Good read on the mind-set of "false" options and the railroad

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A great article from the Tao of D&D that I thought I'd share. Hope people find it helpful!

*as a fair warning there is some profanity in it. Read at your discretion. Smile

tao-dnd.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-ethic-t...

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I'm on the fence on this idea.

Taken to it's extreme, it would imply that prewritten modules are all bad because they are prewritten.

If the DM prepares the Tomb of Horrors and then the party decides at the last minute, "Nah, we'd rather go to the giant caves", then that's simply unfair to the DM.

I'm on the fence on this idea.

Taken to it's extreme, it would imply that prewritten modules are all bad because they are prewritten.

If the DM prepares the Tomb of Horrors and then the party decides at the last minute, "Nah, we'd rather go to the giant caves", then that's simply unfair to the DM.




Most prewritten modules are, basically, bad as far as the general process of an open-world D&D game goes. Are they okay for hack/slash style and such? Sure. Can they work as GREAT bones to add meat to for a campaign? Sure! Are they a great pinch-hitter for filling in content on a map, etc? Absolutely! They just can't be the end-all-be-all of a campaign because they'd be rather disjointed. Even in a module series, the players basically have very limited options because of the nature of the module...you just can't account for everything.

That is, however, not to say that they don't have uses (as outlined above) and they are GREAT for beginning DMs. Good modules are absolutely vital to the health of the game to ease DMs and players into the game so that they can get their "sea-legs" and understand the game. There is no question about that.

Your last point however is right in that if the PCs make intentions clear then right as they're about to do it (like for example at the start of the next game session) they pull a 180, that is rather unfair to the DM since he no-doubt prepped some stuff for them because of the intentions they announced. I would never argue that. You're quite right in that regard.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


Most prewritten modules are, basically, bad as far as the general process of an open-world D&D game goes. Are they okay for hack/slash style and such? Sure. Can they work as GREAT bones to add meat to for a campaign? Sure! Are they a great pinch-hitter for filling in content on a map, etc? Absolutely! They just can't be the end-all-be-all of a campaign because they'd be rather disjointed. Even in a module series, the players basically have very limited options because of the nature of the module...you just can't account for everything.



Assuming you have an experienced DM, are you of the opinion that all prewritten modules are bad because they're prewritten?

May I gently suggest that accusing people who choose a different approach to a game of a profound ethical failing is a less than helpful way to go about a discussion?

Most prewritten modules are, basically, bad as far as the general process of an open-world D&D game goes. Are they okay for hack/slash style and such? Sure. Can they work as GREAT bones to add meat to for a campaign? Sure! Are they a great pinch-hitter for filling in content on a map, etc? Absolutely! They just can't be the end-all-be-all of a campaign because they'd be rather disjointed. Even in a module series, the players basically have very limited options because of the nature of the module...you just can't account for everything.



Assuming you have an experienced DM, are you of the opinion that all prewritten modules are bad because they're prewritten?




Hmm. In so much as they are very limited by their nature and I equate limitations in a game like D&D as 'bad' then yes. Does this make the modules objectively bad...no, definitely not. They definitely have their purposes and some modules are exceptionally well done. For my purposes though, using them as-written, they would be bad, however, if taken as a stand-alone product. If work is done to integrate it and harvest from it well then that is different.

So the "bad" that comes with them is not because of their prewritten nature but because of the limitations inherent in them being prewritten. If that makes sense.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

May I gently suggest that accusing people who choose a different approach to a game of a profound ethical failing is a less than helpful way to go about a discussion?



You may suggest it, but you would do better to defend the other position and disprove the position you disagree with. Saying something is bad because it makes you feel bad does not really communicate anything...nor does it support your position. After all, someone's approach COULD have a profound ethical failing and they might feel bad about it simply BECAUSE they recognize that ethical failing and don't like having it pointed out.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

May I gently suggest that accusing people who choose a different approach to a game of a profound ethical failing is a less than helpful way to go about a discussion?



You may suggest it, but you would do better to defend the other position and disprove the position you disagree with. Saying something is bad because it makes you feel bad does not really communicate anything...nor does it support your position. After all, someone's approach COULD have a profound ethical failing and they might feel bad about it simply BECAUSE they recognize that ethical failing and don't like having it pointed out.



All right, I'll take a crack at it (although my complaint was about tone, not necessarily substance.)

I feel like the linked article glosses over information differentials. Specifically, I'm certain for myself (I do DM) that stuff I make up on the fly will be worse than things I prepared (hell, that's why I prepare things). Maybe not true for other people, but I'm certain it's true for me. Given that set up I think it's entirely defensible to show preference to stuff you've prepare- I'm reasonably confident they'll enjoy the better prepped stuff more and I'm trying to ensure the maximum level of fun.

I'm not trying to push the party towards it because I think I'm smarter than they are or superior or whatever, I'm doing it because I have information they don't about the game world. Oh, if they're absolutely determined to go a different way then I won't outright force them (which I guess might not be railroading under this definition), but I will absolutely try to nudge them in that direction. And I don't think the factor driving that decision (right or wrong) is arrogance at all, whereas the linked article seemed to me to suggest that was the only possible explanation.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />All right, I'll take a crack at it (although my complaint was about tone, not necessarily substance.)



Better to be direct in tone than disingenuous and indirect.

I feel like the linked article glosses over information differentials. Specifically, I'm certain for myself (I do DM) that stuff I make up on the fly will be worse than things I pre-write (hell, that's why I pre-write things). Maybe not true for other people, but I'm certain it's true for me. Given that set up I think it's entirely defensible to show preference to stuff you've pre-written- I'm reasonably confident they'll enjoy the better prepped stuff more and I'm trying to ensure the maximum level of fun.



If you were able to offer them more freedom with a good level of quality might that not increase their fun? If so, wouldn't it be better to work on improving & strengthening the skill & tools you use to improvise rather than continuing to rely on something that does not allow you to build those skills/tools? Do you think that effort put forth would lead to an overall improvement in both your DMing and the game itself in general? And, if it would, why not work towards that improvement instead of stagnating in a style that certainly does limit freedom?

