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00:00 - 11:0012:00 - 00:00

12:00 AM
Good idea
Really though, I think that boils down to a GM's ability to improvise and boil down the central concept of a story from the threads of what happens to be going on at any time. I'd love to imagine that a system could enhance that, but I can't really imagine one that could compensate when the GM can't.
Otherwise I'd be using a Princes' Kingdom hack for sure.
But then again, I haven't the multiple-systems experience that some others do here.
And I really really hope I'm wrong. :D
Target audience for the RPG is the show's demographic.
@Metamaterialgirl [grin] Let me tell you about Do: Temple of the Flying Pilgrims some time.
@BESW ears perked
(when you've the time, of course)
12:01 AM
It goes backwards, starting with the central concept of that night's story.
Do is the other main influence (in addition to Fate and PK) on my MLP design ideas.
In Do, PCs have two traits: how they help people and how they get in trouble.
When I looked it up I got Pilgrims of the Flying Temple...
Same smell.
I like Flying Pilgrims even better.
The pilgrims do fly.
You start the session by choosing a letter from someone asking for help; the game provides a couple dozen letters and it's easy to write your own.
The letter tells you a little about the place you're going, what the problem is you're supposed to solve, and it gives you a list of words.
@Metamaterialgirl You're probably right in that in the end it comes down to if the GM can tell a good story or not. But the system can make that easier (or harder).
12:04 AM
On your turn, you draw stones from a bag and choose to put back one colour of stone. The number of stones you have left determines if you help, if you get in trouble, and if you are able to use one of the words on the list.
If you're helping, you write a sentence describing how.
@Metamaterialgirl Also just finished reading your post. If you lived around here, I'd invite you to my game. If nothing else the table split is usually around 50/50 male/female, so there isn't any "OMG a girl!" problems
If you get in trouble, everyone else writes that sentence. (No GM.)
@Tridus Right, I guess what I was saying is that if there's a system that manages to fill in the narrative gaps when a GM can't quite manage, that would be pretty amazing.
@Metamaterialgirl Yeah. I think they call that a video game. :)
@Tridus And thank you very much, I would love that :D
12:06 AM
When anyone at the table has seven stones at the end of a round, the story concludes. If between you all, you used all the words on the list, the story ends with everyone happy with you. If not, the story ends with everyone angry at you.
@Tridus Well, except when the writers flub it...*looks sideways at Mass Effect 3)
@Metamaterialgirl So if you're ever in Eastern Canada, feel free to send a message.
@Metamaterialgirl Oh god, don't get that started.
Then you look at the colour of the stones you kept and that determines how your character changes for the next session.
@Tridus sorry, sorry grin
@Metamaterialgirl Hello, person not usually on the stack ;)
12:07 AM
@BESW So this is pretty textual, and could be played remotely pretty easily?
@Zachiel Hi @Zachiel :)
Friends just arrived for board game night, gotta go. Later!
@Metamaterialgirl I dunno about remotely; there seems to be a lot of out-of-character dialogue involved in good play, but yes.
@Tridus ttfn
One thing I like is that you wind up with a written story of your adventure!
Which feels like a very Twilight sort of RPG.
@Tridus Take care!
@BESW Agreed that there's a lot to be gained from physical presence during games. I like the written souvenir concept a LOT, especially since I also write about games in a transcription-style way after the fact, if they were worth it.
I like the writing down your turns, the lack of a GM, and the very simple help/trouble stats.
Those are the bits I would like to incorporate into my MLP game.
@BESW And that's the Do mechanic, right?
12:10 AM
@Metamaterialgirl Right.
Got it. Decentralized GMing also a neat concept that I recall being mentioned here but that bears more examination.
I don't have much experience with GMless games, but I like the idea.
I think it works better in larger groups than the me-and-Trogdor I usually have.
In Fate, I sometimes ask players to narrate the results of their successes.
But Trogdor is happiest when I'm the one with most of the control over the world outside his character.
(Know your players!)
@BESW I'll examine it. Maybe go for a concept that I could try out with Fate Accelerated for a more traditional approach but see if I could get others interested in the Do method.
And very true!
I'm not sure I want to take Do's diceless method for my game.
In Do it results in consulting a book a lot.
