Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

J
Jackwraith
May 17, 2021
370 0
T
TabletopIsland
May 17, 2021
177 0
O
oliverkinne
May 14, 2021
345 0
T
thegiantbrain
May 13, 2021
405 0

Medium Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
B
boardgameinquisition
May 13, 2021
318 0
O
oliverkinne
May 12, 2021
504 0

Canvas Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
W
whowhatwhycast
May 12, 2021
236 0
A
adamr
May 11, 2021
349 0

Ragusa - Punchboard Reviews

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
May 10, 2021
636 0
J
Jackwraith
May 10, 2021
826 0

From the Depths: Runewars

Beyond Reviews
MB
Michael Barnes
May 07, 2021
1035 0
O
oliverkinne
May 07, 2021
602 0
AL
Andi Lennon
May 04, 2021
657 0
O
oliverkinne
May 04, 2021
719 0
MT
Matt Thrower
May 03, 2021
1366 0
MB
Michael Barnes
April 30, 2021
1484 0
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

D&D Summer Camp #3: Last Night a DM Saved My Life

More
18 Jun 2019 00:00 #298552 by Michael Barnes
The battle with Venomfang was going badly. Sprax, Ivy, Zola...

Old School Jams.

 

Read more...
The following user(s) said Thank You: DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Jun 2019 13:19 #298553 by ubarose
This reminded me of when I was a kid playing D&D with my brothers and a couple of the neighbors. My younger brother Strider's character got killed, and he started crying. His mom came in and yelled at us all and made the DM make Strider's character be NOT dead.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Michael Barnes

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Jun 2019 13:23 #298554 by Michael Barnes
And that in turn reminds me of my favorite D&D censorship story. We used to play at this kid’s house and his parents were super Baptist. He had convinced them that we were not playing with any of the “satanic” stuff like magic.

So...”I’ll throw the torch at the goblins”...we had to come up with al of these non-arcane ways of casting spells. It was ridiculous.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Jun 2019 13:34 #298557 by Shellhead
I love the accuracy of the DJ analogy. Every DM has their strengths and weaknesses, and one of my strengths is pacing. I have an uncanny sense of the passage of time, and I keep any eye on player engagement. I also have no shame in shutting down a rule argument if it threatens to derail an encounter. I will just make a ruling on the spot and suggest that we discuss the merits of the case by email later.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Jun 2019 14:14 #298559 by RobertB

Michael Barnes wrote: And that in turn reminds me of my favorite D&D censorship story. We used to play at this kid’s house and his parents were super Baptist. He had convinced them that we were not playing with any of the “satanic” stuff like magic.

So...”I’ll throw the torch at the goblins”...we had to come up with al of these non-arcane ways of casting spells. It was ridiculous.


Our local game club was looking to find a larger space a while back. The prospective landlord had seen people doing something in our old space, and thought it was an illegal poker parlor. When he was told that it was a boardgame club, he told us that we couldn't play poker, and we couldn't play D&D because it was satanic. Since D&D was frowned upon by the club officers*, missing out on D&D wasn't a deal breaker.

*At the time, the club officers didn't want the space to be taken over by D&D and M:tG players.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 Jun 2019 15:17 #298567 by hotseatgames
I remember running a CHILL game decades ago... I killed one of the characters, and I was about to make him not dead, but then the player got pissed and tore his character sheet in half. Oh well!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Jun 2019 04:18 #298601 by Matt Thrower

But you know what, being a DM is an awful lot like being a DJ


This is a fantastic metaphor, as others have said. If you've ever run a game you'll know the truth of it already, but it's a great way to express the feeling to those that haven't.

This is all another strength that RPGs have over more fixed experiences like board games - with a DJ on the decks/a DM behind the screen, you can adjust everything on the fly to make sure everyone is having fun.


A while ago I had a discussion with some RPG folks on Twitter about DMs fudging dice rolls, something I had thought was totally uncontroversial. To my surprise, there was a vocal minority who were inherently against it. They felt it spoiled the contract of the game. When I pointed out that D&D can become pretty unfun without it, they painted it as a weakness in the D&D system and one of the reasons why it's an inferior RPG.

