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A Question about your Games

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  • mancerbear@hotmail.com
    G day Guys, I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set. I ll get things
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 1, 2001
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      G'day Guys,

      I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier
      current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set.

      I'll get things started.

      My game concentrates around the northern areas of Ellesland (Penlyhn
      in my campaign) where the characters are rapidly becomiing involved
      in a plot to usurp the throne once the aging and sickly king dies.
      Baron Montombre is plotting againt the crown, whereas Baron Aldred,
      the PCs lord, is plotting to prevent the Elfen Earl from succeeding.

      At this point in the game, Baron Aldred's daughter, Lady Sharra, has
      been kidnapped, a ploy orchastrated by Montombre's son, Bron. Sir
      Bron plans to take the Lady adn force her into a marriage with him,
      therefore sealing the two bloodlines and enhancing his claim for the
      throne. The PCs are currently tracking the kidnappers to save the
      Lady. They have put together some of Bron's plot, but not all of it.

      So what's happening in your games?
    • Karl K H Chan
      Erh, that s good. If the rest of you guys wouldn t mind talkin in more depth about your games it would be great. Me, ai don t have a group. Haven t been
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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        Erh, that's good. If the rest of you guys wouldn't mind talkin' in more
        depth about your games it would be great. Me, ai' don't have a group.
        Haven't been playin' regularly, since my 1st year in Uni. Now ai' is in
        Hong Kong, it's hard to put together a group.

        But yeah, ai' would be interested in what you guys are doin' in your games.
        Also some interest in your 'player's personalities. Ai' used to game wiv'
        some of the most cowardly lot ai've ever known. Ones that stay back an'
        fire their crossbows all the time, an' order NPC's....

        "Go an' get em' boys!".


        Yeah, the lack of a 'charisma' attribute means that they gorra' roleplay
        leadership. Somethin' lackin' back then.

        An' that wus' back in 91'. Ah, fun times.....

        _________________________________________________________________
        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
      • Wayne Imlach
        I think everyone must go through a Baron Aldred/Montombre/Throne scenario at some point in their stories of Legend. I know I certainly did! It s surprising
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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          I think everyone must go through a 'Baron Aldred/Montombre/Throne' scenario
          at some point in their stories of Legend. I know I certainly did! It's
          surprising the similarities between stories.

          However, the details differ somewhat. In my own campaign, the old King was
          dying, and with no heirs it would fall to the line of Duke Dorelius.
          However, Dorelius had an evil twisted twin brother called Phristan, who had
          learned the secrets of the Dark Elemental ways, and coveted the throne for
          himself. He had already tried to poison his brother, along with his ally
          Aldred, but had been foiled by a group of Aldreds retainers. He had escaped
          though, and devised another scheme. In this endeavour he had found allies in
          Montombre and Grissaile.

          A wedding was announced, between the Lady Shay, daughter of Duke Dorelius,
          and Baron Aldreds eldest surviving son, Althor. A plot to kidnap the lady
          prior to the wedding was hatched, and successfully executed by Grissailes
          men. Fortunately, she was eventually discovered and returned to her father
          by a band of worthy heroes long in the employ of Aldred. This however, had
          been but a diversion to avoid a marriage before the future crowning of the
          new king. Dorelius must have no male heirs to the throne!

          The old king eventually dies, and Dorelius makes his way to Ongus for his
          coronation as new king of Albion. Aldred and his trusted men make their way
          to Ongus but are attacked by agents of Montombre, and the Baron is
          kidnapped. Most of his escort are killed or scattered, hunted by dark
          knights who weild magic as well as they do arms.

          Eventually a small group evade their hunters, and find time to consider the
          last few days events. They are certain that evil events are going to befall
          the coronation, but the ceremony is imminent, and they are still a few days
          travel from the capital even on horseback. One of the groups veterans, who
          carries one of the fabled Swords of Albion, remembers a promise made to him
          many years previously. A single favour bestowed upon him by virtue of his
          sword. Taking the enchanted weapon in his grasp, he calls in this favour.
          "Fengel, wake from your slumber and honour your promise!"

          Though they doubt, soon enough a great shape flies from the north - Fengel,
          guardian of Vallandar's Tomb, and servant of the Swordbearers. Taking the
          incredulous (and fearful) band of adventurers upon his back, the great
          dragon takes flight - the destination, Ongus, and the king's Coronation!

          Arriving just as the coronation is beginning (isn't that always the way?),
          the party discover that their Lord, Baron Aldred, is already there. Sensing
          some dark sorcery at work, they desperately try to get word to Duke Dorelius
          of the danger. The event is already underway however, and they cannot pass
          the guard to warn the Duke. Among the throng they recognise the faces of the
          black knights who attacked them some days hence, and taking matters into
          their own hands they cast aside royal protocol and launch at attack upon
          their enemies. In the confusion matters come to a head - Aldred attacks the
          Duke, who can do nothing but defend himself while his old friend and ally
          fights with a berserk fury. The dark agents of Montombre reveal themselves
          and join the melee, weilding their magic in an attempt to stop the Barons
          servants. One breaks through however, and joins the Duke in his defence,
          warning that sorcery is at work here, and the Baron knows not what he does.

          Eventually the battle turns in the favour of the heroes, and the ensorcelled
          Baron is subdued without great harm. Seeing his plan crumbling, the
          disguised Phristan finally makes himself known, and attacks his brother
          personally. A great battle ensues, with the Barons men finishing off
          Montombres agents (though it must be noted that Montombre has made no move
          himself and would later deny any knowledge of the assassins), while Dorelius
          and Phristan fight, sorcery against steel.

          Good eventually triumphs over evil and the wicked brother is slain, along
          with all but one of the evil knights (there must always be one that escapes
          to act as a future plot device). The King is crowned, the heroes are
          rewarded, and everyone lived happily ever after - until the next session,
          that is...



          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <mancerbear@...>
          To: <dragwars@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2001 2:29 AM
          Subject: [dragwars] A Question about your Games


          > G'day Guys,
          >
          > I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier
          > current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set.
          >
          > I'll get things started.
          >
          > My game concentrates around the northern areas of Ellesland (Penlyhn
          > in my campaign) where the characters are rapidly becomiing involved
          > in a plot to usurp the throne once the aging and sickly king dies.
          > Baron Montombre is plotting againt the crown, whereas Baron Aldred,
          > the PCs lord, is plotting to prevent the Elfen Earl from succeeding.
          >
          > At this point in the game, Baron Aldred's daughter, Lady Sharra, has
          > been kidnapped, a ploy orchastrated by Montombre's son, Bron. Sir
          > Bron plans to take the Lady adn force her into a marriage with him,
          > therefore sealing the two bloodlines and enhancing his claim for the
          > throne. The PCs are currently tracking the kidnappers to save the
          > Lady. They have put together some of Bron's plot, but not all of it.
          >
          > So what's happening in your games?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
        • Shaun Hately
          ... Well, mine is rather boring (-8 I have players who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the greatness of Dragon Warriors. One is very D&D centric - he will
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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            mancerbear@... wrote:

            > G'day Guys,
            >
            > I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier
            > current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set.


            Well, mine is rather boring (-8

            I have players who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the greatness of
            Dragon Warriors. One is very D&D centric - he will play *anything*
            labelled as a form of D&D - basic rules, 1st, 2nd, 3rd edition, whatever,
            but has a thing against playing any other rules set. Another seems to
            have a problem with the fact that DW doesn't have 'Bluff' checks and the
            like...

