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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 86 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Indie-netgaming Elfs] Lord of the Rings  (Read 10841 times)
James V. West
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Posts: 567


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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2003, 07:05:56 AM »

Hey

I was Biguns Beltbuckle and these are my thoughts on the game that night:

1) IRC gaming is very, very different from face-to-face gaming. One is not better than the other, but their differences need to be noted (and probably have been on other threads). IRC can lead to a messy game. Due to the seperation of players and the time it takes to type a response, the GM cannot simple blow a whistle and get in line. While he's reading what someone just said, others can be going off on fart jokes. Chaos can ensue. Elfs is the kind of game that I believe leads to that chaos much quicker than might be the case with a non-parody game.

2) I absolutely didn't know what to expect from the session and I absolutely didn't expect what happened. It became clear to me that it was a free-for-all after Granny started talking about the Ring and none of us seemed interested in addressing that element. I had already decided that Biguns wasn't going to be a proactive go-getter, so I had him on the sidelines adding color. Mistake? I don't know. There were a few instances where someone would address the situation (such as the Cloak Room), but mostly I think we were frolicking in chaos.

3) I never got a sense of the character I was using. In fact, I kept belching and farting which are clearly Anal Stage activities, though I was playing an Oral Stage character. A wino, actually. A hic hobbit wino. By the time I left the game I wasn't sure what was happening or why. It felt sort of like I was trying to work my way through a noisy crowd with a bum leg or something.

None of that is indicative of the system or the GM or any of that stuff. The game seemed to work well. The parody elements were funny and appropriate. I think we just reverted to Beavis and Butt-Head mode and were unable/unwilling to get out of it. More appropriately, I think we were mostly unsure if we were supposed to get out of it.

4) Elfs is a fun way to parody dungeon crawling. But since we were doing LOTR instead, I think that concept got lost. The chance to dishonor Hobbiton probably outweighed any notion of the game's premise.

5) I'm in line with others who question how Elfs could not inspire the kind of debauchery that ensued in our session. Farting, screwing, and chewing on things are locked into the rules. Imagine a group of gamers who've been playing an intense Vampire game for months. One night they need a break, so they break out Ron's Elfs. The fart jokes are going to fly.

In conclusion, I think Elfs is great. I'd like to play a real module parody with it sometime. The LOTR session was funny at times (I was laughing out loud more than once), but too messy in the end. But as Bob pointed out, it was the first session. Maybe the players have worked some of the color out of their system and the game will take off in a more appropriate direction.
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greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2003, 04:43:16 PM »

Quote
of course maybe we're more Narrativists instead of Gamists

I was wondering myself if that was part of the problem. I'm a self-identified Gamist and I get Gamism. Mike and Nathan have both misidentified certain games I've produced as Narrativist when they were in fact Gamist. While that's utterly anecdotal, I do wonder if alot of Narrativists don't get Gamism, or they let their Narrativist preferences and style "spoil" Gamist things?

Quote from: James V. West
It became clear to me that it was a free-for-all after Granny started talking about the Ring and none of us seemed interested in addressing that element.

You nailed the problem on the head, James. This is the very deal: you, AS THE PLAYERS, should have been interested in playing directly to that since that was the clear goal of the scene -- even though your elfs weren't interested.

The GM should have gone nuts on you had you not, in typical "Listen, this is what the game is about, do it or there's no adventure tonight! Got it, dickweeds?" traditional railroad-GM style...and Granny Green should have fireballed the bunch had they not complied.

Remember: play like you're in a purely-social D&D-game, strip out the Exploration of Character or Setting, and go for Gamist metathinking. After that, add in the Elfs stuff.

This is where I think the Forge background tripped up play: we're not used to "dysfunctional" gaming anymore...but Elfs thrives on precisely that! Dysfunctional play style with full knowledge of that dysfunction used AS the method of the game itself (just read the "Fire & Ice" example adventure!).

Again, the telling point is the above quote. In traditional dysfunctional dungeon-crawl style gaming you have the GM with his module and the players (if not the characters...though it often doesn't matter) are well aware of what the goal is at any given point, want the goal, and want to avoid the consequences of failure (ie: death, no XP, no treasure) which are all clearly demarcated by the game itself.

Elfs is D&D, man. Old-style. With a twist.

(I'm wondering: have you have all ever played D&D this way? Twerp D&D? The most derided, looked-down-upon, unrole-playing style of gaming ever?)

Quote
I'm in line with others who question how Elfs could not inspire the kind of debauchery that ensued in our session.

I'm not against debauchery in an Elf's game, and neither is Ron (he wrote it that way), I am against unfunny debauchery...debauchery for its own sake, which is pretty much what I saw. There was little to no satire present in the log I read, and I do not agree with Nathan that as written, Elfs appears to cater to this style of play.

I read the same rules Nathan did and, without any outside knowledge of the game's intent from Ron or anyone else, came away with what I've been pitching here as the "obvious" style of play for Elfs.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Bob McNamee
Member

Posts: 685


« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2003, 05:12:35 PM »

on chat tonight

well... I forget that the sole munchkin player I remember would have been going
"Ok enough boring description, how much is it worth to you for us to do this?
now lets get on the road, and where's the damn wandering monsters so I can kill it and take its treasure
<Paganini> Hehe
<Paganini> I was trying to use another of the old staples to hook you in...
<Paganini> "Do it or die!"

but I won't forget tomorrow...
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Bob McNamee
Member

Posts: 685


« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2003, 05:16:43 PM »

re-twerp D&D

nope...never played that way, ever...the games I GM-ed almost never had a Player of this type (with a couple exceptions)

We were aware of this type of play, primarily at the point where D&D suddenly became the 'popular' thing to do... it just didn't fit our local group(s) style(s). Saw it / heard it at Cons, though
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Bob McNamee
Member

Posts: 685


« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2003, 10:11:17 PM »

You've probably all been saying this the whole time, but Mike Holmes said this in chat after The Questing Beast tonight the makes it all make sense for us...

Quote
<MHolmes> When I say the group is too Narrativist, I mean that looking at it, the group seemed to be looking at the game from a POV where it was important to support the "idea" of the game, and make a statement about the issue of munchkinism.


Yep Narrativist "Elfs"...with an unspoken premise...too scary for words.
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
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