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Forge Hubris

Started by ethan_greer, April 30, 2004, 03:31:25 AM

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just to clarify a couple things:

1. when I mentioned "bashers", I didn't mean people who explain why they don't like d20, WoD or some other game as part of the explanation of why they aren't using a d20/WoDlike mechanic. I mean people who complain about d20 and the like without providing a rational explanation, or even provide a rational explanation of why they hate d20 in the middle of a discussion of Donjon. it's ok to have opinions, but we really should dwell on our opinions in a public forum unless it's actually relevant and may lead to something constructive happening.

2. when I mentioned perceived elitism, I was talking about the common emotionally-charged definition of elitism as exclusionary behavior. if someone comes to the Forge and interprets discussions here as "we don't like people who play d20", then they are going to leave, or stay and get in a fight. that's why I think it's important to emphasize that all biases are personal and try to remained focussed on actual useful dialog.

you know, there used to be this bunch of psychotherapists who wrote about something called "Transactional Analysis"; in their books, they occasionally talked about how alcoholics would participate in pastimes like "Favorite Drinks", "I Remember This One Party" and "I Was So Hungover That I..." when they get together with other alcoholics; similarly, highly aggressive/angry people might play pastimes like "Listen to What This One Jackass Did to Me". in group therapy, one of the goals of the therapist is to identify such pastimes and break them up, to get the group focused on doing something useful instead of trading fond memories.

not to imply that roleplayers have psychological problems, but you could identify similar pastimes, like "Dogpile on Game X", "My Pet Character (or Setting)" or "Laundry List of Games I've Played". they're fun in a social context, but they aren't really useful. I've noticed that Ron and others try t break up such pastimes; for example, whenever someone wants to take a survey of cool ideas to put in a game -- sounds vaguely useful, but really any large diiverse group, when asked "what stuff do you like?" will wind up naming pretty much everything, so why make such a list?

what I suggest is that we should be more aware as a group when we're playing one of these pastimes instead of working out game design or theory details, or discussing what happened in an actual play session.
John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects:


Quote from: Ron Edwards
2. "Industry" lists and websites are characterized by an especially poisonous brand of geeky sarcasm, often based on catching one another in mistakes of memory or phrasing, and full of snide put-downs. It's frankly intolerable and embarassing to read the mailings from the lists I'm on, most of the time.

That behavior is intolerable but ad hominem attacks on people who disagree with you are not? Your low self-esteem remarks were way, way out of line and I see you perpetuate your "projection" thesis on this thread. This is what you call professional behavior? You should be ashamed of yourself.

I'll be posting some parting thoughts in the publishing forum as Ron has made it perfectly clear that I'm not welcome here.
Chris Pramas
Green Ronin Publishing

Ron Edwards

Everyone is welcome. Specific behaviors are not.



Honestly, I think if the Forge isn't pissing off the "industry" then it isn't doing its job. Innovation demands that you rile up the status quo.

From my perspective, the Forge provides an interesting new perspetive on RPGs. I rarely use it in the practical design of d20 material, but I do use it in how I approach design from a conceptual or global framework.

There's nothing wrong with snobbery or elitism, but when the rubber hits the road you had best be prepared to back it up with innovation.

And as for the "industry", it's little more than a collection of nerd social cliques, rivalries, and misplaced aggressive impulses. Ron and I share some similar thoughts here. I wouldn't worry about it at all. Hell, I'm supposedly part of it, I've written more stuff in the past three years than anyone else working in it, and I've never, ever paid it any mind. Frankly, the social dimension of the "industry" sickens me. It's perhaps the greatest barrier to true innovation in gaming.

I've done fine simply making friends with people I get along with, working with companies that treat me well, and just doing what I do. Just like any social network, there are cool people, there are utter toads, and there's people in the middle. Everyone has a different perspective on where to shelve everyone else. I'm sure I'm ranked on the full spectrum from mensch to toad, depending on who you talk to.

