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About drunkonduty

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  • Birthday 01/11/1970

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  1. What little I've heard of the early days of TSR do make it sound like a real cowboy operation. IP infringement left and right. Terrible HR management (even for the 70's) and just plain crazy business decisions. It's not surprising Gygax got forced out.
  2. Are you sure he's not some sort of mendicant?
  3. In my (as yet untried) fantasy game I want a low magic campaign. To this end spells are relatively difficult to cast and it takes a great deal of focus (read: experience points) to become a truly awe inspiring sorcerer. In game, magical effects are caused by manipulating the underlying Laws of Magic (Laws of Sympathy, Antipathy, Contagion, etc.) Different magical traditions apply their understanding of these laws in different ways which in turn gives rise to different types of magical effects. The difference in traditions is just one of individual interest and focus of study, there's nothing stopping a character from learning different traditions. All magic has the same source, there is no difference between divine and non-divine magic. Game mechanically all spells come with Skill Roll (a separate skill per tradition), Gestures, Invocations, and Focus limitations. Active Point penalties apply to skill rolls and players are encouraged to make use of extra time to offset this for more powerful spells.
  4. Battlestar Galactica (new series) It jumped hard and far when Starbuck came back. Although it started lagging from... Whenever it was the Cylons showed up on and took over the new colony. Start of season 3?
  5. I prefer my gods transcendent rather than immanent. This makes all evidence for their existence very much subjective and open to interpretation. It's part of my preference for low fantasy. So I'm all for a mountain that some people claim had it's top cut off by the swipe of Clanggeddin's axe in his battle with Gruumsh for ownership of the mountain range in which the dwarves and orcs dwell. But there will be no hard evidence for it. Not to mention competing stories.
  6. (The following is specifically about Forgotten Realms.) Yeah, FR is very much of a throw it all in sorta setting. It's the epitome of what I'm getting at when I whinge about kitchen sink settings. This is not to say that they (the many writers, editors, and creative directors who have contributed to it over the decades) haven't made attempts to give the various elements compelling backstories. They have. But when you put all these backstories together you get a real mess. The different elements can undermine one another because of stylistic differences, or excessive similarity. For instance - githyanki and duergar and both former slaves races of the Illithid that gained psi powers and rebelled. That's interesting for a narrative once. But the second time it happens I call lazy writing. The elements might even undermine one another within the diegesis. I can't think of anything off the top of my head but I'm sure someone with exhaustive knowledge of FR can find many inconsistencies within the diegesis. Not directly related to kitchen sinking (oh look! I made it a verb. I'm bad people. sorry.) are the many bad re-writes and retcons. Ninja-Bear, you mentioned spell plague. That's one of several. There's been one for each edition change from 3rd ed. (maybe 2nd?) onward. The Time of Troubles was the first one I think. I just don't get why anyone needs to retcon a game world to reflect an extra-diegetic change to game mechanics. Not needed. (Hmm, not needed unless you're deliberately making a kitchen sink setting to show case all the IP your company owns therefore you need to update the setting to make it easier to shove in the new stuff... Yeah, even I think I'm drawing a long bow with that one.) Another, oft overlooked, aspect of the Forgotten Realms, at least in its early days, was the amount of Ed Greenwood self-insertion slash fic. Seriously. The number of beautiful goddess sisters who were all clamouring to get with Elminster is... unlikely. Look at a picture of Elminster. Or worse, Ed Greenwood. Not gonna happen. One infamous passage has one of these goddess types introduced into the scene while she is chopping wood. Topless. WTF? Also, never forget FR brought us Drizzt Dourden. Never forget! (Whoo. That felt good. Cleansing, ya know?)
  7. Yeah, Forgotten Realm was Ed Greenwood's home brew.
  8. I haven't read much of the Darksun world but even the little I know is very different and interesting. I do like Oerth. Some of that might be nostalgia. But the fact that it has a distinct geopolitical style to its description is a big appeal. In my home game my wife's characters have had some of their best adventures when engaging with the geopolitical part of the setting. And the Forgotten Realms can eat my shorts.
  9. Yeah. They really are. Whatever crap is wanted for this week's episode is shoe horned in.
  10. It's funny (not laugh funny, odd funny) that both Tolkien and DnD are considered generic fantasy. Because there's no way you can make the average DnD game anything like Middle Earth. Even low level DnD wizards and clerics are doing stuff you'd never see in Middle Earth. @Cassandra 1895, War of the Worlds (HG Wells), 1938 War of the Worlds (Orson Welles), 1947???? I wanna say Roswell... And if so, where/what is this well that connects them all?