            Anyway, issue for me is I'm basically stuck running D&D games most of the
            time... I've tried running Legend as a D&D campaign world, but it didn't
            have the right feel for me (d20/3rd Edition may have changed that).

            But over recent months, I finally persuaded this group to allow me to
            carry out my 'DW dream'. Ever since I first got my hands on the three
            little books (then four, five, and six), I have wanted to run a campaign
            that started with 'The King Under the Forest' and ended with 'Mungoda
            Gold' - every DW scenario in the six books from start to finish in order
            - 18 (IIRC) scenarios in a row. And I've almost done it now. As of
            tonight, Sir Loff (Knight), Rus Thrark (Warlock), Frenlik (Sorcerer), and
            Kellorin (Assassin), will enter The Temple of Balor on the shores of Lake
            Nimmur.

            Yours Without Wax, Dreadnought
            Shaun Hately |webpage: http://www.alphalink.com.au/~drednort/thelab.html
            (ISTJ) |email: drednort@... | ICQ: 6898200
            "You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in
            common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter
            the facts to fit the views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen
            to be one of the facts that need altering." The Doctor - Doctor Who:
            The Face of Evil | Where am I: Frankston, Victoria, Australia
          • Damien Wise
            afternoon all! ... Eh, what? Being able to bluff , fast-talk or con is nothing alien to Dragon Warriors. If the player roleplays the situation well and
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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              'afternoon all!

              On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Shaun Hately wrote:

              > mancerbear@... wrote:
              >
              > > G'day Guys,
              > >
              > > I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier
              > > current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set.

              > Well, mine is rather boring (-8
              >
              > I have players who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the greatness of
              > Dragon Warriors. One is very D&D centric - he will play *anything*
              > labelled as a form of D&D - basic rules, 1st, 2nd, 3rd edition, whatever,
              > but has a thing against playing any other rules set. Another seems to
              > have a problem with the fact that DW doesn't have 'Bluff' checks and the
              > like...

              Eh, what? Being able to "bluff", "fast-talk" or "con" is nothing alien to
              Dragon Warriors. If the player roleplays the situation well and I'm
              convinced as a GM that the NPC would be tricked by the player-character,
              they "pass". Sometimes, I have to "fudge" things a little bit one way or
              the other (either to help a player who's got a good idea but is a short on
              words, or to push the plot along). Why let dice rolling get in the way of
              good roleplaying? :->

              > Anyway, issue for me is I'm basically stuck running D&D games most of the
              > time... I've tried running Legend as a D&D campaign world, but it didn't
              > have the right feel for me (d20/3rd Edition may have changed that).

              Can't say I've tried, cos I love Dragon Warrior's consistant and
              free-flowing system. I'd like to hear from anyone who's tried doing a D20
              version of Dragon Warriors. I've heard that some have played Dragon
              Warriors' Legend, but used GURPS to handle the mechanics.

              > But over recent months, I finally persuaded this group to allow me to
              > carry out my 'DW dream'. Ever since I first got my hands on the three
              > little books (then four, five, and six), I have wanted to run a campaign
              > that started with 'The King Under the Forest' and ended with 'Mungoda
              > Gold' - every DW scenario in the six books from start to finish in order
              > - 18 (IIRC) scenarios in a row. And I've almost done it now. As of
              > tonight, Sir Loff (Knight), Rus Thrark (Warlock), Frenlik (Sorcerer), and
              > Kellorin (Assassin), will enter The Temple of Balor on the shores of Lake
              > Nimmur.

              Excellent!
              I'm sure many others must have had this dream. I can assure you that it's
              well worth it, having only recently completed running Mungoda Gold
              recently myself. It's taken almost eight years of weekly gaming to do it
              becuase we had many, many side-tracks, but it was worth it.

              I think we benefited from this pacing, as it allowed us to get more
              comfortable with our characters and interleaving our own scenarios with
              those inthe books also allowed the characters to mature to a point where
              they could realisticly take on the chalenges of a high-tanking scenario
              like "Mungoda Gold".

              This was the secod time we'd ventured to the Mungoda Rainforest. An
              earlier trip, via the Demon-gates of the Magan, was part of an elaborate
              series of interlinked adventures written and GMed by Olav Khun, one of our
              group. The players begged me to run the exploration of Shefru Cha'af's
              pyramid "properly" after the fine work Olav had done with a similar
              setting. I'll type tit up properly and put it on the web if you want, but
              I'm putting most of my "Dragon-Warriors-time" into turning my Battlepits
              of Krarth scenario into a boardgame at the moment (more news on that
              later). Meanwhile, Olav has finally got an almost-complete set of the
              Bloodsword books and is working on turning them into scenarios for us to
              play through. I've not read the books yet (that would be spoiling the
              surprise), but he tells me I did extremely well with my scenario despite
              not having the relevent Bloodsword book (a couple of years ago) to draw on
              for inspiration.

              Anyway, back to the original question -- what is our party up to at the
              moment? After retrieving the Ring of Commond (an extremely powerful
              unique artifact that we don't know how to use -- probably a blessing in
              disguise. Besides, it's awfully large for a ring) in order to prevent a
              cataclysmic prophesy from coming true, one of our party traded it for
              another magic item! (Stern words were had after that, but the explanation
              given was "I got this nifty belt that lets be skulk around even more
              sneakily, for that damn ring that we never figured out how to work"). Very
              few people in Ellesland know we saved the entire island from a penultimate
              armagedon of sorts, but it could happen "for real" now that the one spoken
              of in prophesy has the Ring of Command. One of our group was wearing it
              as a chunky neck-brace, but its new owner has worked out that it is indeed
              a ring, and it once belonged to Baalor! So, in last week's episode, we
              headed off to the lost city of Nem to confront the evil Torric, only to
              discover that many others have been there since we had last been there...


              Seeya!

              Damien Wise
              +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
              | wiz@... | God damn cheap monkeys. |
              +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
            • Shaun Hately
              ... Basically my viewpoint - I think these things should be role playing issues, not matters to be resolved by dice rolls. But 3rd Edition D&D has a range of
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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                Damien Wise wrote:

                > 'afternoon all!

                >

                > Eh, what? Being able to "bluff", "fast-talk" or "con" is nothing alien to
                > Dragon Warriors. If the player roleplays the situation well and I'm
                > convinced as a GM that the NPC would be tricked by the player-character,
                > they "pass". Sometimes, I have to "fudge" things a little bit one way or
                > the other (either to help a player who's got a good idea but is a short on
                > words, or to push the plot along). Why let dice rolling get in the way of
                > good roleplaying? :->


                Basically my viewpoint - I think these things should be role playing
                issues, not matters to be resolved by dice rolls. But 3rd Edition D&D has
                a range of 'skill rolls' for these things - Sense Motive and Bluff most
                noticeably, and this guy really seems to like them.

                I've raised this on a D&D list at one stage - and was more or less
                accused of being an 'elitist' for thinking that a roleplaying game should
                actually involve good roleplaying (people kept saying things like 'These
                skills are good because they even things out for people who aren't good
                at playacting...')

                > Excellent!
                > I'm sure many others must have had this dream. I can assure you that it's
                > well worth it, having only recently completed running Mungoda Gold
                > recently myself. It's taken almost eight years of weekly gaming to do it
                > becuase we had many, many side-tracks, but it was worth it.


                Yeah, well I remember playtesting the White Lady with you... that went on
                a lot longer than I expected...


