Kobold Mumblings


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Today was alright, too! Everything's all tidy now, which is sick. Being a natural optimist, I give it two weeks. James Jacobs specifically publicly called me out today to tell me I was doing okay at posting, and a bunch of people Favorited the post, which is, you know, overwhelming, but means a lot.

I'm going to try to get back to work soon. Maybe not tomorrow. I'm in a safe spot with commissions, so there's no short-term pressure, but the pressure will start building soon if I leave it untouched for too long. I think I need the forum games resumed first, though, or they'll just keep hanging over me.

Sidenote: The annoying thing about Bo Burnham's "All Eyes On Me" is that literally everyone I've heard from was deeply emotionally affected by it, but literally every person took it in a completely different way. It's very hard to talk about as a result. Rorschach-ass song.

I'm a better person now then when I first arrived, you are more than a little responsible for that.


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That's very sweet of you to say! I'm definitely a better person than when I first joined these forums.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Today was alright, too! Everything's all tidy now, which is sick. Being a natural optimist, I give it two weeks. James Jacobs specifically publicly called me out today to tell me I was doing okay at posting, and a bunch of people Favorited the post, which is, you know, overwhelming, but means a lot.

You deserve it. You're totally a force for good and deserve recognition / validation / whatever warm fuzzies we can give you.


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See, this is exactly the kind of toxic harassment that gave PF2E kobolds such swelled heads. >_>


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Kobold Cleaver.

A force for good.

This message brought to you by Kobold 2024


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If it helps, I still think you were a mistake.


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In the interests of maintaining the journal, today I've mostly been hyperfocused on video game nonsense, which has mostly been okay but has me very anxious now about losing track of myself as I try to fall asleep.


Not wanting to bring bad vibes into your thread, but have you seen this from Sara Marie?
twitter


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Seeing the bit about "pushing back too much" being a reason for firing, then scrolling down and seeing that like 70% of her posts are about workers needing to be paid livable wages and not being pressured to do overtime, it kind of reinforces the theory that she got fired for trying to stick up for workers rights.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

But then there is also this.


Yeah, saw the same under Sara Marie's tweet. Very interesting move. We'll see how management reacts.


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I don't know if I trust it. Honestly, I don't. I know it's not rational, but I don't. I can't shake the feeling that this is some sort of controlled opposition set up to avoid real changes, that the transphobia is going to be swept under the rug. I don't know what to believe anymore.

Bad Mental Health Addendum:
I've also been in an incredibly unpleasant anxiety slump over the last few days where I've spent every night in tears, so I'm not really in a place to gauge fairly what's coming. I'm sad lately. Therapy wasn't fun and kind of made it worse.


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Okay, Sara Marie supports the union, and that's good enough for me. This is good.


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Hopefully, this'll cheer you up a bit:

Carina from 2014 wrote:

Lemme just put this bluntly:

KC, you're the best GM I've ever had. :)

I still stand by this statement. :)


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KC, have you ever run anything with Kobolds in the style of Tucker's Kobolds?


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A bit. I think Tucker's Kobolds makes a great story, but as a GMing approach, it feels a little childish and adversarial--there's a big focus on "punishing reckless players" that tends to play better in theory than in practice. Forcing the PCs through a challenge which they can't fight or recharge spells in sort of sounds like a slog. As a player, I like getting to use my class features. I love a killer dungeon as much as the next kobold, but Tucker's sounds a little too Tomb of Horrors for my taste.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
A bit. I think Tucker's Kobolds makes a great story, but as a GMing approach, it feels a little childish and adversarial--there's a big focus on "punishing reckless players" that tends to play better in theory than in practice. Forcing the PCs through a challenge which they can't fight or recharge spells in sort of sounds like a slog. As a player, I like getting to use my class features. I love a killer dungeon as much as the next kobold, but Tucker's sounds a little too Tomb of Horrors for my taste.

That is fair (I think Tomb of Horrors is the worst D&D adventure ever written) - I mean more in the vein of the clever tactics and guerilla warfare that is in Tucker's Kobolds


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Oh, well, sure, that's just the only way to run kobolds. They aren't supergeniuses, but they're spiteful, cowardly little asshats who work together well and know their own vulnerabilities.


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Just wanted to say thanks for the support on the other thread.

It's actually a bit weird to be using this name when discussing trans issues, I think I've always done it from a non-male-presenting point before.

