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Steve Geddes wrote:
What's gained though? THACO and AC-as-DC have always seemed identical, to me. It's just that some people struggle with subtracting negative numbers.
Yeah. It's not that hard, I'll freely admit. But it is marginally harder and more confusing (The only numbers in the game you want to be low are AC? +1 armor actually subtracts from the AC?) and there's absolutely no advantage to it.
Everything else works by roll + bonuses greater than or equal to a target number. Why make this different? Other than nostalgia.
OTOH, home written adventures can be tailored for the tastes of you and your group, which makes up for a lot of the advantage the professionals have. Also makes it far easier to move the rails when the party does something unexpected.
Pretty much all published modules are too combat focused for my tastes, for example. Even the roleplaying heavy ones have the mandatory grinding encounters.
But, there are definitely advantages to both.
captain yesterday wrote:
Flagged it Adjule, I'm not a lazy failure, and I use published adventures, not cool at all.
He does go on to say "It is a false one, I know, but it is usually rather difficult to shake soemthing you have thought for decades."
Might depend on which group of Native Americans you're talking about.
Nor do "barbarians" have to be Barbarians. Or vice-versa.
(Though they're all technically barbarians since they don't speak classical Greek.)
Turin the Mad wrote:
I'd really not do that with an area that's already been set up as the Americas analogue.
I believe the little info we do have on it already talks about the native humans, as well as a few non human possibilities.
Though it can be fun to play with the other approach as well - Villains who are threats because of what they are, but not necessarily evil. Vampires who have to kill people for food and treat them just as food animals, but don't actually do it for their own pleasure any more than most of us kill cattle for fun. (Of course, vampires are overdone and the rules for them vary, but the concept applies - Mind flayers, maybe?)
One of the problems with Pathfinder (and most 3.x variants) is that they tend to provide a fair number of options that don't actually deliver what they seem to promise. So you can follow the fluff, and get what the option seems to promise or you can follow the strict RAW mechanics, and it becomes a trap option in the great tradition of Monte "Timmy Card" Cook.
Or you can look at the fluff, go - ""meh, not interested" and miss the powerful mechanics.
It's one of my pet peeves with the whole 3.x/PF way of doing things. I'm quite happy with systems where the mechanics have no fluff attached - build your own powers, adding the fluff you want games like Hero Systems.
Generic Dungeon Master wrote:
The story never goes off the rails. This is what I'd planned all along.
<the camera pans back to reveal workers frantically moving rails into the next valley>
It's also knowing how much challenge your players want. Some really are there for the tactical challenge and come alive for the toughest fights and get bored with anything less. Some like a looser hand.
I personally like enough leeway that I don't have to go overboard on optimizing my character and can build for flavor not just for power. More importantly for this, I also like to be able to roleplay the occasional stupid choice in combat, even important combats, without bringing about a TPK. Maybe he's impulsive or overconfident. Maybe he's got a sense of honor that gets him in trouble.
14 was in London. 13 in Texas.
Vox Day is a pseudonym for Theodore Beale. Much like "sunbeam" isn't your real name. Or so I assume. :)
Plenty of writers use initials as the name they write under. From "J.R.R." Tolkien to "J.K." Rowling. She may or may not answer to "K" in real life.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Like, for example, the Puppies complaints that since the kind of works they like haven't been winning it's all dishonorable conduct on the part of Scalzi, Tor and/or SJWs?
On the other hand, sometimes it's worth just shutting down the discussion rather than letting it blow up into a big argument, when you've gathered for something else. Whether it's work or game night or a family gathering or something.
I actually find "I don't discuss religion or politics in polite company" often is a polite way of saying "I'm not going to discuss it with you, because I know we won't be able to stay polite."
You can still register for this year's WorldCon.As far as I can tell, you should still be able to vote, though it's obviously too late to nominate.
You could do something like what you suggest. It's in fact happened at least once, back in 1987 when a stack of ballots with the same postmark nominated one of L. Ron Hubbard's books. Thing is, fandom was and is a small enough community that everybody pretty much knew and the book lost horribly.