I'm not trying to push the party towards it because I think I'm smarter than they are or superior or whatever, I'm doing it because I have information they don't about the game world. Oh, if they're absolutely determined to go a different way then I won't outright force them (which I guess might not be railroading under this definition), but I will absolutely try to nudge them in that direction. And I don't think the factor driving that decision (right or wrong) is arrogance at all, whereas the linked article seemed to me to suggest that was the only possible explanation.



In a way it is arrogant to assume that they will enjoy what you have worked hard on (with limited freedom) as compared to enjoying the freedom of doing whatever they wish (with limited pre-work done on your part). Basically, it is weighing your effort versus their freedom. You are saying your effort is worth more than their freedom of choice. So really that could be interpreted as arrogance.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Better to be direct in tone than disingenuous and indirect.



Better still to be direct in tone without being excessively confrontational about it. If someone's actually interested in having a discussion, then they shouldn't couch the debate in terms of how profoundly unethical the other side is. Especially when the topic is how people play a game.


If you were able to offer them more freedom with a good level of quality might that not increase their fun? If so, wouldn't it be better to work on improving & strengthening the skill & tools you use to improvise rather than continuing to rely on something that does not allow you to build those skills/tools? Do you think that effort put forth would lead to an overall improvement in both your DMing and the game itself in general? And, if it would, why not work towards that improvement instead of stagnating in a style that certainly does limit freedom?

(cut for length)

In a way it is arrogant to assume that they will enjoy what you have worked hard on (with limited freedom) as compared to enjoying the freedom of doing whatever they wish (with limited pre-work done on your part). Basically, it is weighing your effort versus their freedom. You are saying your effort is worth more than their freedom of choice. So really that could be interpreted as arrogance.



What I'm saying is that I understand my own group, or at least I'm confident enough to make a guess at what they'd enjoy more (which is also what you're doing, albeit in the other direction.) Some people like the more structured approach. Some DMs are just less good at free-form stuff and it's not necessarily a skill one can learn(or, alternatively, they find learning how to better prepare things to be more efficient.) Or, even more alternatively, some DMs just don't have the time to hone skills at all, hence the pre-made modules, in which case the choices isn't "Do it lazy" or "Do it right!", it's "Do it this way" or "Don't play."

I just don't think everyone values totally unfettered freedom of choice to the extent that you do, which doesn't mean you're wrong for yourself, just that alternative approaches are not intrinsically wrong all the time forever.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Better still to be direct in tone without being excessively confrontational about it. If someone's actually interested in having a discussion, then they shouldn't couch the debate in terms of how profoundly unethical the other side is. Especially when the topic is how people play a game.



If he genuinely believes that though, how is not saying what he feels better? I am pretty sure Alexis on the Tao-of-D&D writes how he feels...so he is genuinely expressing his feelings. He also takes his game (and D&D in general) very seriously. Nothing is gained by trying to downplay the game or its importance. If what he says upsets you perhaps there is the possibility that it does so because you feel he might be right. Could that be possible at all?



What I'm saying is that I understand my own group, or at least I'm confident enough to make a guess at what they'd enjoy more (which is also what you're doing, albeit in the other direction.)



If you've never developed the skills to offer them both options from you how can you be confident of that if not through arrogant assumption that you know better? You are also making an assumption about me...I HAVE given my players both ways. They enjoy what I am doing right now FAR more than how I was presenting games previously. FAR more. So I am speaking from experience.

Some people like the more structured approach. Some DMs are just less good at free-form stuff and it's not necessarily a skill one can learn(or, alternatively, they find learning how to better prepare things to be more efficient.)



Saying a skill can't be learned is not only untrue, it is a classic excuse for not bothering to try and develop that skill. Looking at someone doing something and saying "That can't be learned" is a technique to spare ones ego from coming to terms with its own desire (or lack thereof) to learn to do something. I did not magically become good at improving D&D one morning...I practiced, read up on techniques, found and created tools to assist me and worked at it. Like learning to ride a bike, it's a skill I developed...not one I was supernaturally gifted with. In fact, I find it rather insulting for someone to suggest that it is a god-given gift and not a skill that I have taken time to learn as it undercuts my time spent and undermines my efforts to improve...it is basically saying that I just got lucky to have what I have as skills right now.

Or, even more alternatively, some DMs just don't have the time to hone skills at all, hence the pre-made modules, in which case the choices isn't "Do it lazy" or "Do it right!", it's "Do it this way" or "Don't play."



If one doesn't 'have the time' (which almost universally translates to 'enough of a desire') to hone those skills, how isn't it going about it by "Do it lazy" methodology? If one fails to take the time to improve a skill isn't that a sign of laziness or a sign of a lack of desire? If a swimmer never takes the time to learn to do anything but doggy paddle, are they not being lazy in regard to swimming?

I just don't think everyone values totally unfettered freedom of choice to the extent that you do, which doesn't mean you're wrong for yourself, just that alternative approaches are not inherently immoral.



Of course, if you cannot offer this to players there is no way for you to know what they prefer though, is there? That is the crux of the situation. If I can do what 'you' do (that is to say, if I can offer up pre-planned, scripted games) AND I can run games with far more freedom based on tools & improvisation...and you can only offer the former and not the latter...isn't my opinion on the two (and the opinion of my players having experienced both) more valid?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

If he genuinely believes that though, how is not saying what he feels better? I am pretty sure Alexis on the Tao-of-D&D writes how he feels...so he is genuinely expressing his feelings. He also takes his game (and D&D in general) very seriously. Nothing is gained by trying to downplay the game or its importance. If what he says upsets you perhaps there is the possibility that it does so because you feel he might be right. Could that be possible at all?



To emphasize, I'm not trying to suggest that he should "shut up because he's being MEAN." I'm suggesting that he could have expressed the same ideas in a less confrontational tone and made far more progress in actually convincing people. We'll have an empirical test of that one tomorrow when other people post on here and (I suspect) this devolves into an eventually banned flame-war because the intial article sets a very aggressive tone to the argument or people outright ignore it because the tone puts them off

If you've never developed the skills to offer them both options from you how can you be confident of that if not through arrogant assumption that you know better? You are also making an assumption about me...I HAVE given my players both ways. They enjoy what I am doing right now FAR more than how I was presenting games previously. FAR more. So I am speaking from experience.



