Why D&D?

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Dumarest

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Yeah, it was all about this Wizard named Lando Calrissian, and he has to fly this ship called the Babylon 5 to Narnia to destroy a ring before the evil hobbits of Hogwarts take over all the lands of Pern with their space dragons.
That's ridiculous. Wizard shouldn't be capitalized without good reason. They just lost a viewer.
 

EmperorNorton

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I think Diplomacy works though because of the immediate stakes. Everyone knows what each player can do at any time, and there is a set goal and set threats. The negotiation is built around the reality at the table. The mechanics of what happens are very finite and knowable, which makes the negotiation the center of the game.

And it also is a game where you are yourself. Your skill as a negotiator is the point of the game. There is no point where you are attempting to play a skilled negotiator while knowing you are not. There is no degree of separation between what YOUR skills are, and what YOUR 'Character's' skills are because the character is you.
 

TristramEvans

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Only when you take stressing out as just "passing out". Stressing out only means you leave the scene (and also you can gain trauma from it, which is a lower die that doesn't go away as quickly). This could be for any reason. It could be because you stomp out of the room. It could be because you just sulk and stop talking. It could be because they made you paralyzed with fear. Or you are stumped as to how to even respond. It just depends on what makes sense based on the scene.

And, in your experience, is that how most arguments go....there is a clear winner and one person is paralyzed, passes out, or flees?

Being able to apply emotions to people is pretty much basics for anyone who would be considered a manipulator in fiction. And the idea that others can use those emotions you have to accomplish other things if it makes sense is also pretty obvious.

I think it represents a very specific wordview that is....well, let's just say, not a universal expression of how humans work. It's funny, I do occasionally encounter this in online arguments. At some point, someone I'm debating (I assume usually out of frustration or just projection) begins to assume that they are causing me emotions. I often find it amusing, if annoying. And I've had the opposite happen in real life, people get angry at me because I'm not reacting emotionally. People are funny, in what they chose to believe about how other people work or should work.


IMHO, the difference with GURPS is that it's a pretty complete toolkit for building your setting -- and pretty much any setting is possible. You just pick and choose what you need for your game. Whereas D&D is a complete toolkit for playing D&D, but a very incomplete toolkit for a lot of other things.

Well sure, GURPs specifically tries to be all things to all people.

But I look at it this way....D&D tries to be a toolkit just for a pseudo-medieval fantasy world with magic and monsters.

GoT is a story about a pseudo-medieval fantasy world with magic and monsters. There's just ....less of them than D&D. But leaving out options in D&D is harder work than leaving out options in GURPs?
 
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TristramEvans

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That's ridiculous. Wizard shouldn't be capitalized without good reason. They just lost a viewer.

Eh, you're not missing much. It was fun until they revealed Teela of Grayskull is actually the 9th Cyclon, and the Jedi abandoned Deep Space 9 so they could harvest moonrocks with clones of the Beverly Hillbillies.
 

Black Leaf

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Diplomacy absolutely does have rules for negotiation, or at least the most recent version does:

During this phase, players meet to discuss their plans for upcoming turns. Alliances are made and strategies are set. These “diplomatic negotiations” take place before each turn. Negotiations last 30 minutes before the first turn and 15 minutes before each turn thereafter. Negotiations may end sooner if all players agree.

Conversations, deals, schemes, and agreements among players will greatly affect the course of the game. During diplomatic negotiations, players may say anything they wish. Some players usually go to another room or organize private groups of two or three. They may try to keep their conversations secret. They may try to overhear the conversations of others. These conversations usually consist of bargaining or joint military planning, but they may include exchanges of information, denouncements, threats, spreading of rumors, and so on. Public announcements may be made and documents may be written, made public, or kept secret, as the players see fit. These discussions and written agreements, however, do not bind a player to anything he or she may say. Deciding whom to trust as situations arise is an important part of the game .

While you can argue that most of these are "everything is permitted" type stuff the time limit specifically is a rigid rule.
 

TJS

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The issue with social conflict mechanics is that they almost always model the thing designer had in mind when creating them very well, and anything that didn't occur to them far less well.
 

TristramEvans

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The issue with social conflict mechanics is that they almost always model the thing designer had in mind when creating them very well, and anything that didn't occur to them far less well.


