Discussion:
Plug for Primer of Practical Magic - first review out
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Abrigon Gusiq
2004-04-02 11:38:46 UTC
Permalink
Looks good for those people who are Vance fans..

Mike


Subject: [PLUG] Primer of Practical Magic - first review out
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 22:47:20 -0600
From: "Drifter \"Bob\"" <***@nowhere.net>
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd




Feedback is anticipated, please attempt to behave in a more civil manner
than famished sharks on PCP... I have paid at least a little dues on
this
forum since last time I posted about my book.

http://www.gamewyrd.com/review/434

DB
Ubiquitous
2004-04-02 12:18:33 UTC
Permalink
Abrigon Gusiq <***@yahoo.com> wrote:

: Looks good for those people who are Vance fans..

Paid shills is more like it.
--
ISLAM: Winning the hearts and minds of the world, one bomb at a time.
Drifter Bob
2004-04-02 19:42:14 UTC
Permalink
Whats up with this little worm Ubibugger, he keeps making these vile
comments and then he has it set up so that if you reply to his posts it goes
to alt.test instead of this forum. Whats wrong bro, you want to dish it out
but can't take it?

DB

--
--
Check out The Primer of Practical Magic,
A new D20 supplement of subtle spells, new classes,
And curious magic artifacts from Jack Vance's
popular Dying Earth genre.

Available on Amazon.com and the Dying Earth website

http://www.dyingearth.com/products.htm
http://www.dyingearth.com/article5.htm
Stephen Mackey
2004-04-02 23:55:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Drifter Bob
Whats up with this little worm Ubibugger, he keeps making these vile
comments and then he has it set up so that if you reply to his posts it goes
to alt.test instead of this forum. Whats wrong bro, you want to dish it out
but can't take it?
Welcome to RGFD. I recommend developing a killfile. ;)

--

Stephen Mackey
Jeff Heikkinen
2004-04-05 19:19:11 UTC
Permalink
Abrigon Gusiq, worshipped by llamas the world over, wrote...
Post by Abrigon Gusiq
Looks good for those people who are Vance fans..
Mike
Subject: [PLUG] Primer of Practical Magic - first review out
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 22:47:20 -0600
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Well, the first review (that I know of) is out and... it's not very
good, I'm afraid.

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10216.phtml
Mike F
2004-04-05 21:12:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Heikkinen
Well, the first review (that I know of) is out and... it's not very
good, I'm afraid.
http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10216.phtml
Ooh. Hmm. Bob mentioned more than once relying heavily on his editor.
That might have been a mistake, based on this review.
Michael Scott Brown
2004-04-05 23:02:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike F
Post by Jeff Heikkinen
Well, the first review (that I know of) is out and... it's not very
good, I'm afraid.
http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10216.phtml
Ooh. Hmm. Bob mentioned more than once relying heavily on his editor.
That might have been a mistake, based on this review.
"Normally such pronouncements, even if true, would put me off, but as
such bragging is very much in the spirit of the Dying Earth as I understand
it, ...."

"there's brilliant ..stuff here mixed with a lot of bad stuff"

Sounds like a familiar poster ...

-Michael
Mike F
2004-04-05 23:30:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Scott Brown
"Normally such pronouncements, even if true, would put me off, but as
such bragging is very much in the spirit of the Dying Earth as I
understand it, ...."
"there's brilliant ..stuff here mixed with a lot of bad stuff"
Sounds like a familiar poster ...
Hah. Sounds like most of us, actually. :)
Jeff Heikkinen
2004-04-06 01:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Mike F, worshipped by llamas the world over, wrote...
Post by Mike F
Post by Michael Scott Brown
"Normally such pronouncements, even if true, would put me off, but as
such bragging is very much in the spirit of the Dying Earth as I
understand it, ...."
"there's brilliant ..stuff here mixed with a lot of bad stuff"
Sounds like a familiar poster ...
Hah. Sounds like most of us, actually. :)
LOL! Very true, very true. I must admit I'm not even 100% sure whether
MSB meant Drifter Bob or himself, though if I had to bet on one I'd say
the former.
Drifter "Bob"
2004-04-04 23:58:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Scott Brown
"Normally such pronouncements, even if true, would put me off, but as
such bragging is very much in the spirit of the Dying Earth as I understand
it, ...."
Notice, he and all three other reviewers actually agreed that it was
elegant.

