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12:00 AM
@MikeQ I like other systems better partly because I can GM them and actually worry more about collaborative storytelling
D&D leads me to only be worried about the mechanics
Like all the Golden Sky Stories I've run so far
 
It can. Depends on how it's run. TBH I prefer 5e (at least, choosing among the D&Dish systems) because the mechanics are simpler. They're not interesting, but at least they don't bog down everything else as much.
 
I did the same scenario three times now and there was always a divergence point in the story because of the collaborative storytelling
@MikeQ that's fair too
I ran 4e a little last year and I kept falling into the pit of just throwing fights at people
If all the players were me they would have loved it
None of them were me though
 
Hey, I loved it.
 
At least some of them wanted more story
 
Yeah. Combat for the sake of combat, when repeated over and over, it can get stale.
 
12:04 AM
@Miniman you still aren't me,.... Are you?
Dun Dun Dun!
 
@trogdor yeah, interestingly enough, I think my issue with running things like GSS would be that systems that are that...singularly focused? probably wouldn't respond as well to my subversive tendencies when storytelling. (I can kind of tell with my DW campaign, actually -- I find myself out on a limb simply statting some NPCs, for instance, because DW doesn't expect them to get involved in fights and thus they don't come out-of-box w/ combat stats)
 
@trogdor Well, no, but I do often get the impression that we have a lot in common.
 
@Miniman same
XD
 
@MikeQ Good call specifying "among the D&Dish systems." [grin] Your Basic Rules 5e text is more than a hundred pages. Golden Sky's entire manual --player choices, GM rules, NPCs, and a half-dozen pre-made adventures-- is under 150 pages.
 
I mean, apart from you being a dragonman, obviously :P
 
12:06 AM
@Shalvenay Good news! If you want to run a GSS campaign where punching things can help people get along you can totally do that! As long as one of your players is an oni and takes the flaw that they can only make buddies by making fightbuddies.
 
@Miniman well that's just implied XP
 
@Glazius xD, but more seriously, GSS seems to convey the expectation that you're out to solve people problems, not systems problems
 
@Shalvenay From a lot of our conversations, I'm not sure it's subversiveness (intentionally coloring outside the lines) as much as not being able to see where the lines are until you're way outside them.
 
@BESW I think there's an element of not seeing all the lines as well, which I kind of find myself wanting to use to my advantage (taking the unintentionally-coloring-outside-the-lines-tendency and playing it up instead of tamping it down)
so the net effect comes off as subversive play, but it's a mixture of lack of sight and intent, not just purely someone who knows exactly where the lines are and steps over them knowing full well what will happen
 
That's why I'd have trouble playing with you long-term, I think. I know how to work with someone who likes subverting expectations, and how to work with someone who doesn't have control over keeping their choices in line with expectations. But someone who paints over the latter with the former is a loose cannon I don't know how to work with, because any attempt to negotiate becomes a goalpost shift:
if I ask them to re-consider something that's making the group uncomfortable, they say they weren't considering in the first place; but if I talk with them about tools for making more deliberate
I'm glad you've found people you can work with, and I admire them for being able to do it.
 
12:15 AM
@Glazius lol, or play a wolf (or a Dragon) and constantly scare people
 
@Glazius this conversation has me curious of something though -- given free choice, what system would you choose for the sort of institutionalist-political-intrigue/civil-warfare game that I see our DW campaign as?
@BESW I think the answer to that question lies in that the deliberateness and the knowledge of the lines lie at two different meta-levels if you will?
 
Not honestly recommended to constantly scare people though
@Shalvenay what he is addressing, I think, is a lack of awareness of consequence of a choice?
 
@Shalvenay Tough question. I want to say a drift on a Legacy derivative, maybe Worldfall? But I have a feeling the entire sweep of the game would just be quickplay of one generation.
Then again political struggle is a generational thing so :?
 
@Glazius yeah, what you're describing sounds a bit zoomed-out for this
 
Oh.
Fellowship!
 
12:19 AM
Because I think what @BESW means by a deliberate choice includes a weighing in of what that choice means to the other people at the table specifically
 
...which kind of tanks with only two players, a little?
 
and ISTM (although I'm no expert on this!) that many of the systems designed to cater to political intrigue as a gameplay style are designed to cater to the more "classical" personal-power based forms of intrigue
@Glazius ah. something of a similar problem to DW albeit it sounds a bit more severe in Fellowship, but maybe you can tell me more about the system?
@trogdor yeah, and coming from the background in persistent-world-based online RP that I did, trying to weigh that wasn't really A Thing so much because you'd find yourself in a bit of a bind if you tried
 
It's an AW derivative about a ragtag band of heroes roaming the land, helping out communities, and ultimately contesting places of power and confronting an evil overlord who's a threat to the world.
 
@Glazius ah :) I could see how that could work :) (and why it'd have difficulty with only two players, same reason DW does since they're both PbtA)
@trogdor (i.e. trying to do that isn't scalable -- so you either weighed the consequences for a small and not at all guaranteed to be representative sample, or you simply didn't weigh them at all)
 
@trogdor Yeah, a lot of this. When we play a game, we've agreed on the kind of story we're telling. That includes conventions on what sort of solutions are effective, what time frame the whole arc of the story includes, what kinds of actions are inconceivable. Subverting expectations inside the story is awesome. Subverting expectations at the table is a form of social contract violation.
 