I'm not all that bothered about the rights or wrongs of that debate, so long as everyone's having fun. But it highlights how much of RPGs is down to the social contract at the table - that everyone has to agree on what kind of game they want and maybe make some compromises to ensure all the participants have an enjoyable time.

It's not often talked about, but the same is true of board games. If I'm going to sit down to a heavy Euro - and there are definitely some I like to play - you bet I'm still going to want to drink beer and trash talk. But there are some folk who really, really hate this. Not just the trash talking, but I met a guy who disapproved of beer because he felt having opponents made "sub-optimal" by alcohol reduced his enjoyment.

Still, the social contract in a board game is far more often framed by the rules, and you can often tell what isn't written down simply by the type of games a group favours. So it's a lot easier in board games than RPGs. And is, in fact, perhaps the key reason I left them in favour of board games. I'm still only really interested in RPGs with family - I have no interest in playing with a wider crowd, unlike board games.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Jun 2019 05:43 #298602 by san il defanso
This is overly reductive, but I feel like this tension between fudging die rolls and playing everyting by the rules was there from the beginning. It seems like Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax held very different views on what kind of game they were running. Arneson was the squishier DM, who was more about the story and was willing to toss on stuff that didn't work for him. Gygax was more the adversarial rules lawyer type, and seemed to really be more punishing as a DM. Gygax definitely won that debate in the initial AD&D edition, but I think everyone still played however worked best for them and just ignored stuff they didn't like. But the Gygax tradition of being by-the-book remains for some people, who want to play it as it lies every time. Hence people frowning on fudging die rolls, etc.

Matt brings up something that I feel I've circled around a few times in this forum. Playing D&D is inherently a vulnerable way to play. It requires you to got out there, make stuff up on the spot, and if you're the DM there are a lot of creative ideas that have to sink or float based on what happens at the table. It requires a huge amount of trust in the other players to not just play fairly, but in such a way that actually promotes the fun of everyone at the table. This takes a lot of practice, and it's not a skill set that gamers always value, being the rules-driven people they are.

For my part I have always played D&D with board game friends, but I am not really much of a randos-at-a-club guy anymore, and everyone I have gamed with regularly has become a really good friend. I would gladly introduce D&D to any of them and I feel confident that it'd do pretty well.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Jun 2019 08:26 #298608 by jason10mm
I too thought DM fudging was just an accepted thing until I started playing with crunch heavy players on roll20 where EVERY dice roll can be displayed and logged. So no more rolling behind the screen! Player death didn't increase that much but the ability to narratively craft an encounter by making monsters easier or tougher on the fly did, since all you could do was adjust HP since everything else was out there. And at a certain point we had encoded a "bloodied" marker when a monster hit 50% damage so even changing HP didn't really work since I had assigned them all beforehand. Became a lot more like orchestrating a video game than a TTRPG but then again, it was all online so I guess that is just the way it is.

Introduced my oldest to Dungeon Mayhem, which is a very light DnD card game from WOTC. At 6 he can sorta read but it really doesn't matter since it is mostly just simple symbols. But it does teach you the basics of character classes (there is a magic-user, paladin, barbarian, and thief guy in the game) in that some characters are attack heavy, others can heal, and he has a new favorite thing, "LIGHTNING BOLT!!!" which he has used to cook me a few times. WOTC is doing a great job making content assessible to young players to be with the 123s and ABCs of DnD and the new Endless Quest books. Might get one to read to my son at bedtime just so he can do some decision-making.

He struggles with games because getting him to accept losing is tough. He'll often flip the table midway through if he thinks he is falling behind, even more so if he makes it to the end and loses. So there is a balance of me playing to let him win (or allowing him to adjust the rules/redo a turn) to keep him interested versus letting him lose and teaching him how to deal with that emotion as a rational human. I think in a RPG I can set up "you fail BUT then this cool thing happens" more than in a board game where failure usually means game over/elimination
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.147 seconds