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Inactive Forums => Wicked Press => Topic started by: Gordon C. Landis on July 03, 2001, 10:44:00 PM

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Gordon C. Landis on July 03, 2001, 10:44:00 PM
Not exactly rising to pblocks' challenge, but I couldn't help noticing . . . in the Causobon article, we're promised lovely line art from the charming Jennifer Mahr - or was that charming line art from the lovely Jennifer Mahr?

In any case, there's no such thing to be found - is this something that will be (eventually) remedied?  Or is the reference an artifact left over from a previous publishing of the article, and we will never have the privledge of seeing the cited work?

Gordon C. Landis

PS - Elfworld - I just gotta see where he's going with that . . .

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: John Wick on July 04, 2001, 03:13:00 PM
(Like everything else) I'll have the line art from the Redoubtable Intern Jen up next week.

"Elfworld - I can't wait to see where he's going with that."
You and me both, man. :wink:

Take care,

(PS: How did you like the article?)

[ This Message was edited by: John Wick on 2001-07-04 19:13 ]

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Gordon C. Landis on July 04, 2001, 11:01:00 PM

On 2001-07-04 19:13, John Wick wrote:
(PS: How did you like the article?)

"Kevin Jones" - man, the funniest stuff *is* from reality, isn't it?

Earthdawn is (as I reveal over in the "3 recent/3 favs/3 wishes" thread) a game I've always wanted to try, and (despite what Unnamed Developer Who Is Not John Wick says - though obviously I'm not an Earthdawn expert) Causoban captures many of the reasons why.  The article is an excellent representative of the "throw a bunch of neat stuff at 'em and let them sort out what to do with it" style of adventure presentation - meaning the only way to gauge its true worth would be to work with it, play a game or three, and then report back . . . but other than the twinge of "geez, I'll never have the time/players/GM to do anything with this" as I progressed through it, it was great fun to read.

My Inner Editor would poke at few things, and I think (from what I remember of Earthdawn ) there ARE a few things which seem "inconsistent" with the world as presented in the official books (a sorceror that survived the whole Scourge?  Ain't that too long?).  All in all . . . I DID look for part 2 . . .

Gordon C. Landis

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Gordon C. Landis on July 05, 2001, 12:11:00 PM

On 2001-07-04 19:13, John Wick wrote:
"Elfworld - I can't wait to see where he's going with that."
You and me both, man. :wink:

Here're some thoughts:

Ron Edwards has ELFS.  As I understand it (I don't own it), the idea is to get players into (pardon the jargon) a Directorial stance - the characters (the Elfs) are stupid, boorish and incompetent in ways so major and fundamental that the usual "me but better, with kewl powerz" RPG style (DISCLAIMER - a perfectly fine style that I, with adjustments as needed, play quite often), and the mechanics support telling stories using "your" Elf as a tool to get a punchline, rather than a person to identify with.

OK, now forget about ELFS - on to Elfworld.  The Elves in Elfworld are ICKY - nasty, evil, vile.  And powerful - very, very powerful.  The power is a big appeal for many gamers, and I suppose you can never really keep 'em from deciding "the power is worth the evil", but the idea is, the evil keeps you from really identifying with an Elf.  So what do you do with Elfworld?

You tell stories about how it is, despite their power, Elves don't always win.  From an Elf standpoint, all Elfworld stories are tradgedies, because they are about how Elves fail (their greatest desire - to go home - has already failed, so this is quite consistent with the theme).  It might take a whole human army, the sacrifice of many Ork heroes, the relentless dedication many dwarven bands - but somehow, many times, Elves are stopped.

The goal, for players and GMs, is to push things to the brink, show just how much devastation Elves can wreak - but in the end, show how they fail.  Internicene feuds are one good route - Elfworld will institutionalize PC vs. PC conflict, as a tool to show how Elves are stopped, NOT as a way for one PC to gain power at the expense of another (that might happen - while sometimes an Elf might interfere with another Elf for no reason at all, at other times they do it to get something - but in the GAME, that isn't the point).  