                > I think we benefited from this pacing, as it allowed us to get more
                > comfortable with our characters and interleaving our own scenarios with
                > those inthe books also allowed the characters to mature to a point where
                > they could realisticly take on the chalenges of a high-tanking scenario
                > like "Mungoda Gold".


                Yes, and I have added in a few of my own scenarios along the way - not to
                mention, certain of my players deciding to take things in odd directions
                as well.



                The best laid plans of this GM...


                Yours Without Wax, Dreadnought
                Shaun Hately |webpage: http://www.alphalink.com.au/~drednort/thelab.html
                (ISTJ) |email: drednort@... | ICQ: 6898200
                "You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in
                common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter
                the facts to fit the views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen
                to be one of the facts that need altering." The Doctor - Doctor Who:
                The Face of Evil | Where am I: Frankston, Victoria, Australia
              • Gary Johnson
                ... Speaking as someone currently playing in a group where there are three loud and verbally adept players and two quiet and retiring players, I think there s
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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                  On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Shaun Hately wrote:

                  > Damien Wise wrote:

                  >> Eh, what? Being able to "bluff", "fast-talk" or "con" is nothing
                  >> alien to Dragon Warriors. If the player roleplays the situation well
                  >> and I'm convinced as a GM that the NPC would be tricked by the
                  >> player-character, they "pass". Sometimes, I have to "fudge" things a
                  >> little bit one way or the other (either to help a player who's got a
                  >> good idea but is a short on words, or to push the plot along). Why
                  >> let dice rolling get in the way of good roleplaying? :->
                  >
                  > Basically my viewpoint - I think these things should be role playing
                  > issues, not matters to be resolved by dice rolls. But 3rd Edition D&D
                  > has a range of 'skill rolls' for these things - Sense Motive and Bluff
                  > most noticeably, and this guy really seems to like them.

                  Speaking as someone currently playing in a group where there are three
                  loud and verbally adept players and two quiet and retiring players, I
                  think there's definite grounds for concern if your game system doesn't
                  give the quiet and retiring players a way to have characters who are
                  socially adept and proficient *if that's what they want*. It's the same
                  sort of problem as players with characters who are more intelligent, have
                  skills the player knows little or nothing about, and so on: how to avoid
                  penalising the player for not knowing or doing something the character
                  knows or does.

                  To use Dragon Warriors as an example, the system doesn't penalise my
                  character because I the player don't know how to use magic and know little
                  about how to use a sword: if I want to play a diplomat, the system punts
                  and makes me rely upon the player's abilities, and not the character's.
                  By comparison, D&D3E doesn't punt - the system tells me how to resolve all
                  three issues mechanically (with circumstance bonuses as the GM sees fit,
                  of course). I can see that being reassuring to some players who lack the
                  skills or the temperment possessed by their character but who want their
                  character's competencies to be evident in play.

                  Now, the extent to which this applies to the person who was mentioned in
                  passing and thus started this thread is another thing entirely - I leave
                  that up to the people who actually know said person. :-)

                  > I've raised this on a D&D list at one stage - and was more or less
                  > accused of being an 'elitist' for thinking that a roleplaying game
                  > should actually involve good roleplaying (people kept saying things
                  > like 'These skills are good because they even things out for people
                  > who aren't good at playacting...')

                  Hey, it's just a difference in play style: both are valid. Even in groups
                  where these skills may be used, I'd expect they aren't used when PCs
                  interact with each other (except perhaps as an out of character reminder:
                  "Hey, my character has high Charisma! Remember?"), but only to interact
                  with NPCs. Some systems (for example, Champions) specifically state that
                  interpersonal skills are *only* used on NPCs. Nobody likes losing control
                  of what their character does.

                  Interpersonal skills are generally something game systems don't try to
                  model in detail, and certainly not in as much detail as, say, combat.
                  Dragon Warriors is "rules-lite" even for combat, let alone non-combat
                  skills: having no mechanics for social interaction could be a turn-off.

                  As always, YMMV.

                  Cheers,

                  Gary Johnson

                  Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                  X-Men Campaign Resources: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/xmen/start.htm
                  Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                • Shaun Hately
                  ... My problem with the bluff/sense motive etc is not with its existence, but with its treatment in D&D 3rd Edition as the *default* mechanism for resolving
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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                    Gary Johnson wrote:


                    > Speaking as someone currently playing in a group where there are three
                    > loud and verbally adept players and two quiet and retiring players, I
                    > think there's definite grounds for concern if your game system doesn't
                    > give the quiet and retiring players a way to have characters who are
                    > socially adept and proficient *if that's what they want*. It's the same
                    > sort of problem as players with characters who are more intelligent, have
                    > skills the player knows little or nothing about, and so on: how to avoid
                    > penalising the player for not knowing or doing something the character
                    > knows or does.


                    My problem with the bluff/sense motive etc is not with its existence, but
                    with its treatment in D&D 3rd Edition as the *default* mechanism for
                    resolving such issues. In a roleplaying game, IMHO, the default method
                    for resolving such issues should be through roleplaying. Having a
                    mechanism to deal with the situation when for some reason, roleplaying is
                    not a viable solution is a different matter.

                    But I'm not sure I agree that it is a similar situation to characters
                    having a higher intelligence than their players. Or for that matter, a
                    character knowing about sailing, when the player does not.

                    The purpose of a roleplaying game (and this is all my opinion) is not to
                    use your intelligence, it is not to sail a boat. Rules that handle
                    deficiencies in these areas do not negatively impact on the core of the
                    game at all - roleplaying.

                    But rules that handle aspects that can be handled purely through
                    roleplaying do change the core of the game. The situation is different.

                    Now - it may be that this is a good thing in some ways - sometimes such
                    rules can enhance roleplaying because, as you say, it can help shy,
                    retiring people play a wider range of characters. If such rules are
                    having that positive effect, I have no problem with them.

                    But having them as the default diminishes the value of roleplaying for
                    those characters who are good at it. It's one thing to bring in such
                    rules to deal with a problem. It's another to have them as the defualt
                    method.

                    Dice should not decide something that can be roleplayed in a roleplaying
                    game. If for some reason, something can't be - and those reasons may
                    include the temperament of a player - then things change.



                    MHO, of course.

                    > To use Dragon Warriors as an example, the system doesn't penalise my
                    > character because I the player don't know how to use magic and know little
                    > about how to use a sword: if I want to play a diplomat, the system punts
                    > and makes me rely upon the player's abilities, and not the character's.
                    > By comparison, D&D3E doesn't punt - the system tells me how to resolve all
                    > three issues mechanically (with circumstance bonuses as the GM sees fit,
                    > of course). I can see that being reassuring to some players who lack the
                    > skills or the temperment possessed by their character but who want their
                    > character's competencies to be evident in play.


                    Sure, and I can understand why some people like the way 3rd edition
                    handles things - I play D&D myself, as well as running my own campaigns,
                    and I think it has some strong points in its favour. But this is just a
                    minor peeve with an otherwise (IMHO) good system.

                    > Now, the extent to which this applies to the person who was mentioned in
                    > passing and thus started this thread is another thing entirely - I leave
                    > that up to the people who actually know said person. :-)


                    The thing is, this guy is one of the best roleplayers I have ever
                    encountered - and he seems to love it (-8 So such rules don't really add
                    much for him.


