[Necro] Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

drek

Registered User
Validated User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

...but the purpose of reviewing something isn't to say how well it caters to the expectations of people who were predisposed to like it in the first. Reviews that did that would look something like this:
Well, sure. But also, the purpose of reviewing something isn't to say how much it offends a person is predisposed to -not- liking it. Consciously building my own strawman here -- imagine if a well known mainstream book critic reviewed 4e's DMG2, but started off with three paragraph rant on the topic of RPGs rotting minds and cosigning souls to Satan. Or imagine if I wrote a review of DMG2, as fan of RPGs in general, but included a disclaimer explaining why I hate 4e with the fury of a thousand exploding suns*.

The meat of either review would be suspect, no?

An often used gibe included in the review (Ravenloft being a square peg in a round hole) caught my attention and made me mildly suspicious of the meat of the review. I like Ravenloft, as a Dungeons and Dragons setting. Lots of people like Ravenloft as a Dungeons and Dragons setting, and they'd be a part of the targeted niche for this particular game.

It was unnecessary commentary. Review would have been more useful to me if were edited down to exclude the ranting, instead emphasizing the useful nuggets of information. Paraphrasing from the review, as I haven't read the book: The uber-classes, super vampires and weird new attributes betray the big idea behind C&C, and aren't very well thought out besides. The setting isn't all that scary, and the authors' advice for running horror games is laughably bad. The artwork is apparently decent.

* 4e does, in fact, totally suck ass.
 

That Idiot

Retired User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

Magic Missile is non-confrontational?
One of the definitions of confrontational references the clash of opinions and ideas. An armed cleric can avoid clashes of opinion in a social environment while still wielding magic missile willy-nilly in a martial environment.
 

Cannibal Smiliest

Smacking around John Sumbitch
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

Well, sure. But also, the purpose of reviewing something isn't to say how much it offends a person is predisposed to -not- liking it. Consciously building my own strawman here -- imagine if a well known mainstream book critic reviewed 4e's DMG2, but started off with three paragraph rant on the topic of RPGs rotting minds and cosigning souls to Satan. Or imagine if I wrote a review of DMG2, as fan of RPGs in general, but included a disclaimer explaining why I hate 4e with the fury of a thousand exploding suns*.

The meat of either review would be suspect, no?
It would be, but I would like to point out that I specifically give Castles & Crusades a miss because of what it's trying to do. But the faults of Tainted Lands are the faults that I spoke of in the beginning of the review: A lack of imagination coupled with imitation.

An often used gibe included in the review (Ravenloft being a square peg in a round hole) caught my attention and made me mildly suspicious of the meat of the review. I like Ravenloft, as a Dungeons and Dragons setting. Lots of people like Ravenloft as a Dungeons and Dragons setting, and they'd be a part of the targeted niche for this particular game.
They might be, but the problem that Ravenloft has is that the heroes of Gothic fiction are boring as all hell, whereas the villains - Dracula, Frankenstein - are intensely interesting. That's why Ravenloft is a square peg in a round hole; it treated Gothic fiction like heroic fiction without realizing the differences between the two.

In other words, if you're going to do a Ravenloft-inspired product, you have to know be aware of what influenced Ravenloft, instead of using a secondary source.

-Darren MacLennan
 
Last edited:

Old Geezer

New member
Banned
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

So what your saying is you can't rewrite it better, so instead you change the focus of the discussion to avoid the main point?

Got you. You can throw out complaints by making false claims, but as usual, when it comes time to step up and prove you can do better, strike out!
Three... :D
 

blah & meh

Retired User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

I have a sneaking suspicion that if the classic Judges Guild module Tegel Manor were to come out today as an original product from TLG, it would be panned by Darren and others on RPG.net. Certainly the layout would be slammed (it looks like it was put together by my little brother!) as well as the "adolescent" design of the dungeon, the placement of monsters and treasure, the artwork, the sparseness of the descriptions, etc.

And yet this is an undisputed RPG classic.
 

Flawless Glory of Silence

New member
Banned
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

I have a sneaking suspicion that if the classic Judges Guild module Tegel Manor were to come out today as an original product from TLG, it would be panned by Darren and others on RPG.net. Certainly the layout would be slammed (it looks like it was put together by my little brother!) as well as the "adolescent" design of the dungeon, the placement of monsters and treasure, the artwork, the sparseness of the descriptions, etc.

And yet this is an undisputed RPG classic.
Sometimes the classics don't age well.

And poor attempts at aping the classics end up even worse than that.
 

That Idiot

Retired User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

I have a sneaking suspicion that if the classic Judges Guild module Tegel Manor were to come out today as an original product from TLG, it would be panned by Darren and others on RPG.net. Certainly the layout would be slammed (it looks like it was put together by my little brother!) as well as the "adolescent" design of the dungeon, the placement of monsters and treasure, the artwork, the sparseness of the descriptions, etc.

And yet this is an undisputed RPG classic.
For what definition of 'classic'?
 

blah & meh

Retired User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

Sometimes the classics don't age well.

And poor attempts at aping the classics end up even worse than that.
Well you see, the whole point of Troll Lord Games is that the products are a tribute to the olden days of gaming. How well their products "ape" the classics (I prefer to think of it as continuing in the tradition of a style of gaming that went underground) will vary from product to product. I suspect by your attitude that you are not really the target market for these products.

Consider this thread. Sloppy editing and sentence phrasing have been the main focus. But if you've gotten eyestrain from trying to read a crappy PDF scan of a 30-year-old RPG product with a layout so abhorrent that it makes Troll Lord Games products look like the pinnacle of graphic design, you are probably much more forgiving of a few typos and grammatical errors.
 

blah & meh

Retired User
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

But anyway, I'm getting off topic. I doubt Jim Ward is ruining Troll Lord Games. If you don't like his particular products, do not buy them, he's not the only dude writing for TLG and Of Gods & Monsters isn't core, so you can safely skip it if it doesn't appeal. Or do what I'll probably do: use what I like and ignore or change what I don't.

I don't subscribe to The Crusader but from what I've read of the samples of the mag while under Ward's control, it seems pretty high quality to me.

It's all subjective.
 

Flawless Glory of Silence

New member
Banned
Re: Jim Ward is Ruining Troll Lord Games

Well you see, the whole point of Troll Lord Games is that the products are a tribute to the olden days of gaming. How well their products "ape" the classics (I prefer to think of it as continuing in the tradition of a style of gaming that went underground) will vary from product to product. I suspect by your attitude that you are not really the target market for these products.

Consider this thread. Sloppy editing and sentence phrasing have been the main focus. But if you've gotten eyestrain from trying to read a crappy PDF scan of a 30-year-old RPG product with a layout so abhorrent that it makes Troll Lord Games products look like the pinnacle of graphic design, you are probably much more forgiving of a few typos and grammatical errors.
Well, sentence phrasing has been the main focus because that's what the person most vigorously defending the product has been focusing on, the incidental minutia. He hasn't addressed any of the substantive complaints in the review (e.g. character options and examples that run counter to stated goals, addition of new stats to a system that is built around simplicity, new class that obsoletes an existing one). Instead he double dog-dares the reviewers to write a sentence better, repeatedly, and when they do so, he declares victory.

So really, the main focus of the thread has been some sweet hyena-on-zebra action.
 
Top Bottom