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May 18, 2011 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Enter the Dragon: [SLVimeo] A short documentary that explores the Dungeons and Dragons subculture.
posted by Fizz (22 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
i liked this, thanks.
posted by Avenger50 at 5:06 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was pretty neat (even if the 'it's like World of Warcraft on a board!' had me grumble grumble lawn grumble).... And a lot fairer than The Dungeon Masters with it's not so sub- 'look at these fucking nerds!' subtext
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:17 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was cool in 1984. I swear.
posted by Flood at 5:22 PM on May 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


table top tactical displays are killing the game. It's a useful tool but now so overused as to make it a different game...

Oh God what is this, I think, I think it's a neck beard
posted by Shit Parade at 5:54 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is awesome, and makes me thankful I do all my D&D on the internet now.
posted by absalom at 6:41 PM on May 18, 2011


Want that girl now. Roll for damage...
posted by Senator at 6:42 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


table top tactical displays are killing the game. It's a useful tool but now so overused as to make it a different game...

I understand all of the words in this sentence, just not in the order in which you've placed them. No snark at all: What is "table top tactical display"?
posted by Fizz at 7:06 PM on May 18, 2011


I think he means figurines.

Which Gary Gygax pimped to high heaven in the 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide, 1979.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:20 PM on May 18, 2011


Chainmail by Gary Gygax was the miniatures game that came before D&D.
posted by stbalbach at 7:46 PM on May 18, 2011


"...less expensive than shoe shopping."

I see she hasn't discovered table-top wargaming yet.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 8:42 PM on May 18, 2011


I liked it. Does anyone know what song that was during the credits?
posted by Deflagro at 9:10 PM on May 18, 2011


Is this the page where I can revile 4th edition D&D? No? I'll move on.
posted by Palquito at 9:25 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"it's like World of Warcraft on a board"

Well sorry, but it is. It's all about min-maxing. What used to thought of as "juicing" the rules in 3.0 and 3.5 has now been mainstreamed into the game itself. There are optimal builds and there are bad ones, and if you play a bad one you are having badwrongfun. This is a feature, not a bug, of 4.0 and why it's such a dull and lifeless game with no surprises and no dynamic qualities.

Besides, real men and women play Call of Cthulu anyways.
posted by bardic at 9:53 PM on May 18, 2011


Well sorry, but it is. It's all about min-maxing. What used to thought of as "juicing" the rules in 3.0 and 3.5 has now been mainstreamed into the game itself. There are optimal builds and there are bad ones, and if you play a bad one you are having badwrongfun. This is a feature, not a bug, of 4.0 and why it's such a dull and lifeless game with no surprises and no dynamic qualities.

Bullshit. The min-maxers ran rampant over 3.X and this was quite deliberate. Monte Cook has gone on record as saying that the game was intended to reward System Mastery and therefore deliberately had some trap options (such as the toughness feat). 3.X was therefore deliberately designed to be cheesed. Pun-Pun might be a bug, but the incredible difference in power between a Fighter 20 and a Druid 20 is a feature of 3.X and part of the design intent of 3.X. It is a game intentionally designed for min-maxing - that's what "rewarding system mastery" means. That you had a local social contract that was against the stated design ethos of 3.X says nothing about 3.X.

4e on the other hand is deliberately built with transparent math in mind. So the person with thirty eight sourcebooks and a good head for builds (and chosing the optimal spells) doesn't have too much of an advantage over the one working only off the PHB and with limited experience. There just isn't that mileage to be gained out of min-maxing and you can't create a character that completely overshadows another one unless the overshadowed character has made some obviously weak choices. (Try to play a wizard in melee combat or dump your primary stat and you're going to suck). And 4e does not need a social contract against cheesing in the way 3.X did - the gains are so much less that there isn't a point (and so the power level of different groups is about the same rather than varying social contract to social contract).

But in both 3.x and 4e there's a social contract on the expected power level - whether objecting to being too weak or objecting to being too strong ("juicing"). The difference between objecting to optimising and objecting to juicing is the difference between saying "You suck at your job. This is bad." and "You are too good at your job. This is bad." Except that's not quite true. People object to characters sucking in 3.x too.

As for no surprises and no dynamic qualities, if that's what your're finding then you should fire your DM. There's never a problem finding a new one with 4e.
posted by Francis at 3:35 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Besides, real men and women play Call of Cthulu anyways.

Truth... now roll for SAN loss
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:00 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't watch this at work, so I'll ask: Is this another thing about dudes with no social skills playing in their parents' basement?

My D&D groups include a public defender, a private attorney, several accomplished IT-professionals (shock, I know), a published author & game designer, a successful massage therapist and a legit ordained minister & youth counselor. Honestly, as a high school teacher, I'm kind of at the bottom of the economic barrel in my gaming table(s). (Thank God we all get the same standardized allotment for equipment or I'd be screwed...)

We have girlfriends or boyfriends. Everyone lives at least fifty miles from the nearest parental figure. We pay our bills.

I'm a little sick of certain tropes. They were funny ten years ago. They just don't ring true for me anymore.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:16 AM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


But on a lighter note, here's Roll a D6. I wish I could get this on my iPod. Much better than the original song.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:19 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was really, really hoping the "I'm a girl who plays DnD!!" thing wouldn't come up. It frustrates me the way the basement-dweller stuff does Scaryblackdeath, above.

Maybe 20 years ago women didn't play. Now, though? Every game I've played in has been made up of at least 50% females. The only reason we continue to hear "girls don't play!!" is because the girls who do play insist on making a thing of it. You rarely hear dudes making a thing of it.

So, women gamers, I beg you: quit it. Stop making your gender a THING and just play the fucking game.
posted by AmandaA at 8:20 AM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I got invited into a new game earlier this week, and after about an hour of mulling it over, I realized, "Hey -- there's like NO women at that table. At all! That's weird!"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:35 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also of interest is this essay from the Believer magazine, Destroy All Monsters. It's long, but it's one of the best things I've read about the history of modern RPGs.
posted by The River Ivel at 10:46 AM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Personally, 4th ed. isn't my cup of tea. But this documentary seems to have captured the essence of it (and why I'm not a fan). 'Nuff said.

I will save my criticisms instead for the local hobby shoppe where we are currently forced by logistics to meet for our 1st ed. game every other Friday. It's a festering nerdhole. A grimy, semi-industrial, overcrowded, horribly overlit and poorly climate-controlled lair awash in a swampy mist of B.O. and inconsiderate behavior. If it were not the only place centrally located where a number of our transportationally-challenged players could gather, I'd put the place behind me forever.

/geekrant
posted by darkstar at 4:07 PM on May 19, 2011


Concerning Pun-Pun, linked above:

WOW
posted by JHarris at 1:46 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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