Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mini Rant Alert

Actually not so much of a rant as an annoyance.  And the thing that is annoying me wasn't directed at me, but it has happened in the past.  Here's my annoyance.  When someone describes some magical thing in their world, whether it be a place or thing or creature and then someone comes along and says its not logical or makes no sense.  They some how get caught up in the plausibility of something magical...


This flows over into other gaming things.  I'll use falling damage as an example.  Where some folks will argue that d6 per 10' is not what was intended and not realistic.  I've got no problem with someone doing the work and using it in the game their running.  If they want to figure out gravity and mass and squishiness of things, go for it.  But when they are arguing with someone else about it just makes me turn the channel.  In a game where you have armies of skeletons and fireballs a flinging they get caught up in the reality of a 10' fall.

I guess this relates to what +Ken H  wrote about in his post, You're Playing It Wrong.  Years ago, when I was mainly a GURPS player, I found this attitude pervasive through out the community.  I read the boards and the arguments that went on, surprised me.  GURPS does an excellent job of recreating a realistic simulation.  Almost to a fault. I only use GURPS as an example because I have experience with it.  I'm sure there are others.  But because of that attitude I saw on the boards//forums, I had no interest in joining or becoming part of the GURPS community.  Not everyone was like that, but enough that it turned me off to joining.

I see that less in the old school arena.  There is a lot more tolerance for different ideas on how to handle things.  I don't get into gaming to argue with others.  Unless its my gaming group, then its fun.  It's one of the main reason why I did decide to begin this blog almost five years ago.  Most of the time if there is a difference of opinion with gaming stuff (I won't go into the meta gaming crap that sometimes flares up) it's shared.  Only on occasion do you see a pompous ass argue that you are wrong and they are right.  In those cases you just nod and treat them like that crazy uncle you have that thinks a dog is chasing him when he gets drunk.  "Old Uncle Bob is at it again.  Pay him no mind, once he gets tired he sleep it off."

So I guess I need to go sleep it off.

Rant over. 


  1. I'm all for people with different opinions, but when they get into circular mode of 'is' and 'isn't' with probably a lot of words to pad that out but basically just the same thing over again, then it just isn't an argument any more, and the fun drains out, and your just better off giving the guy the last word and leaving it at that.

    But, Hell, it did seem to get your blood boiling a little and that is priceless.

    1. ha, I bet you liked that Jason. You like to get me all riled up. Different opinions and ideas are great. A learn a ton from browsing blogs and found many ways to do something better than the way I was doing.

    2. I enjoy (or mostly enjoy) discussion about gaming, including differences of opinions and approaches. I think my blog post from a few days ago was motivated less by incessant arguing (although I am not a fan) and more by people who dismiss whole groups of gamers, such as "4e gamers" or "old school gamers" or "story gamers." I don't have any desire to play D&D 4e, but I don't dismiss them as a group. It is obviously arrogance that fuels that sort of thing, but it is also ignorance. Have I actually played with all 4e gamers? No, I haven't, so I am not in a position to make any sort of statement about them. I can say that I don't want to play 4e but are all 4e gamers evil wrong-headed idiots? Probably not any better or worse than any other group of gamers out there.

  2. Your falling example made me laugh. I should write a post directed at people who argue that sort of thing entitled "You're arguing it wrong."

    What's unrealistic isn't whether a 10' drop does 1d6 damage. What's unrealistic is having hit points in the first place. And what's really absurd is the idea that one could determine with scientific precision exactly how many imaginary units of damage a 10' drop would cause to a real body in the real world. And the icing on the cake is arguing that such a thing even matters at all in a game.

    So I'm perfectly happy with a 10' drop doing however much damage the GM says it does. Same for the spikes at the bottom of the pit.

    Just have fun folks. Jeesh.

  3. I think it's all about time and place. Unless your in play-testing (and maybe not even then) the gaming table really isn't the place for endless discussions of realism or what not. That's what we've got blogs and fora for, if that's your thing.

  4. "They some how get caught up in the plausibility of something magical..."

    Caution, friend! With a line like this, you risk starting an argument about the meaning of verisimilitude. I've seen men die in such arguments.

    ...but in all reality, I think people get caught up in the minutiae and forget about why we're at the table in the first place.

    Incidentally, I'll never run GURPS again. The straw that broke the Camel's back was GURPS Robots, when one step in the robot creation rules told me to find the surface area of my humanoid robot. "Why can't I just have a goddamn robot?!" thought I, and that was pretty much the end of it.

  5. I start by trying to cut people a lot more slack than I used to.

    By the game's undefined nature in the early years, it's very open-ended nature, such arguments were often routine. Quite often a game session, especially between people who hadn't spent years together, would take breaks during which we'd argue about broad jumping in armor, break out the Guinness World book, and even adjourn to nearby scrub woods to debate how fast one could cross broken ground. Prior to the second edition, there were endless arguments about what happened when a fireball couldn't be a ball or for that matter what various prepositions implied for spell effects. To be honest, Gary Gygax wasn't always the best copy editor.

    These years were followed by years where I became rather impatient with such things, just as I was impatient with rulebook lawyers. As my time became more precious, I lost my patience for such things and tended to steamroll such discussions in favor of playing now.

    Since then, I've realized that such behavior was actually just me being a bit of a selfish prick, of favoring my own pleasure over others, so I tend to cut people a lot more slack than I used to. I've come to recognize that many of the people who are so insistent on how you're playing it wrong can't really help their behavior, as they're "On the spectrum." To them it really matters at a deep level whether you're "playing right." They aren't trying to disrupt things or to prove they're right. They want to spend ten minutes doing equations to find out whether their was a narrow escape or a narrow victory and to them it is as pleasurable as any part of the game.

    I don't know, maybe I'm just a bit more maudlin these days for old friends, who I've since realized had a few more problems then they or I knew, or maybe I'm just a bit more contrite about my own behavior to some people in the past. Personal growth or senile dotage, six of one, half dozen the other.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with you on this. Its fine to do all of that for your own game, but its incredibly annoying when someone criticizes you for not doing it the exact, same way.