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(TFT) DMG Has Spoken! (Everybody Duck!)

GG... I suppose I could just roll my eyes and mutter, "<sigh> That's our David...!". Instead, I shall now re-butt DMG's rant against Creativity, point-by-angry-grumpy-point, as is only deserving of Oscar Michael Grouchy II ...


DMG ... I am in favor of rules variations. I am against rules variations as the exclusive goal of any creativity.

GG...Seldom will you actually find Rules Variations to be the "Exclusive Goal" of anyone's creativity, but rather the product of one guy's attempt to create something better. It's a good think Steve Jackson & Howard Thompson didn't share your opinion or we'd all still be playing D&D. Actually, it's a good thing no other game designers in the whole-wide-world share your opinion or we'd all still be playing "Tics & Tack-Hammers".


DMG ... Particularly at the expense of creativity itself.

GG... I put forth that "truly" better rules variations promote, produce & perpetuate creativity in the game. Let's face it: No game is perfect. Sometimes the right "tweak" can get those cranky-old mechanics out of the way - you know, the ones that continually nag at you & your players - and let you get down to the business of being MORE Creative.


DMG ... These sophomoric attempts at solutions to undefined problems are counter-productive and abusive to players.

GG... Are you so ancient and wizened that anyone else who tries his hand at Improvement or Innovation is relegated to "sophomoric attempts"? I'm 44, and you won't catch me drinkin' your Kool-Aid, Reverend David.


DMG ... Instead of getting an opportunity to participate in a New Movie, they are repeatedly asked to admire the perfection of the New Camera design. I admit that Camera Design is important in making a Movie. But this relentless rabid and reckless fascination with the latest cameras comes at the expense of any actual movies being made.

GG... I'm a Movie Maker ( www.JAMFilms.com). Having made 22 movies in my career, I can tell you that your "back in my day" mind-set would have all of us watching shadow-puppets on the wall of a cave.


DMG ... You know what I don't see. I don't see people watch a movie and say that should have been shot with a new camera. `` I haven't seen this, heard of it, or read about it. Ever.

GG... Hubba Wha - ? Have you heard of this new thing they call a "re-make"? EVER?


DMG ... What makes a movie believable or not is the portrayal, the performance, and the premise.

GG...Directing, Sets, Technology and Techniques DO play their small part, you know... In fact, if the Directing, Sets, Technology & Techniques are bad, it won't be believable AT ALL.


DMG ... Now these things I have heard discussed a lot. In fact in every single other form of entertainment, besides ours, this is almost all that is discussed.

GG... I'd like to see you back that one up. NFL changes rules every year, all for the sake of Improving The Game. I play Bluegrass & Honkey-Tonk music (upright bass, vocals). Don't you suppose there's been innovations in Music cover the past - oh - 2000 years? In fact, change occurs not only in our favorite little game, but regularly in Every Single Other Form of Entertainment.


DMG ... Even though our game defines it as the willful suspension of disbelief. This is not too much to ask of your players, and they will grant it willingly. But far more often all I see are GMs abusing their players with new rules. "Ok guys here are your own photocopies breaking down the new DX rules.`` A bunch of players shifting uncomfortably and wondering why they are being punished. Instead of allowed to play.

GG ... I suppose it depends upon the players, and the rules being played, and the proposed changes. In many cases, the scenario you describe is referred to as "Play-Testing". At the very worst, it can be considered "Birthing Pains".


DMG ... Hell most GMs don't even make copies. Lots of queries to the GM start to preface every action. ``Ok. . .uh . . . If I do this & this, then it works like that?`` And the GM adjusts. ``No. . . see . . . blah, blah, blah.`` And he quotes his own words, already written down, to them. Again.

GG...I would hope that if they don't like the way he's going, they will just quit showing up to play his games and he will know that his ideas are sucktastic and he will go back to the proverbial drawing board.