  11. Gonna try to reply to everyone. Christopher: For me, I don't mind genre mash up. Sometimes. What I really hate is just walking along, minding my own business, looking for a dragon hoard to steal, and then suddenly I'm in a new genre. Maybe literally whisked off in to outer space when the dungeon takes flight. No warning. No choice. No thanks. LL: I think you make a good point: a more tailored campaign world will run its course more quickly than a kitchen sink one. Generally I'm happy with that. I want a campaign to be finite. But I get that this would not suit every game. Hell, it wouldn't suit the game I'm playing with my wife, which is a long, rambling, peripatetic sort of thing that would have long run its course in a more tightly woven game world. Chris: I'm with you. I want a game setting to be unusual and well thought out and thereby provoke some thoughts from me. I don't mind a mix of elements. Just not EVERY element. Cassandra: that's a nice, dare I say single origin, supers universe. I swear if I ever get to run Champions again I want to do it in a single origin universe. Well, single-ish. If I was running a mutant origin game I'd allow a certain amount of hi-tech gadgetry. On the other hand if I was running a power armour origin game I would rule out mutants. Duke: Well, mixing sci-fi into fantasy is one of those things that is a marker of moving toward kitchen sink type settings. It's not definitive. But it's a marker. BTW: I also want only one type of FTL (in those games where FTL comes up.) Ninja-Bear: Hmm. I guess Tolkienesque is considered generic due to its ubiquity? Or am I just throwing out tautologies?
  12. There are setting books and bestiaries you can buy from the store. They will take out a lot of work. It's easy enough to re-skin the HERO stat blocks with Pathfinder art...
  13. LL: you raise good points. I guess I just like a specific tone and focus. But hey, I'm not suggesting one is superior to the other. Perhaps I should edit my first post and add a YMMV. I'd certainly be happy to hear from someone who prefers more kitchen sink.
  14. I agree on the tight limits acting as stimuli to creativity. It forces me, as a GM, to think about interesting characters & interesting plots, rather than just throwing some new monster at the heroes.
  15. Ninja-Bear, I think you've brought up a very good point. The monsters included/excluded are a very important piece of the world building puzzle. One I had not thought of. Thank you. Let's look at Golarion again. The world has a range of weird and I would argue, incompatible, creatures baked into its history. Atlantis (called Azlant in the setting) was sunk by Aboleth (a sort of ersatz Lovecraftian elder race. Like mind flayers, but not WOTC IP.) They still live underground along side drow, duergar and other classic critters from the old DnD Underdark. Aboleth are presented as the all powerful masterminds behind every plot. Except in all those many cases when they're not. For instance up at the World Wound, which is a dimensional breech to the Abyss, its demons. And then there's horrifically powerful dragons. Where were the dragons when Atlantis was being sunk? I mean, they're in the setting. They just sat back and did nothing about the whole, earth shattering kaboom? And what about the Fey? There's tonnes of Fey about, living all parallel dimension-y and popping over to main stream Golarion to say hi and make a nuisance of themselves. Then there's androids. Yep, about 500 years ago a space ship crashed on Golarion. Now there's androids. Not enough? Let's throw in some kaiju. There are some monsters actually called Kaiju in some of the official Pathfinder bestiaries but there's also things called Behemoths which are the same damn thing. Oh yeah and Baba Yaga's daughters are the witch queens of a horrible Russian fairy tale country. <sigh> Any one of those is great. But together... It's all a bit too much for me. Re.: Shadowrun. I like the setting. Yeah, it's a bit gonzo. But it started gonzo and didn't go too far from there. Over time it did expand it's suite of monsters a bit. But not too much, and not so far from what was established in the basics of the setting. For example Bug Spirits got added in one of the adventures. That's not so bad. Animal spirits were already a thing. The Bug Spirits were different more in attitude and long term goals than in any fundamental way from spirits as the setting already presented them. I think the Shadowrun world has the right amount of weirdness to be interesting. Caveat: I only know 1st ed. Shadowrun. I have no idea what may have happened after that. As for super hero games - yeah. They are very kitchen sink. But they don't have to be. I mean, as originally envisaged the Xmen universe was meant to be its own thing and not cross over with other Marvel titles. But I guess the $$$ potential of cross overs was too good to pass up. And now we all have to try to justify a world in which the Xmen are reviled for being weirdos with powers and the Avengers are lauded for the exact same thing. Xmen would be better served being in its own world . In all fairness it is usually written as if it is. As are many of the comics. But then a stupid cross over event happens... <sigh>
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