You have a different outcome for every possible permutation of "How many stones do I have?" and "Am I in trouble?"
Wow, speaking of Mendelian outcome-trees.
12:16 AM
Instead, I'm thinking about rolling two dice --a help die and a hinder die-- and comparing the result to the opponent's help and hinder dice.
If you tie, you both help or hinder as appropriate.
That sounds reasonable.
It means things like "I both help AND hinder you!" are possible.
Four dice total = twenty-four variations of outcome, right, possibly minimizing OR maximizing both a player's positive and negative contributions at the same time, which could be hilarious.
Specialist mechanics could include rerolling, presetting one die to 3, swapping dice, etc.
More, because each die pairing has three potential outcomes.
(reading some of the Do page intro) I bet Ursula Vernon would totally dig this.
12:21 AM
And would write some completely fabulous letters.
brief moment for fangirl squee
Do is a rather amazing conceit.
The multiple worlds premise even allows for overlap on homebrew or 3rd party settings, very handy.
12:25 AM
But despite being able to go somewhere totally different every session, the kind of story you tell seems pretty limited.
Admittedly, there doesn't seem to be much room for the blatantly chaotic evil character...well...blatantly chaotic, maybe.
It's not the kind of game most groups would want to play for months on end, I think.
Not that I'm fond of chaotic evil characters in most gameplay, they tend to be a giant pain in the ass, so I'm not weeping at that.
Right. The scope of the stories could increase, the helping/hindering could have larger consequences, but everyone goes back to the temple at the end of the adventure anyway, so it wouldn't have visceral impact unless the temple itself were affected.
Actually, the conclusion of any character's story is the decision to return to the temple or to live in the wider world.
Does the choice to live in the wider world mean a character 'retires' from the game?
12:29 AM
At the end of any session, you choose if you want to play the character next time.
If so, the colour of stones you chose during that session determines whether their "help" stat changes or their "trouble" stat changes.
If not, the colour of stone you picked most over all that character's sessions determines if they become a monk or leave the temple forever.
So that's the leveling analogue, they get better at helping, troubling, or both, okay.
Not better, different.
You change HOW you help or HOW you get in trouble.
There's no mechanical advancement in the game at all.
Only change.
Definitely have to see this in play.
12:31 AM
Remember, there's no dice, so there's no modifier to a roll.
You always succeed at helping whenever the stones let you help, and you always get in trouble when the stones say you do.
I can run you through a quick bit right now, if you like.
@waxeagle [poke]
Will @waxeagle be playing?
No, but Wax can unfreeze the Back Room.

 The Back Room: Live Tabletop Games

A space for online tabletop gaming.
Oh, nice.
Unfortunately it's unlikely the Eagle is nearby right now.
Hm. Alternative venues? Though I don't want to make you feel obligated in any way.
12:36 AM
Give me a few minutes to wrap up some stuff and see if wax comes alive, then I'll make a new room.
I'll continue reviewing the Do rules in the meantime then ;)
It will be my first time playing.
A learning experience all around--hopefully it might give you some thoughts on perfecting your FiM system.
what are y'all talking about playing?
backroom is thawed
Thanks @waxeagle!
It's this
12:40 AM
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple.
@BESW snowday #2 haven't left the house since Monday :(
@BESW ooh, I'm intrigued. Let me see if the missus was planning to go to bed early. If so I'll be available in a bit
I'll be back around 8
And what time is it now?
12:43 AM
Heh; quarter to six here.
So maybe a quarter to eight @waxeagle time?
@Metamaterialgirl yeah, sorry, 12 minutes from now
Cool :) We're rolling dice in the back room like speakeasy gamblers.
[lifts head] Mrr?
@Problematic Pilgrims of the Flying Temple game in the back room.
@BESW Family just walked in, but I'll be observing.
12:57 AM
1:19 AM
Hey folks.
@AlexP hiya
1:37 AM
hey just posted a dnd next question if anyone wants to look
2:16 AM
@BESW I have a ready boot if it's needed, just say the word.
@waxeagle Duly noted, but a quick word about game-observer etiquette should be tried first.
if it persists.
2:34 AM
ohhhh yes it works
@Metool what works
(iPad browser)
I've found it to be nice, specially when pages know enough to serve the full version of a page rather than mobile
Well, I was having trouble signing in here from my phone.
