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JMeganSnow
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I was a bit curious to know if anyone else here plays role-playing games.  I've found it to be an enjoyable, albeit expensive, hobby and almost a form of performance art.  I'm aware that RPG's aren't held in much esteem, and I'd love to hear from anyone wanting to express that side of things, too.

Here's my favorite systems:

Dungeons & Dragons (the NEW new one) 

Deadlands

Mutants and Masterminds

Unless you're a serious fanatic I doubt you'll find a system I haven't seen, though.

Maybe I've written such a system (being a professiona RPG writer).

role-playing games, like popular culture, often feature visions of "good" and "evil" that seem to contradict the idea that people are rational free agents. But it is more a fult of the culture that the games are emulating than the games themselves (the D&D alingment system aside, which tends to serve more as a straitjacket than a good roleplaying tool).

The question of evil in RPGs, for example, depends on how you define "evil". Many people would cite a corporation that goes to extreme lengths to defend its economic interests as 'evil". Other times, there is more obvious evil, such as a force that is seeking to eliminate free will. Still, one can still have exciting conflict in which nobody is either ideally good or wholly evil, but where their interests simply come into conflict.

I wouldbe interested in disucssing this further, and would be interested in entering private contact.

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  • 5 months later...

I play abit of Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, it is not full of Objectivist themes by default, but I am the DM usually, so I can include as much Objectivist content as I wish pretty much. Lately I only get to play with one person. such a small campaign has advantages, less players to worry about, and I the guy I play with mostly agrees with Objectivism so he doesnt mind if i put alot into it.

I used to play d20 Modern, but I no longer have anyone too play this with. this is a shame, because as a fan of technology, I am quite into the decent job it does of abstracting tech for the purposes of gameplay. I want to get the d20 Future supplement, which includes rules for robots, mecha and much more.

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Mutants and Masterminds.  Given, the science doesn't always make sense.  But when you have super-genius characters and radioactive brains in jars, it can be quite fun!

I havent heard of that one...the one I am thinking of is not called that. Its got a silly name like "D20 Future" or something.

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I've never actually played a D&D-style RPG. Not from lack of desire, but from lack of people. I do like pen-and-paper systems (I have the D&D guides) especially in that they're very well balanced. Most computer RPGs struggle to have that balance; you end up with a character class or group of characters that beat out all others. Plus the freedom and creativity of old-school RPGs is unparalleled.

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I started playing pen-and-paper RPGs about 9 years ago with Vampire: The Masquarade then moved onto AD&D before D&D3rd (then 3.5) came out, which I play regularliy. I also have 2 Warhammer armies (Puppies for 40K and undead for Fantasy) and although no longer collecting new sets I have played Magic:the Gathering for years as well.

After running a D&D3.5 campaign for quite a while with an Objectivist slant I am looking forward to my friend being GM soon. He is a fan of Terry Goodkind's and is going to allow me to play an Objectivist character in his campaign, which should be fun :)

As for computer RPGs I've pretty much never bothered, mainly due to time restrictions, although I got stuck into a MMORPG 2 years ago and still play when I can.

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I've never actually played a D&D-style RPG. Not from lack of desire, but from lack of people. I do like pen-and-paper systems (I have the D&D guides) especially in that they're very well balanced. Most computer RPGs struggle to have that balance; you end up with a character class or group of characters that beat out all others. Plus the freedom and creativity of old-school RPGs is unparalleled.

Indeed, many computer games do lack balance. Which is one of the reasons I am not a big Final Fantasy fan. The rules just seem poorly constructed and not thought through in many cases. And in games like FF10, unnecassirly complicated and they still dont really work as far as I am concerned. I would rather a simple set of rules like Dnd that works and does not change from game to game!

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Are there any 'old' DnD players old there who used to play the old 2nd Edition version of the game? If so, I am sure you will remember how terrible the rules were back then (certaintly compared to 3rd Edition). The THACO system always bothered me, and the fact that a character could not get better AC than -10. In fact, it meant that the lower ACs were better of course, and that always seemed silly to me.

Who also remembers the old Skills and Powers supplement that was available? The one that let you buy everything from racial abilities, to class features, with 'character point's?

