Will the greatest Dungeon Master ever make his save vs. Hipster or lose his group?
May 12, 2011 10:19 AM   Subscribe

There’s a new indie film in the works about nerd culture and coming to terms with the hipster cooption of the sacred cow of Dungeons & Dragons : Zero Charisma. This is brought to you by two folks Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews who’s prior work includes the cinematography and film editing of Best Worst Movie (previously)
posted by Nanukthedog (160 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have a feeling that there's plenty of overlap between "hipsters" and "kids who were nerds."

No?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


All the girls with bangs and fun glasses like D&D. This is not a new thing.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling that there's plenty of overlap between "hipsters" and "kids who were nerds."

I actually just wrote an entire essay about this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:24 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


... but it looks like it would be a half-decent movie. I'd watch it. A lot of it will depend on the performance of the main character and his foil, who both look pretty good.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2011


Lots of the so-called hipsters I've known have been nerds as well, and vice-versa.
posted by item at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2011


I would love to hate hipsters. When I ask for a definition of 'hipster' I get one or I'm pointed to urbandictionary. Neither seems to be able to define the term conclusively enough for me to be able to pick a hipster out of a crowd.

This amorphous group seems to flick a switch in people, and I can't figure out what it is, and the complainy types can't tell me.

I want a ticket on your hate train, but I can't seem to figure out if there are any seats for me.
posted by CarlRossi at 10:26 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


We have decided, through much Metafiltering that the following is true of Hipsters:

1: It's a term so big it can't be defined

2: It exists as lazy shorthand for The Other

3: We are all The Other

4: We hate young people having fun

Thus Hipsters don't exist and we are hipsters so we do not exist.
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2011 [31 favorites]


Hipsters also like showing up at my bar and putting Jefferson Starship on the jukebox and then dancing ironically.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2011


The hipsters are already planning a rebuttal film: Sinus Supremus
posted by ShutterBun at 10:30 AM on May 12, 2011


Hipsters also like showing up at my bar and putting Jefferson Starship on the jukebox

Hipsters BUILT that bar. On Rock and Roll.
posted by Hoopo at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]



Thus Hipsters don't exist and we are hipsters so we do not exist.


Is this is just an extension of the "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would allow me as a member" thing?
posted by doctor_negative at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2011


ALSO:

I Hit It With My Axe

Artist Zak Smith and alt porn personages play D&D for you.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, hey is this a Kickstarter clone?
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM on May 12, 2011


They should be asking the company that makes Bugles for money.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:35 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like that day in freshman year of high school when the kid who carried a briefcase to school every day in junior high came up to me and whispered "I want to be cool." Then kinda made it happen.

I actually just wrote an entire essay about this.

The only real difference between a nerd and a hipster is what color belt they wear ...

Isn't the only real difference that the hipster cares about the color of his belt?

I think there's also a classist element to any "hipster" prejudice, both up and down. Lower class looks down on hipsters for caring about fashion at all; upper class resents hipsters for setting trends from thrift stores (as opposed to Chanel/Gucci/D&G).

the complainy types can't tell me

I think the main complaint against "hipsters" is actually against "posers" (or "scenesters" etc.) or as they as sometimes called these days, "poseurs." I.e. persons who want to represent that they are "creative types" by purchasing/wearing Item X.

I agree that the general term has always been amorphous/somewhat meaningless and has further degraded through the years to mean "trendy urban young person" or "possible douchebag who looks different than me."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:35 AM on May 12, 2011


As a DM I would never allow a PC's CHA to drop below 3. Stupid hipsters!!!11!
posted by Mister_A at 10:37 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's also a pretty strong anti-fashion sentiment these days, and "hipster" is fashion categorization more than anything else.

I see a shitload more rolled up skinny jeans + boat shoes than people actually listening to Destroyer or Toro Y Moi ...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:38 AM on May 12, 2011


it would be HARD to play someone with zero charisma right, cause zero means people run from you and kind you actively, personally repellant.
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on May 12, 2011


Hipsters: Nerds who moved to liberal urban enclaves either during or just after college, finally coming into their own under those circumstances. For the past decade or so have been more or less the arbiters of "cool" for whatever reason, but it's a role that doesn't necessarily suit them well both because social dominance is new to them and because appreciation of things others ignored or derided or had never heard of is built into their sense of outsider identity.

Most are perfectly nice people, and they compose a very, very large fraction of MeFi, to be sure. The shitty ones are snobbish dicks with trust funds who reflexively dismiss anyone not considered up to their standards. These are the one's people are talking about when they get their hate on, but it isn't most of the group.

And yeah, hipsters aren't "co-opting" D&D. D&D players grew up to be hipsters.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Most of my friends have overlapping hipster/nerd tendencies. It's awesome. People are complex. Down with yer false dichotomies and shit!
posted by naju at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Isn't the only real difference that the hipster cares about the color of his belt?

I wear a white belt. And I like it. Does that preclude me from playing Dungeons and Dragons because I'm somehow stealing it from the authentic nerds, whose concerns lie elsewhere, such as in what color pocket protector to wear?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2011


Yeah, it would be cool to have a short-term effect like that, but long-term you'd have a near-unplayable situation.
posted by Mister_A at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2011


I realized I was a hipster when I ran into somebody else who was also dressed as Rocko the wallaby at a Halloween party in Wicker Park. Now I just roll with it.
posted by theodolite at 10:41 AM on May 12, 2011


do we have to pull out the nerd types chart ? Because no one I was nerdy with in the 80s is anywhere near a hipster and generally share the same hate/disdain for hipsters.
posted by k5.user at 10:46 AM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wear a white belt. And I like it. Does that preclude me from playing Dungeons and Dragons because I'm somehow stealing it from the authentic nerds

White belts are only for new characters. You get different colors as you level up.
posted by Hoopo at 10:47 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Girdle of Hill Giant Strength in white patent? I'm in!
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:48 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Will this movie explore the irony in how the old school D&D fans hate the new hipster buddy because he wasn't into D&D until after it was underground? Because that would seriously be funny.

Also, D&D is way too involved to "sorta" be into for any real length of time. You either play D&D or you don't. That said, I guess there's nothing stopping someone from making a beholder joke without ever having played the game.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:50 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


do we have to pull out the nerd types chart ? Because no one I was nerdy with in the 80s is anywhere near a hipster and generally share the same hate/disdain for hipsters.

I think it's an age thing, all the people who try to get me involved in D&D are old guys with kids who try to get me to play D&D over Skype on Friday nights since they can't leave the house. Maybe young nerds turned into Hipsters? Why are so many of them so bad with computers then?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:52 AM on May 12, 2011


Because no one I was nerdy with in the 80s is anywhere near a hipster and generally share the same hate/disdain for hipsters.

Sounds like they're great folks! Who else do you mutually hate?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


k5.user: "no one I was nerdy with in the 80s is anywhere near a hipster and generally share the same hate/disdain for hipsters"

hatred of hipsters is a pretty strong indicator of hipsterdom, you may want to double check
posted by idiopath at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hate half-elves.
posted by Mister_A at 10:57 AM on May 12, 2011


I'm just replacing "Hipster" with "vampire" in this thread to make it make more sense.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


half-elves with their neon glasses and record collections and home-made cupcakes and snobbish "Well i saw them back 90 years ago - oh wait you don't live that long, I always forget" asides.
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


All the girls with bangs and fun glasses like D&D. This is not a new thing.

