Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hey You, Shy Guy, Come Out And Play

Are you smart?

Are you a big 4E fan or Story-Gamer/Indie Gamer/Whatever-It-Is-Ok-To-Call-It-Gamer or just a fan of like Mutants and Masterminds?

Post in the comments.

Let's talk.

We can talk about whatever you want.



_________
Edition warriors and get-off-my-lawners do not get to post on this one, so if you do, realize you'll be deleted.

101 comments:

  1. Ok I'll post. I play a lot of different games. Currently playing Pathfinder, I was in a 4e campaign but that ended as our DM hit the burn out after a year. Mutants and Masterminds was a ton of fun. We payed Hero High. Now I'm looking forward to playing Eclipse Phase, I want to pay test 5e just so I can see how this is going to work and see if the edition war stuff can finally be put to rest and we can get back to having fun again.

    Now since that is out of the way, are there other game systems you want to try out? I know D&D is the drug of choice generally but, like me, do you ever have an gaming itch that only another game can scratch?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I went to a birthday party last night that turned into a "let's make characters for a new campaign" party that later turned into a let's drink everything party.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am currently playing World of Darkness/Vampire but about to drop it for a while. I am eagerly looking for a copy of Torg or maybe Dreampark for a fantastic, crazy, mindbending game I'd like to run. I really enjoy games that are more modern or sci-fi ish (without putting too much science in) and games that allow and encourage altered realities rather than just push medieval tropey stuff, which is just not for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My lesson of the night learned from DM'ing my players today---If you throw a UFO into a gritty swords and sorcery style LOTFP Grindhouse campaign, Barrier Peaks style, and the UFO has a pulse cannon, even one with very limited charges, prepare for all kinds of shit to get fucked up in your campaign. It was the perfect storm of failed and successful die rolls this evening.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Phil

    I don't have the urge to run other things much, but I do have the urge to play pretty much anything except the Mormon game.

    Writing about Chill 2e kinda made me want to play it. Or a hacked version of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just have to ask: the Mormon game?

      Delete
    2. Wow....

      When I heard 'Mormon game' I thought somebody made an RPG based off or the movie 'Orgazmo' but I was wrong. Damn.

      Delete
    3. Heh. I almost like it - I could see using it to run something along a Tex Arcana storyline

      Delete
    4. Dogs is actually a pretty awesome game. If you want to try a more narrative based indie game, the back and forth bidding conflict resolution is really neat. We've used the rules to run all sorts of things, from Doctor Who to Game of Thrones.

      Delete
    5. Well, it's awesome if you want to play a more narrative based indie game with a back and forth bidding conflict resolution.

      Delete
  6. Let me get this qualifier out of the way, I play lots of indie games. Currently in a Sorcerer, just finished Polaris, and am starting a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign.

    Now, one thing that...well irkes me, is that I find myself in a minority.

    I like sex, drugs, and heavy metal. Why are gamers so conservative and square? Man, seriously...nerds, live a little! Geeze, am I the only guy who read the Monster Manual on shrooms?

    By read I mean look at the pictures and contemplate the awesomeness of fungus and slimes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @justin

    I don't know about the people in your local area but I do know that on-line anyway posting anything personal other than that you:
    -wear glasses
    -have a kid,
    -have a beard, or
    -are fat
    ...whether it's that you go to church or are in the military or are in a band or that you had a beer once--is an invitation to all the trolls who've been waiting to throw a bitchfest instead of talk about games to ascribe whatever you say to that. So that may be why people are reticent to discuss that kinda thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Zak S

      I'm not so sure about my local area, having just recently moved, I've meet a couple more out-there gamers here in Portland. I'm damn sure there's more.

      Often it feels like good conversation among nerds (online), is often hindered by the whole watching for trolls (or is driven into private by the fear of trolls, even if it would be good to have on a public forum). But hey, thats the internet.

      Delete
    2. Justin - I am with you, brother

      Delete
    3. I like my D&D with lots of boobs and hashish...

      Not so much metal (while playing D&D that is), I've come to hate any music while playing.

      Delete
    4. Currently I'm running an unholey mixture of Dr. Who with the old FASA rules and a healthy amount of the new Cubicle Seven rules grafted on. Mostly because the campaign has ran off and on for 20 years now with the same core 3 players and a few new ones added in.

      Just got done running an Xmen campaign using Mutants and masterminds. 1st time I'd used the rules and I found them usefull.

      Currently playing in a "real world" game of White Wolf's Aberrant where you are basically playing a character based on yourself with super powers. It is not going how Mark imagined it would lol.

      Most of our group is 37-41 with 2 single guys,2 regular MF couples, a single gay man, and one MFF triple. Everyone is pretty outgoing and games often include some drinking or nudity. One player however works as an Asst. DA so the line is drawn at any illegal drug use.

      Delete
  8. Hi everyone. I'm Adam.

    (Hi Adam!)

    And...I'm a story and indie gamer.

    (Reassuring pats and clapping)

    While I am currently in transition as to what I am going to run, I have recently run and/or played Champions, Microscope, my homebrewed, Risus based 'Muppets' RPG, someone else's homebrewed 'My Life Pony' hack of Unknown Armies, InSpectres crossed with Ghostbusters, Mutants & Masterminds, Faery's Tale Deluxe and something that is not quite AD&D meets 3rd Edition light kinda sorta maybe.

    Currently thinking about InSpectres space variant InSpace hacked and crossed with 3:16;Carnage Amongst The Stars, Steal Away Jordan, Psi-Run (possible hack of it), Mekton II and about a dozen other ideas.

    Anyone know of any new games?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I enjoy a wide variety of games. I have played some 4e, 3.5 and enjoy Pathfinder. Rolemaster Classic is a fun one but ICE seems to be down these days. I skipped out on the latest version of Hero when they went with a multi-book format. I think that Paizo and their OGL is probably one of the great strengths of the industry now and that WoTC has noticed and are trying to recapture that with a 5th ed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Forge-type guy here. I gotta ask, what brought this about?

    I know I read your blog because it's funny as hell, and the art rocks, and Vornheim was awesome, and your posts about various GM techniques and whatnot are insightful and useful. From what I can gather, a lot of other Forgies/SGers/wtf-evers feel the same way. Especially since there's a lot of cross-pollination of communities going on on G+ these days.