I quite liked that book, it really improved the limited rules for 2nd Edition character creation. Though it did have some inbalances. For instance it allowed Wizards to wear any armour they liked if they purchased a certain class feature, which was expensive, not expensive enough that I imagine most wizards would not buy have that ability.

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lol, I started gaming when I was 10 years old with the FIRST edition rules: the first ones that were "Advanced".

Skills and Powers? You mean Rape and Pillage, the power gamer's best friend? "Let me get rid of a class ability that no one ever uses because it's a pain in the rear to get some bonus points . . ."

Ahh, the old school days. "Um, guys, why do we have this thief hanging around with us? The wizard can unlock doors and the cleric can find traps . . . he does less damage than the fighter, too, and his hit points SUCK. We can't let him scout on his own because something will eat him."

"So, why are you playing a human?" "I'm dual-classing to wizard after I have 100 hit points." "Good, 'cause I thought you had lost your mind."

"Why do I only have three skills . . .er . . . I mean 'non-weapon proficiencies'. I mean, come on, and one of them is fire-starting. CAVE MEN can start fires. You're telling me I only know how to do three useful things but I know how to fight with four different weapons?! You're smoking something, right?"

"Let me get this straight. It takes 750,000 XP to get my next Druid level, and then I have to hunt down some schmuck that never bothered me any and kick the crap out of him? WHY?!?!"

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The Skills and Powers I remember was not as bad as what you imply. It let some characters 'drop' class features in exchange for others, but it didnt generally allow a member of a class to take on inapproriate abilities. It did allow some power gamers to make overly powerful characters on the odd occassion, so careful DM supervision was required otherwise things might get out of hand. I mean, you could give a Wizard weapon mastery eventually (at about 10th level I think it was) which I always thought was abit silly! If you want your wizard to master a weapon, I think you should have to get fighter levels.

I personally think the dual-class system was terrible, and not worth it. Even multi-classing sucked in that it could take too long to gain levels. And the level glass ceiling was just awful, it was a poor way to balance multi-classing I thought. That was one of the best things 3rd Edition changed.

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I personally think the dual-class system was terrible, and not worth it.  Even multi-classing sucked in that it could take too long to gain levels.  And the level glass ceiling was just awful, it was a poor way to balance multi-classing I thought.  That was one of the best things 3rd Edition changed.

Dual-classing was the only reason to play a human; it meant you could go up in fighter until you had decent survivability and turn yourself into a caster. Because of the way numerical experience worked, you'd be back at par level before your comrades gained another SINGLE level; at worst, you'd average 1 level below them or so, and since everyone didn't level at the same rate, who'd notice? You had to babysit wizards until they got fireball anyway, your party wasn't going to mind if you were a bit ineffectual for a single adventure.

Multi-classing worked the same way: you were, at worst, one level behind . . . and you had twice as many class abilities to draw on. Not a bad deal. Multiclassing was also ideal if you had a small number of players, because you had to have some classes or you weren't going anywhere soon. (Hi! I'm Geric the Generic Cleric . . . I'll be your NPC for the evening!)

The level glass ceiling got eliminated long before 3rd ed came along; one reason they ditched it officially was that 90% of DMs were doing so anyway. When 3rd ed was in development, they basically went around and interviewed active groups about their house rules: if they found something that nearly everyone was doing, they kept it.

Btw, my long-running face-to-face group included a mathematician, a cryptanalyst, a CIS manager, and a computer engineer . . . the numbers were run. This is part of the reason I don't play with them any more.

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I found that the lack of a glass ceiling was a pretty good reason to play a human, as sometimes Ii would otherwise bump into that annoying yet transperant barrier. I thin k part of my problem with the system is the inefficency, which I really dislike.

Having said that, I generally prefered nonhumans, because as you say they have more abilities, and besides the campaigsn i was involved in rarely got that far (for verious reasons) so the glass ceiling wasnt all that much of a problem. And we usually had a small number of players too, so the diversity was good.

However even in those cases, the DM would usually have alot of NPCS 'players' in the party, diversity was not always much of an issue. I dont know if it is common for DMs to include alot of these 'DM controlled' PCs, but I often use that tactic in 3rd editioin games as well, as the group is usually just two peop[le.

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However even in those cases, the DM would usually have alot of NPCS 'players' in the party, diversity was not always much of an issue.  I dont know if it is common for DMs to include alot of these 'DM controlled' PCs, but I often use that tactic in 3rd editioin games as well, as the group is usually just two peop[le.