You obviously did not play D&D in 1980.

This is an amazing, weird thing. When I was a kid, this was outcast culture. I moved on to imported music and cool bands a few years later, and we were still outcasts.

The whole jock/nerd thing really existed in my school. I lived in the suburbs of Chicago and it was like John Hughes was reading our minds.

Now there are no jocks, or they are sort of lame or something. Makes me wish I grew up in this time rather than back then.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:00 AM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


Half-elves have little soul and less spirit.
posted by benzenedream at 11:03 AM on May 12, 2011


You could still grow up some now, Ironmouth.

I kid because I love
posted by Mister_A at 11:03 AM on May 12, 2011


The shitty ones are snobbish dicks with trust funds who reflexively dismiss anyone not considered up to their standards.

I knew someone like that at a place I worked in '99. We just called him an asshole.
posted by CarlRossi at 11:04 AM on May 12, 2011


I wonder why the whole jocks versus nerd thing seemed to peak in the 80s and then disappear. Aren't hipsters just "cool" "nerds"?
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2011


kirk =hip
spock=nerd

any questions?
posted by clavdivs at 11:07 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm just replacing "Hipster" with "vampire" in this thread to make it make more sense.

So today's hipster are the same ones who ran around LARPing Vampire: The Masquerade in the 90s?
posted by the_artificer at 11:11 AM on May 12, 2011


Kirk isn't hip - if anything, he's a classic jock. Hot with the ladies, shoots first and asks questions later, etc.

Spock in the reboot of Star Trek, on the other hand, is pretty damn hip.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:11 AM on May 12, 2011


So today's hipster are the same ones who ran around LARPing Vampire: The Masquerade in the 90s?

Replacing the word "hipster" with the word "vampire" results in the very funny idea that vampires went incognito by getting really into White Wolf games.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:11 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, enough of this nerd / hipster argument.

This looks like it could be a really interesting film. I'd love to see how other people's gaming sessions look like. Just in case our group has been doing it wrong for 20 odd years.
posted by gonzo_ID at 11:12 AM on May 12, 2011


Hipsters also like showing up at my bar and putting Jefferson Starship on the jukebox and then dancing ironically.

How can somebody dance ironically?

Now there are no jocks, or they are sort of lame or something. Makes me wish I grew up in this time rather than back then.

Yeah it's kind of awesome. Except that whole nobody-has-a-job thing.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:12 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's the Hiding In Plain Sight method.

oh great, now I'm thinking about a D&D were the players are actually wizards
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on May 12, 2011


The only difference between hipsters who play D&D and nerds who play D&D is that the hipsters laugh at themselves while they do it. Note: once the nerds start laughing at themselves, the hipsters will stop laughing on the outside and will laugh twice as hard on the inside.
posted by penduluum at 11:15 AM on May 12, 2011


Oh, come on. Hipster gamers are playing My Life with Master, or Dogs in the Vineyard, or at least, for the love of god, Lady Blackbird. The Window if you're hardcore. Maybe it'd be okay to play a D&D retroclone like OSRIC but your enthusiasm had better be a carefully cultivated pose.

[not d&d-ist, hipsterist, or indie-rpg-ist][OK, maybe a little, but even I don't know which parts]
posted by Zed at 11:15 AM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


What's wrong with jocks? I'm not talking about a culture that overvalues them as a culture that overvalued nerds would be detrimental too. Is there seriously something wrong with jocks?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:17 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are there still Brian Johnson style nerds around? Is it like humans and monkeys? There are still some of the retrograde species around to provide laughs? Judging from reddit, not all nerds evolved into hipsters.

How can somebody dance ironically?
You just have to see it. It is pretty much self conscious dancing, like " I am now acting like the kind of person who would dance to Jefferson Starship." It is kind of endearing.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:18 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kirk isn't hip - if anything, he's a classic jock. Hot with the ladies, shoots first and asks questions later, etc.

He plays chess and studies military history. He spends a lot of time reading old nautical novels (he's described in school as having been "a stack of books with legs.") He has weird allergies. He's a skilled computer program, and, in fact, a bit of a hacker. He graduated in the top five percent of his class. He leads scientific expeditions.

Kirk was a nerd.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah it's kind of awesome. Except that whole nobody-has-a-job thing.

Isn't that a huge part of hipsterdom, though? Since grown-up jobs are only available to a minority of bachelors-holding middle-class young adults, you wind up with underemployed adults who find other outlets to "keep up with the joneses." Instead of settling down at 23 and hoping to have a nicer car than the family next door, you're bussing tables at 23 and working on your bike.

What's wrong with jocks? I'm not talking about a culture that overvalues them as a culture that overvalued nerds would be detrimental too. Is there seriously something wrong with jocks?

The stereotype of jocks is that they're anti-intellectual and they're bullies. The reality is that all the people who were really into sports at my school were all thoroughly normal people who were just as diverse as anyone else.

The jock is just as unfair as a stereotype as the nerd or the hipster.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kirk was a nerd.

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FELL FOR THAT, I ONLY GOT THAT WRONG SO THAT YOU WOULD REVEAL YOURSELF AS A NERD
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:20 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hell most of the bullies I knew weren't together enough to be Jocks.
posted by The Whelk at 11:21 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will turn in my white belt at once.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:21 AM on May 12, 2011


You know, this tavern used to be cool, but now it's just full of Douche Elves.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 11:25 AM on May 12, 2011


It's true, Kirk won the Kabayashi Maru simulation by hacking the computer.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:26 AM on May 12, 2011


You could still grow up some now, Ironmouth.

I kid because I love


Never!
posted by Ironmouth at 11:34 AM on May 12, 2011


It's true, Kirk won the Kabayashi Maru simulation by hacking the computer.

Kobayashi Maru. Obviously not a nerd.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:35 AM on May 12, 2011


Cared enough to correct a misspelling of Kobayashi Maru.

Nerd.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:37 AM on May 12, 2011


Gold standard test to distinguish nerds from hipsters: men wearing low-slung hip-hugger jeans.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:38 AM on May 12, 2011


According to Roddenberry's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk wasn't among the best or the brightest, but he and the rest of the Enterprise crew were a group of everymen/women. This was because too many of the best and brightest in Starfleet were space hippies, overly trusting of outsiders and unwilling to assert the will of Starfleet militarily.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:39 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, many bullies aren't jock. In fact growing up as a dorky high schooler, I feared the gothy and punkish criminal types (or as goth as you get in Oklahoma) than the jock. Think the ICP fans. Anyway, I had pretty good relations with a lot of the sports stars who many were rather smart types. So, I'm sorry the letterman have you a swirlie, but perhaps you experience was atypical?

