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The issue I run into with this is that it's really difficult to do well. Even successful professional authors and screenwriters have a hard time doing it consistently. Either my players guess the thing I think I'm hiding right away, or they never get any of it and I have to explain all the things they weren't paying attention to.
I submit there is a difference between an impromptu session(I can do those quite readily) and an impromptu campaign. The long form story which is a campaign is much harder to do by the seat of your pants and maintain any level of consistency .
I don't think it's that hard. There are things I recommend though.
1) Keep copious notes.
For my campaign, I have about 4-5 pages of notes per session. Based on those notes, I build a small prep document that hits the major highlights and reminds me of themes that I'm working on. Then whatever happens, happens. Sometimes I know where we'll be in 2-3 sessions, but that's only cause it's painfully obvious, but often times I have no clue what's there or what will happen there until the moment in game play brings us there.
2) Don't worry about fine level details
I have a player who wrote down a contact (we use a mechanical resource to denote levels of friendship with NPCs). Despite my several hundred pages of notes (see above), I have no clue who that NPC is. I've told the player I have no clue. To compensate the player for this, he gets to reinvent the NPC and tell me how they'll be useful to the player. We don't care if the NPC is the exact same NPC as he encountered roughly 2 years ago. We just care that we have a good time and that our sessions are fun.
We don't maintain perfect consistency, but we maintain enough to be fun. It's not like we can pop in the DVD of previous sessions and go over them in fine detail. We don't require the same level of consistency as we might from a TV show or movie.
Like the Joker in Nolan's movie. We never learn his actual motivations as a person, but we come to appreciate him as a self-perceived agent of change. The strength of his desire is not realistic, but the character is great for challenging the preconceived notions of other characters and the audience (and things go wrong when his ideas are challenged).
Thinking of another thread, it's not that he's realistic as a person, but his representation of the brutal and chaotic forces of life itself. The true moment of triumph over the Joker comes when the inmate on the ferry breaks the detonator, and he refuses to play the game. It isn't a victory over a mad man, but victory against all the s#&& that life can throw at us.
Diamondback kind of fails at this and a lot of it has to do with the writing of the show. Luke's defeat of Diamondback is him moving on from his past, but the thing is that this past isn't really Luke's. A lot of this is stuff he wasn't aware of and had no decision in. It's not really his past, but his father's past. It would have been much more interesting if the situation were one of Luke's doing and a reconciliation of his own misdeeds.
Example of how I'd fix the plot: Luke had stolen the car and was drunk, ends up killing Ms. Stryker. This was before current laws against drunk driving, so he was sent to the Marines. Fast forward to the final fight, instead of knocking Diamondback out at the end of non-resistance, he reaches behind him and breaks the power source, while he whispers an apology and hands him over to the police.
It would have made Luke metaphorically responsible for everything their father did to Diamondback's mother, tying the son directly to the sins of the father (and conversely, his apology would destroy Diamondback's power). It would make more sense, since it's never mentioned that the father is dead, we're actually led to believe that he's still alive.
I don't give a s+@! what their opinion is. If you keep bringing up the topic, I'm going to keep responding with facts about why this is a s&~%ty topic and most opinions seemed to be based on lies and innuendo.
By the way, I don't just talk to vets. I AM a vet.
At my community college, the veterans group was pissed that they couldn't hold their school sponsored fund raiser at a strip club.
Just because people are pissed about something doesn't mean it's justified or legitimate.
Cite one identical case.
If you look at the actual record, the most similar cases to Clinton's, they resulted in either no prosecution, or small fines ($7500).
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Social Security already treats people differently based on jobs.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Would you consider modifying retirement ages based on job type? For example, do you think it might be okay to ask accountants to work for an extra few years to reduce costs, so we can afford to care for pipe fitters?
And in what's probably the last of today's news, Trump didn't seem to do too well at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner (a common event for presidential candidates apparently involving a lot of roasting other people).
A couple of his jokes were actually fairly funny.
"The media is more biased then ever this year. When Michelle Obama gave a speech, everyone praised it. When Melania gave the exact same speech, everyone criticized her for it."
Pay attention to what I'm saying in that paragraph. I'm pointing out that there are several scenes in the season where another character has to convince Luke that he cares. I find those scenes annoying and stupid.
There really isn't anything to debate here, because:
1) those scenes exist
Also note, just prior to that statement, I talked about how Luke was most engaging when HE was most engaged. Those times where he was being passionate and convincing other characters to act, he was actually interesting.
