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 Post subject: "Weirdness" in your games
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:47 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: San Jose, CA
Here's a question for you: Given that the fantasy genre has certain assumptions about "normal" fantasy, how "weird" do you like your games? For example, the upcoming Complete Guide to Treants has rules for deep treants -- essentially highly modified treants adapted to life in the underdark.

Personally, I think that's really cool. It's an unusual variation on a genre-specific assumption. But I just got a playtester comment that it's *too* weird. I know I personally have a taste for "weird" to begin with... but what do other people think? Do you like your fantasy weird or typical?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:07 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:33 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Boulder, Colorado
[quote] Do you like your fantasy weird or typical? [/quote]

Personally, I like things weird. I think the underdark treant is an interesting idea, and it seems like a perfectly logical extension of a natural spirit to me. Frankly, I'm still curious to hear some sort of public reaction to the Complete Guide to Doppelgangers, since I think that the doppelstadt is a pretty weird concept and I'm curious if it was too out there for Joe Six-Sider.

Over course, my favorite game is Over the Edge, so I'm probably not a good test market...

-Keith


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 12:55 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:04 pm
Posts: 66
I like and can handle wierdness. The only thing I can't deal with is out of place "goofiness". For me, it's a matter of how the topic is approached.

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 Post subject: Definitely weirdness
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 8:24 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2002 7:27 pm
Posts: 283
Weirdness is something I always leaned towards in my own homebrew campaigns. However, I also leaned towards (and still do) weird sourcebooks to buy/use/cannibalize. If a gaming book is fairly straightforward, I'll probably do something nutty to spice it up anyway - but if it's already got some weird ideas in it, I'd be more tempted to use them "as is", or at least not monkey around with them as much.

In "Goodman Games terms" :P, then, I'd be far less likely to buy "Treants" if it didn't have stuff like the underdark treant included. Weird stuff offers some different directions to adventures - or at least starting points to 'em - that I might never have been able to come up with on my own.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:03 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:25 pm
Posts: 22
my personal opinion, wierdness has it's place. some adventures throwing in some major wierdness is very fun, but i think it's mostly a matter of if you think your gamers can handle it. i tend to get very creative and sometimes they think my creativity is pretty out there (Yatta elite elven archers and paratrooping earth elementals.....) so it can be fun, sometimes it's just not necassary though

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:23 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 290
personally, i think that wierdness is the most important part of world building

no one wants to buy a campaign setting that's just a cheap knock-off of a more popular pre-existing setting, and the 'wierdness' that picks out a setting and makes it unique is the most important part
(heh, that's maybe half the reason i bought DragonMech last week :D )

i don't think i would pick up a setting that didn't have lots of new and interesting, since i generally like to incorporate elements of things rather than taking a single setting as a whole anyway

in other words, wierdness = keeping it interesting


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 Post subject: Wierdness is fine....in correct doses
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:07 am 
Wierdness is excellent in small doses. In large doses, it is over the top, distracting, and reminds me of the culture shock I experienced at GenCon's Nascrag tournament (WAY out there).

But as I found in Devil Lich, assumptions can have a nasty way of turning around and biting you on the butt!

The "wierdness" in that adventure made it FRESH and terrifying, and the inclusion in your modules of variant creatures that the players have not seen before ratchets up the tension MULTIPLE notches. "What do you mean, that it's not affected by the fireball, but on page ..... it says...(gulp)"

So, in my opinion, keep the wierdness in if it can be used to intensify the experience, enhance emotional impact, and will not distract from the game.

Stay well,

Ben "superfan" Waxman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:12 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:28 am
Posts: 121
I have always been one to add nonstandard rules, many of them homebrew or taken from an extremely obscure book that no one remembers. See my signature, below.

I bought DragonMech because I had been trying for several years to get mechs into a campaign. And, just then, a book showed up that told me I could do just that.

I don't have a huge budget, so I can't buy every book I'm interested in. But those that really catch my eye, be they ever so far from standard, troll-and-orc fantasy, are the ones I spend an eternity trying to save up for.

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Owner of all DragonMech books, Etherscope core book, and DCC 12.5: Iron Crypt of the Heretics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:39 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:02 am
Posts: 150
Location: Surrounded by corn
goodmangames wrote:
Here's a question for you: Given that the fantasy genre has certain assumptions about "normal" fantasy, how "weird" do you like your games?


Depends on which assumptions you talk about. I like to mess with races -- I'd rather have half-giants and cat-men than elves and orcs -- but I don't like having spellcasters in every town and hovel. Magic isn't science, and even in high fantasy I think it should be unpredictable and unreliable. My favorite campaign ever revolved around national politics, had weird races, featured no spellcasters of any kind, and only two magic swords showed up. But the players got regular (if cryptic) counseling from the ram-headed demigod living in the swamp nearby.

Now I'm meandering. Anyway, the key thing for me is consistency. I like a setting that has all kinds of crazy stuff happening, but it all has to make sense when you put it together. DragonMech is very cool because it adds one big weird thing (and lots of neat little weird things -- slathem and tortogs and clockwork familiars...). But the mechs, unusual as they are, have a place in the setting. They exist for a reason. Weirdness annoys me when it's just there for its own sake.


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