Is it just me, or has this forum stalled?

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
User avatar
Clovenhoof
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:32 am
Location: Germania Res Publica Foederalis

Postby Clovenhoof » Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:20 pm

This thread is really taking a number of curious turns. ^^

I define my Conan game as Heroic Fantasy, with emphasis on Heroic. On the one hand, yes, they are mortal and wouldn't get away with everything. But on the other hand, I want to have a game full of hilarious stunts and daring boldness. You don't get that if the players are constantly afraid of character death. I try to convey to my players that cool stunts are more likely to get them to the goal than overly cautious wimping.

Besides, players can't read a GM's mind. Sometimes you want them to flee, sometimes you want them to fight. Players don't see everything through your eyes so they may come to a different conclusion. If that happens, don't be afraid to tell them OOC. By default, they will automatically assume that you want them to overcome any opposition you throw at them.
Have I got a surprise for you. Come closer, I'll show you what it is.
Krushnak
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:59 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby Krushnak » Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:56 pm

I define my Conan game as Heroic Fantasy, with emphasis on Heroic. On the one hand, yes, they are mortal and wouldn't get away with everything. But on the other hand, I want to have a game full of hilarious stunts and daring boldness. You don't get that if the players are constantly afraid of character death. I try to convey to my players that cool stunts are more likely to get them to the goal than overly cautious wimping.
Exactly. That's how i run my game and the pc's love it. Make me grin like a fool with the description of how cool and awesome this thing your gonna do is and ill help bend the rules to allow you to do it. but dont look for pity from me when it all goes terribly wrong and you take a swandive off a cliff while on fire. i'll be too busy laughing.
No one would do that in the real world.
and since when is Hyboria or the Forgotten realms the real world?
User avatar
Majestic7
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Finland

Postby Majestic7 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:02 pm

I don't think anyone here has said that the way damage is handled in d20 Conan is bad or that hit point in general suck. However, that kind of system simply does not fit to all genres, unlike what has been claimed in here. In heroic fantasy it is okay. In realistic modern horror game it is not, so other systems are better for that. D20 Conan HP system is anyway much better than basic D&D, since massive damage kill the stupid.
Campaign log & house rules at Obsidian Portal:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/conan-ae
Der Rote Baron
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:51 pm
Location: Deutschland

Postby Der Rote Baron » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:49 pm

Clovenhoof wrote:This thread is really taking a number of curious turns. ^^

I define my Conan game as Heroic Fantasy, with emphasis on Heroic. On the one hand, yes, they are mortal and wouldn't get away with everything. But on the other hand, I want to have a game full of hilarious stunts and daring boldness. You don't get that if the players are constantly afraid of character death. I try to convey to my players that cool stunts are more likely to get them to the goal than overly cautious wimping.

Besides, players can't read a GM's mind. Sometimes you want them to flee, sometimes you want them to fight. Players don't see everything through your eyes so they may come to a different conclusion. If that happens, don't be afraid to tell them OOC. By default, they will automatically assume that you want them to overcome any opposition you throw at them.
I don't want my players' characters to sneak around and be afraid of their own shadows - I want heroic actions, too.

But if I describe the warrior chieftain of a Black Kingdom tribe as looking like he is made of obsidian, moving with the prowess of a jungle cat and having the reputation of being deadly with his spear, then don't look at him like: "Yeah, okay. Let's fight. and if I am low on hitpoints that superduper black barbarian with suddenly be amazingly clumsy with his spear."
No, not in my game he won't.

And if he is low on hitpoints himself he WILL start to disengage (unless he has an in-character deathwish-flaw or someting like that). And if you keep on and push forward because "Hey, this is MY KILL!" he will defend himself to THE BEST of his abilities and if that means that he crits - well: He crits!

We had that thing during our last session: Pcs were fighting tough-as-nails Acheron soldiers in a lost and forgotten settlement in the mountains of the Boder Kingdom and the last one of them - the leader of the group - suddenly found himself surrounded by the pcs.
So he used Web of Death to defend himself and wanted to disengage.