Actually, the actual reference in the book reads:

"Arguably, this is a more elegant solution than using the secondary
percentile system."

That first word makes it a bit less arrogant, IMHO. It was another thing
that the first rpg net review skipped or ignored...
Post by Michael Scott Brown
"there's brilliant ..stuff here mixed with a lot of bad stuff"
Sounds like a familiar poster ...
Interestingly, all the stuff this particular reviewer liked, including
rules, specific spells and items, were the things I'd done myself. Some of
the stuff he didn't like or understand (the Sandestin) was just basic Dying
Earth stuff. He hadn't read Vance. Some people just may not like Vance's
Dying Earth stuff, there aint much I can do about that.

I still think the book stands up for itself, most people who have seen it so
far really liked it.

DB




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JB
2004-04-06 10:56:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Scott Brown
Post by Michael Scott Brown
"Normally such pronouncements, even if true, would put me off, but as
such bragging is very much in the spirit of the Dying Earth as I
understand
Post by Michael Scott Brown
it, ...."
Notice, he and all three other reviewers actually agreed that it was
elegant.
"Arguably, this is a more elegant solution than using the secondary
percentile system."
That first word makes it a bit less arrogant, IMHO. It was another thing
that the first rpg net review skipped or ignored...
I don't actually find anything arrogant about that particular phrasing.
It may have been a general impression with that as an example but he
doesn't say so. I'd expect an author to give reasons for making a
particular choice.
Post by Michael Scott Brown
Post by Michael Scott Brown
"there's brilliant ..stuff here mixed with a lot of bad stuff"
Sounds like a familiar poster ...
Interestingly, all the stuff this particular reviewer liked, including
rules, specific spells and items, were the things I'd done myself.
Some of
Post by Michael Scott Brown
the stuff he didn't like or understand (the Sandestin) was just basic Dying
Earth stuff. He hadn't read Vance. Some people just may not like Vance's
Dying Earth stuff, there aint much I can do about that.
I still think the book stands up for itself, most people who have seen it so
far really liked it.
It's not my cup of tea but if I were interested in the setting there is
nothing in that review that would stop me from checking it out. The
reported balance issues on some of the spells would make me read through
them with caution though.
Drifter "Bob"
2004-04-05 15:32:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by JB
It's not my cup of tea but if I were interested in the setting there is
nothing in that review that would stop me from checking it out. The
reported balance issues on some of the spells would make me read through
them with caution though.
Well, thats nice of you to say considering our vitriolic debates in some
other threads.

What is it you don't like about Vance, just out of curiosity?

As for balance issues, the only spell we found which may have some is that
Temporal projection, which was overlooked probably because it's really meant
as a plot device, which was how it was used in the story. It will be fixed
in the eratta. Most of the spells in the book were gone over for balance
pretty carefully. If anything else comes up we will be sure to address it.

DB





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JB
2004-04-06 15:48:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Drifter "Bob"
Post by JB
It's not my cup of tea but if I were interested in the setting there is
nothing in that review that would stop me from checking it out. The
reported balance issues on some of the spells would make me read through
them with caution though.
Well, thats nice of you to say considering our vitriolic debates in some
other threads.
When all is said and done this is an attempt to contribute to the hobby
we both enjoy and quite possibly your living too.
Post by Drifter "Bob"
What is it you don't like about Vance, just out of curiosity?
I generally don't like setting stuff although I do have the Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting as there is good material that can be slotted
into custom campaigns. I also generally don't like Fantasy fiction
(except for LOTR of course) and my Vancian knowledge is limited mainly
to the info I've read on this group from time to time.
Post by Drifter "Bob"
As for balance issues, the only spell we found which may have some is that
Temporal projection, which was overlooked probably because it's really meant
as a plot device, which was how it was used in the story. It will be fixed
in the eratta. Most of the spells in the book were gone over for balance
pretty carefully. If anything else comes up we will be sure to address it.
There's virtually no supplemental material without balance issues out
there and that's not limited to third party publishers. I'd take "there
is some brilliant stuff in there" as a good enough reason to have a
browse through if I ever saw it in a book store.
Drifter Bob
2004-04-06 19:07:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by JB
When all is said and done this is an attempt to contribute to the hobby
we both enjoy and quite possibly your living too.
Thanks. You are right on both counts.
Post by JB
Post by Drifter "Bob"
What is it you don't like about Vance, just out of curiosity?
I generally don't like setting stuff although I do have the Forgotten
Realms Campaign Setting as there is good material that can be slotted
into custom campaigns. I also generally don't like Fantasy fiction
(except for LOTR of course) and my Vancian knowledge is limited mai
to the info I've read on this group from time to time.
Ah, I understand. I am in a similar boat myself. The closest thing I ever
get to campaign settings are mostly the Avalanche Press Historical books,
some of which (like their Celtic Age) are brilliant and very useful, while
others (like their book on Vlad the Impaler) are at least informative and
interesting.