I was unclear here(sorry); I mean you're making assumptions about my group, just as I am- it's not an insult, just a necessary part of the debate. I have no idea what your group is like and wouldn't presume to guess at the appropriate way to approach them. The jerk part of me has to point out that you're also assuming I haven't done freeform stuff in the past. I have, and it didn't work very well (which, I'll freely grant, may have simply been because of inadequacy on my part.) I frankly found running pre-made modules to be more enjoyable for everyone (at least as far as I can tell.)


If one doesn't 'have the time' (which almost universally translates to 'enough of a desire') to hone those skills, how isn't it going about it by "Do it lazy" methodology? If one fails to take the time to improve a skill isn't that a sign of laziness or a sign of a lack of desire? If a swimmer never takes the time to learn to do anything but doggy paddle, are they not being lazy in regard to swimming?



Or it could be translated to "has other obligations that need to take precedence." Fine, I'll grant that anyone probably could learn with sufficient effort. But the amount of effort for some people would be dramatically larger, to the point were it's just not worth the time they're sacrificing. Which is the other half of this; it only "universally translates" to pure laziness if everyone has some effortlessly sacrificeable chunk of time they can use for said training. If they don't (and I don't think many people do) then they have to make choices that have time costs.

It hardly strikes me as unreasonable to claim that whatever you're sacrificing (sleep, school, work, kids, plain old relaxation time) is too grand a cost gaining something in what is eventually a hobby for most people, especially if the learning doesn't come naturally to you. Note that point exists even if freeform gaming simply is inherently superior for all groups always- it might also just not be feasible, even if it's superior.

Would you be willing to grant, even only hypothetically, that if only one person in a group is willing to DM and s/he physically do not have enough time in the week to learn to be an effective freeform DM, that it's not an immense failing for the group to simply use modules?

EDITED: Grammar are hard. 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />To emphasize, I'm not trying to suggest that he should "shut up because he's being MEAN." I'm suggesting that he could have expressed the same ideas in a less confrontational tone and made far more progress. We'll have an empirical test of that one tomorrow when other people post on here and (I suspect) this devovles into an eventually banned flame-war because the intial article sets a very aggressive tone to the argument.



So his honesty is bad because it will cause other people to act immaturely? That's on them. He is saying how he honestly feels and he is not mincing words. That's it. That people take offense to that is simply a condemnation of their inability to have their ideas or philosophies aggressively challenged. Honestly now, if he sugar-coated everything he said would what he said be as effective? Almost certainly not. There is something innately sick about our society when people would prefer to be pandered to than for someone to express themselves genuinely.

I was unclear here(sorry); I mean you're making assumptions about my group, just as I am- it's not an insult, just a necessary part of the debate. I have no idea what your group is like and wouldn't presume to guess at the appropriate way to approach them. The jerk part of me has to point out that you're also assuming I haven't done freeform stuff in the past. I have, and it didn't work very well (which, I'll freely grant, may have simply been because of inadequacy on my part.) I frankly found running pre-made modules to be more enjoyable for everyone (at least as far as I can tell.)



I only made the assumption based on your own admittance that you are better at working pre-planned and did not develop the skills to be good at improvising. It is possible you would benefit greatly from developing those skills. Additionally, they are skills with a lot of overlap...it makes you a faster thinker, develops stronger conversational skills, etc, etc. There's great benefit in it even aside from D&D.


Or it could be translated to "has other obligations that need to take precedence." Fine, I'll grant that anyone probably could learn with sufficient effort. But the amount of effort for some people would be dramatically larger, to the point were it's just not worth the time they're sacrificing. Which is the other half of this; it only "universally translates" to pure laziness if everyone has some effortlessly sacrificeable chunk of time they can use for said training. If they don't (and I don't think many people do) then they have to make choices that have time costs.



As an example of "sacrificeable chunk of time"...how many hours a week do you spend watching television? Or playing video games? Or engaging in any other leisure activity? Are those not all sacrificeable chunks of time that could be put towards improving one's DMing skills? Their precedence is only set by you...which ties into your desire to work towards improving your DMing skill. If it is not "worth" your time to improve is that not an admittance that your DMing is not as honed as someone who DOES take the time and make the sacrifices to improve? Certainly, a casual swimmer who looks at an Olympic athlete could say "I do not have the time to sacrifice to hone those particular skills"...but at the same time that casual swimmer would never look at the Olympic athlete and say "Well we are just using different kinds of swimming. My way is just as good as yours" because it is clearly untrue...the Olympic athlete is a superior swimmer in every regard BECAUSE of the time they put in and the other sacrifices they have made...they have worked at being better.

It hardly strikes me as unreasonable to claim that whatever you're sacrificing (sleep, school, work, kids, plain old relaxation time) is too grand a cost gaining something in what is eventually a hobby for most people, especially if the learning doesn't come naturally to you. Note that point exists even if freeform gaming simply is inherently superior for all groups always- it might also just not be feasible, even if it's superior.



'Not feasible' is an artificial limitation. It may be ENTIRELY feasible for most people...after all, I am not independently wealthy...I work 40 or more hours a week. I have a wife. I am a leader on an airsoft team that I have to devote large swaths of time to. I enjoy television. I spend hours a week at the gym. I read comic books and novels. I play video games including a focus on fighting games that sees me practice them very often. I still find time to work on improving as a DM or to work on my DMing material, tools or such almost every day of the week in one fashion or another...because I have the desire to improve. If one does not have the desire to improve that is well and good but, baring VERY rare circumstances, I doubt it is legitimate that they could not find the time to do so in their schedule. That is just an excuse for a lack of desire. After all, I COULD sacrifice time in my other hobbies to focus on my Street Fighter skills...but I do not prioritize that leisure activity over D&D...I would never claim I don't have the time though because it's untrue...I just don't have the desire. Hand in hand with that, I wouldn't claim my way of playing Street Fighter is different-but-equal to that of the players that DO put in the time...because it would be both untrue and a disservice to their own levels of skill and dedication.

