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Froggy the Great

Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:
3 hours ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

No, just being supportive of the DMs method of dealing with the one dork who insists one being a Rules Lawyer.

GEM

 

"Rules Lawyer" is a content-free ad hominem attack. It has so many meanings that it's entirely unclear what you're railing against other than people who play a game in a way you don't like.

 

Now some of those ways are toxic and entirely worthy of denunciation. Some of them are neutral but incompatible with the play style of the person making the complaint. And some of them are completely fair and all the fault lies with the complainer. Merely reciting the incantation "rules lawyer" is not really an argument, it's just an insult.

 

For context:

  • As a GM, I've more than once said, "We absolutely agree on what the rules say. But I think that rule makes for less fun at my table. I'm using a different rule. If that causes a problem for how you envision your character or his progression, let me know and we'll work out a rebuild."
  • As a player, I've argued that "X" is what the rules say, and at some length, too. Note that I'm perfectly willing to stop that argument if the GM says something like what I just mentioned, but for as long as the discussion is about what the written rules actually mean rather than what rules we're going to play with at the table, I'll continue until convinced that I'm misreading.

(Note that if I were to find a house rule to be fun ruining, I'd walk away from the game. But that's no different than if I find a written rule, group dynamic, or GM fun ruining.)

 

This is all a part of my fundamental conception (at least in games where such discussions are likely to arise) that an RPG is a game (it's part of the name, after all) and games have rules. And rules need to be followed or explicitly changed.

 

Storytelling-style games tend not to have those discussions at all, for a variety of reasons revolving around the way that they're written and the social contract agreed to (at least implicitly) by the kind of people who play them. FWIW, the next game I expect to GM is very much a system-light storytelling game. But it's not going to be run with Pathfinder, GURPS, HERO, or D&D rules.

 

The rule at my table is that I reserve the right to defenestrate the rules for literally any reason; story frequently wins over what the book says, and it goes both ways, a lot of the time. 

I will /not/ discuss those reasons during play, however - as a player, somebody running a rules argument around, trying to wear the GM down is one of the least-fun things I know about - but after the game, I'll listen to reasoned arguments, and can be convinced to explain, and maybe the rule gets made a house rule.

Like crossbows and compound bows.... Things Were Done. Suddenly, ranged combat is much more common in my games...

 

As a result, I have ... um.. two munchkins and a rules lawyer I can pretty well depend on to munchkin and rules lawyer in ways that do not break my game, and a pretty solid group, overall. My players trust me not to screw them, and thus, when I get a really, truly game-shattering build, I can take everybody aside, lay the situation out, and ask them how we can fix it.. and they'll usually dial whatever it is back down to something reasonable.

 

I'm skeptical about PF2 in part because of that horrendous introduction what was the playtest. 

Skeptical does not, however, mean that I won't give it a fair shake. If I ever get a chance to play it... *sigh*

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45 minutes ago, Unruly said:

 

Did they not understand the premise of Shadowrun? You're going to tangle with the cops. Most of the stuff you're doing in that game is illegal somewhere, and corpo-nations will send their cops anywhere.

 

33 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Oh, I probably would have done something similar as the GM. (That whole learning the hard way thing.)

 

But I'd like to think that I would regret it afterward.

 

I'm not sure that I would, though. :rolleyes:

 

Well, by the end I was laughing so at the shenanigans that my sides hurt and I could barely talk.  There was an incident during the jail break using 3 helicopters, lots of explosives and a cement truck and then one of the helicopter pilots bailed.  It was wily coyote levels of bad.  they learned 2 lessons that night:  1: the corporations have more money than you. 2)if you irritate them, they will spend it to make you disappear.  It had its moments.  the problem was half the group was pretty bored because they would be paste if they tried some of this stuff.  In this case i had inherited the group and had to live with what i got.  Now when we do character builds they are done wit the whole group involved and help either make sure that everybody is at the same power levels.  We lost two players because it was unfair that they couldnt be stronger and better than everyone else... 

 

22 minutes ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

The rule at my table is that I reserve the right to defenestrate the rules for literally any reason; story frequently wins over what the book says, and it goes both ways, a lot of the time. 