                    >>I've raised this on a D&D list at one stage - and was more or less
                    >>accused of being an 'elitist' for thinking that a roleplaying game
                    >>should actually involve good roleplaying (people kept saying things
                    >>like 'These skills are good because they even things out for people
                    >>who aren't good at playacting...')
                    >
                    > Hey, it's just a difference in play style: both are valid. Even in groups
                    > where these skills may be used, I'd expect they aren't used when PCs
                    > interact with each other (except perhaps as an out of character reminder:
                    > "Hey, my character has high Charisma! Remember?"), but only to interact
                    > with NPCs. Some systems (for example, Champions) specifically state that
                    > interpersonal skills are *only* used on NPCs. Nobody likes losing control
                    > of what their character does.


                    That's right - it is a just a matter of differing styles, and I've got no
                    problems with people using these types of rules if they feel it adds to
                    their games. I just want them to do me the same courtesy - and
                    unfortunately, the D&D base being so large, there are obnoxious people
                    out there.

                    And, in fact, quite a few groups I've encountered do use these skills in
                    PC interactions and seem to find them very useful for that purpose. Not
                    my thing, but OK - it's a game. If it's fun for you, do it.


                    > Interpersonal skills are generally something game systems don't try to
                    > model in detail, and certainly not in as much detail as, say, combat.
                    > Dragon Warriors is "rules-lite" even for combat, let alone non-combat
                    > skills: having no mechanics for social interaction could be a turn-off.

                    Oh definitely - and it's the rules-lite basis of DW that is one reason it
                    appeals to me.

                    Yours Without Wax, Dreadnought
                    Shaun Hately |webpage: http://www.alphalink.com.au/~drednort/thelab.html
                    (ISTJ) |email: drednort@... | ICQ: 6898200
                    "You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in
                    common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter
                    the facts to fit the views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen
                    to be one of the facts that need altering." The Doctor - Doctor Who:
                    The Face of Evil | Where am I: Frankston, Victoria, Australia
                  • Peter Lee
                    Allow me to be the odd man out - I never really cared much for the whole Aldred/Montombre blood feud thing. Don t get me wrong, I think Ellesland is a
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 2, 2001
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                      Allow me to be the odd man out - I never really cared much for the whole
                      Aldred/Montombre blood feud thing. Don't get me wrong, I think Ellesland is
                      a wonderful place to raise a party ;-) but as a plot mechanism it just
                      seemed like too much of a "hoary old chestnut" for my liking. It has
                      definitely been there in all Elleslandic campaigns I've been involved with,
                      some more than others, but in general as a backdrop or a plot device to get
                      the characters where they're supposed to be going.

                      For example, take the book 3 adventures... if you're playing the adventures
                      one after another, how does the party get from Albion to Ereworn? It's an
                      enormous trip by the standards of the day for a bunch of low rank itinerant
                      ruffians to make. Enter Aldred, who needs something sent to/retrieved
                      from/escorted to etc etc Ereworn. It's too risky to send some of his own
                      men, so he hires your sad and sorry bunch to do the deed.

                      I've had no difficulty either in working the individual adventures into
                      different campaigns without the usual "Working for the Baron" emphasis. For
                      example, one party was staying with Myrkyn, they needed to do the barrow
                      episode from Book 4, so Ulfalder became an assassin (sent by either Aldred
                      or Montombre, doesn't matter) to top Myrkyn. He's discovered, takes off,
                      party tracks him, enters the barrow, Boggart ambushes, all hell breaks loose
                      near the snake pit etc etc etc

                      So while the feud certainly adds background, I've found it to be not half as
                      interesting (and useful) as some of the smaller, more interesting
                      characters, like Bretwald and Myrkyn. But then I've always been strongly
                      anti-establishment ;-) in life and in RPG it seems.


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: <mancerbear@...>
                      To: <dragwars@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2001 12:29
                      Subject: [dragwars] A Question about your Games


                      > G'day Guys,
                      >
                      > I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier
                      > current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set.
                      >
                      > I'll get things started.
                      >
                      > My game concentrates around the northern areas of Ellesland (Penlyhn
                      > in my campaign) where the characters are rapidly becomiing involved
                      > in a plot to usurp the throne once the aging and sickly king dies.
                      > Baron Montombre is plotting againt the crown, whereas Baron Aldred,
                      > the PCs lord, is plotting to prevent the Elfen Earl from succeeding.
                      >
                      > At this point in the game, Baron Aldred's daughter, Lady Sharra, has
                      > been kidnapped, a ploy orchastrated by Montombre's son, Bron. Sir
                      > Bron plans to take the Lady adn force her into a marriage with him,
                      > therefore sealing the two bloodlines and enhancing his claim for the
                      > throne. The PCs are currently tracking the kidnappers to save the
                      > Lady. They have put together some of Bron's plot, but not all of it.
                      >
                      > So what's happening in your games?
                      >
                      >
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                    • M.J. SPENCELAYH
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                      • Damien Wise
                        ... I love the idea of using a very historical background. This sounds very much like the feel of the game-world in the game,
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                          On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, M.J. SPENCELAYH wrote:

                          > On 2 Dec 2001, at 2:29, mancerbear@... wrote:
                          >
                          >> I was just wondering if people were willing to chat about thier
                          >> current Lands of Legend adventures, and where their games are set.
                          >
                          > I run my DW campaign in the semi-historical setting of Saxon
                          > England in the eight century. I still use the personalities and
                          > legends from the books, like Baron Aldred and the others.

                          <snip fascinating story>
                          I love the idea of using a very historical background. This sounds very
                          much like the feel of the game-world in the game, Maelstrom.
                          Unfortunately, I don't know enough about that period of history to be able
                          to write convincingly. I suppose, living in the UK means the places and
                          history would have an extra resonance for you and your group of players.

                          > When I'm running the story, I find it difficult to stop myself
                          > adding extra bits and improvising more details into the game, so
                          > things are running a bit slowly.

                          Heh, as you may have guessed from Shaun's comments earlier, I tend to run
                          my games like this. I don't have a problem with it, neither do the
                          players. If they want to wander off on a side-track tehy can. When its
                          their turn to GM, I often find myself wondering what's around the corner
                          too... :)

                          Normally, this is fine, except for the occasion Shaun referred to. We
                          wrote and ran a Dragon Warriors game at a convention a couple of years
                          back. During playtests, things _always_ went over-time when I ran a game
                          (it was supposed to fit into a 2.5-3 hour RPG convention session). The
                          "worst" was a highly entertaining game that ran for three weekly sessions
                          (10-12 hours in total I think). :)


                          Update on the game I mentioned earlier...we just finished the final
                          session of that scenario this evening. I have a correction to make too:
                          earlier I said that one of our party had given Torric the Ring of Command.
                          In fact, Torric already had the ring and we had a copy of the ring from
                          the future. The "deal" made with Torric gave him the precise location of
                          Balor's prison in the lost city of Nem, beneath Lake Nimmur.

