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    Default Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    We all heard horror DM tales. games where you don't get any loot, and most smart solution are vetoed. games where you can get a negative debuff that willl never get away, as you won't have the magic to heal it. games where your character can die for a critical fumble. and we wonder why the players put up with them.

    then i was browsing tvtropes, and went to nintendo hard, and i realized that in the past, it was the norm for games to be much more brutal and unforgiving. it was pretty common that a single hit could kill you, that you would not be allowed to skip stuff by being clever, that you would not get any significant power-up through all the game.

    So I'm thinking, maybe those bad DM and bad games aren't exactly bad per se, but they are rather a leftover after a shift in gamer culture. And perhaps the people in those games - even those people who feel miserable - think that it should be normal for a game to make you miserable unless you are an absolute pro, because it was the norm.

    which, by the way, was probably a result of games being, by necessity, much simpler at the time. so the only way to make them challenging would be to have them being very unforgiving of small mistakes.

    I'm wondering if a lot of bad games could be explained by a clash in gamer culture.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    D&D, at least, began as 'dangerous dungeon delving' with an assumed ensemble cast (you'd pick a character from your collection who'd help make a balanced party) to the 'collaberative storytelling' with a more solid cat of characters model. The exact time was somewhere between 2e and 3e, the 2e DMG still treats characters moving between campaigns as a serious concern.

    It also has a lot to do with presentation. Games where the life of an adventurer is treated as nasty, brutish, and short tend to cause less problems when ruin in such a manner compared to ones that focus on daring heroics, just due to setting the tone.

    Creating a character in D&D specifically has also just gotten more and more complicated as time has gone on, which leeds to more investment in each individual character. 5e in some ways simplified characters and in other ways complicated it (such as the barely there 'roleplaying mechanics').

    Outside of D&D, especially since about 2000, games focused more on story structure and character goals have become more common, some even restricting the kind of situations that can cause character death. This is a good thing, a game where characters can't die is and to focus on different things to one where death is an eternal presence.