So far the fight was quite honorable: The battle was hard, the Acheronians fought with bills and killed two out of three of the pcs' horse (what are gonna do if you are a footsoldier and have to fight cavalry?) and dealt out quite some damage, but the pcs were quite successful in killing them one after the other.

Left was the Acheron leader. So why not let him get away? Okay, could get some more help, but what about Civilized Code of Honor (or even the Barbarian one?) and let an honorable and good fighter get away with a promise (and gain the possibility of a reoccurring villain/ opponent in the campiagn)?

Nope, we kill'em all! Okay, so here comes our one-hit-one-kill-machine: The Zingarian Pirate/Thief!

With Improved Feint, Bluff to boot and a sneak attacking Arming Swotrd he has killed many a man with just one hit. And - let's count - yep; The Acheronian is out of attacks of Opportunity!

Problem with that: He wasn't. So, Feint or not, the Pirate took a Web of Death Opportunity Attack with a crit that took him out of the fight and almost out of the campaign.

I DID NOT PUNISH the player for attacking. I have no problems with my npc being slaughtered by ingenuity, bloodthirstyness, pure chance, superior fighting power or tactics or any mixture of said elements.

But if the nps is in Web of Death-mode, well, he is spinning a web of death around him. The maneuver is named righfully so!

So, be heroic, but that does not mean fight every fight as if it's a big joke. My campaign is impartial with the players having the advantage of Fate Points, usually better tactics (my gamers aren't dumb and I have to take care of many npcs, not just one character) and often better equipment.
And I usually like to use npcs that are a little less powerful than you would think, but I then play them for all they are worth!

In my oppinion - as a player, too BTW - it is a greater accomplishment if I really overcome the opposition than to have the gm "give" ithe victory to me.

And it is a GAME, not a story. And in games there are rules. and sometimes you lose.
User avatar
Style
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:25 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby Style » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:57 pm

Majestic7 wrote:I don't think anyone here has said that the way damage is handled in d20 Conan is bad or that hit point in general suck.
Don't speak for all of us! ;)
Krushnak wrote:and since when is Hyboria or the Forgotten realms the real world?
My point is that I would like at least a tiny shred of realism in my Conan game. Your opinion may differ.
LilithsThrall
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:05 am

Postby LilithsThrall » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:01 pm

[quote="Der Rote Baron] <snip>[/quote]

I've not GMed Conan, but it sounds like one way to handle this is the way I prefer in the games I do GM - named vs. unnamed characters.
Players know that they can pull all kinds of stunts against unnamed characters, but if they ever hear the name of a character, they *know* its going to be a tough fight if they choose to fight that character. So, they get a little of both - they get all the great over the top action of fighting minions and they get the fierce battles to the death when they fight the big bad evil guys. And, what's more, they get to know the difference between the two types ahead of time. Its interesting to watch their (the players') eyes light up when they find out that somebody they're meeting has a name.
Der Rote Baron
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:51 pm
Location: Deutschland

Postby Der Rote Baron » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:55 pm

That is also a good way to do it - the Feng Shui style of gaming!

I will consider that - maybe in the sense of "nameless mooks cannot crit" or something.

Will think about it. As long as it is not simple "Oh, you just believed you could get away with it - so I let you have the cake and eat it (again)!" I am fine.
User avatar
Majestic7
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Finland

Postby Majestic7 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:14 pm

Style wrote: My point is that I would like at least a tiny shred of realism in my Conan game. Your opinion may differ.
I think massive damage rules fill that gap, together with the relatively low defense progpression. Even a level 20 soldier can be taken down by a lucky crossbow bolt that becomes a critical hit. Usually I'm the highest voice for realistic systems - I like grim and gritty - but I think d20 Conan has an acceptable compromise between heroic fantasy and mortal heroes. However, I'd sure be interested in playing Hyborian game with some much more merciless system such as Harn. I just don't have the patience to start learning - and buying! - another game system, so I'll stick to Mongoose with my GM needs.
Campaign log & house rules at Obsidian Portal:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/conan-ae
User avatar
Style
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 432
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:25 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby Style » Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:47 pm

