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f***@gmail.com
2017-08-30 07:29:19 UTC
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Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am having a serious health problem, undergoing treatment of cancer in a private hospital. l am soliciting for your aid and your moral support but not in terms of financial assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky email:***@outlook.com
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-30 13:18:01 UTC
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Post by f***@gmail.com
Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am having a
serious health problem, undergoing treatment of cancer in a private hospital.
l am soliciting for your aid and your moral support but not in terms of
financial assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky
Have you tried visiting your locak cleric? You might need to visit a
larger city to find one of high enough level to cast the appropriate
spell (would a simple Heal work or would you need some sort of
combination with Restore and Cure Disease?).

It will be costly; just the Heal Spell will set you back about 450
gold pieces. How much this costs in dollars can be difficult to
calculate because the weight of a coin varies, but a Roman auereus was
8g; using this value, the Heal spell will set you back $150,000. I am
unsure if any HMOs will offer payment in gold coins, however.

Please note I am no expert in this; you definitely should consult your
local sage (or, lacking one of those, the local wise woman who lives
in a hut on the outskirts of the city; people say she's a witch but so
long as you don't get on her bad side you won't have to worry about
getting cursed). And stay away from those awful clerics of Talona;
they might take your money but their goddess is one of disease and you
don't want the results of any spells they cast on you.





(just so I don't seem entirely heartless, I did check if on the odd
chance there actually was a "Michelle Skalicky" living in Anchorage;
unsurprisingly, there was not. Anyone suffering through cancer gets my
sympathy and support, but spammers and trollers? Not so much ;-)
tetsubo57
2017-08-30 20:14:44 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by f***@gmail.com
Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am having a
serious health problem, undergoing treatment of cancer in a private hospital.
l am soliciting for your aid and your moral support but not in terms of
financial assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky
Have you tried visiting your locak cleric? You might need to visit a
larger city to find one of high enough level to cast the appropriate
spell (would a simple Heal work or would you need some sort of
combination with Restore and Cure Disease?).
It will be costly; just the Heal Spell will set you back about 450
gold pieces. How much this costs in dollars can be difficult to
calculate because the weight of a coin varies, but a Roman auereus was
8g; using this value, the Heal spell will set you back $150,000. I am
unsure if any HMOs will offer payment in gold coins, however.
I thought a default was fifty gold pieces per pound of gold? At least I thought that was... I am old and might be misremembering... Did different editions use different coin weights? I've been using a silver based monetary system for decades now myself. Gold is at the top. Platinum is not a coin. Under gold is silver, bronze and copper. I much prefer a silver coin system. makes more sense as well.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Please note I am no expert in this; you definitely should consult your
local sage (or, lacking one of those, the local wise woman who lives
in a hut on the outskirts of the city; people say she's a witch but so
long as you don't get on her bad side you won't have to worry about
getting cursed). And stay away from those awful clerics of Talona;
they might take your money but their goddess is one of disease and you
don't want the results of any spells they cast on you.
(just so I don't seem entirely heartless, I did check if on the odd
chance there actually was a "Michelle Skalicky" living in Anchorage;
unsurprisingly, there was not. Anyone suffering through cancer gets my
sympathy and support, but spammers and trollers? Not so much ;-)
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-31 13:31:29 UTC
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 13:14:44 -0700 (PDT), tetsubo57
Post by tetsubo57
I thought a default was fifty gold pieces per pound of gold? At least
I thought that was... I am old and might be misremembering... Did
different editions use different coin weights? I've been using a silver
based monetary system for decades now myself. Gold is at the top.
Platinum is not a coin. Under gold is silver, bronze and copper. I
much prefer a silver coin system. makes more sense as well.
Well, the original game used 10 coins-to-the-pound, which always
seemed excessive to me. By 2nd Edition AD&D, it was
50-coins-to-the-pound and I think that remained standard through 3rd
and 4th editions. I've no idea what it is in 5th edition.