And on your previous topic, I've always wondered why people wouldn't run Kobolds (and other intelligent monsters) as able to coordinate when defending themselves.


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Andy Brown wrote:

Just wanted to say thanks for the support on the other thread.

It's actually a bit weird to be using this name when discussing trans issues, I think I've always done it from a non-male-presenting point before.

And on your previous topic, I've always wondered why people wouldn't run Kobolds (and other intelligent monsters) as able to coordinate when defending themselves.

Because they ignore the fundamental truth about kobolds: intelligence. If you run them as just a reptilian goblin, what's the point?


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Andy Brown wrote:

Just wanted to say thanks for the support on the other thread.

It's actually a bit weird to be using this name when discussing trans issues, I think I've always done it from a non-male-presenting point before.

Oh! That's a little funny--the only Andy I know IRL is a girl! I didn't assume anything. Can I ask what you prefer to be known as here?

Also, I find myself in a funny place in conversations about monster races, especially kobolds. I'm actually probably a bit more old-fashioned than I used to be. Kobolds make great mooks, and if you aren't running them as underdogs, why call them kobolds? That's not to say they shouldn't be a threat, but I think they always need to have a bit of vulnerability to them. Otherwise, they aren't the kobolds I originally fell in love with.

The most important tropes for kobolds, in my view, are cowardice, arrogance, sneaky tricks and traps, weakness, spitefulness, and tight cooperation. If hobgoblins are a metaphor for what a constant state of war does to your head, kobolds are a metaphor for what happens when you let an in-group mentality completely take control and when you start defining yourself by what you don't have instead of what you do.

Of course, it's different if I'm running a more literal game like Eberron or Midgard, where they're more likely to occupy the role of just, well, a group of people with their own varied cultures and complex goals and unique experiences. But I like to run games with a strong fairy tale feel, and in those games, the various creatures of the setting are just more tools for conveying the themes. It's kind of like a dragon might come to hold a more metaphorical place, representing the all-devouring greed of a monarch or landowner, as opposed to just being a Big Dude With Scales.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:

Just wanted to say thanks for the support on the other thread.

It's actually a bit weird to be using this name when discussing trans issues, I think I've always done it from a non-male-presenting point before.

Oh! That's a little funny--the only Andy I know IRL is a girl! I didn't assume anything. Can I ask what you prefer to be known as here?

Andy's fine. My friends mostly just call me Jester (a name I've had for as long as I've been online), and if I'm presenting more femme, it'd be Angie. On here, it's probably better sticking with the name on the profile to reduce confusion.

Quote:
Also, I find myself in a funny place in conversations about monster races, especially kobolds. I'm actually probably a bit more old-fashioned than I used to be. Kobolds make great mooks, and if you aren't running them as underdogs, why call them kobolds? That's not to say they shouldn't be a threat, but I think they always need to have a bit of vulnerability to them. Otherwise, they aren't the kobolds I originally fell in love with.

As you've said, they tend to be sneaky rather than really smart, so the tactics won't necessarily be the best, but they won't be the stupidest either


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I think the word you may be looking for in relation to kobold intelligence is "cunning".


Vanykrye wrote:
I think the word you may be looking for in relation to kobold intelligence is "cunning".

Me thinks you means "stupid".

immediately begins cutting all the trip lines radiating from the kobold lair.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
A bit. I think Tucker's Kobolds makes a great story, but as a GMing approach, it feels a little childish and adversarial--there's a big focus on "punishing reckless players" that tends to play better in theory than in practice. Forcing the PCs through a challenge which they can't fight or recharge spells in sort of sounds like a slog. As a player, I like getting to use my class features. I love a killer dungeon as much as the next kobold, but Tucker's sounds a little too Tomb of Horrors for my taste.

How did that man write that article while he was simultaneously patting himself on the back? Did he dictate it?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:

Just wanted to say thanks for the support on the other thread.

It's actually a bit weird to be using this name when discussing trans issues, I think I've always done it from a non-male-presenting point before.

Oh! That's a little funny--the only Andy I know IRL is a girl! I didn't assume anything. Can I ask what you prefer to be known as here?

Also, I find myself in a funny place in conversations about monster races, especially kobolds. I'm actually probably a bit more old-fashioned than I used to be. Kobolds make great mooks, and if you aren't running them as underdogs, why call them kobolds? That's not to say they shouldn't be a threat, but I think they always need to have a bit of vulnerability to them. Otherwise, they aren't the kobolds I originally fell in love with.