    And while I'd like to throw a ton of blame at Critical Role for promoting this style of gameplay, I actually think it being a common style of game affected how they presented the game rather than the other way around. So they get a free pass on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    which, by the way, was probably a result of games being, by necessity, much simpler at the time. so the only way to make them challenging would be to have them being very unforgiving of small mistakes.
    Nintendo hard as I understand it (probably from TVTropes as well, although it's been a while) was a holdover from the arcade days. In an arcade game you play until you die. To make the most money off of these games the player had to die just as quickly as possibly, yet just slow enough that they didn't feel cheated and instead would want to try again. If it's possible for a really good player to play for much longer that's a plus, because people will see them play and figure that kind of fun is within their grasp, if only they line up their quarters and get practicing. Because arcade cabinets in the late 80's had the power to do stuff like primitive 3D games and home consoles and PC's did not, they were the best way to enjoy gaming, the pro scene of their time. Early 90's games simply inherited a whole bunch of industry standards and conventional wisdom from them. People come up with games based on which existing games are popular, and people buy games based on what they have played before. It takes time for everyone to realize things might be more fun if you handle them differently.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-04-30 at 10:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    I don't wanna go all "kids these days have it easy," but this has been my theory ever since I started tabletop RPG's. That's not to say I don't appreciate a softer difficulty in favor of more entertaining narrative - I tend to like both equally and enjoy a fluctuating spectrum over the course of a game - but I definitely played through a lot more difficult games back in the day than what currently influences gamer culture.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    A lot of it is generational. Remember that a lot of the people running DnD these days (and even some of the ones streaming it for others to see!) were born after 2E was dead and gone! I find this forum leans towards the older gamer, so seeing 2e and before style play discussed is more common than elsewhere.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    I think that we shouldn't ignore the influence of Gygax himself, who basically pioneered the idea of 'hard mode', player vs DM, etc. Much of the tone in early D&D came from Gary's notion that victories should be earned, the DM should look for 'gotcha' opportunities when the players made a mistake, and that in general, the DM's role was to make life hard for the players.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    I think that we shouldn't ignore the influence of Gygax himself, who basically pioneered the idea of 'hard mode', player vs DM, etc. Much of the tone in early D&D came from Gary's notion that victories should be earned, the DM should look for 'gotcha' opportunities when the players made a mistake, and that in general, the DM's role was to make life hard for the players.
    Very true. The base assumption was that for each character you got to 5th level, about four to six others died along the way. You took very large parties into adventures, often with an even larger retinue of retainers and henchmen. Characters would die left and right to traps, monsters, misfortune, etc. - and the battered survivors who crawled back out into the sunlight were the lucky few.
    Last edited by Democratus; 2020-04-30 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernPhoenix View Post
    A lot of it is generational. Remember that a lot of the people running DnD these days (and even some of the ones streaming it for others to see!) were born after 2E was dead and gone! I find this forum leans towards the older gamer, so seeing 2e and before style play discussed is more common than elsewhere.
    Honestly I find the forum tends to lean towards 3.X, which had a philosophy actually closer to 2e than the later editions (while assumed to be less deadly PC death was treated as a fact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    I think that we shouldn't ignore the influence of Gygax himself, who basically pioneered the idea of 'hard mode', player vs DM, etc. Much of the tone in early D&D came from Gary's notion that victories should be earned, the DM should look for 'gotcha' opportunities when the players made a mistake, and that in general, the DM's role was to make life hard for the players.
    I honestly think that 0e is best seen as being like HeroQuest (the Games Workshop one) than modern D&D. It was more of a wargame, on the one hand the players with their characters and henchmen, and on the other hand the DM with their hordes of evil, and the players won if they managed to come out of the dungeon with more coin than they went in with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    D&D, at least, began as 'dangerous dungeon delving' with an assumed ensemble cast (you'd pick a character from your collection who'd help make a balanced party) to the 'collaberative storytelling' with a more solid cat of characters model. The exact time was somewhere between 2e and 3e, the 2e DMG still treats characters moving between campaigns as a serious concern.
    Really the shift was DragonLance. 2e also ditched xp for gp, which was a major shift in how the game was played (okay, it was kept as an optional rule).

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Creating a character in D&D specifically has also just gotten more and more complicated as time has gone on, which leeds to more investment in each individual character. 5e in some ways simplified characters and in other ways complicated it (such as the barely there 'roleplaying mechanics').
    I think a lot of that was the drive towards more linear games. As you take away player choice in terms of where they go and what they do, you have to increase it somewhere else. That somewhere else became the character building game.

    There's also little doubt that WotC taking over D&D had something to do with it, as deck-building is pretty much the core feature of M:tG.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Outside of D&D, especially since about 2000, games focused more on story structure and character goals have become more common, some even restricting the kind of situations that can cause character death. This is a good thing, a game where characters can't die is and to focus on different things to one where death is an eternal presence.
    Keep in mind that "no character death" doesn't necessarily mean "easy mode". A lot of these games have the characters failing far more often than in most D&D games, it's just that death isn't the default consequence of failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    And while I'd like to throw a ton of blame at Critical Role for promoting this style of gameplay, I actually think it being a common style of game affected how they presented the game rather than the other way around. So they get a free pass on this one.
    "Blame" DragonLance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I honestly think that 0e is best seen as being like HeroQuest (the Games Workshop one) than modern D&D. It was more of a wargame, on the one hand the players with their characters and henchmen, and on the other hand the DM with their hordes of evil, and the players won if they managed to come out of the dungeon with more coin than they went in with.
    I don't think that's accurate, knowing people that actually gamed with Gary.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2020-04-30 at 12:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    I'm wondering if a lot of bad games could be explained by a clash in gamer culture.
    Yes. Culture and game styles are very different, and always have been. And the shift happened right about the mid 90's or so.