Would you be willing to grant, even only hypothetically, that if only one person in a group is willing to DM and they physically do not have enough time in the week to learn to be an effective freeform DM, that it's not an immense failing for the group to simply use modules?



I would IF that were true. Honestly, I would just generally find it completely untrue that the person does not have enough time in the week. Not enough desire? Sure. Not enough time? HIGHLY unlikely. Again, how much time does that DM use to play video games or watch television or go to movies or read books or take part in any other leisure activity?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Okay, I think (probably mostly due to me) this has gotten kind of away from the original argument, which I believe can be summarized as such (cursing aside)

(1) Freeform games are inherently better all the time forever as long as the DM puts enough effort into it.
(2) Not putting effort into it is unethical, akin to lying to your friends.

I'm willing to agree with (1) (although phrases like "As long as the DM puts enough effort into it"  make me nervous- it's also true that games where the DM constructs the entire fortress the players live in are better as long as he puts enough effort into it. That doesn't make it a reasonable standard).

I object to (2), at least to the vehemence of the result. There's nothing wrong with prioritizing other things, and I'm not casting judgement on people for it even if it seems trivial. I won't frame this in terms of "Sacrificing time with your dying war hero grandpa"- if someone spends less time honing DM skills because they prefer reading (or, yes, TV, video games, or anything else that seems trivial) then there's nothing wrong with that. Such a choice makes them a worse DM, sure, but to call it unethical creates a standard that I find unjustifiable (the fact that you start learning, say, to play guitar does not create an ehtical imperative for you to find a way to utterly master it.)

If I left the impression I was saying that's an equally great playstyle to someone who utterly masters the art, sorry, I didn't mean to. But I would absolutely say choosing to prioritize something else isn't *immoral*. I guess that's what I'm really objecting to- less result and more the judgemental tone of the conclusion.
Okay, I think (probably mostly due to me) this has gotten kind of away from the original argument, which I believe can be summarized as such (cursing aside)

(1) Freeform games are inherently better all the time forever as long as the DM puts enough effort into it.
(2) Not putting effort into it is unethical, akin to lying to your friends.

I'm willing to agree with (1) (although phrases like "As long as the DM puts enough effort into it"  make me nervous- it's also true that games where the DM constructs the entire fortress the players live in are better as long as he puts enough effort into it. That doesn't make it a reasonable standard).

I object to (2), at least to the vehemence of the result. There's nothing wrong with prioritizing other things, and I'm not casting judgement on people for it even if it seems trivial. I won't frame this in terms of "Sacrificing time with your dying war hero grandpa"- if someone spends less time honing DM skills because they prefer reading (or, yes, TV, video games, or anything else that seems trivial) then there's nothing wrong with that. Such a choice makes them a worse DM, sure, but to call it unethical creates a standard that I find unjustifiable (the fact that you start learning, say, to play guitar does not create an ehtical imperative for you to find a way to utterly master it.)

If I left the impression I was saying that's an equally great playstyle to someone who utterly masters the art, sorry, I didn't mean to. But I would absolutely say choosing to prioritize something else isn't *immoral*. I guess that's what I'm really objecting to- less result and more the judgemental tone of the conclusion.



Ah I think I see the disconnect from the tone used.

First though, let me sincerely thank you for chatting with me about all this and doing so reasonably and in a back & forth manner. I honestly, REALLY mean that. It doesn't seem like often people will allow themselves to be challenged in a conversation with someone (and in turn challenge that person back)...so I really appreciate the good exchange thus far.

Alexis' talking point is far more that the "unethical" part is the illusion of options. It is actually far better to be up front and say "Hey this is the module we're using right now" or "Hey guys, do you mind actually biting at this hook because I did put some good time into it" than it is to say "Hey you can do what you want!" while secretly what they do doesn't matter because you are pulling a magician's switch on them at every opportunity. That is the unethical part...you are actually lying to your players. You are giving them options that aren't really options...and of course a notion is that 'Well if they don't know better it's okay!' but Alexis (and I) find that reasoning to be bullplop because that is essentially claiming it is okay to cheat, lie or steal so long as the person doesn't know you are doing it. Now, I'm not equating what we're discussing with something like stealing but it is cheating your players of their agency and it is deceiving them by pretending they are getting something they are not.

Not putting effort into making as many options as possible for your players (or developing the skills to make infinite options viable) is not the unethical part...it is simply laziness or a lack of enough desire to improve as a DM. I am NOT condemning that latter thing by the way and I don't believe Alexis does either. That is perfectly okay...not everyone will invest as much as someone else. However, I DO condemn the notion that both methods are always equally valid when one is predicated upon putting in less effort. Effort pays dividends...it is a fact of life. Work pays off. People that put in more time and effort are probably, more often than not, better at that thing they put effort towards than someone that does not. That is elementary but because of the idea that it is somehow "wrong" to say one way is better or whatnot than another, the person putting in more time and effort, in effect, has those efforts diminished because they are expected to give just as much credence to a methodology that they typically have gone through and discarded in the course of improving.

Mind you, that is not to say that all effort is equal...because obviously that is not true either. Working smarter is just as good or better than working harder...and doing both is sublime! I think one of the big things is the admittance that putting in less effort & less work makes one a worse DM...it is almost bizarre how taboo that seems to be as an idea.

To sum up...I don't believe the article is saying someone is bad for NOT putting in the time and effort to improve. At any rate, I definitely don't think that. After all, I think Alexis puts in more time & effort to pursue his hobby of DMing...but I recognize that he might be a better DM than me...in fact, I accept that that is most likely true BECAUSE of the amount of time & effort he puts in...it's why I read his blog. The unethical part is merely the act of lying to your players that you are presenting them with something when, really, you are not...and you are not because you are not interested in doing anything but what you already prepared because you have not put in the time and effort to develop ways around it or do not have a desire to let them deviate. The effort component is a possible symptom or cause...but it is not the wrong in and of itself. That is what I meant about being honest to your players when you might say something like "Hey this is what I have...would you guys mind doing it?" because I think that is far more ethical than letting them think they are doing something different before putting them back on the rails by hook or by crook.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Huh. Well, I'm about to do something that rarely happens on the interwebs: if that was what he meant (and that wasn't what I got from it, although it'd hardly be the first time I misread) then I don't really have any objections at all. I was arguing against a point he (or at least you) weren't making.