Or Elves can stop themselves - internal ennui/emotional turmoil.  There'll be some sort of mechanic showing just how hard it is for these Elves to CARE about something enough to make it happen, and just how twisted their internal lives can be - a town is spared because the architecture of one building reminds an Elf of . . . something.  Another town is destroyed for the very same reason.  And there's the afore-mentioned extraordinary acts by others - sometimes, that works.

Almost never another "person", though - that is not what it takes to twart an Elf.  Part of the point here is that in these stories, the Elves are the "individuals" involved - that's why you play them, rather than their "opponents".  A typical (or even extraordinary) PC group could almost NEVER succede as opponents to even one Elf.  The only story component that "fits" the roleplay model are the Elfs, so that's what the player's work with.

How to do this?  Uh . . . I dunno.  And this may not AT ALL be what you want to do.

But that's what came up when you said "you and me both, man".

Gordon C. Landis

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: John Wick on July 05, 2001, 12:47:00 PM
Thanks for the thoughts, Gordon. Interesting...

For me, Elfworld is about EVIL. There's a lot of RPGs _claiming_ to be about EVIL. They ain't. They're about evil. (If I could use a smaller font, I would.) An exploration of that.

All my life, I've been fascinated by the concept of good vs. evil. When I studied philosophy in school, my whole focus was on defining the two. For some reason, I figured I was clever enough to do that, even though the greatest minds in history couldn't.

But, like your observations about tragedy, it isn't about defining something - I've gotten over that - it's about _exploring_. Ideas are too vast, too fathomless to define. Every day, I discover something new I didn't know about Gvs.E, and it convinces me, like Harry Chapin said, "The answer is a question that I never will find out."

Elfworld is about exploring EVIL. Yes, it is also about tragedy. It's also about Love, Duty and Sex.

It's a whole lot about Sex. (Not sex - the little font again.) In many ways, Elfworld is about my disappointment with Pornomancy from Unknown Armies.

And if THAT don't sell books, I don't know what will. :wink:

Take care,

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Ron Edwards on July 05, 2001, 01:20:00 PM
Hot damn! More sex in role-playing. (That's not really my battle-cry, but it could well be.)

See, it's not hooters or orgasm-game-mechanics that I'm talking about. It's the fact that sex is one of the fundamentals of human interaction. Sexual contact has social consequences; social activities have sexual-contact consequences. Parenting, maturing, social alliances, (in)fidelity ... all of these are wrapped up in sexuality.

So why are role-playing games so wimpy about it? Or why, if discussed, does the discussion often devolve into irrelevancies like probabilities for upper body strength? Or why, if sex does enter the picture, we get this collegiate soft porn without any content, a la Black Dog?

Well, never mind the why. What matters is that some people want to bring sexuality into role-playing as a source of dramatic/narrative conflict.

Fuck yeah (if you take my meaning).


Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: John Wick on July 05, 2001, 02:05:00 PM
Why is there so little sex in gaming?
Because gamers want violence, not sex.

I know a bunch of you are going to Gen-Con. While there, keep an eye out for scantily clad women. Watch gamers' reactions to them. They drop their eyes and avoid them.

The majority of gamers are very uncomfortable in social situations that don't involve gaming. That usually means women.

It happened when the NOIR booth had girls - people avoided the booth like the plauge.

It happened when the Precedence booth had girls - it's the reason I got a date that Gen-Con: everyone else was scared to even go near the place.

It happened at the AEG booth - they've had attractive women in regular old gamer attire - t-shirts and jeans - and gamers couldn't even look 'em in the eye.

Make no mistake: Elfworld is a vanity project. But it won't be 300 pages. I won't make that mistake twice.

Take care,

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Peter on July 06, 2001, 05:00:00 AM
Re: Scantily clad women at conventions.