My values, however, were taken from the "real world" (you know, the
earth where we pay clerics for cancer treatments with gold coins ;-).
There coins of different denominations were of different weights. I
just took one of the "standards" - a Roman aurelius - and calculated
what its metal would be worth on the market today.


Like most DMs, I only rarely enforce encumbrance rules, and when I do
I do it in a very rough way that never gets down to the coin-by-coin
calculations. Sometimes this works in my players' favor, other times
not. I figure a hefty STR18 Fighter can carry around a pouch/small
sack full of coins without too much problem, and can hoist several
larger sacks for short distances. The former might hold several
hundred coins, the latter thousands. Gold coins are fairly rare in my
campaigns - when gold is found, its more often in bar form - and even
silver is rare (most purchases are made in copper). Those coins are
larger but - being of less dense metal - still weigh about the same.

"Officially" I play it that the players usually encounter a wide
variety in the coins they see - and often throw in a bit of
role-playing where a merchant might demand a few extra coppers because
the value of the coin the players are offering is so poor - but on the
whole I figure everything evens out in terms of value and weight.
Justisaur
2017-08-31 13:15:13 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by f***@gmail.com
Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am having a
serious health problem, undergoing treatment of cancer in a private hospital.
l am soliciting for your aid and your moral support but not in terms of
financial assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky
Have you tried visiting your locak cleric? You might need to visit a
larger city to find one of high enough level to cast the appropriate
spell (would a simple Heal work or would you need some sort of
combination with Restore and Cure Disease?).
It will be costly; just the Heal Spell will set you back about 450
gold pieces. How much this costs in dollars can be difficult to
calculate because the weight of a coin varies, but a Roman auereus was
8g; using this value, the Heal spell will set you back $150,000. I am
unsure if any HMOs will offer payment in gold coins, however.
You'd better not be playing 1e or that will set you back quite a bit
more. 10 coins to the pound is right now $1584 per coin. Also a cure
disease is 1,000 gp in 1e, so that's $1,584,000.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Please note I am no expert in this; you definitely should consult your
local sage (or, lacking one of those, the local wise woman who lives
in a hut on the outskirts of the city; people say she's a witch but so
long as you don't get on her bad side you won't have to worry about
getting cursed). And stay away from those awful clerics of Talona;
they might take your money but their goddess is one of disease and you
don't want the results of any spells they cast on you.
In some religions you want to seek the aid of the evil gods who have
dominion over whatever problems you're having to abate them. If you're
playing in Forgotten Realms, you're right though, that would be a bad
idea. I'd say she was playing on Earth... but as she doesn't exist
here, that is very unlikely.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
(just so I don't seem entirely heartless, I did check if on the odd
chance there actually was a "Michelle Skalicky" living in Anchorage;
unsurprisingly, there was not. Anyone suffering through cancer gets my
sympathy and support, but spammers and trollers? Not so much ;-)
Is it Make Fun of the Scammers day already? I didn't have it marked on
my calendar.