12:25 AM
It's interesting in that its conflict system operates on kind of a Savage Worlds up/down/off the table bit, where your moves create openings and someone can follow up on those openings to finish off a target. Large and important targets have multiple pieces to set up and take down, and the real big players are, well, threats to the world, and you pay a price even to step up to them.
 
And if you don't know, or don't care, about the conventions of the kind of story we've chosen, you don't know, or don't care, about the edges of the social contract the table's made.
 
@BESW yeah
@Shalvenay I'm not trying to criticize you about it for sure
I just thought maybe you missed part of BESW's point
 
If you don't know, I'm happy to help you learn. If you don't care, I'm happy to help you see why it matters. But someone who doesn't know but masks it by not caring? Isn't making space to get better at working with the team, they're just making space for justifications why it's okay to not work with the team.
And while that kind of justification may be necessary at massive scale games, it's not a useful habit to scale down to small personal gaming.
 
@BESW would incorporating that subversiveness into session 0 be useful? (i.e. "expect cow XYZ to get knocked on its butt"?) because that's something that I find hard to discuss with people (especially those who don't want plot spoilers, because discussing that gets into spoilery territory)
 
@Shalvenay Sometimes. But framing it as subversion creates the illusion that you're in more control than you actually are, which is toxic to healthy gaming; and framing it as a sacred cow creates an antagonistic relationship where you're deliberately attacking what you think others value.
 
12:33 AM
@BESW yeah, the issue in PW-based play is not just scale, but scale variability
you can have everything from personal development or one-on-one arcs to grand-scale plots going on with your char at the same time
 
This makes you look like a jerk who kicks over other peoples' sandcastles and then asks why they're so upset, it's just sand. I know that's not your intent, but by choosing a frame that gives the impression of deliberation you don't have, and then framing your actions as "knocking over sacred cows," that's the impression you give.
 
@BESW yeah, I agree that my wording probably isn't at all good (it's just what I could come up with off the cuff)
 
I wouldn't have gone into it if I hadn't seen you using those exact same phrases many times over many years already.
(If I hadn't, I wouldn't have known what you meant by "cow.")
 
Now the usage of "cow" in the example is just making me curious :P
 
@BESW ^I was extremely confused by cow example
 
12:38 AM
@Shalvenay You consistently choose to frame this issue as making choices to deconstruct things people value about storytelling which you don't value because they are "unrealistic," but in extended conversation it becomes clear that you're more often simply unaware of the narrative structures people rely on.
 
Ah, that's what the expression was referencing. I am well aware of the idiom, especially being of the culture it's theoretically a reference to
 
That makes it seem to you like people are making nonsensical decisions with no consistency or reason, and you attempt to impose your own sense of reason on them by drawing on real-world examples. Which would be pretty reasonable if that were actually the case, but there actually are rigid structures and rules around the specific kinds of stories the people are telling which guide their decisions. You just lack the schema for a lot of them so you can't recognize them in practice.
All of which is totally fine and understandable. The problem is when you frame it as deliberately attacking their "sacred cows" rather than accidentally trampling on invisible houses.
One of those versions makes you a jerk, and it's not the one you're most often actually experiencing.
 
@V2Blast yeah, I think it also has a smattering of the story of the golden calf idol in the Bible too though
Not that it's at all lacking a jab at,.. well actual cultures that value the life of actual living cows either
:/
 
@BESW yeah, I think that the incidental framework comes off as unappealing to me because it only seems to lend itself to a path "into the box" if you will, whereas I see creativity as being outside the box to begin with, and I grabbed at whatever tools I could find to reconcile that without really having a sense of how good or bad they were?
 
I reference one of the greatest English-language mystery writers ever to live, Margery Allingham:
> Allingham regarded the mystery novel as a box with four sides – “a Killing, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an element of satisfaction in it.” Once inside the box, she felt secure: the genre gave her the discipline she felt she needed, while allowing her imagination full play to provide the “Element of Satisfaction.”
While there's a lot to be said for poking the edges of things, boundaries and restrictions are not anathema to creativity. Often they are absolute necessities for keeping creativity from devolving into random impulse.
More importantly, agreed-upon boundaries are ABSOLUTELY necessary for healthy group dynamics.
I haven't been talking about what makes good stories. I've been talking about how agreeing on the kind of story being told is a powerful and almost ubiquitous tool for healthy RPG groups.
This isn't about creativity. It's about respecting our fellow players.
 
12:49 AM
@BESW agreeing on some sort of boundary-framework, yes. where I see us diverging is the source of that boundary-framework
 
Right, because you see it as incidental, while most people see it as central.
And no, story structures aren't definitional to RPGs. But they're ubiquitous and ignoring them needs to be telegraphed carefully and effectively or we wind up with one person ignoring everyone else's needs.
 
@BESW yeah, I find that world-structure is far more useful and effective for me than story-structure as a boundary-framework
 
The whole group needs to pitch the conventions of storytelling together, or you just wind up with a loose cannon making everybody else miserable and telling them they're doing it wrong.
Most groups assume that the chosen genre/setting/system implies the storytelling conventions of their social contract, and leave it non-explicit. This is admittedly not best practices, but it's, again, ubiquitous and must be assumed until stated otherwise.
 
