(45 replies, posted in Seed: The Second Chance)

Well, since we won't immediately be playing any chat-based RPs, I suppose we could discuss a few things in the event that we ever do so. For instance, what game systems/settings do people like that would be suitable for chat-based games?

I've listed the ones that I have which I feel would be most suitable. What do people feel about them? For that matter, am I listing obscure games that nobody has heard of? I'd have suspected this to be the case, but Nobilis, the most obscure of them all IMO, has already had two mentions from people.


(45 replies, posted in Seed: The Second Chance)

Looks like the results so far are divided between "not interested in chat RP" and "interested but now time". Another idea bites the dust.

I can always run sessions with lots of RP and very little in-depth plot if time is short- the Dying Earth is very good for that.


(18 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Well, that took so long to write that Sandling got his "let's drop the subject" post in while I was typing. Sorry about that... Perhaps a different thread if people want to discuss it further?


(18 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Well, to have a society where the sexes are treated as equal, you'd have to alter a few of the basics of how a society functions. Let's look at the reasons why male-dominated societies have dominated the real world. The differences between men and women are, at the most basic level, that men are physiaclly stronger and women bear the children. This leads to men dominating society because:-

Brute Force. A lot of interaction, both on a personal and a political level, can be settled by resorting to violence or threatening to do so, especially in a less complex society. Men, being stronger, have the advantage when this happens. Forget Xena fantasies about sword-swinging warrior women, which are as likely as real world magic. Men have more weight, reach and upper body strength and anyone who doesn't think that's a deciding factor has never been in a real fight.

High Mortality. Until good medicine is developed, the majority of women have to stay preggnant most of their lives just to keep the population growth in posistive figures. Plus, until the development of effective contraception, women have to completely abstain from sex or start planning for a family.

Division of labour. Men go out to work and women stay at home- this has been the norm across the whole world up until the last few decades, and it didn't happen by accident. Men, being stronger, are more effective at heavy labour. By the time a society gets to the point where some types of work don't involve brute strength, the pattern has already been set. And housekeeping is a full time job prior to the invention of domestic appliances- somebody has to spend all day cooking, cleaning and looking after the kids, and for the previously mentioned reason, the men are employed elsewhere.

In order for a society to have both equality of the sexes and long-term social stability, it must have access to two things. A way of rendering the difference in physical strength meaningless, and reliable medicine which includes contraception. In the real world, science provided these things. In this alternative world, some other method must be found- possibly magic, though several have said they'd prefer this to be rarer than in the default D&D settings.

And on the Matriarchy point Norah seems to be arguing for... Firstly, this thread assumes the Alternate History setting that many have expressed an interest in, which rules out matriarchy- this has, as far as we can tell, never existed in the real world. There are some who argue otherwise, but in every case their arguments seem to me to be a collection of circumstantial evidence strung together with a passionately argued case based more on their personal convictions than any facts. Secondly, as you may gather from this post, I like to have solid reasons why societies are the way they are. Come up with a solid reason why a society would become a matriarchy, and I'll consider that background. But any matriarchal settings I've come across in books fail to achieve this.


(18 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Norah wrote:

And in scenarios like the above, it's that they declare themselves equal and can't have a family (while the men can have a family and still be equal) or if they don't, they're subservient and second class citizens. Why does equality have to come at some price that men don't have to pay for said equality?

Aridani women could marry and have children- in fact, being the legal equals of men, they could even marry multiple husbands, just as Tsolyani men could take more than one wife. It was simply the case that a lot of men would prefer a clan-women as wives. There was no legal restriction, simply the fact that a lot of Aridani would either end up settling down and giving up a lot of their freedoms anyway, or being a highly accomplished old maid. Of course, if the Aridani is willing to simply have the children and leave her clan-cousins to raise them, that would be possible.

I wasn't too clear on that point in the above post.


(18 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

I've always thought that, from a sociological point of view, the method used in the Empire of the Petal Throne setting was the best for emancipated female PCs. The women in Tsolyanu can, after they reach adulthood, declare themselves "Aridani" and become, legally, the equals of men. The drawback is that they have to BE the equals of men- they receive no consideration based on gender, and give up any ideas of settling down and having a family like good little clan-women. Aridani women are common, but not the norm by any means.