As for Kirk programming computers, perhaps computers ardent really a core nerd province in the 22nd century. Perhaps the computer programmers are more like motorheads who enjoy tinkering and playing around than the current nerd cast. In the original timeline, Kirk was rather a walking pile of books, but mostly on professional knowledge. Kirk want a nerd at the Academy; he was a stiff, a Joe, or a tool. Once he got out and decided to have some fun, he loosened up and became more jockish.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cared enough to correct a misspelling of Kobayashi Maru.

Nerd.


hell yes i am.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


(And, if anyone's interested, Roddenberry is a decent writer, and the book is less boring than the movie. I mean, I love the Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but it really is an awful lot of standing around staring at the viewscreen.)
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2011


I actually rather like jocks. I have a theory about them, and it is this: Movie and television stars are almost all weirdo jocks, rather than theater geeks. I've been looking into it, and my theory has mostly been confirmed, even in unlikely places. Chris Farley, for instance, was a jock and was John Goodman.

So when kids nowadays ask me what they should do to get a career in acting, I tell them: Join the track team.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:42 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


As you can tell, I'm typing from my phone, so forgive the autocorrects and read my comments charitably.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2011


Think the ICP fans.

You were afraid of the juggalos? Oklahoma sounds like a strange place.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2011


I misspell 2 out of every 5 words, I just aim for close enough for autocorrect to work. Autocorrect did not work on Kobayashi.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:45 AM on May 12, 2011


The idea that hipsterism is ephemeral and difficult to define is silly. Hipsterism is the submission of culture to commodification, right down to its rebellious tendencies and internal customs. Hipsters don't live in squats. They sell each other "artisanal" things.

The RPG culture is a lot like this. It's full of pseudo-revolutionaries who shit out Seth Godin aphorisms, SEO, alphabet-themed blog carnivals and garbage according to some vaguely articulated notion that there's something virtuous in marketing, as long you're selling something sort of interesting. These are people who do not understand that fashionable exploitation and exploitations of your friends is still exploitation. In the case of RPGs, this is a necessary illusion because so many hobbyists have the pose of being disinterested in mass culture, and would like to be appealed to as members of some secret intellectual club.

This makes many RPG gamers -- particularly gamers who are members of movements -- useless dupes of petit-capitalists who think that screwing you for beer money isn't *really* screwing you.

Meanwhile, genuine forward-looking nerds are playing strange online, freeform games based on fandoms, cross-fandoms and highly structured original worlds. They have developed unique rules and customs (know what a "muse" is, according to them?) and genuinely exploit cultural commodities instead of reproducing their values -- ironically, using the very branding RPG nerds avoid. They go places we could have gone, but we turned into assholes.

The only nerds I trust are rocking out on Harry Potter/Wolverine slash panfandom RPs. It's not to my taste, but at least it'[ honest.
posted by mobunited at 11:49 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


A character with 0 charisma would fall catatonic, as their force of personality would be so reduced that they would be unable to interact with the surrounding world.

"If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score."

my favored enemy is 'fourth edition'. ::spits::
posted by FatherDagon at 11:49 AM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


They go places we could have gone, but we turned into assholes.

Well, you did, at least.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:51 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, you did, at least.

I said "dupes" for a reason.
posted by mobunited at 11:54 AM on May 12, 2011


This makes many RPG gamers -- particularly gamers who are members of movements -- useless dupes of petit-capitalists who think that screwing you for beer money isn't *really* screwing you.

Meanwhile, genuine forward-looking nerds are playing strange online, freeform games based on fandoms, cross-fandoms and highly structured original worlds. They have developed unique rules and customs (know what a "muse" is, according to them?) and genuinely exploit cultural commodities instead of reproducing their values -- ironically, using the very branding RPG nerds avoid.


You do realize it is only a matter of time before someone starts selling that too?
posted by Ironmouth at 11:54 AM on May 12, 2011


Wow.Mobunited, congrats for putting an arbitrarily high bar for nerdom, and really "good" living in general. Nerds might not reinvent the skeleton of games, but they do amazing stories anyway. And they do so for fun, so really I don't know why they should care if they ate petit capitalists anyway. The one example of authentic nerdom first of all isn't authentic, but even if it wad, you already said it's not to your tastes. Should they pursue things that are authentic in a leisure activity for those that are authentic but more fun?

And yes, Oklahoma was a strange place to grow up.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:58 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Argh, that should be "inauthentic and fun". Why isn't authentic in here?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2011


Yes, many bullies aren't jock. In fact growing up as a dorky high schooler, I feared the gothy and punkish criminal types (or as goth as you get in Oklahoma) than the jock.

I also think who you get bullied by depends on your own "group affiliation" if you will. I was the pudgy kid with Jane's Addiction T-shirts, longish hair, and acne (early 90s hipster equivalent, or nerd? I dunno). A bunch of the bad-ass delinquent "Bender" types that people were scared of in high school liked me for whatever reason and we'd hang out by the train tracks smoking things, and the rich snobby jocks were scared of those guys and left me and my friends alone for the most part. But there was this group of wool-sweater-and-gold-chain slicked-back-hair Night at the Roxbury guys that were into steroids and fighting (but not sports) that hated me and my friends.
posted by Hoopo at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2011


I would love to hate hipsters. When I ask for a definition of 'hipster' I get one or I'm pointed to urbandictionary. Neither seems to be able to define the term conclusively enough for me to be able to pick a hipster out of a crowd.

That's the thing. Urban Dictionary's definition is really great, but it's just a suggestion. Plenty of people hate on hipsters because of their quirky fashion sense (really, does anyone want to see a skinny pasty white guy's pubes peeking out the top of his skinny jeans?), but for me the way to spot a TRUE hipster is by speaking with one. If I have a great conversation with someone who is decked out with the fedora and the non-prescription huge aviator plastic frame glasses from the 80s and a tattoo of a bird or antlers on her chest, then fine, big deal.. I might even be attracted! I consider someone a "hipster" if they exude that "too hip for EVERYTHING" attitude in all of their conversation. So for me, hipsterdom is about being arrogant, narcissistic, egotistical and more or less aloof.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:01 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mobunited's rant makes me with that there was the RPG equivalent of Armond White.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011


with = wish
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:05 PM on May 12, 2011


You do realize it is only a matter of time before someone starts selling that too?

Just because it's being sold doesn't mean you have to buy it. In any event, it is nearly impossible not to buy things. It is eminently possible to not treat the buying and marketing of things as virtuous, and possible not to tightly integrate them into living. But it takes work. That's more what I'm on about.

Should they pursue things that are authentic in a leisure activity (or) those that are inauthentic but more fun?

That's easy: first option. But keep in mind that a collection of hobbies where pretending to be Harry Potter fucking Wolverine is more virtuous than playing a social-marketed D&D reboot is one where the standards of virtue are not really so high, eh?
posted by mobunited at 12:07 PM on May 12, 2011


social-marketed D&D reboot

So you're saying real nerds play first edition?
posted by Zalzidrax at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2011


Kobayashi Maru. Obviously not a nerd

I just got scolded in another thread for saying rj-45 when the correct connector was rj-11. So I am forced to agree with you.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2011


So you're saying real nerds play first edition?

