A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Rant on Communication

This is something I have wanted to say for a long damned time, and as my posting has been quiet this month it makes sense to use now as the time for saying what needs to be said:


This also goes with not wanting someone to continue to play in your group.

I get it I mean I do.  People are passive aggressive wusses who are too afraid of any form of confrontation ever.

So doing things like just not responding to scheduling emails, or when someone talks to you about a game and you aren't interested you just delete the message and act like the game never happened, or if someone is a complete tool you do the RPGnet approved "Lie and say the game isn't taking place" because that can't ever come back and cause more trouble than your chickens(*& self thinks you are avoiding by rightfully telling someone they are being a douche and you don't want them there any more is what everyone does.

(Its not just gaming.  Its why "I'll call you" in dating circles really means "Thanks for the sex but I never intend to talk to you again but I am what I just got out of you last night and can't be honest with you".)

This is enormous jerkfacery of the highest level and its GOT TO BLOODY STOP.

If you are interested in a game but upon hearing more details and it doesn't sound like its your bag its OK to say "Sorry, its not my thing.  Good luck and I hope you have fun".

This is both POLITE, and nice.  You can in fact think its the worst idea for a game in the history of ever but its not like you have to say that.

Just letting the person know you won't be participating is good enough.

But nobody does that do they?  As I mentioned, RPGnet even ENCOURAGES this sort of rude, wussy, passive aggressive handling of things.

Instead all you really do is waste other people's time as they prepare for games they won't be playing in or have people show up for, which is VERY GODDAMNED RUDE.  These days it seems like we all have less and less free time.

Your bitch ass deciding to in the middle of the game claim your wive/husband/dog/ect needs you at home and you run out never to be seen again is the height of dickery.  Outside of the most mentally unbalanced person, who is gonna care if you say "Sorry I don't think this is working out" and then leave?

Or if you are that afraid of personal confrontation about pretend Elf and Space Marine games, just finish that session, and make a phone call or email the next day saying you will no longer be playing.


I've seen so much of it over the years both as a passive and active participant in someone else's inability to be polite.  I refuse to engage in it.  If I think a game sucks and I am quitting?  I almost always let the group know as I leave for the day so they know not to waste any more of their game time on me.  The few times I just leave after a game?   I STILL make sure someone in the group knows I am not coming back ASAP.

Even if I utterly loathe the game or people I now know to avoid at all costs I still respect them as human beings and show them basic decency.

The game groups where I see this sort of behavior constantly done always end up terrible and its usually a sign to run like hell.

So show respect to your fellow human beings and if you aren't interested in playing or continuing to play a game you have already started interacting with take that whopping 2-5 minutes and make a phone call or send an email saying so.

Heck, if you have enough gusto to (respectfully) say why you are leaving/don't want someone else to play?  They may learn from their actions and correct bad behaviors, if not with you, possibly in the future.

But this is me hoping people show common courtesy and respect for each other and that's just silly talk.  All you have to do is see cigarette butts and garbage strewn all around, or shopping carts laying about in parking lots as opposed to the minute it would take to put them in their proper places to know we as humanity don't have any courtesy whatsoever.

And that is terrible.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bad News for 4e D&D and Other Ponderings

Over at the Something Awful forums there is an over 1300 PAGE thread on their Traditional Games subforum to the normal Games forum called Grognards.txt.  In general its a bunch of smug 4th edition D&D fans bashing anyone butthurt over 4th edition.  "Nerds angry at nerds angry at D&D" is what I call it.


There is a LOT of good game theory and plenty of examples of terrible RPG players in that thread.  (And its not the two times I have been uncredited quoted as being a grognard either.  I'm on page 1 and in the 1130s.  Neither quote is particularly good or bad really.  When you read the thread and some of the sheer creepy, horrible, and just plain WRONG things gamers on the net say and talk about their campaigns me at my most anti 4e aint doodly squat.  This depresses me greatly.  People never disappoint at disappointing..)

Recently there has been the discussion of people saying 4e "ISN'T D&D" and a topic I have probably blogged about before on the lethality of classic D&D and how it sucks.  What follows is both a fellow I am quoting, and my own thoughts on both the lethality, and if 4e is D&D or not:

Guilty Spork posted:

The one thing I have really and truly never understood about D&D is why the paradigm of ridiculously fragile PCs lasted more than a month or so. Having wizards who can't be scratched to death by a single housecat somehow equates to having totally consequence-free play like in an MMO that only exists in grognard's minds.

I honestly say this is what really killed RPGs. Not videogames being easier to get into, not MMOs.

It was kids and preteens in the 80s with thoughts of He Man, Conan, Thundarr, and Lion O in their heads. (And maybe a couple of girls with She Ra or Red Sonja)

Then they get to the table and bring their character into battle. Only to die in the first or second fight.

Ok fuck this let's go play Atari 2600 instead. (Even moreso with the creepy sex deviants who have been ruining everything ever. The Internet just gives sickos a group to talk about how they want to see Rainbow Brite having "group relations" with the Carebears or something. Human sexuality is a terrible thing.)

Its not the effort involved. Sure it might be a lot of work but if its your thing, you won't mind the work.

