Re: [BG] Re: Nilbog rights
- On Dec 30, 2003, at 01:04, Bob Traynor wrote:
> Explaining how your religions work, and why, now that's an example of"Explaining how your religions work, and why" is not the same as
> the creative bits that define the roleplay of your world, and that's
> what separates the hack DM running Duke Nukem as a tabletop game from
> the artists.
defining the details of specific religions player characters will
The rulebooks explain how player characters are created, how they fit
into the game, what their limitations are, and so on. They don't list
every possible player character, however. The Monster Manual does the
same for monsters--provides a framework, but doesn't try to list every
Similarly, I maintain that the GM's job is to provide the universe; the
player's job is to provide the PC. Since the religion of the PC
involves both character beliefs and actions, and a non-player deity
within the universe, it really only makes sense for it to be a
collaboration between the DM and the player, with the DM providing the
framework and the player providing the specifics.
In some games, it may make sense to have a fairly small set of gods
defined tightly by the GM. My RPG universe, however, is highly
polytheistic, just like the real world. The only difference, of course,
is that in the RPG world the gods actually exist :-)
Adding a new god to fit in with a particular player character's
character concept is just like adding any other NPC, like a familiar or
a henchman. Sure, you have to be careful not to cause major imbalance,
but that's no reason to take the entire process of defining the NPC out
of the player's hands.
- Scoff as you please -- although it's better if you don't put words in
people's mouths -- but hack and slash ISN'T artful. You have the
technical tasks of devising challenging opposition and combat
situations and maintaining the proper pacing, and that's about it:
that's like saying putting together a good Squad Leader or Star Fleet
Battles scenario is "artistic."
And that's what hack and slash is, in effect - - a glorified wargame,
where characterizations are generally two-dimensional if that much,
where the world is seldom more than a bunch of place names invented to
give a sense of direction and distance, and where NPCs exist beyond
punching bags as seldom more than fences for loot and purveyors of the
latest and greatest toys.
Now there's nothing at all wrong with wargames. I play them, I enjoy
them. I just don't look across the table at my fellow wargamers and
trick myself into believing that the wargame (no matter how complex or
complicated it is) involves "artistry."
Actually, why the inferiority complex? If that's the style you like
to play, and your friends like it as well, what's the beef? Surely if
any gaming style is equally meaningful and valid, hack 'n slash stands
on its own merits ... right?
--- In email@example.com, Mike Dlott <poetguy21@y...> wrote:
> I just have to scoff at people considering hack and
> slash to be somehow unartful. To me the real art of
> running a game is making your players happy, while at
> the same time enjoying yourself. If your players like
> kick down the door and you love it too more power to
> you. I'd say you are as much an artist as a scheming
> plotter who keeps his PC's enthralled with the
> political intrigue of waterdeep. The real trick of
> being a GM is knowing your audience. To say that one
> style of gaming is right seems fascist. That exchange
> in genereal reminded me of the great scene at the
> begining of dead poets society, where the poets are
> compared. Anways thanks for the laugh.
> --- Bob Traynor <RGTraynor@c...> wrote:
> > > Well, I guess I just have a more collaborative
> > view of what RPGs are
> > > about. And besides that, I feel the DM has more
> > than enough to deal
> > > with what with having to come up with dozens of
> > NPCs, towns, cities,
> > > dungeons, sometimes even entire worlds, without
> > having to go solo on
> > > documenting the minutiae of each player
> > character's religious beliefs.
> > I guess I have more exacting standards for
> > gamemasters, requiring more
> > creativity than some others. Creating NPCs, towns,
> > cities, dungeons
> > (ugh) is the unavoidable donkey work that tends to
> > blur together in
> > every fantasy RPG setting there has ever been.
> > Yeah, yeah, there's
> > the crazy old alchemist that blows up his shop on a
> > periodic basis,
> > the ale-drinking perfectionist dwarven blacksmith,
> > the Evil High
> > Priest of the High Evil Temple, and the normal quota
> > of sultry
> > barmaids, snooty nobles, slippery thieves, and every
> > other stereotype
> > under the sun. How many among us couldn't whip out
> > a dozen of the
> > same within the hour, with stats and abilities
> > suitable to our
> > individual game systems yet?
> > Explaining how your religions work, and why, now
> > that's an example of
> > the creative bits that define the roleplay of your
> > world, and that's
> > what separates the hack DM running Duke Nukem as a
> > tabletop game from
> > the artists.
> ~Mike Dlott~
> ~A good knowledge of quotes is a passable substitute for wit~
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> Find out what made the Top Yahoo! Searches of 2003
- My point is that as a GM creating a game for your
friends tailored to their likes and dislikes is the
true art of GMing. Once in college I was asked to run
a military style D&D campaign where the characters
were fighting off an enemy nation. Since you bring up
wargames, I think there is definately an artistry in a
well run combat. The terrain the tatics the
anticipation and planning of enemy commanders and
In a long campaign in a military setting the NPC's and
how they are deployed or thwarted is pivotal.
Understanding and learning their attitudes and skills
is part of the game. Each tatical encounter each
village raid or survalience or sabatoge mission ties
into a larger plan and adds meaning to the seperate
adventures. To me it is beautiful, but beauty like art
is in the eye of the beholder. To me each tatical
situation is good on its own merits. If you tie the
situations together into a tapestry, well thats
artisty. Sure in some games your big decisions are
wether or not to tell the duke his daughter has been
secretly studying wizardry behind his back or wether
you want to explore some ancient ruins or attend a
festival. Why should deciding whether to send General
artak who is head of the second legion to fortify a
walled city or to attempt to use the legion to trap
the enemy forces be construed as some how a less
Really what you are doing in a campaign wargame is
telling a story, not always as personal a story as a
small scope tale, but still one with wide brushstrokes
that reshape the very world you created.
Even in the old starfleet battles game you can set up
a series of battles over a semester that flow into a
common story. I know I've done it before "set phasers
If you like War games and roleplaying games suikoden
III is a great way of showing how wargames can be
blended with RPGs and done with color and meaning in a
I guess overall im saying that any time you sit down
with your friends and pretend in whatever game you are
playing. The stories you create are art. Saying that
one form of art is better than another seems snobby
and silly to me. Just becaue you don't like something
doesn't make it invalid. I'm also in no way saying
that what is created is "good" art that all depends on
the artists. I just hope this post may make you think
that precluding a genre is way too much of a
It would be as bad as thinking all comics books are
for silly children.... to any of you that still hold
this misconception I invite you to read Neil Gaiman's SandMan.
~A good knowledge of quotes is a passable substitute for wit~
Do you Yahoo!?
Find out what made the Top Yahoo! Searches of 2003
- Bob writes:
>Scoff as you please -- although it's better if you don't put words inAnd then later, Bob adds:
>people's mouths -- but hack and slash ISN'T artful.
>And that's what hack and slash is, in effect - - a glorified wargame,Well, um, I think this Sun Tzu guy would disagree with you about wargames not being art... :-)
Frankly, in my humble opinion, anything can be "Art." If the person who is creating it puts creativity into it. We're just splitting semantic hairs here. Let's all get along.
Myself, I'm playing in 3 bi-weekly games right now, and one of them is pure hack. Its a hoot, and I love it. I get just as much enjoyment out of it as I do my "serious" games. Whatever that means.