I have a few forgotten realms books to, and for the same reason, to mine for
ideas and what they call "crunchy bits". There are a few good ideas in
those, I have monsters of faerun and magic of faerun, both of which i found
more useful than the WOTC products.

The Primer is similar in design if not content (, if I dare compare it), to
the magic of faerun, it's just a bunch of spells and items and a few
classes.

As for Vance, if you liked Tolkein you might like him. He is a very "old
school" writer, like Tolkein very well versed in History. His style is
different but it's worth a look, not perhaps as frivolous as it comes across
in some contmeporary secondary (ahem) reworkings of his ideas.
Post by JB
There's virtually no supplemental material without balance issues out
there and that's not limited to third party publishers. I'd take "there
is some brilliant stuff in there" as a good enough reason to have a
browse through if I ever saw it in a book store.
Well, this is certainly true in an absolute sense. It ties into a trend
within the RPG community which I find depressing. I played D&D and other
games pretty regularly up until around 1990. I got back into it again maybe
3 years ago, so I missed a lot of the evolution of the current RPG world. A
lot of the changes are very positive, but one thing I really don't like is
the obsession with rules that eveyrone has.

It seems like everyone who plays D&D is a rules lawyer. If they roll the
dice they are aware of and considering a million possible modfiers and
interactions with a million possible foes...

Whatever happened to DM's rolling dice behind a screen? What if the player
isn't supposed to know why the spell failed for plot reasons? Whatever
happend to the old sense of mystery I remember, to the attempted suspension
of disbelief, to role playing?

It seems like it's gotten to be more like a video game or some kind of war
game now days. I've gotten to the point where I don't even like having too
many experienced players in my games because they are such min-maxing, rules
lawyer munchkins.... I like the way new people come to the game better,
they seem to feel like they are really there in the moment, walking down
that forest path toward the eerie stillness of the moonlit glade....

To me, the rules should be unobtrusive, like the mechanisms behind the
curtain of the Great Oz, you don't want them in the way, let alone obsess
over and dwell on them. Yes, they should have sensible mechanics and the
players should know what to expect, but ideally they should just describe
what they want their characters to do cinematically, so to speak, the rules,
charts, and dice will determine what happen, and the DM describes it back,
cinematically.

This is also why I don't like running very high level games

Ah, whatever, I'm a grumpy old curmudgeon I guess.

DB

--
--
Check out The Primer of Practical Magic,
A new D20 supplement of subtle spells, new classes,
And curious magic artifacts from Jack Vance's
popular Dying Earth genre.

Available on Amazon.com and the Dying Earth website

http://www.dyingearth.com/products.htm
http://www.dyingearth.com/article5.htm

"
Rupert Boleyn
2004-04-07 00:26:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Drifter Bob
As for Vance, if you liked Tolkein you might like him. He is a very "old
school" writer, like Tolkein very well versed in History. His style is
different but it's worth a look, not perhaps as frivolous as it comes across
in some contmeporary secondary (ahem) reworkings of his ideas.
Vance's Dying Earth style reminds me a little of de Camp's (non-conan)
fantasy, but more whimsical. I prefer his SF, especailly the Araminta
Station trilogy.
Post by Drifter Bob
Well, this is certainly true in an absolute sense. It ties into a trend
within the RPG community which I find depressing. I played D&D and other
games pretty regularly up until around 1990. I got back into it again maybe
3 years ago, so I missed a lot of the evolution of the current RPG world. A
lot of the changes are very positive, but one thing I really don't like is
the obsession with rules that eveyrone has.
It seems like everyone who plays D&D is a rules lawyer. If they roll the
dice they are aware of and considering a million possible modfiers and
interactions with a million possible foes...
If you didn't experience this before 1990 you were lucky in your
group. Rules lawyers were a know issue with D&D (and most other rpgs)
back in 1980-odd when I started playing.
Post by Drifter Bob
Whatever happened to DM's rolling dice behind a screen? What if the player
isn't supposed to know why the spell failed for plot reasons? Whatever
happend to the old sense of mystery I remember, to the attempted suspension
of disbelief, to role playing?
Still there. Just roll some stuff behind the screen, or don't inform
the players of where all the mods came from.