So, I understand that he cares. But those scenes where he acts like he doesn't, I find uninteresting.
Sat down and watch the series this week.
Overall I liked it. I think JJ was much better constructed, but this was better than either season of DD.
It did suffer from the same problem as DD though, the main character was the weakest one in the series. The "strong, silent type" is very cliched and kind of stale. It's hard to pull of well or interestingly these days, it can be done, but there are big hurdles to overcome. When Luke was passionate and vocal, the character was interesting. His brooding silence though was boring and dull.
Also, the show engaged in a rhetorical argument against it's own existence several times and that annoys the crap out of me. The main character wants to just leave and doesn't see why he should be involved. If he doesn't care about the story, it starts to make me wonder why I should care.
I did appreciate that they didn't do a lot of drawn out action sequences. Especially in the first half of the season when there's little to no tension in the scenes. Short and sweet scenes to the point.
Missick and Rossi were both very fun to watch as Det. Knight and Shades respectively. Knight was predictable within the genre, but had enough twists and depths to keep her interesting and engaging. Shades was the most interesting villain to watch IMO, seemed like he actually wanted to survive and thrive. The actor did a good job of adding layers to his emotions that really indicated that the wheels were turning inside his head.
I thought the references to current events in the real world were a nice touch.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Well, Buffett doesn't ask to be put in charge of the government. He's just suggested rule changes that would mostly impact him (and those who are similarly wealthy).
I'm guessing Trump will try to make some grand challenge/claim in the next week or two, or something from Wikileaks maybe. If they had it though, they should have released it already. Last night was the last night that Hillary HAS to be on stage. It was the last night to force a confrontation and make her react to it personally, and not just through a surrogate or press release.
The time for a useful October Surprise is past, unless the charge is self-evident and irrefutable based on what is released.
The math doesn't add up for TSR to have sold $100 million in a single year. Their best product ever was the 1st edition PHB, which peaked at 1 million copies in 1988 and retailed for $9.95. That's $10 million in sales, but of course, they don't actually see the retail price, only half of it, retail stores keep the other half. Other products only sold 2-20% as much as the PHB, with the DMG being the second most successful book. I'd be surprised if all other products combined to even equal PHB sales.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
I've seen it. It's really not.
BTW, I spent 8 years in the military, so I'm VERY familiar with having to subscribe to conformity when it comes to appearance.
Literary verisimilitude isn't about internal consistency. It's about a believable truth. It can relate to the fantastic, but typically the fantastic (when it has verisimilitude) is symbolic of elements of the real world.
For Superman to have verisimilitude, he would have to be acting as a metaphor that the good and the righteous are made strong by their morals and for people to actually believe that. The metaphor could be different, I'm just using that as an example. It has nothing to do with his powers and abilities, it has to do with how he reflects the real world and serves as a literary device to tell a story that the reader can relate to.
You can see a similar metaphor with the Luke Cage character. By embracing the history of African-Americans as strong individuals and standing up for what he believes in, he gains the power to do good and make his world a better place. By refusing to sit idly by, he becomes a powerful agent of change. That's verisimilitude, as long as the audience buys into that concept.
In A Midsummer Night's Dream the love potion has verisimilitude, not because it's internally consistent with the fictions world, but because the audience can relate to the powerful emotion of love and how when it arises suddenly it completely disrupts our life in an almost supernatural way. The love potion is erratic, unreasonable, chaotic, and incredibly powerful. The audience knows that love can turn our world upside down, so we accept the love potion as true.
Spastic Puma wrote:
A friend of mine uses comments on his beard to judge whether people are actually his friends. He knows it's awful looking and those of us who've known him for years and told him as much. I was the best man at his wedding, I think his beard looks bad. I still encourage him to grow it though, if that's what he wants.
His fake-friend coworkers tell him his beard looks awesome.
I'd actually prefer if we don't do armchair diagnoses of people's mental health. There's plenty of other things to point to and say he's unfit to be president, we don't need to stigmatize mental health while doing it.
The other aspect is that there are already safeguards against voter impersonation.
Let's say someone impersonates you in the morning. You get off work to vote in the afternoon. Seeing that you've already voted, if you're willing to sign an affidavit assuring that you indeed are the person you say you are (and have some proof) and swear you haven't voted yet, most states will give you another ballot and let you vote. It will then be investigated by the state's election commission. Only one ballot will be counted, the investigation will determine which one.
Verisimilitude doesn't mean consistency. Verisimilitude means appearance of realism.