    Your stuff is particularly useful to me because your philosophies on how a game of D&D should go line up about 90% of my philosophies regarding my current major design project, MADcorp (the game of corporate dungeoncrawling horror in a world gone weird). It's an attempt at certain old school principles using newer school algorithms, and so much of the stuff you talk about is stunningly relevant to it. For instance, it tries to bridge the gap between the DC/world is interesting vs. Marvel/character is interesting thing. And that latest link set off a nice explosion in my brain, cluing me in how to explain the game's combat philosophy (it's very much combat as war, both because I love those kinds of challenges and because it imparts a certain death-is-random-and-meaningless theme that fits the general tone of the game), which has been one of my biggest stumbling blocks so far.

    So, yeah, awesome blog is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi! I post here once in awhile (maybe twice, can't remember) I like roleplaying games, as long as they are fun!! I don't care for the indie/story/trad label!

    Currently I am playing in a LotFP game and running a Dungeon World game! I use Shock: Sci Fi RPG in my science classroom. I really want to run a game of Gigacrawler.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @marshall burns


    What brought it about is it seems like people who don't play diy d&D read this blog a lot but don't post (presumably because they have nothing to say about whatever I'm on about), so I figured I'd ask what they wanted to talk about, just to see.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fine. I'll stop lurking. Yes. I am smart. Lately, I've been playing Stars Without Number, Labyrinth Lord, and Pathfinder. Generally I run everything but I am tired of that role!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know the reason I don't often comment (I think I have maybe twice? Before I set up a Blogger account, I used my Wordpress, marksman45) is that I don't have much to say beyond "awesome blog is awesome," which doesn't really add anything to the discussion, so I stay quiet. That probably goes for most of the story-gamey people that I know read here.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Okay, bait taken.

    I'm mainly a D&Der, having played mostly hacked versions of each edition, and I have been slowly finding myself rediscovering the importance "fucking have FUN" play, which, by happy coincidence, lands me squarely here and elsewhere in OSR blogspace.

    Seriously, man, I love your insight. I think you're damned brilliant, and you're funny, and I am always referring to you like you're some kind of authority in gaming. Which I suppose means you are!

    Talk about anything. Talk about improvising the wildlife the PCs may encounter when they're shrunk to the size of ants. Talk about the similarities between blogging and muskrats. Talk about being crabby when one of the girls ate the last Junior Mint. I really don't have a preference. Just talk, man. It's all the richest sort of fuel for the fires of creativity, and it's all good. You're an inspiration for escaping the box.

    So yeah. Talk about ants and Junior Muskrats. Or whatever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ants are ruthless and brutal, backed up with unlimited cardio. Ants have no fear or remorse. Junior Muskrats are, really, only just starting to make a name for themselves on Planet Earth. They don't have the combat experience of Ants, nor their tenacity or strength.

      The Junior Muskrats will really need to use their agility and speed advantage to control the pace of this encounter, picking their battles very carefully. Unfortunately, the Junior Muskrats' need for sleep is going to be their big shortfall here. If they can't get the job done in the first couple of days, it's going to go sour very rapidly for the newcomers.

      Junior Muskrats are in over their collective heads in this one. Ants by a relentless submission game early in the 4th, followed by a messy and gruesome dismemberment.

      Having said all that, pit the Ants up against some Greater Muskrats and we'll be in for a real contest... I;m calling it now: Fight Of The Year contender.

      Delete
  16. As someone who has only recently started reading this blog (came for the name - stayed for the content) and also someone who is relatively new to tabletop RPGs I have been hesitant to comment in fear of sounding stupid.

    With that out of the way, I'm finding myself really interested in oD&D inspired games (like Dungeons Crawl Classics RPG and Adventurer Conquerer King). I have tried D&D 3.5, 4E and Pathfinder but none of them supplied me with the type of game I wanted to play, but I do not dislike any of them. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and I can understand why someone would like them.

    This is why I do not understand the edition wars, I know that people have their attachments to systems they have been using for a long time, but there is such a collected wealth of information (both official and unofficial) for each system along with independent releases inspired by these systems.

    I'm more than likely going to run the DCC RPG when it officially releases because that is a game that best fits what I'm after. If a new version of it came out that changed what I liked about it, I'll probably stick with the original DCC RPG or find another system that works for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, I currently play in a G+ Hangout 0e OD&D game on Thursday nights and play Rifts t a table on Fridays. I'm teaching one of my daughters Battletech (and just bought her the intro set for her 14th birthday tomorrow---shhhh! ;) ) and painting up a whole helluvalot of Battlemechs atm.

    I want to run either an OD&D game or Heroes Unlimited.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm a DM for 3e/3.5/3.75. I've played one-offs in a number of different systems, but lately I've only been playing board games. This is all well and good, but it would be pretty sweet if I could find a group for RPGs. I'm thinking G+ would be pretty cool. In fact, let's find a FLAILSNAILS game I can get in on for next week...

    Also, thanks for writing a cool blog.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I mostly play the story-ish game Burning Wheel, and I love GMing it. There's a high level of player involvement in their characters, and the way that story directly flows out of characters following their beliefs is simply lovely. However, I'm starting up a hacked DnD campaign this week, and I have a lot of hopes for it. I think it will allow me to be more creative with my settings, and give me more freedom with rules (Burning Wheel is not very good at sandboxing). Also, this will give me the ability to use all of the fantastic rules-ideas that have come out of this blog, a new luxury!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've gone through a whole bunch of different stages of RPG preference (although I've always been pretty ready to play anything). I went from D20 to White Wolf to Theater LARP to Forge to my current group (which I actually met via a link to an art gallery exhibit mentioned on this blog, so thanks for introducing me to New York Red Box!) which is psuedo-OSRish.

    I've been thinking for a while about trying to run a Basic-style horrific dungeon crawl using hacked 4e rules, and a recent forum conversation pretty much convinced me that this would be manageable. It sounds like you default to a sort of 3e/Basic-or-something hack, so I might need to go over the parts of this blog where you talk about how you made that work again when I start to get serious. Has anyone else tried anything similar?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I play Swords and Wizardry Complete and WFRP 2e and I'm planning an Openquest game. I play tons of non-OSR games off and on, including nWoD and Dark Heresy most recently. Most of the stuff I work on for my blog is Openquest or Mongoose Runequest 2 stuff, though the Dawnlands actually started off as a D&D 4e setting before turning into an Openquest setting.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Okay, I will play... pretty much anything.

    I have been playing D&D since I was 9, which was 30 years ago. I have played easily over a 100 different RPG's since. I am currently switch hitting between running a Dresden Files game and a 4th Edition D&D campaign. I also help run an Atlanta area "boffer" larp and play in another. I am a bit of a wannabe game writer and I worked in the video game industry up until I was laid off a couple of years ago.

