message push, but I got suckered back in with Iron Gods (Faux Expedition to the Barrier Peaks - was not even a homage to S3). I should have known better - live and learn. I didn't buy into Giantslayer because I learned my lesson with the bait and switch homage routine they pulled with IG and that was enough for me.

From the snippets I hear from other GMs it does seem like things have gotten worse, not only in the messaging department but "the world they want to game in" mantra looks like it has finally caught up to them. The uber fantasy in response to the modern world with no ugliness, consequence, or bias coupled with the lack of understanding when it comes to writing in basic emotions/behavior - hate, fear, lust, greed or even something as simple as rage makes for some limited content. The whole is unraveling and fraying at the ends.

The only thing you really can do is communicate your concerns to other gamers and to vote with your wallet. The staff at Paizo will tell you the same because truth be told - they really don't care what you think (and have said so on numerous occasions).

IMO a big part of the reason this keeps happening with this company (and others) is that they are not challenged to do better. A blind, unquestioning loyalty from the fan base doesn't help the matter,...I mean, even you have nine subs with these guys - you helped make this happen. Maybe if they had to earn trust on a regular basis instead of people handing over money to them every month things might change? IDK.

I find it kind of hard to believe that you are just picking up on all this now?

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Terquem wrote:

I once spent three months designing an underground environment for an adventure, a collapsed city buried by a torrential flood that swept mountains of mud over the ruins, and then over time, small intelligent races carved out the "passageways" in the mud between the cities walls, built spiral stairs up to the surface to bring in light and air, and redirected underground streams to carry fresh water to the "forbidden city"

I had so many details worked out I couldn't wait to answer the player's questions about "how it all worked."

No one ever asked

No ever cared

The just wanted to kill monsters and get magic items "dropped" as treasure.

This was a game where I asked a player to please stop asking me "what did the monster drop."

In another game I design a space station (we were playing Alternity) and a disease had broken out that was causing a "zombie" like plague on the space station. I left clues all over the corporate offices of the space station for the party to find that would lead them to the special research lab where they could figure out how to deal with the plague.

After exploring two rooms in the corporate offices and not finding any treasure or monsters to kill one player announced to me in a clear frustrated tone

"Can't you just tell us everything we need to know that we will find in this area so we can move on to the next encounter?"

So, in conclusion - I have always loved making my games feel interesting and have a sort of consistency. I have not always seen my efforts prove worth while.

Sounds like more of an issue with your players than your game design Terquem. If I was playing in your game I would ask questions and investigate - your examples sound like fun. I would still investigate even if the scenario was a fast paced run and gun adventure - because finding clues/information > brawn or firepower.

My current crop of players are a mixed bunch, but most of which come from an older crowd they know that information is as important if not more so than powering through encounters.

Then again, sometimes players like to turn off their brains and turn everything into bash=reward, that's OK sometimes - if it was that way all the time I would find new players or just quit gaming. It would just seem boring to me as a GM.

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Mark Hoover wrote:

So in a little bit here I'm going to be kicking off a Sinnar Coast/Lost Lands campaign starting off around Endholme with the Lost City of Barakus product from Necromancer/Frog God Games. I was grateful though when my players gave me a couple more weeks to prep since as I looked through the books the setting didn't make sense to me at all.

Just in the immediate area of the starting city there's thousands of square miles of open plain. There's also some hills and forest. None of these lands appear to have any settlement beyond 30 miles from Endholme. Apparently though the city is a trade hub.

Monsters from the nearby hills replenish cleared areas in the dungeon, but none of these monsters seem to have lairs. Some monsters in the dungeon seem to have no means of ingress or egress between their areas and the outside world save plowing through other monster lairs and yet these trapped monsters have food, water and combat gear. Finally none of the monsters are described as being connected to any larger culture but yet they have gold and other wealth which would imply they're collecting said wealth for some reason; while it could just be a hoarding instinct I wouldn't assume that of EVERY monster.

So... should I care? Do any of you? Does your setting need to make sense or have at least SOME kind of realistic feel to it for you to enjoy it or do you just handwave such details?