- Justisaur
JimP.
2017-08-30 15:14:35 UTC
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Hi,
Wow. We haven't had a spammer/scammer stop by here in years !
--
Jim
Anonymous Jack
2017-08-30 15:36:57 UTC
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Post by JimP.
Hi,
Wow. We haven't had a spammer/scammer stop by here in years !
--
Jim
Just to be helpful, spammer's email in clear text for bots to harvest :)
JimP.
2017-08-30 16:37:38 UTC
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:36:57 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by JimP.
Hi,
Wow. We haven't had a spammer/scammer stop by here in years !
--
Jim
Just to be helpful, spammer's email in clear text for bots to harvest :)
Yup, and likely why my tiny brain left it in.
--
Jim
Anonymous Jack
2017-09-05 17:01:47 UTC
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Post by JimP.
On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:36:57 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by JimP.
Hi,
Wow. We haven't had a spammer/scammer stop by here in years !
--
Jim
Just to be helpful, spammer's email in clear text for bots to harvest :)
Yup, and likely why my tiny brain left it in.
--
Jim
Ah, I'm reading via Google Groups which obscures email (when you choose to leave it in, it's obscured but available by clicking /captcha) unless you do certain things
JimP.
2017-09-06 01:47:27 UTC
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On Tue, 5 Sep 2017 10:01:47 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by JimP.
On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:36:57 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by JimP.
Hi,
Wow. We haven't had a spammer/scammer stop by here in years !
--
Jim
Just to be helpful, spammer's email in clear text for bots to harvest :)
Yup, and likely why my tiny brain left it in.
--
Jim
Ah, I'm reading via Google Groups which obscures email (when you choose to leave it in, it's obscured but available by clicking /captcha) unless you do certain things
Normal headers in newsgrouops shows the email address... blocking it
is silly.
--
Jim
h***@gmail.com
2017-09-06 09:59:10 UTC
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Post by JimP.
On Tue, 5 Sep 2017 10:01:47 -0700 (PDT), Anonymous Jack
Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by JimP.
Post by Anonymous Jack
Just to be helpful, spammer's email in clear text for bots to harvest :)
Yup, and likely why my tiny brain left it in.
Ah, I'm reading via Google Groups which obscures email (when you choose to leave it in, it's obscured but available by clicking /captcha) unless you do certain things
Normal headers in newsgrouops shows the email address... blocking it
is silly.
It's not entirely silly for google groups which is accessible by crawlers so exposing it in plain text may well make it more accessible for harvesting
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-08-30 15:34:57 UTC
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Post by f***@gmail.com
Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am
having a serious health problem, undergoing treatment of cancer
in a private hospital. l am soliciting for your aid and your
moral support but not in terms of financial
assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky
I am a Nigerian prince, and will send you $187 million dollars if you
send me $100,000 for me to bribe my government's officials into
letting me move the money out of the country.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Justisaur
2017-08-31 13:16:17 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by f***@gmail.com
Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am
having a serious health problem, undergoing treatment of cancer
in a private hospital. l am soliciting for your aid and your
moral support but not in terms of financial
assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky
I am a Nigerian prince, and will send you $187 million dollars if you
send me $100,000 for me to bribe my government's officials into
letting me move the money out of the country.
I always knew you were a royal something.

- Justisaur
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-08-31 15:11:45 UTC
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Post by Justisaur
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by f***@gmail.com
Hi,
l am Mrs. Michelle Skalicky from Anchorage Alaska in USA, l am
having a serious health problem, undergoing treatment of
cancer in a private hospital. l am soliciting for your aid and
your moral support but not in terms of financial
assistance.Thanks.Mrs. Michelle Skalicky
I am a Nigerian prince, and will send you $187 million dollars
if you send me $100,000 for me to bribe my government's
officials into letting me move the money out of the country.
I always knew you were a royal something.
Indeed. Do you have that wire transfer tracking info yet?
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-31 13:49:43 UTC
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On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:34:57 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
I am a Nigerian prince, and will send you $187 million dollars if you
send me $100,000 for me to bribe my government's officials into
letting me move the money out of the country.
Huh, that might be the basis of an interesting adventure. The PCs get
a message that a far-off prince is being held ransom. The prince is
somebody the PCs with whom they have a relationship and view
favorably so they are willing to assist him. The message asks the PCs
to help pay off the ransom - the prince, of course, will repay them as
soon as he gets back home. All they need to do is give the cash to the
messenger at the specified rendezvous. Of course, the whole thing is a
scam and the con-men will disappear without the money getting anywhere
near the prince (or even him ever knowing about the request made in
his name). To make it less obvious the "prince" can direct the PCs
towards a nearby dungeon known to have treasure, or even have them rob
some wealthy lord (whom, the message claims, is secretly in league
with the kidnappers). Depending on the set-up and how savvy the
players are, I can see the adventure working.
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-08-31 15:14:36 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:34:57 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
I am a Nigerian prince, and will send you $187 million dollars
if you send me $100,000 for me to bribe my government's
officials into letting me move the money out of the country.
Huh, that might be the basis of an interesting adventure. The
PCs get a message that a far-off prince is being held ransom.
The prince is somebody the PCs with whom they have a
relationship and view favorably so they are willing to assist
him. The message asks the PCs to help pay off the ransom - the
prince, of course, will repay them as soon as he gets back home.
All they need to do is give the cash to the messenger at the
specified rendezvous. Of course, the whole thing is a scam and
the con-men will disappear without the money getting anywhere
near the prince (or even him ever knowing about the request made
in his name). To make it less obvious the "prince" can direct
the PCs towards a nearby dungeon known to have treasure, or even
have them rob some wealthy lord (whom, the message claims, is
secretly in league with the kidnappers). Depending on the set-up
and how savvy the players are, I can see the adventure working.
That's the classic "Spanish prisoner" scam. These days, it's
usually done by claiming that a close relative - often a grandson,
because grandparents are more likely to be old and feeble minded -
has been arrested and needs thousands of dollars for bail.

