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Justin Alexander
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The year my wife turned 30, I managed to do the opposite: I was unwittingly thinking I was a year older than I actually was. My wife was not amused when she had to correct my mistake.
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Wait... your doctor's offices don't have pens? How do people fill out the "Have you ever had alien chest-bursters as a pre-existing condition?" forms? (/meaningless obsession over one sentence)
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Re: Roleplaying in 4th Edition. I was just talking about this in another web forum. The difficulty lies in the dissociated mechanics: While all mechanics are, at some level, abstracted or metagamed, RPGs have traditionally featured associated mechanics: Your 10th-level wizard may not know what "10th level" means; or what a "d6" is; or the fact that you roll 10d6 to determine the damage a fireball inflicts. But the mechanic of rolling 10d6 for a fireball is associated with the game world because the wizard can tell you that (a) he can cast a spell that creates a fireball; and (b) that fireball will cause more damage when cast by a more experienced or talented wizard. The decision by the player to cast a fireball is there directly associated with the character's decision to cast a fireball. Dissociated mechanics, on the other hand, are disconnected from the game world (and, thus, the characters). Since the characters have no functional explanation for a dissociated mechanic, it follows that a decision made regarding a dissociated mechanic cannot be a decision made as if the player were the character. Which means that when you're using dissociated mechanics you are not roleplaying. Which is not to say that you can't roleplay while playing a game featuring dissociated mechanics, but simply to say that in the moment you are using those mechanics you are not roleplaying. This is provocative statement, but it's really just common sense: If you are manipulating mechanics which are dissociated from your character -- which have no meaning to your character -- then you are not engaged in the process of playing a role. In that moment, you are doing something else. (It's practically tautological.) So, basically, that's the problem 4th Edition has. Previous editions certainly had their own moments of dissociation (although the only significant one to survive into 3rd Edition's core rulebooks were cure spells which became less effective as characters became better at avoiding damage). But 4th Edition embraced dissociated mechanics whole-heartedly. (Including the core mechanic of skill challenges, which are inherently dissociated in their current design.) Which is not to say that 4th Edition isn't a roleplaying game. Large swaths of the game's mechanics are still clearly associative. But every time you use a dissociated mechanic in the game, the roleplaying stops until the mechanical resolution is finished. Whereas the act of using an associated mechanic is the act of playing a role. No one's going to give you a Tony Award for it, but the fundamental nature of that act -- despite its mechanical basis -- is roleplaying. Which is, ultimately, the distinction between a roleplaying game and Arkham Horror. One solution for this is to attempt to re-focus the game by re-associating some of the dissociated mechanics with the game world. Because the game is so enamored with dissociated mechanics, this can't be universally accomplished. But there are places it can be done. For example, take the Trick Strike daily power for the rogue. It's described as a "series of feints and lures", but this is dissociated: There's no reason why the rogue can't continue using feints and lures after using them once per day. But what if "trick" means "magic trick"? The rogue has learned a little practical magic and can inscribe a small rune on his blade or perhaps the palm of his hand, and by expending that rune he gains the Trick Strike advantage. Perhaps you don't think that fits your image of a "rogue" (although it's very Grey Mouser-esque), but it associates the mechanic so that the player doesn't have to stop roleplaying in order to use the ability.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2010 on Field Report: E310 at WWdN: In Exile
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I have to agree with Factoid. The basic function of Facebook is not private: Any information you're putting up there is a mass broadcast to hundreds of "friends" (by which I mean, acquaintances). It should also be noted that the current anti-Facebook campaign is filled with radical inaccuracies and hysteria. It's kind of like Wikipedia: When used properly it teaches you the importance of always verifying and cross-checking your sources (and makes it easy to do so). In the case of Facebook, it's teaching you that posting things on a public website with the expectation that they won't be public is a bad idea.
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Jun 2, 2010