[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Fri May 23 13:26:28 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 2:21:57 AM, Threshold RPG wrote:
> On 15 May 2003, at 10:48, Travis Casey wrote:

>> The point I'm trying to make is that whether or not D&D in
>> specific is complex is irrelevant to deciding whether or not
>> knowledge of *paper RPGs in general* is relevant.  It's the most
>> popular paper RPG, but that doesn't mean it's the best one to
>> learn from.

> Then why did you reply to the discussion Ryan and I were involved
> in that is *NOT* what you are talking about?

> <EdNote: Forking and extending threads in this manner is standard
> and expected behaviour>

Like JC just said.  And I'll add, if you want to discuss *just* one
thing, and with *just* certain people, why not do it in private
email instead of on the mailing list?

<EdNote: Common list etiquette is to state up front exactly which
points you are interested in discussing, and then responding to only
those portions of the thread which meet your interests.  This
practice has been used frequently and to great effect on this list
and others and has the advantage that it allows thread forks which
meet other's interests, while continueing to serve your interests
and purposes.>

>> That may be the issue you want to discuss.  The issue *I'm*
>> discussing is whether paper RPGs are relevant to designers of
>> muds/MMORPGs -- which is why I'm bringing up other games than D&D
>> and why I'm bringing up third-party rules expansions to D&D.
>> This thread is a branch off of the original thread discussing
>> that.

> Then please reply to one of those messages rather than the ones
> that are specifically titled D&D vs. MMORPG complexity. :)

I replied to your message because you brought up several things
which D&D doesn't handle, or does only in a limited way -- but which
other paper RPGs do handle.  It's much easier to talk about the fact
that "there are other paper RPGs which do X" by using the existing
mention of X as context.

>> To me, insisting that all paper RPGs be judged in their relevance
>> on the basis of the core books of one version of D&D is like
>> insisting that all muds be judged on the basis of a stock Diku.
>> It may be the most common thing, but that doesn't make it the
>> best.

> I have never insisted or even implied that one should only use
> core D&D. In fact, I have specifically included more than just
> core D&D on numerous occasions.

I'm still talking about the discussion in general.  When I mean just
you, I'll say "you" or otherwise indicate that I'm talking about you

> I will, however, make this point. The majority of D&D players do
> use just the core books. Whereas almost nobody plays a purely
> stock DIKUmud.

In my experience, the majority of D&D players use considerably more
than just the core books.  Back in D&D and AD&D1 days, I played with
or watched play of seven different groups -- all of whom used
optional rules from official or unofficial sources.  With AD&D2, I
played with better than a dozen groups, and the only time I ever
played with *only* the unmodified core rules was at conventions.  I
haven't played AD&D3 much, but the only group I've seen play it with
*just* the unmodified core rules was a group I was running.

>> I don't deny that paper RPGs and online RPGs have many
>> significant differences, and that simply lifting a paper RPG
>> system and trying to stick it in an online game as-is is a bad
>> idea.  However, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be
>> learned from paper RPGs.

> If your point is that there is much to learn from PnP RPGs, then I
> could not agree more. That is one reason I buy tons of pen and
> paper RPGs that I know I will never have time to play. I read them
> to get ideas. It is also why I can tax deduct such purchases. :)

Well, good.  But there have been others who have said that paper
RPGs are irrelevant, and it seems to me that much of what you've
said superficially looks like an argument against the relevance of
paper RPGs.  (Note that I'm saying superficially -- I don't believe
you intend them that way, but others could easily construe them that

> I am not sure if you misunderstand what is being discussed in the
> "D&D vs. MMORPG complexity" thread or if you are just trying to
> contort the discussion Ryan and I are having back towards the
> original issue you would rather discuss.

I'm using pieces of it as examples of areas where other RPGs are
better models to draw from than xD&D is.

> I would rather you didn't try to jump into this sub-thread and
> contort it back to the subject you are more interested in. I think
> it is pretty rude to try and hijack an existing discussion in that
> manner.

> If you want to discuss "your issue", then wouldn't it be better to
> post your thoughts with a different subject heading and not as a
> reply to a totally different issue?

Well, personally, I think it's pretty rude to insist that others not
try to use something you post in a public forum as a jumping-off
point for something they want to discuss.  No one's forcing you to
reply to my posts, after all.  If the subject I want to discuss
doesn't interest you, you can just delete my messages as soon as you
realize they're not on a subject that interests you.

<EdNote: Deletia>

The only reason I can see for your decrying just *my* messages for
being off the topic of this thread is that you feel I'm attacking
you personally.  Let me assure you, such is not my intention.

Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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