It is really appalling to hear how often people who work for wire
transfer companies (which most grocery stores do) have to convince
someone it's a scam.

So yeah, if you like real life inspiration, it'd work really well.

The PCs could also be the scammers.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-09-01 13:05:59 UTC
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On Thu, 31 Aug 2017 08:14:36 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
That's the classic "Spanish prisoner" scam. These days, it's
usually done by claiming that a close relative - often a grandson,
because grandparents are more likely to be old and feeble minded -
has been arrested and needs thousands of dollars for bail.
The PCs could also be the scammers.
Sadly, my current players aren't quite that pro-active. Don't get me
wrong; during an adventure they can be quite innovative - often
frustratingly so, as I have to try and keep up - but once the
adventure is over they basically just hang out in the tavern until the
next adventure crops up. They don't seem to have the motivation to go
and do anything on their own (Join a caravan! Look for a spooky cave
in the wilderness! Set up professional paranormal investigation and
elimination service! Rob that fancy mansion on the hill!).

I'm not really complaining; they seem in it mostly for the storylines
and since I'm the guy who writes 'em, that's pretty complimentary to
me. And as I said, once the adventure is ongoing, they input a lot of
changes to the direction of said story (or sometimes derail it
completely because, you know, they're players). But deciding on their
own, "Hey, lets find some semi-random PC and scam him of all his
gold"? Very unlikely with this group.

(They might do it if the opportunity came up during an adventure,
however, but usually only to further the plot)
Justisaur
2017-09-01 22:46:52 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Thu, 31 Aug 2017 08:14:36 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
That's the classic "Spanish prisoner" scam. These days, it's
usually done by claiming that a close relative - often a grandson,
because grandparents are more likely to be old and feeble minded -
has been arrested and needs thousands of dollars for bail.
The PCs could also be the scammers.
Sadly, my current players aren't quite that pro-active. Don't get me
wrong; during an adventure they can be quite innovative - often
frustratingly so, as I have to try and keep up - but once the
adventure is over they basically just hang out in the tavern until the
next adventure crops up. They don't seem to have the motivation to go
and do anything on their own (Join a caravan! Look for a spooky cave
in the wilderness! Set up professional paranormal investigation and
elimination service! Rob that fancy mansion on the hill!).
I'm not really complaining; they seem in it mostly for the storylines
and since I'm the guy who writes 'em, that's pretty complimentary to
me. And as I said, once the adventure is ongoing, they input a lot of
changes to the direction of said story (or sometimes derail it
completely because, you know, they're players). But deciding on their
own, "Hey, lets find some semi-random PC and scam him of all his
gold"? Very unlikely with this group.
(They might do it if the opportunity came up during an adventure,
however, but usually only to further the plot)
Heh, as a player, I'm more of a buy a ticket on the choo-choo train to
the dungeon type too. (and as a CRPG player, I'm a complete all the
quests type)

As a DM I seem to get the players embroiled in politics.

