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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 13,878 posts (14,677 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Rathendar wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Liam Warner wrote:
That's part of why I find using it so baffling since it effectively says "YOU shalt suck most righteoulsy until 3rd level or you do something like oh finishing this mission then spend downtime retraining so you have the same levels as everyone else but stat penalties for being younger." Why not just apply the stat penalties and let them have the same PC levels from the start and assume they've already had some major event that move them from NPC to PC which is why their adventuring in the first place?
Because, as everyone not an inveterate fanboi has been saying all thread, the Paizo rules people were having an unwarranted bout of passive aggressive dickery aimed mostly at one person who liked to post table stories about his or her creepy child characters.
....eh?

Yeah, I'm going to need some serious evidence on that front. To me, the child rules seem fairly in line with the rest of Paizo's take on pseudo realism.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Olondir wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Try it for sure! I'm just sharing my own experiences with trying out fights at lvl 5, 10, and 15. Players will hit often thanks to near constant advantage.

I appreciate the comment. Theory is not one of my strengths.

I see a rule where you have five sources of advantage but because the light is poor none of them have any effect and it doesn't seem right. I've certainly got no experience as to how often that kind of situation comes up in play though, or what effect it will have on more "usual" situations.

I'm very wary of the "That make no sense. House ruling it away." reaction. If it really bothers me, I'll look for a way to change it, but not on first glance. I want to play with the game as written for awhile to see if I can figure out why the "makes no sense at first glance" rule was left in.

If it's obvious to me, it was probably obvious to the designer too. Which suggests there's a reason it stayed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
sunshadow21 wrote:
Adjule wrote:

A bad DM is a bad DM, regardless of edition. DMs can, did, still do, and will make terrible rulings, whether something is written a certain way or not. A good DM does the same thing with good rulings. It is fairly easy to tell if a DM is trying to be a control freak, in any edition.

3rd edition didn't remove anymore control from a DM than was previously present. DMs have always had ultimate control of how the game runs, and was always the last say on any form of ruling. The only thing that changed was that 3rd edition wrote so much down, that people ultimately just went with "I swing my weapon at it" or "I cast *name of spell* at it".

But by giving players a certain amount of ability to see the behavior and a variety of ways to respond, it did limit the ability of a bad DM to completely ruin it for someone else. Even if someone didn't like the experience as a whole, even brand new people could usually tell what aspect they didn't like, whether it be the DM, the group, the system, or a combination of those things. That is the real difference between 3rd edition and the other versions. DMs could still be arrogant, stupid and/or dumb, but it was much, much harder to mask and much easier for new players to identify; this in turn made it much harder to get away with. Many players are fine with merely inexperienced or inadvertent mistakes, but not so much with deliberate choices, regardless of what system is being used. 3rd edition made it easy to see the difference where other versions of D&D did not.

I don't see the difference you see. Maybe we've had different experiences with different bad GMs.

Even in 3.x so much of the game is going on behind the curtain, that what you're talking about is hard to see. You don't know the DCs or the modifiers or the monsters/NPCs abilities. You don't know why things happen, whether they were planned out all along or whether the GM is just making things up to mess with you.

3.x addresses a small chunk of the ways GMs can suck and not the ways I've had the most problems with. And it does so at the expense of tremendous rules bloat and limitations on what good GMs can do. As much fun as I've had with the system over the years, I'm not sure the trade off is a good one.


Zhayne wrote:
DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:
Vagabonds. wrote:

So, recently, while attempting to sign up for a campaign online, I proposed a 11 year old half-Elf Wizard who taught herself magic from the ground up from the age of six (Int 20), but was denied due to her being too young, and said that if I wanted to play a child, I would have to use the Young Characters ruleset.

This, predictably, is annoying, primarily due to forcing me to take NPC class levels, rather than actual wizard levels. My question is, should DM's enforce the child ruleset on their players?

A note: I would be the only child there.

Yes, the young characters rules should be enforced. It makes zero sense for an 11 year old to be as capable and competent as an adult adventuring professional.
Except in 90 percent of genre fiction with a child protagonist, of course.

Except in 90% of genre fiction with a child protagonist, they're not adventuring with other adult protagonists.

Or they're doing so as sidekicks and aren't as capable and competent as the adults.

Actually there are exceptions to that and they're things I don't think D&D handles well. The naturally powerful novice paired with the grizzled skilled veteran with little raw power, so they're both roughly at the same level, but in very different ways. You can do that in a point buy system, but not well in a level based one.
And I can't think of any elementary school age examples off hand. Even those are usually teenagers.


sunshadow21 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
That is not what I said. It's a system that no DM can single handly turn a would be fan into a raving hater in a single session, nothing more and nothing less. They can make people not like the system, and a full group can still pull this off in a single session, but no one person can have that much effect that quickly. Compare that to any other version of the game where the DM has practically full control over everything. It isn't even so much player control vs DM control, but rather spreading control out so that no one person has that much power unless the rest of the group is willing to cede their share of control to that person.

I just don't see it.

I've played plenty of games that actually split up control D&D 3.x/PF doesn't do that. There are a lot of indy games where the actual narrative control is shared. Where players mechanically have the power to define aspects of the world and the story, making things happen or not happen that are strictly under the GM's control in 3.x.

3.x takes away a lot of the GM's need to improvise on the fly, but doesn't take away any of his ability to define the environment and set up or modify the challenges as he sees fit. To use the common example, sure the mechanics tell you how far you can jump and the GM can't easily change that, but he decides how wide the gap is in the first place.

If it's harder for a GM to ruin the system for a potential fan, it's only marginally.

I'll agree that it is far short of what other systems can do for sharing control, but for the D&D family, it's still heads and tails above all the other versions.

