July 9th, 2007

Changeling the EPIC FAIL

Myself, DrMondo and Dante Corwyn all sat down and tried the demo of Changeling the Lost.

We really really tried, very very hard.

We had our serious faces on and everything.

But we failed, we failed in the introduction to the game itself because as players we have evolved, we've come further then being told "You are the grumpy Dwarven fighter" we want to know why we are grumpy and have character motivations and stuff like that.

So when told we were trapped between the mundane world that the rather odd world of the other, we had to ask why, why couldn't we just go back to the mundane world?

I looked over my character background, Carlos a up and coming gang member from the streets and the more I read the more I just continued to think; why the heck would I go along with this?
I'd convince myself a rival gang hit me up with some LSD (that's still taking a long time to work out of my system) and go back to being me, screw the magic, screw the "power", i'll be back in the nice safe mundane world.

It got worse, we tried to find a rational explanation at all why anyone would go along with this other then, "Because it says so in the book" we pondered if our more cynical World of Darkness characters perhaps had some insight into the situation that we had just overlooked, failing to grasp right from the start the very basic concept; why.

And that's the time I almost played Changeling The Lost, i'll probably pick up the book and give it a read over but thus far i'm very far from being impressed.
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed
coffee frog

Dice Luck and Gamer Superstition

The following quote is from last week's "DM of the Rings" and is very relevant to my point:
There are a limited number of “twenties” in any given d20. That is, no matter how many times you roll a d20, you cannot roll another twenty once the supply has run out. These twenties can only be replenished by rolling a corresponding one with the same die. Thus every gamer is duty-bound to protect their supply of good rolls. If a friend rolls a twenty using your die, not only have they stolen your good roll, but they have doomed you to the extra one required to replenish the twenty.

Gamers, as a whole, are a superstitious lot, never more so then when our game's randomizers are involved.

I tend to get kharmic rubber-band luck. I roll consistantly poorly, for session after session, stretching the kharmic rubber-band as my group out-talks, out-fights, and generally out-performs my opposition. In order to make things challenging, the opposing talkers, fighters, and other performers get a little tougher, then a little tougher. That, invariably, is when the kharmic rubber-band snaps and I get a short wave of open-ends, crits, full-houses, and the players' characters can't manage to shoot the fish in the barrel as it evades too well. Then, the slack rubber-band of my dice luck slowly begins to gain tension as my rolls drop back to the bottom of the probability curve.

That being said, I don't have any qualms about lending my dice, using others' dice, or anything like that.

How about the rest of you? Do you have dice luck? Superstitious habits? Or do you shine the harsh light of probability science on the whole thing and refuse to stoop to such primitive beliefs? (And if so? Good luck.)


Discounting discounts

It's a funny day when a Supreme Court decision gets more chat on gaming forums than in the mainstream media.

The decision Leegin v. PSKS came out last week. It's ironic that a decision involving leather products can come back and influence the gaming industry, but there it is. Ryan Dancey talks about the decision here. Essentially, the decision is going to allow, on some level, for manufacturers to establish minimum sale-prices among distributors. This has been per se illegal under the Sherman Antitrust Act since a 1911 decision that Leegin reversed. For example, Company X sells 1000 units of Squirrel: The Nuttering to Distributor X at 45% below retail. Dis-X re-sells the stuff at 30% below retail because they only sell via teh IntarWebs. In the meantime, Actual Store Y, unable to compete, watches their market share (not to mention their livelihood) fall through the floor.

Personally, I think this decision is fantastic for the long-term health of the gaming industry. Internet retailers, for a myriad of reasons, contribute to making the community more insular and less available to new gamers. The other side of the coin comes from those FLGS who have to step up and seize this opportunity. If the local store, for reasons of incompetence or apathy, fails to grow the market with the tools they have at their disposal, I expect the end of the FLGS by the time I retire from the AF (about 10 years from now).

It's up to the retailer, but their chances have never been better.
Tea - Cures What Ails Ya

Stupid Question Time

Is it possible for combat in an RPG to be both fast and complex without resorting to technological aids or tons of lookup tables?

To be perfectly blunt, I've spent enough years playing videogames to be spoiled by them. I enjoy combat in console-style RPGs and tactical RPGs, but it seems to take significantly longer to resolve battles in a tabletop game, whether they're abstracted or detailed. Math can be a hurdle, but so can rafts of exceptions to basic rules.