2:48 AM
in The Back Room: Live Tabletop Games, 1 min ago, by Metamaterial girl
"Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned how to body surf on the earwax of allergic space whales. Pics included."
Our Pilgrims of the Flying Temple game was a success, I think.
3:04 AM
...I think that was actually the first GMless game I've ever played.
You played the part of the One Who Knows What They're Doing, so we still kind of had one.
But it would work just fine without a single person in that role, so yeah, it was a new one for me too.
Conversation bookmarked:

Pilgrims of the Flying Temple demo run

2 hours ago, 1 hour 59 minutes total – 307 messages, 6 users, 3 stars

Bookmarked 12 secs ago by BESW

So does the game come with an extensive assortment of letters that are meant to be the bulk of the starting hooks? Or players might homebrew as desired and bring along some options for each game?
There are over a dozen letters in the book, and guidelines for writing your own.
It's also suggested that playing the same letter twice can produce very different games.
They also have a set of eight symbols which indicate the kinds of trouble a letter implies, from romance to violence to legal issues.
The idea being that it should be easy to choose or avoid certain topics as the group wishes.
Nice, so the tone of the game can be customized via the choice of letters to a given group dynamic.
3:15 AM
(Do is designed for ages 12 and up, and this means it's very solicitous of peoples' feelings.)
There's a younger-kids version called Happy Birthday Robot which runs on the same kind of mechanic.
Heh, technically so's D&D, and that never stopped a character from dying messily.
Yes, well, one of D&D's long-standing attractions for the young is that it's presented as being for older people.
Including (and perhaps especially) the language it used.
I suspect one reason RAW/RAI debates are so intense is that for many D&D was their first introduction to that level of vocabulary and syntax.
Sorry, RAW/RAI?
Rules As Written vs Rules As Intended.
D&D has always had a problem with the rules not being written especially carefully.
A very interesting point.
3:19 AM
@BESW It's a lot of work to make that many rules actually coherent and consistent.
The actual purpose and effect of a spell may be contradicted or confused within its own description, or the effect might be very clear but not seem to make sense in the context of the rest of the game's rules and ethos.
D&D: Encouraging a generation of young etymologists and grammarians onto the path of rules lawyerdom since 1974.
@AlexP Granted.
...or possibly the other way around.
@Metamaterialgirl It also slips into issues of authorial authority which are fraught with unstated assumptions about the nature of creativity.
3:23 AM
I've run into that a lot myself, with the BF, whose patterns of creative thinking are so influenced by the D&D style that it's sometimes hard to remind him that 'this is a world WE'RE creating, we can do what we want' during setting construction discussions.
@Metamaterialgirl I believe someone starred something I said about that last night.
Ah, yes.
16 hours ago, by BESW
"No, we must adhere to this poorly-designed and internally inconsistent world inspired by what pop culture a half-dozen guys liked 40 years ago, whether or not it makes sense or we like it."
Yes, that one that just got an extra star. :D
and now, with each new message, the chat scrolls from top to bottom
It does?
@Metool I hate it when that happens. Try refreshing?
3:25 AM
Huh, never ran into that glitch myself. Sorry @metool.
Every now and then the chat goes a little catawampus.
@BESW, I do hope you have a ton of fun with your system and concept. Heading off for dinner for now--ta, all :)
@Metamaterialgirl Thanks for running it with me! Take care.
@BESW The best part is how so much of it is based on "This happened in a book / on TV once." I'm pretty sure if Kolchak chopped the rakshasa with an axe, it would have a whole paragraph about how axes kill it special or something.
3:36 AM
Q: It's time for a "War on Poverty"

Oblivious SageI think we need to do something about Vow of Poverty, overpowered or underpowered. Is it an essentially acceptable question? Yes. Has it attracted some good answers? Absolutely. The problem is that every Tom, Dick, & Fistbeard Beardfist that wanders past feels the need to chip in with their two c...

@AlexP Yeah. There's no mystical primary source which it makes sense to adhere to unless you believe in the cult of personality which says that the particular combination of pop culture tidbits Gygax & Friends (airs Saturday mornings at 9!) liked is somehow better than yours.