The most important tropes for kobolds, in my view, are cowardice, arrogance, sneaky tricks and traps, weakness, spitefulness, and tight cooperation. If hobgoblins are a metaphor for what a constant state of war does to your head, kobolds are a metaphor for what happens when you let an in-group mentality completely take control and when you start defining yourself by what you don't have instead of what you do.

Of course, it's different if I'm running a more literal game like Eberron or Midgard, where they're more likely to occupy the role of just, well, a group of people with their own varied cultures and complex goals and unique experiences. But I like to run games with a strong fairy tale feel, and in those games, the various creatures of the setting are just more tools for conveying the themes. It's kind of like a dragon might come to hold a more metaphorical place, representing the all-devouring greed of a monarch or landowner, as opposed to just being a Big Dude With Scales.

Interesting.


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Andy Brown wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:

Just wanted to say thanks for the support on the other thread.

It's actually a bit weird to be using this name when discussing trans issues, I think I've always done it from a non-male-presenting point before.

Oh! That's a little funny--the only Andy I know IRL is a girl! I didn't assume anything. Can I ask what you prefer to be known as here?

Andy's fine. My friends mostly just call me Jester (a name I've had for as long as I've been online), and if I'm presenting more femme, it'd be Angie. On here, it's probably better sticking with the name on the profile to reduce confusion.

Quote:
Also, I find myself in a funny place in conversations about monster races, especially kobolds. I'm actually probably a bit more old-fashioned than I used to be. Kobolds make great mooks, and if you aren't running them as underdogs, why call them kobolds? That's not to say they shouldn't be a threat, but I think they always need to have a bit of vulnerability to them. Otherwise, they aren't the kobolds I originally fell in love with.
As you've said, they tend to be sneaky rather than really smart, so the tactics won't necessarily be the best, but they won't be the stupidest either

I think of it like someone who knows how to play chess but doesn't understand the game well, only knows a few tricks and traps.


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Slight tangent: The whole issue of monster races sort of reminds me of something director Rian Johnson once expressed--the idea that taking everything in a story too literally can problematize story elements and characters that were meant to serve more metaphorically, and that sometimes story elements and characters can have multiple metaphors at play that would make no sense if you tried to apply them simultaneously.

As much as I enjoy more literal, real-feeling fantasy worlds like Eberron, I also really like worlds styled more after fairy tales and fables. Not everything needs to be a one-to-one allegory for real life, and not everything needs to be picked apart like it's a TV Tropes page or a CinemaSins video. Some stories are better left messy. We don't need to know what happens to Tony Soprano or whether Dom Cobb is still in the dream.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Slight tangent: The whole issue of monster races sort of reminds me of something director Rian Johnson once expressed--the idea that taking everything in a story too literally can problematize story elements and characters that were meant to serve more metaphorically, and that sometimes story elements and characters can have multiple metaphors at play that would make no sense if you tried to apply them simultaneously.

As much as I enjoy more literal, real-feeling fantasy worlds like Eberron, I also really like worlds styled more after fairy tales and fables. Not everything needs to be a one-to-one allegory for real life, and not everything needs to be picked apart like it's a TV Tropes page or a CinemaSins video. Some stories are better left messy. We don't need to know what happens to Tony Soprano or whether Dom Cobb is still in the dream.

It's easier for some to shut off a certain critical part of their brain and accept certain bits of absurdity or inconsistency or whatever to enjoy a movie, show, play, book or game. I'm always baffled at how fast my roommate figures out whodunnits in movies. It's like 2 minutes into the movie, and he already knows who the surprise twist bad-guy is going to be, and I'm still adjusting my butt in the seat and chucking my suspension of disbelief into the lobby. I'm a writer, and totally up on my tropes, and *should* be able to do this sort of thing much better than he can, but his brain doesn't 'shut off,' while I sit my butt down to watch a show and my brain turns completely passive for the next hour and a half, along for the ride, with little or no analytical ability.

I sometimes think the difference between fans of Marvel movies and those that decry them as big stupid showy nonsense is that some of us can shut off our brains and enjoy the ride, and others are actively thinking *during* the movie. It's like we're all on the same rollercoaster, and I'm all hands in the air shouting 'wooo!' and they're 'the angle of trajectory on our descent is 5 degrees non-optimal, this ride sucks!'