Real nerds know that thac0 bullshit was garbage. 3.75ed for life. And yeah, I've been playing since 1st ed. Wow, since Chainmail, really..
posted by FatherDagon at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


mobunited, the term you're looking for is "commodify your dissent". Oh, how I miss The Baffler . (NYTimes link -- may not work for you.)
posted by benito.strauss at 12:15 PM on May 12, 2011


I only hate those hipsters in my downtown LA neighborhood who act like jerks, which includes but is not limited to the guy with the ironic facial hair who goes through my recycling for bottles before the local homeless guy can do so and the manic pixie dream chick who can't/won't pick up her rescue dog's shit. Today, she told me that she "forgot". Dog weighs 80 lbs.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:20 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I wish people could just enjoy RPGs. D&D, DitV, Reign, Palladium, your friend's homebrew, ARGs, online cooperative storytelling, LARPs... Whatever system or style you and your group like, that's what you should play. No pissing matches necessary.

Fun is worthwhile in itself. Seems like justifying our enjoyment always has to translate into explaining why other people's preferred play style is badwrongfun. I wish it weren't so.
posted by jiawen at 12:21 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Mobunited plays more authentic table-top games than you.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:21 PM on May 12, 2011


*high fives FatherDagon*

pf is the shit.

I say that as a nerd. Not as a hipster. Unless I am one. Whatever.
posted by utsutsu at 12:22 PM on May 12, 2011


What I liked about this was its faithful portrayal of an outcast culture (D&D nerds) attempting unsuccessfully to cast out someone they deemed not part of their culture. It seems to be a pretty good twist on Can't buy me Love, but with nerds and swords... and ... mostly all dudes... and told from the view of the jock... which in this case was played by the nerd... which means... eh - there's an parallel in there somewhere.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:24 PM on May 12, 2011


Fun is worthwhile in itself. Seems like justifying our enjoyment always has to translate into explaining why other people's preferred play style is badwrongfun. I wish it weren't so.

How are those "Sell me," threads going on RPGNet, j? Is discussing purchasing choices as identity still the Awesome?
posted by mobunited at 12:24 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mobunited plays more authentic table-top games than you.

I never said this, but it's fascinating that you can infer this.
posted by mobunited at 12:26 PM on May 12, 2011


I like RPGs cause I meet a lot of theatre and improv dorks.
posted by The Whelk at 12:27 PM on May 12, 2011


I never said this, but it's fascinating that you can infer this.

You are fascinated that people pick up on the sneering condescension oozing out of each of your comments? Because if that's NOT the message you're trying to convey, you may want to consider adjusting both the tone and content of your communications.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:30 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


How are those "Sell me," threads going on RPGNet, j? Is discussing purchasing choices as identity still the Awesome?

People like to share things that they're passionate about. That existed pre-capitalistic culture. I like miniature gaming: the painting, the modeling, the measuring with rulers, the dice rolling, the army-to-army combat. If I think someone would enjoy it, I'm going to tell them that. I'm going to sell them that even. But that's okay because the very act of selling something to someone isn't evil or bad. The guys at the nice coffee shop sell me hot chocolate. The girl at Oceana tries to sell me the concept of saving the oceans. Everyone is trying to convince everyone else of something. And that's fine.

I've only been in since 2nd Edition, but I really like 4th. It's fun to play and easy to DM, which means more time is spent on the role-playing aspect in my experience. Combat is lively, involving, forgiving, and fun. It's a good structure, and I don't mind paying people who worked very hard to come up with a good system. What else is money for other than to get things that you want and need? And what else is a hobby than something to spend time and money on?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


You are fascinated that people pick up on the sneering condescension oozing out of each of your comments? Because if that's NOT the message you're trying to convey, you may want to consider adjusting both the tone and content of your communications.

Why exactly am I required to exalt somebody's pleasure-seeking when it has no moral or aesthetic purpose? I don't do it any more than I congratulate people for masturbating to porn, with the exception that sometimes I would with the latter, since it can be a transgressive act.

Otherwise, I have nothing pro or con to say about the uninteresting ways people spend their evenings, and would be the first to say that many of mine are similarly uninteresting.
posted by mobunited at 12:38 PM on May 12, 2011


Why exactly am I required to exalt somebody's pleasure-seeking when it has no moral or aesthetic purpose? I don't do it any more than I congratulate people for masturbating to porn, with the exception that sometimes I would with the latter, since it can be a transgressive act.

Why are transgressive acts in and of themselves moral or aesthetic? Are more orthodox acts naturally immoral or unaesthetic?

Otherwise, I have nothing pro or con to say about the uninteresting ways people spend their evenings, and would be the first to say that many of mine are similarly uninteresting.

If you had nothing to say about it, why did you write several paragraphs about those petit-capitalists RPGers? Why does it matter to you? They're doing something wrong enough to raise your derision it seems.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:42 PM on May 12, 2011


People like to share things that they're passionate about. That existed pre-capitalistic culture. I like miniature gaming: the painting, the modeling, the measuring with rulers, the dice rolling, the army-to-army combat. If I think someone would enjoy it, I'm going to tell them that. I'm going to sell them that even. But that's okay because the very act of selling something to someone isn't evil or bad. The guys at the nice coffee shop sell me hot chocolate. The girl at Oceana tries to sell me the concept of saving the oceans. Everyone is trying to convince everyone else of something. And that's fine.

Not all forms of persuasion are "selling." It is the reflex to think otherwise that I believe to be a serious problem, particularly when real, empathetic relationships are in decline. I have my little corner of stuff I'm interested in, I don't want it to become a wasteland of consumer affiliations occasionally interrupted by practice at industry conventions.
posted by mobunited at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2011


While the pre-reqs for taking the Threadshitter prestige class are pretty light and easy to achieve, I am saddened that your DM let you forgo the normal starting races and gave you your pick of Troll.. it just makes the game more irritating for everyone around you. As penance, you are sentenced to make the next mountain dew run. Off with ye!
posted by FatherDagon at 12:45 PM on May 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


Why are transgressive acts in and of themselves moral or aesthetic? Are more orthodox acts naturally immoral or unaesthetic?


1) Sometimes. 2) Sometimes.

If you had nothing to say about it, why did you write several paragraphs about those petit-capitalists RPGers? Why does it matter to you? They're doing something wrong enough to raise your derision it seems.

There's a difference between running your Tuesday night game and "selling" your Tuesday night game.
posted by mobunited at 12:52 PM on May 12, 2011


There's a difference between running your Tuesday night game and "selling" your Tuesday night game.

We get it already - there is no true and good fun except that which uses materials pulled out of the earth with your own bare hands and animated through the forces of inborn telekinesis, shared with your soul brethren inside your hand-crafted Imaginarium Dome, far far away from anything that has ever been disgraced with the concept of a price. Please, go to that place and enjoy yourself there. Quietly.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:55 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


While the pre-reqs for taking the Threadshitter prestige class are pretty light and easy to achieve, I am saddened that your DM let you forgo the normal starting races and gave you your pick of Troll.. it just makes the game more irritating for everyone around you. As penance, you are sentenced to make the next mountain dew run. Off with ye!