    These days, I find myself thinking on scifi RPG's and how to make them more compelling and interesting. I love science fiction, like the classic literary stuff, but outside Star Wars, it seems to be hard to get people excited about a science fiction RPG. Rifts maybe, but that is mainly fantasy.

    ReplyDelete
  23. One group I'm in tends to run 3.5, with some D20 Modern and WotC Star Wars; I am the one who runs the weird stuff, including DnD 4e, heavily houseruled 3.5 gestalt, 4eDnD Gamma World, Microlite d20, and years ago oWoD.

    I recently took over running another group and that is a DIY DnD based on Microlite d20 with plenty of rules from Vornheim, LotFP: Grindhouse, and the blogs. Everyone seems to be enjoying it so far.

    In the past I've played TORG, Over The Edge, Warhammer (2ed, I believe), Ars Magica, Rolemaster, and Boot Hill/Sidewinder. And of course I started with B/X, AD&D from way back.

    I'd love to play in M&M 3ed, and am dying to try Apocalypse World because I need to see a system in action to understand it; and AW looks incredible. I blew a chance to play Dresden run by Macklin and have regretted it.

    I'll try anything, if I trust the GM I find the system doesn't mean much. I am an incorrigible tinkerer too; as soon as I discover a system I want to take it apart. In the 90s my 2ed game looked a lot like the 3ed that eventually came out. Next time I run or play 4ed it will be Fourthcore. That's why I find the impending 5ed DnD exciting, I like to see what people do with systems.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've played Sorcerer from time to time and while I was super terrible at creating Dark Stories of Personal Horror, I found that the system does a really good job of facilitating bitchin' feels-like-you're-in-a-movie fight scenes. Like a "this is what games like Rolemaster and HERO and GURPS were trying to get at but didn't quite make it across the finish line" job. I used to have a whole big speech about it but I never wrote it down, so I forget the salient points.

    The last time I tried playing Sorcerer was 2010; I had played Mass Effect 2 earlier that year and was feverishly obsessed with science fiction. My group at the time had a lot of Frustrated Novelist Syndrome going on, and somehow we were all so high-strung about what science fiction meant to us or whatever that we never saw eye to eye and the whole thing imploded. I still want to do a sci-fi thing, but maybe space privateers with FASERIP.

    I also played S/Lay with Me a couple of times with one of the guys from the aforementioned group, it was fun coming up with weird premises and seeing which way we could push them. He had a tendency to take his eyes off the prize and want to hippie out on freeform roleplaying, which doesn't really work in S/Lay with Me, it's pretty much taking your foot off the pedal.

    So anyway, that's what I would say if someone asked me to talk about games other than old school D&D.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My group is an experienced bunch who are all good friends, and not afraid to go off on tangents that will be fun, but also add to the overall story of the game. We play 3.5 and Pathfinder, but take occasional breaks into Weird Wars and Star wars D20 as well.
    I'm one of those DM's who probably (definitely) puts too much effort into all the little details of his game, but that's okay because when I am not running I have plenty of time to do so on my overnight shift at work. Last time I checked I had about 60+ weeks of game material prepped ahead of time for a sandbox game that I will run later this year.

    I also like random charts and tables... a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Random tables FTW! Nobody knows what will happen next, not even the GM!

      Delete
  26. I love the blog, so might as well post.

    I'm 43 and recently started gaming again after being a hardcore kid gaming nerd. Grew up on the manilla books and basic boxed sets (with CHITS). Graduated to AD&D, star fleet battles in the local public library, TOP SECRET and GAMMA WORLD in high school, a little Champions and Games Workshop mini mayhem in college, and then it all sorta went away between losing friends, an unsympathetic wife, and a tech career. Fast forward to 2001, divorced, moved to NYC for work and comedy, and started discovering some Improv nerds who decided to "ironically" get together for some gaming, and now we all got regular gaming groups. Right now it's mostly boardgames, various D&D (4e and me doing AD&D 1e which I prefer), etc.

    One thing I'm surprised I've not seen mentioned here much is PARANOIA. Some of the various editions were rules wonky, but given the general mayhem your (zack) group seems to prefer, I'd assume it would be an interesting fit. Or maybe too wacky?

    I'm a big ol' Paranoia fan. Nothing really brings out the DM Sadism and really lets players go wild. I'm even proud to say on two occasions I had players get so infuriated they were losing their shit at each other (with false accusations) and once got two guys to start pushing each other at a con. All because of mutant power choices. :)

    Oh, and I have Aspergers. I credit being a DM for 33 years to being able to learn a lot of social interaction.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am a tall skinny guy from Seattle who has been running a 4e campaign for 2 years. I am up to eight players which I think is pretty snazzy. I really like the age range is like 15 to 41 as well. Technically we are in our second campaign after everyone died that one time and the villains won and now it is 5,000 years later. I play 4e because I wanted to play D&D again and it was the book on the shelf at the local game shop. I don’t mind it as a system. I can see how the technical combat part unnerves some folks. But, I find it challenging as a DM to mix that type of play with the story and fluff. I hadn’t played since the 80’s when I and my friends played a lot of different games. Since I got back into gaming I collected a few of my favorite systems on the bookshelf for fun. Those include Warhammer 1e, original AD&D hard covers, Star Frontiers, a couple editions of Gamma World, and CoC. Back in the day we would create characters, write up a background, and draw a picture of the character. Then they would die and we wouldn’t play D&D for a while. I think that is why we mostly played the Superhero games back then and our only campaigns that lasted more than a couple weekends were the superhero systems. Our Marvel game lasted years in fact. They were a lot less deadly compared to the other older systems that we played or tried to play.
    Some of the adults drink at the gaming table when playing. There has been once or twice as a DM I was glad we keep a wiki to track what happens. Or else I would have been quite foggy on what I said that previous night. I am vegan. I do wear glasses. I have never been in the military. I do have kids. Cats sometimes knock over the miniatures while playing.
    My favorite bands are Brainiac, The Liars, Guide by Voices, The Lost Sounds, The Fall, and the band I found was Future Islands. I mostly like horror or foreign films. Been reading a lot Victorian era travelogues but recently migrated to newer books about odder stories in history. This information is useless to this conversation but maybe harkens to a couple comments in earlier threads.
    I bought a used copy of your book Vornhiem at Gen Con last year. I have never RTFM and used it correctly. Once stuck in a bind and doing one of those make it up as you go sessions I flipped it open and saw some line about crushing butterflies by the filthy rich of the city. This translated into the party going to see a half demon slaver they had met over and over in the slaver city. The slaver was fat and very piggish but he had a soft spot for one of the PC’s due to the Halfling’s feisty talk. But, the PC in the last session had been sucked into the Land of the Dead while still alive by a nasty NPC. The slaver thought this Halfling was lost forever to him. So they walked into his manor to find the obese devil man dancing naked in a ring of slaves. The slaves were throwing baskets of butterflies into the air and the slaver would snatch them from the air while doing a clumsy dance and smash the butterflies in his fat fist. The slaver was in tears over the lost of the Halfling and he was covering himself in the dust of the butterfly wings as a sign of mourning and trying to cheer himself up. This scene mentally scarred my players and they talk about it to this day. I have you and your book to thank for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I should add I am not against killing players. I have a very thick "Dead Character" trophy folder. But, I prefer if everyone doesn't die, become cursed, or maimed all at once.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Alright. Hey folks. I'm a fan who broke into D&D with 3rd edition, eagerly devoured every splatbook, then felt vaguely lost and betrayed when 4e rolled around. I played with Pathfinder, but all the problems with 3e that I'd only just really become aware of as char-op became an increasingly normal and expected group activity were still there and my attempts to run it fell apart quickly.