@BESW (or being made miserable because everyone else is telling the person in question they're doing it wrong, but basically is unable to provide feedback the person in question can apply well, leading to massive frustration all around)
@BESW is there some sort of "these are the elements of storytelling convention I should be looking for" to lay out what's going on during Session 0?
 
@Shalvenay A possible starting point could be stating the type, tone, and pace of story you're going for
 
12:58 AM
@MikeQ type, tone, and pace -- that sounds like an easy enough thing to remember, at least
 
Boundaries can be helpful in setting the "rules" for the story. If you don't establish these... rules? then the direction of the story becomes a fight over which player controls the steering wheel, which is often a matter of whichever player is loudest
 
I mean, if you come into my game spouting judgemental nonsense about "subversion" and "sacred cows" and "realism" and "creativity," I'd tell you you're doing it wrong too. Because you are.
Because stories aren't about realism, and it's not subversive to trample something we like, and it's infantilising to tell us that adhering to a narrative structure is mindless conformity, and boundaries are a massively important part of the creative process, and beyond all that it's simply wrong to tell us that you won't listen to our distress unless we can convince you our distress is logical.
 
@BESW the issue isn't the "doing it wrong" part, its the inability to get actionable feedback to go with it
 
Yes, that can be very frustrating.
It doesn't invalidate the concerns.
There are LOTS of things we know are wrong but don't know how to fix.
Don't let yourself fall into the "don't complain unless you have a solution" trap.
Storytelling, in particular, is so close to the marrow of a culture that it's difficult to qualify, much less quantify, from the inside.
 
on a different note: I finished updating my style guideline answer
 
1:03 AM
But addressing it from the outside tends to be even more hazardous.
I suspect also that you may be getting a lot more actionable feedback than you know. Right now I've been more blunt and direct than I'm actually comfortable with, because I know from experience that with you it's a more effective method than those I normally employ. I've seen you miss feedback in the past which seemed very clear to me, because it wasn't presented in ways you're tuned to pick up.
So you may also be frustrated by a simple but pervasive miscommunication which makes it feel like you're getting less help than people think they've giving... which would in turn de-incentivize everyone from trying again.
 
@Shalvenay I'm not 110% certain what you mean about subverting, but I'd suggest reviewing the difference between trope subversion versus abandoning storytelling conventions
 
@V2Blast Where is this? I was expecting meta, but I can't see it on there.
 
mainsite
D&D 5e question
I linked it earlier
 
25
A: What is the proper way to style references to D&D game elements?

V2BlastYou can find examples of most of these (thus demonstrating the proper way to use them) in the Sage Advice Compendium. Class feature names Class features, such as Cunning Action, Wild Shape, Draconic Resilience, Unarmored Defense, Empowered Evocation, etc., should be capitalized (but not otherwi...

@MikeQ mmm, this. Golden Sky Stories is about friendship. Trying to turn it into a political rehabilitation game isn't subversion, it's just refusing to play the game everybody agreed to play.
 
Ash
1:13 AM
@Shalvenay as a completely outside observer it feels less like subversion and more like "I don't wanna play by anyone's rules or conventions and I want to knock over all the sandcastles"
@BESW very this, yes
 
Ben
What's the opposite of subversion?
 
superversion?
domversion?
 
Ben
Lol.
 
@Ben Pitaversion, maybe? Open-facedversion?
 
Ash
Fril
I was thinking like..
A calzone or something
Or a ravioli, the most unsandwich
 
1:19 AM
@Shalvenay To be very clear: I absolutely know that you don't want to be a massive jerk, and you're wiling to put in a lot of time and effort to be a better team player. But you've (ironically) chosen narrative frames for your own experience that frame you as the beleaguered hero of reason and free thought, rather than someone who has trouble with story games because he only reads non-fiction so he doesn't have any shared schema with the other players.
 
Ben
I got in trouble for making my character outside of session 0, because I was "hiding things" about my character. After explaining that I told everyone what I was doing, and any changes I had made, right up to the last minute change of starting as a fighter instead of a sorcerer, they stated that they didn't have a problem with anything I'd done, but apparently I'd pulled the wool over their eyes once before, years ago, when I rolled my stats instead of buying them.
I'm starting to think that the GM is just someone that wants to be in full control.
 
This is what I'm challenging: the story you're presenting of yourself, by using frames like "I see creativity as being outside the box" and "expect cow XYZ to get knocked on its butt." I think those are getting in the way of you getting supportive help, and perhaps also of you having a really clear view of the problem you're facing.
 
@BESW yes, this -- I kept telling folks that I wasn't quite getting on the same wavelength with them, and it got to the point where folks gave up because they just ran out of tools to try :/
 
@Ben Yeah, that sounds like there's something unstated underlying the stated reasons for action.
 
Ben
Oh, and they then said nothing when another player presented a pregenned character sheet.
 