Bad DMing, in my experience at least, is mostly due to inexperience and not being able to keep details consistent in your head. 3rd edition provides a major safety net in this regard; few DMs would deliberately setup a span that was flat out impossible, and most would be more likely to look at the chart to see what a good baseline was than just spouting out a number. Boring, yes, game breaking, not really. Even a DM set on a TPK still has a lot of hurdles to cross as players have enough tools at their disposal to see it for what it is and fight back; technically, the players can't stop a determined DM from doing what they want, but they can make it so boring that the DM loses interest in trying to do so. In the end, it's very, very, very easy for either side to make it extremely boring and uninteresting for everyone involved, but just as hard for any one person at the table to make someone fully hate it in a single session. It could still happen, but it takes a very determined person to do so, and there will likely be signs in advance that you are about to sit down with such a person.

Losing that stability will lose a lot of would be fans. It's a large part of why the OGL variants are still going strong despite all the other inherent problems with the 3rd edition chassis. For all of the very well known problems, people know about them up front and can usually work around the worst of them ahead of time. For those not in a regular group, problems with a DM driven system are unpredictable in when they appear and how to resolve them easily, making it a far less friendly system to adapt to in many ways.

In my experience, inexperienced GMs are much less of a problem than bad experienced ones.

It's control and interpersonal issues that make a truly bad GM. If anything, I'd expect inexperienced GMs to be more of a problem in a more complex game with more rules and rules interaction and crazy builds breaking the GM's plans and expectations.

TPKs are as easy in 3.x as anywhere else. "Your 1st level party goes in that direction? A purple worm attacks!" (Actually happened in a game long ago.)

I'd actually expect the chasm thing to be a bigger problem in 3.x. Without the hard and fast rules, the GM just describes the chasm and decides how hard he wants it to be to jump. In 3.x he has to first decide how hard he wants it to be then check the table and remember what his players have for acrobatics in order to reach the same result.

Different playstyles and experiences. Which is why I'd never make as strong of a statement as you did. And why I'm pretty sure you're wrong.


Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
No. Just because the word has two different meaning doesn't mean you can switch between them. Unless you're actually saying "prejudice is a critical part of the decision making process." In which case there's no point in continuing this discussion.
No, the word doesn't have two different meanings. If you want to have a word that means the same thing as discrimination but ONLY applies to prejudicial decisions, then make up a new word. In fact, use one that already exists like prejudice, bigotry, or favoritism.
Dictionary wrote:


discrimination
Noun
1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit:
racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
3.
the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment:
She chose the colors with great discrimination.
4.
Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.

The second definition is not "a critical part of the decision making process." It's a common part of the decision making process, but a lousy one.

Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I only used that example as a blatant if dated case of women reinforcing sexism. As for barriers to women in science, the study I mentioned shows them: equal resumes with the only difference being the name, women get fewer and lower offers.

Is that the same or as high a barrier as existed 50 or a hundred years ago? No, of course not. Is it still a barrier? Of course.

And basically the same argument has been used the entire time to justify whatever the current state of affairs was: It's moved from "Women aren't capable at all" to "Women are just naturally less interested in/capable of doing hard science", but either version just assumes that whatever the current state is happens to be the natural one. It obviously wasn't true back then. That makes me strongly suspicious it isn't true now.

So who do you want to blame? Because I know you want to blame someone. What have you done to encourage females to go into science? What if "Women are just naturally less interested in hard science" is actually true? Have there been studies by anyone to prove that women are just as interested in hard sciences as men are?

Of course you know I want to blame someone. You know that despite me saying the opposite again and again.

If anything, I blame hundreds or thousands of years of cultural pressure, which we are slowly and gradually changing.

But go ahead. Just assume I want to blame all men or something. It's simpler and easier and then you can be mad at me for blaming you.


chbgraphicarts wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
First, I'll believe that a good D&D movie can be made when I see, not a second before. Even if they get the movie rights back, it's still an uphill battle, and Hasbro's record of success is mixed at best.

Making a good D&D movie (trilogy) is very simple:

The Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale

The shear amount of revenue and interest in D&D that a trilogy based on the single-most-successful (and, frankly, best) books in D&D literary history would be mind-boggling.

That probably would be their best chance. I really hope they don't.

Can you imagine the influx of fresh angsty good double-scimitar wielding Drow exiled from their homelands and named Z'zzrt or something similar. It was bad enough back in the day.


Pendagast wrote:

so umm what do they do with the first few levels?

Are they forever a level 2 adept/level X wizard?
I haven't read the rules, as I probably wouldn't use them.

No. They convert. Some version of retraining, I'm not sure of the exact details.


Atarlost wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
A campaign is a matter of deciding what breaks from reality you find acceptable.
Why exactly what I find acceptable "isn't relevant"?
Casters exist, therefore casters exist. Dragons exist, therefore dragons exist. Those two statements are fine. Casters exist, therefore dragons exist isn't necessarily true. Casters and dragons existing is irrelevant to children being adventurers.

This isn't that argument though.

The game rules do not work properly if all the party members are not very close to the same power level therefore if child adventurers exist they must use the same classes as adults or a subset thereof, not a different set of strictly inferior classes.

Oracles, Witches, and Summoners exist and receive their power completely without training or even volition therefore being a child is not a barrier to having PC classes.

If you don't want child PCs that's fine and dandy. Ban them. When your son asks for bread you don't give him a serpent. If you're not going to give him bread just tell him he can't have bread. Don't give him poison and tell him it's bread. When you players ask to play child adventurers tell them yes or no. Do not passive aggressively shove punitive rules down their throats.

Or child adventurers can exist, but for groups consisting entirely of child adventurers, which is what I'd always thought the intent was.

Or they could potentially work even with an adult group if the player in question actually wants to play a weaker sidekick type character, so leaving that open as an option isn't necessarily a bad thing.