Again, I think it's really interesting that in response to an impersonal criticism that was also self-criticism, you have decided I was really talking about you in particular or something.

Given that the first personal attack is up there by you, who do you think is really carrying the fight at this point? What are you hoping to win?
posted by mobunited at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2011


FatherDagon: Oh yeah? Where'd you buy that Earth from?

ha-HA!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2011


your DM let you forgo the normal starting races and gave you your pick of Troll

Cute, but you apparently rolled a natural 1 on your Recognize Troll check. Making a potentially unpopular argument about the thread's topic is not threadshitting or trolling. The thread and the film trailer and the hipster-vs-nerd distinction are about the problems of commodification and mass-marketing in a formerly marginal subculture. I don't fully buy (ha) the argument that hipster = commodified and nerd = authentic subculture, but yelling "begone, troll" doesn't seem like the appropriate response either.
posted by RogerB at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


We get it already - there is no true and good fun except that which uses materials pulled out of the earth with your own bare hands and animated through the forces of inborn telekinesis, shared with your soul brethren inside your hand-crafted Imaginarium Dome, far far away from anything that has ever been disgraced with the concept of a price. Please, go to that place and enjoy yourself there. Quietly.

1) What exactly makes you think you're the threadcop?

2) Why do you have difficulty responding to what I have really said, instead of something you imagine I think?
posted by mobunited at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2011


I don't do it any more than I congratulate people for masturbating to porn

I do this, but nobody really appreciates it. I guess it can be a bit of a jolt to just finish up your bit of sexy business and get a call from me saying "Hey! Good job!"
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:03 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


I’m not sure when the best period of my life for D&D was. When I was in elementary school, my best friend and I convinced about 8 different kids to play D&D with us at lunch - that was 8 out of probably 60 kids in the lunch room. We had the elementary school jock, a few traditional dorks, a few nerds, a poor kid, and a class clown. It was amazing having a pretty significant portion of the lunchroom actively involved in the game. There was complete unity and no striation across any level of coolness. It was awesome – it probably lasted 3 months with everyone really having a bunch of fun before it was relagated back to weekends after people lost interest.

Fast forward to high school and the group cut down in size a bit as the social stigma became better known. There were about 5 of us, and I spent a lot of time designing maps, fleshing out NPCs and building a vibrant world for the characters to interact with. We didn’t have any Jocks with us anymore, but we weren’t totally un-cool either. It was a lot like the Freaks and Geeks episode where James Franco finds out about D&D. We played weekend sessions then, rotating hosting responsibilities. One guy, who was a bit more socially awkward than the rest of us always declined to host and finally he grew the courage to do so. He was a pretty shy kid, very uncomfortable with his popularity, but pretty relaxed around us, so we never understood what his concern was. Then we went. It was hands down the single greatest RPG session experience ever. His mother went nuts. She made nachos, chicken wings, ordered us pizza, there was mountain dew, and dear lord – she even had ice cream. She brought everything to us and it was FANTASTIC. She was ridiculously excited because her son had friends… He was pretty much the hero of every session – every session thereafter was compared to that one. Nobody could come close to topping it, there might be snacks, but there was never a spread like that. After that, his mother never went quite that nuts again on us, mostly because you could see the slight embarrassment he had expressed during it, but it helped him feel a whole lot cooler.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


AZ: Next time you call to congratulate me, hang up after you're done... when you stay on the line breathing for a minute or two afterwards it gets weird.

Also, kick-ass article.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:11 PM on May 12, 2011


AZ: Next time you call to congratulate me, hang up after you're done... when you stay on the line breathing for a minute or two afterwards it gets weird.

I was told you like it weird.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't congratulate people on masturbating because it's usually a solitary activity done alone with the self, by the self. Most hobbies are slightly more social, because even if I'm painting models, I like to talk to other people who paint, find out what they use, how they use it, show things off, etc. Part of it is meant to be shared.

This conversation reminds me when the plethora of prepainted models started to come out and I sneared to my (very veteran) painting friend about how they were losing the purpose of the miniatures. He corrected me: these people were doing the part of the hobby that was fun for them. Perhaps they weren't into glue and paint and all that but still wanted a cool looking army. They were doing something they enjoyed and I was scoffing at them for not being "pure" enough. That really made me think how snobbish we are with hobbies. So, yeah, if you want to go out Palladium (which I hate), and you have fun doing it, I'm really glad for you. You're involved in the game system you like, even if some people on this board might consider you slightly counter-revolutionary, er, anti-progressive.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The weirder it gets, the less easily you can commodify it, so the more authentic it becomes. It's the difference between cleaning up after masturbating with a gym sock (commodity) and cleaning up after masturbating with a freshly-trapped squirrel (authenticity).

Re-railed!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:16 PM on May 12, 2011


but was it a humane no-kill trap?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:17 PM on May 12, 2011


I don't congratulate people on masturbating painting models because it's usually a solitary activity done alone with the self, by the self. Most hobbies are slightly more social, because even if I'm painting models masturbating, I like to talk to other people who paint masturbate, find out what they use, how they use it, show things off, etc. Part of it is meant to be shared.

ftfy.

Sorry - that was a total cheap shot. Painting models is cool. But that was low hanging fruit, you must admit. :)
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:19 PM on May 12, 2011


Yeah, yeah, I get it. If you want to join a masturbation club, you're welcome to it. Most people don't view that "hobby" in that light. Outliers exist, but as a general rule, people tend to feel more comfortable sharing and expouding their hobbies versus masturbation. In the end, it's all about what people feel comfortable sharing (and having other people share with them) and what people don't.

Yeah, I know you're kidding.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:23 PM on May 12, 2011


Helping Hands Circle Jerk Enthusiatics local 220
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mob, I've been responding to your incredibly down-the-nose tone, as other people have done a decent enough job of pointing out the facile nature of your 'authenticity' statements. But, since you asked nicely, I'll work over your initial salvo with a thoroughness.

The RPG culture is a lot like this. It's full of pseudo-revolutionaries who shit out Seth Godin aphorisms, SEO, alphabet-themed blog carnivals and garbage according to some vaguely articulated notion that there's something virtuous in marketing, as long you're selling something sort of interesting.

Opening up with sweeping generalizations over entire fields of entertainment and ascribing nebulous philosophies of empty virtue to those working in it is not a good way to start, especially when you've failed to provide anything remotely resembling evidence or even a point to ground the comment.

These are people who do not understand that fashionable exploitation and exploitations of your friends is still exploitation. In the case of RPGs, this is a necessary illusion because so many hobbyists have the pose of being disinterested in mass culture, and would like to be appealed to as members of some secret intellectual club.

At this point, your definition of 'exploitation' appears to be centered around 'charging money for something'. You then ad-hominem a strawman representation of 'hobbyists', while continuing to toss in weasel-words like 'so many' and 'full of' in order to provide a little CYA against rebuttals that you're broad-brushing an *entire* group of people with groundless accusations of being crass and inauthentic money-grubbers.