1:24 AM
@MikeQ yeah, I think that's part of it -- when I have trope-lines I can clearly identify, I latch onto those for the most part and it allows me to leave the more central conventions alone; when things aren't clear, I'll start grabbing for whatever, and that's when the storytelling conventions start going by the wayside
 
@BESW it doesn't invalidate the concerns at all, it simply makes it all that more frustrating
 
Ben
@BESW I'm unfortunately really starting to feel that way
 
@BESW I'm beginning to wonder if what happened is that I learned how to read without learning how to be literate -- as in, I can read quite well (to the point of being able to somewhat-parse legalese), but I never developed any literary analysis skills to go with it (recalling back to middle/high school, my book reports probably were not what the teacher intended, at all)
 
@Shalvenay Rule of thumb: Tropes are specific things that occur within the confines of the story's universe. Narrative conventions are the story-level foundations of the themes and tone and how the story is told.
 
1:28 AM
@MikeQ yeah, I think what happens is I have trouble seeing which trees are holding up the forest, if you will :)
 
@Shalvenay Books can be harder to analyze, especially when there's a lot of distracting detail. You can practice literary analysis skills with film, although remember that the storytelling rules and conventions aren't 100% identical with those of the book medium
(assuming it's a film or television show where the direction and filmography successfully focus on their intended themes)
(...which excludes a lot of popular pew-pew-laser-splosions films of hollywood production)
 
Ben
@MikeQ aww man!
 
@BESW But until then, it's time to run. Take +2 to all attempts to Overcome with Haste while your Heat track is marked.
Hm. Might make more sense stuck onto In Too Deep.
 
@Shalvenay I'd say, analysis is probably not the right word and will send you right into the weeds again. But you're probably spot-on re: literacy.
Literary analysis tends to be about deep textual dives into meaning and symbolism. You don't need that. Honestly most of us don't. But literacy, in this context, is more about becoming familiar with the building blocks of story and how they go together.
Parallelism, emotional metaphor, the movement of character arcs, the pacing of scenes. The structures are culture- and medium-specific, and you'd do better if you learn some of the structures your friends are familiar with. But the building blocks themselves are crucial and will be a good place to start.
 
True. TTRPGs don't follow all the same structural rules and narrative conventions of books or film or television
 
1:42 AM
@BESW yeah, I think you're spot on there
 
For example, character creation can be part of the narrative, since the player is both part of the audience, and part of the author. So if system choice influences the character creation process, then that means system choice can influence the initial tonal beats and expectations of your campaign.
 
@MikeQ VERY much so, but unfortunately because those are the mediums we're most familiar with, most of us are imposing those rules and conventions ON our RPGs.
(I think improvisational theater is a great and largely untapped resource for RPG design and play tools.)
 
@BESW seconded -- improv theater seems like the closest analogy to RP, indeed
 
@V2Blast why do I only have one upvote to give?!
 
(It's rather amusing that more of our RPG safety tools seem to stem from BDSM practices rather than theatrical practices.)
 
1:45 AM
@Rubiksmoose "upvote" makes a lot more sense than "update". I read your message and was very confused for a few seconds :P
 
@V2Blast my wife was talking to me and said the word right as I was typing lol. Silly brain
 
haha. I've done that before
 
@Shalvenay I recommend avoiding academic analysis and discussion like the plague, by the way. It's largely arguing about toothpicks they've milled from the trees, the forest goes mostly unnoticed.
 
@BESW yeah, I think that's probably right as well -- you hit the nail on the head regarding what I can perceive about liberal-arts academic circles
 
(Though, Indigenous scholarship on literature can be fascinating and perspective-widening. Not sure if it'd be great for you at this point though?)
 
Ash
1:50 AM
@Shalvenay AS someone with an English degree....yeah do not try to learn about this with a literary academia lens. it will not help you here. :)
 
So let's say you've chosen a system where most of the mechanics involve swords and fighting and death. Usually this means resolving conflicts via force, heroics, and action (narrative conventions). In many scenarios, the villains are orks and goblins and zombies (tropes).
 
@KorvinStarmast not that I know of, but maybe I'm forgetting something? I think there was a different playtest manager for those two, in particular? (I.e. for those two my e-mails were coming from a different WotC employee than previously.)
 
@BESW yeah, what I really need is sort of a Literature Construction Kit if you will (akin to the Language Construction Kit that is a well-known tutorial/starting point for conlangers)
 
Trope subversion would be a story where the heroes have to save orks and goblins from evil townspeople. Whereas abandoning narrative conventions would be a story where the heroes show up with their weapons and magical arsenal, but there's nothing to do other than sit and sip hot cocoa.
 
I'd suggest a book about writing, but most of them are presented as The Only Way or are too touchy-feely for you to be patient with.
 
1:51 AM
@MikeQ I am Gorb, the mighty Trope-slayer, defeater of the memic hordes.
 
@MikeQ that's making sense, it's probably why the DW game I'm running seems to miss a few beats at times (like, it has been remarkably short on material loot, as a simple one)
 
(That is, a book about How To Write. Maybe a screenplay-writing book? They're super formulaic and didactic so you'd have to remember that they're a way, not the way, but they'd probably give you some solid ground to start on.)
 
@BESW How does this play with italicizing Latin terms, do you know?
 
@BESW that might be good, yes, I wonder if there are any texts that discuss improv theater specifically?
 