                          The conclusion to the story:

                          The evil Torric managed to work his way past three warring factions of
                          adventurers, assorted NPCs and Balor-worshippers (they claimed they were
                          mearly worshipping the gods of nature, but we knew better, thanks to the
                          teachings of the one true God). We met Torric again in a frigid cavern
                          that imprisions Balor in tons of ice. To our horror, Torric and his crony
                          managed to wake Balor and place the Ring of Command on one of Balor's
                          hands. As Balor stirred, it seemed that something was wrong. He was
                          fighting to get free from the prison that ancient gods had trapped him in
                          millenia ago, but the hand with the ring was immobile. Balor's power was
                          being sapped by the ring and channeled to Torric! Realising he would be
                          invincible if this was allowed to continue a moment longer, we threw
                          everything at Torric. While some of us rained sword-blows upon his
                          acursed skin, others exhausted their reserves of magic, casting spell
                          after spell. Most wounds were shrugged off, and blows that would have
                          been fatal to the strongest of warriors barely made Torric flinch. It was
                          as though we were fighting Balor himself. Finally, the searing beams cast
                          from a Nova scroll laid him low. While we were making sure Torric was
                          truely dead, his dasterdly companion slunk into the shadows and made his
                          getaway, taunting us by saying he was headed back to Krarth. Using
                          another Ring of Command (actually, the same ring, but one our party had
                          gained from another stream of time), we trapped Balor's other arm to
                          prevent him from clawing his way out of the icy cave. While the party
                          healed itself from the effects of Torric's spells (such as Firestorm!), we
                          upended an ensorcled hat one of us carried, and urged it to produce water.
                          In this magic-leden environment, the hat's powers were magnificant. A
                          torrent of water gushed forth and filled the cracks and niches around
                          Balor. Soon, the chilling water was rising around our legs and as we fled
                          the flooded Temple of Balor, it was setting to ice, sure to trap Balor for
                          many years to come...


                          Seeya! :)

                          Damien Wise
                          +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
                          | wiz@... | God damn cheap monkeys. |
                          +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
                        • M.J. SPENCELAYH
                          ... I get a lot of ideas from Pendragon, even though its based on the (pre-Saxon) Roman-British culture. In my campaign, the British live in the mountains and
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                            On 3 Dec 2001, at 23:47, Damien Wise wrote:

                            > I love the idea of using a very historical background. This sounds very
                            > much like the feel of the game-world in the game, Maelstrom.

                            I get a lot of ideas from Pendragon, even though its based on the
                            (pre-Saxon) Roman-British culture. In my campaign, the British live
                            in the mountains and hills of Wales and Cumbria and are enemies
                            of the lowland Saxon lords.

                            I restrict spellcasters (other than Mystics) to the lands of the
                            continent - Frankland, Rome or Spain. Barbarian PCs are from the
                            north or west (Pagan Picts, Scots, Irish or Norse). Most Christian
                            Saxons are Knights, Foresters or Tricksters, with a few Sages and
                            Mystics. I don't really use Elementalists or Assassins, and all my
                            Warlocks are wanderers from Greece or Muslim Spain.

                            I've heard of Maelstrom, just from reading the little adverts in the
                            back of FF gamebooks and a few snippets of the web. I'm always
                            searching the second hand bookshops for a copy, but no luck yet.

                            I believe its a kind of 16th century setting with alchemists, vagrants
                            and pilgrims, a bit like WFRP, but with an Ars Magica-type more
                            open-ended magic system

                            > I suppose, living in the UK means the places and
                            > history would have an extra resonance for you and your group of players.

                            This is very true; my group and Iive on the northeast coast of what
                            would have been the Saxon kingdom of Deira, near the border with
                            Northumbria. A lot of the places and people mentioned in my
                            (slightly elongated) campaign summary are connected to our local
                            area. I even had the PCs' ship wrecked by the unscrupulous
                            fisherfolk of our home town.

                            Michael
                          • Gez da' Loud 1
                            English history is ripe for adventures to be based upon. My own campaign world draws heavily on post Roman England, though in my world they are called Remuns
                            Message 13 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                              English history is ripe for adventures to be based upon. My own campaign
                              world draws heavily on post Roman England, though in my world they are
                              called Remuns and England is called Elundar. You guys can check it out at my
                              website
                              www.tronengames.com
                              Gez
                            • Steve Foster
                              ... Isn t that saying that if player s can t role-play then the rules should do it for them? The logical extension of this is that the players needn t bother
                              Message 14 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                                > Speaking as someone currently playing in a group where there are three
                                > loud and verbally adept players and two quiet and retiring players, I
                                > think there's definite grounds for concern if your game system doesn't
                                > give the quiet and retiring players a way to have characters who are
                                > socially adept and proficient *if that's what they want*.

                                Isn't that saying that if player's can't role-play then the rules should do
                                it for them? The logical extension of this is that the players needn't
                                bother turning up because the rules have entirely replaved them. If you
                                really, really, even after trying a lot, can't role-play a particular type
                                of character then just don't play them! As Inspector Harray Callaghan once
                                said "A man's gotta know his limitations"

                                Steve

                                P.S. An excess of alcohol often helps when role-playing those troublesome
                                types, I find.
                              • Gary Johnson
                                ... That s a common feature of most rulesets, however: I d guess you d be similarly dissatisfied with other game systems that, for instance, have a skill for
                                Message 15 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                                  On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Shaun Hately wrote:

                                  > My problem with the bluff/sense motive etc is not with its existence,
                                  > but with its treatment in D&D 3rd Edition as the *default* mechanism
                                  > for resolving such issues.

                                  That's a common feature of most rulesets, however: I'd guess you'd be
                                  similarly dissatisfied with other game systems that, for instance, have a
                                  skill for haggling or the like?

                                  > In a roleplaying game, IMHO, the default method for resolving such
                                  > issues should be through roleplaying. Having a mechanism to deal with
                                  > the situation when for some reason, roleplaying is not a viable
                                  > solution is a different matter.

                                  That seems fair enough. The question really is, when and why do you start
                                  abstracting social interaction in the same way that the game mechanics
                                  abstract other forms of interaction, like combat? For example, would you
                                  allow a player to state that their character isn't affected by mind
                                  control (using chemicals, magic, telepathy, whatever)? I expect it would
                                  depend on whether you trusted the player to fairly arbitrate the chance of
                                  success, whether being mind controlled was important to the direction of
                                  the scenario, etc.

                                  > But I'm not sure I agree that it is a similar situation to characters
                                  > having a higher intelligence than their players. Or for that matter, a
                                  > character knowing about sailing, when the player does not.
                                  >
                                  > The purpose of a roleplaying game (and this is all my opinion) is not
                                  > to use your intelligence,

                                  It is if one of the things you value highly about playing an RPG is
                                  problem-solving. :-)

                                  > it is not to sail a boat. Rules that handle deficiencies in these
                                  > areas do not negatively impact on the core of the game at all -
                                  > roleplaying.

                                  Hmm ... one of the things I like about roleplaying games is that they
                                  support several styles of play and several play elements, and none of them
                                  are inherently of greater value than the others. While I prefer a
                                  particular combination of elements and styles, I don't see my preference
                                  for strong characterisation, cooperative problem-solving, first-person
                                  interaction, extensive continuity and high script immunity as more "right"
                                  than someone else's preference for, say, archetypal characterisation,
                                  intra-group conflict, third-person interaction, weak continuity and
                                  negligible script immunity. I would instead say that I wouldn't find the
                                  latter style fun or enjoyable, and probably wouldn't want to play in that
                                  game.

                                  > But rules that handle aspects that can be handled purely through
                                  > roleplaying do change the core of the game. The situation is
                                  > different.

                                  Like the mind-control scenario mentioned above?

                                  > Now - it may be that this is a good thing in some ways - sometimes
                                  > such rules can enhance roleplaying because, as you say, it can help
                                  > shy, retiring people play a wider range of characters. If such rules
                                  > are having that positive effect, I have no problem with them.
                                  >
                                  > But having them as the default diminishes the value of roleplaying for
                                  > those characters who are good at it. It's one thing to bring in such
                                  > rules to deal with a problem. It's another to have them as the defualt
                                  > method.

