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Let me recommend you a great pirates game

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System matters. My game design created, or at least contributed to, a play environment in which someone had their character commit a horrible murder-rape. I don't see why anyone would argue otherwise. (I'm not sure if anyone has, in fact, argued otherwise - I've found this thread kind of hard to take seriously and I may be missing some arguments. Doesn't really matter.)

If anyone's still curious about the game's rules or whatever, please come ask me in the lumpley games forum at the Forge.

I'm going to keep reading this thread, but I'm not EVEN going to try to have a conversation in it.



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This is basically a game about fucked up, nasty shit happening to you as a perpetrator or a victim, and the fact that at a demo somebody's raping throats is a bit disturbing. That seems to say to me, "This shit is right there on the surface. Nobody had to dig into the roots of the system to get to that point."
I'm not going to try to persuade you, but I can point you to some information that can help you make up your mind as to whether that's true.

Look for Hollian's posts - she's the one whose group had the distasteful experiences in question. She's stated several times (including in her next post on the same page as the first one) that she and her group tend to talk about things that other people might find extremely offensive, all the time, for laughs.

I'm not dumping on her, but that's clear to read from her posts, so, there's some more information for ya.
Would you be so kind and point my to my post, where I acutally attack the game, in your opinion. Because I am not aware of that. I assure you, that when I attack something.
Excuse me, you are the same "Alnag" that wrote this? :

Sorry, I refuse to play this game with you. If you have something to say in favor of the game, do it. Otherwise, please stay outside personal attacks.
Why then you admitted that you attacked the game (and that I should have said something to defend it. That was I did), and now you deny it?

And wasn't you that wrote this?

I think there are games that are more problematic then others. I really do not wish to repeat the period of D&D is product of Satan but with whole RPG hobby and on level it can not possibly survive.

Once you start presenting the hobby as encouraging agressivity, obscenity, vulgarity and such thinks, you might attract players with pubertal tendencies but on the other hand became a target of certain groups.

Also some games (this one sounds like one of them) might decompensate latent psychic disorders, so stop praising it uncritically. The game seriously has its issues and I think it is right and correct that John Morrow points to some of them.
telling that the game is dangerous, without even reading what people had explained already for almost 300 posts?

And about the fact that you are "non fighting a war", tell me, aren't you the same "Alnag" who wrote these?

It is very simple. The Forge swines has EnWorld as its new target. The boards which used to be mostly about D&D will became very anti-D&D if this attack will last for longer period of time. That is classical Swinish behavior. Scout - lay eggs (mention these cool new games) - attack others on all fronts - overtake the boards moderation posts (hard but manageble) and finally wipe out the old stuff
Vincent Baker has a talent of word-play helping him to cover his true demeanour better, despite he is in fact on the very same ship as Ron. Now what is worse actually? And what is more dangerous? I guess the more subtle and manipulating way, the worse.

And I must admit I like some of Baker's writing even one of his games a bit. It is inspiring, but nevertheless swinish. He is not playing honest game and one can occassionaly uncover his true intentions in some of his writings.
Well, acutally we the World War has ended. Now we have a war on terror. Hunting down the Forge swine wherever and whenever they appear.
Ok, now that we have estabilished why you are here ("hunting down the Forge swine wherever and whenever they appear"), I will tell you why I posted in this thread.

I don't care for the lurid actual play posted in the first pages of this thread (but not from the PO, if you look). I didn't enjoy reading it and I would not have enjoyed playing it. To be more prcise, it grossed me out. But I have played enough time to "know how gamers are", expecially when super-charged at conventions, and if I judged a game from one snipped of a session posted by some gamers on a web forum, I would not play anything, because I don't know any single game that could physically stop gamers playing it wrong

And, about Vincent Baker's game, I have seen enough actual play posting around of people who play DitV with cardboard characters to gross eash other out that I know his games need a different outlook. When you play D&D you can (and remember that I didn't say that you should) play it like "space invaders" killing hundreds of "evil enemies" without a single thought, because the game has nothing to do with ethics or morality.

To play DitV (and Poison'd) you need to see both the player characters and the npc as People. Real people. And care for them. Or the game simply don't work.