So let me reiterate my first point - just do and say what you want to do or say, and screw what anyone else thinks.


I love Mike Mearls, and will willingly have his children (or spawn, or whatever a mearls has).


Jason Lee

My point, super simplified and less gently worded this time, is that every group has faults and I don't think it does the group any good to deny them.  The Forge has faults, it can't be perfect.  Those faults are not even necessarily the faults of the individual members of a group - they are what the group can agree/compromise on.  I think those faults are what people repeatedly bring up:  an elitist attitude and thinking inside The Forge brand box.  There is a reason why thing things keep popping up.  The people who bring them up aren't just all equally stupid - it's unrealistic to assume they are.  

A Republican is an individual, with any variety of viewpoints.  However, the Republican party is homophobic.  The attitude of the Republican party doesn't say much about an individual Republican other than there is a high chance gay right are unimportant to him.  However, he none the less suffers from the image, because he is part of and supports the group.

What really sucks is I don't think you can do anything about it.  No matter what, a group is going to project a negative image to someone.  If you want to challege the industry status quo, you have to deal with the fact the industry isn't going to like you.

Temper this all with the fact that I'm really not a sociologist, and might therefore be talking out my ass about all this group image stuff.  It's just the way I see it.

Quote from: PramasThat behavior is intolerable but ad hominem attacks on people who disagree with you are not? Your low self-esteem remarks were way, way out of line and I see you perpetuate your "projection" thesis on this thread. This is what you call professional behavior? You should be ashamed of yourself.

I'll be posting some parting thoughts in the publishing forum as Ron has made it perfectly clear that I'm not welcome here.

Some things to consider:

If everyone with an opposing viewpoint is driven away the environment will stagnate.
Future disagreements do not need to be coupled with personal attacks, even if they have been in the past.
If we all let the comments of a person or two drive us away from The Forge, there would be very few of us left.
- Cruciel


Yes there is a very clear bias against D20 and WoD, at least that's my perception having just arrived here in the last week or three. I also don't think it really matters, so long as the conversation remains civil, which it mostly does.  There are a couple posters who are regular exceptions to this statement, but as "they" say - there's one in every crowd.

I think a measure of elitism is unavoidable in any think-tank environment.  I don't come here to chat amiably with my buddies.  I come here for exposure to critical thinking on concepts that are new (or were new) to me, and perceptive analysis of issues or topics that I care about. The information I get here isn't something I can find elsewhere. Again, though, with only a couple of exceptions it seems that the dialogue here is civil even if it isn't always friendly. Okay, I can live with that.

I haven't really earned my spurs here, but I thought a newbie perspective (only one of many, I am sure) might be of some value.


I have to say I haven't seen any sort of bias against d20 by the Forge -- specific posters may be an exception (*cough* Dav *cough*), but as far as condoning or supporting those specific viewpoints, Forge policy is that even d20 development is welcome here if you're publishing indie.

Community specific, I've written in Actual Play about my 3E D&D game for a couple years now. I always recieve useful feedback and discussion when I do. Hence, I have to say I'm a little surprised that Emiricol says he sees a clear bias. I wonder if its a confusion of "criticims of specific systems for specific flaws," with "real, actual bias agianst for simply being"? The reason I ask is because I can't reconcile my experiences with the perception.

I do recognize a number of folks (mostly newcomers) have made statements bashing their favorite hated-system, apparently figuring such would be well-recieved on an "indie" list. However, such folks also seem to quickly realize casual system bashing, while condoned and supported on other lists and discussion forms, is not acceptable behavior on the Forge. Around here, if you're going to say something "sucks," you'd better have research and supporting logic backing a better reason than "because I don't like it." Most posters figure that out pretty quick, and conform their behavior or go away.

"Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it sucks," I would think would be one of the main and foundational realizations people pick up on in developing as a poster here on the Forge.
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio