Read this, its very well written.

December 9, 2007 at 11:39 pm (Articles)

Silent acceptance is part of problem

To be honest I remember hearing a little bit about the thing in april. But I never realised the law didn’t arrest those involved. I didn’t know Katie didn’t continue on with the site. My bad. The links from this post is also very well written. Read them too

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Glossary of gming terms -Deus Ex Machina

March 9, 2007 at 1:38 pm (Articles, DND)

Treasure tables brings us glossary of gming terms.

Latin for “God from the machine,” a deus ex machina is a plot device that dramatically alters the outcome of a situation without regard to suspension of disbelief or the actions of the PCs.

We have to thank Agatha christie a lot for this. She was very against pretty much everything that didn’t make logical sense. But for a long time in history this techique was used all over the place. Its still sometimes used, often with denials of it all makes sense in the back plot.

However, in dnd the deities can interfere in the world and players might sometimes cause a deus ex solution by well, calling in the deus. The act of deity, is well the act of a deity.

Reading the old greek myths give a lot of ideas of the deitys causing all manner of problems for the heros. I gave myself this problem quite earlier on, by my most overunning theme and plotline, containing the deities. An older gm would have run away going never, never, never, are you mad?

So I looked at the gods personalities. And at what was happening in the overrunning plot.  

A couple of solutions appeared, the gods proving themselves sometimes more of a hinderance than a help (being dumb (orcan god), just rushing in (dwarven war god), not really wanting to help (azural)), some expecting payment for anything they do ((hades, zeus,) often a heafty cost, a favor, a quest, a statpoint sacrificed etc), some doing the whole you will never learn if I do everything for you (green eyed lady, death) or the If I interfere I get in trouble (mercury), the deity in question being unable to at the time (balor).

However I dont want it to come across either as just a gm-method for stopping the players being clever. I dont like that. So the ability of the players to be able to use a deus for a deus ex, is never completely removed. The gods might be an ackward bunch who often care more about themselves than their charges, but they still have their power (well unless something very bad has happened to that god, in which case the players should be fixing that (corellan, balor)).

Another meaning of deus ex machina, is the god or ghost in the machine. When the machine hinders or helps without you having anything to do it. But thats more useful a thought for cyberpunk rather than dnd.    

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Computer rpgs Oblivion

March 5, 2007 at 1:47 pm (Articles)

I love this game, well besides the two stupid things. Which if your female you might have heard of. The stat differences between women and men (Robbing my nord of endurance you bastards) and of course the clothes problem.

I’m not a man I don’t want to show off my pretty legs. [I’m making a reference to what you said in dnd, *wave to an audience member*] I don’t wear dresses. So clothes wise they suck. Some of the armour is crap, others is ok. I dont mind the glass armour really. As the arena armour is rubbish looking for everyone, well worst for wood elves.

Anyway if I didnt play on a xbox 360 I could mod it all to fix it. But I do. Blah, maybe I can figure out if its possible to mod it via my laptop.

But mainly I just want the company to smarten up and fix it for the next version.  

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Casual gamers in trpgs

March 5, 2007 at 12:16 pm (Articles)

I read something that mentioned casual video gaming and how thats increasing numbers of women and men who dont really consider themselves gamers. And I was thinking there are people like that in rpgs too.

I can think of about maybe 6 women who have played trpgs from time to time but probally arent in a campaign. Women who gamed the odd onceoff or in a friends house. I can think of about 4 men that turned up for about half the games of a campaign and might leave early. So suddenly besides the people I’m considering ‘gamers’ I have about 10 people who are semi-gamers.

In video games people who game a bit, don’t see themselves as gamers but enjoy hobby in a casual and relaxed way are important for the industry. They add to sales and are consider by nintendo to be the main market for the wii.

In trpgs, we have these people too. They could be consider an important part of our industry if we want it to grow. However we have some problems with those people, our problem is, gms arent going to value these players like they value committed, there every week serious gamers. They dont turn up as often, but when they are there they often add a lot. Some of the best naturally talented roleplayers I have met were casual gamers.

So what do we do?

I don’t know. I’m happy having one casual player who turns up 50% of the time in a campaign. More than that I get annoyed about their lack of committment. I usually have 5 serious players in any game I run. I have had 4 serious, no casual, buts thats when I capped the game to run a standard dnd party game.

How many casual trpgers have you met? Do you keep them or drop them from your gaming group?

(btw I’m not really counting gaming clubs, a lot of the casual gamers I met never bothered joining the club. Though you can talk about your club experiences.)  

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Re Blogfight: Sexism in Roleplaying Games?

March 2, 2007 at 12:13 pm (Articles, Breaking the Ice, Shooting the moon, The secret life of gingerbread men)

The dead one, I cant comment on your blog without signing up either 🙂 So its a blog conversation.

Ya, I know. The discussion is a bit heated, I’m not a very even tempered person. I had heard good things about SotC too, which is why I was dissapointed in my orginal post. It was a bit oh damn, I had hoped for better.

Anyway to your question,

Some game companies are currently trying to market cute and fluffly and romance and “social” games to women which is utterly patronising.

I cant answer this personally without examples. I see games as inherantly a social thing. Hanging out with a group of people is a social thing.

I think a lot of games have a romance angle, players like having love interests or at leasting dating interests, a game doesnt really have to add that. If a game has a good idea about the whole thing its cool to hear. So games make it not as likely, vampire (some gms leave it out, some gms bring it in), werewolf (if ur just meeting ww’s in the game dating is taboo), changling (sometimes your characters are too young). But in dnd, cyberpunk or shadowrun I dont think its all that unlikely that characters will start chasing an npc.

Cute and fluffy. Depends what you mean, Ive seen games like that I like and some I dont. Breaking the Ice is very light and I can see it running well but its just not my cup of tea. Shooting the moon has a romance and light element but I can see that running better as rivallary is very fun to play. I see a lot of fun competitiveness.

Eep must go. Ill add to this later. 

Update:

More fuffy games that might be fun, the secret life of gingerbread men. Fluff? Yes. Fun, quite likely and would be fun for kids. Aimed at women? More so aimed at mothers and fathers for their kids, as there is a mother baker with her oven and a parent can cook gingerbread men for the kids based on the recipe given.

Run Robot red. Fluff? Definately. Fun. Yep. Aimed at people who like robots. Small, light, fun.

So I do think fluffy games have a place. Just because is fluffy doesnt mean its bad. Light can be good. I’m not sure if I’d play it for 20 weeks, but that doesnt mean I wont buy it and run it 3 times.

Romance games, can work, but I dont think suit everyone and everygroup. Saying that, romance can be a part of a characters rpg experience, as can friendship, rivialary, hatred, sorrow and anger. A character can have a pc or npc best friend, someone as they see as a younger brother/sister, or as a mentor or parent, or a lover or husband/wife, all the while kicking a$$ day in, day out.

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Response to if jesus had tits would you believe in god

March 1, 2007 at 1:44 pm (Articles)

Response to lategaming

There is no reason I have to put up with shit as a gamer. So I can say its shit if I want.

If you write male focused characters and worlds with sexism. I can run worlds with sexism to males and female focused characters.

If all the rpg designers get to run around putting shit my way, I can put shit their way or I can ignore it and drop sexism totally.

As for jesus, I’m not christian, some of my deities are female. Your loss if you can’t take it. 

Blah. I get to have my opinions same as everyone else.

Update:

Since what I was saying obviously is not getting across either. It does matter whether the main character is male or female. It matter with how much you can connect with the character.