And the OP actually wanted to play an 11 year old half elf (roughly equivalent to 8 year old) wizard. A highly trained class, not an intuitive or even self-taught one.


sunshadow21 wrote:
That is not what I said. It's a system that no DM can single handly turn a would be fan into a raving hater in a single session, nothing more and nothing less. They can make people not like the system, and a full group can still pull this off in a single session, but no one person can have that much effect that quickly. Compare that to any other version of the game where the DM has practically full control over everything. It isn't even so much player control vs DM control, but rather spreading control out so that no one person has that much power unless the rest of the group is willing to cede their share of control to that person.

I just don't see it.

I've played plenty of games that actually split up control D&D 3.x/PF doesn't do that. There are a lot of indy games where the actual narrative control is shared. Where players mechanically have the power to define aspects of the world and the story, making things happen or not happen that are strictly under the GM's control in 3.x.

3.x takes away a lot of the GM's need to improvise on the fly, but doesn't take away any of his ability to define the environment and set up or modify the challenges as he sees fit. To use the common example, sure the mechanics tell you how far you can jump and the GM can't easily change that, but he decides how wide the gap is in the first place.

If it's harder for a GM to ruin the system for a potential fan, it's only marginally.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Have you played 5e yet, sunshadow? Honest question.
Haven't had a chance, and frankly, will be very, very picky about the group I choose to do so with. It has a lot of potential to be really good with the right group, and I will wait for the right group to try it; no point in doing anything else. I just don't believe that WotC can afford for everyone to take that approach or worse, try it out with the wrong DM and hate it.
I am confused on how this is any different from any version of the game. A bad DM experience is going to turn you off the game; it doesn't matter what edition you play.
A bad DM could not flat out destroy interest in 3rd edition on their own. A bad DM could make it boring, dull, and uninteresting, but not make it into a complete disaster without help from the rest of the group. Even if it did turn people off from the systme, it was rarely enough make them want to poison the well for other people in the process or make them flat out refuse to ever try the system again with a different group. Aside from system burnout, I've rarely seen anyone who actually hated 3rd edition, and even most people with system burnout were simply tired of it, not hating it. Every other edition of D&D fully has the capability of turning people off not just for a specific group or for a short time, but permanently and in a way that makes them actively hate it, and they can do so in the span of a single session. It's a big difference.

Argument by assertion.

I've played under good GMs and bad GMs in every version of D&D from 1E AD&D on and dozens of other game systems as well. I'd never make that kind of flat assertion about any system. Bad GMing is too variable and personal preference is too wide. A new tentative player is likely to walk away from a bad first experience whether it's because of a bad system, a bad GM or just incompatibility. An experienced player new to a particular system is likely to be able to tell that it's bad GMing that's at fault.

I've never bought into the whole "player control stops GM abuse" argument. My worst experiences with GMs involved things that could be done in any system, from blatant cheating to favoritism to GMPCs to death trap adventures to bad railroading and on and on.


Werthead wrote:
Quote:
So is it sexism if a female won't hire a female?

Yes.

There was a controversy here a few years ago when an older female business-owner declared that she would only be hiring women if they were incapable of bearing children, since as a small business owner she should not have to pay for maternity leave. This was regarded as sexist as it was denying potential employees work on the basis of an underlying fact of their gender they can do absolutely nothing about (i.e. all women can theoretically bear children up until medically they cannot, regardless of religion, sexuality or abstinance).

It's not commonplace, but it does happen that some women themselves perpetuate culture's acceptance of sexism.

Actually, I suspect it is pretty commonplace. Not on the blatantly misogynistic level or even on the open level you describe, but in the sense that women are vulnerable to absorbing societal prejudices and stereotypes about women, just like men are. A little less so perhaps, since they have themselves as a counterexample, but that doesn't mean they can't internalize the same attitudes.


Werthead wrote:
Quote:
Does a DnD movie need to define itself as being completely different from all other fantasy movies? I don't think so, or at least I don't think it needs to in order to be successful.

D&D itself - the core books and their assumpts anyway - is a collection of fairly general, standard fantasy tropes. That's why it's been so successful, it's the ur-fantasy game which serves a lot of different subgenres.

The problem is that its genericness which serves gaming so well is a bit of a barrier to making a distinct D&D movie, as there is no such thing.

In a lot of ways it's not all that generic, except in that it's come to influence a lot of modern fantasy.

The common combat spellslinging for example is quite rare in fantasy, especially in stories where it isn't entirely wizards. Wizards in fantasy literature are far more commonly the BBEG, the mentor figure or occasionally the sidekick to the martial hero - usually when he needs some basic magical advice to cope with the BBEWizard.

In general the power level scales much higher in D&D than in most traditional fantasy. Certainly than in fantasy movies.


Shady Contact wrote:
Psst. Module adaptation.

Possible. But most modules would make lousy movies. It's a far greater stretch than adapting a book to the screen.

If nothing else, all of the protagonist side character and character development isn't there, since that's left for the players to fill.

You can get a bare outline of plot arc, but all of how it relates to the characters plot arcs has to be filled in.


MMCJawa wrote:
thejeff wrote:

It's a question of what makes it good D&D movie, rather than just a good fantasy movie. It may be that the lack of an obvious answer to that and thus the lack of obvious direction to go with the project helped handicap the prior ones.

As a sort of side question, for all the...

How many theatrically released genre movies we have gotten anyway in the last decade that haven't been sequels, reboots, prequels, or adaptations of existing material? I don't know if the lack of success of original fantasy movies really matter when there are so few fantasy or original movies made to begin with

Perhaps, but it points at the difficulty of getting a good, essentially original fantasy movie made.