Whilst at first glance this represents a degree of emancipation that is out of character for a low-tech society which puts men in the superior role, it actually serves to ensure the long-term social stability of the society. Most women (90%+) live out their lives as second class citizens, and the exceptions- the brighter, motivated women who would be the leaders of any push to gain equality between sexes- can simply join the other side without any effort and gain all the respect and independence they want just for asking. By giving the potential rebels and nonconformists a clearly defined and socially acceptable role in society, their potential to cause trouble is much reduced.


(45 replies, posted in Seed: The Second Chance)

URU live isn't out yet, even if it ends up being the game we want it to be. Other games are proving unsatisfactory for one reason or another. And the NWN2 persistent setting people are discussing won't be appearing overnight either.

With this in mind, has anyone given thought to roleplying on IRC or some other form of chat whilst we wait for a decent game to come around?

I have a LOT of experience running pen-and-paper RPGs, and I have a few in my collection that are sufficiently rules-light and RP-oriented that they would be very good material for chat games. If enough people are interested, I'd be willing to set up such a game. Settings that I've always wanted to run but never had enough RPers to do so are Nobilis, the Dying Earth, and Blue Planet. These would be my preferred ones, but I've whole bookcases full of RPG stuff- name a setting, and I probably have something along those lines.


(18 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Female characters will be a problem for any setting based on history. We will inevitably be sacrificing some degree of accuracy in order to make female PCs playable. I can live with this, and anyone who is enough of a historical purist for this to be a problem is never going to be happy with using the D&D set that is NWN2's default material anyway.


(38 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Kryigerof wrote:

1) Settlers in a new world. This would have the same advantages of expansion and focus as Tantavalist's plan. In addition you could explain the new characters popping up regularly by ships carrying new settlers from the old world. The downside is that using medieval imagery in a setting based on the era of great voyages is a bit off.

This is only strictly the case in a historically accurate setting. The addition of magic makes several things possible with technology lower than was used in the real world. In the case of the Great Voyages era, this was triggered by the development of accurate navigation tools. Magical divination could easily substitute for the Sextant and Magnetic Compass, thus allowing the voyages of discovery and the wave of European- or Pseudo-European- colonisation.  And the colony might not even be on the same planet, or plane of existance. Perhaps a large gate or other artifact capable of reaching another dimension is the mechanism for transport to the colony, rather than sailing ships.

With NWN2 being in the Forgotten Realms by default... How likely is it that there will be a Maztica set of models produced? That might make an interesting addition to a New World colonisation setting.


(38 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Another method of limiting magic that I'd thought of- an RP based one- was to require apprenticeship. We have one or more GM-played high level alt characters as the established archmages of the setting. In order to become a magician, a player has to be accepted as an apprentice by one of these characters. Only an apprentice can advance in spellcasting levels. We could also have a High Priest and Acolyte parallel for Clerics. With the masters all being GM-run, this means that a spellcaster can be awarded a chunk of XP for RPing their lessons well.


(38 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

A possible idea for a setting has occured to me, based on the default Iron Heroes (a variant D&D 3rd Edition setting and ruleset) setting.

"Once, the world was ruled by mighty Mage-Lords. These godlike and near-immortal beings may or may not have been human, but their powers were almost limitless. They built great cities, summoned servant races from other realms or spawned them in their laboratories, made many powerful magical artifacts, ruled an empire that spanned worlds... And finally, for whatever inscrutable reasons, turned on each other in a war that lasted for generations and left the world a blasted ruin, with the Mage-Lords themselves dead or otherwise vanished.

It is from the ashes of this was that the present day is struggling to rise. Here and there, amidst the ruins of the glorious bygone age, handfuls of people are beginning to rebuild. Groups of vagabonds come together and try to make small islands of security and prosperity amidst the devastation. Intrepid bands of adventurers venture into the ruins, braving the warped and uncontrolled beasts to recover the treasures of bygone days. And a handful of scholars study the few fragments of the Arcane Arts that remain and dream of reclaming the power the Mage-Lords once wielded."

This setting has several advantages.