Don't confuse the two concepts or invent new definitions of words please. Superman has no quality of verisimilitude because he is not realistic, plausible or possible. He violates pretty much every known aspect of physics. Regardless of how internally consistent he is within the fiction, he is not realistic, therefore has no verisimilitude.
If you look up further on the page, you'll note that I'm COMPLETELY IN FAVOR of internal consistency in mechanics. In fact I consider it a major priority of games to be consistent in their application and usage of mechanics.
You're close, but not quite.
Arguing verisimilitude is like trying to prove you like fish, therefore that matters more than how much I like meat. Since you like fish>meat, therefore I shouldn't make pulled pork this weekend... even though you aren't coming to my house for dinner.
That is what arguing verisimilitude is like.
I played a succubus once. It was introduced around level 12 if memory serves. Her backstory was that she had been summoned by a powerful wizard and bound to a ring of friend shield, except it didn't provide the ac/save bonus, only worked one way and was always on. She was also bound to it to be within a certain distance, preventing the at-will teleport from being an issue (I essentially used it as dimension door during fights). The party was ostensibly Good, but she was still Evil, but had to serve whoever had the ring, so she was mostly salacious talk, no action.
Anyways, I went Fighter. Wielding a Conductive Rapier, I'd position to guard the party's weaker members and switch between full attack and hitting with Vampiric Touch when I needed a little healing. The +7 natural AC and DR 10 cold iron or good makes you pretty much impervious in most campaigns. Being behind in class levels and Fighter was nice to catch up on some feat options.
Lost Legions wrote:
Mr. O'Keefe claims he proved voter impersonation happens in Michigan. The problem is that in his videos, no one actually commits voter impersonation, or allows him to commit it. In one video, he's given a ballot (if memory serves), but he didn't actually submit it. Of course, maybe that's cause he knows it'd be a felony.
Verisimilitude is a trap. What qualifies for you might not qualify for me, and vice versa. It's a useless thing to debate, it's like you and me arguing over which color we like better.
Me: I like blue better.
It's a pointless conversation.
So, unless you want to argue that a game is objectively realistic (which none of them are)...
I'd make it a feat. The feat should be weaker when compared to a Magus or Arcane Archer.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm opposed to verisimilitude in rules. Just to put that out there.
Rather, I want consistency in how the rules work so that my interaction with the game is predictable. I'm not talking about outcomes being predictable, but I want the flow of mechanics to feel smooth and not require that much though. The more consistent the rules are, the easier they are to interact with consistently and start to take a back seat to the actual play that is happening.
I haven't done the math, so please, no one correct me, just making an example. But with Powered by the Apocalypse games, there's roughly split 30/40/30 between failure/partial success/success. Any time, I as a player push the world in a way that requires a roll, I know I'm going to roll and those are my rough odds. I know that that partial success category carries with it various conditions and drawbacks that I'm going to have to deal with afterwards. It's simple, comprehensive and covers pretty much everything.
When I pick up a new PbtA game (it's a base system that was released with a Creative Commons license) as a GM or player, I basically already know the core of how the game works. I just have to read to learn how this game uses those rules to express something different. I also know, that because of how the game is structured, it's not a game that rides on rails well. If you try to put it on rails, it will almost immediately try to jump them mechanically. It's better to just fly by the seat of your pants and let the players do crazy things that take you new places.
All of this is highly consistent and repeated across the dozen or so different published games I've played using this system. From being a professional wrestler from Detroit, to a baby dragon in a MLP-esque world, to an elven wizard in a D&D style setting. The abilities were different on the sheet, but when I had to roll for something, I always knew exactly what dice to pick up and what my possible results were.
Lou Diamond wrote:
Most undocumented workers have been here since 1995. How exactly does a wall prevent them from being here?
That doesn't seem very likely to me, as I've never even heard someone talking about energy policy needing "open borders" before. To me the excerpt of her speech sounds more like open borders for labor. Maybe that's just me though.
Besides, it's not like you limit your analysis of Clinton to only what her campaign says.
And D&D (in nearly any edition) doesn't deal well with playing demigods. Yes, it's possible to play that way, and it can even be fun and interesting. It's not the ideal system to do that with though and other systems will be easier and require less effort to get them to work.
I'm not talking about what is possible. I'm talking about efficiency.
An M1 Abrams tank could be used for my daily commute (they get about 0.6 mpg). That doesn't mean it's the best choice.
WoW didn't bring people to D&D.