And I do think we all preferentially 'surrender' to some types of entertainment and don't give others the same chance. To me, the Transformers movies are 'big stupid showy nonsense,' because I'm not really into that sort of thing, and so my brain never shuts off to enjoy the ride.


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Set wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Slight tangent: The whole issue of monster races sort of reminds me of something director Rian Johnson once expressed--the idea that taking everything in a story too literally can problematize story elements and characters that were meant to serve more metaphorically, and that sometimes story elements and characters can have multiple metaphors at play that would make no sense if you tried to apply them simultaneously.

As much as I enjoy more literal, real-feeling fantasy worlds like Eberron, I also really like worlds styled more after fairy tales and fables. Not everything needs to be a one-to-one allegory for real life, and not everything needs to be picked apart like it's a TV Tropes page or a CinemaSins video. Some stories are better left messy. We don't need to know what happens to Tony Soprano or whether Dom Cobb is still in the dream.

It's easier for some to shut off a certain critical part of their brain and accept certain bits of absurdity or inconsistency or whatever to enjoy a movie, show, play, book or game. I'm always baffled at how fast my roommate figures out whodunnits in movies. It's like 2 minutes into the movie, and he already knows who the surprise twist bad-guy is going to be, and I'm still adjusting my butt in the seat and chucking my suspension of disbelief into the lobby. I'm a writer, and totally up on my tropes, and *should* be able to do this sort of thing much better than he can, but his brain doesn't 'shut off,' while I sit my butt down to watch a show and my brain turns completely passive for the next hour and a half, along for the ride, with little or no analytical ability.

I sometimes think the difference between fans of Marvel movies and those that decry them as big stupid showy nonsense is that some of us can shut off our brains and enjoy the ride, and others are actively thinking *during* the movie. It's like we're all on the same rollercoaster, and I'm all hands in the air shouting 'wooo!' and they're 'the angle of trajectory on...

wholehearted agreement with both of you. Learning a lot.


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I think "shutting your brain down" is sort of not how I'd put it. It's more like, being able to engage with media on its own terms. Recognizing what the story is asking of you and trusting it to make good on its promises. A good critic works out what a movie or video game or TTRPG or novel or comic or show is trying to do, then judges it on whether or not it succeeds. A bad critic refuses to bend their brain around the work, refuses to read the story in good faith, and stubbornly insists that the story should stop being whatever it is and become something more comfortable for their sake.

Viewing a work on its own terms doesn't necessarily mean turning the brain off or not analyzing the work. Like, when I've been rewatching Buffy lately, I've been noticing a lot of stuff, good and bad, and using that to augment my understanding of the show as a whole. We watched the episode "Restless" last night, and we had to talk afterwards about the incredibly racist decisions Joss Whedon made, the disappointing dehumanizing of the First Slayer, the missed potential in general. But we didn't critique the special effects, or the corny dialogue, or the cheesy "demon-experimenting military" storyline of the season. Because those are just things the show asks you to accept, central conceits of the series, and we embraced them ages ago.

If you're able to enjoy a story in good faith, trying your best to have a good time, I think that's actually a really valuable skill to have. You learn so much more that way, the very opposite of turning your brain off. Nitpicking and refusing to get on board is a lot safer, asks a lot less of your mind. The GM is trying to get you to bite the adventure hook and you can't stop complaining about how cliche it is to start in a tavern, as if that's all that matters--avoiding some made-up checklist of "bad tropes".

Cinema Sins and TV Tropes and, dare I say it, an awful lot of leftist YouTube media critics have kind of trained us to view movies and shows through really narrow lenses, obsessing over "plotholes", or "tropes", or very, very specific political readings. For a while, I thought a work only had value if it rejected "the Male Gaze", whatever that meant--something about all fanservice being bad, I guess. Then I realized that The Matrix is horny as hell and two women directed it.

Every work of art has its own central conceits. I can't even call them imperfections because they are often just intrinsic elements of the genre or theme. It doesn't matter why Frodo didn't ride an eagle to Mordor because LOTR is not Game of Thrones, carefully weighing every magical element and considering how that element would shape the world around it. That's not a flaw. They are different stories with different ideologies and different themes and different priorities. We just assume there's a good explanation and, if we're able to, we move on. If we dwell on it at all, it should be to consider why Tolkien didn't consider bringing them up at all, or why he introduced them into the world if he didn't want them to play a central part in things. That's a much more interesting conversation than just assuming it was a mistake.