LilithsThrall wrote:I've not GMed Conan, but it sounds like one way to handle this is the way I prefer in the games I do GM - named vs. unnamed characters.
Players know that they can pull all kinds of stunts against unnamed characters, but if they ever hear the name of a character, they *know* its going to be a tough fight if they choose to fight that character. So, they get a little of both - they get all the great over the top action of fighting minions and they get the fierce battles to the death when they fight the big bad evil guys. And, what's more, they get to know the difference between the two types ahead of time. Its interesting to watch their (the players') eyes light up when they find out that somebody they're meeting has a name.
This is actually a system feature of Savage Worlds. Named characters are called Wild Cards and un-named mooks are Extras. The rules for them are great. Just another beautiful feature of a beautiful system.
User avatar
Hervé
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1084
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:07 am
Location: MarsEye

Postby Hervé » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:06 am

When I don't use the D20 system in my Conan games (that is most of the time) I also make the difference between villains and goons, an idea I borrowed in 7Sea. Howardian PCs should be able to slash their way through a horde of lowly cultists. Getting rid of a powerful undead sorcerer should be another matter.
I talk to planets, baby.
Harlock
Weasel
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:29 am
Location: Port Hoop, Ontario, Canada (aka BoonyVille)
Contact:

Postby Harlock » Thu May 08, 2008 3:50 pm

Hi all,

theres a few reasons I haven't been here. I mentioned it before but I live in a terribly small place and I'm the only gamer for 50 miles in any direction, whats worse the places I used to be able to find other players are long long gone.

Another thing is very few stores carry rpg's anymore, even chapters/indigo has been cutting back drastically, no conan stuff there for over a year. Of the other places I get my stuff theres one small shop in town thats dropping rpg's entirely (poor sales) and a few others in toronto where I lived where the selection has gone from a whole large wall to 1 or 2 very small shelves. None of them seems to get new stock either. For example in the campaign I been trying to start up I been wanting to make use of the "scrolls of skelos" supplement, I can't even get it, anywhere, nor any other conan material I don't already have which isn't that much.

It makes me wonder maybe not just the forum has stalled but perhaps the whole hobby is on the rocks?
User avatar
Majestic7
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Finland

Postby Majestic7 » Thu May 08, 2008 11:35 pm

Harlock wrote: It makes me wonder maybe not just the forum has stalled but perhaps the whole hobby is on the rocks?
I think niche hobbies, such as RPGs or strategy computer games, are turning more and more towards the internet as the main distribution channel. The good thing is that it is easier to get yourself some publicity through the net - and sale your little indy product in the net - than it would be through classic retail business. I think gaming stores will be turning more and more towards miniatures and CCGs, while keeping mainstream RPGs (read: D&D) in some dark corner for respect to good old times. Still, you shouldn't see this as death of roleplaying - just that the way the products are sold and marketed is becoming different from what it has used to be.
Campaign log & house rules at Obsidian Portal:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/conan-ae
Ichabod
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:42 pm

Postby Ichabod » Fri May 09, 2008 4:56 pm

On the one hand, what do you need a game store for to play RPGs? You can order stuff online - just read some of the posts here of people waiting for their Amazon orders, waiting for DriveThru RPG, or whatever. How many people play in stores?

Stores have problems with niche CCGs as well as the players often order online, but there's much more of a reason to play in stores than to play RPGs there (noise being a significant issue for RPing).

On the other, why play D&D when you could play WoW or any of the other online RPGs? They are a much, much more convenient way to play, from not needing to get the gang together to not even needing to have a GM.

Personally, I prefer tabletop for two reasons. I like the real social element of it, as quaint as that may seem given how nerdy RPGers are. I like the freedom of content. Playing on the computer is playing one form of RPing only (level up, get the same stuff everyone else gets, do the same stuff everyone else does) with minimal player input.

RPGs went mainstream, they just went mainstream online. Meanwhile, tabletop RPing is as niche as ever.
User avatar
Clovenhoof
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:32 am
Location: Germania Res Publica Foederalis

Postby Clovenhoof » Fri May 09, 2008 11:49 pm

Ichabod wrote:Playing on the computer is playing one form of RPing only (level up, get the same stuff everyone else gets, do the same stuff everyone else does) with minimal player input.
Yeah, and from Level 1 through 99 you'll do one and the same quest over and over again: "Gather/Kill [n] [X]" in various thinly disguised iterations. I really gave MMORPGs a try but found them so fiendishly boring and repetitive that you might as well learn the New York White Pages by heart and not miss out on suspense.