I'm just surprised there aren't special rules for how to shoot a dragon with an arrow.
Because even Gygax thought Bard the Archer was cheap.
But, you get my point.
3:50 AM
stupid lvl 20 commoners, those guys are jerks
High-level commoners = escort missions with useless but non-squishy clients.
they take longer to Burninate mostly
Kind of like when I had a group of level 2 3.5 PCs escort a level 12 wizard who couldn't use spellbooks or magic items.
cause if it was a fighter or a barb having no weapons would not be quite as bad for them
plus you would have to seriously hand-wave why they didn't grab one from a dead enemy after the first fight
but lvl 12 wizard with no spells still has decent hp compared to lvl 2 people
Urgh. Anybody here have experience with the Android File Transfer app?
4:01 AM
@BESW nope
I think my Media Storage is bugging out.
@BESW my phone guy tells me that this happens from time to time
When I use the File Transfer program to connect to my Mac, it rapidly and repeatedly connects and disconnects.
I've tried force stop and clearing data/cache.
I am getting a lot of bits on searches for the problem.
can you pop the card out and feed it to your mac?
No, it's a Kobo Arc not a phone.
This is weird because I had no problems for some time and now this issue is very regular.
I'll see if I can get better results with a PC...
@waxeagle If you use Do with your group, please let me know about it.
4:13 AM
@BESW will do.
@BESW so there's the original Do and the Fate Do, right? Are they significantly different?
I don't know much about Fate of the Flying Temple yet.
@BESW it's not out yet, right?
> Do: Fate of the Flying Temple: The system design is in playtesting right now (including in a classroom or two), running through til April 15th. Once we get there we'll be able to chart the rest of its course; could be we don't need much extra work, could be we need a fair amount, depending on the playtest feedback.
(Quote from Kickstarter email as of 8 days ago.)
Ah, I see, I thought it was out already.
4:18 AM
> In Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, the Flying Temple has mysteriously drifted away from its home in the center of the sky. It's up to the Pilgrims to explore the worlds of Do to uncover the mystery. Along the way, they must raise a young dragon left behind after the temple's disappearance.
so, same world, sounds like a significantly different game
(Changed the link to the blog post.)
@Magician You've seen our Do game of a couple hours ago, right?
I've seen that it occurred. Haven't read it yet.
First time any of us played it. I was the only one who'd read more than a synopsis.
Went very well, I think, especially since I'd need never played a gmless game before.
...damnable mobile keyboard....
4:36 AM
Pilgrims of the Flying Temple.
I think I can reflavor it as a pony game without much trouble.
thought you were not using a specific system for that
Not the pony game I want to make, but a pony game nonetheless.
4:40 AM
you are downright obsessed with this
no, that is it
My RPG group is composed of three bronies. There's a certain inevitability.
5:05 AM
...Michael Gross (Burt Gummer from Tremors) is the voice of Terry's father in Batman Beyond.
me you and Marc?
I suppose at this point you are right
And I'm sure we could rope Ben and Raycia into it if either of them ever manage to get regular.
have not seen anyone else show up since the middle of last year
5:09 AM
Ben's girlfriend.
maybe I met Raycia, but I don't remember
You might've met her at a cast party.
ah ok,... I think at that after show party thing
memory jogged
Ben seems ok with bronies, but I am not sure it is entirely appropriate to rope him into that if he isn't one himself
We'll see.
Fate-based games are going to be the bread and butter of our group.
5:12 AM
Do is more of an episodic one-shot kind of game.
5:26 AM
hmm this window was on an infinite loop of loading
had to close it and re open it
@Metamaterialgirl Reminds me of a friend who ran a game at a con once, aimed at non-roleplayers, to introduce them to the hobby. Their behavior was consistently saner than the one ex-player in the group, who would always attack, always check for traps, always charge in - and this was a modern-day police-detective game!
But his expectations of What Happens In A Roleplaying Game were shaped by a tragic, tragic case of Early Onset D&D.
Also, good morning.
Early Onset D&D, I would guess at least half the people who ever come into this chat suffer from that
and some people who come in here are doing so completely accidentally
@AlexP Thanks.
@Lord_Gareth, @lisardggY [wave]
5:41 AM
Kill me
Yay Brian killed the VoP question with his mighty mod powers!