                                  Hey, just Rule 0 it. :-)

                                  > Dice should not decide something that can be roleplayed in a
                                  > roleplaying game. If for some reason, something can't be - and those
                                  > reasons may include the temperament of a player - then things change.
                                  >
                                  > MHO, of course.

                                  Of course. :-)

                                  > > To use Dragon Warriors as an example, the system doesn't penalise my
                                  > > character because I the player don't know how to use magic and know
                                  > > little about how to use a sword: if I want to play a diplomat, the
                                  > > system punts and makes me rely upon the player's abilities, and not
                                  > > the character's. By comparison, D&D3E doesn't punt - the system tells
                                  > > me how to resolve all three issues mechanically (with circumstance
                                  > > bonuses as the GM sees fit, of course). I can see that being
                                  > > reassuring to some players who lack the skills or the temperment
                                  > > possessed by their character but who want their character's
                                  > > competencies to be evident in play.
                                  >
                                  > Sure, and I can understand why some people like the way 3rd edition
                                  > handles things - I play D&D myself, as well as running my own campaigns,
                                  > and I think it has some strong points in its favour. But this is just a
                                  > minor peeve with an otherwise (IMHO) good system.

                                  It wouldn't be a published system if there wasn't *something* that
                                  everyone wanted change about it. :-)

                                  > > Now, the extent to which this applies to the person who was mentioned
                                  > > in passing and thus started this thread is another thing entirely - I
                                  > > leave that up to the people who actually know said person. :-)
                                  >
                                  > The thing is, this guy is one of the best roleplayers I have ever
                                  > encountered - and he seems to love it (-8 So such rules don't really
                                  > add much for him.

                                  Well, only the Shadow can know the hearts of roleplayers ...

                                  <snip>

                                  > That's right - it is a just a matter of differing styles, and I've got
                                  > no problems with people using these types of rules if they feel it
                                  > adds to their games. I just want them to do me the same courtesy - and
                                  > unfortunately, the D&D base being so large, there are obnoxious people
                                  > out there.
                                  >
                                  > And, in fact, quite a few groups I've encountered do use these skills
                                  > in PC interactions and seem to find them very useful for that purpose.

                                  Weird people. :-)

                                  > Not my thing, but OK - it's a game. If it's fun for you, do it.

                                  I wholeheartedly agree.

                                  > > Interpersonal skills are generally something game systems don't try
                                  > > to model in detail, and certainly not in as much detail as, say,
                                  > > combat. Dragon Warriors is "rules-lite" even for combat, let alone
                                  > > non-combat skills: having no mechanics for social interaction could
                                  > > be a turn-off.
                                  >
                                  > Oh definitely - and it's the rules-lite basis of DW that is one reason
                                  > it appeals to me.

                                  I prefer "rules-lite" systems as well, but I also like them to be as
                                  internally consistent as possible. DW's age counts against it here: I
                                  like it well enough, but the inconsistencies leap out to my eye. It's why
                                  I went home-brew with my fantasy RPG in the end.

                                  Cheers,

                                  Gary Johnson

                                  Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                                  X-Men Campaign Resources: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/xmen/start.htm
                                  Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                                • Gary Johnson
                                  ... Nonsense! In what way does it replace the role of the player in making decisions, choosing when to use a skill, or assessing information? Roleplaying
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Dec 3, 2001
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                                    On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Steve Foster wrote:

                                    > > Speaking as someone currently playing in a group where there are
                                    > > three loud and verbally adept players and two quiet and retiring
                                    > > players, I think there's definite grounds for concern if your game
                                    > > system doesn't give the quiet and retiring players a way to have
                                    > > characters who are socially adept and proficient *if that's what they
                                    > > want*.
                                    >
                                    > Isn't that saying that if player's can't role-play then the rules
                                    > should do it for them? The logical extension of this is that the
                                    > players needn't bother turning up because the rules have entirely
                                    > replaved them.

                                    Nonsense! In what way does it replace the role of the player in making
                                    decisions, choosing when to use a skill, or assessing information?
                                    Roleplaying games aren't *necessarily* just about interacting in character
                                    with the other participants (players and GM) as if you were actors. For
                                    example, picture a group where the players are a five-person SAS team and
                                    each scenario is a search-and-destroy or rescue-the-hostage mission. The
                                    amount of in-character acting may be minimal at best: the focus of the
                                    game is problem-solving and applying resources (like skills and weapons)
                                    effectively. The players are still *playing a role* in a roleplaying game:
                                    they just aren't *acting*.

                                    > If you really, really, even after trying a lot, can't role-play a
                                    > particular type of character then just don't play them! As Inspector
                                    > Harray Callaghan once said "A man's gotta know his limitations"

                                    Worthy advice - we just draw different boundaries when deciding what a
                                    player can and can't do in character. Social interaction *is*
                                    qualitatively different to, say, being a sorceror or a mutant, because
                                    much more of it does fall back on the player in most gaming groups.
                                    However, I don't see the sole purpose of a roleplaying game as acting out
                                    a persona to a small audience who are also acting out personas. YMMV.

                                    Cheers,

                                    Gary Johnson

                                    Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                                    X-Men Campaign Resources: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/xmen/start.htm
                                    Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                                  • Ray Holt
                                    I usually resort to Bluff rolls and the like when I can t decide whether or not an NPC would believe (or whatever) the player. If the story s convincing, and
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                      I usually resort to Bluff rolls and the like when I can't decide whether or
                                      not an NPC would believe (or whatever) the player. If the story's
                                      convincing, and the NPC has no reason to doubt it, then there's no need for
                                      a roll - they believe it. If the story's completely implausible, then the
                                      NPC automatically doubts. Sometimes, though, players will come up with a
                                      reasonable story (or speech, or whatever) and it's hard to call on judgement
                                      alone. That's when I go to the dice. And (in D&D) I'll set the DC based on
                                      how good I thought the player's bluff(or whatever) was.

                                      I only use them for PC interaction when it looks like the players aren't
                                      going to do things properly themselves. One tells a fairly plausible lie,
                                      and the others refuse to believe it - not for any in-game reason, but
                                      because they (as players) have just witnessed an exchange their characters
                                      would have no knowledge of, and thus know he's lying. So, I'll let them have
                                      a roll (again, with a modifier based in the situation), and they invariably
                                      abide by the result.

                                      My players are great respecters of dice!

                                      Of course, I've played in groups where it's just never cropped up,
                                      because everyone is happy to separate their knowledge and behaviour from
                                      their characters. And, sadly, I've played in groups where players have just
                                      refused to roleplay properly at all...

                                      Which just confirms whats already been said - it's all down to individual
                                      styles. And the same players can have different styles in different groups,
                                      I've noticed!

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                                    • Gez da' Loud 1
                                      I think you need to remember that the character is a different person with different skills than the person roll playing that character. A quiet person may not
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                        I think you need to remember that the character is a different person with
                                        different skills than the person roll playing that character. A quiet person
                                        may not have the confidence or the social skills that the character he or
                                        she is playing has..So roll playing a particular encounter relying on the
                                        players own roll playing skills is unfair. I know that from my own gaming
                                        experience that one player who was playing a thief was stumped at trying to
                                        work out how to disarm a trap I had set. When I challenged him in saying how
                                        he was going to proceeded he retorted with the comment, I'm not a bloody
                                        thief my character is!!!!! Point made I let him make a roll and his
                                        character disarmed the trap... On the other side of the coin, whilst I was
                                        playing a thief in a game I came up with an idea how to beat a certain
                                        creature and the dm decreed I couldn't do it for two reasons 1 my character
                                        didn't have monster lore and also it was to clever an idea for my
                                        character....
                                        Gez
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Ray Holt [mailto:rayjholt@...]
                                        Sent: 04 December 2001 11:48
                                        To: dragwars@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [dragwars] Re: character interaction (was: A Question about
                                        your Games)


                                        I usually resort to Bluff rolls and the like when I can't decide whether or
                                        not an NPC would believe (or whatever) the player. If the story's
                                        convincing, and the NPC has no reason to doubt it, then there's no need for
                                        a roll - they believe it. If the story's completely implausible, then the
                                        NPC automatically doubts. Sometimes, though, players will come up with a
                                        reasonable story (or speech, or whatever) and it's hard to call on judgement
                                        alone. That's when I go to the dice. And (in D&D) I'll set the DC based on
                                        how good I thought the player's bluff(or whatever) was.

