Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

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willpell
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:06 am

Synch wrote:Basically, if we went in the wrong direction and none of us were deliberately trying to be obstinate or deviate from the mission, then I'm afraid your rails were shit.
That's a big "if". At least one person, who is no longer with us, WAS being obstinate. As to whether or not something was shit, well, running a game is a big lot of work, and nobody's paying me for it; I have to do it in my spare time, without a lot of the resources that are needed to do it well. So having gone to all the work to create one scenario, I wasn't amused if the players wanted to piss off in some other direction and do irrelevant stuff, while ignoring the only thing I had actually prepared, and heavily hinted they should pay attention to.
I think you've got a great world created, and you're great with detail and NPCs etc, but you forget to factor in dealing with people. You're not creating a world for a novel, you're creating a background for a game in which you play with other people.
I'm doing some of each, actually; I think Whiteleaf eventually deserves to be published in some form, and since the market for a 3rd Edition campaign setting is probably not all that robust at the moment, novels seem likely. Granted I would have to actually sit down and write them at some point, but the game doubles as a brainstorming session for me.
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Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by spiderwrangler » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:42 am

willpell wrote: So having gone to all the work to create one scenario, I wasn't amused if the players wanted to piss off in some other direction and do irrelevant stuff, while ignoring the only thing I had actually prepared, and heavily hinted they should pay attention to.
But this is the difference between running a game and writing a story... the characters are always going to do something unexpected, or miss something you feel was obvious. Being fluid for the sake of the game is useful in dealing with multiple players. That may be more difficult since you've invested so much into the creation of whiteleaf, I have the luxury of making stuff up on the spot and letting it remain canon in the games I GM.
I would be interested from a worldbuilding perspective to hear what you'd had in mind, and where we misstepped.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:26 pm

spiderwrangler wrote:But this is the difference between running a game and writing a story... the characters are always going to do something unexpected
Sometimes, that's when the magic happens. Other times it's an annoyance. The line between these occasions is razor-thin.
or miss something you feel was obvious.
And yet somehow it never occurs to a player to ask "so, dear GM, what was your intention for this scene?", not even after he starts dropping hints that you've perhaps made the "wrong" choice for his purposes, and he might like you to reconsider. There's a difference between having a will of your own, and being utterly bull-headed about using it; I respect a player's desire for independence and autonomy, and much of the time I'm perfectly happy to provide for it, but sometimes (and the exact frequency is higher for certain players), they seem to choose exactly the most frustrating occasions on which to express this need, and their doing so comes at substantial expense to myself.

As I said to a couple of actual-world players this weekend, when I actually got to run the first of what I hope to be several real-life Whiteleaf sessions, I recognize that the players and their fun-having are the game's raison d'etre, but at the same time, I go to a fair bit of effort and I'm entitled to want to enjoy myself too. So if the players are being too much of a burden, is it wrong for me to want them to back off a little? (And while I can objectively recognize that the correct response is to take a step back and discuss the problem reasonably, rather than to sublimate these feelings into varying degrees of unpleasantness within the game's context, in practice that distinction is hard to draw in the moment; the snippier I start to feel, the harder it is for me to realize that I'm acting snippy, and should knock it off before the players start to reciprocate.)
Being fluid for the sake of the game is useful in dealing with multiple players. That may be more difficult since you've invested so much into the creation of whiteleaf, I have the luxury of making stuff up on the spot and letting it remain canon in the games I GM.
That's largely what I do as well - the main issue is that I'm not willing to contradict such canonized material later. Every time I create even the most trivial of continuity errors, it bugs me to no end (you may remember my disclaimer about compass directions a little while ago; you have no idea how much psychic pressure had to build up before I was able to even verbalize that problem internally, let alone admit it to other people). Where the literal or metaphorical map is blank, I can create ex nihilo; what I won't do is take the resulting thought-sculpture and mash it back into primal clay, even if its continued existence becomes an imposition, and/or I find myself starved for building material. Partly this is just inertia and/or OCDness, but also after a weird quasi-spirutal fashion, I feel responsible for my creations, and am unwilling to consign them to oblivion for the sake of short-term convenience.

So, for a practical example, I can't have you guys fight any Chimeras anytime soon, because at least two full years ago, I wrote up a paragraph-long summarization of my decisive reworking of Chimera mythology for Whiteleaf purposes, taking a monster that looks like it was glued together out of taxidermy leftovers, and explaining exactly what its existence means and why it came to be as it was*. I then misplaced that writeup somewhere among my effects, and to this day I don't know where it is, or have more than the vaguest half-sense of what it said. In its absence, I cannot fart together some other conceptualization of the Chimera; if I used one in the game at all, it would simply be a random monstrosity, and all of its potential coolness would be wasted. The only way I'd even consider using it in such an underwhelming way would be if the alternatives were massively inconvenient, such as if I was running a module that contained a Chimera, and I didn't want to shop through the various Monster Manuals, comparing CRs and mentally workshopping effectiveness against the party's particular builds (eg the Reflex Save DC for the Chimera's breath weapon vs. any other monster's SU abilities and their effect upon the party rogue), for a functionally near-identical creature to use in its place. Outside of such a constraint, I can easily enough just use a different antagonist/challenge/etc, and continue saving any and all Chimeras for the perfect in-game reveal, which necessarily postdates my rediscovery (whether finding the written note or remembering/re-generating its salient aspects; I don't need the whole exact text, just the "vital spark" contained therein).