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MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
And that approach worries me, a lot. For one, they've tried it twice before, and it has yet to actually work. For whatever reason, the brand doesn't have the cross platform appeal that WotC wants it to have. Second, no matter how insignificant tabletop gaming is, it's still the...

WoTC's major profit earner is not DnD, it's Magic. DnD is just an ancilliary source of income. How much effort should they devote to it? How much effort do you expect Hasbro wants them to devote to it? There are something like...what? 6 designers dedicated to DnD, with the first adventure given to a 3pp to do. How many releases do you think 6 developers could by their itself, which are not simply rehashes of 4E and 3E books?

A slow and steady approach probably is the most viable avenue for them right now.

As for Brand, one really successful movie could more than make up for all of DnD sales in a year. That is at least one avenue Hasbro seems to be interested in pursuing, given their current legal fight with Sweetpea.

This actually might be a selling point for me. It's an answer to the decades old question of "If your customers can play for years with just the core rules, how do you survive as a business?" That's plagued RPGs since the beginning.

The general answer since the mid 2E days has been to produce system bloat. Paizo's has been to focus more on APs,but even they have a strong focus on new rules. The 3.x system is designed for new rules expansions.

The idea of trying to use the RPG to establish the brand rather than as the actual money-maker is an interesting one.


MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Have you played 5e yet, sunshadow? Honest question.
Haven't had a chance, and frankly, will be very, very picky about the group I choose to do so with. It has a lot of potential to be really good with the right group, and I will wait for the right group to try it; no point in doing anything else. I just don't believe that WotC can afford for everyone to take that approach or worse, try it out with the wrong DM and hate it.
I am confused on how this is any different from any version of the game. A bad DM experience is going to turn you off the game; it doesn't matter what edition you play.

It's the old "giving more power to the players keeps bad GM's from abusing their players" argument. There may be edge cases where it's true, but I don't buy it in general.

It is probably more true for areas like organized play or running any written adventure by the book, since there many of the ways a GM can screw with players are actually handled by the adventure writers or the organization.


MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
thejeff wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Does a DnD movie need to define itself as being completely different from all other fantasy movies? I don't think so, or at least I don't think it needs to in order to be successful. There are lots of genres and sub-genres...what generally makes a movie stand out from other movies of its type is the directions, plot, and characters, and in genre flicks the world-building and special effects.

If they make a good movie and market it well, it will stand out. Especially since big-screen fantasy movies have been so hit and miss.

I would like it to have something to do with D&D other than just being a fantasy.
What would distinguish a DnD movie from a typical fantasy movie? The only distinctive elements I can think of are monsters (Mind Flayers, rust monsters, etc), Vancian magic (maybe...), and using setting elements, such as setting it in Forgotten Realms or Grayhawk, or something. Perhaps we are talking past each other. Would the use of those above elements be sufficient?
Honestly, I don't know. Forgotten Realms might, but no sure bets on that; any other lesser known worlds would be even less likely to do much. Vancian magic, if you could translate a clear description might, but getting a full description out there in way that doesn't bore the audience would be tough. Monsters would be your best bet, and even than it may not mean much to most of the audience.
That was what I was wondering. Because...the first DnD movie had beholders, but it didn't exactly make the movie remotely good.

Obviously a good movie is the first and most important thing. Or at least successful, which isn't quite the same thing.

It's a question of what makes it good D&D movie, rather than just a good fantasy movie. It may be that the lack of an obvious answer to that and thus the lack of obvious direction to go with the project helped handicap the prior ones.

As a sort of side question, for all the recent success of fantasy in movies and on TV, how many of the successful projects haven't been adaptions of existing stories? Nothing comes to mind.


Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.
Considering that discrimination is a critical part of the decision making process, I'm gonna say no.
Can we not go down the "In a completely different use of the word, "discrimination" is a good thing" sidetrack? Discrimination in the context of prejudice, racism or sexism, is not "a critical part of the decision making process".
That's the thing. No, you can't separate them. People need the ability to discriminate, it's how decisions get made. Wanting people to not discriminate in some cases while saying it's fine in other cases just makes it that much harder to follow. You're better off telling people to stop grouping themselves by color, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual preference, etc.

No. Just because the word has two different meaning doesn't mean you can switch between them. Unless you're actually saying "prejudice is a critical part of the decision making process." In which case there's no point in continuing this discussion.

Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:

When you're not looking at as an excuse to take offense or lay blame, but from the point of view of "What are the barriers to women wanting to be scientists and how do we overcome them".

It's the same, on a lesser scale, as a female teacher or mother telling little girls they need to grow up to mommies and not worry about a career.
Just because the person who's absorbed the cultural prejudice is also female, doesn't mean it's not sexism.

Because, contrary to some opinions it really isn't all about attacking men.

What makes you believe that women not wanting to be scientists is something that can be overcome? Or did you mean there are barriers to women who want to become scientists but ultimately don't because of said barriers? If the latter, what barriers would you say exist? Are they the same barriers that Marie Curie faced in the 1890s or Shirley Ann Jackson faced in the 1960s?

I can't imagine a single case of any older female telling any younger female that she needs to grow up to be a mommy and nothing else. I'll give you that it may happen, but cases where it does are extreme outliers these days. The fact is, in order for the human species to continue, women NEED to be mommies. That's got nothing to do with cultural prejudice and everything to do with basic biology. It also has nothing to do with them having a career on top of that. Are you ignoring the fact that there is more to the difference between men and women than which genitals they have?

I only used that example as a blatant if dated case of women reinforcing sexism. As for barriers to women in science, the study I mentioned shows them: equal resumes with the only difference being the name, women get fewer and lower offers.

Is that the same or as high a barrier as existed 50 or a hundred years ago? No, of course not. Is it still a barrier? Of course.