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I don't know where along the intelligent monster races as metaphor or real life spectrum I fall, all I know is this: if PF1 (or whatever system I'm running) tells me that kobolds/goblins/mites etc have to eat, sleep and breathe, my expectation as a player is that they have to do OTHER logical, "real" things too.

By this I mean when my party busted into a kobold lair in a 5e game, I hated every second of it. Not because there was a trap that I rolled a 22 to detect and, turns out I needed a 23 (bad DM shenanigans galore), but rather because we scoured the entire lair even after the creatures fled. There were no pantries, no food stores of any kind, no traces of any agriculture, no work rooms, discarded tools, debris indicating crafts... in other words, it's like they just materialized in place, installed a couple traps, then stood in stasis until our party showed up.

This Schrodinger's Humanoids approach to lair design bugs the stuffing out of me. Once, a few campaigns ago, I got to be a player in a Forgotten Realms campaign using PF1. We were approaching an area in the forest that had a known cave suspected of being the egress for drow slavers in the area. Now granted, we were only 3rd level but we had a freaking druid with us.

We checked for tracks... nothing. There were no signs for a quarter mile all around the cave that folks were moving through the woods. A speak with birds spell yielded no info about drow in the area. We approach the cave, cautiously... we're ambushed by drow.

Like, c'mon! you're telling me a SIZABLE force of drow, 2 of whom ride giant spiders, who at least once in the past week captured 7 slaves from a nearby town and marched them, by foot, into this cave, left NO TRAILS AT ALL through this primeval wood?

So... when I am a GM I add details like these for my intelligent creatures. If the party is entering what is considered the monster's "lair;" that is, the place they sleep and potentially eat and do any non-combat job they have, there will be things like matted down foot trails, discarded bones, piles of quarry debris or other junk, etc.


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I think that's more about personal taste than objective quality, but it can also be about the GM setting inconsistent expectations. Pathfinder and 3.0 in general have an expectation of "mutual rule-following". The PCs are bound by the rules of logic, but so are the monsters. If the GM doesn't deliberately and clearly diverge from that expectation, it feels insulting when you are expected to track encumbrance and meanwhile the drow don't even leave tracks. If the PCs have to keep track of trail rations and water and the bandits are somehow able to maintain a 50-strong force in a barren desert without explanation, it feels inconsistent and dismissive. It's even worse when the PCs try to use the rules they themselves follow to counter the NPCs, only to find out, "nope, no tracks" or "they don't care if you dam the river, they stored infinite water".

It can be fun to design dungeons as an ecosystem, and it's kind of the mindset a lot of D&D RPGs encourage--Pathfinder especially is very "pro-nitpicking".

Consider that D&D carries a lot of built-in assumptions about its setting and tone. There's a mechanical explanation for everything. Magic has specific sources that can be explained and measured. Everything is inherently balanced, be it wizard vs. barbarian vs. alchemist or gun vs. pointy stick. It is possible to be objectively certain someone is lying. Violence is the best solution to most problems. Every teammate has to have something of roughly equal "value" to contribute. Everything can be killed. You always get more powerful over time. Great heroes exist that are essentially invincible to ordinary civilians, and great heroes have great wealth. Every wound can be treated. There is life after death--sometimes very literally. "Do they like me?" is a simple sliding scale from "Yes!" to "Sure" to "Meh" to "No" to "Absolutely not". People often (usually, even) fail at basic tasks they specialize in due to pure bad luck, which exists.

We take a lot of those assumptions for granted, and some GMs even try to subvert them, with varying degrees of success, but doing so inherently means squirming at least a little against the rules of the system at play.

So, like, D&D expects there to be some level of ecosystem, of internal consistency. But not all games do! And even within D&D, not every setting is as committed to that internal consistency as Golarion is. It's just that these settings and systems kind of encourage nitpicking and FAQs and "deep lore". Everything has to have an explanation, even if we don't know it yet. Every question needs to be asked. It's why so many people ask James Jacobs little niche lore questions like "why did Aroden do x when y clearly shows it to be a plothole DING?" It's why Summoners got reworked to be more "consistent" with the setting's magic mechanics.