There are a few issues with some of the encounters in Barakus (the first few are actually the most obvious). I swapped some of the locations around to make the whole seem a bit more plausible, because while LCoB is trying for an old-school feel (B2 - Keep on the Borderlands) my older, "must make sense" mindset is in conflict with that style of design. You are experiencing "retro shock". Your expectations and experiences don't line up because you feel that (for you) verisimilitude is part of a good gaming experience, whereas FGG style product focuses more on varied challenges and difficulty level for good gaming experiences - neither approach is wrong but they are at odds with each other.

The focus of their dungeons (NG and subsequently FGG) is primarily to present difficult challenges and puzzles and they don't dwell as much on the "how" of the specific encounters. That is IMO what people are buying when they seek FGG modules are modules that do not fall into fair, CR-neat little boxes.

With that being said, that style of product would need some re-working to make them "internally consistent" since that isn't the focus of their products. For me, adding in an explanation, detail or switching which encounter is in which cave is worth it, because I then get the best of both worlds. I get a dungeon with an internally consistent ecology/pecking order and I get a challenging and memorable gaming experience for my players (who love difficult adventures).

Quote:
I myself am trying to make some connections between some of the wilderness sites to create sub-stories in the area. I'm also modifying settlement of the area saying that the "empty plains" of the interior to the west are open steppe, moors, and grasslands as well as tiny forests so small as to not be recorded on the overland map. This area then is sparsely inhabited by settlements no larger than a Small Town under the protectorate of Endholme. Finally I'm alluding to larger groups of humanoids in the hills from which the ones in the dungeon spring and establishing that these monsters sometimes barter and purchase from one another or greater monsters - there is a sort of "monster economy" at work somehow.

Hoover, I think your attitude towards the map (small features, thorps, family holds) is 100% spot on and would be in the spirit of FGG design. They are sort of the "anti-Forgotten Realms" - no major named NPC good guys, and plenty of empty hexes for the GM to develop (or leave blank) as they see fit for their game. (This isn't a Realms bash, personally I like FG, it's just an observation).

As to the earlier issue of monster location, resupplying and replenishing and need for coin I will go back to a much earlier module to show you what I did to "make it work for me" as a GM.

I will use B2 as an example since it's the definition of old-school encounter design.

B2 - The Keep on the Borderlands:

The Keep on the Borderlands is very much a "wth" kind of dungeon with old-school monster layout. My approach was to look at the whole as sort of a criminal organization, with the different races taking up different slots within said organization. Some of the weaker denizens often get pushed around or even lose a member to a higher tiered group - but the reality (and I use that term loosely) is that a tribe of kobolds conducting profitable raids on their own would end in their destruction. Kobolds that live in the shadow of Goblins, Orcs, a minotaur and an evil cult will do much better. Even if they have to occasionally pay a tribute to live or a "tax" to pass through parts of their own lair. Often times each individual tribe has a different origin/home base and the Caves served as a sort of forward base to launch forays into human lands. Aspects of the 3/X class rules actually improves the old-school monster hotel layout with humanoids being able to now take class levels:

Imagine - a group of orcs conducting a raid on a settlement would be very - Orcish. Now imagine a raid of Orc fighters, Goblin rangers and Kobold rogues - backed up by Ogre barbarians and all held together by firm hand of evil priests who supplement those forces with undead?
The Caves of Chaos stops being an old-school mish-mash of monsters and becomes a viable (and terrifying) low level threat to a borderland civilization.

A few other things I did for B2:
1) I widened the scale of the caverns and caves (and connecting tunnels) so they wouldn't be right on top of each other. Even though they are creatures of chaos, attacking one cave within earshot of another could lead to a full scale alert = Party TPK.
2) Put an anti-scrying fog over the whole of the canyon, similar to the effect in the Minotaur cave. Why? It made the whole chaotic mess feel more like a base. It's general location known, but specifics hidden from magic - and the the fog also added a creepiness to the whole affair. Distortion of sound and distance, scary visibility ranges, strange noises: occasional small rocks falling down, screaming, etc - make it memorable.

As to your original question, yes - it has to make sense for me to run it. In my current Post Apocalyptic game I am designing, the encounters take a long time for me to write. Why? Because they have to make sense. It actually holds me up and makes the process take much longer than it should but internal consistency is important to me. That internal consistency, once I get the ball rolling - actually helps me create more content, since it feeds upon itself with more and more tangents. The ball needs to get rolling though, or you get trapped by your own standards and end up spending valuable time staring at a blank word document.