- Justisaur
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-09-01 22:55:18 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Thu, 31 Aug 2017 08:14:36 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
That's the classic "Spanish prisoner" scam. These days, it's
usually done by claiming that a close relative - often a
grandson, because grandparents are more likely to be old and
feeble minded - has been arrested and needs thousands of dollars
for bail.
The PCs could also be the scammers.
Sadly, my current players aren't quite that pro-active. Don't
get me wrong; during an adventure they can be quite innovative
- often frustratingly so, as I have to try and keep up - but
once the adventure is over they basically just hang out in the
tavern until the next adventure crops up. They don't seem to
have the motivation to go and do anything on their own (Join a
caravan! Look for a spooky cave in the wilderness! Set up
professional paranormal investigation and elimination service!
Rob that fancy mansion on the hill!).
I'm not really complaining; they seem in it mostly for the
storylines and since I'm the guy who writes 'em, that's pretty
complimentary to me. And as I said, once the adventure is
ongoing, they input a lot of changes to the direction of said
story (or sometimes derail it completely because, you know,
they're players). But deciding on their own, "Hey, lets find
some semi-random PC and scam him of all his gold"? Very unlikely
with this group.
(They might do it if the opportunity came up during an
adventure, however, but usually only to further the plot)
That can also happen when the players are used to (and don't mind)
being mostly railroaded through adventures. Why bother to strike
out on an idea of your own if you're going to be forced back into
the GM's script anyway? No idea if that's what's happening with
your group, and if your players don't mind that, you might not know
either. It can tend to become a self feeding circle. But if your
players don't mind, it's not a problem.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-09-02 13:59:17 UTC
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On Fri, 01 Sep 2017 15:55:18 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Sadly, my current players aren't quite that pro-active. Don't
get me wrong; during an adventure they can be quite innovative
- often frustratingly so, as I have to try and keep up - but
once the adventure is over they basically just hang out in the
tavern until the next adventure crops up. They don't seem to
have the motivation to go and do anything on their own (Join a
caravan! Look for a spooky cave in the wilderness! Set up
professional paranormal investigation and elimination service!
Rob that fancy mansion on the hill!).
That can also happen when the players are used to (and don't mind)
being mostly railroaded through adventures. Why bother to strike
out on an idea of your own if you're going to be forced back into
the GM's script anyway? No idea if that's what's happening with
your group, and if your players don't mind that, you might not know
either. It can tend to become a self feeding circle. But if your
players don't mind, it's not a problem.
I'd like to believe I am /not/ a railroading DM (see earlier thread
"Off the Rails" from late June for how my players often do unexpected
things and how I try to - grumblingly - accomodate their sudden change
of direction). That said, I do tend to write adventures with strong
narrative threads and cohesive settings; there is an intent to each
adventure beyond the "here's some monsters to kill/dungeons to loot".

While I try to be very open to allowing players their own choice,
having a strong plot tied to the adventure does have an obvious
disadvantage in that - if they leave the storyline - I am forced to
scramble to make up for the unexpected turn of events, and the story
and world loses somewhat in detail. It could very well be that the
players are picking up on this. Then again, they aren't even
attempting to strike out on their own before the adventure starts, and
they certainly aren't loathe to mess up my plans after the adventure
begins.

Honestly though, I think it's the players. I started with this group
because we all had a mutual admiration of video-game RPGs, but none of
them (myself excluded, of course) had ever played a table-top RPG. One
of the biggest strengths of the tabletop game - and the one I most
wanted to show them - was how unlimited the game truly was; as a
player, you weren't limited to the two or three paths the video-game
developer had programmed into the game.