 

 

As a result, I have ... um.. two munchkins and a rules lawyer I can pretty well depend on to munchkin and rules lawyer in ways that do not break my game, and a pretty solid group, overall. My players trust me not to screw them, and thus, when I get a really, truly game-shattering build, I can take everybody aside, lay the situation out, and ask them how we can fix it.. and they'll usually dial whatever it is back down to something reasonable.

 

I have actually had players yelling at me that they have a right to play an overpowered character and we should not be allowed to stop them because it was preventing their fun.

 

In an effort to find players, i have had to deal with some dregs...

Edited by Kangaroorex
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1 minute ago, Kangaroorex said:
24 minutes ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

The rule at my table is that I reserve the right to defenestrate the rules for literally any reason; story frequently wins over what the book says, and it goes both ways, a lot of the time. 

 

 

As a result, I have ... um.. two munchkins and a rules lawyer I can pretty well depend on to munchkin and rules lawyer in ways that do not break my game, and a pretty solid group, overall. My players trust me not to screw them, and thus, when I get a really, truly game-shattering build, I can take everybody aside, lay the situation out, and ask them how we can fix it.. and they'll usually dial whatever it is back down to something reasonable.

 

I have actually had players yelling at me that they have a right to play an overpowered character and we should not be allowed to stop them because it was preventing their fun.

 

In an effort to find players, i have had to deal with some dregs...

 

Yah, we've had some of those two. I've had some nasty things said to me because I wouldn't let at least one guy run with his erroneous assumptions running roughshod over the GM (I was not the GM at the time, I was just playing!).  People are ... jerks, sometimes. :/

 

3 minutes ago, Kangaroorex said:
48 minutes ago, Unruly said:

 

Did they not understand the premise of Shadowrun? You're going to tangle with the cops. Most of the stuff you're doing in that game is illegal somewhere, and corpo-nations will send their cops anywhere.

 

36 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Oh, I probably would have done something similar as the GM. (That whole learning the hard way thing.)

 

But I'd like to think that I would regret it afterward.

 

I'm not sure that I would, though. :rolleyes:

 

Well, by the end I was laughing so at the shenanigans that my sides hurt and I could barely talk.  There was an incident during the jail break using 3 helicopters, lots of explosives and a cement truck and then one of the helicopter pilots bailed.  It was wily coyote levels of bad.  they learned 2 lessons that night:  1: the corporations have more money than you. 2)if you irritate them, they will spend it to make you disappear.  It had its moments.  the problem was half the group was pretty bored because they would be paste if they tried some of this stuff.  In this case i had inherited the group and had to live with what i got.  Now when we do character builds they are done wit the whole group involved and help either make sure that everybody is at the same power levels.  We lost two players because it was unfair that they couldnt be stronger and better than everyone else... 

 

... this sounds like a scenario we did at Gamestorm one year way back when. Only, ours worked.

@aturriff was involved. Things got a little sideways when the GM handed him the hacker premade. He told him point blank not to... he works in IT, you see.....

 

By the time the dust settled, we had got the doohickey, the place had been hacked within an inch of its life and we had pretty much the whole bloody group linked up in some sort of weird wireless synergy that .. admittedly, meant we got pretty much all the bad guys at once. I don't think the street sam player minded; he was getting bored with all the sneaky-pants infiltration by then...

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Entries or not.. I -will- be at reapercon... and I have dyed my hair purple. :) Might make it easier for people to find me. 

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Whoooo, looks like I'll be getting a good amount of painting in tonight, so can't wait! 

 

...But first, I must brew the black liquid of the gods, that's right, grape juice.  Just kidding, I'm very much so referring to coffee. 

 

Coffee and a few hours of painting, priming, drybrushing, and terrain goop.  Sounds like a lovely evening!  Initial ten CAVs will be primered at minimum, and I'll get most of the others with terrain goop on their bases... 

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3 hours ago, Kangaroorex said:

this explains why so many of the local car washes have dollar and token machines tucked far away in one corner of the lot that take credit cards and the only systems in the washing areas take tokens or quarters.  I am guessing the coin systems are much more mechanical and therefore less prone to failure?  Usually works for me.  about the time my car needs to go to a car wash I have collected enough spare change...

that's part of it.   The other part is that it's expensive to add credit card hardware to every device - even our cheapest competitor has a minimum hardware investment per bay or vacuum of $500 (plus the ongoing transaction costs.)  A small retail business can get by with a credit card terminal, or something like a Square reader attached to an iPad.   But car washes (and gas stations and laundromats) have to interface with specialty equipment.   So for a lot of car wash operators, it's easier overall to sort of accept credit cards by selling tokens. Depending on location, this can be a smart decision, as the specialty equipment won't pay for itself quick enough.   But for a good location, taking credit cards right in the bay can mean 15-20% more income, and if the site is busy enough, that can pay for itself quickly. 