    Now I play Fantasy Craft. Why don't more people play Fantasy Craft? Surely I'm not the only one who was actually excited that the game has a ton of rules and read all of them? It's more 3e's second cousin once removed than a direct descendant of the system, but it's the first time I've seen anyone take the char-op "character options should be exploited for synergy" ethos to heart and then balance around it without stomping the math completely flat. Any other systems try that while retaining the crazy amount of customization 3e offered? I've been disappointed so far. I'd probably be better off trying to cobble together some of the best 3pp OGL stuff, but I was too terrified of investing in anything that wasn't official WotC material back in the 3e heyday. What's good?

    Also, anyone thought about hacking nWoD Changeling into an all Hedge based fantasy campaign?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm 21 and currently out of a game. I've been playing since I was around 13 at a local comic shop at first then changed to other friends in college. I'm on google+ if anyone is interested in gaming! Also have been having ideas of using WoD crossover games in a DnD inspired world.

    ReplyDelete
  31. @giordanisti

    What was it about Burning Wheel that made it unsandboxy for your group? Having seen the rules I would guess it was just all the time it takes to get anything done, but I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about.

    @rocco

    I have nothing against Paranoia but I feel the best craziness in the game I run comes from me running the world as the "straight man" and letting the players spazz out.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @good italian

    How would your WoD/D&D crossover idea work?

    ReplyDelete
  33. I do like 4E over all, though I have reservations, including the way alignment and healing works. Parts I like are the way powers work, the non-Vancian magic and the graphic design.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm just about to start my very own blog. It's required of me as a part of my education (multimedia design) to make and maintain an active blog. I play a lot of games, D&D, computer, magic the gathering, and I have a lot to say about these things. The reason I haven't made a blog on my own initiative is that I annoy the hell out of myself whenever I write about anything. I'm never satisfied with anything of my own craft, and I often feel that nothing I will ever make will be worth anyone's attention as there are so many blogs out there with so much better content (like this blog), and written by bloggers with far more writing skill than I will ever possess.

    I know this is a barrier I have to break down somehow, but where and how do I start banging at it?

    ReplyDelete
  35. @boyzenberg

    -say something you haven't heard before, or
    -provide a useful thing that requires a little work that you wish someone would've done by now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Zak

      Sound advice. I had a lot of trouble starting up my now 2 session old Hárnmaster Campaign and I really wish there had been a resource out there telling me how I should get started. Perhaps I should be the one to write it!

      Delete
  36. Been lurking on this blog for some time and for me it’s the best rpg blog out there. Love all those insights and ideas I get from here. Tips about running a sandbox game is especially welcome.

    Started playing dnd with 2e, moved on to 3e and now we are playing 4e. Of those systems 4e been the favorite, but still played as it is I feel there are elements that could be improved greatly. Here I turn to OSR for inspiration.

    With all my players spread out we are playing online using Fantasy Grounds for our games. Once a year we meet at a cabin somewhere in the wilderness and game non-stop for 3-4 days.

    We are soon to be starting a new campaign that are more of a sandbox nature. Two characters are made so far, a witch and a scout, and I’m waiting for the two more players to make their character. The characters will wake up near a witch’s hut with magic saturating the air. They will almost have no memories of their past left and one characters will have a map tattooed on his back were the hut is marked and a tower not too far away ( a magically tattoo that will change over time). The witch is dead and the hut is thrashed. So any table, ideas of what to find in a witch hut is welcomed.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm rssing some OSR-like blogs, just to keep informed what's going on in indie (meaning, small press / creator owned; I'm rather convinced that any other notion of indie-ness doesn't make sense) / DIY community. As a rule, I'm not running or playing games older than 2000 - my "old school" (currently: Witches of N'Kai (a Searchers of the Unkown hack by Caleb Jensen), some time ago: World of Algol (Apocalypse World Planet Algol hack by Red Box Vancouver guys), soon: ready to playtest Apocalypse World Carcosa hack of a friend of mnie) works just fine without using older stuff. I guess it's partly because I'm not swimming on the waves of nostalgia - too young and part of the world where RGPs appeared in late '80s - and partly because I prefer games which make sense and are playable without tons of old 'zines, supplements and extensive historical research (so, except Burning Empires and maybe Sorcerer, 300 pages of a rulebook is an upper bound, and my comfort zone is around 50-100). I just like my design clear and oriented.

    ReplyDelete
  38. @juliusz

    I hate nostalgia and like games that make sense too. It's just I happen to know that no game makes sense until I hack it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Zak: I see. My experience is different. I try to trust the author - it happened numerous times that something I was sure cannot work turned out to be cool (just one example: in Matthijs Holter's game Society of Dreamers when beginning the session there's this ritual of banishing evil spirits from the room, with making noises and shouting and clapping hands and so on, and then there are other things like this, and at first we were, like, "wtf is that New Age bullshit, let's skip it", and after few sessions and a year later, when playing with Matthijs, we did the ritual and it turned out it made the game way more fun). I hack the game only after I give it a try rules as written, and well, sometimes it's necessary to enjoy the game (and some games I like are simply unplayable as written), but sometimes, by hacking the game before trying it RAW, I would just miss lots of cool elements and variety in my gaming. So, I have reliable enough (that is, reliable for me and my group, and some random people at cons) rule-sets on my shelf.

