1570 Ground Rule.

If this blog cuts off suddenly it because the storm knocked out the internet.

Patricia is not the sort to ruminate over her past mistakes. It’s all just part of the adventure. I’ve always lamented that I was never able to play much D&D. It seems like something that I would have enjoyed a lot more if I’d been able to get further in to it. The few games I did play were a lot of fun, even though we dicked around a lot and didn’t have enough people to really make it seem like a full game to me. Five seems like the ideal number in my mind. Four players and a DM. Maybe that’s from reading Knights Of The Dinner Table. Right now I can barely find the time to do the things I need to do, so contemplating finding people to play with is ridiculous.
There are other role playing games out there too. They don’t get nearly as much press, but D&D has been around forever and has a huge company behind it now. A few years ago it was a big thing in webcomics to podcast D&D sessions. The most popular ones were actually sponsored by… Hasbro I think, who owns it now? Hasbro owns the biggest nerd things at the moment if memory serves. Pok√©mon TCG, Magic, D&D, Star Wars toys, Transformers, ect. So they have money to burn on making sure the market survives.
The teen says that one of her friends plays Magic and I should ask if I ever want to play a game. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I certainly remember playing against middle aged dudes when I was in High School, so apparently that’s just how the world is. Kind of like FPS games where every age range gets in on things. There aren’t as many boundaries for age and enjoyment of things anymore. You can play video games from cradle to grave and only the most out of touch people will give you shit about it. Which says a lot more about them than you.
The other day someone posted a pic that said “clitoris? What pokemon is that?” On one of the social media things I use and it just seemed ridiculous to me. The world that created that mindset simply does not exist anymore. Nerds won the culture war. all the shit we said was awesome for decades was proven to be awesome and now no one can deny it. We’re even starting to get actual fans of things directing movies so they fully understand the franchises before they start. Maybe someday they’ll actually make a D&D movie that isn’t a stinking pile. Anything can happen in this nerdtopia.

53 Comments

Well they have plenty of good story modules they could adapt to film, if they can get it right. Part of me would love to see them do an Eberron Campaign film or TV series.

Eberron is interesting – never played in it sadly but did GM / Marshal a few GenCon Events back in the day for that campaign.

My heart though is in the old Forgotten Realms before WotC blew it up and blew chunks all over it.

Fortunately Ed Greenwood is still around at the moment to inject his personal flair for story telling. Just need someone to drop an exorcism to clean out the Hasbro boardroom for a decade or two first.

I say the main problem with Dungeons and Dragons movies is the characters… or more specifically the classes. They always use really common and uninteresting classes. No effort put into it. Me? I want to see a D&D movie with an alchemist, an artificer, a witch, and a necromancer who learned to raise the dead “so she’d have someone intelligent to talk to.”

Someone plays more Pathfinder than D&D. :P 3/4 of those classes aren’t in any D&D book but your point is valid. Why not make the fighter a Warforged? Or maybe the party healer isn’t a cleric but a wizard who learned the rare art of Arcane healing?

The problem is that any fantasy movie has a major problem: it will, most likely unfairly, be judged against Lord of the Rings. And that’s a huge hurdle simply because Tolkien fathered so many of the literary tropes of the fantasy genre, so every fantasy movie feels like it’s trying to be like the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Science Fiction has always been easier because there’s more variation so it became hard for us to actually figure out where common SciFi tropes originated from. Even the space opera section of SciFi has two main competitors, Star Trek and Star Wars. I guess what I’m saying is that the inner cynic in me believes that it will be decades before we get even a truly decent D&D movie. Unless maybe Vin Diesel saves up enough Fast and Furious (and Groot) money to make one.

I’ve never had a problem with rating Fantasy movies against LotR. I’ve always had trouble finding a movie that lives up to it’s book.. LotR and Harry Potter are some of the best in terms of that. but I was so depressed about Eragon… also Vin Diesel’s movie Witch hunter was Meant to be a DnD movie..havnt seen it myself to really judge it though.

It was ok, but it was also kinda a one man show. Plus the modern setting threw off the tone, at least that’s what I feel. I couldn’t help but have the feeling that meddling from on high changed the movie from being pure fantasy to having a modern setting. Overall, I’d rate it a C+ or maybe a B-, depending on how generous I’m feeling.

If I judge any fantasy Movie against Lord Of The Rings, then that movie would likely get very good judgement from me. I hate Lord Of The Rings. Also a Dungeons and Dragons movie already exists. I have it on DVD. It’s pretty good as far as I’m concerned.

Jackie, there is an online gaming system called Roll20 (http://roll20.net). My gaming group uses that and Skype (audio only) together to play D&D campaigns. We only play a couple of hours a week, but with the map uploader and our DM’s own notes, we keep track of where we are pretty well :)

I was just about to recommend roll20 if Jackie ever finds himself with the time to play. Hell, if scheduling worked out I’d be happy ro run something.