When I played and play D&D (with more than twelve different master in different cities and different groups, plus conventions) we usualy killed hundreds of intelligent beings every campaign. If it was real, it would be monstruos, but it was a game and it was funny, and we didn't care, it was like killing a cardboard counter.

When I play DitV, usually we kill less than 2-3 person in a "3-4 towns season". Usually we try to avoid killing anyone, and when we shoots we try to save our wounded enemies afterwards. Why? Because in that game we are playing realistic people, who would try to save someone dying near them, even if they tried to kill them before. Because when we play DitV we need to enter in a very different mindset, and imagine the townspeople as real people with families, dreams (and the town generation system assure that every single person you'll have to fight have good personal reason to act like so, it's not a cardboard "evil character")

(it's for this reason that I first laughed when I read people comparing Poison'd with D&D and saying that D&D was more "ethic". People, writing on you character sheet "good" and then going on a killing spree on any sentient being that has written "evil", really, isn't "ethic" anymore than killing every single person who don't believe in your same God. D&D can work only if we disregard the suffering the PC spread around and stop seeing the bodies like people)

When I saw the lurid actual play described, I was turned off by the descriptions, but I didn't gave them any credit about having played the game, too. These people, in my opinion, played Poison'd like it was D&D! They missed the mark by a mile!

Luckily, I had already brought my copy of the game, so I did know how the game really is, and when people began to arrive accusing everybody who played this game of being a damaged human being, at first I was enraged to the players of that game for giving that false impression. At first.

Then, I noticed that (1) the players explained that what they did wasn't encouraged in any way by the rules, (2) other people posted enough of the system to show people how the game really was, but... (3) the thread had already become the usual hatefest of the people (always the same people...) with a raging hard-on for "fighting the war" against Vincent Baker and the other forge game authors.

Well, I don't really care for people who play games where they kill people and take their stuff coming to tell ME that I was a damaged human being, a serial-killer in training, a pedophile or a adolescent because I had brought (and wanted to play) a game that they REFUSED to learn more about.

I really don't like these things (you know, witch-hunting, book-burning, hate crimes, etc.) where a mob of people find some semi-rational excuse to hunt their enemies "wherever and whenever they appear", expecially when they are insulting ME. So I began to post in this thread, to show them how shameful and irrational was their behaviour (I really should not have bothered and should have simply added everybody to my killfile. I would have saved a lot of time lost in this stupid witch hunt)

About Alnag's question I see THREE different question:

1)Were the players "wrong" in playing that game in that way?
Answer: If you mean "wrong" as in "they didn't really play that game as it have to be played. You don't play these games like D&D" yes, they were wrong. If you then begin to pontificate about their value as human beings or something silly like that, I don't follow you anymore. I think that people don't have to justify the way they play to me or to you. We are not the supreme arbiter of what people can do, you know?
At the same time, I doubt that every player in that game enjoyed the scene. I would not have enjoyed it, and I would have been careful to avoid playing with these players again in a "mature" game. But, not being there, I can't say if their action damaged the enjoyment of the game of some other player. I wasn't there. And you neither.

2) Were the players "wrong" in posting that description here?
Answer: Yes. They really shouldn't have done that. That really was a show of grossness for grossness' sake. But remember, the PO didn't. It was the player that, afterwards, offered that disgusting explanation.
But even about it, you can say "I was really grossed out, and I don't think I would enjoy playing with you, ever", or "this was a really sick thing, how can you find it funny?", or, if you are a moderator, you can moderate the thread... but your "rights" as another forum poster stop there. When you begin to talk about the sanity or the value as human beings of the people who posted that, you go out of the line, and you are only spewing hate, worsening the thread situation.
And, anyway, that was cleared and explained more than 30 pages ago. There is nothing more to discuss about this. Everybody agreed, even the player in question, about the fact that it was in bad taste.

But this wasn't enough, for the people who "hunt wherever and whenever they appear", so they began to attack the game and the people who buy it.

And we go to the third question:
3) It's the game (that I didn't read) so evil and fucked and bad that I have the right to insult it, and the people who buy it, and the people who play it, and the people who is trying to explain to me how the game I didn't even read really is?

But, as you seen this third question kept being brought up for more than thirty fucking pages, by people who don't even READ THE ANSWERS TO THEIR POSTS, because they have a big hard-on of hate to satisfy on this game...