From what I've seen this is fairly common practice; the entire universe isn't going to be inimical to your PC's, and some people will probably be willing to put their money where their mouth is.

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Back when I played RPGs, my favorite was The Fantasy Trip. If you remember that one, you're really hard-core; it went defunct at least 20 years ago.

Before that, there was a rather weird one called Empire of the Petal Throne. It was set in a world run by a hidebound bureaucracy which frowned on innovation; technology was at a medieval level and there was no transportation other than foot travel and boats. At one point I was working on a scenario where a young man invents the equivalent of a crude bicycle, is chased out of society for upsetting the established order, and discovers a small group of independent thinkers hidden in the wilderness, trading their accomplishments and working to find and attract others like them. Guess what book I had just finished reading. . .

These days I'm heavily into CPRGs, and the one that has me hooked now is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It doesn't have any kind of alignment system; your character simply takes the consequences of his/her actions. If you're caught stealing, the guards will go after you. If you do things for people, someone might reward you with something useful. . . or not. If you gratuitously kill people (and avoid being caught by guards), you're likely to find out later that one of the people you killed was needed to finish a rewarding quest which now is impossible.

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Ive never really been t hat big a fan of the CRPG game genre. Maybe its partially because my reflexes are so bad, that when I try to say kill a bandit in Morrowwind, he hacks me too death before i get to do anything because I spend half of the time attacking the wall. OK, slight exaggration...

I do like Morrowind more than all the others due to its depth and the level of interaction that it allows, and if I were to spend abit more time overcoming such problems I would enjoy the game alot more i think. I once spent about 2 hours just walking about that second town you went too looking in every conceivable place I could get access too, and talking to everyone that had anything too say.

Oh and if anyone would like to help me test some software i am writing designed to aid with character creation (for Dungeons and Dragons ony at this early stage), let me know. So far it only does some real simple stuff, like rolling dice for you, figuring out ability modifiers...but I hope to make it alot more powerful relatively soon.

Edited by Prometheus98876
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I'd love to help you, as my knowledge of gaming is encyclopedic . . . my knowledge of programming much less so, but I know how to do a fair bit . . . unfortunately I'm suffering for time.

If you could give me a few more details on the project (what programming method you're using, etc.) I could tell you whether I'd be able to help you out or not.

My group plays via AIM, so we use computers all the time in our gaming anyway.

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Oh, Prometheus, you may want to check out KloOge Link.

Ah, thanks for the link, it looks like I might be able to draw some good ideas from that project.

As for more information on my project, well it is very early days yet, so things might change abit in the near/distant future. I am asking well in advance because I like to sort these things out much earlier rather than later. At the moment I am working on a text-based version of the Dungeons and Dragons (Edition 3.5 naturally) portion of the program. This is because it is good practise/revision for the university paper (which revolves around C) I am currently sitting. Hopefully after the next few months I will have more time to work on this and I should get alot further.

I am also slightly slowed down by the fact that I am porting it all to C++ as I go along, as an exercise in learning C++, which of course I consider to be the superior language, however it is not the one I am sitting an exam on soon. :D

Ultimately though, once I learn abit more graphical programming, and more Visual Basic.NET, I will probably move it all to that for the Windows version.

Also, I hope to use my expanding knowledge of C++ and the Qt GUI design environment to make more comptabile and less OS-dependent versions of the product.

I am aiming to keep the code simple, as I intend it too be an Open-Source project that is easily editable even for those not so experienced at programming, without comprimising the power, speed and stability of the program to any significant level.

This is a key advantage to using VB and Qt, it is easy to program using both VB and Qt, and both are still excellent programming languages (well Qt is really more a add-on to C++ the way I see it).

And also, this approach means that I will actually (I so far have a definite offer for help on certain parts of the project from a good friend) be able to complete this project around my hectic schedule of working on a novel, philosophy articles, speeches... the list is about 16 miles long last time I checked.

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  • 1 month later...
What is your favourite pen and paper role playing game?

Mine is Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 (d20 System).

I prefer d20 Modern, especially with the Open Game stuff from the d20 Modern SRDS. I prefer being able to roleplay in a futuristic world with robots, cybernetic enchancments etc.

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