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Offline Aramax

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Theoretical vrs experimental
« on: January 26, 2015, 09:13:44 AM »
So I've been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory, and I had this stray thought on why I'm a little bit of a square peg here.What if you guys are the Theorist Sheldons and I'm the Experimental Leonard? You guys are a bit smarter but I am way more practical?
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 09:54:21 AM »
DISCLOSURE: I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE BIG BANG THEORY BUT I THINK I HAVE GLEANED ENOUGH THROUGH CULTURAL OSMOSIS TO UNDERSTAND THE REFERENCE

Why impose a ranking system at all?  But I wager most game masters that keep up sustained games with adult players are fairly practical.   

Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 10:05:27 AM »
Not a ranking system at all(and PLEASE I ment no insult at ALL). It's my final observation on how to really get myself into that round hole. You guys have your own way of doing things that obviously you are happy with, yet the site, which is TRUELY the most creative place on the ENTIRE web for gaming, does not attract a lot of new faces that STAY. I think my observation is the core of the issue(NOT problem). I find that the sub's I am drawn to are 30s 101s and 100 word. I find the average sub ,while often insiteful and brilliant, too wordy for me to wade through. So I'm cutting down on my sub's in a constructive way.
I'll stick to my strong suits and not try to make huge sub's that are so trying for me to write.I finally feel that I can be round.
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 10:50:12 AM »
This bring up several questions.  What is the Citadel's purpose? I think it was designed as place for gamers that couldn't meet in person to share ideas and thoughts about gaming.

How did the Citadel become this repository for esoteric and self-indulgent writings guarded by bullies that seek to uphold this contrived and inaccessible form? 

Part of this esoteric form may be found in the Citadel's content biases. Some of the arguments used for keeping out things like in-game stats may not hold water.  It was said (by Moonhunter and others) that in game stats make things in accessible, and certainly Stats alone do, but why haven't we included the stats in addition to other ideas?  Why did the masters of the Citadel, feel the need to separate ideas into different categories?

Is there a culture of content and presentation bias of on the Citadel? Certainly when Aramax says "have your own way of doing things" he has identified such a bias.

Should the Citadel be more accessible and supportive? Why did Splatterbox recently post and then leave? 

Why do people like Aramax and Moonlake find the long form content on the Citadel inaccessible?

Here are my thoughts:

I wonder if this expectation of attention for things on the internet that differs from things read in hand or total in person.  I speculate that when we click on something on the internet we are expecting an immediate presentation of information and thus are turned off or befuddled by long 'dense' text.  In your case (Aramax) I wonder if you have the same aversion to prose when reading fiction in other formats?

I think there is a different motivation for the consumer of RPG fiction than traditional fiction.  The consumers of RPG fiction look more to use the fiction as a platform for their own ideas rather than reading the fiction with an interest in its own internal narrative or personality.  Look no farther then the voting guidelines that are defined by usefulness than evidence for this argument. 

Finally, I have a question.  Has the bar been continually raised on content of the citadel by the people that have been here for years?  Has this on going back and forth with the chronic posters made the sight inaccessible to new comers?

Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 11:22:35 AM »
First off in answer to your question I by FAR favor short stories over novel, so that is a large part of how I feel about long sub's.

Second I think the core question is. What do you peeps WANT the site to be. I could do a kick a** sub on low level D&D spells but refuse to do it with out stats

I'm not trying to be Martin Luther But I may have struck a nerve..
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 11:33:06 AM »
Question Aramax. Would you consider Axle's comment regarding bullies as accurate? 

Axle - do you mean that or are you trying to evoke discussion?

If there are comments which cross the line into the realm of bullying, please bring those to the attention of the moderators. If the post in question is _with_ a moderator, than bring it to the attention of one of the other moderators.

   
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 11:42:56 AM »
I totally disagree with the characterization of people being bullies here. There is a way of being a good Strollinite that means up to extreme harsh criticism. It's just the way the site works. But it inhibits participation, again I ask my question,what do you want this site to be? What is going on now cannot be characterized as wrong if the majority of the active members are happy, but doing things the way you have will keep the status quo. I admit that I think change would be good but I am more than content to keep things the way they are.