And about Alnag new, specific questions...

Now allow me this one question as well. What is your exact position (without some doding) to a rape in your game (any game)? Would you allow it, encourage it, or not? Please answer this one question. If you firmly refuse this kind of behavior, we might very well end this unfruitful discussion.
I can't talk about new, future games. I doubt I will push Rape in any story I will play, both as a GM and as a player, because it's a issue that make me really unconfortable and, as a man, a little guilty for the way man treat women everywhere. But I play now in a mixed group, and more than half of the people at the table are women. All the players are married or in a stable relationship, and I don't play anymore with moronic teenagers, so if one of them will brought up rape in a scene, I trust them to do it in a mature and responsable way (and, if not, I will be grossed out again and really unconfortable at the table, and I will have to decide if talking about it with her or not)

The past is a different thing. I know what happeneecin the past and how I reacted.

In my gaming history, in almost twenty years, we had a rape descripted a total of two times. I was both times simply a player, not the GM

The first time, it was in a AD&D game, the master was a moron, and even if I could not do it soon afterwards (we were young and it's difficult to leave a group at that age), I stopped gaming with them as soon as I could find another group (these AD&D games out-gross anything that was descripted in this thread. We had only a single rape, I believe, only because the GM found out that he had to "play the woman" and didn't like it. But they killed everything that moved, in many fantasious ways.

The second time was an action from a player, in a GURPS game. We looked at him with THAT face, but he wanted to go on anyway (and the master allowed it. I wouldn't have, he was only trying to gross us out and was really sabotaging the game). After a while he did understood that these actions didn't make him more "cool" in our eyes (quite the reverse) and stopped, but he always remained a very poor player, and stopped gaming after a few months.

This last instance of rape, I must add, would have been avoided in any one of the "forge games" that allow the member of a group to veto the actions from a single player that can ruin their game. And the first group would have never played anything that wasn't D&D. So, I see this as a problem that is much more present in "traditional" games than in "forgie games".

Are you satisfied by this answer, or you will accuse me of being a rapist-in-traing because I brought this game?

After all, you just wrote:
I am still shocked with the fact, that you are still seriously defend rape, one of the worst crimes imaginable and I hell do not care in what game this is happening. Is it clear? So stop dodging and hiding yourself behind the game and present some your opinion here.
My opinion, that I present here, is that you don't know what you are talking about, that you didn' even bother to read what people write to you, and that your "war" is making me (and other people) lose a lot of precius time, only to explain to people like you that we are not defending rape only because we have in our gaming library a game used by someone, somewhere, in a session where someone made his character rape some npc.

Because, if you have GURPS or AD&D st edition in your library, as I described above, you would be defending rape, in this case, in the same way you are accusing other of doing. By purchasing and playing a rpg.

Old Scratch

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If you and others would say, "I like the game but I think rape is not cool, I think it is bad".
I don't know if I like the game, as I haven't read it, but I think rape is not cool, I think it is bad.

My position: there is no way to judge (or in this thread, condemn) a game without taking time to understand what the game itself is trying to do. I'm not willing to judge a game by just a few brief and admittedly shocking sentences about what transpired in the game.

I was the person that posted a request for an Actual Play. When those offhand comments were first posted, I will tell you I immediately thought "Sheeesh... No wonder why Ian initially declined to tell me more about the scenario." I tried to move on to a discussion about mechanics, but I'll be honest: I was uncomfortable reading about that experience, and I was uncomfortable about the way it was presented.

If I was there playing, could this have possibly crossed a threshold with what I was comfortable? I would say yes.

So yes, I was troubled and alarmed by that particular action during gameplay.

However, unlike most people here, I have had the opportunity to meet and play with one of the participants of this session. The person in question was a great role player, had a great sense of humor, and really contributed meaningfully to the game that was being played. In other words, I wouldn't hesitate in a second to play a game with him again. Even after reading this thread and these posts. Great guy and a great gamer.

I don't know the social dynamic at the table or the context of play. I don't know what happened or what transpired to culminate in these activities, and in that absence I will simply decline to make judgments about what they did at the table. I simply don't know the context. Likewise, I can still acknowledge that this covers subject matter that I am typically uncomfortable with coming up in play. We weren't there, we don't know the context, so I don't feel comfortable comdemning the participants, particularly when one of them is someone I respect and trust.