                                        I only use them for PC interaction when it looks like the players aren't
                                        going to do things properly themselves. One tells a fairly plausible lie,
                                        and the others refuse to believe it - not for any in-game reason, but
                                        because they (as players) have just witnessed an exchange their characters
                                        would have no knowledge of, and thus know he's lying. So, I'll let them have
                                        a roll (again, with a modifier based in the situation), and they invariably
                                        abide by the result.

                                        My players are great respecters of dice!

                                        Of course, I've played in groups where it's just never cropped up,
                                        because everyone is happy to separate their knowledge and behaviour from
                                        their characters. And, sadly, I've played in groups where players have just
                                        refused to roleplay properly at all...

                                        Which just confirms whats already been said - it's all down to individual
                                        styles. And the same players can have different styles in different groups,
                                        I've noticed!

                                        _________________________________________________________________
                                        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp





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                                      • Steve Foster
                                        ... Ermm... on the contrary, isn t that PRECISELY the definition of role-playing? ... That s wargaming. The difference between the two is the acting part!
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                          > Roleplaying games aren't *necessarily* just about interacting in character
                                          > with the other participants (players and GM) as if you were actors.

                                          Ermm... on the contrary, isn't that PRECISELY the definition of
                                          role-playing?

                                          > For
                                          > example, picture a group where the players are a five-person SAS team and
                                          > each scenario is a search-and-destroy or rescue-the-hostage mission. The
                                          > amount of in-character acting may be minimal at best: the focus of the
                                          > game is problem-solving and applying resources (like skills and weapons)
                                          > effectively. The players are still *playing a role* in a roleplaying game:
                                          > they just aren't *acting*.

                                          That's wargaming. The difference between the two is the acting part!

                                          Every opiniatedly,

                                          Steve ;-)
                                        • Gary Johnson
                                          ... So ... roleplaying is *only* about interacting in character with the other participants *as if you were actors* (my own emphasis both times)?
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                            On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Steve Foster wrote:
                                            > Gary Johnson wrote:

                                            > > Roleplaying games aren't *necessarily* just about interacting in
                                            > > character with the other participants (players and GM) as if you were
                                            > > actors.
                                            >
                                            > Ermm... on the contrary, isn't that PRECISELY the definition of
                                            > role-playing?

                                            </flame on> So ... roleplaying is "*only* about interacting in character
                                            with the other participants *as if you were actors*" (my own emphasis both
                                            times)? Where do the dice come in? I never see actors using them when I
                                            got to the theatre. </flame off>

                                            Roleplaying games are usually more than just a forum for amateur acting.
                                            The amount of space devoted in most rules sets to probability-based
                                            conflict resolution strongly suggests to me that people playing such games
                                            are doing more than just amateur acting: they are also resolving
                                            conflicts and making success/fail decisions, usually in a team-based
                                            environment. And that's my point: people play roleplaying games for more
                                            reasons than just "acting in character", and it's quite possible for
                                            people to value those other reasons more highly than they do the "acting"
                                            aspect of the game.

                                            > > For example, picture a group where the players are a five-person SAS
                                            > > team and each scenario is a search-and-destroy or rescue-the-hostage
                                            > > mission. The amount of in-character acting may be minimal at best:
                                            > > the focus of the game is problem-solving and applying resources (like
                                            > > skills and weapons) effectively. The players are still *playing a
                                            > > role* in a roleplaying game: they just aren't *acting*.
                                            >
                                            > That's wargaming. The difference between the two is the acting part!

                                            No, IMO the difference is the "playing the role" part, which is *usually*
                                            expressed through acting. It doesn't have to *always* be expressed
                                            through acting, which is the original point I tried to raise: depending
                                            on the person, the group, the game system, and the situation within the
                                            game setting, mechanical resolution of social interaction may be more
                                            appropriate than in-person resolution. Naturally, YMMV.

                                            Cheers,

                                            Gary Johnson

                                            Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                                            X-Men Campaign Resources: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/xmen/start.htm
                                            Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                                          • Steve Foster
                                            ... ...and my point is that if they re not acting in character they ain t role-playing by definition!!! They re doing something else, probably wargaming at
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                              > environment. And that's my point: people play roleplaying games for more
                                              > reasons than just "acting in character",

                                              ...and my point is that if they're not "acting in character" they ain't
                                              role-playing by definition!!! They're doing something else, probably
                                              wargaming at the one-on-one level. Nothing wrong with that, just a different
                                              hobby is all.

                                              The dice rolling comes into the wargaming bit. There *may* be wargaming
                                              involved in role-playing (diceless systems don't need it) but not
                                              vice-versa, and the acting bit is the key distinguishing factor between the
                                              two genres. So, yes, I am right and there is a difference and the acting bit
                                              is VERY important.

                                              Ever willing to call people plonkers when they're safely several routers and
                                              possibly a continent or two away,

                                              Steve ;-)
                                            • Gary Johnson
                                              ... But they re still playing a role-playing *game*. It seems to me that the the point of disagreement is that when you write role-playing, you mean playing
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                                On Wed, 5 Dec 2001, Steve Foster wrote:

                                                > > environment. And that's my point: people play roleplaying games for
                                                > > more reasons than just "acting in character",
                                                >
                                                > ...and my point is that if they're not "acting in character" they
                                                > ain't role-playing by definition!!!

                                                But they're still playing a role-playing *game*. It seems to me that the
                                                the point of disagreement is that when you write role-playing, you mean
                                                "playing a role", but when I write role-playing, I mean "playing a
                                                roleplaying game". Different meanings, leading to us talking at
                                                cross-purposes.

                                                > They're doing something else, probably wargaming at the one-on-one
                                                > level. Nothing wrong with that, just a different hobby is all.

                                                And yet, it still takes place in the same game. Yes, I think we're
                                                definitely arguing past each other. :-)

                                                > The dice rolling comes into the wargaming bit. There *may* be
                                                > wargaming involved in role-playing (diceless systems don't need it)
                                                > but not vice-versa, and the acting bit is the key distinguishing
                                                > factor between the two genres. So, yes, I am right and there is a
                                                > difference and the acting bit is VERY important.

                                                We're *both* right, as we both agree that acting is an important part of
                                                roleplaying games. What I don't agree with is the implication that all
                                                social interactions must be resolved in person, remember? Or that playing
                                                a role like an actor is the only defining feature of a role-playing game.