    Old School: If you played a game, you might lose: In fact the game ONLY has meaning IF you can loose. It's a big part of a person making the push TO win: you only get one chance. There is no safety net: you win or you loose. If you win, you are the hero of the moment and 'better' then everyone else(ONLY in the sense that you won a game vs them and NOT at life in general). And if you do loose, it IS a big deal....well, for a couple seconds: you are a looser(in the sense you lost a game, NOT life in general.) But it ultimately does not matter much: everyone has lost a time or two or five thousand. But you get right back up and play the game again.

    The Safe Place: Games are just activities to take up some time: there are no winders or looses, everyone just participates equally. Everyone who plays the game, even if they do nothing, gets a trophy. The safety net is so huge, that your not even playing a game: your just doing an activity. Everyone is happy and everyone is equal. And it matters far too much, as everyone's whole individual physiological well being is wrapped up in the activity.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Always good to know that there's never a drought of people complaining about how badwrongfun other types of playstyles are.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Nintendo hard as I understand it (probably from TVTropes as well, although it's been a while) was a holdover from the arcade days. In an arcade game you play until you die. To make the most money off of these games the player had to die just as quickly as possibly, yet just slow enough that they didn't feel cheated and instead would want to try again.
    For arcade games, sure.

    But even for home games, you had Nintendo Hard. A lot of that was based on limitations - you could only get so much content in those cartridges, so you had to figure out a way to make it last so people got their money's worth. And usually that was difficulty, so people had to go through the game multiple times to get good enough to "beat" it.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarrgon View Post
    Yes. Culture and game styles are very different, and always have been. And the shift happened right about the mid 90's or so.

    Old School: If you played a game, you might lose: In fact the game ONLY has meaning IF you can loose. It's a big part of a person making the push TO win: you only get one chance. There is no safety net: you win or you loose. If you win, you are the hero of the moment and 'better' then everyone else(ONLY in the sense that you won a game vs them and NOT at life in general). And if you do loose, it IS a big deal....well, for a couple seconds: you are a looser(in the sense you lost a game, NOT life in general.) But it ultimately does not matter much: everyone has lost a time or two or five thousand. But you get right back up and play the game again.

    The Safe Place: Games are just activities to take up some time: there are no winders or looses, everyone just participates equally. Everyone who plays the game, even if they do nothing, gets a trophy. The safety net is so huge, that your not even playing a game: your just doing an activity. Everyone is happy and everyone is equal. And it matters far too much, as everyone's whole individual physiological well being is wrapped up in the activity.
    Ouch, I guess somebody has never played modern board games. I've played ones where the winner explicitly gets the right to gloat to the winner. Maybe in family-oriented board games, but those have a different market to 'serious' board games.

    And like, I enjoy my RPGs to be collaboration, if I wanted to compete I'd play a board game or Magic. To me an RPG should be a process of creation, and yes while character death should happen and challenges should not always succeed it should also not be a 'gotcha' moment. But then again I tend not to run D&D but rather games where storytelling highs and lows are part of the mechanics.

    But for the record, the only person I've ever known who took winning badly would be in their fifties by now. Most people I've known, even people in their twenties and below, consider losing to be something that has to happen to somebody, and hey it's better if you total everybody's scores and see where you came in the pack. There are even games which only have the states of 'everybody wins' and 'everybody loses', they're generally played 'against the board' and require the players to coordinate if they want to win.

    Now I'll agree, 'everybody's a winner' can be a problem, but the way I originally encountered participation awards was somewhat different. Yes everybody was rewarded for taking part, but doing well meant you were rewarded better, even if it was just prestige. Not everybody was a winner, but the idea was 'reward the kids so they don't start thinking effort is worthless, reward the winners better so the kids are motivated to improve'.

    When I was a kid I had a tophy for coming fourth in a ballroom dancing competition. I was annoyed because when my siblings did the competition in other years (one before two after) they got first or second place trophies. As a kid it was nice to get a reward, but I still wanted to be the one with the first place prize.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    I think a good point about gamer cluture for an RPG is what type of hero does a player want to be?