Whose idea of fun or realism is this? But ask them. Ask why you do this. Instead of relying on our suspension of disbelief why do you do this? And they will say they do it for realism or fun. It is painful to watch people lie to themselves.

GG... Lie to themselves? How about "They Don't Agree With David, So David Assumes They Are Deluded".


DMG ... So I have seen GMs run great campaigns without even opening a book. Fantastic sweeping epics that have everyone amazed at the end. How did you do that!? And he holds up a single index card that says ``players must go to Alaska to get tires.`` Or when we realized during play that the GM had fooled us. That the whole world had in fact not come to an end, and been overrun by mutants. Just Louisiana. Walled off, the state had been converted to the toxic waste dump of the planet. Everyone else was modern and normal with the occasional vacation to Japanese hot tubs on the moon.

GG ... These are examples of Superb GM'ing and Superior Creativity, and should be encouraged.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- DMG ... See that's the difference. During a memorable game the players can figure something out. Discover some secret woven into the campaign. They realize a larger more profound statement the GM is making. Or, they can fumble around with new mandatory rule variation nine - oh - four. I mean is anyone seriously going to tell me that their players have zero interest in a story with substance, while clamoring for an active defense rule for DX. Can anyone even produce one player who expressed that before this date?

GG ... Your argument proposes that your players either (a) Love The GM's Storyline regardless of the rules - OR - (b) have zero interest in a story with substance, while clamoring for an active defense rule for DX". Talk about Extremism! Sheesh!

DMG ... So ask yourself. What do you want to see your players doing? Fumbling around trying to use a new rule variation, or making an insightful realization while playing in your campaign. And if you try to weasel out of answering this question to yourself by saying ``Well I don't have any players`` then maybe the question will serve as a guide to show you why.

GG ... Ok, well then ask Yourself: Why-oh-why must "trying-out a new, innovative game mechanic" equal "fumbling around trying to use a new rule variation". Between Melee, Wiz, ITL, Adv. Melee, Adv. Wiz, and the Codex, I can guaran-frickin'-TEE you that you don't play TFT straight-by-the-Book. Have you no Tweakage, Dave? Will you "cast the first stone"?!

GG ... And regarding "Weaseling": The reason many players don't like to respond to your posts is the <very real> fear that you will mercilessly Flame-the-living-dog-snot out of them. Case-in-point: Joel Siragher, about 20 posts back, asked a question very economically, knowing that we would all understand his point and his question. Everyone understood - yes, even you - but instead of answering, ignoring or sharing, you insisted on grinding his face in the dirt like a heartless drill-seargent for not meticulously filling-in all of the blanks. Or - how about your ball-numbing response to Steven Mariner recently? Was that really productive? Oh, and then there's the post that prompted this-here rebuttal. Pretty flame-ey, don't you think?


DMG ... Let the players participate in the movie. Only one expert camera operator is required. Structuring your movie / campaign as a remedial course on camera construction is not too cool. If you want to get a blazing discussion on various game designs, then by all means this is the place to do it. But not at the expense of ignoring every substantial and creative idea ever presented here.

GG ... Who's ignoring? I (for one) am soaking-in lots of creative ideas on this list, and quite a few of them have come from You. (Thanks, btw).


DMG ... I have never wanted any bylaws on this forum. But I wrote one as an example of what I want to see.

GG ... Good.  Then we must all assume you are jesting when you write...

DMG ... By-law number three: You must reply to any non rules variant post, even if two other people have already replied to it, so that every post has a least three responses.

DMG ... Take David O. Millers current post. One response. You guys are an emberasment.

David Michael Grouchy II

GG ... Firstly, you must have figured out by now that David O. Miller is a creative Genius who <thankfully> tweaks and tinkers continually to make his game more fun for himself and for his players. His website looks fantastic, and his energy is great for the TFT Community.

Secondly, you misspelled "embarrassment".  Now THAT'S an embarrassment!  ; )

Anxiously awaiting another Flame-O-Rama from my guest-of-honor,

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