And basically the same argument has been used the entire time to justify whatever the current state of affairs was: It's moved from "Women aren't capable at all" to "Women are just naturally less interested in/capable of doing hard science", but either version just assumes that whatever the current state is happens to be the natural one. It obviously wasn't true back then. That makes me strongly suspicious it isn't true now.


Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Breaking news: The main perpetrators of discrimination are people.
To summarize the summary of the summary: People are a problem.

No, people are people.

thejeff wrote:
More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.
Considering that discrimination is a critical part of the decision making process, I'm gonna say no.

Can we not go down the "In a completely different use of the word, "discrimination" is a good thing" sidetrack? Discrimination in the context of prejudice, racism or sexism, is not "a critical part of the decision making process".

Simon Legrande wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Who's doing it is important when it comes to figuring out how to stop it, but it's too often taken as an excuse either to lay blame or to take offense.

It's most often taken as an excuse to take offense then lay blame. People don't like being excluded. More often than not, when someone gets excluded the first step is to assume malice.

thejeff wrote:
A study recently linked in one of the other threads showed that grad students with female names got less offers and lower paying ones than students with identical records and male names. On the surface this could be taken as yet another "blame the males" thing, but it also showed no significant difference based on the gender of the hiring professor.
So is it sexism if a female won't hire a female?

When you're not looking at as an excuse to take offense or lay blame, but from the point of view of "What are the barriers to women wanting to be scientists and how do we overcome them".

It's the same, on a lesser scale, as a female teacher or mother telling little girls they need to grow up to mommies and not worry about a career.
Just because the person who's absorbed the cultural prejudice is also female, doesn't mean it's not sexism.

Because, contrary to some opinions it really isn't all about attacking men.


Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
thejeff wrote:
How do you intend to roleplay this character? As an actual 8 year, even if an incredibly smart and educated one, or as a miniature adult? If the later, why bother?
For the same reason you bother with anything else - roleplaying.

So the roleplaying involves playing the character just like any other adult character, not like a kid, but it has to be a child because of the roleplaying?

I don't get it.


Azten wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I don't particularly think the official rules are terrible. I think they'd probably work fine for an all child game or for someone actually interested in playing a sidekick Shortround style character (though I can't really imagine why anyone would want to.)

Why would anyone want to play a Dwarf? A wizard? A Halfling that specializes in grappling?

Because they want to.

Not "want to play a child", but "want to play a "deliberately much weaker than the rest of the party sidekick".

It's of course possible someone would want to, but I don't understand it and I'll bet it's rare.


I don't particularly think the official rules are terrible. I think they'd probably work fine for an all child game or for someone actually interested in playing a sidekick Shortround style character (though I can't really imagine why anyone would want to.)

They are obviously not intended to produce characters on the same power level as normal adults characters. That's pretty much the point of them.

As for actually allowing it, I'd consider it, based on what type of game I was running. The first question I'd have though, especially for a kid as young as an equivalent of an 8 year old human, which I believe was the proposal, would be: How do you intend to roleplay this character? As an actual 8 year, even if an incredibly smart and educated one, or as a miniature adult? If the later, why bother? And if the former, that's going to be incredibly disruptive, if everyone else isn't really on board with it. Third graders, even brilliant ones, are still working on basic social skills, emotional control, impulse control, delayed gratification and similar things.

There's a really fine line between not even bothering to roleplay a kid and just being a constant pain for the party.

A kid in the 12-13 range or even closer to normal starting age, I'd have a lot less trouble with. Especially if the kid came with a "had to grow up fast" backstory - which is a little hard, but not impossible, to match with a brilliant child with a very early education in magic.


Pendagast wrote:
Wrath wrote:
If nothing else Pendagast, your previous career and experiences have increased my respect for you tenfold. My hat goes off to anyone who deliberately goes into dangerous situations to,rescue/ recover other people.

wel it's not all that… movies make it seem much more glorious.

Yea, Ive seen people fall out of aircraft and survive… Im just saying they weren't traveling at terminal velocity and/or have had mitigating circumstances.

I don't fish the internet for random tidbits of dubious information, I go off things Ive seen and/or experienced, or in absence of that, multiple credible sources that have no reason to be parroting each other but happen to unilaterally agree "yes this happened".

There is too much crap in writing (on the internet or previously in print) that is just rumor, unwitnessed or theoretical.

All sorts of "fantastic" things came out of WW2 stories…but you have to think that people who were alive at that time also believe "war of the worlds" was a real truthful radio broadcast, and hiding under your desk at school would save you from nuclear bombs.

The ENTIRE "Red Scare" was a myth developed and spread by that generation, a myth that contributed to our foreign policy for 4 decades, and cost americans their edge in international economics.

So, pardon me If Im cynical as to unsubstantiated claims that I don't bee live simply because they are in writing, or someone said so, especially if they are in direct contradiction to things I have actually seen and witnessed.

It has long been my experience, that MOST people skim what they read, find what they have been looking for (already made up their mind on an article) and only glean from it that portion of which the want to believe.
It;s only gotten worse with the internet and the fact that anyone can author anything on it, and make it look "real", simply by the fact that nothing else "contrary" comes up on a search engine.

On the other hand, a lot of planes got blown up during WW2. At a guess, more in those few years than ever before or since. If you were looking for examples of really unlikely survivals, that's when you'd want to look.

But yes, they all had some explanation for that survival: trees, long snowy slopes, something. And an awful lot of luck.

But PF characters could step out of the plane at 30000' over hard packed desert, suck up the 20d6, land in the middle of the battle and start fighting. Because they're awesome.


Rynjin wrote:
Breaking news: The main perpetrators of discrimination are people.

To summarize the summary of the summary: People are a problem.

More seriously, isn't the existence of discrimination more of an issue than who's doing it.

Who's doing it is important when it comes to figuring out how to stop it, but it's too often taken as an excuse either to lay blame or to take offense.