    Popular Culture gives us a couple big types:

    1.The Clever Hero: They are mostly average in most things, except they have a quick, clever and insightful mind. They can figure out things other normal people can't and can win by their wits alone.

    This hero is very popular, going back thousands of years. The vast majority of myths worldwide have the clever hero. Odysseus is the crowing example, but also many more. This covers the bulk of the classic Pulp Heroes, Classic Super Heroes(like Batman before he became a Ninja Demigod), Detective Heroes(starting with Sherlock Holmes, of course) to Flash Gordon, Conan(in the original books), and Buck Rogers.

    2.The Every Man Hero: They are nobody really: they are just like you or me. Except when they are put into a situation they simply strive to win whatever way they can using whatever they can.

    This hero has had a lot of modern popularity, from Pulp Heroes to Westerns to the Tough Guys of the '70's and 80's movies. John Mclaine (Die Hard) is the obvious example. Also Ellen Ripley(Alien(s)), Jack Burton - Big trouble in little China, Frodo Baggins & Samwise Gamgee - The Lord of the Rings (just in case some people didn't know), Indiana Jones, and the vast majority of Clint Eastwood characters.

    3.The Chosen One: They are super special. They are chosen! They are not like anyone else: they are unique! And naturally they have all powerful abilities no one else has: only them as they are special and chosen.

    It's a classic, of course, with demi gods like Hercules and then to modern ones like Superman or the Hulk. The big modern push comes with Luke Skywalker, then cartoon anime ones and the crown jewel of Neo(the Matrix).



    So back in the Time Before Time, the '70's and '80's till about the mid '90's the typical player wanted to be a Clever Everyperson Hero. they wanted to play a fictional character with only a few ''slightly above normal" abilities and wanted to solve and conquer in game problems using their own real life personal wit, skills, cleverness and intelligence. This is classic Old School Gaming right here: The Player IS playing the game "as themselves" and Role Playing the character only outside the game rules.

    Then you get to the mid '90's......and get the Rise of the Chosen One. That is still rippling to today. EVERYONE wants to be the Super Special All Powerful Chosen One. They want to play a character with demi god abilities, very specifically abilities they themselves don't possess. They want to solve and conquer in game problems using Rolls and Rules and Only Their Super Powered Fictional Character Abilities. New Gaming: The Player wants the Character/Rolls/Game Rules to do all the work while they just sit, watch and take credit.

    So you can see the huge difference.

    AND it is not about what way is "better", it is just about two Gaming Cultures.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarrgon View Post
    ***attempts to justify the theory***


    So back in the Time Before Time, the '70's and '80's till about the mid '90's the typical player wanted to be a Clever Everyperson Hero. they wanted to play a fictional character with only a few ''slightly above normal" abilities and wanted to solve and conquer in game problems using their own real life personal wit, skills, cleverness and intelligence. This is classic Old School Gaming right here: The Player IS playing the game "as themselves" and Role Playing the character only outside the game rules.

    Then you get to the mid '90's......and get the Rise of the Chosen One. That is still rippling to today. EVERYONE wants to be the Super Special All Powerful Chosen One. They want to play a character with demi god abilities, very specifically abilities they themselves don't possess. They want to solve and conquer in game problems using Rolls and Rules and Only Their Super Powered Fictional Character Abilities. New Gaming: The Player wants the Character/Rolls/Game Rules to do all the work while they just sit, watch and take credit.

    So you can see the huge difference.

    AND it is not about what way is "better", it is just about two Gaming Cultures.
    I'm honestly insulted. You're making massive assumptions which boil down to 'players from younger generations want to be super special snowflakes who never fail', wheras the games I've had with people in their twenties have been much closer to comedies of errors than demigods with your rolls meaning nothing if you couldn't give a rough outline.

    Like you claim that neither way is better while painting your 'old style' in positive terms and your 'new style' in negative terms. It's clear that you want to tell people that those who are playing a certain way are having badwrongfun because they're too afraid to lose.

