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Analyzing Alternatives to Battlegrounds

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Analyzing Alternatives to Battlegrounds

Unread postby icycalm » 05 Jan 2021 08:22

In this thread/chapter, I will be linking to and analyzing what I see as "competing" role-playing universes to my Battlegrounds. I put competing in quotation marks, because on the one hand it's a little silly to say we are competing, but on the other hand we kind of ARE competing in the sense that we offer our players competing visions of how these games should be run. I have in mind a particular sprawling universe on World Anvil that's very popular despite being utter dogshit, and you'll be hearing about it from me soon.

I will also be linking other DMs' blogs, and critiquing their play styles. DMs tend to be very bloggy, as you'd expect, so I am finding it very interesting these days discovering such blogs, and taking my time browsing them. I almost always learn new things, but mostly about products that exist and how they are related—enyclopedic information, in other words, and rarely insight into role-playing or helpful tips on how to run the game, because as I've been trying to explain to people, the vast majority of DMs are douches of some kind or other. And here's an example to kick things off:

I give you the "Gaming Chronicles" blog: https://blog.notasnark.net/

Gaming in 2020
https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/12/gaming-in-2020.html

Samuel Penn wrote:Roll20

All of our games have moved to, or are on, Roll20. There are other virtual tabletops out there, but Roll20 was the one I chose back in ~2012 and I’ve stuck with it since then.

It’s cloud based, which means it runs on all platforms. I run Linux on my main desktop, as well as using laptops, and sometimes use ChromeOS on a chromebook, so being able to access a campaign from any device, regardless of the OS, is a real bonus. Something like Fantasy Grounds just isn’t an option for me because of his.


Fantasy Grounds, the best VTT by far from all perspectives (automation, aesthetics, content) "isn't an option" for this DM, because he "runs Linux on [his] main desktop". Why not run Windows too? Same with his "laptops"; they can run Windows too, and Fantasy Grounds is a light program. Maybe his Chromebook can't run Windows, but if he has other "laptops" too, what does he need the Chromebook for? Laptops are portable, that's the whole point of them, so what does the Chromebook do for him that his other laptops can't do?

Note that this isn't a new DM. He has been running D&D since the '80s, and he runs multiple groups at the same time. D&D appears to be half his life, and he can't be bothered to install Windows on his machines so he can use the best VTT? He doesn't appear to have even tried Fantasy Grounds at all, which is utterly inexcusable for someone who's so invested in the artform, and who's expected to guide dozens of players in their choices. He appears to have picked the first VTT he came across, without any critical thinking at all, and stuck with it for eight years out of pure inertia. And THAT is the person you will entrust with ALL the critical decisions in a game to which you as a player are devoting hundreds of hours of your life a year?

He's an utter fucking douche! "I only use Linux, because I am counter-culture, and I only run the simplest, most mainstream VTT I found one day by googling 'VTT'". Jesus fucking Christ, douchebag! You couldn't pay me enough to play in your dogshit groups!

I will wrap up my commentary on him, by simply quoting him, so you can see how shitty the typical DM is (and this guy is certainly typical).

https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/05/munc ... llers.html

Samuel Penn wrote:I changed schools and found another group, and we spent most lunchtimes playing AD&D/D&D variants. I say variants, because again I’m not sure exactly what rule set we were using, or if we were even using any rules. It’s not that we ignored little things such as encumbrance, or fudged our hit points a little bit, but that we had level 99 characters with stats in the 20s and regularly killed gods. To say that we were munchkins is probably an understatement.

We were very much a bunch of teenagers who didn’t know what we were doing but were having fun anyway. I think this is one reason why I don’t look favourably on the “Old School Renaissance“, because for me gaming back at this time was such a mess and definitely not something that I’d want to go back to now, despite having fun at the time.


Gaming was a "mess" for him back then, because he UTTERLY SUCKED at DMing, and his friends should have made him EAT the Dungeon Master's Guide which he didn't even have because he only bothered to buy it much later.

"But icy, he does sound like a nice guy, if you read the rest of his blog."

I HAVE been reading it, and he DOES sound like a nice person, but it is MY LIFE that we're talking about here! Playing in his group for years, like his friends do, means throwing away hundreds and even thousands of hours of my life away for his shittily run, stupid campaigns! At least these days he seems to take the trouble to run published stuff, but can I trust him to run it well when he can't even figure out how to install Fantasy Grounds?

I don't think so. He doesn't even know that FG Unity is cloud-based too now...


P.S. Please avoid browsing the blogs I will be linking here, as they're typically full of spoilers. Just read the material I quote, and, if you must, also the linked articles; but don't go further afield, if you're playing in my universe at least.
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icycalm
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Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Unread postby icycalm » 05 Jan 2021 08:53

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icycalm
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Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands


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