@nitsua60 At a guess, same kind of deal. Italicizing as "look I know an elite thing, do you?" that gradually got generalized to italicizing foreignness.
 
1:56 AM
@MikeQ yeah, you'd at least expect there to be a narrative around why the heroes showed up only to find no opposition
 
Ash
@Shalvenay Oh, plenty! :)
(I was going to show you some Goodreads lists that might help but Goodreads is apparently over capacity? Which is weird.)
 
@Ash did Goodreads get the Reddit Hug of Death/Slashdotted/....?
 
Ash
That would be highly unusual.
 
I'm hoping to read El Teatro del Oprimido soon, but that's... probably not the right thing to start with.
Lessons from the Screenplay frequently mentions popular screenwriting books that they find useful.
My favorite book about writing is Brenda Ueland's If You Want To Write but I don't think you'd have patience for her; she's not particularly interested in talking about traditional structures or pacing or whatever.
 
@Miniman haters gonna hate David Lee Roth. All I gotta say =)
(sorry for the errant ping)
 
2:04 AM
@nitsua60 hahahaha
 
@nitsua60 I was going to say, I don't know enough about Van Halen, was he a famously non-conventional songwriter or something?
 
@Shalvenay That aside, it's problematic because the narrative itself (rather than specific story events) isn't adhering to its own rules
 
Aug 28 '18 at 16:46, by Rubiksmoose
Ah, might as well jump
(Jump)
Might as well jump
Go ahead an' jump (jump)
 
Oh, @Ash, you should totally read Brenda Ueland's If You Want To Write.
 
Ash
@BESW Oh?
 
2:05 AM
in The Overlook Hotel, Feb 4 '17 at 22:48, by BESW
> I found that many gifted people are so afraid of writing a poor story that they cannot summon the nerve to write a single sentence for months. The thing to say to such people is: "See how *bad* a story you can write. See how dull you can be. Go ahead. That would be fun and interesting. I will give you ten dollars if you can write something thoroughly dull from beginning to end!" And of course, no one can.
- Brenda Ueland, *If You Want To Write*
 
@BESW It's probably fair to say he was famously unconventional =\
 
Ash
@BESW .....thats not me at all what do you even mean I am not like that (okay yes I think I need to give this a go)
 
Ben
@nitusa60 @Miniman 2 makes it not errant?
 
She's an absolute joy, her personality is battleship-strong and so encouraging, and she's writing about writers because that's what she does and who she teaches but she's absolutely convinced (and I think she's right) that her insights apply to any creative endeavor.
 
@BESW oh I'll show you, I'll show you good, you want boring I'll give you boring
 
Ash
2:08 AM
If I could tell stories without having to write them I'd be okay but the moment I gotta write them they all slide sideways and I can't get 'em to sit still long enough
 
@BESW yeah, from the sounds of that quote alone, I think she's more writing from the POV that assumes that someone is picking up those elements via osmosis, basically? (something that I never really did)
 
@Shalvenay Well, she's not just talking about fiction either; a lot of her students are writing creative non-fiction or... anything.
 
@Ben subordination?
 
@nitsua60 I just noticed something on the election page; why does it say 2 moderator positions available?
 
@BESW probably true
 
2:11 AM
@Rubiksmoose Because there are two slots in this election. I don't remember exactly what of the discussion around that number happened publicly vs. privately, so I don't want to say too much more 'til I have my facts in a row.
 
@nitsua60 oh. Well then. I missed that note completely!
Ask a stupid question...
I thought we were only back-filling SSD's position for some reason.
anyways, carry-on.
 
Ben
@Rubiksmoose take d4 humiliation damage
 
@Ben hahaha
 
Lemme fix all that.
(Note to self: don't let answering the question correctly get in the way of answering the question nicely.)
 
@nitsua60 Thanks! It's news to me so I'm sure at least one other person would have wondered it at some point.
 
2:15 AM
oh, hey there by the way @nitsua60
 
@nitsua60 Sorry for pinging you about business topics out of nowhere on a perfectly pleasant evening. I just noticed it and it took me aback. :)
 
@Shalvenay hiya.
@Rubiksmoose Not a problem--that's part of why I'm here all the time =)
(It definitely has nothing to do with "I'd rather not be grading right now" or "my fingers are too raw to keep playing guitar.")
 
@nitsua60 would now be a better time for us to talk for a bit?
 
@nitsua60 And I certainly should not be pouring over this mortgage paperwork!
 
@Shalvenay I'm not sure I'm up for it. Let's plan on tomorrow? (Study hall duty....)
@Rubiksmoose Oh, gosh. I hope it's not too stressful.
 
2:19 AM
@nitsua60 that should be manageable
 
Ben
@Rubiksmoose that sounds official... you should avoid pouring anything over that...
 
@nitsua60 eh. It's been a roller coaster. It has certainly pushed us and stressed us in interesting ways. But (fingers crossed) we seem to be approaching the end of the tunnel.
After several false finishes and switchbacks I think we are the path to closing on the 31st.
@Ben So that's why my mortgage officer is always so upset at me.
 