That level of abuse is easy to do and hard to get away with. It's possible it's happened successfully on a small scale without anyone knowing. Nothing like this though.
I've lost track. Are we talking "ideological spectrum" as in "Social Justice Warriors" or still pretending it's about smaller presses being driven out by Tor?
Because frankly, if "disenfranchising people who don't fit it" means "not being welcoming to people who defend or express racism, misogyny or homophobia", I'm really fine with that. Doesn't mean every (or even any) book has to be a SJW tract, though it seems that all you need to qualify for that is a positive LBGTQ character, but I'd much rather have the community welcoming to women and LGBTQs and not the likes of Vox and Wright, than vice versa.
Not so much complicated math as lots of math. Lots of places to screw up simple math.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
For about the 10th time, Scalzi didn't "post his own slate". He makes a blog post where he lists those of his works that are eligible.That's all. He lists them all. Doesn't try to drive votes towards one so he'll have a better chance. Doesn't list all the works that he thinks should win. Just says "This is what I've got that's eligible."
I'll admit, even that is considered a bit much by historical Hugo standards. But it's a far cry from what we're seeing now. And of course, you know it's him doing it. It wasn't clear to me until I dug deeper into it that Vox was publishing most of the stuff on his list and no one else on this thread mentioned it, so I assume they didn't realize it either. It certainly wasn't explicit in the posting of the list itself. Disclosure makes a big difference.
"Here's what I've written this year. Vote for them if you liked them." vs
They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are. I think it is abundantly evident that these various and meritorious works put not only last year's nominations, but last year's winners, to shame.
Without a mention that he profits off most of them.
Lord Snow wrote:
,1) While there IS a spectrum of voices in the slate (which leads to believe that the claims of the leaders of the Sad Puppies move are at least partially honest when they say they want what they consider to be the good kind of SF to win), its existence also lead to some convoluted singularities. One author had 6 of his works nominated, which is an all time record. Generally speaking, the slate does lean significantly to a political view, and the motive behind it is quite clearly political in nature. That's a level of meddling that is not strictly prohibited or even clearly "wrong", but it should be unsettling for anyone who cares for the integrity of the reward. Hence, the "Hugo awards controversy".
In fairness, only 2 of those (1 novella and 1 related work) were on the Sad Puppies list. The really scummy Rabid Puppies list had all 6.
Possibly interestingly the more moderate Sad Puppies list seems to have had less impact than the Rabid one. While there was much overlap between the two, there were some differences. According to this analysis: only 3 that were actually nominated were only on the SP list, while 10 were only on RP.
That does kind of explain the pricing then. It should be compared more with Herolab, though with even more features, than with just pdfs.
Of course, if what you want is pdfs, that doesn't really help.
That's sort of a different tack though. Despite all the "leftist"/"rightist" rhetoric thrown around, the brouhaha isn't really about economic systems or even the role of government. It's about "Social Justice Warriors", race and gender inclusion and the other usual culture war suspects.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Absolutely. I didn't mean the sides were the "rightists" vs "everyone else who I agree with", but "the people pushing these slates of ideologically acceptable works" vs "fans voting for works they've liked as they've done for decades".
Arturius Fischer wrote:
I see a huge difference between "Here's everything I've written that's eligible this year. Nominate if you like." and "We need to organize and nominate this list of works in every category so we can keep the SJWs from stealing it again." I just don't think Scalzi's "slate" is even in the same category. And that's not because I agree with him. I've never even read any of his books. I wouldn't have any problem with anyone, even the Puppy people, doing the same thing.
If they'd provide some evidence for those claims of a leftist cabal, rather than just trying a coup using it as an excuse and using much more questionable tactics than anything we know about from what they consider the other side.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
"opposition"? What opposition? And evidence against what? Can we at least have specific accusations before some undefined group has to prove their innocence?