      Delete
  39. I've wondered what you do with players' world-building ideas. I know you encourage sandboxy exploration and clever tactical stuff, but that's within the boundaries drawn by the GM. What do you do when one of your players says "I want a character who's more like X" when X isn't something in the rules/setting, or "We should explore a place like Y next time" when Y isn't a place you've created?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hrmph. I wish I got more responses on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This thread is too long to read at work, but I'm going to post to it anyway. If I miss a social cue here, I apologize. I read here, but don't reply here because every time I go to type in the box, I find I'm just going to be doubling down on another response or putting out something that doesn't really contribute. That's pretty par for the course with me and my personal Netiquette. I save the long, divergent, awesome in-joke exploring for my G+ friends...who are people I actually game with and I actually have beers with. Because if you don't already know about +Bram Clark's "Ancient Elton" theory...then you probably would think it was dumb.

    I like the distilled sort of critical theory that you provide me as a launch pad for gaming. Principles I have learned from this blog and the ones that link to it are great for whatever game I'm running: "More weird" is a principle I love and strive for more and more.

    I pimp the Secret Santicore document to everyone I meet who likes table top games. Because its free, and awesome and not in that order.

    i like to play. Thats it. I've been compromised into running games now because as an adult the best way to get someone to run a game for you is to offer one in exchange...at least thats what I've found. I'm working through my copy of Vornheim; sifting it for the pieces that I would use, trying to take the frameworks that are there back into games I'm running. That's not a slight against it, though, as its possibly the most tool-kit-ish game book I own. I wish more of my books were more like it.

    I don't get to play enough of any kind of game. Right now I run Pathfinder because its easiest to get the people I know to say "okay" to.

    I'm fascinated by the "indie" games. The design principles are interesting, but I'm finding that my personal sensibilities outside gaming have led me to twig more and more on this DIY gaming attitude. My question to myself lately has been "how could I do that with Savage Worlds?" but that is mostly because I like SW and have run it almost as much as "type III" D&D.

    Some of the games I really want to play are things run on the Gumshoe system, or are Post-Apocalyptic in theme. There was a pdf I got in a drivethru RPG bundle a few years back called 'Summerland' which really caught me. Also there was this free thing out there called 'Deluge' which I also really liked. I want to run an "actually scary" cowboy game, and an "actually fun" pirate game.

    Thats enough blabbering for now.

    >B

    ReplyDelete
  42. @Zak: As GM of Burning Wheel, it's my job to directly challenge the beliefs and goals of the players. It's not railroading in the most commonly used sense, since everything I do with plot is taken right from the players' interests, but there is definite guiding of plot. It doesn't work very well to give a bunch of adventure hooks and let people choose which one sounds the most interesting; characters develop much better when with a belief-centric plot, for reasons that are complicated and intrinsic to Burning Wheel (haha).

    Ex: If a character has the beliefs "I will find my father using his own clairvoyant homunculus" and "I will remove all obstacles from my friends' paths" (which my current character does) the most effective way to use the game's rules would be to provide an avenue to accomplishing one belief that would contradict the other, e.g. an NPC promises to take the character to his father, but as a price he has to give a friend a crippling, but non-fatal, poison. What does he choose? How do his beliefs react to being played against one another? That's the general gist of the game, and though this style can be AWESOME, there's not much room for free choice in exploring the world.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Am I a Story Gamer? I don't know! HOW DO I KNOW??

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am actually currently running a dnd/new world of darkness hybrid. Just had the first game on saturday, which was a hit with the people involved. It's nothing too complicated: it's just a DND style world with nWoD's rules, and a system for magic myself and my veteran nwod players devised. I did it because the players involved were not tactics gamers in the least, and combat was something that I wanted to be brutal, but more importantly, -fast-. But on the flip side I've also got a Pathfinder game with some dudes who are video-gamers to the core. The contrast of the two groups is likely to give me whiplash.

    I've got high hopes for the campaigns, and I wanted to say thanks to you Zak, because your blog has been a huge help and inspiration for me in all my games. I'll probably be running Wolves in the Throne Room in a couple weeks, even, and I hope you don't mind I stole your backwards-talking goblins. :P

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm running a 4e game largely because one of my friends said "hey, I just got given this game called Dungeons and Dragons and don't you play that? Can you DM for us?". I'm having lots of fun running a deeply unfocused, mostly improvised campaign...

    ...on a related note i'd like to thank you for releasing a book full of useful tables small enough (and attractive enough) to be read on the train on the way to a session as a last minute source of inspiration. To be honest, the next session I run may well end up being "everyone gets framed for a different crime. Roll 4 times on the Vornheim trial table..."

    I've tended to run games like Cyberpunk 2020 which seemed - IMO - to favour short, focused campaigns (pick a theme, make some characters, play three sessions, everybody wins/dies, repeat...) and i'm more interested in running a big sandbox game (I feel like some kind of "recovering" story-focused player...) these days. My players are almost all new to DnD of any kind and far more interested in the story and interaction part of it than any of the combat aspects so that changes the nature of running a sandbox somewhat...

    And also, like the old and awesome Shadowrun sourcebook "Sprawl Sites" I'd like to find a way to use random encounter tables to give the impression that the sandbox is evolving and changing in an organic way...

    ReplyDelete
  46. @uncle matt

    If they want a pc that is outside expected parameters i just let em make one--its pretty easy to create a new race or class just by adding bonuses and minuses that cancel each other out.

    if they want to explore a kind of place that's not in the setting? Hasn't happened yet, the setting's a pretty big tent. If they did Id find a way to work it in probably.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm a full-time grad student in NYC. I have been playing in a campaign that is a homebrew hack of Pathfinder set on a sci-fi earth 100 Million Years in the Future after three or so apocalypses. It is super fun, and after sitting in on a game session, my girlfriend asked if I could run a campaign of the same for her and her friends so now I am. It's pretty great.

    I got super pumped when folks of this blog started playing G+ games, but after trying to get in on one once (and being like 15 minutes late) I got busy with school. Between reading 100s of pages for school every week, and two regularly meeting DnD games, and two semi-regular Magic The Gathering Games, I just can't seem to shoe-horn in any other regular occurring stuffs.

    I am a huge fan of this blog because of the thoughtful but still rock-n-roll application of theory to the game. For that it is the best.