The only online RPG I played for a long time and really enjoyed was a small NWN server with about 50 active players. Everyone was really into the setting (it was a Middle Earth game) and we had some awesome roleplaying, as well as climatic battles; all controlled by really involved and passionate GMs. You'll never get that in an MMO where you enter a dungeon to get killed by two griefers named Left Nutz and Rite Nutz before your screen can update.
RPGs went mainstream, they just went mainstream online. Meanwhile, tabletop RPing is as niche as ever.
Pen&Paper is actually much more niche than it used to be until, say, 10 years ago or whenever the turning point was. I don't know about other countries, but in Germany the most widespread RPGs were printed in circulations of over 100.000 copies. Nowadays it's down to maybe 10.000. In the best case, that's owed to a much greater selection (now you don't get just 10 RPGs to choose from but well over 100), but I am afraid that there has indeed been a general decline of P&Ps, possibly in favour of CCGs and MMOs.
Have I got a surprise for you. Come closer, I'll show you what it is.
Harlock
Weasel
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:29 am
Location: Port Hoop, Ontario, Canada (aka BoonyVille)
Contact:

Postby Harlock » Sat May 10, 2008 2:51 am

Majestic7 wrote:
Harlock wrote: It makes me wonder maybe not just the forum has stalled but perhaps the whole hobby is on the rocks?
I think niche hobbies, such as RPGs or strategy computer games, are turning more and more towards the internet as the main distribution channel. The good thing is that it is easier to get yourself some publicity through the net - and sale your little indy product in the net - than it would be through classic retail business. I think gaming stores will be turning more and more towards miniatures and CCGs, while keeping mainstream RPGs (read: D&D) in some dark corner for respect to good old times. Still, you shouldn't see this as death of roleplaying - just that the way the products are sold and marketed is becoming different from what it has used to be.
Thats the whole problem, people have been leaving this hobby for years. The only people scouring the internet for it are long time gamers. Without any retail channel in the real world rpg's will go unseen, and attract no new players. The internet, as useful as it is, won't change that one bit.
User avatar
Hervé
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1084
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:07 am
Location: MarsEye

Postby Hervé » Sat May 10, 2008 6:19 am

Although the specialist games market isn't going so bad as a whole, thanks to Lord of the Rings and the World of Warcraft mass effect, paper RPGs are dying. I bet we 'll only find them in a numeric form in a couple of years from here.
It's not only a matter of change of habits of the customers as suggests Majestic7, but a deeper crisis as Harlock stated. RPGs are games for old geeks like us. Look at this forum: almost no one is under 30 and most of us are much older than this.
I run a gaming store and I can tell, there's no "new generation" of gamers.
The youngsters play WoW, CCGs or miniature games, not RPGs and without the support of local game stores they won't ever hear of them.
I also tend to think that the translation of the market on he internet won't help. Harlock stated it wonderfully:
Thats the whole problem, people have been leaving this hobby for years. The only people scouring the internet for it are long time gamers. Without any retail channel in the real world rpg's will go unseen, and attract no new players. The internet, as useful as it is, won't change that one bit.
Face it, people. We are a dying breed. Maybe Greenpeace can do something for us...
I talk to planets, baby.
User avatar
Majestic7
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Finland

Postby Majestic7 » Sat May 10, 2008 9:43 am

Hervé wrote: Face it, people. We are a dying breed. Maybe Greenpeace can do something for us...
I find this hard to believe, because I've heard it twice already, such as during nineties. Hobbies just go up and down popularity. New technology causes new challenges and if the retail processes don't adapt, they wither and die - such as what is happening to music industry. It is not piracy that is killing them but new technology and new consumer habits.