At it's peak, I would estimate that the gross revenue of WoW subscriptions for a single month was about 5x greater than the yearly gross revenue of the entire PnP RPG industry at that time. Even now, without subscriptions, WoW is over a $1 billion gross revenue.
The RPG industry peaked (in terms of sales $) in 1989 when TSR sold 1 million copies of the PHB. These numbers dwarfed any sales for 3.0, 3.5 or 4e. I haven't heard estimates of 5e, but I would suspect that while up from 4e, still aren't anywhere near the peak of 1989 (I'd estimate closer to 100k per year).
Consider this, of the major "nerd" conventions, GenCon ranks 17th in size. NY Comic Con is roughly 3 times the size, with San Diego's version being well over double the size of GenCon.
Yearly sales of board games is roughly 10x the yearly sales of RPG's.
RPG's are a supremely niche market.
One of the things Hillary mentioned in her Goldman-Sachs speech was opening borders for labor, not just goods. Legal migrant workers would give them legal protections, letting them unionize, pay taxes, etc. Legal status would give Mexican and Central American workers greater rights and opportunities.
All this will have consequences and side effects, and we'd need to hold lawmakers accountable for implementing this in a fair way that allows businesses to operate, but protects workers rights.
Another thing to consider, moving a plant to Mexico means less immigration from Mexico. This is something that gets lost in the debate on immigration from/through Mexico. If that country were stronger, more stable, safer and prosperous, they wouldn't be trying to cross the borders in such high numbers.
Instead of wasting money on a wall that won't work, improve the lives of average Mexicans and they won't need/want to come here. If instead we just try to make it the battlefield for our "war on drugs", we're going to make things worse there and illegal immigration will continue.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
That's the other side of globalization. As other countries participate in the world economy and trade with us, they get richer, eliminating their advantage of low wages, which pushes some of the jobs back to us.
This isn't a zero-sum game. We can all benefit from increased global trade. The problem right now isn't global trade itself, the problem is that the benefits of it are being distributed unevenly between the owners and the workers.
The rate of manufacturing plant closings was the same after NAFTA as it had been before NAFTA.
On the other hand, manufacturing increased faster after NAFTA than it had before.
Low skilled manufacturing is always going to move out of wealthier countries. This will be true regardless of trade agreements, because even with protectionist tariffs, eventually the cost of employment is too high for low skilled jobs.
For example, the only way to keep low wage textile jobs in this country is to pay the workers next to nothing. I'd love to hear the argument that we should keep those jobs here AND only pay them 50 cents a day. Convince me that would be beneficial to our country. Or maybe we should just pay $100 for low quality white t-shirts.
There are two parts to payroll tax. The part the employer withholds from your paycheck, and the part your employer pays to the government. For example, they have to withhold 6.2% of your pay for Social Security. They also have to pay 6.2% of your pay into Social Security (for a total of 12.4%). Employers also pay into employment insurance, which is used to fund unemployment benefits.
Honestly, I don't think Trump is a master tactician at all. I think he's actually below average in intelligence. He doesn't try to deflect away from himself, he just can't imagine anyone is capable of doing something he hasn't thought of or done himself.
Over the past year, I've seen a lot of theories on why Trump does this or that, what his master plan is with the election. I no longer believe any of it. I think his mind is incredibly dull, his behavior predictable and he utterly lacks imagination.
Well, since his diceless category includes games that use dice or just use a different randomizer, could just change that to narrative.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
"Old school" and "new school" have very little to do with the game system. Mechanics do not mandate playstyle.
I don't think mechanics mandate playstyle, but the impact it.
The analogy I use is that a game is like a tool box. If you have a carpenter's tool box, full of carpentry tools, you can still fix a fair number of things on a car. You can't fix everything though, and odds are it'll require more effort on your part to finish the job.
Sometimes we're so adept with a specific game, that we can more easily mold it into what we want. Or we've spent so much time already molding it into our play style, that we don't realize how much we've changed it already.
Someone already referenced Dread earlier, which is a great example. If you're playing a one-shot horror game, you're going to need to severely modify D&D to make it work well. On the other hand, you could just play Dread and not modify anything, allowing the games mechanics to work for you to create a horror story.
You could try to use D&D to play a game set in Roger Zelazny's Amber setting, but it would be awkward and require significant revision of the rules, especially if the players are lords of amber. Or you could use the Amber DRPG a game designed to reflect the setting, themes and tone of the books.
How the GM and players approach the game is more important than mechanics in determining play style, but mechanics are still an influence on the nature of the game.