    And I guess everybody who played a Magic-User in the 70s and 80s was secretly a member of this 'new gaming' culture because they had accessto abilities that their players didn't? Or does that not count as they're not special snowflakes who don't want to be actually challenged for fear of losing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    For arcade games, sure.

    But even for home games, you had Nintendo Hard. A lot of that was based on limitations - you could only get so much content in those cartridges, so you had to figure out a way to make it last so people got their money's worth. And usually that was difficulty, so people had to go through the game multiple times to get good enough to "beat" it.
    Arcade mindsets were still a heavy influence on home titles, even those that were not direct arcade ports. There was an entire mindset built into game development that didn't change for a long time.


    There's also a similar effect in that the US versions of quite a few Japanese-developed games were proven (developers have admitted it interviews) to have been made much harder to combat renting, which the publishers viewed as a threat to their revenue. They wanted to ensure you couldn't beat it in a few days, so you'd have to buy it if you wanted to finish it.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Games where the life of an adventurer is treated as nasty, brutish, and short
    Fortunately, we now have social contracts to prevent this sort of thing...

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    I can't speak for video games, but I am so glad the days of Killer DMs are no longer a popular thing. No doubt they still exist, but no longer are they accepted as the norm. If I'm being badwrongfun here I'm proud of the label. It's not the DM's job to kill PCs. A DM's kill count is not something to boast about.

    Obligatory: That is NOT the same thing as saying there must be no PC death ever.

    For games like Paranoia or Call of Cthulu where it's sort of the point, that's fine for those games and those who enjoy them.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarrgon View Post
    [error]
    You're pretty much just making stuff up; if I had to guess, you're projecting some particular prejudices onto the history of gaming. Needless to say, neither of the chronologies you suggest really exist.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Scripten View Post
    Always good to know that there's never a drought of people complaining about how badwrongfun other types of playstyles are.
    True as that may be, I think that what we have here is the opposite case. This isn't "I hate what you do in the privacy of your own", so much as, "you mean, there's people who like that? And, when (s)he tried to inflict that on me… they actually thought I'd like it, because they didn't realize that there could be people who *don't* like it?".

    So, it's an after-the-fact attempt to rationalize the abuse of bad GMs as a simple misunderstanding. And, while it certainly could explain some things, I'm not buying it in the general case. My issue, personally, is with GMs who are incapable of having the conversation about preferences, who are seemingly incapable of comprehending other styles of play, of understanding that, maybe, if they changed the way that they did certain things, that their players might have more fun.

    The not just existence but overwhelming numbers of such GMs makes me leery of giving this thread but so much credence.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I'm honestly insulted. You're making massive assumptions which boil down to 'players from younger generations want to be super special snowflakes who never fail', wheras the games I've had with people in their twenties have been much closer to comedies of errors than demigods with your rolls meaning nothing if you couldn't give a rough outline.
    I though I was clear it was timeless? Characters like Hercules have been popular for thousands of years. And both Superman and the Hulk have been around for a long time too. So the all powerful demi god has been popular forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Like you claim that neither way is better while painting your 'old style' in positive terms and your 'new style' in negative terms. It's clear that you want to tell people that those who are playing a certain way are having badwrongfun because they're too afraid to lose.
    Well, sure, I play the Old School type game where the Player must use their real life skills as part of playing the game. And I dislike the games where a player just rolls dice to get a clever idea or figure something out in the game.

    But that is just what I think....it does not make the other way wrong.....just wrong for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    And I guess everybody who played a Magic-User in the 70s and 80s was secretly a member of this 'new gaming' culture because they had accessto abilities that their players didn't? Or does that not count as they're not special snowflakes who don't want to be actually challenged for fear of losing?
    Well, remember before 3E magic users did not have all that much 'power', in the same sense as they do after 3E.....and, of course, before 3E a DM could just say 'eh, your magic explodes and your character dies', and the player would just be 'ok'.