So properly I never had any real criticisms since the point actually being made seems reasonable to me.

So, uh... carry on then. 
I think that a good DM can take a pre-written adventure, and add improv as needed to it.   I think that most groups could generally make their way through the module without feeling railroaded, so long as the DM added as necessary.  

I haven't run a pre-made in about a decade.   But when I write an adventure for my group, I think it's silly to assume that because I have some type of story written down, that can be played out in many ways, it is inferior design.   I do not even think it's railroading in the slightest.

In other words, I think it's false to assume that having something written down in advance is worse than freeforming everything.   In fact, I believe the reverse is true.   I do not believe that a DM who shows up with a blank page as his prep is doing his group any favors.
Huh. Well, I'm about to do something that rarely happens on the interwebs: if that was what he meant (and that wasn't what I got from it, although it'd hardly be the first time I misread) then I don't really have any objections at all. I was arguing against a point he (or at least you) weren't making.

So properly I never had any real criticisms since the point actually being made seems reasonable to me.

So, uh... carry on then. 



Even if that is the case, it lead to some really good chat I'd say. Hopefully other people can read it and take something away from it. If so then it was productive!

PS: I'm going to re-read the post again and try to do so from state of mind that is not famliar with Alexis and his DMing style and attitude regarding the game, etc to see if I come away with a bit of the same impression you got. It is entirely possible I glossed over something he said that would have made me think as you did simply because I am used to his writing. I'll give it a more critical eye tomorrow after I've gotten some sleep and let you know!

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I think that a good DM can take a pre-written adventure, and add improv as needed to it.   I think that most groups could generally make their way through the module without feeling railroaded, so long as the DM added as necessary.  

I haven't run a pre-made in about a decade.   But when I write an adventure for my group, I think it's silly to assume that because I have some type of story written down, that can be played out in many ways, it is inferior design.   I do not even think it's railroading in the slightest.

In other words, I think it's false to assume that having something written down in advance is worse than freeforming everything.   In fact, I believe the reverse is true.   I do not believe that a DM who shows up with a blank page as his prep is doing his group any favors.



No no. That is not the point being made. I agree with you entirely. ALL freeform is typically dangerous, foolhardy and usually stems from arrogance or a lack of caring as a DM. It is usually just not feasible as a human being.

A good DM can certainly take a pre-written adventure and improv as necessary. The railroading comes in when the DM sits down at the table with their sheet of paper and, come hell or high-water, THAT is what the players are going to do...even if the DM has to pull a few switcheroos to make it happen. Alexis points out an example with different crews on a ship...if a DM is only willing to give those players ONE crew consisting of the same characters/personalities regardless of the PCs actions that sort of behavior is being condemned because it is undermining (whether they know it or not) the players agency.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I'd like to first say that YagamiFire reads me accurately and defends me brilliantly.

Then I'd like to add regarding the presentation of any case in a manner that is non-confrontational.  Let us please understand this; it is not done in error.  It is a universal style of argument that has been posed by scholars throughout history, from Plato through Erasmus, Thomas More, Thomas Paine, right up to George Orwell.  Confrontation does breed confrontation.  This is the ideal.  It is in each individual's inability to defend completely and passionately their position that we are able to tell, as learned persons, the difference between truth and falsehood.

In the end, falsehood must always fail to persevere, and thus resort to cries of unfairness, cruelty, meanness and so on, and falsehood will always claim the "style" of argument is the defining consideration.  Truth need never resort to these practices.  It stands on its own merits.

I know that yes, the internet is full of people who love to flame.  But that is only done in lieu of an argument.

Unapologetic.
Yagami, I'm glad you and tanstaa came to an agreement, as I was reading this thread, I was about to jump to his defense.  Especially becaue almot everything he said coud hav come from me (I didn't have a problem with the article's tone, though).

My DM style involves more careful planning than free-form.  That's not to say I can't pull something out of a hat for my players when they surprise me, but the quality of my work alway shines better when I plan ahead.  Jut as an example, here's one example of the fun kind of encounter I can pull off when I plan ahead:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I'm paticularly proud of that one.

This is not a reflection of laziness on my part, but a reflection on my character.  I've gotten good at encounter building, so I can pull together a fun and chalenging encounter with little preparation, but I usually use the time during the encounter to start planning my next step.  I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but my story writing skills are pretty good, the players I have had over the last 13 years of DMing have always enjoyed the sorylines I write.  To be honest, I've never had a party just completely abandon the storyline I have written and prepared for.

That said, I usually (especially towards the beginning of my campaign arcs) am prepared for some variation from the players.  One of my major plotlines I have lined up, for example, involves the party eventually discovering, and going up against, the machinations of my deity of death and undeath.  Once the party has stumbled onto the plot, they're usually intrigued enough to pursue it, but in early levels, I have several innocuous (and seemingly unrelated) plot hooks disuised as adventures in a small town, a big city, or wilderness.  These hooks all relate to one of the machinations of said deity's faithful, but not in an obvious way. Failing that, I also have a great mini-adventure set up in my world.  One of the lords of a keep in the mountains holds a regular event called the Silver Hunt, which calls for adventurers all over to come and gather there, and all go hunting lycanthropes.  If I'm at a loss for what to do next, I usually drop hints that the Silver Hunt is going on.  It's something that has never failed to at least occupy a few sessions, giving me more time to plan further.

I agree, railroad is bad.

What else is bad? Abrasive personality.
Obfuscation.
I agree with your points.

I also think is possible to make the same point without sounding like jerk. Possible or not possible? Not for you, I mean, because it is not possible clearly for you. I mean is it possible in the realm of possibilities that someone can make a good point without also being abrasive?
It is of course absolutely a possibility to make a good point without being abrasive.