(Piracy actually has zero effect on record sales, despite lies of RIAA: http://www.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/intpr ... -12-12.pdf)

Things like virtual gametables and such will give new boost to the hobby, I'm sure. It's shape will change and the way the products are sold will change, but it won't die. Internet has given new boost to all kinds of niche stuff, like indie computer games. It has and will do the same to RPGs. Times when RPGs were almost a mainstream hobby will never, ever come back - those flocks of people go to WoW and such instead - but I really don't think the hobby will die either.
Campaign log & house rules at Obsidian Portal:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/conan-ae
Krushnak
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:59 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby Krushnak » Sat May 10, 2008 10:54 am

I dont know about rpg's dying out. local gaming store here in perth is pretty big is about 1/3rd rpg books, 1/3rd miniatures and the last 1/3rd is made up of ccg's, board games, novels and misc. theres always plenty of people in there or hanging out in the little 'gaming' room, mostly playing the ccg's but every once in awhile some one runs an intro rpg game. and theres plenty of young people buying rpg stuff, mostly d&d stuff and with the wait for 4th ed it has pretty much dried up but i expect it to pick up again when 4th ed comes out.
User avatar
Hervé
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1084
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:07 am
Location: MarsEye

Postby Hervé » Sat May 10, 2008 3:35 pm

Majestic7 wrote:
Piracy actually has zero effect on record sales
Well I don't know about this, but I wouldn't stake my life on it. Everybody can do a little personal test: How many CDs or DVDs did you buy last year, and how many illegally downloaded music or movie files did pass through your hands?
In the case of RPGs where a few hundred copies can make the difference between total failure and partial success it 's even worse and it has a real impact on the survival of smaller companies.

I do agree however on the fact that the retail process has to adapt or die as it is the case with the introduction of new technologies and consumers habits. I do fear that the paper RPG age is coming to an end.
I talk to planets, baby.
User avatar
Majestic7
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Finland

Postby Majestic7 » Sun May 11, 2008 12:36 am

Hervé wrote: Well I don't know about this, but I wouldn't stake my life on it. Everybody can do a little personal test: How many CDs or DVDs did you buy last year, and how many illegally downloaded music or movie files did pass through your hands?
In the case of RPGs where a few hundred copies can make the difference between total failure and partial success it 's even worse and it has a real impact on the survival of smaller companies.
This goes a little bit off-topic...but anecdotal evidence never compares with real studies. Besides, the point is that most of the stuff people download is the kind of stuff they'd never buy anyway - they end up buying things that they download and really like. Studies such as the one I linked back this up. Reduction in sales of music, for example or in the amount people go to movies is not the result of piracy. It is caused by fluctuation in where people put their money in to in general. Computer games, for example, net more money than movies nowadays. GTA 4 has beaten all movies ever published as the most profitable entertainment product ever, even though it was only just published. That money is away from music and movies. So I think computer games, especially MMORPGs, eat away money that used to go to RPGs. Piracy have been something to blame for the companies for 30 years or so. Home videos were told to kill movie industry - they did not. Tape recorders were said to be the death blow for the recording industry - they were not. Now p2p networks and the internet are claimed to be killing movies and music again.

What comes to really small level sales, it is possible that piracy has an effect there. The research paper I linked concludes that the possible effect of piracy in the case of popular music is within error marginal of the studies. Statistically it is zero, but it may be a few hundred copies. So if we compare this to RPG product that would normally sell, say, two thousand copies and they lose dozen sales because of piracy, does it really have an effect on how much they make? I don't know. However, the study I referred as well as other studies point out that in the case of music sales, one reason for lower sales is simply that retail stores order less copies of CDs to their storages from the companies. So one thing that pushes down sales of RPGs might be the same - it is not as much that people buy less, but that stores buy less. This includes products that never sold really, but which stores used to keep a stock about. If they don't do that anymore, it means a drop in sales in the eyes of the publisher.

I won't believe that piracy has any effect on sales of any product before independent, scientific study says so. The stuff copyright corporations say is usually just made up - they compare drop in sales and increase in downloading, then say that downloading is the cause of their losses - even when there is nothing really linking causality of those two things together.
Campaign log & house rules at Obsidian Portal:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/conan-ae

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 44 guests