Firstly, it can use the standard D&D toolset, meaning no waiting for new models or having to make our own.

Secondly, it means we can design the world by increments and not have to worry about anything outside our current area of play. We simply build the initial settlement, then add bits as we go and assume people are slowly exploring outwards. There is no need to think of large countries which we can only see small parts of- what we see is what we have.

Thirdly, it gives a focus for the group as a whole inherent to the setting, which is equally suited to combat and RP. The standard D&D experience system gives XP for combat, so I assume that NWN2 has the same, which means combat wouldf have to come in at some point.

Finally, the fact that Magic is a "lost" art means that there can be a limit on the power of magic using characters placed on the setting, which is something that several people have expressed a preference for.



(38 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

So then we just have to decide what sort of Medieval we're going to do. You're talking about a 500 year stretch of history that covers the whole of Europe. We're going to have a lot to choose from, even if this is voted the way to go.

As far as that choice goes, I suppose that Medieval would be the easiest of the Alternate History options- simply because even the default toolset should allow a reasonable facsimile. D&D is based primariliy on Medieval stuff, after all.


(38 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Another possibility would be to come up with a setting which already exists and adapt it for use with the NWN2 engine. There are many pen-and-paper RPG settings which would work well with the D&D core ruleset, and could therefore be easily adapted to the NWN2 setting. My own favourites for this would be:-

Talislanta (For a fantasy feel which is very different to default D&D but with the same structure. Probably one of the easiest to implement, but the least RP-intensive setting)

Shadowrun (D&D meets Cyberpunk)

Fading Suns (Fantasy and Sci-Fi meet, picture Dune or a lighter in tone Warhammer 40,000)

The Dying Earth (The inspiration for the D&D magic system, and a true classic RPG)

Of course, if I had my dream setting, then setting up an online version of the Empire of the Petal Throne setting would be ideal- fantasy, distinct from regular D&D but can be done with the rules, and the original RP-intensive setting.

On a different note, whilst I don't have the game and won't be working on the building of the setting, I do have 20 years experience in running being a pen-and-paper GM, and have designed my own settings more than once. Feel free to ask for any advice on constructing the background details of the setting (in fact, you'll be hard pressed to stop me from giving such at great length).


(38 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

I'd been pondering whether to invest in NWN2 or not, based on what everyone has been saying. But my doubts, as always, are based on the NWN2 default setting- the Forgotten Realms. I've never liked the setting, and personally would never play anything set there. If the persistent world is going to be FR, it looks like I'm saved the purchase.

The fact that the Forgotten Realms are the default setting for the game isn't a problem for anyone who is determined enough. I always end up creating my own settings for my pen-and-paper D&D games, whilst still using the default 3rd edition rules. If there is a model set with so much variation as is advertised, then there really sould be no problem creating something with a bit more originality that the cardboard stereotypes of Forgotten Realms. But then, I'm probably not going to be the one making the persistent world, so it's not really up to me.


(12 replies, posted in URU-Live)

Since it's unlikely that the group will form a neighbourhood immediately, we should just wait until the rest of us know more about the setting to avoid any other misinterpretations. And to see how many of us are going to give URU a serious try.


(12 replies, posted in URU-Live)

"Seed of the Great Tree" as a Neighbourhood name?


(10 replies, posted in Saga of Ryzom)

Some characters do indeed look older but, as it was with Seed, it's all down to what options were chosen for appearance in character creation, and has nothing to do with gameplay.


(7 replies, posted in Sava's Garden)

My Mozilla vote wasn't a mistake. I really must get around to updating to Firefox sometime soon... Last time I tried that it must still have had a few bugs, as some of the sites I went to with Mozilla couldn't be accessed with Firefox, but I imagine that's no longer the case- it was quite a while ago... As in maybe two years.

Have I ever claimed otherwise? I'm a fan of the fantasy genre in general, but Swords-and Sorcery has always been more to my taste than Lord of the Rings style High Fantasy, and Conan is the original Swords-and Sorcery setting. There's also the fact that I'm currently re-reading the original Robert E. Howard Conan stories, having borrowed the very nice hardback omnibus from a friend. Later writers did a good job of carrying on with Conan and keeping the setting alive (except Robert Jordan, whose Conan work I despise), but this is the original and still the best.


