Monday, January 10, 2011

A Reminder

It's not just the history of the hobby that so many of us forget, it's even more recent history, such as The Joeskythedungeonbrawler Protocol, put forward only six months ago:
IF YOU MAKE A POST BLOG THAT IS ONLY A ARGUMETN AND WHEN I READ ITIT MAKES A BLAHBLAH BLAH SOUND, YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME SOMETHING FREE AT THE END: NEW COOL RULE, OR A MONSTER(S), OR SOME SPELLS, OR MAGIC ITEMS OR REGULAR ITEMS THAT ARE DIFFERENT, OR EVEN BETTER A MAP - AND IT CAN’T BE A LINK JUST TO SOMEP LACE ELSE IN YOU’RE BLOG, IT HAS TO BE NEW AND COOL.

IF YOU DON’T TO DO THAT YOU AUTIMATICALLY LOSE THE ARGUMENT AND THE OTHER GUY IS DECLARED A WINNER, WHICH MEANS YOU JUST WRITED 5000 WORD SFOR NOTHING!!!!1 :(

Much as I love the Protocol, I'd like to suggest an addendum -- the "something free at the end" has to derive from your current RPG campaign. I say this because I honestly think there'd be a lot less contentiousness on the blogs and forums if more people were actually playing the games they're passionate about (whatever they are) rather than just talking about them in the abstract. I know this blog was a lot more ranty in the first year of its existence than it has been over the last two and I attribute that to the fact that, prior to 2009, I wasn't actually playing OD&D; I just talking about playing it. I can understand that, sometimes, circumstances simply prevent our being able to play as often as we'd like (or at all), but, ultimately, this hobby is about playing games, not merely talking about doing so. We need more playing and we need more talking informed through regular play.

So, to that end, I offer you the following as per my suggested addendum. The text in the quote box below is hereby designated Open Game Content via the Open Game License.
Tome of the Iron God: This large, metal-bound volume contains the rites and scriptures of the enigmatic deity known only as the Iron God. The Tome depicts the Iron God as a traveler from another world who came (or was sent -- the text is unclear on the matter) to do battle with demons and the undead. Consequently, the Tome's rites revere the Iron God as a psychopomp and eternal foe of those who disturb the eternal rest of the dead. Anyone who carefully reads the book in its entirety (a process that takes 1 week) and successfully rolls his Wisdom or less on 1D20 gain a permanent +1 bonus to attacks and saving throws against demons and the undead. However, this benefit is lost and may never again may be regained if the reader ever uses or has used upon them the spell raise dead, which is abhorrent to the Iron God's religion. In addition, clerics who successfully read the Tome gain access to the following spell:

Peaceful Repose
Level:
2
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch

By casting this spell, a cleric prevents the body of a creature from ever rising as one of the undead, whether as a result of having been slain by an undead being or being reanimated through magic or other processes. A body protected by this spell may be raised from the dead, in accordance with the usual limitations on raise dead, but if the cleric who cast peaceful repose knowingly allows or does nothing to prevent such a magical resurrection, he immediately loses access to this spell and may never again relearn it (or, at the referee's discretion, might be able to do so if he undergoes an appropriate penance in the eyes of the Iron God).

22 comments:

  1. Honestly, in practice, this doctrine does nothing for me.

    I *like* the fact that blogs are such a great place to discuss (and argue) the current state of gaming.

    Nothing's wrong with "content" as such, but it's the primary reason I have hundreds of gaming books and magazine on my shelves, not the primary reason I write, read and comment on blogs.

    Play the games you love, of course, and share your creations for sure, but there's a lot to be said for just shooting the s*** for the hell of it, too.

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  2. I'd rather discussion happen on a forum, but there are no OSR-forums. The forums we have are all edition-specific, rather than dedicated to OSR per se.

    The problem with blogger discussion is that it is spread out across a bunch of blogs, only some of which you probably read, and you have to remember to go back and look at the comments section. It's just a lousy way to have a reasonable back-and-forth discussion.

    What it is good for is generating comments, which are a nice ego boost, but that's all.

    I'd prefer blogs for useful content, some forum somewhere for the running commentary & discussions.

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  3. I'm ambivalent, though with a slight leaning toward the Joesky Protocol. I like to read "ranty" posts, but I also like to get great ideas for my campaign from other people's gaming-content-based posts. I am a switch-hitter.

    That said, I like the general ethos of the Joesky Protocol and will strive to adhere to it as rigorously as I can, especially since I am a far more competent creator of content than I am a theorizer or a ranter. And I am fortunate enough to be mid-stream in a great LL campaign with many inspired and creative players!

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  4. Makes you wonder if there isn't a separate, but related, hobby, "talking about RPGs," distinct from, but related to, "playing RPGs."

    There could, of course, be overlap between the two groups of hobbiests.

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  5. I love the concept because it's based on the premise that your time and attention is valuable-- that something ranty and potentially divisive should be accompanied with something constructive to balance it.

    I also think it's built on the assumption that the goal of this whole endeavour is about making and sharing- not just hanging out with each other conversing. And thus I think this amendment is nice, although, I often use stuff in my campaign only because I've already made it to offer up to blog readers.