Player: "But you only rolled a six, and the DC for that spell was a
twenty-two! How could he have made it?!"

GM: "He that's for me to know, and your character to find out -
maybe."
Post by Drifter Bob
It seems like it's gotten to be more like a video game or some kind of war
game now days.
D&D has always been wargamish to many groups.
Post by Drifter Bob
I've gotten to the point where I don't even like having too
many experienced players in my games because they are such min-maxing, rules
lawyer munchkins.... I like the way new people come to the game better,
they seem to feel like they are really there in the moment, walking down
that forest path toward the eerie stillness of the moonlit glade....
As I said, you must've been lucky in your old group(s).
Post by Drifter Bob
To me, the rules should be unobtrusive, like the mechanisms behind the
curtain of the Great Oz, you don't want them in the way, let alone obsess
over and dwell on them. Yes, they should have sensible mechanics and the
players should know what to expect, but ideally they should just describe
what they want their characters to do cinematically, so to speak, the rules,
charts, and dice will determine what happen, and the DM describes it back,
cinematically.
I prefer the players to know the rules intimately. That way they can
cinematically describe their character's actions, and the rules
interpretation and I don't have to interpret their action for them.
Faster, and easier on me. It also means less bumping of player plans
agains the reality of the rules.
--
Rupert Boleyn <***@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
JB
2004-04-07 09:54:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rupert Boleyn
Post by Drifter Bob
It seems like everyone who plays D&D is a rules lawyer. If they roll the
dice they are aware of and considering a million possible modfiers and
interactions with a million possible foes...
If you didn't experience this before 1990 you were lucky in your
group. Rules lawyers were a know issue with D&D (and most other rpgs)
back in 1980-odd when I started playing.
Rules lawyers have been an issue in every group I've been a member of
because I'm one! I prefer a consistent set of rules myself, rules
lawyering is sometimes a symptom of dodgy DM, on the fly, calls. I don't
think that effects plot devices at all.

Drifter "Bob"
2004-04-05 00:01:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike F
Ooh. Hmm. Bob mentioned more than once relying heavily on his editor.
That might have been a mistake, based on this review.
The guy on EN world said, and I quote:

"All in all it was a great book to steal ideas from. It wasn't perfect but
was definitely worth buying (BTW the lack of editing errors was a pleasant
surprise as well!!)."

Most of the "editing" errors the RPG.net review complained about were really
either layout type issues, which neither I nor any other free lancer has
much if any control over, and a general understanding of the Genre, IMHO. I
addressed several of his specific points in a follow-up.

DB




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Drifter "Bob"
2004-04-04 23:52:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Heikkinen
Well, the first review (that I know of) is out and... it's not very
good, I'm afraid.
http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10216.phtml
There is another review here:

http://www.gamewyrd.com/review/434

and it's a bit more sympathetic.

There is a third kind of "mini-review" on this thread on EN world, also
positive

http://www.enworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=80906&page=3


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Drifter "Bob"
2004-04-05 00:23:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Heikkinen
Well, the first review (that I know of) is out and... it's not very
good, I'm afraid.
Incidentally, I posted a link to that review two days ago...

DB



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Jeff Heikkinen
2004-04-06 01:15:43 UTC
Permalink
"Drifter \"Bob\"" <***@nowhere.net>, worshipped by llamas the world
over, wrote...
Post by Drifter "Bob"
Post by Jeff Heikkinen
Well, the first review (that I know of) is out and... it's not very
good, I'm afraid.
Incidentally, I posted a link to that review two days ago...
Ah, sorry. Must have missed that post.
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