If you and I were at a table, Yokel, I'd buy you a drink, I'd calmly explain my position.  You and I would discuss it out, parse out the various points, determine where we agreed and where we didn't ... and then participate in a dialectic intended to further examine the various parts of the issue.  I'd make a joke, you'd make a joke, we'd comment on the game playing on the tv, we'd drift away from the conversation to go pee, to order food, to discuss perhaps the issue up on the news, etc.  Then get back down to the issue.

Face-to-face, every good point can be made patiently, calmly and respectfully.

On the internet, however, people do not listen.  They do not.  You, personally Yokel, perhaps you do.  But you do not represent every person out there.  And I'm not interested in only presenting my position to you alone.  I want it presented to everyone.  I want to stir the pot, and dig up the fat, dull, lumpy potatoes steadily burning on the bottom.  The ones anxious to ruin the whole soup.  So IF you agree, and if you got the point, sit down, describe it patiently and considerately to your friends, who need to get it.

I, unfortunately, don't have the time and money to take everyone out for drinks.  I have to mass communicate.  And that is done with an axe, not with a feather bed.
I, unfortunately, don't have the time and money to take everyone out for drinks.  I have to mass communicate.  And that is done with an axe, not with a feather bed.


I disagree. Angry obnoxious postings only attract the people who are inclined to agree with you and can get past the obnoxiousness to the substance.  It's a barrier.  Most responses to such posting will be about the style, not the substance.

If your goal is simply to get traffic to your website and develope a loyal cadre of yes-men, then angry obnoxious presentation is all well and good.  If your goal is to reach people who might be swayed to your point of view, then angry onbnoxious presentation will fail.

The best presentation, however, is self-deprecating humor. It's engaging, inviting, disarming, and people want to agree with people who are both witty and nice.  It's also one of the hardest styles to write well.  Angry obnoxious is one of the easiest.
Seems you missed the self-deprecating humour in the piece.

Um, you read it.  Didn't you?  Are you so sure you received nothing from it?  You were motivated to explain manners to me.  I call that a win.  This is a dialogue.  I call that a win.  I don't hear you disagreeing with the goal, only the words.  I call that a win.

All I can tell that's negative is that you're offended.  I don't see that as a problem.  You're up off the bottom.  You're thinking.  I call that a win too.

The problem with all you people who want to teach how to agitate is that you fail to realize the process of agitation is discomfort.

I disagree. Angry obnoxious postings only attract the people who are inclined to agree with you and can get past the obnoxiousness to the substance.  It's a barrier.  Most responses to such posting will be about the style, not the substance.

If your goal is simply to get traffic to your website and develope a loyal cadre of yes-men, then angry obnoxious presentation is all well and good.  If your goal is to reach people who might be swayed to your point of view, then angry onbnoxious presentation will fail.

The best presentation, however, is self-deprecating humor. It's engaging, inviting, disarming, and people want to agree with people who are both witty and nice.  It's also one of the hardest styles to write well.  Angry obnoxious is one of the easiest.



I disagree.

I am reminded of the king that can only respond reasonably to bad or critical news when it is delivered from his court jester. It is narcissistic behavior. The narcissist can't stand anything openly (or even indirectly) critical of them or what they do, so they will only entertain it when it is delivered by someone that has openly debased themselves in the course of delivering their thoughts. Since they have been shown to be willing to act a fool, the narcissist feels no threat from them because they are, after all, easily dismissed as a jester.

I am reminded of the child that has to be distracted with a hand-puppet so as to avoid having their attention drawn to the impending prick of the needle. Since they can focus on something else, they can put the painful part on the backburner and, potentially, deal with it only minimally or not at all.

I mean seriously..."people want to agree with people who are both witty and nice"? Seriously? So you're more likely to agree with a white supremecist if they're witty and nice about delivering their hate speech? See, I am more of the mind that I am more likely to agree with someone that is factually correct. Crazy theory, I know.

What you're basically saying is that people will get less emotionally hostile when they are pandered to. And...I agree. That doesn't mean it's a good thing. Doesn't make it proper. It just means many people are incapable of engaging in an adult level of conversation and many people are unable to actively debate something based on the facts, instead having to resort to harping on how those facts are or aren't delivered.

Imagine a wine-tasting where a person gives an insulted look towards the wine and says "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! WHOA! ...this is not my Batman glass!" and then refuses to even taste. That is essentially what you are saying is proper behavior. You are on a discussion board...to discuss. Not to discuss how people to discuss...but to discuss the topic at hand...which is the real insidiousness of this little tactic. It allows someone to pretend they are taking part in a discussion when really all they're doing is actively trying to derail it by changing the topic to the manner in which the topic is delivered.

Accept that it's not your Batman glass...take a mouthful...swish it around...then come back with an actual opinion towards the topic at hand.


I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Seems you missed the self-deprecating humour in the piece.


yes.  i didn't see any self-deprecating humor in the piece.  Of course, humor can be very subjective, so maybe what you thought was funny did not appear funny to me.

You were motivated to explain manners to me.  I call that a win.  This is a dialogue.  I call that a win.  I don't hear you disagreeing with the goal, only the words.  I call that a win.


So you're goal isnot to sway people about the substance of your article.  You just want to get a response?  Okay.  Then keep on keeping on.  As I said, your style is perfectly fine if all you want go get is a reaction, rather than actually swaying people as to the substance of your post.

All I can tell that's negative is that you're offended.


I wasn't offended.  I was replying to your statement in this thread which indicated that a combatative style was a good way to get discussion and I was disagreeing... if youre goal is to sway people as to the substance of your post.  Since it appears your goal is not to sway people as to the substance of your posts, but rather to "agitate" people, we now understand one another.

The problem with all you people who want to teach how to agitate is that you fail to realize the process of agitation is discomfort.


I don't want to teach you how to agitate. You're clearly well-versed in agitation.  I was talking about persuasion, which is a completely different skillset.
Yagami, I'm glad you and tanstaa came to an agreement, as I was reading this thread, I was about to jump to his defense.  Especially becaue almot everything he said coud hav come from me (I didn't have a problem with the article's tone, though).