This makes many RPG gamers -- particularly gamers who are members of movements -- useless dupes of petit-capitalists who think that screwing you for beer money isn't *really* screwing you.

And then - anyone who buys something, or much worse, actually WANTS to pay someone money for their work, is a useless dupe! Sorry, not every gamer, just 'many' gamers. Totally different, to be sure.

Meanwhile, genuine forward-looking nerds are playing strange online, freeform games based on fandoms, cross-fandoms and highly structured original worlds. They have developed unique rules and customs (know what a "muse" is, according to them?) and genuinely exploit cultural commodities instead of reproducing their values -- ironically, using the very branding RPG nerds avoid. They go places we could have gone, but we turned into assholes.

The only nerds I trust are rocking out on Harry Potter/Wolverine slash panfandom RPs. It's not to my taste, but at least it'[ honest.


Your finisher is that slash-fic culture is somehow a more authentic form of playing make-believe because it has it's own rules that aren't in a book at a store. This point is backed up by... well, you asserting it, and not much else. Then you brand anyone who doesn't fully embrace the zest and adventurous spirit of fan-fic writers (and any other subculture you'd care to attach to that hazy group) as assholes.

The reason I brand this as threadshitting level trollery is because instead of participating in a discussion about the future of gaming culture, or the merits of the film, or whatever else, you came out and immediately branded anyone involved in the ENTIRE RPG GENRE as a 'useless dupe' and 'asshole', and then continued to sneer your way through every followup.

That wasn't difficult in the slightest, just excessively time-consuming and dispiriting - not unlike scooping a turd out of a pool.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:32 PM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I play 4e, but I'd like to try Pathfinder!

Also at least a dozen small-press RPGs I can name. Why isn't this my full-time job?
posted by adamdschneider at 1:40 PM on May 12, 2011


THERE ARE MASTURBATION CLUBS?

Oh, wait. You're talking about the Boy Scouts, aren't you?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:46 PM on May 12, 2011


THERE ARE MASTURBATION CLUBS?

Oh, wait. You're talking about the Boy Scouts, aren't you?


My paladin's name is Lord Baden-Powell.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:51 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, he's talking about the Catholic Church.

Too soon?
posted by Mister_A at 1:51 PM on May 12, 2011


"How are those 'Sell me,' threads going on RPGNet, j? Is discussing purchasing choices as identity still the Awesome?"

It's not my style, so I don't follow them much, but if other people want to do that -- cool for them.

If you think RPGs have become part of the capitalist machine... Well, you're probably right in part. RPGs have been commercial ever since Gary and Dave put those little booklets in boxes. It's possible to avoid a lot of the commercialism in RPGs, though. There are plenty of great free games out there. Go play what you enjoy. Please spend less time pissing on other people for what they find to be fun.
posted by jiawen at 1:53 PM on May 12, 2011


Oh, wait. You're talking about the Boy Scouts, aren't you?

Actually in my experience that was the pyromaniac club.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2011


THERE ARE MASTURBATION CLUBS?


I put on my robe and take out my wizard stick.
posted by The Whelk at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Setting up masturbation clubs is the kind of idea Malcolm Gladwell would call "sticky."
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mob, I've been responding to your incredibly down-the-nose tone, as other people have done a decent enough job of pointing out the facile nature of your 'authenticity' statements. But, since you asked nicely, I'll work over your initial salvo with a thoroughness.

Christ, I love "tone" arguments.

Opening up with sweeping generalizations over entire fields of entertainment and ascribing nebulous philosophies of empty virtue to those working in it is not a good way to start, especially when you've failed to provide anything remotely resembling evidence or even a point to ground the comment.

Difference between a comment and a blog post. Offhand I can think of a game called Old School Hack, whose designer talked about authentic nerd-to-nerd sharing -- but of course used deceptive SEO metatagging (references to "maps," which do not appear in any actual site content) and Facebook marketing from the get-go. I can think of at least one RPG post here on the Blue that was out and out spam for the poster's buddies, but I want to avoid the shitstorm that accompanies even talking about that very, very crazy person.

In terms of mutual exploitation I could point to you to the penny a word content rates once offered by Mongoose Publishing or to the very low payments Ron Edwards makes for art for Sorcerer. I could talk about the well-known author-publisher who told me over the phone that "The great thing about the indie scene is that you can get people to do this stuff for free."

In short, I could say a lot of nasty things. I didn't.

At this point, your definition of 'exploitation' appears to be centered around 'charging money for something'. You then ad-hominem a strawman representation of 'hobbyists', while continuing to toss in weasel-words like 'so many' and 'full of' in order to provide a little CYA against rebuttals that you're broad-brushing an *entire* group of people with groundless accusations of being crass and inauthentic money-grubbers.

Nothing as weaselly as nuance, eh? naturally, this criticism is self-criticism too, which you seem to only acknowledge as an ad hominem opportunity. I said what I meant, and I'm not sorry you find those qualifiers inconvenient. Anyway, I do hold in utter disdain the blurring between friendship and sales, and the manipulative things that happen at that interstice, but this is not the same as being against selling anything.

I do not think you should treat your friends as customers or merchants. I do not think merchants should pretend to be your buddy to sell things. I resent the conflation of person and economic agent, and could go on about the details. Whatever.

And then - anyone who buys something, or much worse, actually WANTS to pay someone money for their work, is a useless dupe! Sorry, not every gamer, just 'many' gamers. Totally different, to be sure.

I'm talking about enterprises where folks hold their hands out and ask you to share the labour, but not the reward. In some instances, this reaches the absurd conclusion of gamers paying for the right to help design an RPG.

Your finisher is that slash-fic culture is somehow a more authentic form of playing make-believe because it has it's own rules that aren't in a book at a store. This point is backed up by... well, you asserting it, and not much else. Then you brand anyone who doesn't fully embrace the zest and adventurous spirit of fan-fic writers (and any other subculture you'd care to attach to that hazy group) as assholes.

Again, it was self-criticism too. It was broad and a bit mean, but I feel okay being a bit mean to myself and a thing I generally like. Fandom and post-fandom RPs are decidedly non-commercial for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which that trying to make money at anything like the example I used would get you legally nuked.

The reason I brand this as threadshitting level trollery is because instead of participating in a discussion about the future of gaming culture, or the merits of the film, or whatever else, you came out and immediately branded anyone involved in the ENTIRE RPG GENRE as a 'useless dupe' and 'asshole', and then continued to sneer your way through every followup.

I think you did it because you wanted to score points with the crowd, dude.
posted by mobunited at 2:00 PM on May 12, 2011


Again, it was self-criticism too.

This is a dodge. You're trash-talking something that EVERYONE else in the thread is talking about enjoying, and judging them for it.

If you stand up in a movie theater and yell "Anyone who paid to see this movie is a brainless stooge!" it doesn't soften the blow because you paid to see it too.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 2:15 PM on May 12, 2011


So, Mob, it appears that instead of trying to speak denigrations against an entire swath of entertainment methods, you are more specifically speaking to industry issues you've been directly involved with, and extrapolating from there. While I do enjoy an Albini-level industry rant as much as the next, you seem to be building specific criticisms of specific people and practices into a condemnation of the entire edifice. This would be similar to using criticisms of the music industry to try and bolster an argument that anyone who ever bought a CD or mp3 is an idiot and the only 'true' music are folk hobbyists who work entirely through bootleg recordings.