    ALSO: here is an awesome post from the magic design blog. You don't need to know anything about magic, really, to get it. AND the points it makes can be totally applied to RPGs. (excuse the all-male nouns): http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr11b

    ReplyDelete
  48. I really love Fiasco, but I haven't played it in ages. I've begun running a game I made up called "Shards Of Olympus" wherein the Greek gods come back to positions of power over humanity in a post-apocalypse context. Also I feel kind of bad that I've fallen behind on reading this blog, but I just don't have as much time as I used to.

    ReplyDelete
  49. OKAY. I was just thinking -- the thread says talk about anything but most everyone commenting (myself included) has just talked about themselves, it sounds like the first round of some Role Player's Anonymous in here. So here's a question to try and start a conversation:

    A ton of people talk about playing homebrews, or tweaked versions of X. In general, what is the first/biggest thing all of you change?

    Do you always make up brand new classes? Do you always scrap the setting? Do you have a personal skill-system that you add in no matter what game?

    ReplyDelete
  50. @prfd

    I usually get pretty nuts with the setting right off--though I usually build on what's there.

    Other hacks flow from that. They seem system-dependent

    ReplyDelete
  51. Well, especially for something like 0E, I line out what races and any optional classes I'm using. And, of course, I make sure the players know what's up as well. Spell lists are another thing that's always tweaked.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Yeah...spell lists. I've found in tweaking that sometimes what's really needed to define something is just making a really long list. For instance, in my campaign I needed some mechanic to describe how Physiotechs (think mad scientists) invent devices. What I ended up doing was copying the PF list of spells (there's no magic in my world) and then just culling out all the things that couldn't be explained in some way by science or pseudo-science.

    A weird by-product of this was that I copied the spells from a table that just had short 1 sentence descriptions of every spell (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spell-lists-and-domains/spell-lists---sorcerer-and-wizard) so now my tech table has VERY thin descriptions of what each power does. This is good for my newbie players, cause they're not put off by a paragraph of text-and-math for every possible power, but it does mean I have to sort of improvise the actual effect of something like "Create a scoop of force to pick up or carry liquids." on the fly. How much liquid? For how long? But I find I actually like that kind of improvising.

    So, long story short, I've become a fan of the one-line spell descrip.

    ReplyDelete
  53. One thing I usually change for my fantasy settings is the playable races. I usually flip the switch for "no Elves" and "Dwarves are isolationist and matriarchal" little things like that to shift the taste of the game for me. I think the next time I run fantasy (probably Pathfinder) I might ask for classic character concepts. Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Magic User...just to see what happens. Very mild changes on the surface I think.

    And to add a little question of my own: Have you ever had a group of players sit down and build what I hear some might call an "unbalanced" group? Like say, three barbarians and a ranger? Does that change anything about the way you might run that game? What might that look like?

    ReplyDelete
  54. I wouldn't say that 3 barbars and a ranger is unbalanced. Now, all mages, probably unbalanced. I agree with what Gary said in B2: that a grpup of all fighters can probably strongarm their way through just about anything. Even "Team Cleric" could do well; same with Team Rogue. Mages...maybe not.

    Fortunately, my groups have always been pretty balanced. I usually seem to have no one who wants to play a cleric, tho.

    ReplyDelete
  55. @prfd

    The first thing I change are races. I feel the ones available and their backgrounds really can influence the game and how players play the game and view the world. I don't tend to change them mechanically but reskin them as they say.

    I also tend to release more races as the campaign advances. I allow players to retire characters and I take them out play if they need a change of pace. Sometimes those PC's become mine to play with and other times they drift off on personal errands to return later. But by adding races as characters successfully befriend factions or unlock areas of the world they feel like the world is getting bigger and more diverse as they crawl out of their neck of the rules. Plus sometimes players come up with concepts for more exotic characters and I have allowed then to pull from the mechanics of more odder racial mechanics to define it. One player managed to do this with Deva race recently. The way they did it makes so much sense to the story but it is truly a one off.

    Beyond that I tend to only add incentives or minor tweaks to the rules. More like add ins to give the players more options in difficult times or to reward them for good play or helping with the wiki.

    Every once in the while I make a call that would be called a nerd to fix an exploit of a mechanic or class bit that is super rare. Player creativity shouldn't be stifled.

    ReplyDelete
  56. @B

    I have never had a problem with any group composition, though I think over time the DM consciously or otherwise chooses adventure possibilities to fit the PCs and the players s/he's got.

    @anthony emmel
    I don;t think all mages is a problem for a good DM, though it might be a tad dull.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A smart team of mages would hire lots of retainers, hopefully the kind with hard hats and pointy sticks.

      I think it would end up being like resource-constrained hands-on Ars Magica. Not necessarily dull, but I guess that would depend on the players.

      Delete
  57. Zak, well, maybe not. It also depends on how the mages play. If they try to tank... :D

    When I ran Hackmaster 4e, here was the group composition (and it worked pretty well):

    High Elf Fighter (Long bow specialist)
    Halfling Fighter/Thief
    High Elf Cleric/Fighter
    Hill Dwarf fighter
    Gnome Fighter/Illusionist
    Human Paladin

    Note the common theme: all had a fighter component. I think I have a rep for getting my monsters into the back ranks to mess people up! :D :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. @B When I sit new players down to start making characters I tell them there are 3 options:

    1) Dance what you feel. Everyone pick the 1 character that looks most interesting, don't talk about it, just make it. You guys are a party.
    2) Meta-Game Adventuring. You know you're going to be a party, so discuss, how will the 3-6 of you make a balanced group for adventures.
    3) High-Concept Fuckery. Choose something weird but specific (4 thieves and 1 barbarian) and explain why it exists (barbarian won the lottery, hired the 4 thieves to show him the ways of the world).

    Obviously #1 and #3 can end up with "unbalanced" groups. Depending on how flexible your adventure plans are, this can be an excellent opportunity to create really unique challenges. Like, if no one in the party can use magic, or deal with a magic-user, then throwing in a single one all of a sudden becomes a boss battle. The party composition changes what can easily be made to seem climactic.

    ReplyDelete
  59. @fauxcrye

    Interesting. I like the idea that PCs become "yours to play with" though I don't know if that's something my players would LOVE. The other side of that coin for me is: my players always want friends to join or group, but I'm always a little wary to have them make full-fledged characters who get into the game and then only come for one or two sessions. So my solution is to pretty early on have an excuse for the PCs to have NPC companions that journey with them, and if a random friend wants to play, I can just give them one of these NPCs..."to play with."