    As far as forums, maybe I'm too ego-centric, Pat, but I've come to despise them as places people go to socialize and have pissing contests. Little use comes out of them for me. And the stuff that is useful is often impossible to ever find again. Blogs are like radio stations; I can tune into those with the clearest signal for me.

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  6. I've nothing to say on the argument or the suggested amendment, but I do like the Tome of the Iron God and the new spell. :)

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  7. Actually, let me immediately walk that back a bit. See the problem is that if you want to take part in this cool Conversation we have going, it's hard to do it with a blog until you grown some readership. It's also hard if you don't have the time to put into blogging, because blogs require some updating or you'll lose those same readers. So forums can be a good place to get started even for what I value (and that's where I got started).

    And here's an idea to pay for my comments: a sword that gains in encumbrance each day it isn't used in combat.

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  8. I've posted about people talking about D&D versus actually playing it several times here and other places as well. I couldn't agree more and I'm glad to see James feels the same way.

    Play the game (whatever incarnation you prefer) then rant about it if you must.

    I think this is a prevalent problem in the design circles of D&D as well. It seems to me like many designers of the games various versions rarely play(ed) it. This includes the OSR crowd BTW.

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  9. it certainly can't hurt a post to include a little content goody at the end, maybe not as a rule, but who wouldn't appreciate it? excellent item and spell btw. and i agree, of course, that content that came from play will always be superior. to that end (open game content):

    Mislay Object
    Level: 1 (magic-user)
    Duration: 1 week/caster lvl.
    Range: Touch
    This spell renders a designated object impossible to find; the object must be no more than 1 cubic inch per level of the caster and set somewhere reasonably out of sight. The caster instantly forgets where he put the object for the duration of the spell. Further, any attempt to locate the object (including the spell locate object) by the caster or anyone else automatically fails, only dispel magic, or similar effects, cast on the object's general vicinity allow the it to be found again.

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  10. You left out the other element:

    THIS ALSO COUNTS FOR ARGUMENT RESPONSE’S AND TALKBACKS AND COMMENTS THAT EXSEED 25 WORDS.

    Which is much harder to

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  11. Can I just say that Telecanter's sword is genius?

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  12. Oh noes. Everything I say MAKES A BLAHBLAH BLAH SOUND. Even my content. I guess I owe you something else.

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  13. I've got something... How bout not using ALL CAPS, use spellcheck and, preferably, grammar check? That way you won't suck and have "WRITED" all those words for nothing.

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  14. That's a great addition as far as I'm concerned--one of the main reasons I read gaming blogs is for the tidbits that end up inspiring me. Of course, the general discussions often include something that will spark an idea or a new line of thinking.

    My content contribution:

    Item- Bag of Disfortunate Displacement

    This small sack looks outwardly identical to a Bag of Holding, even to the point of radiating the same type of magical aura when analyzed. In fact, it operates the same way as a Bag of Holding, too, allowing it to weightlessly carry up to 5,000gp volume in non-magical items.

    When a magical item is placed inside, however, it is immediately teleported to the most awkward or unfortunate place possible for the character placing the item inside.

    A Ring of Invisibility gets teleported into the possession of the party's arch-nemesis, a Wand of Fireballs teleports to the bandit leader camped five miles down the road waiting to ambush travelers, etc.

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  15. @radnoff:

    I believe you might be misreading joesky's blog.

    :)

    verification word: bilifori

    a sentient, ant-shaped cloud native to the elemental plane of air

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  16. @Doug & Dragons: I agree, I'm quite fond of Telecanter's sword.

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  17. I like Joesky's Rule because, ideally, it makes you think "Well, if I do write this long discussion of BLAH and BLAH in gaming today, I'm also going to have to come up with a cool item. Am I up for both?" I think the result is that both things will be better thought out.

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  18. I must disagree with the protocol. I do not read this blog for lists of magic items and treasure, I'll never use all the ones from the books I already have and I personally find them to be just so much BLAHBLABLAH.

    As a game store owner the thing I miss most about the 80's is having insightful and informative discussions of the merits of system "x" vs system "y" or a particular person's approach to game mastering. That is the void in my life that this and a few other blogs fill.

    I like the rants, reviews, theory & philosophy, especially when the are followed thought provoking commentary. List of magic and treasure are a dime a dozen, I don't even even read them...

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  19. One thing I like about both Joelsky's and this blog, James, is both your ability to keep out of or above all the petty arguments that OSR discussion tends to devolve into. I have personally read 2 or 3 other good blogs that have lowered my opinion of them when they stooped to groundless and immature attacks on Grodnardia. So what if you sound cultured or are mining the OSR for your next writing project - you're producing more grist for the mill, which can never be a bad thing. I find your erudition and Joelsky's slapstick great antidotes to the self-inportant windbags out there.

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  20. I agree with Will & Zarcanthropus. Also, I'm very down on forums these days.

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  21. I don't believe in *requiring* anyone to do anything on their own Web logs, but I like your Tome of the Iron God.

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