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Fear the Boot

Oct 1, 2008

* The episode 115 tutorials are NOT available on CD.  We’re having problems getting CafePress to process the sound files properly.  However, if you want to create your own CD, we’ve compiled the MP3 files in a CD-ready format (intro music removed, etc) in a zip file that you can download here.

* World Wide Wing Night 5 on Saturday, November 8th is coming up soon.  You can find details here.

* Our Warhammer Online guild is doing unexpectedly well!  Join us on the Order side of the Thorgrim server.  More information can be found here.

* What percentage of roleplaying books you own have you actually read?

* Should players be familiar with the games they’re playing or expected to do any work outside of the game?

* Getting out of your character ruts and separating your own traits from those of your character.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

almost nine years ago

Responding to NthDegree. You -can- play a competitive game where it\'s GM vs. the players, but in those cases, the GM always wins. Because the GM is essentially in control of every element outside of the characters (and some within).
Sure, the GM puts challenges in the players way that are expected to be within\' the player\'s capabilities to succeed against, and that may seem like a competition, ala obstacle course, except that you\'re on a team playing against no one.

Everyone wins in RPGs. That\'s why it\'s not a competition.

almost nine years ago

::shrug:: I don\'t know, I think that this blanket mentality of \"it\'s not a competition, everyone wins!\" usually gets applied to RPGs in a very black-and-white fashion, when - to steal one of Dan\'s phrases - it\'s more of a shades-of-grey thing.

I\'m not trying to say that the point of RPGs is to keep a scorecard and figure out who won the most combats after the session is over, I\'m just saying that the competitive aspect of some games, notably D&D, is a big part of their fun. When I lay out the minis for a fight in my D&D games, I\'m not looking at it from the \"how can I kill the PCs perspective,\" but they ARE expecting me to look at it from a \"how can I use these tools to effectively stymie the PCs?\" while they respond with \"how can we outwit the DM to dispatch these enemies in the best manner possible?\" Some groups dread breaking out the combat rules, but we enjoy the battle of wits.

A little bit of competition is a great way to get everyone to give it a solid effort. This applies to other aspects, too - if you hand out XP rewards or something similar for \"good roleplaying,\" for example, you\'re fostering competition as well, because you want people to set examples for one another and try their best to keep up with everyone.

\"Everybody wins\" in these games because we all have a good time, but the same should be true of ANY game - otherwise, why would you play? I have a great time playing Settlers of Catan even if I lose, and that\'s certainly a \"competitive\" game.

almost nine years ago

Each to their own, I suppose. That\'s a different style than mine.

I find it\'s better to not try to compete. A combat is a chance to roleplay and immerse the characters just as much as a social encounter.

Goblins would fight differently than Undead, and both wouldn\'t think about Opportunity Attacks. Same as horrible monsters and such, they\'re personality can come out through the action of a fight.

If I were to try to always optimize my tactics against the party, then a fight between a band of Gnolls would feel the same as a fight against a bunch of Ogres. That would keep it from being a story, and it would stay as being a game.

But I\'m not saying your way is wrong, I just want to point out what you lose when playing competitively.

almost nine years ago

Posting this here because I haven\'t gotten an authentication email from the forum yet. :-/

There was a bit in this podcast that I found myself disagreeing with. Well, not disagreeing entirely, but somewhat. Mostly, it was the point where you talked about how these games \"are not a competition.\"

Frankly, that\'s not quite true, at least for some games.

D&D is very much a competitive game in a lot of aspects. Combat scenes are almost always a competition between the players and the GM. Granted, it\'s friendly competition, often with the understanding that the GM plays to lose and will pull his punches if necessary, but half of the fun of D&D goes out the window if you try to gloss over the competitive parts and claim that making a tactically stupid maneuver \"because my character doesn\'t know any better\" is going to be satisfying. That\'s just not the way D&D is designed. Burning Empires is another example. The whole overarching mechanic for the game is a competition between the GM and the players to see who controls the planet.

I\'m not trying to say that D&D is just about seeing who can win the most fights, or that all RPGs are competitive, or that competition is the sole purpose of D&D. I\'m just trying to say that... different games are designed with different goals and playstyles in mind, and D&D is a game that is designed to reward a little competitive spirit and tactics-oriented play.