Also Hoover - if you are having any problems with ideas, questions, reworkings or fixes you having a standing invite to PM me with any questions.


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Not going near this one....

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In the past I have run multiple varying rules systems for different groups - and once the players grasp the new system (from whatever core game system they are used to) it usually isn't a problem. Primarily because the systems themselves were very different from each other but also because the system were also genre specific - AD&D or 3/X vs. Chill 2nd edition (Horror) vs. Gamma World (Post Apocalyptic/sci fi/fantasy).

It helped to generate interest in other games and also offered options if a few players wanted to change up systems due to burnout. So it helps to have other options in rotation than just 3/X based games (which I am PERMANENTLY burned out on).

I don't run different systems simultaneously for same reason I am guessing Terquem doesn't - I'm older and time to game isn't what it used to be.

-----

For me the problem wasn't the varying systems or confusion it may cause for either me or my players, for me the issue was content. I write all my own modules for the most part so it's difficult to run a Gamma World game - with a module I wrote, while then planning to switch to a Chill game (Horror) in a few months with a module I have yet to write. On top of the sheer volume of writing I need to do - it seems harder for me to shift gears on the creative side. Running two or three different systems at the same time isn't the problem, writing though - being creative - is tough. I have to be in a Chill mood/mindset to write a Chill scenario, same with any of my games.

A good fallback for me (if I need a break) is AD&D - because there is a wealth of good gaming content in there. So I can focus on writing other content while running a published AD&D scenario or module and not getting too caught up in the system or creative demands of that system.

Having a few different systems available has never been a negative for me or my group - it just gave us more options and the exposure to varied systems has made me a better GM and helped my players get a better grasp of game design, theory and goal.

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Quote:
Q:Martial / Caster disparity: What are you going to do about it?

A:Tried fixing it and then deciding not running PF or 3/X derivatives has been the best fix so far.

Otherwise, a complete game re-write of the:

- Skill system (and manipulation)
- DC system (and manipulation)
- Item creation (and stat manipulation/poorly gauged stat & meta power expectations)
- Standard Action vs. Full actions as they relate to attacks
- Almost all the spells/Magic Items are spells
- A few dozen other problems: Casting in combat, core class functions overridden by spells items, default power level hard coded, WBL (Bleahhhhh!) and so on.

Just too much work for me to do to enjoy the game.
Went back to 2nd ed AD&D and the Martial/Caster disparity disappeared. This problem is a construct of the d20/ 3.X systems.

My opinion and view on the matter, I'm sure that others will disagree.

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Congrats guys! I wish I could have been on this one, once I get back on my feet I will try to pick this up from the FGG website.

Good work!

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Hama wrote:
Haladir wrote:
I feel like something has been lost. Complex rules can be a constraint to creativity, and tactical positioning can make combat feel like a board game.
It hasn't. People are just lazy. I never, ever felt constrained in my creativity of either creating characters or creating a campaign.

No, it has.

See the thread about the GM who is afraid to modify a creatures DR because it isn't currently in the rule set as an option. This is the typical mindset of RAW GM or Player, something that was fostered by the 3.X/d20/OGL movement.

The more codification and expectation that "there needs to be a rule for that" the less wiggle room you have as both a player or GM to create something that comes from your imagination - it has to comply with the current gaming toolset.

This is an aspect/side-effect of hypercodification/MtG of the D&D rules that occurred in 2000 and 2003 and onward with every other 3.X clone (PF included). Aka "you need a rule for that" or "is it in the rulebook"? This is also the primary reason why a "Build Your Own Monster" book using a codified, game-legal toolkit has not been made in 15 years. Even the game's creators and those that followed can't figure out how to codify such wide ranging and subjective data - so they don't/can't put it out because it would cause the hypercod gaming community to go into apoplectic seizures.

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Due to my current employment situation this is going to be the first FGG pre-order/Kickstarter going to ToHC/Tsar that I cannot back. Which is a bummer.

That being said I will do what I can to spread the word and make sure this gets funded.

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Barely in:
For Shub-Niggurath
Graveyard set (just the fences)
Frogethmoth

I would pick up the mythos set, but really would have preferred that the Dark Young was sold as separate pick.

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