An example: There's a dragon causing trouble in Kingdomland? In a
video game, you are usually stuck with the two obvious tactics: go to
its lair and either kill it, or use your conversational skills to talk
it out of its attacks. But in a table-top RPG, there are so many more
options in a table-top game. Steal its eggs and hold them ransom to
the dragon's good behavior (or raise the hatchlings to be your
dragonmounts). Find a way to control the dragon through magic. Trap
the dragon beneath the mountain. Trick some other schmucks into
attacking the beast (or just raise an army). Arrange a deal between
kingdom and dragon, either one-sided (dragon gets gold and sheep not
to attack) or mutually beneficial (dragon gets loot but also helps the
king when needed). Team up with the dragon to loot the kingdom. Or
just walk away and let the dragon do its thing (and maybe come back
and loot the kingdom after its been weakened). And these are just some
ideas off the top of my head.

But I've noticed - both in my players and others, especially those
whose main experience with RPGs was from computer games - that this
sort of freedom of choice is bewildering, and they tend to stick only
with presented options. Within an adventure structure, choices are
necessarily narrowed and they tend to act more freely, but given a
giant sandbox these players sort of freeze up. The idea that they
could - of entirely their own volition - decide to start gathering
forces to say overthrow the king (to pick an idea at random) just does
not occur to them.

(That said, if I presented them a scenario where there's an evil king
that they must somehow get rid of, they might very well decide to
"gather army and storm castle" rather than follow my plot of "find
magic stone that turns him good". As I said, its only outside of a
structured adventure that they tend towards lethargy... and even
that's a great improvement of where they started from).

My other group - with whom I don't get to play with very often anymore
- is far more exploratory, and I think that's because most of them
started playing table-top games before computer RPGs were a thing (or
at least before they were anymore sophisticated than Wizardry). Its
players whose main experience with the genre is modern CRPGs that seem
to have this problem. That said, I've only experience with older
gamers; it'd be interesting to repeat this "experiment" with the
younger set and see if the results are similar.

Or it could be I am a railroading DM and I just don't see it
(acknowledging our own weaknesses is always the hardest part). But I
would really like to believe that isn't the case.
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-09-02 18:50:56 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Fri, 01 Sep 2017 15:55:18 -0700, Gutless Umbrella Carrying
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Sadly, my current players aren't quite that pro-active. Don't
get me wrong; during an adventure they can be quite
innovative - often frustratingly so, as I have to try and keep
up - but once the adventure is over they basically just hang
out in the tavern until the next adventure crops up. They
don't seem to have the motivation to go and do anything on
their own (Join a caravan! Look for a spooky cave in the
wilderness! Set up professional paranormal investigation and
elimination service! Rob that fancy mansion on the hill!).
That can also happen when the players are used to (and don't
mind) being mostly railroaded through adventures. Why bother to
strike out on an idea of your own if you're going to be forced
back into the GM's script anyway? No idea if that's what's
happening with your group, and if your players don't mind that,
you might not know either. It can tend to become a self feeding
circle. But if your players don't mind, it's not a problem.
I'd like to believe I am /not/ a railroading DM
Well, we'd all *like* to believe that. :) As I said, I have no idea
if that's what's happening with your group, but if it is, it's
apparently not a problem. Some groups *want* that sort of game.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
(see earlier
thread "Off the Rails" from late June for how my players often
do unexpected things and how I try to - grumblingly - accomodate
their sudden change of direction). That said, I do tend to write
adventures with strong narrative threads and cohesive settings;
there is an intent to each adventure beyond the "here's some
monsters to kill/dungeons to loot".
I try to plan a set of events that are going to happen no matter
what, with ways for the PCs to affect the outcome to their own
benefit. Don't want to ride off to war against the orcs? OK, that's
fine, I'll make up a dungeon as we go, or something, but you might
well find orcs eating your cookies when you get home.

But, as the best GM I've ever had the privilige to game with told
me when I was starting the current campaign, "Don't play in too
much detail, because they'll never do what you expect."