And what I absolutely won't do is sit down and try to brainstorm some other really cool idea about Chimeras instead, which would take up the same ideological "space" as the existing one, making both of them incapable of existing in the same universe (at least without some sort of ridiculous schism between two different varieties of Chimera that both use the same stats, or assigning one to the actual mythological Chimera and the other to a random creature with the Chimeric template, or some similarly Gygaxian solution). Thusly, I'll just never have a Chimera in Whiteleaf - and that means that even if you see a Totemist using the Threefold Mask of the Chimera soulmeld, and are filled with a burning passion to scour the entire Multiverse in search of an actual living Chimera, you can never succeed no matter how hard you try. And so, I wish you'd listen to me when I start hinting that you should stop trying. (Actually telling you to outright is not always possible, for reasons addressed in the last paragraph of this post.)

*To illustrate the parallel, I'll quickly summarize my similar reflavoring of the Griffin, which I've never before formally written up as more than a brief snippet anyway, and which I do happen to remember in pretty much its entirety. "A griffin is not merely the body of a lion combined with the head and talons of an eagle; it is also the heart which can unite these dissimilar components. That heart does more than graft the eagle's sharp eyesight onto an extra pair of lion claws and vice versa; it fundamentally combines those separate halves into a harmonious whole, and that is what truly makes it a Magical Beast, rather than simply an unusual one. That is why we Totemists venerate griffins among our patrons, rather than extending such honor to an eagle or a lion; they are merely animals, and griffins, like ourselves, are not 'merely' anything."
I would be interested from a worldbuilding perspective to hear what you'd had in mind, and where we misstepped.
Telling you now would spoil a surprise that I've become too heavily invested in to give up, if there's any possible chance of salvaging it. If you said "fuggit I'm out" and the campaign was officially over, then I'd be able to tell you OOC, though by then it is of course likely you'd no longer care. Otherwise, though, you'll find out fairly shortly in the course of the game. The exact definition of "fairly shortly" to be determined, of course, but if you don't take another wrong turn (and I'll try to ensure that this doesn't happen, and to avoid being too ham-fisted about it), you'll definitely be on the fast-track toward seeing this particular situation unfold in its entirety. After which I can happily pull back the curtain and tell you how the trick is done; I'm not the kind of guy who wants to take my secrets to my grave, I just don't want to rob you of the opportunity to enjoy the magic while you still can, before you find out where the smoke and mirrors were.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by spiderwrangler » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:11 pm

My interest was also in the sense of knowing what to look for next time. As it is, I'm hampered when it comes to dialogue and finding out things that way... Kast just isn't the sort to do well at chatting up strangers for info. I'm just having trouble spotting what could have been done differently, or just who you are objecting to as derailing the plot. My understanding was that we halted because you'd lost access to all your GMing resources, and some snarkiness flew about in the discussion of forum etiquette, but I missed where anyone was refusing to go where guided.

I like the character, and I love the amount of effort you put into building this world, but I can only play Kast as I perceive him acting in given situations. This likely means being surly to NPCs and not willing to drop trou at the site of an elf witch, no matter how hard you push her on him (in The Forest... I had no clue what you wanted or expected of me there...)
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by Synch » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:22 am

spiderwrangler wrote:I'm just having trouble spotting what could have been done differently, or just who you are objecting to as derailing the plot. My understanding was that we halted because you'd lost access to all your GMing resources, and some snarkiness flew about in the discussion of forum etiquette, but I missed where anyone was refusing to go where guided.
+1.