Coin mechanisms can be mechanical or electronic. The big difference in reliability is that they simply have to identify a coin as good, and then send a pulse - such as 1 pulse for a quarter, 4 for a dollar, etc.  So a missing pulse here and there is inconvenient, but not noticable as quickly.  A credit card reader, otoh, has to read and transmit a long stream of data with at least one built in checksum - so even missing a single character on a card swipe results in a bad read.    Coin mechs are also a lot cheaper - especially the mechanical ones. 

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4 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

"Rules Lawyer" is a content-free ad hominem attack. It has so many meanings that it's entirely unclear what you're railing against other than people who play a game in a way you don't like.

 

Now some of those ways are toxic and entirely worthy of denunciation. Some of them are neutral but incompatible with the play style of the person making the complaint. And some of them are completely fair and all the fault lies with the complainer. Merely reciting the incantation "rules lawyer" is not really an argument, it's just an insult.

 

For context:

  • As a GM, I've more than once said, "We absolutely agree on what the rules say. But I think that rule makes for less fun at my table. I'm using a different rule. If that causes a problem for how you envision your character or his progression, let me know and we'll work out a rebuild."
  • As a player, I've argued that "X" is what the rules say, and at some length, too. Note that I'm perfectly willing to stop that argument if the GM says something like what I just mentioned, but for as long as the discussion is about what the written rules actually mean rather than what rules we're going to play with at the table, I'll continue until convinced that I'm misreading.

(Note that if I were to find a house rule to be fun ruining, I'd walk away from the game. But that's no different than if I find a written rule, group dynamic, or GM fun ruining.)

 

This is all a part of my fundamental conception (at least in games where such discussions are likely to arise) that an RPG is a game (it's part of the name, after all) and games have rules. And rules need to be followed or explicitly changed.

 

Storytelling-style games tend not to have those discussions at all, for a variety of reasons revolving around the way that they're written and the social contract agreed to (at least implicitly) by the kind of people who play them. FWIW, the next game I expect to GM is very much a system-light storytelling game. But it's not going to be run with Pathfinder, GURPS, HERO, or D&D rules.

For clarification:

Mongoose Publishing MGP0011 "The Slayers Guide to Rules Lawyers"

In which the personality is discussed who has an eiditic memory and uses it to the point where it interrupts the flow of a game.

The eiditic memory is often coupled with low social skills/sensitivity and enough innate energy to grind the average person, including gamers, brains to a fine powder without even noticing.

There always seems to be noticeable degree of obsessive/compulsiveness about all the gamers I've met over the years that have this tendency.

And please understand it isn't meant as an insult but as a shorthand for describing people who always go to the rule book instead of using social skills and mindfulness of where the story-line is going to influence event outcomes.

GEM

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2 minutes ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

For clarification:

Mongoose Publishing MGP0011 "The Slayers Guide to Rules Lawyers"

In which the personality is discussed who has an eiditic memory and uses it to the point where it interrupts the flow of a game.

The eiditic memory is often coupled with low social skills/sensitivity and enough innate energy to grind the average person, including gamers, brains to a fine powder without even noticing.

 

Since eidetic memory has never been demonstrated in an adult and photographic memory has never been demonstrated at all, that doesn't really raise my confidence that we're not talking about a strawman. IME, and at this point I've been playing RPGs for more than 40 years, "rules lawyer" (like "railroading" and "power gamer") has no firm definition other than "those people who play wrong" and is invariably used in an attempt to put people who play differently outside the pale of "good roleplayers".

 

2 minutes ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

There always seems to be noticeable degree of obsessive/compulsiveness about all the gamers I've met over the years that have this tendency.

And please understand it isn't meant as an insult but as a shorthand for describing people who always go to the rule book instead of using social skills and mindfulness of where the story-line is going to influence event outcomes.