@MikeQ I like this, but I wonder if the subversion example needs a bit more? To me that doesn't feel subversive because I'm not ~invested~ in the goblins being bad and townspeople being good. I think. But maybe I'm not really understanding "subversion" well. (I know that most times I hear it talked about in the back of my head I'm thinking "that doesn't really sound like subversion." And I also know there's at least a non-zero chance it's me who's misunderstanding, not everyone else.)
 
BTW, @Shalvenay, I just want to say how much I value the way you re-state what you've heard to verify that you've understood it.
 
But yeah I appreciate the concern!
 
2:22 AM
@nitsua60 I blame TV Tropes.
 
@Rubiksmoose My office-mate's in the middle of all this right now, and I think he's going to lose his hair over it.
 
@nitsua60 From what I understand, trope subversion is less about surprising your audience/players, and more about straying from overused story elements in other stories of a similar genre
 
@BESW You know, when I worked in a nuclear power plant, we were required to do this. And, honestly, it worked really well.
 
@BESW thx. readback/hearback is a habit I've been trying to get into IRL for that matter (for me it's derived from listening to pilots talking with ATC, but's just a darn good idea in general, as @Rubiksmoose can attest to as well)
 
@nitsua60 It can be taken as a generally applicable statement alongside this important caveat to most advice.
 
2:24 AM
@nitsua60 I tell you what. There have been several days where I have signed 3 or 4 revisions to the same document in the same day. Honestly though my real estate agents are saints and have been absolutely wonderful. I would not be sane right now if not for their help.
 
@BESW probably a good standing policy.
 
@Shalvenay Yup! In the nuclear industry the habit is derived from the Navy (where a lot of workers come from/go), but I think it is the same idea.
 
@Rubiksmoose I've seen some people who take offense at hearback because they think it's "putting words into their mouth" which is just bizarre to me.
Like... no, that's exactly the opposite of what's going on?
 
@BESW that is a strange-sounding argument to my ears, too
 
Weird.
I don't get that at all.
 
2:27 AM
yeah, I think your average flight instructor might be going "U WOT, M8" at it, even?
 
I think the most pushback I've gotten on it are from people who are impatient and have a "why are we doing this and wasting time" attitude to the attempt to clarify.
 
@nitsua60 Trope subversion often follows the themes and rules you've established for your own narrative. For example, if one of your themes is "bad things happen to good people", then you can subvert the plot armor trope by having your character fail to escape their beheading
Whereas if one of your themes is "war is a game played by nobles at the cost of smallfolk, therefore I won't glorify battle scenes", then filling your story with elaborate war scenes would be abandoning your narrative conventions, rather than a trope subversion
 
@MikeQ Hello, 24?
 
@MikeQ Absolutely, this one.
@MikeQ I think I agree here. And that "established for your own narrative" is an important piece of the puzzle for me.
 
@MikeQ That's a great example!
 
2:31 AM
@nitsua60 Yes! This is why it matters so much in an RPG, too.
 
You know what's worse than fearing the dark lord is rising(assuming good aligned)? Fearing the dark lord isn't rising.
 
And why the "sacred cow" comparison rankles so much; it's our choice.
 
When a player shows up at my table with a LG tiefling and says "I'm subverting expectations because the PHB says they tend to chaotic" that feels hollow to me. Because we haven't experienced "tieflings tend to chaotic" in our shared narrative.
 
@nitsua60 Could be. Depends on whose expectations those "expectations" are referring to.
 
If in session zero I say "in this world elves are all trickster fae who want to steal your babies but you're the good ones that will have to struggle in a world that distrusts them," there's no subversion. Just a setup.
I dunno. I'm rambling at this point.
 
2:34 AM
No worries, it stopped me from rambling about My Little Thronies, so that's probably for the best
 
@MikeQ oh dear.
 
I just know it annoys me when five people show up at an AL table with a barbarian gnome, a goliath bard, a dwarven wizard, a halfling fighter, and a tiefling cleric and claim to be subverting tropes.
@Joshua I like The Dark is Rising. Thank you for reminding me of that.
 
@nitsua60 Depends on what they actually do with the characters. Each of those sounds like a fraction of trope subversion, but no follow through.
 
Ash
@MikeQ I am imagining this and it hurts my brain
 
@nitsua60 Oh, man, those books were so good. ...I wonder if they'd hold up now?
 
Ben
2:40 AM
@BESW I got them in my audiobook collection :)
 
Somebody just reminded me again. Don't tangle with Scrooge McDuck in melee. His STR stat is insane.
 
@BESW They do better than, say, Dragonlance did.
 
(I have spent more than half my life looking for a performance of "Good King Wenceslas" that approximates the version sung by Will and Merriman.)
 
@Joshua Yep, he's strong enough to swim through solid gold
 
@MikeQ I think that's more a form of subconscious touch-telekinesis.
He's... aurumkinetic?
 
2:44 AM
I can't seem to figure out what is aurumkinetic?
 
I've lost the topic of conversation
@Joshua gold-manipulation? like telekinesis but only with gold
 
Seems to work just fine with most kinds of metal disks.
 
@V2Blast Topic? how quaint.
 
@BESW Wait a minute--Scrooge McDuck is an allomancer? Doesn't that mean that Huey, Louie, and Dewey must only be three of the four twelve nephews?
 
Only if I knew what that's a reference to.
 