Arturius Fischer wrote:
On who?Again, you're assuming there's some opposing group that has control over the nominations. They're supposed to be independent fan nominations and a fan vote. Organizing a "leftist" group to make a slate to oppose the "rightist" Puppies defeat the whole point. Better to just kill the awards entirely.
Edit: That's not better to kill the awards than let right wing books win them. That's better to kill the awards than have them become a political competition where someone picks a list of right wing ones and some one else picks left wing ones and whichever side has the most fans wins.
Why not? It's the same damn thing.
The same reaction against diversity. The same bashing of "Social Justice Warriors". And apparently the same kind of mealy mouthed: "No, it's not about what we say it's about to drum up support, it's about professional ethics."
In fairness, it's not about threats and doxxing and the other real nastiness.
But at the heart, it's the same backlash.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
those who are under-represented due to not having backing by a major publisher would otherwise get little or no visibility
Is this the new version of "It's about ethics in gaming journalism."
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Is it? Or just the first openly visible one? If those who support it are to be believed, this process was already going on behind the scenes, with specific choices picked out ahead of time by those who previously influenced it.
Even on this small scale, it's pretty hard to push these nomination slates secretly. People have to know about them to nominate them. Which is why the Puppies did it openly and got called on it. Because that works.
Scalzi did post which of his works were eligible on his blog and opened up a thread for discussion of other nominees, but I don't believe there was a consensus of what to nominate. I've never seen any evidence or even specific accusations about Tor, other that they must have been doing something since they won a lot.
The other thing is that even last year when the Puppies got some on the final slate, they lost, suggesting that either the voting process is also rigged or that maybe they really aren't that popular.
*Also, could you please not group all your responses. It makes it much more difficult to reply to as specific point.
Yeah, I was interested in the "Wereworld poet" to.
As for the Hugo Award thing, the takeaway for me is that far too few people submit nominations, leaving the whole thing vulnerable to a small organized group. It looks like it only took a couple hundred people voting for the puppy slates to make them nominees.
So for those interested in these things, get yourself a supporting Worldcon membership - it's only something like $50 and you wind up getting a packet of the final nominees, so you'll hopefully get some good reading out of it. And then nominate some things. Not somebody's slate, but eligible things you've read and liked. Doesn't have to be a full set of 5 in every category, just however many you think are worthy.
I haven't actually done it yet, but next time I get the chance to doublecheck my finances :)
Ummm. Anime? Manga? Video games?Asians may not be as interested in specifically western geek culture, but they've got their own and there's been a lot of cross-pollination.
So why do people beat themselves up over a lack of diversity in a genre that has a lack of diversity in it's fanbase?
Because it's most likely that feedback loop works in both directions. The lack of diversity in the fanbase reinforces lack of diversity in the creators, which reinforces the lack of diversity in the fanbase. Some of us would like to break out of that cycle.Some, like the Puppies, would like to reinforce it.
I'd also point back a few decades when the same things were said about women in SF/Fantasy. They're still a minority, but there are some damn fantastic female writers out there. And they don't have to use initials so readers won't realize they're women any more.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
They're a taste. And a nice way to try the game out before committing to it. They're definitely a good thing.
But no substitute for either a SRD or pdf/digital versions.
It's the mechanical aspect that bothers me. Saves actually got easier to make in AD&D. More so for some saves and less for others, but better overall.
In PF, your save numbers go up, but so does the DC. For casters, it's usually easier to stack the DC higher than for the target to boost their saves, especially the bad ones. The difference between good and bad saves grows as you level making you generally more vulnerable to something than you were at low level. That just didn't happen in AD&D.
Or that, like many things in the game and especially the skill system, it's an abstraction to simplify play rather than intended as a strict model of how the world really works.
And we're back to ignoring the distinction between being in it for the money and just being in it for the money. Yes, they have to make enough money to pay the bills and make a living. Reasonable profits and reasonable practices to make them aren't a problem.Some companies go beyond that. Is there no level of greed or approaches to making profit that go too far? Especially when it comes to creative works, like RPGs?