What do you want it to be?
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 11:52:31 AM »
Part of this esoteric form may be found in the Citadel's content biases. Some of the arguments used for keeping out things like in-game stats may not hold water.  It was said (by Moonhunter and others) that in game stats make things in accessible, and certainly Stats alone do, but why haven't we included the stats in addition to other ideas?  Why did the masters of the Citadel, feel the need to separate ideas into different categories?

I am one of those who feel very strongly about keeping stats out of subs. I've said it before many times and I'll say it again.

Part of the challenge of writing for the Citadel is putting things in descriptive rather than mechanical terms. Another part is recognizing the wide variety of systems that are out there and that mechanics which seem obvious to you may be gibberish, or at the very least useless, to many others. I, for one, would find no use in a bunch of D&D-specific spells, since I don't use the system.

If you want to put stats at the end of a sub, after you describe it in its full, non-stats detail, or even in a linked forum post, more power to you. I can happily skip that part.

I really, really like the way ideas are presented here. I think it's a part of the strength of the site and why it is so full of creativity. If you can't fall back on simple +1's, you're forced to put a little more thought into what you're writing.
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 11:56:21 AM »
I totally disagree with the characterization of people being bullies here. There is a way of being a good Strollinite that means up to extreme harsh criticism. It's just the way the site works. But it inhibits participation, again I ask my question,what do you want this site to be? What is going on now cannot be characterized as wrong if the majority of the active members are happy, but doing things the way you have will keep the status quo. I admit that I think change would be good but I am more than content to keep things the way they are.

What do you want it to be?

Personally, I want it to be a place that overflows with creativity, where collaboration is rampant, and where I can really push myself as a creator and writer. And I feel that that is what this place already is.
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 12:04:41 PM »
What would be the harm in adding a sub format that allowed stats?it would allow you to avoid them. You are like someone who only wants one kind of ice cream, although that alone may not be such a good idea.Also D&D hate is point less, it is snobbery at it's worst, because your cutting yourself off of 90% of the creativity ,player and member possibilities. We are such a tiny sub-class of society and you want to isolate from 90% of the .01%
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 12:19:21 PM »
I already covered that... It's leaving stats out that forces the writer to be more creative and which I see as a primary reason for this place being so full of the creativity you mentioned earlier.

And don't pin all the D&D hate on me. I am by far not the only one here who chooses not to play D&D. My choice has nothing to do with hate, or snobbery, but because I have a different crunch-to-lite ratio preference than what D&D has to offer. I tried to follow D&D to 3rd, found it didn't work for me, and happily left it other pastures. It's not hate that keeps me from D&D but happiness with other systems. And based on many of the blogs I come across, there are quite a few players out there who feel the same. D&D may be the iconic system, but there are so many other popular ones out there: Fate, GURPS, Cypher (Numenera, the Strange), Savage Worlds, etc.

I'm confused by your "one kind of ice cream" comment. I would say that I'm sampling far more flavors, since I tinker with different systems. ;)

Again, I will stress that leaving stats out of subs is what I see as the driving force for the creativity found here.
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2015, 12:36:14 PM »
If those systems were so wonderful, they would have taken over the community. They are a tiny fraction each of a tiny fraction of gamers. GURPS (which I agree is a great system)is barely hanging on. Most gamers play D&D. Most players want D&D content. It is absolutely ludicrous to spend a whole sentence when you could say +1, AND EVERYBODY WOULD UNDERSTAND! I have mined spells from every system I come across so a sub on unique spells would be very useful to 90% of the fantasy gamers. AND IF IT WERE LABELED YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO READ IT. I have never read Savage Worlds or Champions yet I look at those systems specific material online and glean bits of useful information.

All that being said I repeat a couple of things
1 This is by far the best site for gaming online
2 If everybody wants it to stay the way it is, then I will be happy to continue to participate
3 The way things are done here CANNOT be considered wrong HOWEVER continuing to do the same thing will lead to the same results, is this what everybody wants?
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2015, 12:47:09 PM »
It is absolutely ludicrous to spend a whole sentence when you could say +1, AND EVERYBODY WOULD UNDERSTAND!

I couldn't disagree more with this statement, which probably states nicely our differences of opinion ;)

1 This is by far the best site for gaming online
2 If everybody wants it to stay the way it is, then I will be happy to continue to participate
3 The way things are done here CANNOT be considered wrong HOWEVER continuing to do the same thing will lead to the same results, is this what everybody wants?