Let us celebrate with a mighty festival, wherein we shall sacrifice many goats and cattle to Lord Brian
6:05 AM
It's funny how much more rigorous every SE is than SO itself.
SO is just so high-traffic the questions never really get "curated" much.
1 hour later…
7:10 AM
@AlexP That's true. The sheer amount of traffic there makes it impossible to curate properly.
The massively different dynamic of SO compared to all other SO-begotten sites is fascinating.
@BESW o hai there.
@lisardggY [wave]
I am hashing out a Fate hack for an alternative to large stress tracks on bosses.
7:43 AM
Cost: the vampire permanently loses all physical stress boxes.
Benefit: Because of my unholy toughness and reflexes, I am immune to all physical stress unless I am surprised by an attack with a wooden stake while a prayer is being recited. Exposure to sunlight deals me 2 shifts of stress each round at the start of my turn.
oh, for a second I thought none of that mattered
then I remembered consequences
The idea is that instead of multiple attacks, younstack multiple effects which allow one effective attack.
Some effects are easier to place or remove.
8:07 AM
Spotify now played me an ad for antimicrobial, moisture-repellent designer underwear, with the claim that it will help me get laid. blink
If microbes and moisture are what is preventing you from getting laid, a new pair of undies simply isn't going to cut it.
well, also
that will only factor in when you already got your "laid" prospect into the bedroom with you
unless you take everything but your underwear off in public all the time, in which case everyone hates you anyway
but yeah, if you don't bother to bathe/shower, and keep yourself clean, especially in critical areas, you have bigger problems
9:06 AM
Hi ash-lizard, what's new ?
Breathlessly waiting for the weekend to start.
Especially since it starts with a good friend's wedding this evening.
nice !
congratulations from a perfect stranger to your friend
Thank you. :)
Though the wedding would have been more dramatic if they hadn't been living together for the past six years already. :)
9:24 AM
The meaning of the wedding has changed since a couple of generations, obviously
I think it's still a big step in a relationship
It is.
9:37 AM
not that it doesn't still happen in some places, but weddings used to be between people who had never met each other until the day of in many places
so at least some of the changes in meaning are good
Or at least, as the first large step after "going out". Cohabitation as an intermediate step wasn't as common.
Of course, in their case the "wedding" step would have occurred several years ago if not for some legal issues, and some family issues.
yeah, but I mean literal arranged marriages
in those, people being married often never met until it had already been decided
or it was decided for them when they were kids
I personally doubt I would be able to handle that
Jewish religious separates betrothal from actual marriage. Betrothal is signified by an exchange of "something of value" - usually a ring, but can be as little as a single coin, and allows parents to accept that token (and the subsequent betrothal) on behalf of their daughter, even before she is born.
No, betrothal isn't a good translation for what I'm trying to say.
I don't doubt it differs (or in some cases used to differ) from culture to culture
I just mean that even just a couple hundred years ago, arranged marriages and the like were a lot more common
9:44 AM
personally I am glad that they have started to decline
I don't see not having that kind of choice for yourself as any way to live
@trogdor more like a couple of decades, like before WWII. In France, anyway.
I was kinda trying to blanket the general amount of time
if I include the whole world, it is close to impossible to be very accurate
Not to mention the fact that there are parts of the world where it's still very common.
fair enough
Its decline can be linked to the rather Western concepts of individualism.
9:53 AM
@lisardggY I believe I did also mention that
Yes, yes. I'm with you.
@lisardggY IMHO mostly to the improvement of the women rights (but maybe that is linked to said individualism)
well, I don't actually think even most men have the choice during most places arranged marriages
@Trajan I believe it's tied to that, since it presupposes an element of freedom in choosing your fate, of the importance of individual empowerment.
In many cases before that, marriage was a political or economic action, on both sides.
as I understand it it is the parents of the 2 people involved who make the arraingements
9:57 AM
@trogdor no but it was (and still is, while less so) less uncommon for the husband to... enjoy life outside of the marriage than it was/is for the wife. The wife was treated as a husband's property by society
(no bank account, no job, at least not without husband's consent)
it is imbalanced in that way
The legal doctrine for that is called Coverture, and is still present in little ways in our legal system.
as have been many things when it comes to women's rights
that is slowly getting better, but slowly is the key word
10:00 AM
Interestingly enough (and pulling this wayward thread of conversation back on topic), one of the biggest problems I have with roleplaying in historical settings (whether it's medieval Europe or biblical-era Israel, to name two recent ones for me) is the anachronism present in many of our basic assumptions.
like how women of the general medieval era would not be allowed to become adventurers?