I think that's a very insightful observation.
 

EmperorNorton

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And, in your experience, is that how most arguments go....there is a clear winner and one person is paralyzed, passes out, or flees?

I mean, people always have the option of just giving up before they stress out, or finding a compromise... which is what happens in most cases in real life. Unless all of your arguments go on forever with no end. Most people wouldn't argue all the way to trauma, they would recognize they are losing ground and try to find a way out that doesn't involve "losing".


I think it represents a very specific wordview that is....well, let's just say, not a universal expression of how humans work. It's funny, I do occasionally encounter this in online arguments. At some point, someone I'm debating (I assume usually out of frustration or just projection) begins to assume that they are causing me emotions. I often find it amusing, if annoying. And I've had the opposite happen in real life, people get angry at me because I'm not reacting emotionally. People are funny, in what they chose to believe about how other people work or should work.

Honestly, if you aren't having any emotional reaction, and everything in this thread that you have posted is 100% you on an even keel, I think you are just an asshole.

Maybe I'm being generous in assuming that you are getting heated, but I prefer that to assuming you just go around mocking people because you think that is the right thing to do.

Again: I find that people who think they have 100% control of everything they do... aren't connected with reality.
 

Lessa

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And, in your experience, is that how most arguments go....there is a clear winner and one person is paralyzed, passes out, or flees?
There's no thing as clear winners or losers when the loser can simply ignore the winner demands and pick a Condition (or any negative consequence) instead. It's just like David Johansen David Johansen idea above: you can try to intimidate me, but if I, the player, don't want to give in, you won't. (ninja'd by Emperor)

The issue with social conflict mechanics is that they almost always model the thing designer had in mind when creating them very well, and anything that didn't occur to them far less well.
But that's true for any mechanics.
 

TristramEvans

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You're surly as hell lately. Somebody lick your balls the wrong direction?!

(pouts) I didn't consider that surly...(pouts)

What is with you guys and licking balls anyway?

Seriously, I responded with a joke because I don't really understand what you mean by "ribbing", insofar as we're talking about a thing not a person.
 

EmperorNorton

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But that's true for any mechanics.

Exactly. Combat mechanics that never considered that grappling is a thing, because they based their understanding on a style of combat that doesn't use grappling, will also only model non-grappling combat very well.
 

EmperorNorton

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It took you all this time to notice that? This guy is the most inadequate moderator I've seen in a long time.

In fact, putting him as "moderator" must already be some joke.

I mean, I also think your posts have gotten heated, and if you aren't getting heated and all your posts are on an even keel, then you are an asshole too.
 

TheophilusCarter

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(pouts) I didn't consider that surly...(pouts)

What is with you guys and licking balls anyway?

Seriously, I responded with a joke because I don't really understand what you mean by "ribbing", insofar as we're talking about a thing not a person.
OK, I probably just misunderstood.
 

TristramEvans

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I mean, people always have the option of just giving up before they stress out, or finding a compromise... which is what happens in most cases in real life. Unless all of your arguments go on forever with no end. Most people wouldn't argue all the way to trauma, they would recognize they are losing ground and try to find a way out that doesn't involve "losing".

I can think of a dozen different ways an argument can go.

Honestly, if you aren't having any emotional reaction, and everything in this thread that you have posted is 100% you on an even keel, I think you are just an asshole.

Well, that raises two questions for me:
1) do you consider comedy "on an even keel"? and
2) are you saying emotions excuse whatever people say? I mean, aren't I still an asshole, whether I'm happy or sad? Mad or horny?

Maybe I'm being generous in assuming that you are getting heated, but I prefer that to assuming you just go around mocking people because you think that is the right thing to do.

I don't mock people when I'm heated, in all honesty. But you're confusing me again. Certainly I have mocked people in this thread, and yes that was "good natured ribbing", but the example you brought up was me mocking a ... not a person.

Again: I find that people who think they have 100% control of everything they do... aren't connected with reality.

I never claimed that. I just find when people make assumptions about what other people are feeling, they're almost always wrong. And I find it bizarre the frequency that I've encountered, in personal relationships, the beliefs that people have about what other people should be feeling. I mean surely it's obvious that emotional reactions (or lack thereof) are based upon (among other things) a lifetime of individual lived experiences - and who knows another person that well? Let alone every person?
 