My DM style involves more careful planning than free-form.  That's not to say I can't pull something out of a hat for my players when they surprise me, but the quality of my work alway shines better when I plan ahead.  Jut as an example, here's one example of the fun kind of encounter I can pull off when I plan ahead:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I'm paticularly proud of that one.

This is not a reflection of laziness on my part, but a reflection on my character.  I've gotten good at encounter building, so I can pull together a fun and chalenging encounter with little preparation, but I usually use the time during the encounter to start planning my next step.  I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but my story writing skills are pretty good, the players I have had over the last 13 years of DMing have always enjoyed the sorylines I write.  To be honest, I've never had a party just completely abandon the storyline I have written and prepared for.

That said, I usually (especially towards the beginning of my campaign arcs) am prepared for some variation from the players.  One of my major plotlines I have lined up, for example, involves the party eventually discovering, and going up against, the machinations of my deity of death and undeath.  Once the party has stumbled onto the plot, they're usually intrigued enough to pursue it, but in early levels, I have several innocuous (and seemingly unrelated) plot hooks disuised as adventures in a small town, a big city, or wilderness.  These hooks all relate to one of the machinations of said deity's faithful, but not in an obvious way. Failing that, I also have a great mini-adventure set up in my world.  One of the lords of a keep in the mountains holds a regular event called the Silver Hunt, which calls for adventurers all over to come and gather there, and all go hunting lycanthropes.  If I'm at a loss for what to do next, I usually drop hints that the Silver Hunt is going on.  It's something that has never failed to at least occupy a few sessions, giving me more time to plan further.




Chiba, do you see that you are setting up rails to deliver the players to the same destination? You may have it nicely wrapped, but that is what is occuring. Now, I am sure you mean well...you seem like a reasonable guy and a good thinker...but if you already know the destination for the PCs journey, isn't that a railroading methodology?

That isn't to condemn you or anything...but would you see value in improving upon your techniques and skills as a DM until the point where you do not need to know any sort of story points or such and, in fact, have no idea where the game events might lead but can still keep up with your players?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Tao, what are you doing?  You are better than this.
Posting a link and having people look at it.  Asking what they think?  You never gave your opinion in that post, so why should anyone else give theirs?  You don't address issues in any kind of intelligent manner, and act defensive and try to misdirect when people don't agree with you. 

Don't you understand?  What you are viewing as mass communication is actually spam.
I mean seriously..."people want to agree with people who are both witty and nice"? Seriously?


Yes, people are more likely to agree with the substance of a person's argument when offered with self-deprecating humor.

So you're more likely to agree with a white supremecist if they're witty and nice about delivering their hate speech?


"More likely" is not "compelled to".  Obviously there are some topics so hateful that no amount of self-deprecating humor will sway me.  But that doesn't mean that the hate-speaker would find more success by also being obnoxious as well as racist.

See, I am more of the mind that I am more likely to agree with someone that is factually correct. Crazy theory, I know.


It is a crazy theory.  Because presentation matters.  It always has.  I would recommend Aritotle's Rehtoric for a primer on this notion.

It just means many people are incapable of engaging in an adult level of conversation


I don't know many definitions of adult conversation that include profanity and obnoxious behavior.  Those are usually the hallmarks of juvenille behavior, as is the notion that the person trying to make a point is not obligated to make the point in the most persuasive manner possible.

You're welcome to insist that you don't have to consider your presentation, but that is neither an adult nor a mature attitude to take.  If you want to actually persuade real people in the real world, your best tactic is do so in a mature and persuasive manner.

If you're looking only for people who already agree with you to be emotionally engaged in what you say, then by all means write in a juvenille and hostile tone.  You get the audience your deserve.
That was good insightful ****.  Something for DM to keep in forefront of their mind when they DM. 1.  Try to be prepared for most possibilities.  2. Try not to have a linear and rigid mind, but a mind that flow like the wahtuh. DM'ing is hard job!  Improvisation & adaptation being a key skill, and entwining players choices right into original plot like a master weaver, putting in the new threads and still making a tapestry out of it...perhaps not the exact one master weaver envisioned in the beginning but something even better!  

To become the master weaver is Hard!

Thanks for sharing it Yagami.  Was a good "check yourself before wreck yourself" guide.
Tao, what are you doing?  You are better than this.
Posting a link and having people look at it.  Asking what they think?  You never gave your opinion in that post, so why should anyone else give theirs?  You don't address issues in any kind of intelligent manner, and act defensive and try to misdirect when people don't agree with you. 

Don't you understand?  What you are viewing as mass communication is actually spam.



Actually...I didn't really see anyone directly disagree with Alexis...just with his chosen form of communicating. The point of discussion is in the OP of this thread in the link I provided. People should be discussing that instead of discussing the way in which that is delivered since that is a seperate topic all-together.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


Yes, people are more likely to agree with the substance of a person's argument when offered with self-deprecating humor.



Then they are weak-willed, easily swayed people indeed. Facts are facts. Points of discussion are points of discussion. How they are dressed up is ultimately irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Polishing a turd does not make the turd not a turd...nor does a bar of gold contained in a box of cardboard make the gold worth less per ounce.

"More likely" is not "compelled to".  Obviously there are some topics so hateful that no amount of self-deprecating humor will sway me.  But that doesn't mean that the hate-speaker would find more success by also being obnoxious as well as racist.



So, in other words, you will only react positively to something displayed positively to you if you are already positive or neutral towards it? Well what about something you are negative towards? You require it to be delivered to you in a positive manner? Again...king with a jester.

It is a crazy theory.  Because presentation matters.  It always has.  I would recommend Aritotle's Rehtoric for a primer on this notion.



And I would suggest you look to Aristotle's instructor Plato. In an earlier post Alexis also referenced several other scholars and writers who have a different attitude towards presentation. Additionally, even in Rhetoric there is much ado about persuasion which has less to do with the quality of facts (which Socrates, Plato and Aristotle ALL put the greatest importance on) and more to do with the ability to convince people of facts. In other words, a large part of it has to do with an attempt to engage and illuminate those ignorant of truths and facts. I find it strange that someone would desire to greatly to be treated as an ignorant person.