1. I agree completely
2. Excellent!
3. Yes (speaking for myself, of course). I would rather we have quality of users here than quantity.
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2015, 01:02:23 PM »
How will a few changes(ESPECIALLY the no stats thing )hurt the quality of the sub's of the peeps already on the site?(which you are obviously happy with)
Some fresh blood is ALWAYS a good idea.In the one thing I have learned from holding an active REAL game group together for 34 yrs, I can always learn new tricks and the more the merrier.
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2015, 01:09:45 PM »
I didn't say I didn't want any new blood. Not every new user sticks around, but some do. I would simply rather we keep the quality ones than be overrun with hordes of people posting their +10 SWORDS OF DEMON SLAYAGE (or whatever the kids are into these days :P ).

Honestly, I see an inability to take criticism as the #1 cause of newbies not sticking around, rather than the stats taboo. And while axle waxes eloquent about the harshness of our standards, I see them as a plus, since I have personally benefited from them.
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2015, 01:25:05 PM »
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2015, 01:28:28 PM »
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results

The quote is more like:
Quote
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I would call getting the same, expected, results, pure sanity.
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2015, 01:30:38 PM »
So status quo Mystic, anybody else?
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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2015, 01:32:36 PM »
this is not how I started off.............
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2015, 01:33:41 PM »
Interestingly enough, on the stats vs no stats debates, I am firmly in the court of stats are okay, so long as the sub is usable and understandable without it.

I guess we are trying to avoid - perhaps ideologically, posting with tiny flavor text, and a D&D stat block. - the +10 Sword MM mentions.  Just not the style we are going for here.  Would we get more hits with such a thing? I'm sure of it. Is it where we want to go?  Not really.

Here is a sub of mine where I attempt to skirt the line somewhat. 

http://strolen.com/viewing/Oh_Give_Me_Wings_To_Fly

I could have easily condensed this further with the use of more concise stat blocks, but I would have been less happy with it.

Could there be a place for crunch heavy/system specific stats here?  I think so.  Maybe each system, commercial or homebrew, could have their own freetext/region.  Those who don't care for such submissions could ignore them.

I think whatever we do, it should still emphasis the Freedom side of the site, while doing everything possible to encourage the more 'writery' side of things.


   
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2015, 03:37:37 PM »
of doing things” and there is a status quo.  Thus what I got from Aramax was that: much of the scores are dictated by the community’s idea of what the Citadel should be, and that much of that content is not practical for the typical gamer. I agree with the first part, and I wouldn’t think to speak to the second part except to say that I think ‘usable’ often means accessible here even thought they aren’t the samething.   

First, I think Valad has most admirable conclusions in shooting for freedom and inclusiveness of the site, and his line about how stats should be used is perfectly phrased. 


The game of the Citadel is a surprisingly powerful force in the minds of the writers and members.  By game of the Citadel I mean the voting and ranking system. What I meant by bullying would perhaps be better described as hazing.  It is when the scores are used as a stick to direct content based on the Citadel’s own biases.  I have defended the game more than anyone here will ever know.  I think the game is important.  I think it can force us to improve our writing, and I think it helps hold the online community of the Citadel together.    But I am still shocked at how much it means to people (myself included at times) as something other than an engine of critical improvement. People seem to value the scores in and of themselves.   

There was that guy last year posting stolen material that Silverssea uncovered.  The only reason to do that is because you want some accolades on from this community.  There is no money. There is no RLF benefit to it.  Praise on this site means something to people, even people just wandering the web.

Aramax has an idea for a post on spells that he doesn’t think will be well received on the site so he is not going to post it.  He thinks such a piece would be practical and interesting, but he isn’t going to post it.   Aramax, if he doesn’t write this up for the above reasons, is letting the perceived biases of this RPG site limit his posting.

Mysticmoon wrote a sub about alien polar bear hover craft.  He was pleased enough with idea to share it, but he didn’t open it up for voting cause he thought it wasn’t worthy of a good score.

Scras, and I still can’t believe he does this, deletes his low scoring posts. 

People have brought in their family and friends to the site to have allies (guilty and I regret it). 

People have made up false user ideas and upvoted their own material.   