I can perfectly understand (and would be interested to read) a post regarding the travails of RPG publishers on the indie level up to the majors, and the difficulties thereof. However, your comments came out immediately looking to brand any and nearly every person involved in gaming as a witless rube, and a bit of self-deprecation doesn't alleviate that. You can puff and roll your eyes at a 'tone' argument all you want, that doesn't change how you actually sounded.

I think you did it because you wanted to score points with the crowd, dude.

Now who's pronouncing what the other thinks?
posted by FatherDagon at 2:22 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think you did it because you wanted to score points with the crowd, dude.

You threw in a few crowd-pleasers in there too, dude.

I do not think you should treat your friends as customers or merchants. I do not think merchants should pretend to be your buddy to sell things. I resent the conflation of person and economic agent, and could go on about the details. Whatever.

Evidently, the only moral way to sell things is to be as neutral as possible. Don't smile, don't say "Can I help you?" in a cheery way. Don't recommend games that you like, or that you think they would like. Don't pretend that they can be both a customer AND a person. The next time I'm buying coffee at the coffee shop that my friend works at, I'm going to ask for a different cashier as she obviously cannot remain a friend and engage in a commercial activity with me. This is also why small-business owners hate the things they sell and out of principle will not talk about any items in the shop except by reading the outside of the package to the customer.


Fandom and post-fandom RPs are decidedly non-commercial for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which that trying to make money at anything like the example I used would get you legally nuked.


Once again, what's wrong with commercial activity? I presume that you work somewhere or somehow draw a salary/wage/commission for labor/service/capital done. I presume that you use this money to buy things that you like and that you need. I presume that you don't groan every time you purchase something. I don't think of everything in economic terms, but part of human activity is economic activity, is commercial activity. I'm not cheapen the human side of things unless I think of them solely as commercial units, I hope.

I may be wrong. You might have such an opinion on this that I will be unable to find common ground and live in society with commerce and not think of myself as a amoral, inauthentic posuer.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:29 PM on May 12, 2011


This is terrible, all this arguing. Guys, this is a D&D thread. There's no arguing in D&D.
posted by Hoopo at 2:45 PM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Elfstar is the tool of capital.
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on May 12, 2011


Sure there's arguing in D&D! Roll a d20, apply your Charisma modifier, and cross-reference the result on the persuasion table against their initial disposition to determine how effective you were.

Maybe they took it out in D&D 4.0?
posted by mmmtofu at 2:54 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zero Charisma has a seriously negative modifier - pray for a perfect 20...
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:03 PM on May 12, 2011


The problem with the beginning of this thread is that hipsters like to fancy themselves as nerds and Metafilter is full of hipsters, so we really shouldn't believe any of the comments about nerds and hipsters being two sides of the same gold piece, but we want to believe because we hipsters are the ones lying to ourselves.

And that's the problem with hipsters: their phasing makes it hard to figure out if you're even allowed an attack of opportunity.
posted by pokermonk at 3:04 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


They are moving through our space, so we are allowed an attack of opportunity.

But, only one per thread.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've played Old School Hack. It's a lot of fun. You can get it from oldschoolhack.com

(I am not affiliated with Old School Hack. I swear, I am just a nerd who likes it.)
posted by Sauce Trough at 4:02 PM on May 12, 2011


FatherDagon: What's 3.75ed? Pathfinder, or something else? (Forgive my ignorance…)
posted by robcorr at 4:33 PM on May 12, 2011


Yeah bitches, that Ring of Invisibility I scored off that basilisk? Nipple piercing. Non-prescription Frames of Truesight. Tea Cosy Hat of Universal Resistance +1. Chuck Taylors of Swiftness. And in my custom Bag of Holding? The complete Scrolls Of Okkervil River, including the rare and powerful spell Nasal Whine. Come share a mug of Meadst with me and I shall regale you with stories of my uniformly poor experience at the dark castle atop Mount Apple Technical Support. Oh, you're leaving? Well then...feel my wrath! *slap*
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:40 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey, knock it off with the viral marketing for Munchkin Hipster.
posted by Zed at 4:46 PM on May 12, 2011


Next up a documentary about Hipsters who've co-opted masterbaiting to the Victoria's Secret Catalog as a statement about ironic/freegan porn. Narrated by Cindy Crawford.
posted by humanfont at 5:11 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see how other people's gaming sessions look like. Just in case our group has been doing it wrong for 20 odd years.

I've tried listening to various podcasts of gaming groups, and most are painful, the only ones i've actually loved were the Penny Arcade/PVP ones with DMs from Wizard. They have actual charisma, appeal to more than rule lawyers, etc. The worst ones were literally hours of chewing into the mic, rules nitpicking, and just plain boring. The worst made me happy we never cared about the rules as long as we had fun.

(the worst recorded session was hours of the group using a create water type spell and selling it to desert people, while figuring out profit. They may have been having fun, but dear god it was the most boring thing to listen to.)

The "hipster" thing, funny how so many people are jumping on it, but change it to rap or country, and people would be calling you racist or classist. They are no different than other groups that were ahead of the curve in that area, (people seem to miss the name similarities between them and hippes, not to mention the beats, and other groups like that) and they will always be around in some form or another. Get over it, live and let live, there are more important things out there.
posted by usagizero at 5:53 PM on May 12, 2011


About the movie: That looks great, actually!

I'm not sure the point of the movie is actually that hipsters are co-opting D&D. It seems to be saying what if hipsters started horning in on a D&D group peopled with 40-year-old guys that live with their mothers?

I think that's far-fetched (but entertaining). Sure, hipsters - well, let's just call them trendy young people - would and probably do play D&D. But they'd do it among themselves and stay far away from "loser" types like the main character in that trailer.
posted by ignignokt at 7:22 PM on May 12, 2011


gonzo_ID: I'd love to see how other people's gaming sessions look like. Just in case our group has been doing it wrong for 20 odd years.

Well, my most recent regular gaming group, which was mostly made up of MeFites, incidentally (what up The Great Big Mulp, GenjiandProust and lunit, thanks for the years of fun!), met on Sunday around noon and we would bring various foods (cheeses, pastries, fruit) and drinks (beer and cider, mostly) and we'd spend the afternoon joshing, trying to outpun each other, and occasionally moving the adventures forward a bit. It was great and I miss it. There's no wrong way to play as long as you're having fun. If you guys have been going strong for 20 years, you can probably teach the rest of us.

The other day I played table tennis in a bar with a three hypercompetitive people and I was kinda shocked that people were taking a game of ping pong that seriously. It was very unfun for me. I'm used to people who take it easy while playing games. Hell, the hipster kickball league in Providence I was in also emphasizes frivolity and ridiculousness above all. So basically... hipsters, nerds... it's all good if you're not body-checking people in a game of table tennis (or arguing rules-minutiae during a roleplaying session).
posted by Kattullus at 7:24 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts. The DMs from Wizards of the Coast were great. (And I haven't played D&D for decades.) Does anyone know where I can find any others like them?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:13 PM on May 12, 2011


So I went to the pub. It's Thursday, one of the three days I go. Now that I'm back, let's have at it or something:

1) The self-criticism is very real.