2:57 AM
@Rubiksmoose (I'm just remembering that a couple of days ago I posed the question to SE staff of when we were going to decide on the number, only to be reminded that the decision had been made a month ago with my input as part of the discussion.)
 
@BESW Allomancers were from the late Jurassic whereas Tyrannomancers were from the late Cretaceous
5
 
Mistborn is a series of epic fantasy novels written by American author Brandon Sanderson and published by Tor Books. The first series, published between 2006 and 2008, consists of The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. To prepare readers for the second series, Sanderson wrote a transitional sequel, The Alloy of Law, which then turned into the first installment in the Wax and Wayne tetralogy, set 300 years later. The Wax and Wayne book titles are: The Alloy of Law, released on November 8, 2011; Shadows of Self, released on October 6, 2015; The Bands of Mourning, published...
 
@MikeQ Oh! Right, I forgot.
 
Oh, right. WP oneboxes don't respect whatever those # links that are supposed to take you to a specific section are called.
 
And some people say pteromancers should be included in the same group, but most of the experts disagree.
 
2:58 AM
It's an ichthyomancic conspiracy.
 
@nitsua60 Take 1d4 bad memory damage? Given what I understand to be the circumstances I think you can be more than forgiven for the lapse.
 
@Shalvenay Have you looked at the House of Bards module for Fate Core? I've skimmed it a bit, I think it may work for the types of TTRPG narratives you like.
 
@Rubiksmoose Can't take that damage--5e doesn't do negative hit points =)
Pumpkin-time. Night, all!
 
night!
 
@nitsua60 anchors?
 
3:06 AM
@MikeQ I have not, maybe we can take a closer look at it together sometime? :)
 
@Shalvenay The rulebook is rather long. It's available on DriveThru RPG here.
 
I think Shalv may find more success in understanding narrative by at first avoiding RPGs which lean into his areas of real-life proficiency. Here's the thing: the idea that creativity requires "out of the box" thinking has made it difficult to take the box seriously.
Taking the box seriously is what you need to learn how to do. That involves seeing the box, yes, but it also involves learning to be okay inside it.
And if you're in boxes that are too reminiscent of things you're proficient with IRL, you're gonna have a hard time taking the box seriously because it's going to ping all your "wrong!" buttons. Just like a costumer or typographer watching a period film, or a BDSM expert watching an episode of CSI.
 
@BESW that could be useful....although I'm not sure where that leaves me systems-wise though
 
@Shalvenay Golden Sky Stories. [grin]
 
@BESW yeah, GSS came to mind
 
3:18 AM
Seriously though, the systems that you struggle against the hardest because they're "singularly focused," are the systems that are designed to tell you what the box is and how to move inside it.
They're systems where the narrative has been put into the mechanics so you can point at it and say "look, that's the story we're telling," while systems like D&D and Fate leave that as an exercise for the group.
 
About to stream our D&D 5e actual-play podcast in 45 minutes: https://www.twitch.tv/events/X6SrkHtjTJO84gGhVd53bA

In a universe adjacent to our own lies a world known as Runia. This world, once peaceful and idyllic, is now threatened by a monstrous being from its prehistory. A group of adventurers known as Whiskey Company have risen up to do what they can to fight this entity known only as Nagat. They have trekked far across the mortal realms in search of the shards of Barrinoth, the Titan of Justice, in hopes of returning him to his full power.
 
@BESW where do the PbtA systems (DW specifically, but also say Fellowship) fit in on that scale?
 
Midpoint. They push the narrative but also expect the players to know what narrative is being referenced. The exactly strictness of the game depends on the specific iteration.
 
@BESW nods that seems about right IME
@BESW the other half of that is I think it's insufficient for me to simply play in such systems, I probably need to get comfortable running such things as-designed in order to lick this, no?
 
Possible.
GSS is very clear; you've got four skills that are clearly delineated and define the scope of your characters' modes of operation, and a handful of powers that are literally story beats you should be working toward hitting, and everybody's supposed to be keeping an eye out for people doing useful or cute things because that's how you award each other advancement points, and advancement points are spent on friendships which give you currency to fuel your powers and improve your skill checks.
Everything feeds into the idea that cute and useful stories about relationships are the heart of the system, and the other mechanics provide cues for story beats, scope, and modes of action.
 
3:30 AM
yeah, I think I did OKish in the end with GSS when Trogdor ran it for the Stackizen ToA group, but I'm not sure? and it definitely took me a while to catch on....
 
Ash
I liked GSS because it was so bounded
 
hey there @Aaron3468, welcome to the RPG.SE lair :)
 
Thanks lol
 
@BESW who is we, amigo?
 
@Aaron3468 [wave] Welcome!
 
Ben
3:39 AM
@Aaron3468 welcome back, actually
 
As far as the convo about DnD/PbtA goes, the former is mostly rules to run different kinds of scenes using stats and items. Originally the game was combat, wilderness, and social scenes with a bit of roleplay on the side to glue them together. Newer, younger systems shed a lot of that wargame and simulation aspect in favour of focusing on roleplay and narrative.
Some of the better DnD I've participated in used mechanical scenes (combat, skill challenges, travel rules) to accentuate the story being told by the players. But for the most part avoided dice rolls and mechanics unless necessary.
 