Some people love to fix and repair their own cars. You have nerds spending 100s of hours painting their wargaming minis. People who love sewing.

But when so many cards are stacked against RPGs as is, the sheer lethality of RAW TSR D&D is just a giant turnoff.

And even beyond the creepy players, what about the PVP parties who think backstabbing a fellow player is FUNNY? That sort of crap drove people away from online games like Diablo and Phantasy Star Online in droves. And basically the PVP flag alone is what helped Everquest beat Ultima Online regardless of what a few hardcore say. Even though in nearly every other way UO was tons more fun.


Going back to IT IS ITS NOT D&D: Well, for a load of people 4e isn't D&D as they know it.

If people were happy about it, would this news have ever happened?

D&D has pretty much always been the Number One RPG regardless of quality.

It keeps losing out or at the very least has shed marketshare.

Compare the style of game you played from 74-99 to 3 and 4e. It really feels completely damned different.

(As much as the 3e fans would like to say otherwise, it really is a transitional phase between TSR D&D and 4th. Its sort of a well intentioned mutt that got overdesigned somewhere in the middle. My least favorite version of D&D. 4th Essentials and a house ruled Basic are my go to D&D branded games, with a houseruled Castles & Crusades my preferred D&D game PERIOD, X-Plorers coming in a close second.)

Sure WOTC says what the brand is on, but ask any Godzilla fan what they think of the 98 movie and its creature is called "GINO" (Godzilla in Name Only), Deanzilla, Sh&*zilla, or similarly childish names. The Godzilla owners ended up calling it 'Zilla and having it get completely smacked down by a Godzilla closer to what people love.

Heck, ask horror fans about how they feel on the Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Nightmare on Elm Street Remakes. They are almost universally rejected by the fanbase.

Doesn't matter if its good or not. With consumer products its the fanbase that has some control over the property.  (Though having seen the Halloween remake I can safely say its only slightly less terrible than Halloween 5 and 6.  But only the parts where its not trying to be an actual Halloween remake.  If they removed the remake bits it would actually be an interesting look into a child who murders most of his family and his inability to be rehabilitated in a mental institution.  Once the remake part properly begins it sucks ass.  Lots and lots of ass.  Epic Ass Sucking Time is what it becomes.  Apparently its sequel is even worse.  How you get worse than a movie whose Chud.com review scored it as a "F*&K YOU out of 10" I do not know.)

Change is good, but if you change too much too fast and don't keep enough of what people love it will get creamed unless you find enough of a replacement audience.

Games Workshop was lucky when 3rd edition 40K did a massive shift. Rackham games with the final version of Confrontation was not. WOTC is getting hammered similarly.

(I would say Transformers survives and thrives with constant changes in style and scope because it never really throws away the previous. Hate the idiotic Bay movies? Well IDW makes Generation 1 comics in a modern style and even reprints the old. Are a kid? Transformers Animated and Prime are right up your alley. Heck, they have a line and upcoming show JUST for the 3-6 year old set who probably would cry trying to transform the main line's deluxe class figures.  I've bought the Optimus Prime from this line for my cousin's 5 year old for Christmas.  Its so adorable I kind of want one for myself.)

And I do find it a shame because there is a LOT to like about 4e once you don't look at it as how you would TSR D&D. And its a load better than 3.x.

But I doubt the improvements of 4th will carry to 5th. Class balance, streamlining, pick up and play, not swetting the spergy details? These will all probably be ignored next edition and its a Cthulhu damned shame.

I'm enjoying the 4th ed campaign I am running, I enjoy Encounters when I get the opportunity to play, and I even have an open invite to a Friday game I will finally get to play in for at least one session soon.

WOTC dropped the ball, and a LOT of it has to do with changing too much too fast, hosing over Paizo during the change, and the suits (WOTC and Hasbro most likely) trying to sell RPGs to make Magic the Gathering profits. Which just can't happen.

And I doubt anyone outside of accountants wanting RPGs to sell on a CCG business model.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

[D&D 4e Castlevania Campaign] The Myth Cycle Part 1

For every fantasy world with magic and divine powers, one ought to have a basic mythic history of the world.  Its nice to have a little background for these things.  For my Fantasy Earth this is mine:


In the creation of our universe 3 sisters were born of the Primal Father.  Locked in battle with the destroyer of the last, the Chaos Bringer, the One, they died.  Their deaths recreated the universe and the Primal birthed three children to make the new creation better than the last.  Yet the One had his way as well and spawned 4 brothers.

Our universe was truly created as the 3 battled the 4, eventually sending the Son of War, the Son of Death, the Son of Intrigue, and the Son of Decadence into another dimension, their punishment being to power and warm reality.

Upon having a source of power to create and bring forth life to this new universe the first sister, Celes, made countless suns to warm and bring light everywhere.

The second, Terra, made planets of earth, where her sister's suns would help things grow and life to bloom.

The third, Luna, brought moons to track time and to keep forces on planets in check, and to bring night so that there would be periods of rest.

Then, they slept while the worlds came to life, the beating of their hearts and the breaths of their mouths setting a pace to reality.

When the 3 awoke, they found countless planets bringing forth life.  It was then they brought forth their own children to help watch and protect them.

It was then that the 4 made their move...


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