2) Sure, people need to sell things. They just don't need to act like every interaction is about selling things, all the time.

3) If I was really trying to please the crowd, I would say something different.
posted by mobunited at 10:40 PM on May 12, 2011


FatherDagon: What's 3.75ed? Pathfinder, or something else? (Forgive my ignorance…)

Yeah, it's PF - 3.5, retweaked for maximum excellence. I've been playing since the release, and I'm still stumbling across things that make me say "oh, they fixed THAT too? fantastic! and now THAT'S even more badass!" Does a great job of facilitating player power growth and customization right off the bat from 1st lvl, while adjusting the overall difficulty to match, so you simultaneously experience more awesome action and feel even more on edge when shit hits the fan.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:55 PM on May 12, 2011


I play 4e, but I'd like to try Pathfinder!

Pathfinder is excellent.
posted by sophist at 12:16 AM on May 13, 2011


Him who down thread go
Him who no troll stop him no
Him who thread play out so
Him who play much lets go
Him Diamond.
posted by The Whelk at 12:38 AM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like to play almost anything except Pathfinder. I have played 3.x for many and many a year and am done now, thank you. All the advertisements on meetup groups and such are dominated by Pathfinder evangelists, though. It's kind of disheartening.

Nobody ever wants to play Nobilis...
posted by Scattercat at 8:48 AM on May 13, 2011


This thread for some reason reminds me of my favorite line from Matt Groening's Life in Hell: "Masturbation is nothing to be ashamed of.


It's nothing to be especially proud of, either."
posted by COBRA! at 9:03 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's no wrong way to play as long as you're having fun.

Amen.

All the advertisements on meetup groups and such are dominated by Pathfinder evangelists, though. It's kind of disheartening.

Nobody ever wants to play Nobilis...


Don't feel bad, nobody ever wants to play Star Frontiers with me either ... Or Top Secret .. anyone for Toon? ... Bueller?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:06 AM on May 13, 2011


Star Frontiers is brilliant! Especially if you can get people to play the aliens very alien-like. It's fun to try to play an insect-like creature or a giant amoeba. It's really taxing on the brain to play like that, but it's very rewarding. Obviously I'd love to play but I am a third of the way round the world from you. I'm sure you could round up some people for it, there should be at least a few people curious about the game in the Bay Area.

Top Secret and Toon are fine too, but Star Frontiers is a masterpiece.
posted by Kattullus at 9:22 AM on May 13, 2011


I'm sure you could round up some people for it, there should be at least a few people curious about the game in the Bay Area.

You'd think so, for any game, but I've been trying for months to set up an East Bay Trail of Cthulhu campaign, still without success. Lots of interest in theory, never a quorum for an actual time. Darn grown-ups with their kids and their responsibilities and their lives. Where are their priorities?
posted by Zed at 9:44 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it can be a real kicker to get some folks to try a system they aren't used to, for some reason. DnD is what they've been chewing on for 25 years, so getting them to play in a Delta Green campaign, or even some Gurps Splatterpunk or something is a right pain. I've found that board games are a good bridge, tho - now that they're hooked on Arkham Horror, I plan to branch them into Mansions of Madness (and one day I'll rook some people into playing Talisman again...)
posted by FatherDagon at 10:23 AM on May 13, 2011


Ooh, Delta Green. I've been enjoying 4e much more since I realized it is a squad-based tactical wargame with RPG elements; basically Dawn of War II on paper.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:10 PM on May 13, 2011


I've been enjoying 4e much more since I realized it is a squad-based tactical wargame with RPG elements

Yeah, this is how I DM it. I think up some interesting secondary goals, drop them on some maps that I draw or steal, and stock it all with my XP budget worth of monsters. Then I do my level best to make the PCs cry.

They almost always win, but I do make them work for it.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:28 PM on May 13, 2011


FatherDagon: Yeah, it's PF - 3.5, retweaked for maximum excellence.

Ah, now we're on the same page.

I got into 4e through podcasts (first Critical Hit, then the Penny Arcade/PvP/Robot Chicken podcasts, and the Shattered Sea "Tomb of Horrors" game) and the weekly Encounters games.

I've just started trying to learn Pathfinder (as a convenient way to move backwards into 3.5), and although it is waaaay more rules- and stats-heavy than 4e, I'm enjoying it a lot more. I think largely that's because Paizo's releases seem far more polished than WotC's, and the world of Golarion is far more plausible and engaging than the "Points of Light" mish-mash.

Although Gamma World and the "Fourthcore" homebrew stuff is keeping me interested in 4e.
posted by robcorr at 8:18 PM on May 13, 2011


I dunno, I think the "points of light" paradigm is pretty cool. I have also heard that Pathfinder doesn't really do anything to change the atrocious endgame balance of 3.5 where mundane fighters at best can hope to be last-ditch guards for casters who fuck up hardcore. Flavorful? Very. Fun? Probably not, if you're a mundane fighter.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:43 PM on May 13, 2011


The "hipster" thing, funny how so many people are jumping on it, but change it to rap or country, and people would be calling you racist or classist.

That's because in those other cases, it is relevant to call people racist or classist. There is no special obligation to protect the culture of mostly-white, mostly-monied people with no coherent political position worth defending.
posted by mobunited at 12:07 AM on May 14, 2011


Him who down thread go
Him who no troll stop him no


I've said a lot of contentious things on a lot of Mefi threads, but this thread is the first where I've actually been subjected to collective abuse. And it exemplifies my point, because the gamer self-image that you're defending is a consumer segment, inspired at the mention of a brand, and how the invocation of that brand will make your segment look.

This mirrors my experiences with RPGs. In theatre, very strident commentary about pretty much everything is expected, and where everyone understands that the goal isn't to please one's community, but find other purposes in the form, but in RPGs, the dominant conversation is about how everyone should support everyone else's dull and/or venal pursuits.

The scene is one where nerds angrily demand less.

So I guess I can say that where there was nothing personal intended before, that's not true now. You fit the profile perfectly. Angrily, even.
posted by mobunited at 12:27 AM on May 14, 2011


where I've actually been subjected to collective abuse

Get your hand off it.

Your first comment took a dump on pseudo-revolutionary poser assholes who are dupes of petit-capitalists.

But, whatever. You're the real victim here.
posted by robcorr at 12:47 AM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mob United, you can quit as that argument has sailed and now people are just sharing stories about Pathfinder, 4th Edition and whatever. I know you have an ax grind, but I don't think much good can come from your persistence. If you would still like to debate the petit capitalistic nature of gamers and how there is no special obligation to protect what you call white and monied culture, I'm sure it would be more comfortable to just memail people and start a dialog with them. You're certainly welcome to memail me; we'll sort this out.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:30 AM on May 14, 2011


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