Often one thing that's meant is seeking short-term profit over long-term stability. An example might be a company with a really good reputation for quality products lowering its standards to cut costs while producing even more material, boosting revenue with lower costs and thus higher profits - for awhile. Until the quality of the new product damages the reputation enough that sales drop. Often, by this point the new management has earned their bonus, made a reputation for boosting profits and moved on to another company. :)
Note: "new books we get in print form" are not paid for by profits. They're paid for by revenue and hopefully will generate profits. Any revenue invested back into paying for new products isn't profit.
Their favored rpg is the best. No flaws whatsoever usually. With the company who publishes it above reproach. Rpgs they don't like they see flaws where their usually are none. The companies that publish them the spawn of the devil. A good example is some on this forum accusing Wotc of being greedy and wanting to make money. Last time I checked Paizo is not a non-profit. Who starts a business not wanting to make money.
That's a slight distortion of the usual accusation. Usually it's "just wanting to make money".
Obviously all businesses want to make money. At least enough to keep going. Some, particularly some smaller privately-owned businesses, are in the field they're in because the owners actually like it. In Paizo's case, the owners are not only actively involved in running the company, but, IIRC, also play the flagship game. While they certainly want to make money, they're also invested in the game as a game and a hobby.
That's a very different approach than WotC, which is owned by another company and responsible to them. Even within WotC, D&D isn't their main product line. I'm sure the main team working on D&D does play and care about the game, but they work for people who don't.
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Better than the modifier sandwich I say. You get better, it is easier and easier to hit Ac 0, which was pretty damn good.
But those are two unrelated things. You could switch PF to use THAC0, but keep all the modifiers, or you could reverse the scale in AD&D, but not bring in all of 3.x's modifiers.
Which is something like what 5E is trying.
Thac0 wasn't that bad. Better than just the table. Reversing it is simpler and more intuitive.
Amber's pretty niche, even by RPG standards.
CoC d20 isn't the same thing. At all. :)
GM Tribute wrote:
Tournament games were specifically designed to be challenging and weed out characters. They didn't necessarily reflect normal home games.
I never played with Gygax. Didn't go to conventions at all until much later and not often then. But I've heard plenty of stories, much like yours, reinforcing the Gygax=Killer GM theme, and about as many saying pretty much the opposite.
Similarly, my old school experience doesn't reflect the lethality so many talk about and there are still plenty of posters here, not all of them grognards who are plenty proud of how challenging their games are. Quite willing to kill PCs, even if it's not quite as often as legends of the old days.
Of course, my favorite CoC keeper was far happier coming up with new and interesting ways for us to go mad than killing us outright. "There's no fun in death", she'd say. "It's more entertaining to keep you alive and watch you suffer."
Which is roughly my attitude towards death in any RPG. It can happen occasionally, but there are more interesting ways to fail.
Black Dougal wrote:
The Vorkosigan Saga would make a much better set of movies than Dune. Light, fluffy action movies, with a ton of cleverness and wit. They'd be great. The books are great fun. Fluff, but very entertaining.
Dune, at least the first book, is a much better book. Deservedly a classic. But very hard to make into a good movie or set of movies.
Which of course, doesn't mean you have to like it. Everyone's tastes are different. But the idea that the "standard of writing in sci fi" has risen from Dune to Vorkosigan is ludicrous.
In theory, the level limits weren't punishment or because the devs were pro-human, they were partly to explain why the longer lived races didn't dominate everything (500 yr old 100th level elven wizard) and partly as a balance for the demi-humans being otherwise generally better than humans. All the special abilities and the like. Also, I suppose to enforce the intended flavor, which wouldn't fly today.
Not a good balance, imo, since it only came into play fairly late in a campaign and then was a killer. If you expected the game to last past X level, you didn't play a race limited below X level. They seemed kind of pointless, but didn't bother me much.
The limits did generally rise in 2E from what they were in 1st.