It's not bad. It's neutral. "Hard fantasy" (i.e. the genre where "magic mechanics" is a phrase that remotely makes sense) is a valid choice. I just feel like a lot of people don't realize it is a choice because D&D trains us to see it as the default.


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As a sidenote, has anyone here ever played the Grimm RPG? A big theme in that setting is the idea that forcing rules and logic into fairy tales actually twists and warps them, that by trying to give solid names to every folk tale, the Grimm Brothers created the corruption that now suffuses the world. You know, like, "But why didn't they just glue Humpty Dumpty together?"


To some extent games work better as games with "hard fantasy". It's hard to have mechanics for magic, which are necessary for the game aspect, without magic mechanics being a thing.

It's far less necessary in written fantasy, which can get away with a lot that games can't, because the reader can't try things that aren't expected the way a player can.

That said, there certainly are RPGs with a less realistic approach to this stuff, but they tend to be more narrative driven and/or rules light than PD/D&D.

Even in PF/D&D though, you can play into the more fairy tale aspects of monsters either without dropping the realism that they need to eat and build things or by playing it up as they way they really are in-world. Those aren't the default assumptions, but they can be used in a way that's internally consistent. It wouldn't look much like your experiences Marc. Maybe the kobolds wouldn't have things we normally recognize as tools or food, but there would be inexplicable weirdness instead.
Part of the problem with them and some of the other humanoid races is that they've transitioned from folklore fae beings to a race of basically little human type beings without much thought being put into that change.

Going further back in the discussion, I do think the idea of using creatures more metaphorically is an interesting take on the "fantasy racism" problem. I do think you still have to watch out for blatant stereotypes and it might still work better with non-humanoids. Or with humanoids reworked into a much more alien version.


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Yeah, like, none of what I say should be taken to mean that coding isn't still a huge concern. A big reason I like Varisia is that it lacks a real central government, which helps alleviate the "evil races are in tribes with chiefs and shamans and good races are in industrialized nations with kings and mayors" vibe most of Pathfinder encourages. Coding is kind of inescapable, so it's best to wield it actively and knowingly so you can avoid ugly mistakes.


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All I know is I gotta blame someone for the dead body I threw in the well last night and since I'm all out of ale money looks like it was those g@!#$$n kobolds again!


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
As a sidenote, has anyone here ever played the Grimm RPG? A big theme in that setting is the idea that forcing rules and logic into fairy tales actually twists and warps them, that by trying to give solid names to every folk tale, the Grimm Brothers created the corruption that now suffuses the world. You know, like, "But why didn't they just glue Humpty Dumpty together?"

Have a couple of versions of it(d20 and original). Like certain aspects of both. Played in a short lived game. There are some...ugly...aspects of the game that do not bear thinking about for very long that I think lead to some problems with it being picked up by gamers en masse(read: [very]young women being forced to marry monsters, trolls, troupes of dwarves, etc. with some off camera things implied, though not shown). Although I got yelled at for thinking this, I prefer the d20 version because it is much lighter than the original, and leans more towards fairy tale horror as opposed to the unpleasant aspects mentioned earlier.


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Oof, yeah, I must have forgotten that being played up. I think I interpreted it as being a pretty sexless world, but I could definitely see certain groups of gamers deciding to play it very differently. :/


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oof, yeah, I must have forgotten that being played up. I think I interpreted it as being a pretty sexless world, but I could definitely see certain groups of gamers deciding to play it very differently. :/

I personally think it was put in there because of the comic that was popular at the time- I have a good friend who still reads it and it's a great comic. But there are also other things that were put in there that were aspects of junior high life as a class feature that I felt had no place in a horror game featuring children as the characters(i.e. "Go with"... yeah that's not going to lead to problems at the table or anything, no...). Not to mention the extremely sexist aspects of it(virgin and whore. What other options are there for young women to follow during puberty?!?). And yes, this is me talking, the guy who is very happy with his in game sex mechanics and encourages characters to have full blown relationships in game with all the joys and headaches associated.


Yeah, I can definitely see what you're saying. Like I said, I think I mostly willfully tuned out most of that stuff to focus on what I wanted to see in it. There's so much cool material in the setting. But it's been a while since I actually read it.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
It can be fun to design dungeons as an ecosystem, and it's kind of the mindset a lot of D&D RPGs encourage--Pathfinder especially is very "pro-nitpicking".