(3 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

I've been playing the demo a lot these last few days, and I'm planning to upgrade to the full version as soon as I have spare money. It really gets the feel of a nuclear war right, as if two people stood ten feet away with fully-automatic weapons and held the triggers down to see who dies first. And yet, it's so compelling... There's a definate strategic element to it, and you can't help but feel that there must be a way to wipe out your enemy whilst not getting hit yourself, if only you could get everything arranged right. But no matter how well it goes, the nukes get through- and you try again, but with a modified plan.

I actually got most of the way through a game against an AI opponent once without taking a single hit. I'd taken out the silos, smashed their radars and airbases, and weathered their ICBM barrage without a single nuke getting through my defences. So I ordered the full strike, and as the nukes went up, the submarine fleet which had been hiding off my coast fired its MRBMs... I still won, but so much for the victory at no cost to myself. It seems that the nuclear war could be won in the same way that you could win a game of Russian roulette with five chambers loaded... Theoretically possible, but you'd never want to try it for real.

PM me if anyone wants to try a game. It'll be interesting to see how play goes against a human opponent.

I've been doing some more research on Roma Victor. I've read through the forums on the site, and the picture painted is of a very RP-friendly game where politics is the name of the game, and players can influence the direction of the game directly through their actions. It's also extremely bug-ridden, and the client is full of errors, as the "final release" game is looking more like a beta test that has been released before it was truly ready for financial reasons. The community is very enthusiastic about the game, though, and determined to make it work.

Sounds depressingly familiar. I'm not sure I could take getting involved in another game just to see it vanish into bankruptcy again. If a group of us decide to try it, I'll sign up with them. But the lack of a free trial makes this unlikely.

Looks like I'm waiting to give URU live a go... And drooling at the thought of Age of Conan. It will almost certainly be action-based non-RPers who flock to it, but... It's CONAN!


(10 replies, posted in Saga of Ryzom)

1 year in game  = 2 months real time... Good to know what the conversion is. Assuming that characters start around 18 years old, this means that people who started playing when the game came out have only just reached their thirties with their oldest characters, and we'd have to play for several real-time years before aging became a real problem. No mechanics to represent it in-game, of course, but then, no characters are old enough for that to be needed.


(10 replies, posted in Saga of Ryzom)

One question that has arisen for me is, what is the timescale between Atys and the real world?

The days and nights fly past, and the seasons turn quickly. But we're still referring to "tomorrow" and "In a day or two" using the real world timescale. Does Atys have a vastly greater rotation than Earth, meaning that time passes as for the real world and the days/seasons move at an accelerated pace, or are we simply playing "compressed" snapshots of our character's lives? And if the latter is the case, shouldn't our characters be aging at an extreme rate from our point of view?

It's something that I've wondered about since I started playing. However, for Kayleedawn and my character Naetin, it's suddenly become much more than an academic problem, and I think we should agree on a standard.

The Cliches and stereotypes were purely a product of the era- Howard wrote the original Conan stories in the 1930s, after all, when such attitudes were the norm. There was a note on the site that the setting has been "updated" to remove the blatant racism and sexism, since neither was integral to the setting- simply a reflexion of the author and the times he lived in.

And yes, the stories were first published in "Weird Tales", alongside such authors as HP Lovecraft. Reading the stories, it's easy to see that the supernatural side of the Hyborean Age, the spells and the demons, was heavily influenced by Lovecraft. That's one of the big attractions of the setting to me. There are no whilte magicians, everyone who studies sorcery is automatically dealing with dark forces that Man Was Not Meant To Know Of.

The game will be the greatest action-oriented online game ever, as long as it delivers what it promises. But we all know better than to simply trust the game blurb by now, don't we?

Age of Conan is more likely to appeal to me than Lord of the Rings. I've always been an avid reader of the Conan books, and the chance to play in the original Swords-and Sorcery setting has me excited already. I'm now looking to start upgrading my PC, so I can play it when it finally comes out. The PC specs problem is the only thing that could deter me from at least trying it- it's Conan.