A study recently linked in one of the other threads showed that grad students with female names got less offers and lower paying ones than students with identical records and male names. On the surface this could be taken as yet another "blame the males" thing, but it also showed no significant difference based on the gender of the hiring professor.


Adjule wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
I'm not sure I understand your point. Surely a system that's easier to teach and to run is more portable, not less?

Not necessarily. Easier to introduce to new people, but the more it is reliant on GM choices the more assumption clashes there will be when playing with different people who are already familiar with the system.

I don't think this is anywhere near as much of an issue with 5th as sunshadow21 does, but it's at least theoretically an issue.

Isn't that technically every version of D&D (Pathfinder included)? Same with many other systems (I can only assume on that). No 2 DMs will allow the same things, and even those that do, there is no guarantee that it hasn't been changed (house rules). Saying there's too much reliance on the DM's choices in one system and is the reason to not play it, seems rather absurd.

But as has been said many many times in this thread and many others, it is OK if a system isn't for you. You don't like a system, there's nothing wrong with that. Once you figure out that much, it would probably be best to move on.

True. All systems will have some variation and any GM can add houserules, but that doesn't mean there's no difference in how much variation is common.

Mind you, I don't think this is a big deal. Just trying to clarify what was meant.


Pendagast wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Because the fall can do less damage than a 5th level character can have. Duh.
NO DUH, it doesn't. To fall far enough to actually REACH terminal velocity it would NOT do less damage than what a 5th level character can have,,, DUH

He said 'can', not 'would'.

Pendagast wrote:

Ummm I think you're thinking of urban myth.

Im a former paratrooper. I don't recall anyone falling for nearly 6 miles and living.

Here you go.

Read the Article,

SHE didn't fall, she was in the plane that crashed from 33,000 feet.
Entirely different than a person falling OUT of plane and hitting the ground with her body alone.

That's surviving a plane crash, not surviving a fall.
There are ALOT of people who have done that.

No there aren't. Not the kind of plane crash that supposedly was. The kind where the pilots are kind of in control on the way down, sure. Not the kind where the plane blows up in mid air and you're in one of the sections in free fall for 33000'.

Edit: Yes, as I said above, it's disputed and most likely not true.
The same article links to several other cases of people falling a couple of miles and surviving, which makes essentially the same point, whatever that was.


TriOmegaZero wrote:


Pendagast wrote:

Ummm I think you're thinking of urban myth.

Im a former paratrooper. I don't recall anyone falling for nearly 6 miles and living.

Here you go.

This is disputed. There are claims it was a coverup and the plane was actually shot down (which is what was being covered up) from a much lower altitude.

Regardless, there are a number of other long fall survivors linked in the wiki entry. None as long, but all well over a mile.


Ffordesoon wrote:
I'm not sure I understand your point. Surely a system that's easier to teach and to run is more portable, not less?

Not necessarily. Easier to introduce to new people, but the more it is reliant on GM choices the more assumption clashes there will be when playing with different people who are already familiar with the system.

I don't think this is anywhere near as much of an issue with 5th as sunshadow21 does, but it's at least theoretically an issue.


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Aranna wrote:

Except conservatism is the exact opposite of machiavellian. The brand of conservatism I subscribe to seeks to expand everyone's productivity and wealth. Not just the wealth of the prince which sounds more like a concentration of power in the hands of a few which is a leftist goal. Big government vs small government and all that.

Also I am not truly right wing in the sense most people think of. According to my last political alignment test I am a conservative leaning moderate. But that's mostly fiscal conservatism. I am solidly middle of the road on social issues and slightly left leaning on government regulation.

Yes I favor a small but much more effectively run government capable of truly policing businesses rather than the left's big government solution of relying on corrupt bureaucrats who in the past have been largely ineffective at catching anyone other than their political enemies.

Which if we're building strawmen, is nicely matched by the right's "small" government solution of cutting social services, outsourcing what remains to inefficient well-connected business and running up the debt while pretending tax cuts will increase revenue.

Concentration of power in the hands of a few isn't a leftist goal. It's occasionally a leftist means, but there have been plenty of rightist dictatorships.


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Gaberlunzie wrote:
Aranna wrote:

So your saying I don't see BBC bias because I share their views?

Well, either you have view that are kind of similar, or the BBC's ideology and bias is pretty close to the hegemonical ideology.

In fairness, Aranna sees things from a much more rightist viewpoint and has different views on other channels: I think NPR is at best centrist, she calls out "massive leftist bias", etc.

It may be more that the BBC doesn't directly as much with hot-button US issues and thus avoids bias more obvious to Americans.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Leaving analogy and marketing behind, which sections are you talking about? Specifically, which division of the video game industry is catering to women?

As far as I can tell, relatively little of the design portions of the game industry are catering to women or to men, with the notable exception of children's games (e.g., Mermaid Barbie Adventure).

The marketing, of course, is catering to whoever bought the game that the designers ripped off to create the current me-too game. If you're selling a WoW clone, you sell to the people who bought (or are likely to have bought) WoW, and if you're selling a Farmville clone, you sell to the people who bought Farmville.

OK. Then we're in different worlds. Or we have entirely different ideas of what "catering to men" or "catering to women" means.

Is a franchise that doesn't even have the option of a female avatar, while offering plenty of customization other than that, really catering equally to men and women?

Is that not a design choice?


MMCJawa wrote:

Does a DnD movie need to define itself as being completely different from all other fantasy movies? I don't think so, or at least I don't think it needs to in order to be successful. There are lots of genres and sub-genres...what generally makes a movie stand out from other movies of its type is the directions, plot, and characters, and in genre flicks the world-building and special effects.

If they make a good movie and market it well, it will stand out. Especially since big-screen fantasy movies have been so hit and miss.