I think we've all had moments at a table that could be open to condemnation by somebody. There are times when I'm glad my grandmother wasn't around during games, whether it was Kult, CoC, D&D, or Vampire. Any of these games, and any game session might have moments that could trigger outrage in someone, especially if the moment is recounted in a glib way and entirely out of context.

As for whether Poison'd is responsible for this style of play, I can't say. I haven't bought the book. But I am rereading Dogs in the Vineyard and it is a well-written game that deals with very difficult subjects with sincerity and grace. I'm willing to give this game the benefit of the doubt based upon the skillful way in which Dogs dealt with very heavy issues.

Old Scratch

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To be honest, there's a largely more mature discusssion going on elsewhere)
Where would that more mature discussion be happening? Cloud Cuckoo Land? Sugar Plum Mountain? Never Never Land?

Because you couldn't be talking about this thread, could you?

Because that certainly doesn't seem mature, especially with blanket statements like "proof that the "storygames" crowd ARE a gang of moral degenerates". Is that your standard of mature? Or maybe "mature" actually means: "Where everyone agrees with me".

Because God knows, if anone from the indie crowd were to state something like that, we'd hear no end of it.

Like Killraven perspective, a lot of this thread is a dishonest. It's not entirely about the game or what transpired (although the game is certainly a catalyst for outrage): some of the moaning here is about the fact that it's an indie game. People will certainly complain about the horrors of what happened in this game, but again, they're mute during Andy's example of a con game at GenCon where his character was raped and hamstrung.

Not a complaint about that or people demanding that those playing D&D should denounce rape and put the Half Orc away for ever. Again, the actual play was a hot button issue which crossed a lot of boundaries and is certainly distatseful or discomforting for a great number of us, but it seems that the fact that people were playing an indie game when it happened seems to be just as significant as the act.

Chalk the furor up, in part, to the old indie vs. traditional gaming. It's the usual suspects lining up on both sides and the same old arguments stirring up again.

And you need look no further than that other place where the "mature" discussion is happening to verify this.


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Thanks for that link to the RPGSite thread; it should be entertaining.

I give that thread's originator credit for stating his premise up front -- basically, "Here, another example of what's wrong with indie games." Points for honesty. :)

The idea that people even need to "hold the line" and protect us from, um, trying or reading indie rpgs, I don't get that. I don't get their motivation, but one thing about those folks entertains the hell out of me. It's the labeling of everything as "Forge" blah blah. Guys, go over to The Forge these days, it's a ghost town. Discussion of indie games is spread over several sites, each of which approaches things pretty differently.

I just get a kick out of people still imagining Ron and Vincent working their puppetmaster strings over an army of indie rpg fanboys who need to be saved. It was silly two years ago, but now it's a gut-buster. :)


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Thanks for that link to the RPGSite thread; it should be entertaining.

I give that thread's originator credit for stating his premise up front -- basically, "Here, another example of what's wrong with indie games." Points for honesty. :)

The idea that people even need to "hold the line" and protect us from, um, trying or reading indie rpgs, I don't get that. I don't get their motivation, but one thing about those folks entertains the hell out of me. It's the labeling of everything as "Forge" blah blah. Guys, go over to The Forge these days, it's a ghost town. Discussion of indie games is spread over several sites, each of which approaches things pretty differently.

I just get a kick out of people still imagining Ron and Vincent working their puppetmaster strings over an army of indie rpg fanboys who need to be saved. It was silly two years ago, but now it's a gut-buster. :)
One of the cool things about www.therpgsite.com is, indeed, the degree of honesty over there -- but you may need to re-read the post again: you seem to have misinterpreted it.

The poster there is saying saying "this is what's wrong with indie *theory*" -- specifically, that it gets applied inconsistently (either that or it's incoherent) by the theorists, themselves (the ones you'd expect to, you know, get it right).

This is important because if theory and self-identified theory-based games are to be taken seriously you'd expect some degree of rigor. The evident absence of that (and the rather surprising refusal to look at what the theory says) is something you'd think would be eye-opening in the theory community.

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