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Re: [BG] Re: Nilbog rights

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  • mathew
    ... Explaining how your religions work, and why is not the same as defining the details of specific religions player characters will worship. The rulebooks
    Message 1 of 26 , Jan 1, 2004
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      On Dec 30, 2003, at 01:04, Bob Traynor wrote:
      > 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.

      "Explaining how your religions work, and why" is not the same as
      defining the details of specific religions player characters will
      worship.

      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
      possible monster.

      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.


      mathew
    • Bob Traynor
      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
      Message 2 of 26 , Jan 3, 2004
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        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?

        ~ bob

        --- In bostongamers@yahoogroups.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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      • Mike Dlott
        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
        Message 3 of 26 , Jan 3, 2004
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          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
          officers.

          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
          artistic choice?

          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
          to fun"

          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
          fantasty setting.

          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
          sterotype.

          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.

          =====
          ~Mike Dlott~

          ~A good knowledge of quotes is a passable substitute for wit~

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        • andrewrandom@comcast.net
          ... 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
          Message 4 of 26 , Jan 3, 2004
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            Bob writes:

            >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.

            And then later, Bob adds:

            >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.

            Andy
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