It matters what words you use. It matters if you set it in a sexist era. It matters if you use art that shows women not as active or cool as the men. Character class pictures matter. Character class names matter. Because everything that shows women as not as important, says to a women we do not want you here. It lets gm go ‘it fits with the time so you have to put up with it’, it lets gms say ‘it didn’t happen in the time so you cant play that class’.  

Every women player and gm in Ireland I have talked to has played in a game with a sexist element and some have some real horror stories. So no, I am not surprised the games are not selling as well to women. No I am not surprised there isn’t as many women players and gms. The ones who are here have taken a lot of hassel and rubbish like this and kept on going.

Have you ever played in a game where your gender limited you stats-wise or social-status wise? I have. So has every other longer term woman player. 

So I get to have the opinion I find it crap. I dont have to like it. If I want to I wont buy it. You can if you want, I won’t care.  But I think good games give all players a good experience, after accounting for taste, and being treated with respect doesnt count as taste.

Update.

I thought of one other thing. Sometimes I read something because its good, despite whatever rubbish it throws at me. That doesnt mean I want that rubbish. It would be still better without it.

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Wildlife information for games

January 31, 2007 at 10:03 am (Articles)

Information that will help build the wildlife in your world. I’m planing poisonous caterpillars for dnd.

http://homepage.eircom.net/~corfuwildlife/corfu-wildlife.pdf

http://www.iberianature.com/material/bitesandstings.html

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WoW as a female night elf

January 25, 2007 at 10:01 am (Articles)

Sexual harassment in World of Warcraft

Wow that sucks to put up with. Its worth reading for what not to do in a rpg too.

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How swords are made

January 21, 2007 at 10:00 am (Articles)

This is a pretty good article that explains how swords are made.  

Though we now have manufacturing methods that can create all manner of steel with all manner of exact attributes, the craft of making a fine sword—the art of swordsmithing—is still something of a mystery.

http://www.thearma.org/spotlight.htm

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Whats an RPG/TRPG?

January 12, 2007 at 1:18 pm (Articles, Fun, Games)

A RPG (role playing game) or TRGP ( tabletop role playing game) is a game that is usually played with 2 or more players from a book using dice and paper and pens.

The way it works is the rpg book tells you how to make an in-game character (PC, player character) with numbers saying what the character is good at.

Then the person running the game (GM, games master) describes the world and lets the in-game characters do things.

For example. Lets say my character is described by strength, speed and smarts. Lets say 1 in a stat is poor at it, 2 is average, 3 is good and 4 is great.

I might have 9 points to put in those three main stats. So I might decide I want to be strong and put 4 in strength, 3 in smarts and 2 in speed. So I am very strong, above average intelligence and average speed.

It would look like 

str: 4  spd: 2 smt: 3

Then I might want to be able to see what I can do. So I pick skills. The game probally has a list of skills and I have a few points to spend in those skills. Lets say 10 points. Each point I put in a skill makes me better at the skill.

I might pick something like

drive: 2,

karate: 2,

use-computer: 2,

persuade: 2,

sneak: 2.

I have those skills and I’m good at it. Other skills I might not be very good at but can do. For example Jump. I dont need to be trained at jumping to jump, but I would need to be trained at medicine to perform medicine.

I would pick a name for the character Ex Alice, an age, lets say 30, and a gender, female. I might also pick a job and give her a history and family.

The game itself would work as if my in-game character needed to do something. I would roll a dice and add my main stat and my skill.

For example lets say I rolled a normal 6 sided dice and got a 4. Lets say I wanted to find someones email address on the internet. I would add smarts 2 and use-computer 2 and my dice roll 4. I get 8, that would be a good roll. I should find the email address.

The Gm would tell me whats happening and I could ask questions. I would talk as Alice to both the people in the world who aren’t player by other people in the game (npc) and characters who are played by people in the game (pcs). We would travel along the story the gm has planned, solving problems, fighting bad guys and getting to the end of the story.

If you would like to see what an rpg is like, you can email me and I might be able to arrange something. Or travel to a rpg convention in your local city.

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