I would like it to have something to do with D&D other than just being a fantasy.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Your argument is basically that the industry is sexist and that's driven by consumer demand.

Which might even be true, but it's still admitting the sexism.

Actually, my argument isn't that the industry is sexist and that it's driven by consumer demand.

It's not clear that the industry is sexist. What is clear is that there's strong divisions in the industry, in the same way that there are divisions in the wine industry -- most wine is bought by females, but most pinot noir is bought by men. If you think that you'll make more wine sales by trying to market pinot noir to women (and white zinf to men), you're thinking exactly backwards. Affinity group marketing works by using established groups, not by breaking such groups. (And this isn't even affinity group marketing --it's just "me too" marketing.)

But those divisions aren't necessarily sexist, and catering to those divisions is also not necessarily sexist.

Leaving analogy and marketing behind, which sections are you talking about? Specifically, which division of the video game industry is catering to women?


Shifty wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Is that a complete non-sequitor or am I missing something?

It was making the point that the 'good fantasy' out there is not somehow linked to a set of rules mechanics. I just can't see how you could have a good 'D&D' movie that is tied into a rules set.

I think you could take the settings and some of lit as a start point, but then you need to just toss so much out its no longer D&D. "Low fantasy" is where it is at, epic spellslinging high end stuff is just a CGI festival. Michael Bay would love it, and Uwe Boll is just waiting to get his hands on it too.

The Lord of the Rings movies were based on the books (based on..based on..) but in no way shape or form constrained or shaped themselves on the LOTR RPG.

Well obviously. They were based on the books not the game. (That particular game was at least partly based on the movies, iirc.)

I actually think high fantasy spellslinging might be the niche a D&D movie could use to distinguish itself, CGI-fest or not. More than just dropping a few name and place references.
There's nothing that says you can't do good story-telling and special effects.
I guess if you want a generic low fantasy movie with Elminster playing the wise old mentor role instead of Merlin or Gandalf, you could do that.


Shifty wrote:

What rules set is Game of Thrones running with?

A variant of the one in Martin's head.

Is that a complete non-sequitor or am I missing something?


Shifty wrote:
One has too much story for 90 minutes, the other not much of a story at all :p

Fantasy epics are at least 2 hours these day :)

I did suggest up thread that a tv series might be better for a full 1 to 20 campaign arc.

For a movie you've got to be a bit more focused.


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Sissyl wrote:
At its heart, the problem is that a ruleset is something you apply to a story, not a story in itself. To make a Dungeons & Dragons movie is not going to work until you put something more to it.

But that said, there's got to be something that makes it a D&D movie rather than just a fantasy movie.

Obviously, it needs good story, engaging characters, cool fight scenes and all that. I agree it doesn't need to slavishly follow the rules set , but what distinguishes good fantasy movie from good D&D movie?


Liam Warner wrote:

Except that they could take me I'll hop off a gutter without a second though, a low well after checking the ground and if I was desperate maybe a one story house since while I know it'd injure me I know I could survive it. A character in a fantasy world may feel hopping off a house isn't worth a second thought from experienc. Look at carrying capacity an average human with 11 strength can push at most 115lbs for a 5th level character with 21 strength (18 +2 ability bonus +1 4th level) that's not even a light load and they can push 5 times that amount at 520 lbs (so 5 times as strong)? That's you walk into the village and see someone trying to push s log off a friend so you casually pick it up and toss it aside.

Our experiences dictate what we know we can do if someone dives off a roof to escape a pursuer and realises it doesn't hurt only jolts them they may well jump off roofs whenever they see an advantage to it. Admittedly that's not the same as just trying a fall from 30000 feet but for lesser values well what they survived in the past will influence what they believe they can survive and how they approach problems.

Yeah, we learn from experience what we can do and PF characters will do the same. But that doesn't apply to these kind of freak outliers.

All I'm saying is that the evidence that people have survived really high falls in real life doesn't have anything to do with PF characters doing the same. The real life people survived by extreme luck and by something being there to break their fall. None of them would do it again because they couldn't count on either the luck or there being something to break the fall. High-level PF characters know they can walk away from the drop every time.


Aranna wrote:
thejeff you are wrong here. Why do you think like somewhere around 90% of minimum wage workers make MORE than that after a year of employment? It obviously has nothing to do with government intervention. Those companies could forever keep people at minimum wage and stay in governments good graces. NO they earn more than that because they now have on the job skills and their company now values their labor at a higher rate. A rate the company sets based on the market. Since they CAN keep wages lower than they currently DO and yet refuse to do so completely invalidates your post.

Because rewarding people for staying and developing skills is good for retention whatever level you start at? Even in states or cities that have raised the minimum wage, the same pattern happens. Most people who stay get a raise after a year or so. Even from companies who fought the wage hike.

More generally, the "rate the company sets based on the market", takes into account the minimum wage floor. They want to retain the slightly more experienced guy by paying him a little more than he'd start with elsewhere. Move to a lower minimum wage and they'd still want to pay a guy with a year's experience enough to keep him from wanting to start over at another company, which means a little above minimum.

That's what all the conservatives mean when they talk about "distorting the market". It's not that you are forced to pay employees an artificially high wage until they become valuable enough to earn a rate set by the market. It's that the very market rate itself is changed by government action.


Liam Warner wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

It's called terminal velocity because at that point any gain in speed from gravity or momentum is negated, or rather terminated… the point at which no more speed can be reached.

And no, by the current rules set, I do not see how a fifth level character falling from THAT high could survive the fall, without magic or a special character class ability (slow fall, feather fall, levitate..something like that)

It should be noted that there are documented incidents of people falling, without a parachute, from great heights and surviving. The record, I think, was 33,000 feet.
aw the joys of modern medicine.