    So to speak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!
      I like to play basically any kind of game, from "old school" to newish "story games". Lots of them at once, if I can manage it (ok, not really at the same time, but you get the idea). I'm currently running a Tunnels & Trolls pbf and playing a very dexterous and incredibly rude fighter in a becmi one. I'm also running a game of my extremely house ruled version of Rolemaster and starting a the Burning Wheel campaign...

      Delete
    2. @prfd

      Players are very protective of characters overall as you mention. When retiring a character they have the option of letting me know if they want to return to that character later. It is a case by case basis to be honest. And there is a stated understanding that the character's story may be more complicated on their return. Using 4e's companion rules has made the task easier. Since characters can stay in the party for awhile or return later for one shots where they are still an NPC but their story is evolving outside the campaign's main thread. Overall I think they trust me to keep it interesting. That trust is built over time.

      Also abandoned characters have become turncoat traitors by design or accident. But the only real instance of this with an active player left a very open mystery with a few clues coming to light recently.

      After 25 sessions I only have one living PC from the original group and one NPC who was in that group as a PC. Only 3 of the 8 players are still running their orginal character from when they started playing with us. We did drop one player and his two characters became a plot device in one instance and the other turned out to be a shapechanger who took his place. The dhapechanger useful for a particular ambush and also to tie up loose ends in overlapping background with PC's. No players have left in outrage.

      I think the players are into it based on their personality and trust levels. They get to see the old faces from time to time and use them in fights and intrigue. Plus I think there is a spirit to a lot of newer fiction and TV shows where the story moves along even though characters die or change sides or just move on. These players find it adds dramatic tension and it's own reward.

      Delete
    3. Hmmm. Using past characters as effective plot devices makes me think about something that I've been meaning to write up for a while. I think one of the biggest differences between a non-linear or Sandbox game and a Linear or Follow-The-Story game is how each relates to ETHICS VS. MORALS.

      I don't know if this is the REAL difference between Ethics and Morals but I think of them as this:
      1) Ethics determines what is right and wrong based on (usually local) context.
      2) Morals determines what is right and wrong based on some (usually global) rules.

      If you want to have your players make conflict-laden decisions in game, you can either do this with Morals or Ethics. The Moral technique would be to make NPC X bad by virtue of what they are. They are a demon. You know that they are bad because all demons are bad. They are a goblin, you know that goblins are the "villians" of this world, you attack.

      By contrast, the Ethics technique tells PCs that an NPC is good or bad based on their actions. So like, if the Demon attacks, it's bad. If the Demon hands out treasure, maybe it's good. Or the goblins. If the PCs are from a town, and the Goblins help defend that town from a Giant, then all of a sudden the Goblins are good TO THE PCS. Later, if Fairies attack the Goblins, the Fairies are bad because of the enemies of my friends are my enemies statute of whatever.

      All of this is to say that ETHICAL conflict is always better than MORAL conflict. And that former PCs will always be the most ethically laden because they are guaranteed to have had more in-game actions than any NPC and will therefore carry more ethical dramatic weight.

      Delete
  60. @pfrd

    ok, but what does that have to do with sandbox v. linear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's say linear adventures are linear in at least one of two ways. 1) they need the elements to be accessed in a certain order (rooms, scenes, puzzles, whatever) 2) they need the PCs to have a certain orientation to them.

      Meaning, if Scene #3 is the Demon comes and seeks revenge on the PCs for defeating his priest, that means that in Scene #2 the PCs have to defeat the priest in some way (killing, capturing, maybe even eluding?) BUT what they can't do is befriend the priest. Then scene #3 doesn't make sense. The enemies in the linear adventure are enemies in a moral sense because they've been designate by the DM ahead of time as THE VILLIANS of the encounter, and the encounter doesn't work without them being that way.

      But to me, Sandbox games say "choose a reaction!" just as much as "choose a direction!" So if in the second room of some dungeon the PCs manage to befriend the priest, or do him/her a solid, then the demon shows up and is like HEY y'all seem cool. The ethics of the PCs actions make the demon an ally rather than adversary, and that's fine. Cause it's a sandbox.

      This might be conflating Ethical vs. Moral with Player Decided vs. DM Designed or maaaybe even Political vs. Adversarial.

      Clarify at all?

      Delete
    2. ok

      i think there are a lot of more immediate and prssing things that make sanbox play more fun than linear play but whatever floats your boat really

      Delete
    3. Are there a top 3-5 things or qualities that are to you the best or most important parts of "sandbox"?

      Delete
    4. 1. PCs can do whatever is physically possible according to the physics of the gameworld

      2. There is D&D in every direction (or whatever)

      3. The PCs have multiple targets/goals and none demands more attention than any other

      4. the PCs have enough information to tell potential targets apart from each other at least in superficial ways before they set out in a given direction

      Delete
    5. Ah, yes, I did write "one of the most important parts" didn't I.

      Point taken. Ethics vs. morals is perhaps better labeled as "an interesting part of" or "something I find useful for..."

      Delete
  61. @pfrd

    I started by running a block of published & linked adventures because I didn't have a lot of time to prep. What I noticed is that the adventures sort of "imply" a party build that includes a caster...so thats where my question was coming from. Quite frankly, now I wonder what "three barbarians and a..." might look like. Probably some seriously fun times.

    But one day I riffed an adventure for them and they liked it better...so I'm still trying to incorporate those lessons into the game as I go. Looks like its modules no more for me or that group...thankfully I have lots of good ideas and some good methodology for riffing games now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely think 3 Barbarians and a BLANK should be a new genre of adventure (on par with 3 Men and a Baby, or My Two Dads).

      Also, I have found that a riffed adventure is almost always more satisfying for everyone involved than a boxed-up adventure. My struggle now is figuring out which parts of an adventure ARE more satisfied when prepped. Like room puzzles, for instance. The actual printable hex-lox puzzle thing in Secret Santicore was brilliant in this regard. I'd love to figure out more make-the-players-touch-small-puzzle-objects-puzzles in the future.