So the scores matter to people. And they don’t always push to people to improve posts but they push people to try and play the game of the citadel: delete posts, hold posts back as stubs, keep content out or even steal content.  I am all for scores, but I do worry because of Aramax’s comment that the biases of the citadel are becoming the engines of scoring. Furthermore, that these biases (not a genuine desire to help people develop their ideas) are keeping our community smaller and more exclusive than it could be.

Offline valadaar

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2015, 03:55:02 PM »
I do not see a problem with keeping subs as stubs if the perception is that they will not be well received. I am not sure what the alternative is - either you want someone to vote on it, with all the risk/reward it entails, or you don't. Stubs can be commented on, and you can put an unofficial vote there anyway if you really wanted to.

Removing subs, well, I consider sub removal an author's prerogative.  Does it suck if it happens? Yes. Any alternative? None I would condone.  I'm not going to second guess some's right or whim to do so.  If you want to bring your average up this way, that is your call.

There is a game to the site - you gain levels and gain the ability to vote, and unlock the occasional ability.  I like having it.  Does it mean we get folks that game the system? Yes. That's why we have moderators and people need to let us know if we missed something.

What needs to change?  People who _like_ submissions that include rules, or are small, need to vote them up. When the yays outweigh the nays, than things can change. Sounds familiar, eh?  Low volume of votes makes each vote hit harder, and negative ones seem to hurt more that positive ones help it seems. 

So, vote. Vote with your comments, vote with your subs. Be brave :)











   
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2015, 04:06:10 PM »
You should add this line of logic to your First Submission Advice article.  If you work some positive and encouraging notes into it I will give it a higher score.

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2015, 04:24:13 PM »
Mysticmoon wrote a sub about alien polar bear hover craft.  He was pleased enough with idea to share it, but he didn’t open it up for voting cause he thought it wasn’t worthy of a good score.

To clarify, I wasn't worried about the score, I was worried about the comments. I didn't want readers to waste their time telling me it wasn't complete when I was already aware. That stub was actually an eye-opener for me, finally allowing me to grok exactly what a stub is. I expect to write more of them, not out of fear of voting (I could actually benefit more from the sub count than suffer from hits to my average), but because I often have ideas that are too long for a couple paragraph blurb but that I will likely never fully complete. This is a case of the system working as it should (even if Strolen doesn't like stubs on principle :P ).
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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2015, 06:05:41 PM »
The discussion has somewhat wandered so I won't rehash any old bits. As I see it, this thread is really trying to discuss how the status quo of the site as perceived by Aramax is impeding him and possibly others like him from staying around and keep posting.

Firstly, I'm the one of the ones who love the status quo just like the other Moon. What I loved about it were two things: harsh but honest commenting and light stats (b/c I'm non-gamer so if every sub was running rampart with game talk, I simply cannot comprehend). On the stats side, though, I'm not seeing any genuine difference b/w MM and Val' s stance. The other Moon, you said stats are okay if they are merely for illustration purposes which from my end is basically what Val's saying. And I also think this way of thinking is more representative of Citadel position of stat inclusion in subs as opposed to "if you include any stats at all in any sub, we will get out our knives". But in terms of views on this is +1 strength sword (or +1 whatever sword), then yes, I agree most of the Citadel's stance would be like, "dude, can't you just put it in non-gamer terms and just say this sword provides a minor boost to x?" But I'm pretty sure that any newcomer would be politely asked to amend this.

To be honest, I think the real problem with new blood staying is possibly the sometimes harsh comments of old timers which I and the other Moon obviously love but others might find issues with. I think Aramax picked this up and mentioned it as well but I don't know why you then singled out the non-inclusion of stats in priority to this (or maybe the stat thing is bugging you more?). Anyhow, I'm not sure what more we could do in this area? We already have the Law of the Hammer now. We could go Sil(?)'s suggestion of having a special flag for the early submissions of newbies but I think most of us do know about newbies and are somewhat tender on them.

I'm getting the itch to do another Wiki article on the issues raised in this thread to put under the I am Newish page. Care to join me, Val and others?

Human (Level 2)
Crysilis Embroider -  Apprentice Weaver
Moonlake Ku - Apprentice Strolenati
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 4| CHA: 2 | INT: 3
"Crazy woman devoted to 2 Worlds, 2 Guilds and randomness"
Visiting beloved Dragon Empire