                                                By the way, thinking about the comparison with wargaming has led to me to
                                                an interesting personal observation. I've always found part of the
                                                satisfaction of boardgaming to be playing a role, whether that be the
                                                general, the national leader, or an impersonal force spreading across the
                                                board leaving destruction in my wake. What I don't get out of boardgaming
                                                is a sense of continuity and development, because what you do in this
                                                week's boardgame rarely carries across to next week's boardgame. This may
                                                reflect my preference for campaign games over one-offs, which is certainly
                                                borne out by the liking for high levels of script immunity and narrative
                                                consistency. Food for thought, at least for me - no idea if anyone else
                                                is getting anything out of it. :-)

                                                > Ever willing to call people plonkers when they're safely several
                                                > routers and possibly a continent or two away,

                                                .au and .uk? I expect you're certainly right. :-)

                                                Cheers,

                                                Gary

                                                Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                                                X-Men Campaign Resources: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/xmen/start.htm
                                                Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
                                              • Damien Wise
                                                ... ... This raises another point that I feel strongly about: That the difference between what a player knows and what their
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Dec 4, 2001
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                                                  On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Gez da' Loud 1 wrote:

                                                  > I think you need to remember that the character is a different person with
                                                  > different skills than the person roll playing that character.

                                                  <snip>

                                                  > On the other side of the coin, whilst I was
                                                  > playing a thief in a game I came up with an idea how to beat a certain
                                                  > creature and the dm decreed I couldn't do it for two reasons 1 my character
                                                  > didn't have monster lore and also it was to clever an idea for my
                                                  > character....
                                                  <snip previous message>

                                                  This raises another point that I feel strongly about: That the difference
                                                  between what a player knows and what their character knows is one of the
                                                  lies at hte heart of roleplaying. One side of this equation has been
                                                  discussed from various angles so far, but Gez has now raised the other
                                                  side -- not all that a player knows should be assumed knowledge for the
                                                  character.

                                                  For me, this has two main effects:
                                                  Firstly, scientific knowledge of astronomy, kinematics, physics,
                                                  chemistry, medicine, etc can/should be ignored or even contradicted
                                                  becuase it makes for better roleplaying and often fits better in the
                                                  fantasy setting.
                                                  Secondly, I find note-passing between players and GM (or an out-of-room
                                                  one-on-one player/GM "conference") to be irritating, time-wasting and
                                                  unnecessary. Sure, I might have heard one player say: "I'll wait until
                                                  the rest of the party is asleep and during my watch, my Assassin steal the
                                                  amulet from his backpack". Hearing that sort of thing doesn't diminish
                                                  the surprise of it happening. If anything, it increases the suspence, as
                                                  I wonder how it's going to be accomplished and how the GM will desl with
                                                  the situation. Responding with: "I'll pretend to go to sleep and keep my
                                                  dagger under my pillow" would be very poor form indeed...

                                                  Those who don't think this type of roleplaying works whould have a bit
                                                  more trust in the players and GM and give it a try. Consider this: every
                                                  episode of the "Columbo" series begins with the viewer seeing how the
                                                  crime took place, and the remainder of the show follows the detective's
                                                  deductive reasoning. Having seen a "spoiler", in this case, does not
                                                  diminish the enjoyment of the show, but adds another dimension to it.

                                                  </ramble>

                                                  Seeya! :)

                                                  Damien Wise
                                                  +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
                                                  | wiz@... | God damn cheap monkeys. |
                                                  +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
                                                • Damien Wise
                                                  evening folks! ... I think this discusion is straying from differing styles of roleplaying and into the What is Roleplaying? minefield. :)
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Dec 5, 2001
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                                                    'evening folks!

                                                    On Wed, 5 Dec 2001, Gary Johnson wrote:

                                                    > On Wed, 5 Dec 2001, Steve Foster wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > > > environment. And that's my point: people play roleplaying games for
                                                    > > > more reasons than just "acting in character",
                                                    > >
                                                    > > ...and my point is that if they're not "acting in character" they
                                                    > > ain't role-playing by definition!!!

                                                    <snipety-snip>

                                                    I think this discusion is straying from differing styles of roleplaying
                                                    and into the "What is Roleplaying?" minefield. :)
                                                    It's been done to death on most RPG newsgroups, but I'll throw my two
                                                    florins in.

                                                    The most elegent solution I've seen was put forward on aus.games.roleplay
                                                    (author forgotten, unfortunately. I hope I've remembered the definitions
                                                    correctly...perhaps a reader of a.g.r. with a good memory could correct
                                                    or add to what's below). Ideally, roleplaying lies at the centre of a
                                                    trianglular continuum where the corners are pure:
                                                    * simulation -- wargaming and relying on rules and/or dice-rolling;
                                                    * acting -- silly voices, gestures and going along with the pre-prepared
                                                    story/script;
                                                    * storytelling -- spinning a good yarn, aiming for a genre-specific feel,
                                                    etc.

                                                    Naturally, everyone has their own ideas on their prefered style and what
                                                    they find more entertaining, and it looks like Gary, Steve and I each sit
                                                    not in the precise centre, but slightly towards different corners in the
                                                    triangle. :)

                                                    Damien Wise
                                                    +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
                                                    | wiz@... | God damn cheap monkeys. |
                                                    +----------------------+---------------------------------------------+
                                                  • Gary Johnson
                                                    ... Howdy, podner. ... You noticed too, hey? :-) ... For some, at least. ;-) ... This is just a variation on the three-fold model off r.g.f.a, isn t it?
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Dec 5, 2001
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                                                      On Wed, 5 Dec 2001, Damien Wise wrote:

                                                      > 'evening folks!

                                                      Howdy, podner.

                                                      > On Wed, 5 Dec 2001, Steve Foster wrote:
                                                      > > Gary Johnson wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > > > environment. And that's my point: people play roleplaying games
                                                      > > > for more reasons than just "acting in character",
                                                      > >
                                                      > > ...and my point is that if they're not "acting in character" they
                                                      > > ain't role-playing by definition!!!
                                                      >
                                                      > <snipety-snip>
                                                      >
                                                      > I think this discusion is straying from differing styles of roleplaying
                                                      > and into the "What is Roleplaying?" minefield. :)

                                                      You noticed too, hey? :-)

                                                      > It's been done to death on most RPG newsgroups, but I'll throw my two
                                                      > florins in.
                                                      >
                                                      > The most elegent solution I've seen was put forward on aus.games.roleplay
                                                      > (author forgotten, unfortunately. I hope I've remembered the definitions
                                                      > correctly...perhaps a reader of a.g.r. with a good memory could correct
                                                      > or add to what's below). Ideally,

                                                      For some, at least. ;-)

                                                      > roleplaying lies at the centre of a trianglular continuum where the
                                                      > corners are pure:
                                                      > * simulation -- wargaming and relying on rules and/or dice-rolling;
                                                      > * acting -- silly voices, gestures and going along with the pre-prepared
                                                      > story/script;
                                                      > * storytelling -- spinning a good yarn, aiming for a genre-specific feel,
                                                      > etc.

                                                      This is just a variation on the three-fold model off r.g.f.a, isn't it?
                                                      Gamist, Simulationist, Dramatist? "John's FAQ" on that newsgroup probably
                                                      covers this in some detail.

                                                      > Naturally, everyone has their own ideas on their prefered style and
                                                      > what they find more entertaining, and it looks like Gary, Steve and I
                                                      > each sit not in the precise centre, but slightly towards different
                                                      > corners in the triangle. :)

                                                      And don't forget, where you sit in the triangle is affected by who you're
                                                      playing with and whether you're a player or the GM.

                                                      Cheers,

                                                      Gary Johnson

                                                      Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
                                                      X-Men Campaign Resources: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/xmen/start.htm
                                                      Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
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