I too was going to recommend D20. They have more than just D&D on there too, so if you want to try something else you certainly have options

Five is actually the number for the assumed party composition. Rogue/thief ,fighter ,wizard ,and cleric. Though it rarely works out that way.

Oh yeah. As on the last page, another bash at people who bother with knowing the rules of the game. After painting them as incapable of losing arguments, now painting them as control freaks.

I pose the oppsite thesis: That anyone who condemns knowledge is a control freak that wants to rule the ignorant, and is sore of losing arguments to the informed.

That aside, when is this comic going to stop being your personal mouthpiece for bashing/ranting/politics and start being about the characters again? I really like those guys and don’t think they deserve that kind of treatment.

How is this an attack on people who know the rules? Patricia is explaining that she personally was a problem player. She wasn’t able to find a balance between knowing everything and not disrupting play. She might even have been unable to pick up the subtle social cues that let her now she was being disruptive while trying to be useful. Now she understands that aspect of her personality and doesn’t blame the people she couldn’t get along with. She was able to use her extensive knowledge to find a place for herself at the head of the table when she couldn’t from a player’s seat.

Also never. This comic will always be where I express my worldview. The characters necessarily have to take on opposing points of view sometimes so that they can FUCKING LEARN THINGS. If they don’t then it seems weird because everyone is completely reasonable all the time which, as your last couple of comments clearly prove, THEY FUCKING AREN’T. If anything I have consistently shown the value of intelligence over ignorance from the first goddamn page.

The last two comments you made are overflowing with such rampant arrogance, of the very type that divides people, I wasn’t sure if you were trying to be funny at first. They are literally examples of the absolute worst way to present the idea that intelligence is fundamentally superior to ignorance. No one wants to listen to a genius who treats everyone else like garbage. You accuse others of having a fragile ego while exhibiting even greater fragility in your own.

The problem isn’t one of ignorance vs. intelligence or knowledge. Knowing the rules is always a plus, having someone disrupt the flow of game to continually argue isn’t, especially when one of the first rules is that the rules are a guide and the DM has the final word. It’s fruitless to have knowledge of the rules but not the wisdom to pick a proper time or way to argue any disagreements. People who lack that wisdom, or the grace to admit they’re wrong, or to let it go, are what is the problem. Disruptive players suck, whether they’re a rules lawyer, reacting badly to some unfortunate rolls, or chronically hungry and spilling food on the table.

Dishonest much? You did bash against “rules lawyers” on the last page, so you have to expect this to be seen as a continuation of that. At this point it doesn’t matter if she’s just talking about herself because you already carried the topic outside of the frame of the story.

The one making divisive statements isn’t me, it’s actually you. Your bashing is what started this. But hey, guess what, when you talk bad about people, you will never get only positive reactions. The ones you wronged will let you know that you did. That is what you are experiencing right now. You might not have noticed, but your rant was quite aggressive.

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“It has always been” No.

See, there has been a change in the style of your writing. It started out with characters and story being the main focus, and the message woven into them in a manner that would not upset the integrity of the characters. The message was welcome because it didn’t hijack the story.

Lately it is all about the message. You even just outright said that characters “necessarily have to take on” certain positions. But that often interferes with the integrity of the characters. All too often it feels like you put more value in lecturing than in good storytelling.

There’s a simple question every author should be asking themselves quite often: Is this something the character would naturally do, or am I making them do it to bring a point across and lecture my audience? Whenever you find that the latter is true, you are negatively affecting the quality of your writing.

I can’t speak for all, but I’m not here to be lectured. I’m here for the story. and I hope you will get back into shape and deliver an enticing story again that isn’t merely a vessel to convey your message. Get the soul back into the comic, please. I’m missing it…

You know how you can have two very smart lawyers, and one you respect and one you don’t–because the latter uses tiny little nitpicks in the letter of the law to subvert the spirit of the law? That’s the sort of person implied by the term “rules lawyer.” Just knowing the rules is not a bad thing. The fact that you’re getting so worked up about this makes me suspect that you might be prone to such behavior yourself. (Just a suspicion; hope I’m wrong.) Regardless, when you’re arguing over the fine details of the rules, no matter the context, you’ve probably lost your way.

Jackie:

I understand what you said about D&D. I can still remember the 1st edition coming out while I was in high school (showing my age). I played a few times and found it interesting but never found the right group. The guys I mostly played with were a table full of Patricias; the amount of quibbling versus action meant games took forever to complete. But we did have one guy whose family had hopped the border to escape from Romania while he was in high school. He had a truly devious mind and incorporated Middle European mythology into the games he was the DM for (but he had a hell of a time trying to explain the game to his grandfather).