@Aaron3468 yeah, that's a divide we're all pretty familiar with around here :)
 
@Ash so you didn't like it because it was cute, got it :P
 
@trogdor -- mind giving me a retrospective on how I did getting the hang of GSS in the one game of it I played with you, btw?
 
Haha, yeah. I have to admit I love them both but have more patience to sit around for 5 hours wargaming than for 5 hours of roleplay :D
 
Ash
3:43 AM
@trogdor oh okay yes I suppppppooooooooose that might have helped
And I suppose I might have giggled a lot.
 
Lol
 
@Aaron3468 I have to agree this is my preferred playstyle as well. Rules and dice merely inform the outcomes and decision making of a shared narrative.
 
@Shalvenay I think you did well, honestly
I found everyone to be delightful in that game and that includes you
 
@trogdor yeah, I think the biggest struggle was coming up with a character, really, although I think Cecil worked pretty well by the end of the day
 
I think Cecil was fine
 
3:46 AM
I think the key for making him really click for me was the altered hybrid form appearance -- it let me kind of play two different sets of expectations off of each other, even
 
So, after reading about you all talking about GSS for a while I finally have looked it up. It is adorable!
 
And mean ordinarily a henge Isn't going to be into welding but that doesn't mean you can't do it
Just that it's unusual XD
@Rubiksmoose it is!
XD
It might just be the main point of the game even
But don't tell anyone I said that, it's a secret
 
Like I just want to pinch its cheek and ruffle its personified hair right now.
 
I've never said it before
@Rubiksmoose XD
 
Ash
@Rubiksmoose its so cute and so great
 
3:49 AM
I take it some of you have run/played it?
@trogdor I'll never tell lol
 
I've run it three times now
 
Ash
I played it with @trogdor and @besw last weekend
 
How does it play?
 
A bunch of people in here have been in at least one of the games I've run
 
I've been in two of Troggy's three games.
 
3:50 AM
I get the impression its in the recommendation column for some of you.
 
Yeah BESW is the only one to have been in two
 
oh nice!
 
@Rubiksmoose yes as long as you are ok with a cute game instead if a fightey game or something
 
Ben
@BESW I got the Ben10 set for my 18th bday
 
3:51 AM
@BESW It took me a second.
XD
 
Ben
[Just brushing past the pun there haha]
 
It's a fun, light-hearted, feel-good game where the goal is to make characters and players happy.
 
it's definitely something I'd recommend, especially for folks who are either reticent about jumping into RPGs, or want to step outside the fightey-wargame-with-RP-tacked-on box
 
Ash
@BESW I....what....oh! I get it! I get it. That's good
 
@trogdor Probably the most whacky fun we've ever had was playing Honey Heist which I just ran a few weeks ago. So yeah, we're cool with that lol
 
3:52 AM
May 19 at 6:49, by BESW
There's something delightfully subversive about roleplaying "dog" so hard that someone just narrates "I pet him," and then gleefully activating my "Petting" power.
May 19 at 6:50, by BESW
Like, I get to actually go "Hahah! Someone is petting me!" as the player, just the way the dog character would be.
 
It's fun, although make sure to go over what constitutes as "cute", or what sort of things the players can be expected to do to earn story points
 
@BESW ohhhhhhhh these messages make so much more sense in context
 
@BESW ooooooooooh ok I get it
A Dora bowl
Say it fast
XD
 
Ash
@Ben tomorrow I have to take a packed lunch to work as we are offsite for first aid training and my lunch includes my rainbow dash kidsize drink bottle and my little kid sized twilight sparkle cutlery in my cat lunch bag (the flap that closes the bag is a cat head puppet)
 
@Rubiksmoose basically you play as a henge (or a mononoke or wtv other options because good lord there are a lot but start with henge just to be simple)
 
3:55 AM
well hot dog. I think I'll look into getting this as soon as I don't have a potential house about to drain me of money.
 
Ash
(I make a terrible grownup)
 
The GM plays all the other characters, some might be humans who don't know about magic some who do, and some might be other henge or local God's
 
Ash
@Rubiksmoose its very cute and fun and about friendship and just...i liked it because it was soft and fun and togetherness.
 
Ben
@Ash being a "grownup" is a lie. The only difference is you get to buy your own candy
 
Ash
@Ben truuuuuue
 
3:56 AM
Your mission, Should you choose to accept it? Make friends and solve everyday problems
 
@Ash I think you misspelled "amazing"
 
Ash
@Rubiksmoose awww yes
 
All while being cute helpful and entertaining in the game so your fellow players will give you dreams
The scenario I ran three times is making friends with a Kitsune
And it went differently every game
 
:-3
You all don't even know. It's midnight here and I would run this right now if I had people here to play with.
Err and you know I had a chance to read it through and talk it over people and other t riffling details.
 
3:58 AM
@BESW @Rubiksmoose take this demo, it's the best demo ever
 
Ben
@Rubiksmoose Good morning
 
If you play the game your first game and at least one starter scenario on there will get you through it
 
@Ben hahahaha. Hey that was way more than the estimated time you gave.
 
It's got all the important rules in a small space and some premade characters and a premade scenario on it
 

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