Jericho Graves wrote:
Ideally role models in the real world would be better, particularly ones in close family or other close relationships - particularly for kids exploring their identity. However, in world with as much bigotry as we still have more distant and even fictional role models may have to substitute since it's likely you won't know anyone to be a role model in any given category. Even without bigotry, some identities are rare enough that most people aren't likely to just happen to know one, when they begin to question their own nature. Fictional representation is shallower, certainly, but broader. Even if you don't know any trans adults, for example, you can come across one in fiction and realize that's what you're dealing with.
Even for more common groups, fictional and media representation can reinforce or break stereotypes: "Boys have adventures, girls get rescued or wait at home for the boy to come back"
Beyond that, arguments that representation isn't necessary tend to ignore that someone's always getting representation - even if it's just the default straight white man.
Edit: agreed that it would be nice if the bigotry just went away. The question is how to move towards that.
Depends entirely on who's offering the bounty and why.
Frankly, I'd have a lot of trouble with a Paladin killing just for a bounty. Especially if it's just "Gnoll scalps, 10gp each".
Jessica Price wrote:
The idea that "if I put a gay person in my game, gay people might get offended and yell at me, so I'm not going to do it," sort of misses the point, to me. Hearing what you didn't do right is how you learn.
I suspect you'll get a lot more flak from bigots than from overly critical LGBTQ people. It'll be a lot less helpful too.
At least from a random sample of a general audience. Or even just random people reading here on these boards, where many of the worst bigots get weeded out.
If we've reached the point where the biggest problem with using LGBTQ characters is criticism from "Big Gay", then we've made far more progress than I think we have.
Sammy T wrote:
First game. New experience.It's easy to assume that first experience is typical. It is after all typical of your experiences with the game.
His character died in the only scenario he's played. Half the characters in the session died, IIRC. If that level of lethality was the norm, I'd walk away in a second. I've got no interest in waiting those odds out to get a character to last.
Of course, those aren't the odds, but that's not clear when your only experience looks that way. That's why that first impression is important. It may actually be even more frustrating when a higher level character dies, but at least by then you know death is actually pretty rare - you've survived a bunch of sessions and you've seen most of your fellows survive too.
I think you're being a little too harsh on him and reading too much into his posts as well.
I started playing in '79, both Moldvay basic and AD&D, and the only guys I consider "grognards" are the dudes with the painted minis, tape measures, and a sand box. Seriously, only the old school war gamers that were around before the three brown books probably actually merit the honor. Everyone else is a n00b, frankly. ;-)
Ah. So "grognard" is "Someone who started playing before me."Possibly, for some including "Me".
That actually seems to fit the usage pretty well. :)
Not so much that as the belief that newer is always better. Your approach is more realism. We're talking about the opposite fallacy to the stereotype of the Grognard.
While games in general may improve over time, there will also be new bad ideas and flawed implementations. This hypothetical extreme anti-grognard would deny that. New ideas and new games are always better.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
That was kind of my thought.
To some extent the stories I've heard of very early Gygax style play seem to fit the sandbox paradigm. OTOH, none of the earliest published adventures do. It certainly wasn't part of my early experiences. Once past the middle-school Monty Haul stage, we moved pretty much straight into the "Hickman story" version, though predating that, IIRC. Nor nearly so constrained. But other than through Dragon and those who went to conventions, there wasn't as much contact between groups as there is now, so it's quite possible everyone else was deep in sandbox mode.
I don't think I came across the concept until some discussions on Usenet back in the late 90s. And didn't know the term, at least in that contect until much later.
Especially when the same person posts them more than once. :)
I've decided that every time I see the nostalgia/rose-colored glasses thing, I'll just call that post out as being angry that the poster lacks the imagination, creativity, and intelligence to play in a more fluid system.
Can you at least only do when someone actually commits the fallacy, not at every mention of nostalgia.
pres man wrote:
Small businesses go under all the time, for lesser reasons than that.
And Memories Pizza has closed its doors for the moment, but has raised $50K from supporters. (Other, more recent sources put that up to $500K.)
I bet that's a lot more than they make in a couple of days selling pizza.