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Why I don't want to modify Elves and Dwarves
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-21 05:54 PM
The not realistic argument always jars me. What people generally mean when they say it isn't realistic is that it isn't intuitive. I want to expand this beyond fantasy settings and apply this attitude to the community of speculative writers who feel the need to tackle issues of science, politics, culture and psychology; so all of them.

But before I can do that perhaps there are some questions to answer that would address dark_dragon conceits about humanity and history. First, I do suppose that dark_dragon would not suggest that logic or reason could be used a predictive meter for individuals. We all accept that individual behavior is varied and complex enough to be about as predictable as the weather. To describe you have to speak in likely hoods and thus when saying something isn't realistic what you are most likely saying is that things are not probable. A perverse, and by that I mean unpredictable, human being is so common that it no longer suprises us.

What dark_dragon is suggesting is that on a large scale humanity is extremely predictable, and on a large enough scale the observation of improbable behaviors is pratically impossible. Thus two intelligent species could not share a continent or at least could not share it with humanity.

On the whole I agree, but dark_dragon's conclusions do not include time in their equation.

At some point in time their is going to be co-habitation, cultural exchange and perhaps tolerance. The outcome may always be the same but culturel pluralism does exist , just not stably. Early Chicago was inhabited by indians, freed slaves, french-candians and frontiers men all living together and hanging at the wolf point tavern (not ideally for sure, violence was common, but there was not dominate culture). It wasn't until the new england yankee's came in and divided into lots that the frontier life was forced out. So perhaps before you look at your beloved world with its hobbit's, fairy folk and stranded aliens all living together in the Ghetto of a post-apocolyptic bronze age city at berate yourself for you intellectual simpleness (as dark_dragon and his kind would), you could

take comfort in the fact that you also capturing a moment in make-believe time.

Additionally, you have to decide if your species sharing an area are biologically compatible, because when ever there are two populations capable of interbreeding in contact there is interbreeding. There is data from the Levant that has been interpreted to suggest interbreeding between neandrethals and modern humans. The Bantu may have wiped out the Khoisan way of life, but was there not interbreeding? Certainly there was evidence of genetic and cultural exchange between the surviving !Kung tribes and the Bantu tribes as late the 1960s. The result of you a hetrogenous populations within an area of limited resources may be a homogenous culture, but there are many ways to get there and they may not all be dominance. It could instead be the de novo generation of new culture generated from the interface of multiple cultures, the Swahili are an example of such a culture. (If somebody says tries to tell you the Swahili are not a people, but it is just a non-tribal language tell him or her that as much truth to as the moon of cheese theory. Yes is there is a moon and there is cheese, but the similarities end there.)

Finally, Moonhunter already knocked this idea that magical travel would break down cultural barriers, but I want to knock it a different way as well. Geography is not the only thing that maintains cultural identity. That is so well know that I don't even need to give examples. But without things like formal education, transferable media and/or a highly inter-dependant economy cultural conversation would not be as easy as we observe it to be today. Go to Comment
Why I don't want to modify Elves and Dwarves
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-21 05:58 PM
D&D is gamer common. You travel to a new city-out of character, you got to meet a new group, you go to the standards. Trying to push the world and system you and your hometown friends worked on for years on is something you should really save for the 3rd date. Go to Comment
Why I don't want to modify Elves and Dwarves
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-21 05:59 PM
the public isn't really consuming this as much as coughing back up. Go to Comment
Why I don't want to modify Elves and Dwarves
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-21 08:03 PM
Well role-playing is a lot like sex, everyone who enjoys it thinks they're good at it, and most people are little worried and doubtful when people try to something new and different. When you get new group, unless they are new to gaming, they likely have a lot of ideas about how they want the game to go down. I find it best to try a few neutral or warm up games first, and then drop your Henry Darger stuff on em. Go to Comment
Gregory Merchant
NPCs  (Extras)   (Artistic/Performance)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-04 03:30 PM
We need more of this, I like that it is written with specific instruction on how to play this extra with a bit of past.

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The Arcade District
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2010-10-14 04:22 PM

Very nice, again I like the imagery of your settings, and I like how this was written with a purpose to expand another list,

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Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-12-04 07:28 AM
nice item, could use a touch of personal perspective to bring it to life Go to Comment
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-13 05:55 PM
very nice, you have a Lovecraftian take on locations, but with shorter sentences Go to Comment
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Water)
axlerowes's comment on 2010-10-14 07:29 AM

I won't change my vote but this seems to have lost something since my last reading of it. 

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Silver Star Campus
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2012-10-31 07:02 AM
What scras said Go to Comment
Fog of Mills Park
Locations  (Neighborhoods)   (Any)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-25 05:09 AM
I like this, and I am glad I got to read it. It is short, and has the feel of city image post on a smaller scale. I also liked that much of the was communicated by the tone of the piece and the scattered prose of the later paragraphs. This would be a fun place to lead the characters of almost any story. Go to Comment
The Black Robes
Society/ Organizations  (Religious)   (World Wide)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-09-19 11:10 AM

Using the black arts for good . . .ah that old hat box.

Looking at this old post, makes me think that one could link posts on troupes or themes not just content. I think this post is the simplest form of a classic idea of morality explored with very little detail or packaging. Let say you want to put a message in you campaign about the corrupting influence of evil no matter the context, well this group of "Black Robes" could the carrier of the cliche. I am sure their are other items and society with similarly common and often used messages; the dangers of being a presumptive messiah, the dangers of being taken by the glory of success, the cost of trying to play angles rather than trusting people and so on.

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The Nekron: A New Take on Drow
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Underground)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-12-21 01:09 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
Ghorish Maw
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2010-10-30 01:43 PM
I don't see anything really wrong with this, a lot people critique things as "unrealistic" because they think it won't be as effective as another weapon or concept. These sort of argument ignore that technology is both human and aligned over time. Yeah this may be a crappy weapon, and its use may be a poor tactic, but that doesn't mean it would n't be used. Rather all it means is that the forces of natural selection that drive warfare and invention would eventually phase this out. I also don't think it would be over complicated for fantasy race to make large metal hinge with handles. Go to Comment
Woodsman's Blade
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2009-04-03 02:13 PM
This is a great sub describing an interesting tool that could add some flavor to a scene, character or setting. Go to Comment
Pear Wood 100 Longevity Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-03-31 02:53 PM
A little over brief for a full sub, but I really like the idea. Is that true about Pear wood in chinese mythology, have you seen the Mr. Vampire movies and TV show in which the master uses a peach wood (I believe) sword to fight the undead. Go to Comment
100 Luck Sword
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2013-04-17 12:56 PM
Ryder Spear
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2010-10-14 04:16 PM

I do like a good item and this is a good item, it doesn't  have a great write like Flamebow but a nice item that could really add some flair to a culture. 

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Winter is a Character
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-25 09:52 AM
Good advice Go to Comment
Luxury items
Items  (Equipment Listing)   (Non-Magical)
axlerowes's comment on 2006-09-21 04:11 PM
That is funny. I will use that. Go to Comment
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