I’ve played D&D a few times but my all time favorite system is Shadowrun. It’s a near future cyberpunk tactical system, it has cyborgs, robots, huge multinational mega-corporations, magic , orcs, trolls, elves, dwarves. Has everything for everyone and has been around so long (since early 90’s) that there are probably books for anywhere you’d want to set the stage (even Saskatoon, or Portland). It is centered around combat similar to D&D. It doesn’t use any odd dice like D&D, just the lowly six sided die, and piles of them.

I started playing back high school (2nd Ed) and has a blast, played every Friday for years, stopped once everyone hit university. Then one day I was talking to a friend reminiscing about our old gaming days as it’s been over 15 years since we last played. So we decided, screw it, let’s play. So we set up a time, invited a few of the old gang and went for it. Been playing again for almost a year.

Moral of the story is there’s more than just D&D and it’s never too late to play

There’s a great new game coming out called Project: Dark, that was kickstarted a while back. It’s basically Shadowrun in a medieval setting, and you do the same things – take a job, do some ground work, set up a mission (much like a run), try to get through the mission to get the thing or things, and then get back out. There are Guilds and a system of rulers that feel so much like corps that it’s a great game.

Check it out sometime.

I run a Shadowrun campaign now. My ‘usual group’ sticks to Pathfinder. I even once tried to get Jackie into a HeroSystem game (back when that was still being published. As far as generic systems go, I still think it was one of the better ones), and I’m trying to convince the Drama department of the college to let me run a game of Dread for halloween. (Negotiations not going well. made the mistake of showing him some stuff online, and I’m not Matt Mercer by my own admission, although I do have the Wil Wheaton beard. For some reason the facial hair doesn’t seem to make a difference…)

That being said, and despite the fact that Nerds won, I still introduce most of the games I play as D&D. Sort of like how facial tissues are Kleenex, Fashion dolls are Barbies, and Chocolate sandwich cookies are Oreos. The D&D brand has all but usurped Table Top Role Playing Game.

I don’t think Jackie even saw half the rules systems I had way back when, let alone what I’ve got going on these days…

Wow guys, chill. People poking fun at each other and themselves is how a lot of people get along. It also makes a better story when characters have flaws. Taking personal offense to said flaws is frankly ridiculous and a bitindicative of personal insecurity. And before anyone gets butt hurt, I’m speaking from personal experience. Don’t force yourself to learn the hard way.

Characters having flaws is fine, wouldn’t want it otherwise.
Generalizing and libelous statements outside of the comic, not so much.

Oh my goodness. I just saw your tweet (8 hrs late, don’t really care for twitter). Since I don’t see other critical posts in the comments, I truly hope it is about some fan mail you got and not about my criticism. I mean, It wouldn’t be applicable to me, but you never know…

In this case however…

Based on their spectacular failure in this roll for self-awareness Purphoros is clearly burdened by a cursed item of some sort … possibly the dreaded -20 keyboard?

It only got worse later too, but it devolved into attacking people other than me, so they are gone.

Well I hope they learned a new rule

It doesn’t seem like you’ve had to do this very often … or maybe you usually bury the bodies more thoroughly?

I hope your next week is MUCH better!

It’s the second one. I run the comments like Kim Jon Un.

A good example of a nerd writing a sci-fi movie:

Simon Pegg actually helped write the script for the last Star Trek movie. Which surprised me with how good it actually was.

As for a good D&D movie … the downside about using D&D as a source is that D&D is already based on several big name fantasy properties (such as LotR) so there’s been a lot of movies made that it would have to differentiate itself from them to be recognizable as strictly a D&D movie. I’m just glad that we have better movies period, since we went through a period in the late 90’s and early 2000’s with one bad movie after another.

Eventually, I have a feeling we’ll get a good D&D movie. We got a decent Warcraft one, so the next logical step is to try to make a good D&D Greyhawk movie.

Honestly, from what I see of your personality and the way you handle things, I’d love to have you in a session. There are online RPG websites (recently roll20, the biggest of em, got acquired/partnered with Wizards of the Coast interestingly enough) so if I ever run an online DnD campaign, I can certainly see if there’s room for you. I suffer from “chronic GM/DM syndrome” meaning I am ALWAYS the dungeon/game master, but I love it, and if I end up with an extra slot (I will run for up to 6 total people, me included, in most situations) I’d be glad to invite you. Just now I’m full up with running my first 5th edition DnD campaign, but I usually end up running a new game every year or so.

Cross-generational nerdism is a thing, lol. At this moment I’m in the process of writing a Pathfinder-based novela dedicated/based on experiences with my niece. Hope she enjoys the finished product.

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