July 14th, 2006



Really.  I could just.
I've listened to Paul (my room mate) talk about the NeverWinter Nights server that he RPs on, and I keep having this urge to slap a number of the people on the server (and potentially him as well).

Try this little soap opera.
This girl his character is interested in gets apprenticed to a half-dragon (where you can be a vampire, drow, or half dragon, and there's no level adjustment for any of these, so go nuts with the funky weird races), who wants to train her so he can get into her pants.  He and the girl are a couple, but he's not allowed to do anything with her, because the half-dragon has this weird curse on him that he needs someone dedicated only to him for a period of time (oh whine f-in whine).

This half dragon is cursed by his father, a silver dragon who had fallen in love with a mortal woman.  When she was killed, he went evil and tried to perform a genocidal campaign.  Bahamut got ticked off, and turned him into a shadow dragon.  So, this shadow dragon cursed his half-dragon child with his anger.

Now, this is where I went guh?  Bahamut turned a silver dragon into a shadow dragon as a punishment?  He allowed the dragon to stick around and curse his son?  And why hasn't this half-dragon had a remove curse or prayer done to remove this?

(And I get told 'oh, this is for RP', which I respond with 'the tools are there.  F-in use them.' and 'but Bahamut is a Lawful Good Dragon God')

So, anyway.  Things get sorted out, there's some angst, some drama, and so forth, and Paul's character hooks up with her.  She's pregnant with the half-dragon's child (yeah, big surprise).  They get ready for a wedding in the heart of a druid's grove.

So, while the ceremony is about to start, a lich comes in with a bunch of skeletal archers.  A lich walks into a druid grove in the middle of a wedding ceremony.

"AHA!" says the lich.  "I am teh EVIL!  The girl has LEET POWERZ that I must have even though she is only 7th level (or something) and I must have her SOUL and the soul of her UNBORN CHILD because I am teh EVIL!"

(There was no reason for a lich to show up.  Really.  None.  "But Paul," I said, "Where the hell were the druids?"  Paul replies, "Oh, they were dying, the skeletal archers were killing them off."  I responded, "But Paul, this is a druid grove.  They should be wiping the walls with these things.  Skeletal archers have like, less than 1 HD."  Paul replies, "Yes, but these were stronger ones.")

So, this evil lich walks into a druid's grove in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of skeletal archers who were trained by Robin Hood's Revenant, so they could wipe out 6th to 12th level druids.

So, the lich stabs the girl in the chest with his staff of soul-sucking, which has a crystal on it to devour souls, and kills the child so he has the kid's soul too.  (I'm willing to let this slide, though I really don't think a lich would show up in person).  Paul's character shatters the crystal, hoping to free his girlfriend, but instead it blows up, scattering the pieces 'to the four corners of the kingdom', and shattering her soul with it.  The girl wakes up, amnesiac, with no knowledge of herself or her past.

("Souls... shatter?" I ask, thinking that there's no rules for such in the game, and that this would really be a 'fixed, all better' or 'lame, she died, resurrection!' sort of event.  Paul shrugs, "This is for RP!")

And now, the hero goes on a quest to get all these soul fragments so he can restore his girlfriend's memory, but first has to hunt down an oracle to get this eye to do it with.

("You know, you could just talk to a cleric or mage to get this fixed, right?" I say.  "No cleric of high enough level." Paul replies.  And I'm thinking but Paul's character is 17th level in just four months of playing.  There's no 18th to 20th level Cleric here?  Paul says clerics aren't too popular.  What about the NPCs?! I wonder.  As to mages.  There's one 24th level NPC mage.  She has Wish.  She's off talking to Bahamut right now, but will get back later.)

So, while he's questing, the half-dragon SOB shows up.  OH!  I am the ASS!  I'm going to tell this amnesiac girl about all this horrible stuff that's happened to her, and the huge drama that Paul's Character and mine had with her!!  She gets all upset.  Then I'm going to say she's not really the girl I loved, and that Paul's character is actually going to kill her by destroying her personality!  She gets more upset, and goes to try to suicide, and Paul's character has to stop her.

Oh, le drama!

(So I ask, "Paul, have you killed the bastard yet?"  Paul says, "No.  He's stronger than me."  (that whole no Level Adjustment thing).  "So you get some friends and team up to kick his butt, like PCs normally do."  Paul smiles, "That 24th level mage is a friend of mine, I plan on getting her help.")

What I didn't say is, so why not wait for her to get back and then have this girl restored with the help of your FRIEND?!

Because the answer would be 'for the story!'

Look.  This is D&D, isn't it?  There are tools at your disposal to deal with a number of issues.  Why not use them?  Yeah, yeah, I know, this shouldn't bother me, but he likes to talk about this game a lot.  I have to hear it.  Which means I have to hear about the idiots who play on this place, and who think high drama and angst = Good RP.

Personally, I'm sick and tired of angst.  In an RP setting, if there's a method to fix a problem, then use it.  Don't beat around the bush, don't go wandering the four corners of the globe, don't waste everyone's time and energy.  Use the brain cells, use the rules, and go deal with the issue.

I've also heard Paul complain about this angst sometimes, and I'm sick of hearing this sort of thing too.  I've heard people complain about online RP and how 'things aren't going the way I want'.  I'm sick of that too.

Seriously.  If you've got a problem, you deal with it.  Even if it might seem 'overkill' or 'not dramatic', deal with it.  Don't angst about it, don't let people dick you around and ignore the rules so they can tell 'Teh Story' when they've obviously not thought things through, and just deal with it.  Kick butt.  Take names.

Really?  I don't want to hear complaining about IC events anymore.  If someone can't deal with it, then tough cookies for them.  If they have the means and can do something, do it, or shut the hell up.  If they want to do a song and dance for 'the story', I don't want to hear it.
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Greetings, everyone. The creative director of my studio kindly pointed me this way, and I see now that I've missed out on a lot of great discussion.

My name is Sean Patrick Fannon. By day, I work for the Game Manufacturer's Association, helping to run the Origins International Game Expo, among other things.

My long-standing passion, however, is as a game writer and designer. I am currently working on Shaintar: Immortal Legends, a Savage Worlds setting to be published by Talisman Studios.

Now, I present all this in the hopes that you will think of me not as an upstart, but as what I really am - an Old School Dicer with delusions of grandeur. I want to change the world - at least the RPG world.

I would really, really enjoy having your input into my grand schemes.

If you are interested, the following links will start you on the path -

The initial "teaser."

A "flashback" to 1997 and my time in the online industry.

The beginning of the Manifesto.

The first of my "Presumptions, Assumptions, Assertions, and Ideas."

This morning's installment.

Please don't see this as spam. I genuinely want your collective input here. I am overcome with a desire to bring all the tools I've collected over the years to bear with the goal of making the magic happen again, and maybe bringing old players back to the tables while recruiting new blood in to refresh us all.

A fool's errand? Perhaps.

And I am just the fool for the job.

At any rate, I am glad to know of this community, and I look forward to reading more and getting to know you folks better.