Yeah, on the one hand I know what your'e saying.
However; I'm one of those. I don't like looking at them, because.. I dunno. I'm a little embarrassed for a lot of them. Provided these girls/women get older and have the opportunity to look back on their lives, I think they might even be embarrassed for themselves. (Maybe not). But it isn't sexy, usually. Mostly it comes off as just sad and kind of an affectation. Sometimes it even seems kind of manipulative and show-offy, and thats even worse.

(Plus I'm married, have kids, and I'm older than the majority of the girls who dress like this by about 12-15 years, so it wouldn't be cool for me to go around ogling regardless.)


However, I WAS the one who came up with the idea of trying to get Anne Dupuis to model a swimsuit for an issue of RPGEvolution. Intelligent = sexy, at least for me.

I also find Anne Robinson from Weakest Link to be very.. uhm... interesting.

[ This Message was edited by: Peter on 2001-07-06 09:03 ]

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Dav on July 10, 2001, 09:23:00 AM
Okay, while we're on girls.

Dav's take:

1) sexy does not = intelligent.  sexy = everything that modern society tells you that you shouldn't be after in life (good body and scantily clad).

2) Women who wear scantily clad items deserve to be stared at.  Period.  That is what they are there for.  You want me to stop looking at your breasts?  Stop showing them to me.

Dav's take on EVIL:

1) Evil is cooler than good.  Why, because survival and life says that evil will win.  Period.  Yeah, hang your morals and fiction in front of me, but wicked (no pun) evil that does what it has, whatEVER it has to, will win.  Hands down.  Everytime.  And I love it that way.

2) I dislike evil being less powerful than good in games, books, and movies.  I hate evil that has to hold a grudge and be stupid about it.  I like intelligent evil.  Real evil.  

3) John, you've just put yourself out there for me.  You said EVIL (as opposed to evil).  I look over Obsidian, and Kult, and Unknown Armies, and In Nomine Satanis, and I smile.  They did their duty (well, Unknown Armies is the weak one of the bunch).  

Now I know some people who will think that evil is an unsustainable standpoint from which to play a game.  Not at all.  I like evil in my game.  I like a party that will coup de grace me if I'm already down rather than heal me... so long as it is beneficial for them to do so.

I like the thought my own "allies" killing me if it becomes most cost-effective.  I want evil!

So, uh, John... when you say EVIL, do you really mean it?  If so, you've already sold one copy.


Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: JSDiamond on July 10, 2001, 11:52:00 AM
I dunno about that Dav.  While I will agree that EVIL wins many battles, it doesn't do so well at winning wars.  

Maybe EVIL isn't always presented with all of its advantages.  But going by classical and common identifiers, the main problem is that EVIL's main tenet seems to be advancement and competition through destruction of the person(s) you're competing with.  It's more about conquering as the means to a goal.  Whereas GOOD is about cooperation as the means to a goal.

The question I always ask (when anyone takes the "Hooray for EVIL" stance) is, and then what?  I explain it this way: Let's say victory is just handed to you as the realm's main EVIL GUY.  Now what?  Do you rule evilly?  How do you raise crops and torture the peasants?  

EVIL (to my way of thinking) is akin to a fuel, and GOOD is more like an engine.  Both stagnate without the other and their roles are likewise clearly defined by the other.

Just some thoughts.
Jeff Diamond
6-0 Games


Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: John Wick on July 10, 2001, 12:44:00 PM
I've moved this subject over to "Elfworld = EVIL" and would be happy to discuss All Things Evil over there.

Take care,

Title: Line art in Causoban
Post by: Misguided Games on July 18, 2001, 09:59:00 AM
In the original description of the Banfilidh for Children of the Sun, I wrote them as beings that passed down genetic material, as opposed to more magical as they are now.  Their reproduction required simultaneous copulation of male and female of the species with a flower that had special receptacles for the gametes.  The genetic material of the male and female were then combined with that of the plant to create a new organism, and the banfilidh would guard the growing bud from predators (they would have been valued because ingestion of them gave temporary telepathic abilities)...

Oh well, my partner hated the whole thing so it was scrapped.