It's not only really hard to try to see the world as a medieval person would, it's also that if we were to try to represent the world using those parameters, it would be alien enough to alienate us.
@trogdor Most wouldn't have been allowed to leave their villages, though it's the exceptions that are the interesting ones, male as well as female.
And the "Medieval People of Color" blog is a fascinating view of all those exceptions, at least as far as ethnic diversity is concerned.
or own anything. "Do you husband know you borrowed his belt of might hurling ?"
- Kudbert's last words
10:04 AM
But mainly its coming from a couple of years of study into history and philosophy of science recently, that I see how players will intuitively apply modes of reasoning which weren't common in those times.
Because most players didn't study history and philosophy. And it would be very depressing.
It would.
Also, lunch. Woo.
That said, in a world where women can be as potent sorcerers as men, maybe the balance would have shifter earlier than mid-XIXth
Lunch not here yet. Poo.
In a world where women can be as potent sorcerers as men, many other medieval-inspired assumptions would go out the window. :)
10:12 AM
That is, of course, a different kettle of fish. Again, studying Science, Technology and Society makes me cringe sometimes at invisible assumptions in fantasy settings. "Access to magical modes of transportation and refrigeration would radically change the economic dependency on locally-grown produce and make the pseudo-feudal system untenable! Aaah!". And then I tell myself to chill down and accept the fantasy setting premise, and relax.
My SOD muscles overpower my analytical instincts. :)
As a player it's not too hard for me to suspend my disbelief, but as a DM, when I write a story... I find it hard to make it plausible without over analyzing (which lead to giving up writing more often than writing a good plausible story)
I have a player who studied history and he writes fantastic scenarios for his players, but he's a pain in the... when he's a player.
Yes. The enemy of "good" is "perfect".
I enjoyed the conversation we had here some time ago about how the setting works if you assume all high casters are either totally self-absorbed scholars or busy fighting each other and the other major powers of the multiverse.
No magic is reserved for mundane life improvement.
Eberron, of course, is an example of how to solve this problem with the opposite approach.
@Trajan I'd love to run some Weird War 2 stuff, but I have a player who is so anal with his war knowledge that it would be impossible as he'd point out every mistake in the stats of vehicles etc
10:24 AM
@Phil There's always this guy.
Maybe when Atomic Robo RPG comes out, it'll be obviously silly enough....
It's frustrating, because otherwise he's such a nice guy :)
wooooo Atomic Robo!
A couple of years ago (while SOPA was on the news) I wanted to do a Pathfinder with the assumption : "What if... Internet ?"
I've known those guys. If they really can't help themselves - their SOD gets too damaged - then you really have to push things so far out that their real-world knowledge is no longer applicable.
10:26 AM
trouble is, that then excludes a mass of excellent settings
Then you slowly wean them back in.
I've got no time for that kind of hijinx
I run games to have fun, not to practice social engineering :p
But you wanna have Weird War II fun! So sometimes you gotta work on that.
nah, I have a massive list of settings I'd love to run and WW2 is only one of them. The biggest issue is not enough time to run all the things I want to
RPGs are social engineering.
10:33 AM
no, they can be but don't have to be
Whether you approach it on purpose or not, RPGs are all about training individuals to act in certain ways.
Group pressure, repeated reward/punishment enforcement....
again I would say that some games can be like that, but they don't have to be
I think part of it for me is that I have a regular group of players who I am used to and they are used to the way I run my games
I feel like it just happens. Systems and social groups create an environment and a series of presures that encourage and discourage various behaviors.
You and your group have reached an equilibrium of sorts, then.
I call that the effect of successful social pressures to harmonize the group.
10:40 AM
Using that description, any ongoing social activity is an exercise in implicit social engineering.
Pretty much.
which is an extremely broad definition
Any definition which may even possibly be scaled down to an rpg group is extremely broad.
10:54 AM
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