Monday, August 29, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Standing on the deck of the Melnibonean battle barge, Arisaema Dracontium, Deep Thought announced to the slow clap of born creatives today that “major combat operations in the War against the GM Challenge are over.”

“In the Battle of the Essence of Role-Playing Games, Higher Calling has prevailed,” he added before leaping into a flying flaming chariot. “Because of you, gaming is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant, Cheap Community-Based Balderdash, has fallen, and D&D is free.”

A modest comment on the use of hyperbole.


  1. Y'know, if you started charging even a nominal fee for this controversial compilation of GMing advice, I bet you could make some critics' heads explode in apoplexy.

  2. You would belittle a chance to be bettered by your betters.

  3. Yeah DS I am definitely doing it wrong--I still write more than I play (but am catching up rapidly on that side of the equation).

    This is the sound of perspective being put into place--a last laugh at the escalation (which includes my own).

    It's a game--one we love and with a number of creative and immersive angles to it--but it remains a game at the end of the day. And as they scribbled on the walls of Paris, "life is elsewhere."

  4. @ckutalik: It's not your fault... you just need a good mentor.

  5. Right now I think I just need a good glass of bourbon.

  6. You bastard, I only thought I got better from that compilation. But getting better requires someone hollering at you while you DM! Or . . . something, I'm not quite sure. Maybe you're just born with it.

  7. Not just someone, you scamp, an entire of auditorium of hollerin' someones(hootin' optional).

    When my dad got back from his combat tour in Vietnam his next duty assignment was as a drill instructor at Fort Polk. I think I understand hollerin' as a motivator.

    "When I say present exposition, you say how much?"

  8. Don't think you need a good glass of bourbon, drink a good glass of bourbon.

    (I says with such AUTHORITAY, I should take my own f'ing advice.)

  9. I lost two points of intelligence for participating in GM challenge, and I got was this lousy pdf!

    - Ark

    PS I'm still on my parade float throwing condoms and dental dams at passersby. I don't know what the hell you people are doing.

  10. I regret the time it took, but I offered Alexis the following comment on his blog:

    The notion that a GM will look upon a collection of personal tips as rote commandments without exercising any judgment or introspection as to the applicability of any one such piece of advice is demeaning to those of us downloading and reading the GM Challenge Compilation. These aren't delivered as stone tablets from on high and neither are they spoken by a burning bush, unless your pdf software does something mine does not.

    While not followed by all contributors, Chris posed his questions in a very personalized fashion: best practices you possess, what makes what you do work, how do you do it and so on. I've still not read the whole document, but several contributors responded with what worked with their own games using "I" statements. The compilation so far is much more a collection of thoughtful personal reflections. This is NOT a standardized one size fits all document and does not purport to be such. It is a gift from the contributors to those that care to download it. We that have done so can take what we like and leave the rest - we have that power, I assure you.

    What makes you so sure that the contributors took a "casual approach to the subject matter" and that it is "being branded, packaged and distributed like so much cheap, sordid crap" as opposed to your "well-thought out posts"? If your own posts were only written as the matter was relevant, what makes them so worthy compared to contributors who took the time on this occasion to reflect upon their game with the benefit of distance?

    word verification: dooda. Surreal.

  11. Apparently I need to get out more - I had no idea there was SERIOUS NAVAL COMBAT involved with the sharing of ideas on the internet. Or at least the risk of crashing ships into underwater hazards.

    I was sorry to hear a report that your ship might have crashed, but am so glad to see that wasn't the case, and you were in fact promoted from Captain to Commodore.

  12. @Ark
    The PFLAG float remark continues to cracks me up. No shame in recycling.

    Despite all that, I still retain a good deal of not-so-grudging respect for Alexis. He has real insight at times and has been a fine writer to boot.

    But with the willful exaggeration about the GM Challenge and the echo chamber he is building for himself, he just needs his nipples twisted a bit (as do we all, myself included, when our words get away from us).

    I get frustrated with all the talk in the press about hurricanes, Libya, mass unemployment, etc when they are clearly ignoring the massive stakes involved with the state of being a RPG game-master. Of course this should entail serious naval combat, there is a world to win here.

  13. @ckutalik - Hey, I've affixed myself to the PFLAG float with duct tape, and no amount of moisture from disgruntled (or gruntled) clouds is going to end my parade!

    I'm patiently waiting for you to have another idea for a controversial meme. This time, I'll quadruple-dog-dare you to do it.

    Controversial Meme Idea List To Kick Things Off
    1. What is your favorite color for dice?
    2. Which three PEANUTS characters would you include in your campaign as NPCs and why?
    3. How should the United States Treasury Department intervene to solve the economic crisis in Dwimmermount?

    There, my work here is done.

    - Ark

  14. @Ark
    Your framing shows how you are, in fact, worse than Hitler.

    1. The use of dice show that you clearly think that people should be contained by a certain set of probabilities. By creating such a false boundary you limit their innate creativity.

    2. Peanuts reflects the mediocrity of American popular culture. Nuff said.

    3. Clearly only the invisible hand of the Eld should be able to help Dwimmermount from the crisis that lesser men have fostered on it.

    To prove my point here's a random quote from Sophocles:
    "As you can see—one by one they swoop away,
    off to the shores of the evening god, like birds faster than fire which no one can resist."

  15. @ckutalik

    "Et tu, Brute?" - Some Italian Dude

    You have learned well and have become the MASTER now. (add Thulsa Doom breathing through aqua-lung to suit taste)

    I salute you as my parade barge burst into flame and careens downward towards the bloated orange setting orb in the red streaked horizon, leaving a blackened trail of smokey, charred expectations and shattered hopes behind me.

    With my dying breath, I utter this dying refrain: "I pentuple-dog-dare you to write an essay on the five most important uses of a stick of salted butter while DMing an OD&D session that is house ruled to allow for 4e powers and WOTC approved Fortune Cards!" And I say this while dying, if you didn't get the fact that I am dying over here. Dying, I tell you.

    - Ark (DYING!)

    PS - But still partying on my frikkin parade float! WOOOT!

  16. RJK does have a point about you wearing your drinking on your sleeve as you do.

  17. Dear Stoic Emperor/Troll,
    Point of fact, I would never abuse my alcohol in such a fashion that it would be left on my sleeve.

  18. There is only one way to settle this: video hangout one shot duel.

    You run a session and your foe does for an audience of unaligned gamers chosen by means you both agree upon via videochat.

    They decide who is the true Dungeon Master.

  19. "It's a game--one we love and with a number of creative and immersive angles to it--but it remains a game at the end of the day."

    Thank you, ckutalik. You read my mind. Enjoy your drink(s).

  20. "I pentuple-dog-dare you to write an essay on the five most important uses of a stick of salted butter"

    Marlon Brando isn't here to answer that one, alas.

  21. @imago1 - lol. That's probably a good thing. ckutalik would have to start moderating posts.

    - Ark

  22. @Zak
    I would agree to that in a New York minute if it was possible, our hobby's equivalent to the dance-off. In fact, I'd love to see that become the standard method for resolving disputes in the blogosphere.

    Thanks, that I will.

    There must be an award for being able on the quick to draw in a Last Tango in Paris reference into a gaming conversation. Damn funny that.

  23. @ckutalik

    Absolutely. The better DM is always right. Throw the gauntlet or be silent. And it is possible, isn't it? You know where to find your foe, do you not?

  24. The funny thing is that it's a contest I wouldn't mind losing, as the doing would be worth it alone.

    Do you think I'd need white gloves for this?