      Delete
  62. How do I know if I'm smart enough to post here? :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Used to DM/GM a lot for old-school games, I guess you'd say. Traveller, Bushido, AD&D, Morrow Project, &c. Never quite understood story games and got out of it around the time GURPS and d20 systems started showing up in the 90s. I still collect [mostly older or interesting] systems, like HOL for its humor and WHFRP for its background [well, I wrote some for them]. Mostly if I play something 'gamer' these days its going to be a tabletop miniatures army type of thing.
    But I do like the blog very much. I find the creativity arresting, both in a story sense and in a DIY sense. No idea what I'd use any of it for but its fun & thats enough.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Been a long time gamer and GM for a long time. I'm a collector of different systems and settings and I probably spend as much time playing Frankenstein and snipping, splicing and improving different games. I especially enjoy "fixing" games that have great concepts which are held back by their system.

    One of my best gaming moments in recent memory was actually running and completing a full-fledged, three-year campaign. Although I've been gaming at least 12 years between losing players or losing interest I have never managed to truly finish a campaign-length game and it was immensely satisfying.

    While I'm speaking up I should say I quite enjoy reading the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I'm currently running a 3.5 game as well as playing in one. My past gaming experiences include Burning Wheel, Marvel Superheroes, 2nd edition, 4th edition, and a whole collection of random genre Indie titles. I'm a truth & consequences kind of GM- You can pretty much do anything in one of my games, but there always will be a reaction to every action. This philosophy is what lead me to Luke Crane's system and I have to say it is indeed one of my favorites today.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'm not much of a roleplayer anymore. Lack of free time coupled with an unusual work schedule means I don't get to play in any groups with friends anymore. I do, however, play a lot of board and card games. I am also working on designing my own games. I have one RPG out, which has had pretty much no exposure. Working on a board game and two card games at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Great thread at rpg.net. I think it's the first discussion where I've begun to see where 4e players are coming from. Probably not a coincidence it's the first thread I've seen that didn't devolve into "you're a nazi/you're a cunt" within five posts.

    ReplyDelete
  68. William's right -- it's an enlightening thread. I'm neither old-school nor 4e-compatible, so it's a fascinating read. Thanks for shepherding it along.

    I've got a question based on it, if you're still taking questions from the peanut gallery. You were talking about how you use player skill in games. If a player in your game thinks of a fun chemistry fact that they can use in the dungeon, you said you check the fact and let them use it if it works.

    When my player has a fun chemistry fact, I check to see if their character could know it. Blammo the Alchemist, with his INT 17, could come up with it -- so can his player. On the other hand, Stabbi the Slayer, with her INT 5 and her background of turnip-farming, probably couldn't. I like to screen "player skill" through the filter of "what the character can do." In a heavy-mechanics system, we'd use a specific skill or something like that. In a light-mechanics system, we'd roll a stat or examine a character's background. in Call of Cthulhu, maybe an Idea roll.

    However it works, the player saying "I know X!" isn't enough in an Uncle Matt game. The *character* has to have a plausible way to know it, especially in settings that don't have the modern American public school system forcibly educating everyone. Do you and your crew do anything like that? Or is it satisfactory for you if Stabbi's player figures out the chemistry fact, even if Stabbi shouldn't know it?

    ReplyDelete
  69. @matt

    I just let Stabbi's player do it.

    Though, coincedentally: my players with the actually high chemistry knowledge either play PCs "honestly" and refuse to use abilities their players wouldn't have OR they play PCs who are high-int anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  70. @matt

    Letting players metaplaying can bring you to lose control over what's happening

    "Hey, last time you let me do x, why now I can't?"
    and so on

    Even if you play with your closest friends shit like this can happen so i would always try to stop metaplaying before something like this happens:

    "HEY! That monster has x y z, and he can't do this!"

    It's strange how something like this shouldn't happen after so many years of playing (even geeks should get mature :P) but it still happens because after those many years your players got the manuals in their head

    ReplyDelete
  71. ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssz3

    -- my cat

    ReplyDelete
  72. @tr3 -- For whatever reason, I haven't had that problem. If a player says "That monster can't X!" to me, my reply is probably "Looks like this one can. What do you do?" And we go on our merry way.

    I don't mind if players bring real-world knowledge into the game -- as long as their characters could plausibly have that knowledge too, whether through game mechanics or character background (or ideally both). Like Zak, I've mostly had players who are cool about it. They either make characters who would know X or they don't bring X up. That's partly luck and partly careful management of expectations.

    Plus regular doses of "That didn't work the way you hoped. What do you do?" Keeps 'em on their toes.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I run a 2nd Ed campaign. I try to play as sandbox as possible while still having a storyline to follow and goals for my players. Looking for a way to make gaming notes for a session without writing it published adventure style. Any suggestions, blogs or sites to read?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Given that you posted a comment on my own blog about exactly this (that I don't tend to comment on your stuff), I feel like I have something a responsibility to comment.

    I play damned near everything. I particularly fancy strange Forge Indie games. I loved the Mormon Game, for instance, and right now I'm primarily playing Mouse Guard - which I think is one of the grittiest, most brutal role-playing games ever made.

    I skim a lot of your posts. I read the ones that catch my attention. I rarely comment, whether I agree or disagree with what you've said. The fist time I posted something you disagreed with, I was informed that my thoughts were not-at-all-interesting to you and the way you play, which is fair, but made me hesitant to post anything, creative, constructive or critical, on your blog in the future. You and I game in very different ways, and you made it clear that how I choose to game adds nothing of value to your table. I still find your blog interesting and englightening, though, and so I am generally content to lurk and post my opinions, however much they might vary from yours, in my own space.

    ReplyDelete
  75. @kris

    I don't recall that incident--and there is no record before today of a "kris hansen" in my comment record--but there is certainly a difference between:

    -announcing one's assertion of fact or prescriptive advice which should be addressed and must be if there is going to be a conversation about games that's useful, and

    -announcing "Hey I like this thing" which assertion is not necessarily of interest to anyone else unless context explaining why it is is then provided.

    See:
    http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2011/11/to-me-or-not-to-me.html

    ReplyDelete
  76. Well I've been running a homebrew campaign using a hacked pathfinder rules set for about 2 years. I've been playing in my girlfriend's first outing as a DM in a pathfinder campaign as well. A friend and I are coming up with a World of Darkness hack where it is the "future", think WoD meets Blade Runner.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hey, I lurk here, and haven't posted before. Since this is the 'anything goes' post, a couple thoughts.

    Have you considered a gamer connection area here or on the IHitItWithMyAxe facebook page? I believe your fans and the stereotypical DnDer are cut a little different.

    Will we ever get a post showcasing some of your house rules in a compiled fashion?

    When will you have an art show/appearance on the east coast? I'm in Baltimore, and would love to see your stuff in person.

    ReplyDelete