GEM

 

If I were feeling less charitable, I'd probably make some comment about GMs who can't figure out how to write a competent adventure within the rules. But this really is about a difference in group styles. Some groups are more interested in the game and others are more interested in the story. If you're interested mostly in the story, somebody else bringing up game mechanics tends to break immersion. If you're more interested in the game, not using the game mechanics leads to impressions of unfairness. And divisive terms like "rules lawyer" don't really improve either understanding of the issues or the ability to address them at the game table.

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5 hours ago, Argentee said:

*collapses into the forum near tears* I'm going to have to try and finish my entries at Reapercon. My mother needs full time care and refuses to hire anyone and she is running me ragged. 

@Argentee Been there, will be praying for you.

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18 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:
35 minutes ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

For clarification:

Mongoose Publishing MGP0011 "The Slayers Guide to Rules Lawyers"

In which the personality is discussed who has an eiditic memory and uses it to the point where it interrupts the flow of a game.

The eiditic memory is often coupled with low social skills/sensitivity and enough innate energy to grind the average person, including gamers, brains to a fine powder without even noticing.

 

Since eidetic memory has never been demonstrated in an adult and photographic memory has never been demonstrated at all, that doesn't really raise my confidence that we're not talking about a strawman. IME, and at this point I've been playing RPGs for more than 40 years, "rules lawyer" (like "railroading" and "power gamer") has no firm definition other than "those people who play wrong" and is invariably used in an attempt to put people who play differently outside the pale of "good roleplayers".

 

Quote

There always seems to be noticeable degree of obsessive/compulsiveness about all the gamers I've met over the years that have this tendency.

And please understand it isn't meant as an insult but as a shorthand for describing people who always go to the rule book instead of using social skills and mindfulness of where the story-line is going to influence event outcomes.

GEM

 

If I were feeling less charitable, I'd probably make some comment about GMs who can't figure out how to write a competent adventure within the rules. But this really is about a difference in group styles. Some groups are more interested in the game and others are more interested in the story. If you're interested mostly in the story, somebody else bringing up game mechanics tends to break immersion. If you're more interested in the game, not using the game mechanics leads to impressions of unfairness. And divisive terms like "rules lawyer" don't really improve either understanding of the issues or the ability to address them at the game table.

 

I have a very specific internal translation for the term 'Rules Lawyer', and it is 'that guy who uses the rules to attempt to screw the GM, or skew the game in their favor'. If he is the GM, there's a decent chance he's going to use the rules to screw over the players in some way. I have encountered a few of these; and if you can get them to use their skills to help you, they are good people to have around. 

I suspect that a lot of so-called rules lawyers are actually autistic, or have some similar shift in the brain wiring that makes learning book stuff easy, and learning social skills difficult. Books are, after all, entirely easier to read than people. :/

 

I have so far dealt with exactly one who could be trusted to use those skills neutrally, and thus, is among the players I trust to remember dodgy bits of math that I am terrible at, whether that dodgy bit of math runs in favor of the GM, or of the players. Not always great at recalling the dodgy bits of story, though. 

That being said, my exposure is somewhat limited. 

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On the subject of cows, I used to work at a maximum security prison where they actually had beef cows roaming around outside. This led to a LOT of bovine humor incidents [usually involving new guys]. But one that was guaranteed to cause a situation, was that when it would get cold the cows would get by the towers on the outer walls and get up against the doors for heat. When it came time to relieve the towers, it would then involve laughter, cursing, threats, car horns, etc to try to get a sleepy, comfortable cow to get away from the door so we could swap officers!

 

 

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Just received an update on changing tariff policies from one of my Model Railroad Suppliers [Broadway Limited].

Seems the announced tariffs for items classified as "Toys" on a" List 4B" won't be subject to additional tariff.

As the document is a 21 page PDF with an eye watering number of "things" included I haven't gone through the whole list but hopefully Reapers products are covered.

GEM

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In the "good news is underreported" category, it turns out that when people are in trouble, bystanders on average help out, even at the risk of their own safety, more often than not:

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-49295967/is-the-bystander-effect-a-myth

 

Based on analysis of CCTV footage in multiple countries, so not biased by awareness of watchers and probably less biased by what's "newsworthy" than the usual sorts of studies.

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