As you note, above.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
While I try to be very open to allowing players their own
choice, having a strong plot tied to the adventure does have an
obvious disadvantage in that - if they leave the storyline - I
am forced to scramble to make up for the unexpected turn of
events, and the story and world loses somewhat in detail. It
could very well be that the players are picking up on this. Then
again, they aren't even attempting to strike out on their own
before the adventure starts, and they certainly aren't loathe to
mess up my plans after the adventure begins.
The trick, I think, is to start with character generation. Build
long term plans into the characters from the beginning. One of my
player's has the son of a petit sergeant (land owners, but not
knighted) who wanted to be a landed knight. Another is a fighting
priest who wants to start his own order of paladins. Makes for some
useful long term planning on my part, and they generally jump at
the chance to advance those goals.

But you do have to follow through once you have that from your
players.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Honestly though, I think it's the players. I started with this
group because we all had a mutual admiration of video-game RPGs,
but none of them (myself excluded, of course) had ever played a
table-top RPG. One of the biggest strengths of the tabletop game
- and the one I most wanted to show them - was how unlimited the
game truly was; as a player, you weren't limited to the two or
three paths the video-game developer had programmed into the
game.
Yeah, that'll take some work to break them out of the limited world
view of computer games. Computer RPGs really aren't RPGs in any
meaningful sense, any more than paint by numbers kits are art.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
An example: There's a dragon causing trouble in Kingdomland? In
a video game, you are usually stuck with the two obvious
tactics: go to its lair and either kill it, or use your
conversational skills to talk it out of its attacks. But in a
table-top RPG, there are so many more options in a table-top
game. Steal its eggs and hold them ransom to the dragon's good
behavior (or raise the hatchlings to be your dragonmounts). Find
a way to control the dragon through magic. Trap the dragon
beneath the mountain. Trick some other schmucks into attacking
the beast (or just raise an army). Arrange a deal between
kingdom and dragon, either one-sided (dragon gets gold and sheep
not to attack) or mutually beneficial (dragon gets loot but also
helps the king when needed). Team up with the dragon to loot the
kingdom. Or just walk away and let the dragon do its thing (and
maybe come back and loot the kingdom after its been weakened).
And these are just some ideas off the top of my head.
But I've noticed - both in my players and others, especially
those whose main experience with RPGs was from computer games -
that this sort of freedom of choice is bewildering, and they
tend to stick only with presented options.
I've got several NPCs who are very, very clever (and known to be by
the players). It's a useful way to present a lot of options. Often,
they decide what I expect (which is to say, what I'd do if I were a
player), but just as often, they don't. And sometimes, somebody
comes up with an idea of their own, spurred by not liking the array
of choices presented.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Within an adventure
structure, choices are necessarily narrowed and they tend to act
more freely, but given a giant sandbox these players sort of
freeze up. The idea that they could - of entirely their own
volition - decide to start gathering forces to say overthrow the
king (to pick an idea at random) just does not occur to them.
(That said, if I presented them a scenario where there's an evil
king that they must somehow get rid of, they might very well
decide to "gather army and storm castle" rather than follow my
plot of "find magic stone that turns him good". As I said, its
only outside of a structured adventure that they tend towards
lethargy... and even that's a great improvement of where they
started from).
My other group - with whom I don't get to play with very often
anymore - is far more exploratory, and I think that's because
most of them started playing table-top games before computer
RPGs were a thing (or at least before they were anymore
sophisticated than Wizardry). Its players whose main experience
with the genre is modern CRPGs that seem to have this problem.
That said, I've only experience with older gamers; it'd be
interesting to repeat this "experiment" with the younger set and
see if the results are similar.
Or it could be I am a railroading DM and I just don't see it
(acknowledging our own weaknesses is always the hardest part).
But I would really like to believe that isn't the case.
Again, if it is, it isn't necessarily bad. If everybody is having
fun, you're doing it right.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
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