[tangent] I wrote an adventure a decade or two ago with some adventurer types in a dungeon in a pseudo-Egyptian desert, and I realized about halfway through that there was literally no food or water within a 100 mile radius, and they were supposed to have been there for like, a month or more, when the PCs showed up for the big fight. And so, being OCD about this sort of thing, I made them not real people, with basic biological needs. They were the Mirror of Opposition duplicates of another party, who had realized, because one was a dupe of the Int 18 Wizard who knew what the Mirror was and how it worked, that if they actually *defeated* the party that had 'summoned' them by looking into the mirror, they'd all instantly vanish and die! So the duplicate wizard teleported them away! And they'd been hiding out in this far off location, attempting to secure a source of power that the wizard knew about (that the wizard he'd been duplicated from had abandoned reluctantly since it was evil and inconveniently located, but his mirror-dupe, with no need for a supply train, since he wasn't a real person, but kind of an evil simulacrum of the wizard, could exploit!).

It was a crazy stretch to go to, all because I didn't want to justify how they had carted months worth of rations out into the desert, because I really did not want to give the PCs a bag of holding or portable hole, since they were already prone to attempting to cart off everything not already nailed down... :) The fact that the evil simulacra people all vanished when defeated, and left no treasure other than stuff they'd picked up since their creation, was a wicked bonus.

But yeah, even when I'm not OCD-ing, I want my fantasy or science fiction to have some versimilitude. It can make zero sense from our real-world perspectives, with aliens and magic and faster-than-light warp drive and fire-breathing dragons, but it has to remain consistent *to it's own rules.*


Say, does anyone here have any experience with bipolar, either personally or through a loved one or through expertise?


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Say, does anyone here have any experience with bipolar, either personally or through a loved one or through expertise?

One of the great loves of my life was bipolar, yes. I also deal with bipolar issues every day at work.


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I live on the tundra, that's gotta count as two polars.

Otherwise, no, not really.


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Man, I gotta change that avatar image! Even I want to punch him in the face! And I'm a pacifist by nature!


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My wife is bipolar. I admit it makes things difficult at times, but that never changes the fact that I care for her. I must be doing okay at it, been married for 13 years and together for 18.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Say, does anyone here have any experience with bipolar, either personally or through a loved one or through expertise?
One of the great loves of my life was bipolar, yes. I also deal with bipolar issues every day at work.

I'm trying to tell the difference between my semi-diagnosed ADHD and what might be bipolar disorder, or possibly a reaction to my Adderall. My life has always had a valley-peak shape to it, and I know everyone's does, especially ADHD folks in the boom-bust-burnout cycle, but the last few years have been... something else, it feels like. I have these huge highs punctuated by ridiculous mood swings, these drawn-out crashes where I can barely motivate myself to refill my water bottle, these hyperfocus moments where I can't stop talking about the subject matter even when everyone has gotten sick of it, including me. It sure would be nice to be able to put a tidy name and/or medication label on it.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Say, does anyone here have any experience with bipolar, either personally or through a loved one or through expertise?
One of the great loves of my life was bipolar, yes. I also deal with bipolar issues every day at work.
I'm trying to tell the difference between my semi-diagnosed ADHD and what might be bipolar disorder, or possibly a reaction to my Adderall. My life has always had a valley-peak shape to it, and I know everyone's does, especially ADHD folks in the boom-bust-burnout cycle, but the last few years have been... something else, it feels like. I have these huge highs punctuated by ridiculous mood swings, these drawn-out crashes where I can barely motivate myself to refill my water bottle, these hyperfocus moments where I can't stop talking about the subject matter even when everyone has gotten sick of it, including me. It sure would be nice to be able to put a tidy name and/or medication label on it.

Diagnosis is not my Forte, that's something for the attached therapists/psychiatrists to do. I am aware of symptoms and how to deal with them, and when one is having a bad day. The COVID-19 world we have been living in for the past two years is going to make a lot of I-am-bad-at-dealing-with-the-outside-world symptoms far worse. What you are describing sounds a lot like adhd with a bipolar twist, and it may be time to speak to your various peoples about what you have been experiencing. That said, Adderall can make even the most droll subject COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY FASCINATING and again, in a COVID-19 world, that can go from an interesting quirk to...well, what you described. The best thing to do here is to talk to your peeps for an expanded diagnosis and possible alteration of Adderall dosage.


Yeah, I have an appointment. Right now I'm just trying to figure out what to bring up to them.

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