Also, all three of those old, dead, Greek guys often spoke of how things like rhetoric were dangerous because it merely plays to emotion and glosses over or even misrepresents facts. "Feel good garbage" is how I would phrase it today...but, then again, I'm less erudite than that trio of venerable dead Greeks.

I don't know many definitions of adult conversation that include profanity and obnoxious behavior.



Then you haven't been around many honest adults...at least as far as profanity is concerned. Obnoxiousness is in the eye of the beholder.

Those are usually the hallmarks of juvenille behavior, as is the notion that the person trying to make a point is not obligated to make the point in the most persuasive manner possible.



Your opinion in that regard is duly noted. Would you be so kind as to tell us your opinion of where on the maturity-spectrum lays the act of derailing discussion by criticizing the DELIVERY of a topic rather than the actual content of that topic? I'm curious.

You're welcome to insist that you don't have to consider your presentation, but that is neither an adult nor a mature attitude to take.  If you want to actually persuade real people in the real world, your best tactic is do so in a mature and persuasive manner.



You're making the mistake that I, or anyone else, should care about your opinion regarding presentation. The topic was created to discuss the ideas put forth, not the manner in which they were stated. When I care about your opinion regarding the delivery of an idea, I will make a point to PM you. Until then, please try to maturely consider and address the actual topic of discussion.

If you're looking only for people who already agree with you to be emotionally engaged in what you say, then by all means write in a juvenille and hostile tone.  You get the audience your deserve.



At least those people would be discussing the topic at hand. If that is the audience that gathers and discusses...so be it. At least they're not engaging in useless rhetoric.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

That was good insightful ****.  Something for DM to keep in forefront of their mind when they DM. 1.  Try to be prepared for most possibilities.  2. Try not to have a linear and rigid mind, but a mind that flow like the wahtuh. DM'ing is hard job!  Improvisation & adaptation being a key skill, and entwining players choices right into original plot like a master weaver, putting in the new threads and still making a tapestry out of it...perhaps not the exact one master weaver envisioned in the beginning but something even better!  

To become the master weaver is Hard!

Thanks for sharing it Yagami.  Was a good "check yourself before wreck yourself" guide.



Quite welcome! All credit goes to Alexis on his blog. I am merely a messenger!

However, I think the comment from Jack on that same blog really summed it up with "Wow, this really forces an honest man to take an honest look at himself." I couldn't agree more.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Then they are weak-willed, easily swayed people indeed.


Whether that's true or not, it's up to the speaker to decide if he wants to persuade the people that actually exist, not the one's he wishes did.

YagamiFire: So, in other words, you will only react positively to something displayed positively to you if you are already positive or neutral towards it?

No, again, as I said, there are some topics so hateful that no amount of self-deprecating humor will sway me.  but there as some topics of which I could be swayed.  And presentation matters.

YagamiFire: And I would suggest you look to Aristotle's instructor Plato.

I've read Plato.  In the Greek.  Could you possibly tell me which of Plato's writings recommend profanity as a means of persuaion?

YagamiFire: Also, all three of those old, dead, Greek guys often spoke of how things like rhetoric were dangerous because it merely plays to emotion and glosses over or even misrepresents facts.

Dangerous?  no.  They clearly indicate the importance of proper presentation precisely because humans are emotional beings.

YagamiFire: "Feel good garbage" is how I would phrase it today...but, then again, I'm less erudite than that trio of venerable dead Greeks.

See?  Self-deprecating humor isn't so hard.

YagamiFire: Would you be so kind as to tell us your opinion of where on the maturity-spectrum lays the act of derailing discussion by criticizing the DELIVERY of a topic rather than the actual content of that topic? I'm curious.

I was responding to the author's own discussion of presentation.  So I certainly haven't derailed the conversation.  And by continuing this topic, you're as equally complicit in its continuation.

YagamiFire:You're making the mistake that I, or anyone else, should care about your opinion regarding presentation.

I have no illusions that you care about my opinions.  You've made that point in almost every exchange we've been in.

YagamiFire: The topic was created to discuss the ideas put forth, not the manner in which they were stated.

Then perhaps you should direct this comment to tao_alexis, whose comment about presentation is what I responsed to.

YagamiFire: At least those people would be discussing the topic at hand. If that is the audience that gathers and discusses...so be it. At least they're not engaging in useless rhetoric.

Aristotle didn't think a discussion of rhetoric was useless.  He wrote an entire treatise on the subject.  Ah, those dead Greeks and their useless discussions....
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I was responding to the author's own discussion of presentation.  So I certainly haven't derailed the conversation.  And by continuing this topic, you're as equally complicit in its continuation.



That's all I need from that post then.

I'll not take part in it any longer and I'll request you actually return to the intended topic of the thread as well. Fair?

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I'll not take part in it any longer and I'll request you actually return to the intended topic of the thread as well. Fair?


Sure.  I didn't have any opinion on the underlying topic since I felt the article was directed on someone who had a lot less experience DMing that I do.  Once you strip out the tone, it was pretty basic advice about railroading that I've heard plenty of times before.  That's why I didn't participate in the thread earlier.  

Have a good one!
I'll not take part in it any longer and I'll request you actually return to the intended topic of the thread as well. Fair?


Sure.  I didn't have any opinion on the underlying topic since I felt the article was directed on someone who had a lot less experience DMing that I do.  Once you strip out the tone, it was pretty basic advice about railroading that I've heard plenty of times before.  That's why I didn't participate in the thread earlier.  

Have a good one!



I agree whole-heartedly. It is somewhat elementary advice, but it is advice that is not necessarily self-evident. Hence I thought it valuable, especially since it might challenge some peoples long-held beliefs...which might lead to good discussion.

It is entirely possible that you have already moved past the mental constructs discussed in the OP link (I know I have)...or that you might never have entertained them in the first place. In which case...good on ya!

Have a good one indeed!

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

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