Actually I believe it had more to do with freak circumstances like a large snowdrift or tree and survived doesn't nescessarily mean they wanted too.

@TheJeff

Technically speaking they did the only difference is in the modern world to fall that distance for tactical purposes they used a parachute whereas in a fantasy world they use featherfall, slowfall or just rely on their ridiculous preternatural toughness

But that's the point. They wouldn't just assume they could survive the fall. It's not that those who survived were the equivalent of high level characters. They just rolled all 1s for damage.


Aranna wrote:
The cost of labor is set at most levels by the market. Dropping minimum wage completely will not change what people are payed except at the lowest level of jobs and even there it likely wouldn't fall very far if at all. They NEED to have a first world incentive to attract workers. At a dollar a day no one would work and you couldn't run your business.

And the same argument would be made a few years after we raise the minimum wage to $15.

I suspect it would be equally wrong then. Without government intervention, there is no floor. Of course there is intervention other than minimum wage - people won't take a job for much less than they can get through various safety net programs, especially if you lose the benefits.

It wouldn't be immediate, of course, just the beginning of a downward spiral. Justified by the drops in prices, but leading them, since so much of the cost of goods isn't dependent on local labor.


Aranna wrote:
Actually true center is BBC since they have no skin in the political game here.

Actually true center is RT since they have no skin in the political game here.

Actually true center is Al Jazeera since they have no skin in the political game here.

I should let it go because BBC is in many far left of any US programming, but the logic makes no sense.


Aranna wrote:
But the real question is are the people who have to pay for that pay increase cool with it? Because the middle class are the ones we should ask if this is ok. They are the ones who will pay higher prices without an increase in wages.

So what? They'd get even cheaper fast food if we dropped the minimum wage to 3rd world levels.

Is that a good enough reason to do so, even if the middle class wanted it?


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Bandw2 wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

It's called terminal velocity because at that point any gain in speed from gravity or momentum is negated, or rather terminated… the point at which no more speed can be reached.

And no, by the current rules set, I do not see how a fifth level character falling from THAT high could survive the fall, without magic or a special character class ability (slow fall, feather fall, levitate..something like that)

It should be noted that there are documented incidents of people falling, without a parachute, from great heights and surviving. The record, I think, was 33,000 feet.
aw the joys of modern medicine.

Aw the joys of statistical outliers.

Unlike a midlevel PF character, I doubt any of them would be willing to do it again for tactical advantage.


More importantly though, if the argument is simultaneously that sexism isn't a significant problem in the gaming industry or community and that it would be a disaster for a company to put out a game with less T&A and/or more female characters, that's blatant nonsense.

Your argument is basically that the industry is sexist and that's driven by consumer demand.

Which might even be true, but it's still admitting the sexism.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Werthead wrote:


THE PRODUCERS was a (fictional) stage play deliberately designed to fail so it would earn the backers a substantial insurance pay-out.

Goodness, no. It was a real movie about a fictional stage play for which the producers sold 25,000% of the profits to backers. Insurance didn't enter into it; it was outright fraud of the backers and a violation of the fiduciary duty at a number of levels.

What thejeff -- and you -- are proposing is similarly a violation of the fiduciary duty on behalf of the game developers, who are supposed to be making profitable games.

If you're seriously suggesting pandering to the people who aren't going to be buying your games anyway, no matter what you do, I can only assume you're working with Bialystock.

Don't blow it too far out of proportion. The original suggestion was
Quote:
even these games - especially when recent CoD games go in for asymmetrical warfare in a big way - don't really have an excuse for not featuring more female characters or try to appeal more to female gamers. CoD did actually lean a little towards it (if only slightly) in GHOSTS, so it'll be interesting to see if that trend continues in ADVANCED WARFARE, given it's much more of an SF game and thus is not constrained by dubious notions of 'realism'.

I don't think that qualifies as pandering or that an attempt to draw a little more of the female market is "a violation of the fiduciary duty". Making Call of Duty: Romance edition in nice pink box with hearts and flowers would, but no one is suggesting that.


Freehold DM wrote:
Indeed, the story I heard about this was quite different. No cosplay mentioned, and something about swinging a sword around and then running away. I'm not saying the cops were right here, but I'm thinking there's something up.

Not so much swinging the sword around. Apparently he was stopped by the cops and was being questioned when he drew the sword and lunged at them.

Or so the official story goes.

I tell you. These dangerous black kids. Always attacking armed cops for no reason.


Simon Legrande wrote:
Werthead wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
They do have "excuses" (or rather, reasons) why they've avoided the extra step: significant success without taking the extra step, few women play the games, decision to focus on additional mechanics (new weapons, vehicles, misc tech, etc.) in lieu of female models, and likely a publisher resistance to risk the inclusion of one element at the cost of other elements (e.g. mechanics or graphic improvements) that will be included by competitors. With the way some "critics" react, it's little wonder that publishers are wary of including female avatars out of a desire to avoid the inevitable "violence against women" accusations (despite the thousands of male character deaths piling up on scoreboards).

Yup, because the violence inflicted against the female avatar in TOMB RAIDER (all eleventy billion of them), PORTAL or METROID was a big controversy.

Wait...

You've just named three games where a female is the protagonist. Despite maybe getting beat up occasionally, the woman is the one doing the major ass kicking. And what do you think the male to female ratio is for players of those games?

Is it better to make and try to market a game for women that men probably won't end up playing?

As was said earlier on, better than that on games where female avatars weren't an option. At least on Metroid, since that was the one referenced earlier.

And that's the point. Also that "violence against women" really only comes up when it's about beating up helpless victims, not when it's a female avatar getting hurt.


Mikaze wrote:
How this hasn't been on the news more than it has is infuriating, to put it lightly.

It's just one more black kid killed by the cops. That's not news.

If you want news, you need riots over it.

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