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    You're pretty much just making stuff up; if I had to guess, you're projecting some particular prejudices onto the history of gaming. Needless to say, neither of the chronologies you suggest really exist.
    Sure they do, they are easy enough to see.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarrgon View Post
    snipped



    Well, remember before 3E magic users did not have all that much 'power', in the same sense as they do after 3E.....and, of course, before 3E a DM could just say 'eh, your magic explodes and your character dies', and the player would just be 'ok'.



    Sure they do, they are easy enough to see.
    never had that happen to me, it probably would have killed my interest in playing.
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    So - there actually are plenty of modern games out there that maintain the concept of lethality and/or failure. D&D continues to monopolize the conversation (despite my personal opinion that it’s a thematically dull, mechanistically mediocre game) but it is entirely possible to find and play games that have far higher consequence rates than D&D.

    And in many cases they are not player versus GM Tomb of Horrors. They are still collaborative story telling - just in a world where the PCs are not assumed to consistently triumph over challenge sets designed exactly for them, or not to do it for free.

    Often they are set in low fantasy, cyberpunk, crime or other less heroic modes - though ironically, some of the “god” level ones have far more chance of failure than a mid level d&d - as these genres do not assume the story of Turnip Farmer Becomes Hero that is baked into modern D&D.

    Anyhow, it certainly isn’t relegated to the old school. The new school of it just gets paved over by the giant in the playground, much to everyone’s loss.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    I've been playing TTRPGs since the late 70s. Killer GMs were always jerks. If there's a culture shift, it's been toward less tolerance of that kind of nonsense. See also player-vs-player. When I was a kid, you had to sometimes watch out for jerk players who (sometimes in compliance with a jerk GM) would ambush and kill other PCs, then blame it on alignment or something. I haven't seen that kind of stuff in ages and I would hope we've evolved past it, but it could also be that I've gotten more discerning with whom I play.

    I have seen a power struggle of sorts emerge over the years, at least in some games. D&D itself has swung from a pro-DM position to a pro-player position, back to what seems to be more of a pro-DM position with 5e. I don't expect this pendulum to stop, but it might spend some time in its current position given the popularity of 5th edition.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    Fortunately, we now have social contracts to prevent this sort of thing...
    I mean, exactly. When games present the lives of adventurers as nastu brutish and short it means that the game is implicitly removing that part of the social contract, otherwise it's assumed that most groups will have some sort of success even if they don't succeed at everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarrgon View Post
    I though I was clear it was timeless? Characters like Hercules have been popular for thousands of years. And both Superman and the Hulk have been around for a long time too. So the all powerful demi god has been popular forever.
    0

    And very heavily implied that with gaming it's a generational thing, with those dang whippersnappers being too afraid of losing to play anything other than a demigod chosen one.

    Well, sure, I play the Old School type game where the Player must use their real life skills as part of playing the game. And I dislike the games where a player just rolls dice to get a clever idea or figure something out in the game.

    But that is just what I think....it does not make the other way wrong.....just wrong for me.
    Then can you remember to use less antagonistic language? Because as it is you're literally implying 'they can't play it my way because they're scared of losing'.

    Well, remember before 3E magic users did not have all that much 'power', in the same sense as they do after 3E.....and, of course, before 3E a DM could just say 'eh, your magic explodes and your character dies', and the player would just be 'ok'.
    Only if you subscribe to the worst kinds of 'the GM is god' behaviour, otherwise they have the same level of 'power' just a lot more restrictions and drawbacks that makes it less convinient.

    Like, if the social construct allowed the GM to randomly kill off a player's character because they tried to use a spell the rules say they could, then I at least would very quickly see spellcasters being dropped like flies in echange for something else, if the GM isn't just kicked out of the group entirely.

    Because it's essentially the biggest '**** you' in tabletop games since the words 'let's play Monopoly'.