Faylar

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I don't think it's being missed, but I think folks are arguing at cross-purposes.

Some (including myself) say you can conceivably do GoT using D&D but it's a bad fit and requires a lot of effort to make it work. Others are claiming to have happily run GoT style games using D&D. As far as I'm concerned, if you are house-ruling class abilities or making your own classes -- that constitutes more effort that I'm willing to get into. If I'm GMing a game, I have enough to worry about building a world and creating adventures, I don't want to be writing the rules as well.

If someone else wants to create their own setting, play-test it thoroughly and publish it... then I'm more than happy to use their effort (or pay for it). But as far as I'm concerned, that's an entirely different contention.



Star Wars d20 is a bad example -- it's not D&D, it's an entirely separate game in it's own right. Just because it is based on similar core mechanics, doesn't make it D&D.
Sorry man, its a great example. Its one of the first examples of what OGL could produce and was a flagship for the versatility of D&D.
Star Wars D20 required the core books to run under OGL. It used D&D as a game rules and Star Wars as the source material. D&D is modular in that it has different settings. each setting that comes along does new things and changes other things.
Star Wars d20 is not much different than any other campaign book. It has a main book, supplements, and additional rules/mechanics to allow for things that the setting demands.At it's core it is still very much D&D in how it plays out. So if I used D&D as a platform to make a true to lore GoT game, I am still using D&D no matter how you try and spin it otherwise.

Once again, Scope, Effort, Worth.

What scope do you want the project to take?
What effort do you want to put in?
What worth is it to you?

So if you do not want to make it yourself after all that is considered, then don't. Your argument kind of ends there because other clearly have stated they are able to despite this. So saying it can't be done, or done easily is just hogwash...
It's now, You don't want to do it, not that it can't be done.
Big difference.
 

Faylar

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I'll disagree, but I think a discussion about what is, and what isn't D&D is a road to nowhere. But I'll say this.... if your definition of D&D is going to be that broad, then sure... you can absolutely do GoT with D&D. If you basically consider Star Wars d20 to be D&D than you can do pretty much ANYTHING with D&D.
As of 3.0 it is the definition as defined by the publisher of Dungeons and Dragons and proven by the volumes of work that came from it. All of these products that use D&D at their core are built off of D&D an as such are a derivative of D&D.
You can disagree, but the reality of it is that if you use d20 OGL, you are making a version of Dungeons and Dragons. So in the context of this argument. We would be using it in the same way that WotC intended... to port another Ip to use Dungeons and Dragons.
 

David Johansen

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I'm not going to re-read the whole thread again but it did seem to get a bit heated at times. Tone can be very hard to wring out of forum posts.

Anyhow, overly broad definitions are generally useless so I can see how one might want to keep their definition of Dungeons & Dragons quite precise. Even so, Dragon Magazine churned out a lot of options and house rules over the years and D&D certainly had modules that crossed over into science fiction and modern settings. As the trademark holder WotC legally gets to define what D&D is, whether it's a novel or a Lego set or a comic or a rope laying game. But WotC didn't apply the D&D brand to other settings like Star Wars and d20 Modern so that seems to map to their feeling that D&D is about Dragons and Elves and slaving the princesses. The broader mainstream definition would encompass all of our silly games and draw in things like Diplomacy or Warhammer and isn't much use as such.

Even so, to borrow from computer programming terminology Star Wars Saga and Game of Thrones inherit properties from the Dungeons & Dragons class.
 

Faylar

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I'm not going to re-read the whole thread again but it did seem to get a bit heated at times. Tone can be very hard to wring out of forum posts.

Anyhow, overly broad definitions are generally useless so I can see how one might want to keep their definition of Dungeons & Dragons quite precise. Even so, Dragon Magazine churned out a lot of options and house rules over the years and D&D certainly had modules that crossed over into science fiction and modern settings. As the trademark holder WotC legally gets to define what D&D is, whether it's a novel or a Lego set or a comic or a rope laying game. But WotC didn't apply the D&D brand to other settings like Star Wars and d20 Modern so that seems to map to their feeling that D&D is about Dragons and Elves and slaving the princesses. The broader mainstream definition would encompass all of our silly games and draw in things like Diplomacy or Warhammer and isn't much use as such.