Given Quarg was curious where we derailed also, this is why I say you failed with your plot rails if three of us didn't even realise we were off track.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:26 am

spiderwrangler wrote:My interest was also in the sense of knowing what to look for next time. As it is, I'm hampered when it comes to dialogue and finding out things that way... Kast just isn't the sort to do well at chatting up strangers for info.
Right, I've incorporated that. Now that there isn't as much of a "party face" (Eileen can manage a little, but it was previously the job of either Burns's ghost or Amara's beguiler, both of them better suited), I'll be working on dealing with the fact that your group won't really be asking around - you might find NPCs tending toward the garrulous of their own accord.
My understanding was that we halted because you'd lost access to all your GMing resources, and some snarkiness flew about in the discussion of forum etiquette
For the record I was absolutely unaware of any snarkiness.
not willing to drop trou at the site of an elf witch, no matter how hard you push her on him (in The Forest... I had no clue what you wanted or expected of me there...)
To be fair that was really my failure. That character was based in large part on someone from a novel, but then I forgot which one of the several novels I was reading was involved (I'm guessing it was Brave New World, but I had quite a pile going at the time), and my idea just steadily decohered. I kept trying because I could think of nothing better, but it's no coincidence that the game eventually petered out; I just wasn't able to stay focused on it while there were changes happening in my real life that disrupted my ability to plan (though little did I suspect it would get a LOT worse thereafter).
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:04 pm

Should have a bit of time over the next four days to get the new campaign rolling. Last chance to get back in, Amara or Badge, if either of you is still reading this thing.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by Patdragon » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:38 am

I know i had my own spin off for a level zero character but my original guy was suppose to fit in with the group and be a little bit of the party face (skill wise anyways + more depending on his setup for the day)
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by Amara » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:11 am

I'm sort of keeping tabs, but I'll admit I feel my beguiler would have been better suited to a different sort of campaign, and I'm having a hard time coming up with anything else. I have a wealth of characters I could draw on to have something closer to being prepared, but not all of them work very well with 3.5.

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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:00 pm

Amara wrote:I'm sort of keeping tabs, but I'll admit I feel my beguiler would have been better suited to a different sort of campaign, and I'm having a hard time coming up with anything else. I have a wealth of characters I could draw on to have something closer to being prepared, but not all of them work very well with 3.5.
Okay, let's start without you, and if you develop an interest you can always jump in later, once you see where things are going and have a better handle on what sort of campaign you think it's becoming, what kind of character you'd want to bring in. You'll be welcome at my virtual table anytime (barring any contrary notice due to unforseeable issues).
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by BadgeAddict » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:33 am

sadly it appears that I have probably missed my chance to get into this....i am not deeply saddened.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by spiderwrangler » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:24 am

It's likely ending after a brief ambush encounter as willpell anticipates a change in his ability to access the internet.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:21 am

BadgeAddict wrote:sadly it appears that I have probably missed my chance to get into this....i am not deeply saddened.
When I noticed that you were active again I attempted to contact you. But yeah, what he said.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by BadgeAddict » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:35 am

I just realized that I said I am not deeply saddened..and that was incorrect..the not was incorrectly placed.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by Synch » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:04 pm

Deeply not saddened?
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by BadgeAddict » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:49 pm

As in... Should not have been placed.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:04 pm

BadgeAddict wrote:As in... Should not have been placed.
I'd be happy to resurrect the game if you'll pay a month's internet bill for me. I'm completely serious by the way; I've long thought that "pay for play RP" is probably my most realistic strategy for converting my skills into a sustainable profession. (Of course, few people have that kind of disposable income, and I suspect from your past statements that you are not one of them...I'm just saying "if".)
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:44 am

Well for what it's worth, my severing from the world of electronic communications has been forestalled for a couple of months or so at least. Dunno if it's worth trying to resurrect a D&D game on a timetable like that.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by spiderwrangler » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:47 am

While I'm glad for your sake that the internet is staying on for a bit longer, I'm afraid I'm going to stay at three attempts at a Whiteleaf campaign. I just don't have the time and mental energy to put into a game that this time I KNOW is going to falter out before we actually accomplish anything.
Thanks for the time you've put towards building the world, and letting me play around in it over the last few years, but it's not likely that I'll be revisiting Whiteleaf again.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:47 am

Fair enough. Fangs for the memories.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by Synch » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:39 pm

Same as Spider. You're great at building settings and worlds (Whiteleaf is awesome) but I think you need a bit more work in running games with people who make free choices and decisions which may go perpendicular to your planned plot rails. Not being able to navigate through a simple first encounter makes for a difficult gaming experience.
For what its worth, I think you'd make a brilliant fantasy novellist, where everything is within your control and direction. I'd certainly read your work.
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Re: Recruitment Thread for Pell's D&D 3.5 Game

Post by willpell » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:09 pm

Synch wrote:Same as Spider. You're great at building settings and worlds (Whiteleaf is awesome) but I think you need a bit more work in running games with people who make free choices and decisions which may go perpendicular to your planned plot rails. Not being able to navigate through a simple first encounter makes for a difficult gaming experience.
For what its worth, I think you'd make a brilliant fantasy novellist, where everything is within your control and direction. I'd certainly read your work.
Well, that is definitely a direction I've considered going. You should probably follow the blog linked in my signature; it would be the place I would most likely announce any serious progress toward such aims. It also contains a great deal of my unfiltered philosophy. Since I am pretty much officially done here, anyone with an interest in my works is cordially invited there instead.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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