    Sure they do, they are easy enough to see.
    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    I've been playing TTRPGs since the late 70s. Killer GMs were always jerks. If there's a culture shift, it's been toward less tolerance of that kind of nonsense. See also player-vs-player. When I was a kid, you had to sometimes watch out for jerk players who (sometimes in compliance with a jerk GM) would ambush and kill other PCs, then blame it on alignment or something. I haven't seen that kind of stuff in ages and I would hope we've evolved past it, but it could also be that I've gotten more discerning with whom I play.

    I have seen a power struggle of sorts emerge over the years, at least in some games. D&D itself has swung from a pro-DM position to a pro-player position, back to what seems to be more of a pro-DM position with 5e. I don't expect this pendulum to stop, but it might spend some time in its current position given the popularity of 5th edition.
    I'd argue that there's been a move towards the centre (less meatgrinders, but also less Monty Haul), anf a movement towards cooperation rather than competition, although in D&D at least the idea that players can rely on the rules seems to have gone out the window in 5e with the game becoming a long session of 'mother may I'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I'd argue that there's been a move towards the centre (less meatgrinders, but also less Monty Haul), anf a movement towards cooperation rather than competition, although in D&D at least the idea that players can rely on the rules seems to have gone out the window in 5e with the game becoming a long session of 'mother may I'.
    Can we put the "mother may I" fallacy to rest? Every TTRPG with a GM is "mother may I."

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    while it certainly could explain some things, I'm not buying it in the general case.
    well, more specifically, this musing of mine was triggered by another thread where someone was talking about one such DM having his own group since 3.0, and doing many terrible things in his group but nonetheless keeping it. so, it was mostly an isolated group, that may have had few contacts with the greater community.

    for as a general case, i believe there is no excuse for lack of communication.
    but it's not about excusing. it's about, perhaps, putting stuff into context.
    Understanding does not mean excusing
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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    Can we put the "mother may I" fallacy to rest? Every TTRPG with a GM is "mother may I."
    I've never played 5e but I believe there's a big difference between "this is the rules, GM may overrule them" and "there is no rules, ask your GM to quantify the situation".

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I've never played 5e but I believe there's a big difference between "this is the rules, GM may overrule them" and "there is no rules, ask your GM to quantify the situation".
    5E has a bunch of rules for everything. The difference is how they're presented and the table culture they're trying to encourage. The rules exist to provide framework, structure, and chance. They do not exist as a mechanic for the "player" to defeat or win over the "DM" in an opposed game, even if you can twist them to work that way.
    Last edited by NorthernPhoenix; 2020-05-01 at 08:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Killer obstructive DM, nintendo hard games, and shift in gamer culture

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    Can we put the "mother may I" fallacy to rest? Every TTRPG with a GM is "mother may I."
    We can when people stop trying to insist that 5e has roleplaying mechanics.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernPhoenix View Post
    5E has a bunch of rules for everything. The difference is how they're presented and the table culture they're trying to encourage. The rules exist to provide framework, structure, and chance. They do not exist as a mechanic for the "player" to defeat or win over the "DM" in an opposed game, even if you can twist them to work that way.
    The thing is that 5er's are trying to have it both ways, have their rules system be 'rules-light/medium' while also not being a game of 'mother may I'.

    The thing is, there's actually nothing wrong with 5e, except it promotes the attitude of 'the GM is always right and players should have no say on where the game goes', an attitude that I am utterly at odds with. In many ways it's the opposite of Burning Wheel, Burning Wheel is a rules-heavy game that knows exactly what it wants to be, puts great focus on the characters and story, is intentionally unbalanced (an elf is better than a human noble, who is better than a human tradesperson, who is better than a human peasant, who is better than a human slave), and encourages the GM to go along with player decisions ('say yes or roll the dice'), but throwing in twists. D&D 5e is also rules-heavy with a focus on the characters, but it's balance is unintentional (and mainly focused on spells) and encourages the GM to say no.

    I really, really like Burning Wheel, I really do not like D&D5e. 'The GM is always right' has a lot to do with that, it goes from 'can I attempt' to 'am I allowed to attempt'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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