Even so, to borrow from computer programming terminology Star Wars Saga and Game of Thrones inherit properties from the Dungeons & Dragons class.
They rebranded the core mechanics of D&D the "D20 System" and applied that brand to Star Wars D20 as their publisher. At the very least it is a child system of D&D and contains enough of it's DNA to at least be in the D&D family. That also means it is derivative of D&D by both it's nature and terms in the OGL.
 

TristramEvans

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They rebranded the core mechanics of D&D the "D20 System" and applied that brand to Star Wars D20 as their publisher. At the very least it is a child system of D&D and contains enough of it's DNA to at least be in the D&D family. That also means it is derivative of D&D by both it's nature and terms in the OGL.

that's certainly the way I've always viewed it - the system is what makes D&D, "D&D".
 

Dumarest

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What myth? They're one of the best underground NY rappers of 2016.

It was predetermined you would click this link:
I think he said myth when he meant LEGEND.

I must take issue with your insulting insinuation that each of them is only half a rapper:
They're one of the best underground NY rappers of 2016.
 

Tyberious Funk

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As of 3.0 it is the definition as defined by the publisher of Dungeons and Dragons and proven by the volumes of work that came from it. All of these products that use D&D at their core are built off of D&D an as such are a derivative of D&D.
You can disagree, but the reality of it is that if you use d20 OGL, you are making a version of Dungeons and Dragons. So in the context of this argument. We would be using it in the same way that WotC intended... to port another Ip to use Dungeons and Dragons.

Yep... just after I post that an argument is pointless, you want to go ahead and try and make an argument. It's on the tip of my tongue (or the tip of my fingers, so to speak) to try and present my point of view on this... but you're not going to agree with me, no matter what I say. The reason I know is that it's an argument that's being going on for as long as D&D has existed. The moment 2e came out, 1e grognards complained "it's not D&D to me" even though it literally said it on the cover. And the argument has been going on ever since.
 

Faylar

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Yep... just after I post that an argument is pointless, you want to go ahead and try and make an argument. It's on the tip of my tongue (or the tip of my fingers, so to speak) to try and present my point of view on this... but you're not going to agree with me, no matter what I say. The reason I know is that it's an argument that's being going on for as long as D&D has existed. The moment 2e came out, 1e grognards complained "it's not D&D to me" even though it literally said it on the cover. And the argument has been going on ever since.
I'm not talking edition wars. I'm clarifying that when we are talking D&D porting, it works. I mentioned 3.0 only because it is when the OGL became a thing and opened it up for derivatives. Honestly I don't care what edition you choose to use, it's irrelevant beyond this mention of 3.0.

Last I saw were were discussing this in good faith... was I wrong?
 

Tyberious Funk

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I'm not talking edition wars. I'm clarifying that when we are talking D&D porting, it works. I mentioned 3.0 only because it is when the OGL became a thing and opened it up for derivatives. Honestly I don't care what edition you choose to use, it's irrelevant beyond this mention of 3.0.

Last I saw were were discussing this in good faith... was I wrong?

No, you aren't wrong. It's just this isn't a point worth arguing / discussing... at least not in this context (worthy of another thread.... maybe). The contention was whether D&D would be good for doing a GoT style campaign. If my definition of D&D is basically the core rules (ie, PHB, DMG, MM) and yours (or others) is basically anything that's d20-oriented, then it stands to reason we'll come to different conclusions. It really doesn't matter whose definition is correct or not. Hence why I said people are arguing at cross-purposes.
 

EmperorNorton

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On the subject of the actual thread: Because D&D is easy.

Even though there are lighter games, there are very few games that are as easy to engage on all levels as D&D.

A GM doesn't need to learn nearly as much to run D&D. Here are a bunch of premade monsters, here are a bunch of premade modules for that matter. Players have easier choices. I just pick big archetypes rather than trying to deal with something like point buy. Like how much do I have to put in the melee skill in a point based game to really be "good" at it? Idk, like, depends on the game, and its hard to judge. If I pick Fighter and I have a good Strength, I know I'm good for my level.

Also levels. Levels are so easy in comparison to freeform character gen/progression.

D&D is the easiest Tabletop RPG in the world to engage with in my opinion. And that is why it's popular.
 

TristramEvans

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On the subject of the actual thread: Because D&D is easy.

Even though there are lighter games, there are very few games that are as easy to engage on all levels as D&D.

A GM doesn't need to learn nearly as much to run D&D. Here are a bunch of premade monsters, here are a bunch of premade modules for that matter. Players have easier choices. I just pick big archetypes rather than trying to deal with something like point buy. Like how much do I have to put in the melee skill in a point based game to really be "good" at it? Idk, like, depends on the game, and its hard to judge. If I pick Fighter and I have a good Strength, I know I'm good for my level.

Also levels. Levels are so easy in comparison to freeform character gen/progression.

D&D is the easiest Tabletop RPG in the world to engage with in my opinion. And that is why it's popular.


Yeah, exactly, that was the point I was trying to make about "familiarity" being an important aspect in the decision of what system to use a few pages back.
 

EmperorNorton

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To be honest, I don't run D&D anymore, but I definitely understand the attraction...

Also I wish any system other than D&D would ever get the popularity to have as many prebuilt modules made for it. Even if I don't use the modules whole cloth they are so easy to pull from.
 

TristramEvans

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This is a complete tangent, but the combination of the conversation in this thread regarding what constitutes D&D (insofar as the D20 etc offshoots) along with watching the most recent SU&SD boardgame review of "Go", a game that, like chess, has been refined over the years from hundreds of variations on a theme to a single streamlined play experience has led me to wonder - if RPGs as a hobby survives (I suppose I optimistically like to believe it will, even in the face of advancing technology), then is it possible D&D will eventually be refined to the point of a single system that is streamlined but constructed well enough (with emergent properties) that there could eventually be one refined system that representts RPGs in totum?
 

TristramEvans

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I really, really like D20, but I don’t like it that much.

lol, oh, I don't mean that I think the end result would resemble D20 or modern D&D in any way. I think more and more, as time goes on, people question many of the assumptions of the original system, and those will fall to the wayside. Alignment, classes, etc.

And obviousy Thac0 will return ;)
 

Faylar

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This is a complete tangent, but the combination of the conversation in this thread regarding what constitutes D&D (insofar as the D20 etc offshoots) along with watching the most recent SU&SD boardgame review of "Go", a game that, like chess, has been refined over the years from hundreds of variations on a theme to a single streamlined play experience has led me to wonder - if RPGs as a hobby survives (I suppose I optimistically like to believe it will, even in the face of advancing technology), then is it possible D&D will eventually be refined to the point of a single system that is streamlined but constructed well enough (with emergent properties) that there could eventually be one refined system that representts RPGs in totum?
I cant see that. There is too much variation in play style already. we are already pretty tribal among ourselves about what we like and dislike. I just cant see us all sitting at the same table playing the same game. Could you see D&D with Monster Hearts or mythras, or Fate, or Star Wars elements be an appeal for everyone?
 

TristramEvans

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I cant see that. There is too much variation in play style already. we are already pretty tribal among ourselves about what we like and dislike. I just cant see us all sitting at the same table playing the same game. Could you see D&D with Monster Hearts or mythras, or Fate, or Star Wars elements be an appeal for everyone?


Yeah, but that's us weirdos who hang out on RPG forums and argue about words like "simulationism". I think for the hobby to survive it pretty much has to outlive all of us.
 

Faylar

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Yeah, but that's us weirdos who hang out on RPG forums and argue about words like "simulationism". I think for the hobby to survive it pretty much has to outlive all of us.
Not sure. Before I visited forums I always thought I wanted a system like Fate. Then I heard about it, sought it out, and realized... I really didn't like what i saw. I couldn't see myself playing a game of it, and if I was at a game where it did one thing and then switched systems to do other things with other people independently I wouldn't like that either. Shadowrun 2-3 did that a lot and it was actually one of the things that detracted from the game imo.

I think it all boils down to... we all wear shirts, but we don't all wear cardigans
 
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